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19 08 2012 Sunday LESSON 681 FREE ONLINE eNālāndā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY through http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org OUTLOOK B+ve of Ambedkar the Awakened One With Awareness
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19  08  2012 Sunday LESSON 681 FREE ONLINE  eNālāndā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY
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OUTLOOK B+ve  of Ambedkar the Awakened One With Awareness

Ambedkar at his Dhamma Deeksha, 1956

Opinion

Lit-Again Paths

Ambedkar’s Buddhism is a radical, rational reading of the traditional for our times

Christopher Queen

Young
Bhim Ambedkar met the Buddha for the first time at a party in Bombay.
As the only untouchable student at Elphinstone High School, Ambedkar
caused a stir when he passed his matriculation exam in 1907. A
graduation party was organised by Krishna Arjun ‘Dada’ Keluskar, author,
activist and principal of nearby Wilson High School. Keluskar had seen
Ambedkar reading alone in the Churni Road Garden and finally asked him
who he was. The boy, born of Mahar parents in an army camp, explained
that upper-caste students at Elphinstone bullied him and that he
retreated to the park with a book. The teacher recognised the boy’s
promise and began helping him with his studies.

At the party, Keluskar gave him a copy of his Life of the Buddha,
written in Marathi for the Baroda Sayajirao Oriental Series. Sayajirao
provided Ambedkar financial aid, employment and finally full support to
attend Columbia University, where Ambedkar earned his first doctorate
and discovered that a society could be organised around the notions of
liberty, equality and fraternity.

More than the influence of early mentors and institutions, it was the
life and teachings of the Buddha, first presented in Keluskar’s slim
volume, that made the most impact. After the party, he recalled years
later, “I…was greatly impressed and moved by it.” In the following
decades, as he launched the untouchable civil rights movement,
represented his community in the negotiations with the British and the
Congress, served as the first law minister and principal draftsman of
the Constitution, Ambedkar never forgot the vision of personal striving
and social transformation he first encountered in the person of the
Buddha.

Who was the Buddha that impressed Ambedkar so much? Ambedkar
reflected deeply on this, and declared in 1950 that Buddhism was the
only religion that could meet the requirements of the modern
world—wisdom, compassion, and social justice. And we know that in the
last, illness-ridden five years of his life, he devoted his remaining
energy to the study of Buddhism.

The fruit of Ambedkar’s final labours is The Buddha and His Dhamma,
a daring interpretation of traditional teachings. Venerated by
ex-untouchables and millions practising ‘Navayana’ Buddhism, it tells
the story of the earthly Buddha and summarises his teachings. This
manifesto brings out the social teachings that Ambedkar believed were
suppressed by misunderstanding and distortion. Gautama’s welcoming all
to his new religious community is there. But so is Ambedkar’s critique
of four famous items in the traditional presentation of Buddhism.

Ambedkar doubted that a 29-year-old prince would have abandoned his
duties after seeing a sick person, an old person, a corpse and a sadhu.
The Four Noble Truths “are a great stumbling block”, attributing all
human suffering to desire and craving. Are the poor to be blamed for
craving food? Traditional notions of karma and rebirth clearly pose a
contradiction of the core teaching of no-self (anatta) and another
justification for the caste system, in which low-birth results from bad
behaviour in a past life—again blaming victims of social exploitation.
Finally, should not the clergy serve society, or should they only study
and meditate? These questions “must be decided not so much in the
interest of doctrinal consistency but in the interest of the future of
Buddhism”.

Ambedkar’s Buddha is based on meticulous study of the Pali record as
well as scores of modern commentaries he collected. And this Buddha is a
path-giver (marga-data), not a rescuer (moksha-data); he is
all-compassionate (maha-karunika); and he is opposed to superstition and
speculation. He is awakened by definition—rational, practical, and
rooted in present realities. But he is also engaged—committed to social
change and justice, and, if necessary, non-violent social revolution.
This is the Buddha that has inspired a new generation of socially
engaged Buddhists across the world.

Was this the Buddha young Bhim met at his graduation party? Or has the Buddha of old found new voices in a dangerous new world?


(Christopher Queen teaches Buddhism and Social Change and World Religions at Harvard University.)




Amit Haralkar
Our icon Ambedkar’s death anniversary being observed

Alternative Media

Songsters From The Mudhouse

SC/ST bards, bhajan mandalis and pamphleteers, largely
from Maharashtra, have kept alive the image, the life story and the
genius of Ambedkar

Sharmila Rege

Bhima, your thought is like the shade of the peepal tree.

 —Wamandada Kardak (1922-2004)

In the last few years, every
December 6, TV channels have been covering the annual gathering of
thousands of followers of Dr B.R. Ambedkar at Chaitya Bhoomi in Mumbai.
The middle class deems these events irrational or emotional and
criticises them for causing traffic jams and littering—opinions that
strangely resonate among social scientists.  Most people do not reckon
that the prolonged Ganesh Chaturthi affairs are also a nuisance. Many
intellectuals, barring a few, see these gatherings of the Dalit public
as a process of the ‘deification’ of Ambedkar or the ‘manipulation’ of
the masses by the Dalit leadership. It is also common to see Ambedkar’s
‘rationality’ contrasted with the ‘irrationality’ of these gatherings,
suggesting that Dalits are not carrying forward Ambedkar’s true legacy.
In fact, much before Ambedkar belatedly emerged as a national icon in
the 1990s, much before the Bharat Ratna, and well before Mandal, it is
these annual gatherings that kept alive Ambedkar’s life story and work.
This was well before the emergence of Dalit literature and before the
writings and speeches of Ambedkar gained currency.

The key dates in the Ambedkarite calendar are: December 6 (Ambedkar’s
death anniversary), observed at Chaitya Bhoomi, Mumbai; October 14 (the
day he converted to Buddhism), observed in Nagpur; January 1 (the day
in 1818 when Peshwa Bajirao II, the Brahmin ruler of Pune, was defeated
by the British with support from Mahar soldiers), observed at Kranti
Stambh, Bhima-Koregaon; December 25 (the day Ambedkar and his follower
burnt a copy of Manusmriti), observed at Mahad; and, of course, April
14, Ambedkar’s birth anniversary.


Posters on sale. (Photograph by Amit Haralkar)

 

 

Shahirs used dominant idioms of the day, including Savarkar’s works, subverting them to highlight Dalit awakening.
 

 
These
annual gatherings spawn hundreds of stalls selling a wide range of
items: brassware from Moradabad, Jai Bhim caps, statues, posters,
calendars, prints of Ambedkar, statues of Buddha, lockets, watches,
ribbons and night lamps with images of Ambedkar. Many stalls sell the
Ambedkarite calendar/almanac published by Dalit political organisations
or publishing houses. These calendars are visually distinct, with covers
in different styles, establishing a historical legacy from Buddha,
Phule and Shahu Maharaj down to Ambedkar. Each of these calendars is a
documentation of history, marking each day as a day in the history of
Ambedkar’s life and struggles. At a time when the story of Ambedkar and
the Dalit movement were kept out of textbooks, these calendars played an
important role in cataloging and interpreting the history of Ambedkar’s
movement.

At these gatherings, two kinds of stalls—bookstalls and stalls put up
by gayan parties, or singing troupes, selling cassettes and now audio
CDs—predominate. Booklets and music have been the two media that have
carried forth the life and work of Ambedkar.

Following the Dalit Panthers movement of the 1970s and later, the
movement to rename Marathwada University as Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar
Marathwada University, several small publishers dedicated to producing
literature by and on Ambedkar emerged across Maharashtra. Many of these
booklets introduce readers to the Ambedkarite perspective on
contemporary issues. The books do not necessarily become individual
possessions but circulate among members of the extended family, local
Buddha Viharas and friends.

Ujwala Dheewar, a 21-year-old interviewed at Chaitya Bhoomi, says she gifts copies of Ambedkar’s The Buddha and His Dhamma
to friends to mark important occasions. She buys the book in bulk at
these gatherings. Anantrao Ahire, an 80-year-old who was at the Yeola
conference in 1935 when Ambedkar declared his decision to convert, says
that on Ambedkar’s death in 1956, he resolved to sell Ambedkar’s books
door-to-door for the rest of his life.


Sea change Celebration of Ambedkar’s conversion, at Deeksha Bhoomi, Nagpur

The gayan parties, which
constitute the second-largest number of stalls at these gatherings, may
be traced to the bhajan mandalis of the pre-Ambedkar era. Since the
Mahars had been traditionally associated with singing, there were
several mandalis which sang compositions in the Varkari tradition—the
bhakti cult of Vithoba of Pandharpur, about whom Namdeo, Dyaneshwar,
Chokhamel and Eknath have sung.  With the expanding reach of Ambedkar’s
message, there was a dramatic change in the bhajans and in women’s
compositions like the ovi (songs of the grinding stone) and palana
(songs of the cradle). They all adopted the political tones of
Ambedkar’s struggles and campaigns.

A well-known composer, Bhimrao Kardak, recalls the emergence of a new
form—the Ambedkari jalsa, which radically reorganised the structure of
tamasha by making room for verses and dialogue. The comedian of the
jalsa (a man dressed as a woman) would convey the message of Ambedkar
through comical dialogues, often using parody. For instance, criticism
of Gandhi’s idea of Harijan is presented in a verse from the jalsa
called A Dialogue between a Congress Devotee and an Untouchable:

All of us Mahars, Mangs, Bhangis and Chamaars—let’s condemn the name ‘Harijan’!
Hearing the name makes my mind sad!
‘Harijan’ is a stamp, a stigma, a sign of slavery,
And this dominating Congress government, it claims to run a democracy!

Ever since the 1930s, several generations of  shahirs (composers)
have dedicated a lifetime to spreading the ideas of Ambedkar. The first
generation of Ambedkari shahirs (1920-56), including Patit Pavandas,
Bhimrao Kardak, Keriji Ghegde, Arjun Hari Bhalerao, Keruba Gaikwad,
Keshav Sukha Aher, Ramchandra Sonavane and Amrutbhuwa Bavaskar among
others, composed jalsas to spread the message of Ambedkar’s social and
political campaigns among the Dalit masses. They used idioms that
challenged the dominant ideas of the day. For instance, presenting an
Ambedkarite challenge to V.D. Savarkar’s famous composition Tumhi Amhi Bandhu Bandhu (You and Us, We are All Brothers), Patit Pavandas subverts it with:

You are human beings,
We too are human beings,
We are Hindus,
You too are Hindus,
Yet when it comes to temples,
It’s always you above,
and we in our place.

The second generation of Ambedkari shahirs, composing after the
1950s, including Wamandada Kardak, Sridhar Ohol, Rajanand Gadpayle,
Deenbhandu Shegaonkar, Annabhau Sathe, Dalit Anand and Vithal Uma,
created new genres of Bhimgeet and Buddhageet, which underlined the
strong linkages between Ambedkar and the Dalit masses. The palana (songs
of the cradle) outlining the events in the life of Ambedkar became a
popular genre with women. The primary themes in these compositions is
Ambedkar’s message of adopting a modern, Buddhist way of life and
rejecting a life of indignity. Kardak, one of the best-known Bhim
shahirs,  who performed both in villages and in the working-class
quarters in the cities, urges people to:

Throw off the skin of Hindu dharma
Take on the blue shawl of Buddha’s equality,
Throw off the old worn-out cloth, woven with threads of hatred,
It’s so patched…
Why should anyone use it,
when it has no trace of humanism?

Kalapathaks and jalsas became central to the Buddhist conversion
movement as well as the land-grab movement led by the Ambedkarite leader
Dadasaheb Gaikwad in 1959 and 1964. The jalsa troupes began to close
down in the mid-1970s and a new generation of gayan parties or qawwal
parties emerged. These troupes travel throughout the year, extensively
from April 14 (Ambedkar’s birth anniversary) to the end of May (Buddha
Poornima) chiefly performing Geet Bhimayan, a dramatised and lyrical
performance of the story of Ambedkar. Buddha geets and Ambedkar geets
form the other popular aspects of the programme.


Proud imprint

Ambedkar’s works on sale. (Photograph by Nirala Tripathi)

In the 1990s, audiotapes, locally
produced and inexpensive, expanded the reach of these songs. More people
felt encouraged to form gayan parties. This led to a revolution in
quantity and variety in music. More women singers and troupes became
prominent without eroding the popularity of live performances. The Poona
Pact is presented in the compositions as an intellectual akhada with
the two great men, Gandhi and Ambedkar, engaged in a cerebral wrestling
match. The compositions dwell upon the “unethical and morally incorrect”
behaviour of Gandhi in withdrawing from a signed agreement. The chorus
underlines the defeat of Gandhi (Gandhi harla) and his betrayal of the
excommunicated communities. The interesting and repeated theme in the
compositions on the Poona Pact is the request made by Kasturba Gandhi to
Ambedkar to grant jeevandan (boon of life) to Gandhi.

The educational background of the artistes ranges from as little as
Class IV to Class XII. There’s a predominant presence of women singers
in the new gayan parties, and some of them, like Satyabhama Kokate, are
illiterate, while others like Maina Kokate are educated up to Class VII.
Every party has four to ten members. Most of the members have to
struggle to make ends meet and look for supplementary sources of 
income. The promoter of ‘Asha Gaikwad & Party’, popularly known for
the audio cassette Amhi Bhimachya Nari (We, the Daughters of Ambedkar), was an agricultural labourer before she formed her own gayan party.

 

 

The chorus underlines the defeat of Gandhi, his betrayal of Dalits. Kasturba then seeks jeevandan for Gandhi.
 

 
Dalit
pamphlets came into being much earlier, but what the 1990s brought
forth was a robust flowering of interest in Ambedkar’s writing and
struggles for the emancipation of women. Booklets on Ambedkar and
women’s liberation began circulating in the 1990s, enabled by the events
of the period, including the rise of autonomous Dalit women’s
organisations, the formation of national-level federations and forums of
Dalit women, and the subsequent revival of the women’s wings of Dalit
political parties. Many writers of these booklets are  concerned with
Ambedkar’s views on women’s liberation and delineate Ambedkar’s efforts
in drafting laws such as the Mines Maternity Benefit Act, when he was
the labour member in the Viceroy’s Executive Council (1942-46).

Some booklets highlight his recovery of the Buddha’s legacy of
feminism and see Ambedkar’s critique of Brahminical practices, including
sati, child marriage, and institutionalised prostitution, as one of the
early theoretical statements on violence against women in India.

Thus, when conclusions about the emotive iconisation of Ambedkar are
being drawn, the dynamic gatherings around the Ambedkar almanac tell
another story. The invaluable labour of “mudhouse cultural activists”
(as political theorist Gopal Guru calls them) has for long remained
unsung. The mudhouse print and music cultures and their popularity have
made an immense contribution to sustaining the memory of Ambedkar’s life
and works.


(The writer teaches sociology at the University of Pune and is author of the forthcoming Against the Madness of Manu: B.R. Ambedkar’s Writings on Brahminical Patriarchy.)



The Greatest Indian

  1. Dr B.R.Ambedkar

    Ranking By Popular votes

  2. B.R. Ambedkar 19,91,734

Artwork: Durgabai Vyam and Subhash Vyam/Bhimayana

The Greatest Indian

A Case For Bhim Rajya

So, finally, Ambedkar comes into his own in the national
consciousness. Now perhaps it’s time to embrace a legacy sidelined by
the dominant discourse.


“I told my father that I did not like any of the figures
in (the) Mahabharata. I said, ‘I do not like Bhishma and Drona, nor
Krishna. Bhishma and Drona were hypocrites. They said one thing and did
quite the opposite. Krishna believed in fraud. His life is nothing but a
series of frauds. Equal dislike I have for Rama. Examine his conduct in
the Surpanakha episode, in the Vali-Sugriva episode, and his beastly
behaviour towards Sita.’ My father was silent, and made no reply. He
knew that there was a revolt.”

—Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar
in the unpublished Preface dated April 6, 1956, to
The Buddha and His Dhamma


So how and why did Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, finally, top what we are
told is a comprehensive poll? What has changed since the ‘defeats’ of
1999 and 2002? Has India become more accepting of one of its
intellectual giants, who, in Marxist historian Perry Anderson’s recent
words, was “intellectually head and shoulders above” Nehru, Gandhi and
most Congress leaders? Sceptic that I am, this “victory” for Ambedkar is
most likely a result of the presence of a burgeoning internet-savvy,
mobile-wielding, dedicated Untouchable (SC/ST) middle class that is almost invisibly
making its presence felt. Still largely kept away from mainstream media,
the private sector and our universities—which have undisguised disdain
for Ambedkar’s greatest weapon, reservation—the SC/STs, in India and
abroad, have fashioned their own websites, mailing lists and blogs such
as Round Table Conference, SC & Adivasi Students’ Portal and
Savari, a YouTube channel called SC/ST Camera, besides scores of
Facebook groups. They no longer depend on corporate media that takes one
month to report, if at all, the 2006 murders and rapes of Khairlanji; a
media that found the lynching of five SC/STs in Lakshmipeta, Srikakulam
district, in June 2012 banal. It is on the worldwide web that new ways
of negotiating citizenship are being forged; it is from these new
banlieues that unyielding Eklavyas are waging war with the Bhishmas and
Dronas, gaining thumb-inch by thumb-inch. Some of these warriors had
expressed dismay and fatigue over a survey that wanted to select ‘The
Greatest Indian After Gandhi’. The caveat, which presumed Gandhi’s
victory should he have been included, rankled. It was fresh salt on an
old, unhealed wound.

All the same, the emergence of Ambedkar in this poll offers India an
opportunity to come to terms with the legacy of a man who has been
defeated and betrayed time and again by Indians. Many of these bitter
defeats have been swept under the thick, dirty carpet of nationalist
history.

Let us begin at the end, with one of the worst humiliations in
Ambedkar’s life, less than three months before his death. On September
14, 1956, exactly a month before he embraced Buddhism with
half-a-million followers in Nagpur, he wrote a heart-breaking letter to
prime minister Nehru from his 26, Alipore Road, residence in Delhi.
Enclosing two copies of the comprehensive Table of Contents of his
mnemonic opus, The Buddha and His Dhamma, Ambedkar suppressed pride and sought Nehru’s help in the publication of a book he had worked on for five years:

“The cost of printing is very heavy and will come to about Rs 20,000.
This is beyond my capacity, and I am, therefore, canvassing help from
all quarters. I wonder if the Government of India could purchase 500
copies for distribution among the various libraries and among the many
scholars whom it is inviting during the course of this year for the
celebration of Buddha’s 2,500 years’ anniversary.”


High table Nehru,
Ambedkar at a dinner hosted by Sardar Patel in 1948 in honour of C.
Rajagopalachari becoming governor-general. (Photographs Courtesy:
Lokvangmay Grih)

Ambedkar had perhaps gotten used
to exclusion by then. The greatest exponent of Buddhism after Asoka had
ruthlessly been kept out of this Buddha Jayanti committee presided over
by S. Radhakrishnan, then vice-president and a man who embarrassingly
believed that Buddhism was an “offshoot of Hinduism”, and “only a
restatement of the thought of the Upanishads from a new standpoint”.
Worse, when Nehru replied to Ambedkar the next day, he said that the sum
set aside for publications related to Buddha Jayanti had been
exhausted, and that he should approach Radhakrishnan, chairman of the
commemorative committee. Nehru also offered some business advice,
gratuitously: “I might suggest that your books might be on sale in Delhi
and elsewhere at the time of Buddha Jayanti celebrations when many
people may come from abroad. It might find a good sale then.”
Radhakrishnan is said to have informed Ambedkar on phone about his
inability to help him.

 
 
Why the greatest Indian after Gandhi? The caveat, that Gandhi would have won, was somewhat irksome.
 
 
This
is the vinaya that the prime minister and vice-president of the day
extended to the former law minister and chairperson of the drafting
committee of the Constitution. It was suggested with impertinence that
Ambedkar could set up a stall, hawk copies and recover costs. When Karna
needed to attend to the wheel of his chariot, Krishna goaded Arjuna to
strike the fatal blow. But this time Karna managed to pull away from
what he called the “dung-heap of Hinduism”, away from holy books like
the Bhagavad Gita that offered an “unheard-of defence of murder”, to
steer the Wheel of Dhamma. The man who lamented the lack of ethics and
morals among Hindus and sought refuge in the “sacred morality” of
Buddhism did not live to see a printed version of The Buddha and His Dhamma.
The huge flock that walked away into Buddhism on October 14 that year
was, for the moment, denied the message their Shepherd wished to
bequeath to them.

The violence and injustice done to Ambedkar by India cannot be atoned
for by the same Radhakrishnan, now as president, inaugurating
Ambedkar’s statue in Parliament in 1967, by an afterthought Bharat
Ratna, by random political parties garnishing their garrulous posters
with his pictures, by the hypocrisy of textbook writers who admonish
Dalits for lacking a sense of humour. Only an earnest return to
Ambedkar, through a pursuit of his ideas of emancipatory justice in an
intrinsically unequal society, can help repair the damage.

Much like the religion he embraced had been vanquished from India for
close to 1,200 years until British archaeologists and Orientalists
literally excavated it, Ambedkar and his intellectual legacy have been
lying buried, sedimented beneath layers of indifference, hatred and
contempt. Nearly half of his writings were first published only after
the 1980s; some of his manuscripts are said to have been lost. His works
are still not available in mainstream bookstores. As Sharmila Rege (Songsters from the Mudhouse)
shows in her essay, his life, ideas and books have been kept alive
solely by Dalits in their segregated enclaves, in counter-public
spheres. The partial exhumation that has happened since the 1991
centenary year is largely of Ambedkar’s pratima (image), not his
pratibha (genius), to use political theorist Gopal Guru’s felicitous
distinction.

The foundation for Ambedkar’s defeats was laid by the 1932 Poona
Pact. While Gandhi saw the double vote and separate electorates as
dividing Hindus, Ambedkar had no reason to see himself and fellow Dalits
as ‘Hindus’—a nebulous category that gained currency only in the
colonial and nationalist period, with one newspaper even unabashedly
flaunting this as its raison d’etre.

Subsequently, Ambedkar lost every poll of consequence he contested.
Contrary to popular belief that he was welcomed into the Constituent
Assembly to spearhead the making of the Constitution, every effort was
made to thwart him. Ambedkar had hoped that the Cabinet Mission Plan of
May 1946 would facilitate a tripartite agreement between Hindus
(Congress), Muslims (Muslim League) and the Scheduled Castes (Scheduled
Castes Federation or SCF). However, the crushing defeat of SCF
candidates in the March 1946 provincial assembly elections undermined
Ambedkar’s position. Such a loss was only to be expected in a post-Poona
Pact scenario where caste Hindus, who invariably outnumbered the Dalits
even in reserved constituencies, elected only obliging ‘harijans’, not
Dalits. In a first-past-the-post (FPTP) system, Ambedkar too lost.


May 8, 1950 Babasaheb being sworn in as independent India’s first law minister

When members were being elected to
the CA by provincial assemblies, Ambedkar stood little chance with SCF
members in the Bombay province unable to make up the numbers. Bombay
premier B.G. Kher, under instructions from Sardar Patel, ensured that
Ambedkar was not elected to the 296-member body. Says Ambedkar’s
biographer Dhananjay Keer, “The Congress elected its men. The majority
of them were elected not because they knew much about
constitution-making but because they had suffered imprisonment in the
patriotic struggle.”

At this juncture, Jogendra Nath Mandal (1904-1968), a man forgotten
today except in the Dalit circles of Bengal, came to Ambedkar’s rescue.
As the leader of SCF in Bengal, he had forged an alliance with the
Muslim League and commandeered the numbers to get Ambedkar elected to
the CA from the Bengal assembly. After Partition, Mandal became a member
and temporary chairman of Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly, and served
that country as its first minister of law and labour. That Pakistan’s
first law minister, like Ambedkar, was also Dalit is almost forgotten
today. Bengal’s Partition disabled Ambedkar’s membership of the CA.
However, now finding him indispensable, the Congress allowed for his
fresh election from Bombay following the resignation of M.R. Jayakar.

 
 
Contrary to popular belief that Ambedkar was welcomed into the Constituent Assembly, he was thwarted at every step.
 
 
In
1951, in the first-ever parliamentary elections, Ambedkar—having
resigned from Nehru’s cabinet as law minister, disgusted by the repeated
scuttling of the Hindu Code Bill—contested from Bombay City North, a
double-member constituency that was required to return both a general
and an SC candidate. Contesting the reserved seat, he lost to Congress
candidate Narayan Sadoba Kajrolkar by 14,374 votes. S.A. Dange, one of
the founders of the Communist Party of India, canvassed against
Ambedkar, accusing him of ‘separatist’ politics, saying he favoured not
just separate electorates for untouchables but also for the Muslims; and
that he suggested Kashmir could be divided. Arun Shourie was not the
first to hurl such abuse.

Ambedkar tried his luck again in a 1954 byelection from Bhandara, but
lost to unknown Congressman Bhaurao Borkar. The Congress merely wished
to prove that a ‘seventh standard pass’ could defeat Babasaheb. Dalits
and Adivasis may enjoy ‘reserved seats’ today in proportion to their
ratio in the population, but the FPTP method ensures that those elected
are inevitably pliable candidates propped up by parties with
majoritarian interests—the Kajrolkars and Borkars, Jagjivan Rams and
Bangaru Laxmans, Sushilkumar Shindes and Meira Kumars who would do their
masters’ bidding.

In such a hollowed-out democracy, liberal scholars comfortably
celebrate Ambedkar’s constitutionalism, steering clear of the radicalism
of works like States and Minorities (1945), which he proposed
as the ‘Constitution of the United States of India’ at a time when he
was not sure of a place in the CA. Besides its sharp, left-leaning
socialist tenor—“key industries shall be owned and run by the
State…insurance shall be a monopoly of the State…agriculture shall
be a State industry”—this document needs to be revisited for the
political solutions it offers to pre-empt the rise of a Narendra Modi,
the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the stalemate in Kashmir and even the
Bodo-Muslim problem in Assam.

At the heart of Ambedkar’s idea of democracy was his passion to
preserve the rights of minorities, for he saw Indian society as a
conglomeration of minorities. He offered a formula that would thwart the
communal majority (“born, not made”) from claiming a political
majority. In the Central Assembly, the Hindus, who form 54 per cent of
the population, should get 40 per cent representation; Muslims with 28.5
per cent, 32 per cent; 14 per cent SCs, 20 per cent; 1.16 per cent
Indian Christians, 3 per cent etc. In Bombay, Hindus who form 76.42 of
the population would get 40 per cent representation; Muslims at 9.98 per
cent, 28 per cent; SCs at 9.64 per cent, 28 per cent.


Shared space At a Bombay function in 1951, Babasaheb seated S.K. Bole in his lap

In other words, minorities must
get representation positively disproportionate to their ratio in
population while for the majority community it is capped at 40 per cent.
Undergirding this mechanism—which would have surely prevented Partition
and allayed Jinnah’s justifiable fears of Muslims being overrun by
Hindus—is the belief that “majority rule is untenable in theory and
unjustifiable in practice. A majority community may be conceded a
relative majority of representation but it can never claim an absolute
majority”. Ambedkar prophesied that the rise of Hindutva was hardwired
into the machinery of FPTP parliamentary democracy.

In Gujarat today, where we have a mere 2.7 per cent legislators who
are Muslim against a population share of 9 per cent, Ambedkar’s worst
fears have been borne out with a communal majority posing as political
majority. Parliamentary democracy as it stands today in India offers no
relief to minorities; the minorities are “overwhelmed by the majority”;
in Ambedkarite terms this rule of a brute communal majority cannot be
termed democracy at all.

An earnest and sincere engagement with Ambedkar means we rethink the
way our society is organised; we must rethink caste and ask ourselves if
India is ready to do today what Ambedkar asked of it in 1936: “You must
not forget that if you wish to bring about a breach in the system then
you have got to apply the dynamite to the Vedas and the Shastras, which
deny any part to reason; to Vedas and Shastras, which deny any part to
morality. You must destroy the Religion of the Shrutis and the Smritis.
Nothing else will avail.”

The time has come to jettison Ramayana and embrace Bhimayana; the
time has come to reject Gandhi’s Ram Rajya and usher in what Ambedkar’s
forebear Jyotirao Phule called Bali Rajya. The time has come to dump the
Dronacharya and Arjuna awards that memorialise deceitful gurus and
their unscrupulous chelas. While ushering in Bhim Raj, we should be
prepared to reclaim Eklavya, Surpanakha, Karna and Shambuka. Ambedkar
felt a social revolution was not possible in India. On this one count,
we ought to prove him wrong.


Separate And Unequal

  • At Satara High School, is made to sit apart, denied water. Local
    barbers do not cut his hair; sister Manjula does. At Bombay’s
    Elphinstone High School, high-caste children rush to ‘save’ their tiffin
    boxes behind the blackboard when Bhim is asked to write on it.
     
  • After a BA from Bombay University in 1913, the Maharaja of
    Baroda, Sayajirao Gaekwad, sends Ambedkar to Columbia University on a
    scholarship of £11.5 per month for three years. “In Columbia,” he says,
    “I experienced social equality for the first time.”
     
  • On Mar 20, 1927, leads 3,000 Dalits in Mahad to draw water from
    the Chavdar Tank. Hindus attack. “Under Brahmin Peshwa rule,” he says,
    “I’d have been trampled by an elephant.”

***

Good Press, Bad Press

  • The Hindu in a Sep 26, 1936, editorial on the Poona
    Pact doesn’t mention Ambedkar’s name; it alludes to him as “those who do
    not look with favour on India’s aspirations”.
     
  • At the 5th conference of the UP SCF in Lucknow in Apr ’48,
    Ambedkar says, “What I want is power—political power for my people.” An
    editorial in The Leader retorts: “Dr Ambedkar has chosen precisely this moment to tell the Scheduled Castes, ‘a united nation is all rot’.”
     
  • Time on Mar 16, 1936: “Dr Ambedkar is probably the only
    man alive who ever walked out in a huff from a private audience with
    the Pope of Rome. His Holiness Pius XI, having heard from Dr Ambedkar
    about the miseries of Indian outcastes, replied: ‘My son, it may take
    three or four centuries to remedy these abuses, be patient’.”

(S. Anand is the publisher of Navayana and co-author of Bhimayana, a graphic biography of Ambedkar.)

Courtesy: Aparajita Ninan/Navayana
Liberty’s men Ambedkar amidst radical icons

Vision For A New India

The Other Father

In his intolerance of inequality and creation of a
rights-based constitution, Ambedkar’s vision for a modern India is still
our blueprint for the future


Anand
Bollimera, a SC/ST activist from Andhra Pradesh, who was a part of the
SC/ST Swadhikar rally in 2003 that traversed the entire nation with a
picture of Ambedkar on a vehicle, knew none of the languages of those
villages and towns where they organised rallies. Emotions would run high
at these meetings thronged by
SC/STs revering Ambedkar. The activists
were never short of donations and food, as well as diesel for their
onward journey.

Anand realised that an image of Ambedkar was the sole unifying factor
for all
SC/STs, transcending language barriers, from Calcutta to
Kanyakumari. Ambedkar has an everyday presence in the lives of the 160
million-strong
SC/ST community. He gave millions of Untouchables an
identity of their own.

Bodhisattva Bharat Ratna Babasaheb B.R. Ambedkar (1891-1956), as he
is known to his followers, is now regarded as a great Indian, a person
relevant for all times to come. This is not because his followers are
unwavering in their devotion, or that they happen to be numerically
higher than supporters of any other person (dead or living) in India;
and certainly not because he probably has the highest number of statues
erected for any man in history. It is because his following has
transcended generations. His relevance—political, social, ideological,
religious, economic—will persist as long as the clamour and struggle for
justice and equal rights exists.

In a speech on the birth centenary of social reformer M.G. Ranade in
1943, Ambedkar defined a great man: “Sincerity and intellect are enough
to mark out an individual as being eminent…. A great man must have
something more than what a merely eminent individual has. A great man
must be motivated by the dynamics of a social purpose and must act as
the scourge and the scavenger of society. These are the elements (that)
constitute his title deeds to respect and reverence.” Ambedkar himself
fits the definition quite perfectly.

The stage that catapulted Ambedkar to indisputable prominence was
Gandhi’s fast undo death, opposing the political safeguards that
Ambedkar secured for the Untouchables from the British in 1932. The
Poona Pact between Gandhi and Ambedkar on September 24, 1932, shaped our
electoral system and the electoral method by which reserved
constituencies were defined.

Ambedkar introduced reservation for untouchables in jobs, education
and scholarships through the Poona Pact. Initially unwilling, Gandhi
finally agreed to a representation of scheduled castes in legislative
bodies under it. But Gandhi skewed the electoral method, which made the
election of a reserved candidate dependent upon the dominant caste vote.
This rendered them subservient to the interests of dominant social
forces, defeating the very purpose for which such representation was
secured.

Gandhi and Ambedkar agreed on many things, only to differ on the
methodology. Gandhi’s assassination before the Constitution could be
finalised even gave an opportunity to Sardar Patel to move towards
abolishing political safeguards to Dalits and tribes, but which were
rescued due to Ambedkar’s persistence. They were first extended by Nehru
in 1961. The representative character of reserved candidates remained
the way Gandhi wanted them to be.

While Gandhi’s assassination restricted his historical contribution
to the achievement of Swaraj, it was Ambedkar’s idea of a new India that
made him establish a rights-based Constitution. Now these very
constitutional means are used to secure the same rights for all—food,
livelihood, education, political and social safeguards, thus revisiting
Ambedkar’s contribution to the body politic.


Poona Pact participants

 

 

SC/STs have tirelessly brought Ambedkar to the centrestage, arguing that he was a great nation-builder as well.
 

 
Universal
adult franchise was a right for which Ambedkar fought since 1928 before
the Simon Commission, which the Congress boycotted. This, at a time
when Europe was still considering female franchise and America the vote
for Blacks. He warned Constituent Assembly members that they shouldn’t,
in their eagerness to bring Indian states into the Union, compromise in
any manner on the basic principles of democracy. Ambedkar fought against
an emerging democracy of patronage to create a democracy of rights for a
new India.

Ambedkar’s vision of modern India tends to revisit us more often. His
1955 idea of linguistic states split Bihar and Madhya Pradesh into two,
which became a reality in 2000. He was for small states and wanted
Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra split into three. He looked at Bombay as a
city state and Hyderabad as the second capital of India for its
centrality. The idea of gender equality, which Ambedkar wanted to
achieve through the Hindu Code Bill by making women coparceners in 1951,
was realised in 2005. Ambedkar chose to resign from Nehru’s cabinet on
the issue of gender equality, while orthodox Hindu leaders derided him
as a Modern Manu, as he dared to dispute the laws of Manu.

Ambedkar’s vision remains unfulfilled. His body politic was to be a
“united states of India”—an indissoluble union. In his India there
wouldn’t be landlords, tenants and landless labourers; where all land
would be vested with the state and where all Dalits would be resettled
in other settlements, away from their oppressive villages. For him
agriculture would be considered a state industry, insurance a state
monopoly and every citizen would be entitled to a policy.

The nation owes it to the tenacity of SC/STs for relentlessly pushing
Ambedkar and his ideals to the centrestage, arguing that he was not
only a leader of Dalits, but a great nation-builder. Throughout their
fight against oppression and hatred over the decades, Dalits have
redistributed, reread, and reinterpreted Ambedkar’s books. Finally, we
have come to a stage where the nation has realised that its body politic
is in peril, and has silently admitted the point that democratic ideals
should have precedence over everything.

The relevance of Ambedkar to modern India is indisputable—where Gandhi’s role stopped, Ambedkar’s started.


(The author is an IAS officer and has a PhD in Electoral Systems and the Poona Pact of Gandhi-Ambedkar)


Vexed issue Ambedkar and Gandhi at the Second Round Table Conference, 1931

Ambedkar vs Gandhi

A Part That Parted

Gandhi and Ambedkar feuded over how they saw
untouchability, one as just a sin of Hinduism, the other as the denial
of rights to an oppressed people

Gail Omvedt


The
confrontation between Ambedkar and Gandhi was a historic one. It had
its beginnings in the Round Table Conferences of 1930-32. Ambedkar had
gone for the first, as the prime representative of Dalits, or
Untouchables. But when Gandhi finally decided to attend the second
conference, he argued fervently that he represented the Untouchables,
because they were an integral part of the Hindu fold—which he
represented. To Ambedkar, the Untouchables were not a part of the Hindus
but “a part apart” (a phrase he had once applied to himself), a
uniquely oppressed people. They could accept, even welcome, the coming
of independence and its inevitable domination by the Congress (i.e. by
caste Hindus), but they needed “safeguards”.

Ambedkar had originally felt that with universal suffrage, reserved
seats would be sufficient. But universal suffrage was not given, and the
issues at the conference revolved around separate electorates. Gandhi
was reconciled to giving this to Muslims; he had already accepted their
identity as a separate community. Not so for Dalits. When the Ramsay
MacDonald Award gave separate electorates to Dalits, he protested with a
fast unto death. And this brought him into direct confrontation with
Ambedkar.

For Ambedkar, the problem was simple. If Gandhi died, in villages
throughout India there would be pogroms against the Dalits. They would
be massacred. Ambedkar surrendered, and the Poona Pact formalised this
with reserved seats for Dalits—more than they would have had otherwise,
but in constituencies now controlled by caste Hindus.

Ambedkar wrote, many years later, in What Congress and Gandhi have Done to the Untouchables:
“There was nothing noble in the fast. It was a foul and filthy act. The
fast was not for the benefit of the Untouchables. It was against them
and was the worst form of coercion against a helpless people to give up
the constitutional safeguards (which had been awarded to them).” He felt
the whole system of reserved seats, then, was useless. For years
afterwards, the problem of political representation remained chronic.
Ambedkar continued to ask for separate electorates, but futilely. By the
end of his life, at the time of writing his Thoughts on Linguistic States
in 1953, he gave these up also and looked to something like
proportional representation. But the Poona Pact remained a symbol of
bitter defeat, and Gandhi from that time on was looked on as one of the
strongest enemies of the Untouchables by Ambedkar and his followers.

 

 

The SC/STs saw the Harijan Sevak Sangh “as a foreign body set up by the Hindus with some ulterior motive”.
 

 
Following
the fast, Gandhi formed what he called the Harijan Sevak Sangh. Here
again, crucial differences arose. Ambedkar argued for a broad civil
rights organisation which would focus on gaining civic rights for
Dalits—entry into public places, use of public facilities, broad civil
liberties—and he wanted it under the control of the Dalits themselves.
Instead, Gandhi envisaged a paternalistic organisation, controlled by
caste Hindus working for the “uplift” of Untouchables. This flowed from
his basic theory, which saw untouchability as a sin of Hinduism—but not a
basic part of Hinduism, rather a flaw in it which could be removed;
upper-caste Hindus should atone for this, make recompense, and take
actions for the cleansing and uplift of the Dalits. This included
programmes of going to clean up slums, preaching anti-alcoholism and
vegetarianism and so forth. For Ambedkar, all of this was worse than
useless. He condemned the Harijan Sevak Sangh in strong language: “The
work of the Sangh is of the most inconsequential kind. It does not catch
anyone’s imagination. It neglects most urgent purposes for which the
Untouchables need help and assistance. The Sangh rigorously excludes the
Untouchables from its management. The Untouchables are no more than
beggars, mere recipients of charity.” He concluded that the Untouchables
see the Sangh “as a foreign body set up by the Hindus with some
ulterior motive…the whole object is to create a slave mentality among
the Untouchables towards their Hindu masters”. This, to Ambedkar, was
the major thrust of paternalism.

This debate on the Sangh had as its background a fundamental
difference in the very goals of Ambedkar and Gandhi. Ambedkar stood for
the annihilation of caste. He saw untouchability as a fundamental result
of it, and believed there could be no alleviation, no uplift, no relief
without the abolition of caste. Gandhi was not simply a devoted Hindu,
but also a fervent believer in his idealised version of “varnashrama
dharma”. He felt that what he considered to be the benign aspects of
caste—its encouragement of a certain solidarity—could be maintained
while removing hierarchy and the evil of untouchability. This was in
fact the essence of his reformism.

This was followed by a conflict between Ambedkar and Gandhi over
religion. Ambedkar had by now become thoroughly disillusioned with
Hinduism. He argued for conversion, and in 1936 made the historic
announcement at Yeola that “I was born a Hindu and have suffered the
consequences of untouchability. I will not die a Hindu”. Two days later,
Gandhi held a press conference, calling Ambedkar’s decision
“unbelievable. Religion is not like a house or cloak which can be
changed at will”. On August 22, 1936, he wrote in the Harijan
(the name given to his newspaper): “One may hope we have seen the last
of any bargaining between Dr Ambedkar and savarnas for the transfer to
another form of several million dumb Harijans as if they were chattel.”
This way of speaking became typical of him; he could not envisage the
anger and grief of the millions of Dalits who followed Ambedkar on this
issue.

Behind this were different views
of humanity. Gandhi did not see untouchables as individuals born into a
particular community but rather as somewhat unthinking members of an
existing Hindu community; Hinduism he saw as their “natural” religion,
their task was to reform it, they should not leave it. Ambedkar, in
contrast, put the individual and his/her development at the centre of
his vision, and believed this development was impossible without a new,
true religion. The confrontation was inevitable.

The feud between Gandhi and Ambedkar did not stop here. The final
difference was over India’s path of development itself. Gandhi believed,
and argued for, a village-centred model of development, one which would
forsake any hard path of industrialism but seek to achieve what he
called “Ram rajya”, an idealised, harmonised traditional village
community. Ambedkar, in contrast, wanted economic development and with
it industrialisation as the basic prerequisite for the abolition of
poverty. He insisted always that it should be worker-friendly, not
capitalistic, at times arguing for “state socialism” (though he later
accepted some forms of private ownership of industry). He remained,
basically, to the end of his life a democratic socialist. To him,
villages were far from being an ideal; rather they were “cesspools”, a
cauldron of backwardness, tradition and bondage. Untouchables had to
escape from the villages, and India also had to reject its village past.

In sum, there were important, irreconcilable differences between
Gandhi and Ambedkar. Two great personages of Indian history, posed
against one another, giving alternative models of humanity and society.
The debate goes on!


(Gail Omvedt is a veteran chronicler of the SC/ST movement.)


I renounce… Gandhi in 1941; Ambedkar in his Buddhist deeksha robes



Identity Politics

The Apostate Children Of God

Ambedkar knew that there would be outcasts as long as there are castes


The Laws of Manu
is one of the most exemplary texts of ideology in the entire history
of humanity. The first reason is that while its ideology encompasses
the entire universe, inclusive of its mythic origins, it focuses on everyday practices as the immediate materiality of ideology:
how (what, where, with whom, when…) we eat, defecate, have sex, walk,
enter a building, work, make war, etc. The second reason is that the
book stages a radical shift with regard to its starting point
(presupposition): the ancient code of Veda. What we find in Veda is the
brutal cosmology based on killing and eating: higher things kill and
eat/consume lower ones, stronger eat weaker, i.e., life is a zero-sum
game where one’s victory is another’s defeat. The “great chain of
being” appears here as founded in the “food chain,” the great chain of
eating: gods eat mortal humans, humans eat mammals, mammals eat lesser
animals who eat plants, plants “eat” water and earth… such is the
eternal cycle of being. So why does then Veda claim that at the top of
society are not warriors-kings stronger than all other humans, “eating”
them all, but the caste of priests? Here, the ideological ingenuity of
Veda enters the stage: the function of the priests is to prevent the
first, highest, level of cosmic eating: the eating of human mortals by
gods. How? By way of performing sacrificial rituals. Gods must be
appeased, their hunger for blood must be satisfied, and the trick of the
priests is to offer gods a substitute (symbolic) sacrifice: an animal
or other prescribed food instead of human life. The sacrifice is needed
not for any special favours from gods, but to make it sure that the
wheel of life goes on turning. Priests perform a function which
concerns the balance of the entire universe: if gods remain hungry, the
whole cycle of cosmic life is disturbed. From the very beginning, the
“holistic” notion of the great chain of Being—whose reality is the
brutal chain of stronger eating weaker—is thus based on deception: it
is not a “natural” chain, but a chain based on an exception (humans who
don’t want to be eaten), i.e., sacrifices are substitute insertions
aimed at restoring the complete life cycle.

This was the first contract between ideologists (priests) and those
in power (warriors-kings): the kings, who retain actual power (over life
and death of other people) will recognize the formal superiority of the
priests as the highest caste, and, in exchange for this appearance of
superiority, the priests will legitimize the power of the warriors-kings
as part of the natural cosmic order. Then, however, around the sixth
and fifth century BCE, something took place, a radical “revaluation of
all values” in the guise of the universalist backlash against this
cosmic food chain: the ascetic rejection of this entire infernal machine
of life reproducing itself through sacrifice and eating. The circle of
food chain is now perceived as the circle of eternal suffering, and the
only way to achieve piece is to exempt oneself from it. (With regard to
food, this, of course, means vegetarianism: not eating killed animals.)
From perpetuating time, we pass to the goal of entering the timeless
Void. With this reversal from the life-affirming stance to the
world-renunciation, comparable to the Christian reversal of the pagan
universe, the highest values are no longer strength and fertility, but
compassion, humility, and love. The very meaning of sacrifice changes
with this reversal: we no longer sacrifice so that the infernal
life-cycle goes on, but to get rid of the guilt for participating in
this cycle.

What are the socio-political consequences of this reversal? How can
we avoid the conclusion that the entire social hierarchy, grounded in
the “great food chain” of eaters and those being eaten, should be
suspended? It is here that the genius of The Laws of Manu shines: its basic ideological operation is to unite the hierarchy of castes and the ascetic world-renunciation
by way of making the purity itself the criterion of one’s place in the
caste hierarchy
. As Wendy Doniger says in her introduction to this text,

“Vegetarianism was put forward as the only way to liberate oneself
from the bonds of natural violence that adversely affected one’s karma.
A concomitant of this new dietary practice was a social hierarchy
governed to a large extent by the relative realization of the ideal of
non-violence. The rank order of the social classes did not change. But
the rationale for the ranking did.”

Vegetarian priests are at the top, as close as humanly possible to
purity; they are followed by the warriors-kings who reality by
dominating it and killing life — they are in a way the negative of the
priests, i.e., they entertain towards the wheel of Life the same
negative attitude like the priests, albeit in the
aggressive/intervening mode. Then come the producers who provide food
and other material conditions for life, and, finally, at the bottom,
the outcasts whose main task is to deal with all kinds of excrements,
the putrefying dead remainders of life (from cleaning the toilets to
butchering animals and disposing of human bodies).

Since the two attitudes are ultimately incompatible, the task of
their unification is an impossible one and can be achieved only by a
complex panoply of tricks, displacements and compromises whose basic
formula is that of universality with exceptions: ‘in principle yes,
but…’ The Laws of Manu demonstrates a breath-taking ingenuity in
accomplishing this task, with examples often coming dangerously close to
the ridiculous. For example, priests should study the Veda, not trade;
in extremity, however, a priest can engage in trade, but he is not
allowed to trade in certain things like sesame seed; if he does it, he
can only do it in certain circumstances; finally, if he does it in the
wrong circumstances, he will be reborn as a worm in dogshit…

In other words, the great lesson of The Laws of Manu is that
the true regulating power of the law does not reside in its direct
prohibitions, in the division of our acts into permitted and prohibited,
but in regulating the very violations of prohibitions: the law
silently accepts that the basic prohibitions are violated (or even
discreetly solicits us to violate them), and then, once we find
ourselves in this position of guilt, it tells us how to reconcile the
violation with the law by way of violating the prohibition in a
regulated way…

British colonial administration of India elevated The Laws of Manu
into a privileged text to be used as a reference for establishing the
legal code which would render possible the most efficient domination of
India – up to a point, one can even say that The Laws of Manu only became the book of the Hindu
tradition retroactively, chosen to stand for the tradition by the
colonizers among a vast choice (the same as its obscene obverse,
“tantra,” which was also systematized into a coherent dark, violent and
dangerous cult by the British colonizers) – in all these cases, we are
dealing with what Eric Hobsbawm called “invented traditions.” What this
also implies is that the persistence of the phenomenon and social
practice of the Untouchables is not simply a remainder of tradition:
their number grew throughout the nineteenth century, with the spreading
of cities which lacked proper canalization, so that the outcasts were
needed to deal with dirt and excrements. At a more general level, one
should thus reject the idea that globalization threatens local
traditions, that it flattens differences: sometimes it threatens them,
more often it keeps them alive, or resuscitates them by way of adapting
them to new conditions – say, like the British and Spanish re-invented
slavery.

With the formal prohibition of the discrimination of the
Untouchables, their exclusion changed status and became the obscene
supplement of the official/public order: publicly disavowed, it
continues its subterranean existence. However, this subterranean
existence is nonetheless formal (it concerns the subject’s symbolic
title/status), which is why it does not follow the same logic as the
well-known classic Marxist opposition of formal equality and actual
inequality in the capitalist system: here, it is the inequality (the
persistence of the hierarchic caste system) which is formal, while in
their actual economic and legal life, individuals are in a way equal (a
dalit today can also become rich, etc.). The status of the caste
hierarchy is here not the same as that of nobility in a bourgeois
society, which is effectively irrelevant, just a feature which may add
to the subject’s public glamour.

Exemplary is here the conflict between B.R. Ambedkar and Gandhi
during the 1930s: although Gandhi was the first Hindu politician to
advocate the full integration of the Untouchables, and called them “the
children of god,” he perceived their exclusion as the result of the
corruption of the original Hindu system. What Gandhi envisaged was
rather the (formally) non-hierarchical order of castes within which each
individual has his/her own allotted place: he emphasized the importance
of scavenging and celebrated the Untouchables for performing this
“sacred” mission. It is here that the Untouchables are exposed to the
greatest ideological temptation: in a way which prefigures today’s
“identity politics,” Gandhi is allowing them to “fall in love with
themselves” in their humiliating identity, to accept their degrading
work as a noble necessary social task, to perceive even the degrading
nature of their work as a sign of their sacrifice, of their readiness to
do the dirty job for society. Even his more “radical” injunction that
everyone, Brahmin included, should clean his or her own shit, obfuscates
the true issue, which is not that of our individual attitude, but of a
global social nature. (The same ideological trick is performed today by
injunctions which bombard us from all sides to recycle personal waste,
to put bottles, newspapers, etc., in the appropriate separate bins… in
this way, guilt and responsibility are personalized, it is not the
entire organization of economy which is to blame, but our subjective
attitude which should be changed.) The task is not to change our inner
selves, but to abolish Untouchability as such, i.e., not as an element
of the system, but the system itself which generates it. In contrast to
Gandhi, Ambedkar saw this clearly when he, as Christophe Jaffrelot says,
“underlined the futility of merely abolishing Untouchability: this evil
being the product of a social hierarchy of a particular kind, it was
the entire caste system that had to be eradicated: ‘There will be out
castes /Untouchables/ as long as there are castes.’ … Gandhi responded
that, on the contrary, here it was a question of the foundation of
Hinduism, a civilization which, in its original form, in fact ignored
hierarchy.”

In 1927, Ambedkar symbolically burnt a copy of the Manusmriti; Gandhi always held in his hand a copy of the Bhagvad Gita—a text that extolled the varna order in its originary four-fold form. Ambedkar mounted a severe critique of the Gita for being a counter-revolutionary defence of the caste
order. The Gandhi-Ambedkar difference here is insurmountable: it is the
difference between the “organic” solution (solving the problem by way of
returning to the purity of the original non-corrupted system) and the
truly radical solution (identifying the problem as the “symptom” of the
entire system, the symptom which can only be resolved by way of
abolishing the entire system). Ambedkar saw clearly how the structure of
four castes, or the varna system, does not unite four elements which
belong to the same order: while the first three castes (priests,
warrior-kings, merchants-producers) form a consistent All, an organic
triad, the Shudras (slaves) and Untouchables (outside the four-fold
system) are like Marx’s “Asiatic mode of production” the “part of no
part,” the inconsistent element which holds within the system the place
of what the system as such excludes — and as such, the Untouchables
stand for universality. Or, as Ambedkar’s put it in his ingenious
wordplay: “There will be outcasts as long as there are castes.” As long
as there are castes, there will be an excessive excremental zero-value
element which, while formally part of the system, has no proper place
within it. Gandhi obfuscates this paradox, as if harmonious structure is
possible.


Slavoj Žižek is the international director of the Birkbeck Institute
for the Humanities, University of London. His most recent book is Less than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism. A shorter, edited version of this appears in print.


Beyond his light? Many believe Kanshi Ram and Mayawati have done more for the Entire People including  SC/STs/OBCs/Minorities through the policy of SARVAJAN HITHAY SARVAJAN SUKHAI


Tribhuvan Tiwari
Totem on a flag A BSP rally in New Delhi


Illustration by Sorit

Opinion

An Untouched History

His stature as a social actor often obscures the value of his scholarship

When Gandhi and Ambedkar met in 1931, soon after the first session of
the Round Table Conference, they had a fierce disagreement about
Congress initiatives regarding untouchables. It is significant that
Gandhi thought Ambedkar was an intemperate Brahmin who took interest in
‘Harijan’ matters. This misassumption on Gandhi’s part provides a
historic clue about the incredibility of an untouchable’s entry into
national consciousness.

In the years to come, the Gandhi–Ambedkar stand-off became marked not
only in the political battleground but also in the way they viewed
history, politics and ethics. For Gandhi, politics was a means to escape
the violent traps of history and embrace a non-violent condition of
‘truth’. The mode for the attainment of such a truth formed the impetus
behind Gandhi’s experiments with ahimsa. Ambedkar was more
interested in the violence of history as a reliable source for
understanding the truth of politics. In contrast to the centrality of
‘self’ in Gandhi’s schema of politics, Ambedkar emphasised ‘caste’ as the cardinal category for understanding Hindu identity and Indian history.For Gandhi, if ‘truth’ was outside history, for Ambedkar that truth was untouchability.

Ambedkar conceded that deciphering “the origin of Untouchability is
not the same as writing history from texts” but a case of
“reconstructing history where there are no texts”. So he tried to
interpret what the texts “conceal or suggest”, risking uncertainties
about the ‘truth’. The risk allowed Ambedkar to traverse with acumen
between the textual and the social. For example, the Sanskrit word antya in
ancient Hindu law books, meaning ‘born last’, is associated by orthodox
Hindu scholarship with the untouchable who comes last in the order of
creation. But Ambedkar pointed out that in Vedic theory the last born is
a shudra. So if the untouchable is antya it would mean not
someone born at the end of creation, but at the end of the village. By
that interpretative masterstroke Ambedkar connected Hindu society’s
language of othering with its corresponding practice of ostracising untouchables.

The historian D.D Kosambi was optimistic that the “supposed
unshakeablity and inherent strength” of the caste system would “vanish
as soon as new forms of production come in”. Kosambi’s view that
passenger trains, factories and non-caste guilds among workers would
transform caste into class was echoed by other historians including
Irfan Habib, as well as by Nehru. There was a universalist assumption
regarding the progressive transformation of social relations, based on a
scientific vision of history. In contrast, Ambedkar’s speculative
history of caste today better explains the persistence of caste with the
advent of colonial modernity. While other prominent left historians
probed the issue of caste mainly through political economy, Ambedkar
read the caste system prominently as an entrenched norm of power
relations, both suggesting and hiding its exception: the barbaric
effacement of untouchables.

From the late nineteenth century phase of the nationalist movement, the Gita
became a source of intense debate about the relationship between
morality and politics. Tilak and Aurobindo, among others, upheld the
text’s moral sanction of bloodshed, while Gandhi claimed that once the
elevated ideal of detached action was followed, it was impossible to be
violent. But they were all in accord that the Gita presented a symbolic context for a human being’s duty-bound predicament and they found the text an ethic for individual action.

Ambedkar, on the other hand, stressed that the Gita was “concerned with the particular and not with the general”. He explained how its terminologies of karma and jnana were untranslatable into the generalised, modern notions of ‘action’ and ‘knowledge’. Ambedkar held the Gita to be “neither a book of religion nor a treatise of philosophy” but a text which defends certain religious dogmas, like the chaturvarnya, on “philosophic grounds”. In Hegel’s commentary on the Gita,
the philosopher observed that the “moral principles” and “rules of
conduct” in the text can “only be understood from the caste law”. Hegel
and Ambedkar found the Gita incapable of transcending its casteist context and becoming an individual ethic. Beyond the debate about whether the Gita
propagates violence or non-violence, Ambedkar alone took pains to
historicise the constitutive violence of the text’s casteist framework.

Ambedkar believed in the Buddhist doctrine which differentiates
between ‘the will to kill’ and ‘the need to kill’. He also believed in
‘absolute non-violence’, where he endorsed violence for just ends in the
fight against inequality and oppression. The distinction between ‘will’
and ‘need’ is a tricky one in the context of the justificatory
discourse of state (or any other) violence. But Ambedkar placed his
optimism in the institution of the state in order to overcome the
institution of caste. Gandhi’s political idea of non-violence, as a
“method of securing rights by personal suffering”, was on the other hand
an oppositional politics of counter-sovereignty against the state. But
while Ambedkar saw the possibility of the state reflecting an assertive
caste consciousness, Gandhi did not engage with the state’s class and
caste character.

Ambedkar had once made a distinction between the “learned”, limited
by class interests, and the “intellectual”, emancipated from class
considerations. Among the many learned Indian nationalists, Ambedkar was
a rare intellectual.



A slightly shorter, edited version of this appears in print. This article was edited online on August 11, 2012.


Illustration by Sorit
Opinion
It’s Not Red Vs Blue
Ambedkar was more about class than caste, but the Left won’t see it that way

India
is a land of paradoxes. But no paradox may be as consequential as the
divergent histories of the Dalit and the Communist movements. Both were
born around the same time, spoke for or against the same issues, grew or
splintered similarly, and find themselves equally hopeless today. And
yet, they refuse to see eye to eye. A large part of the blame for
wallowing in this attitudinal abyss is attributed to Ambedkar, simply
because of his explicit critique of the Communists and Marxism. This is
simplistic, if not grossly wrong.

Ambedkar was not a Marxist. His intellectual upbringing had been
under the Fabian influence at Columbia University and the London School
of Economics. John Dewey, whom Ambedkar held in such high esteem as to
owe him his entire intellectual making, was an American Fabian. Fabians
wanted socialism, but not as Marx had proposed. Fabians believed
socialism could be brought about through evolution, not through
revolution. Despite these influences, Ambedkar, without agreeing with
Marx, took Marxism not only seriously, but also used it as the benchmark
to assess his decisions throughout his life.

Ambedkar practised class politics, albeit not in the Marxian sense.
He always used “class” even for describing the untouchables. In his very
first published essay, ‘Castes in India’, written when was 25, he
described caste as “enclosed class”. Without indulging in theorising,
this reflected an essential agreement with Lenin, who stressed that
class analysis must be done in “concrete conditions”, not in a vacuum.
Castes were the pervasive reality of India, and hence could not escape
class analysis. But the then Communists, claiming monopoly over Marx and
Lenin, used imported “moulds” and relegated castes to the
“superstructure”. In one stroke, they made a range of anti-caste
struggles a non-issue. They were only reflecting a brahminical obsession
with the “sanctity” of the Word, a la vedavakya. 

One instance of Communists ignoring the discrimination against Dalits
came from Bombay’s textile mills. When Ambedkar pointed out that Dalits
were not allowed to work in the better-paying weaving department, and
that other practices of untouchability were rampant in mills where the
Communists had their Girni Kamgar Union, they didn’t pay heed. Only when
he threatened to break their strike of 1928 did they reluctantly agree
to remedy the wrong.

In the wake of the 1937 elections to provincial assemblies, he
founded his first political party, the Independent Labour Party, in
August 1936, which he declared was a “working class” party. Its
manifesto had many pro-people promises, the word “caste” occurring only
once, in passing. Scholars like Christophe Jaffrelot have termed ILP the
first leftist party in India, the Communists until then being either
underground or under the umbrella of the Congress socialist bloc.

During the 1930s, he was at his radical best. He formed the Mumbai
Kamgar Sangh in 1935 which anticipated the merger of caste and class
that happened with ILP. Despite differences, he joined hands with the
Communists and led the massive strike against the Industrial Dispute Act
in 1938. The Cripps Report in 1942, which excluded the ILP on the plea
that it did not represent any community, impelled him to dissolve the
ILP and form the seemingly caste-based Scheduled Castes Federation
(SCF). However, his left leanings continued despite his being a member
of the Viceroy’s Executive Council. It culminated in his writing States and Minorities,
a blueprint for a socialist economy to be hardcoded into the
Constitution of India. The Communists, however, saw his movement as
dividing their proletariat. This is the attitude that precipitated in
Dange’s vile call to voters to waste their votes but not to cast it in
favour of Ambedkar in the 1952 elections. As a result, he was defeated.

His conversion to Buddhism is also read superficially as the
spiritual craving of a frustrated soul or further evidence of his
anti-Marxism. Although many scholars have refuted this misreading, it
needs to be said this was almost his last reference to Marx. In
comparing Buddhism with Marxism barely a fortnight before his death, he
validated his decision as conforming to Marxism, minus the violence and
dictatorship. Sadly, the folly of embracing Marx and jettisoning
Ambedkar still persists.


(The writer teaches at IIT Kharagpur.)

This piece was edited to fix typos on August 15, 2012.


Illustration by Sorit

Opinion

The Third Day’s Dawn

The everness of Ambedkar’s appeal lends him a messianic quality. Immortality.

Harish Wankhede



The
relevance of any idea may be judged by its capacity to make an abiding
impact on society over time. Newly independent India had crafted its
values by branding Jawaharlal Nehru as the modernist visionary of the
future, and M.K. Gandhi as the moralist ideal. Babasaheb Ambedkar also
played a crucial role in this dynamic by proposing a corrective model of
liberal democracy which was different from the positivist tendencies of
the nationalist elite. In the first two decades after Independence,
Ambedkar was relegated to being an insignificant critical voice of the
socially downtrodden masses in opposition to the heightened populist
political appeals of so-called secular nationalism, citizenship and
modernization. However, Ambedkar has been resurrected at regular
intervals, and his ideas and legacy have repeatedly inspired the
disadvantaged groups to challenge the dominant modes of political
articulations.

On his death-bed Ambedkar revitalized Buddhism and appealed to his
followers to leave the Hindu fold. This was not only a revenge on the
part of enlightened dalit groups against the irrational and exploitative
Brahmanic order, but this also simultaneously problematised the
ethical edifice of the modern Constitution—a document that aimed at
providing security and empowerment to the disprivileged sections, and
was ironically drafted by Ambedkar. At one stroke, Ambedkar
demonstrated the limitations of Gandhian Hindu benevolence and also
challenged the limitations of liberal democracy.

In the early 1970s, Ambedkar was resurrected again as a militant voice
of the radical Dalit Panthers Movement in the urban slums of
Maharashtra. The deployment of Ambedkar here was in contrast to his
familiar image as a passive constitutionalist or a saffron-clad
Boddhisatva. The Panthers reinvented him as the philosopher of the
socially wretched who provided rational wisdom to understand the roots
of their exploitation and promised a new world based on justice and
equality. Ambedkar’s ideas were presented as a corrective to the elitist
formulation of Marxist revolution; demands were made for the immediate
inclusion of social democracy in the language of the Left.

Bahujan Samaj Party’s founder Kanshi Ram’s imaginative conceptualization
of ‘bahujan’ must be seen another resurrection of Ambedkar’s
ideological imperatives for social revolution. Kanshi Ram propelled and
completed a journey Ambedkar had begun—in wresting political power in a
democratic system skewed against dalits. Along with the rise of the BSP
in the 1990s, the Ambedkarite logic of reservation and differentiated
citizenship was instrumentalised to defend the state’s policy of
extending the benefits of social justice to the Other Backward Classes
(OBCs). In this avatar, Ambedkar is seen as the harbinger of
anti-Brahmanic social alliance between the Dalits and the OBCs.

In more recent times, Ambedkar has provided the argumentative force for
defending the rights of socially deprived identities within the Muslims,
known as Pasmandas. Positive discrimination has come to be seen as a
means to come to terms with stratified hierarchies within Muslims. The
Sachar Commission partakes of this logic.

With the complete tilt of India’s economic policies towards market-based
neo-liberalism, Ambedkar appears as a hopeful voice of socialist
philanthropy. The failure of Leftist trade unions and other mass
organizations to protect the rights of the working classes, tribals and
city dwellers from the onslaught of capitalist manoeuvring has led them
to utilize Ambedkar’s arguments of social justice. More than the
socialist Nehru, Ambedkar is being seen as the politically valuable
voice to defend the constitutional directives for ensuring basic
entitlements of food, work and education to the worst off sections.

Despite the propaganda machinery of the DAVP (Department of Audio-Visual
Publicity of the I&B ministry) and myth-making in textbooks and
popular culture around the figure of Gandhi, his position in the last
few decades has been confined to the peripheries of our political
habitus. He has increasingly become a quasi-ethical voice of ecological
protectionism, anti-nuclear protests and conflict resolution through
nonviolent means. Gandhi is also identified with emotive middle class
concerns, distanced from the masses, mostly as a decorative icon to flag
‘non-political’ slogans. The NGOization of Gandhi by Baba Amte, Medha
Patkar and Anna Hazare has further arrested Gandhism’s political
capacities. Such movements and their leaders seem to occupy brief media
and societal attention, but they cannot match the emergence of massive
socio-political movements based on demands for social justice,
democratization of public institutions and pro-poor economic policies. 

In other words, what we have seen in the last two decades is the visible
mainstreaming of Ambedkar and the marginalization of Gandhi and Nehru
in the political sphere. From being once seen the exclusive voice of
ex-untouchable castes, Ambedkar has emerged as the messianic
spokesperson of a cross-section of deprived communities. Even when
certain movements do not explicitly acknowledge their debt to Ambedkar,
his ideas suffuse most struggles for emancipation and justice.

Ambedkar’s architectonic imagination has fashioned new communitarian
ethics that allows the downtrodden to demand a level playing field in
today’s increasingly skewed world. When the populist ideas of our
nationalist leaders have benefited hugely from state propaganda—a
top-down approach—Ambedkar’s ideas have been resurrected by protest
movements that rise from below.


Harish Wankhede teaches Political Science in Delhi University. An edited, shorter version of this appears in print.

+ve Awakened Ones with Awareness


 I’m surpised to see the name of Gautama Buddha missing from the list.
Perhaps he doesn’t qualify because he was born in Lumbini?
Arun Kumar
Lucknow, India

WHILE DECIDING GREATNESS-one of parameter which also needs to be
considered is ‘ enemies ability ‘ that great person encountered with, Dr
Amedkar fought with 5000 year old inhuman, unjustified but deep rooted
and enforced system called casteism , which was more powerful than
hitler, indira or crickets all fast baller together or non coperative
and corrupt system with which JRD , anna or naryan murthy fought while
trying to introduce values in society and business or suman kalynpur and
 vinod khanna or rajesh khanna with whom lata and amit compared and
assessed.
ranadheer patwardhan
sangli, India

-ve people with traditional venomous Dominating  hatred and angry ones
who believe in First, Second, Third, Fourth rate souls and that the
untouchables have no soul and they could do any harm they wished to do
to them and to prevent them from acquiring the MASTER KEY as desired by
Dr.Ambedkar for the creation of PraBuddha Bharath through the policy of
SARVAJAN HITHAY  SARVAJAN SUKHAY by the Bahujan Samaj Party.

Vinod Mehta

Email not available

samir sandilya
guwahati, India

Aditya Mookerjee
Belgaum, India

Mohan
Adipur, India

Jagatheesan Chandrasekharan
Bangalore, India

 
“The
selection (of nominees) speaks as much about ourselves…. We still
largely see through Nehru’s eyes. Dr Ambedkar stands very, very tall
(despite being ignored by the mainstream). He was not just a Dalit icon
but a scholar as well.” Yogendra Yadav, Scholar and academic

Naveen,

[[Buddhism does not believe in God, while hinduism is filled with
gods herogiri, Buddhism is based on equality, whereas hinduism is based
on inequality and discrimination…]]

If this is what idiots like you think is Hinduism, I’m 100% convinced
that my ancestors were absolutely right in witholding the knowledge of
scriptures from your ancestors.

Alakshyendra
Hyderabad, India


Bababasaheb was the greatest Indian and his
contribution to India’s unity, equality, liberty, fraternity is
considered to be of high value. Though in his time ridiculed,
suppressed, deginerated by the media, Congress and Caste hindu
mentality, it has taken long time for him to be recognised, his
contribution in the field of economics “Problem of Rupee” which helped
the royal commission to set up RBI, Hirakud dam project while incharge
of irrigation department, Proactive women laws in Hindu code bill is
forgotten, his entire contribution was n direct conflict with the caste
hindu supremacy which kept his contribution masked…

P.S Contradicting some of the comments below :

CHIRA -Bangalore” However, Ambedkar’s story must be seen in full light of British divide and rule Policy.” 

Please note that Freedom of India means freedom of all section of the
society, but the Caste hindu society wanted to get the freedom from
British, while they were not ready to provide freedom to the rest of the
lower caste society, so it was imperative that to escape from the caste
Hindu sickeness it was necessary to protect the rights of the dalits,
tribals and even bahujans who form 85% of Indian population after the
British left so that India becomes free and not just the so called upper
caste hindus who would take over as the oppressors of India. Please
read Gandhi’s Dominion Status demand where he wanted to remain a slave
of British but rule India or the Tilak’s statement where he was ready
for a British rule if the Brahmins are given powers…..its called
divide and rule and Babasaheb’s Ambedkar philosophy and work was lets
all leave freely,,,,,Dr. Ambedkar was the first man to ask the British
get out of India in 1932 sitting in London in their assembly, 10 year
prior to Gandhi’s Quit India movement.”

Comment to KIRAN
GRENOBLE, FRANCE

“”"”"Now coming to the point of Buddhism vs “Hinduism”, it is a
widely acknolwedged fact in academic scholarship that Buddhism didn’t
germinate in a vacuum. It is an offshoot of prior beliefs and
traditions, though it enriched them by radical new ideas. Not only did
Buddhism follow de-facto all the god imagery from the earlier Vedic
religions, it is also rooted in the cosmological symbolism of the Meru
mountain -”"”"

My caste sick hindu brother, which academic fool told you that
Buddhism is an offshoot of hinduism, I think you read Buddhism from the
brahminical people who are always ready to fool masses………I will
tell you simple difference….Buddhism does not believe in God, while
hinduism is filled with gods herogiri, Buddhism is based on equality,
whereas hinduism is based on inequality and discrimination…Buddhism is
practical while hinduism is delusional ……and for your kind
information meaning of Hindu is “Thief” given by Mohamaddens, the real
religion name is brahminisim or Chaturvarna system of graded
inequality..

Naveen
Bengaluru, India

The cost of printing is very heavy and will
come to about Rs 20,000. This is beyond my capacity, and I am,
therefore, canvassing help from all quarters. I wonder if the Government
of India could purchase 500 copies for distribution among the various
libraries and among the many scholars whom it is inviting during the
course of this year for the celebration of Buddha’s 2,500 years’
anniversary.” >>>>

It is ironical that this is the precise method used by Sonia and clan
to make money  - they keep printing Nehru’s Discovery of India, other
coffeee table books with photos of Indira, Nehru, Rajiv etc and get all
govt run libraries, public sector company libraries etc to pay up which
in turn goes to the ‘family’ as royalty!

bharat
delhi, India

Sankar Ramamutry

“..all land would be vested with the state, agriculture would be
considered a state industry and insurance a state monopoly”. He was a
communist, plain and simple. ..”

Much to the contrary. Ambedkar was very farseeing. Land is quite
different from engines of production, and the rules of capitalism apply
differently to these assets.

It is only due to the utter failure of the state that real-estate
mafia has come to dictate the political terms in India. We have become a
joke, with complete lack of urban planning. Ambedkar rightfully foresaw
that proper urban planning with mechanised sanitation systems as the
only savior of the untouchable castes. Caste has to be eradicated and
there is no dignity in living in slums. The only way urban planning can
be accomplished is by the state reclaiming to the commons all land and
environmental assets. This is not communism, it is common sense.

Brilliant article. Very nicely written.
Reminds us aptly of the great contributions of Ambedkar to India,
without belittling the other great statesmen of the freedom struggle.

Truly, Ambedkar has to be remembered for his ideas. And these ideas
were very farseeing, and will continue to have relevance for many
decades. It is not just his immense contribution to social equality, but
as the author rightfully pointed out, his contributions are equally
relevant towards gender equality and to the preservation of ethnic
diversity in the Indian union.

Kiran
grenoble, France

Very informative essay! One always knew
Ambedkar and Gandhi were opposed to each other on a variety of issues
concerning SC/STs. But a lot of us never knew the details. This essay is
an eye-opener for folks like me. 

Alakshyendra
Hyderabad, India


The distinctions between Gandhi and Ambedkar
are more clearly drawn here than I have seen before. The leaders of a
powerful majority may have the best of intentions, but the wearers know
where the shoes pinch.

Anwaar
Dallas, United States


I agree with Kiran. This is one of the most well researched and fascinating essays I have read on Outlook.

Puneet
San Francisco, USA


 A fantastic essay. Very balanced and thought-provoking ! 

Kudos to the Outlook magazine and to the writer. 

Kiran
grenoble, France

@ Santosh Gairola, Hsinchu >> Your
academic interest in Manusmriti, or in sloka’s of Gita (Karmanye
Vadhikarestu, Ma Faleshu Kadachana; meaning, ‘keep on working but don’t
expect anything in return’; cause the fruits of your labor belongs to
your master, the Brahmin) are one thing, but if are trying to find some
truth or moral in it, I must say you are on a wrong course, for both are
an act of fraud and deceit.

The hierarchical and repressive structure of Indian (Hindu) society
came into existence during the period of manusmriti about three thousand
years ago. The manusmriti set the tone of social discrimination based
on birth. This, in turn led to social exclusion, economic degradation
and political isolation of the Untouchables now popularly known as
Dalits. Dalits are the poor, neglected and downtrodden lot. Their social
disabilities were specific, severe and numerous. Their touch, shadow or
even voice was considered by the caste Hindus to be polluting. They
were forced to live in the outskirts of the villages towards which the
wind blew and dirt flowed. Their houses were dirty, dingy and unhygienic
where poverty and squalor loomed large. They were denied the use of
public wells. The doors of the Hindu temples were closed for them and
their children were not allowed into the schools attended by the
children of caste Hindu. Barbers and washermen refused their services to
them lest they lose their business from the upper castes. Public
services were closed to them. They followed menial hereditary
occupations such as those of street sweeping, manual scavenging,
shoemaking and carcasses removing.

Buddha sucessfully rebelled against above lies & deceit but
fearing losing their evil grip on the masses, the cunning Brahmins made
him an avatar of Vishnu, and slowly destroyed his ideals and teachings;
and similarly Gandhi and Nehru had  pacified the Ambedkar’s rebellion
over the rights of Dalit by false promises. 

I think you should take a week long pilgrimage to the Fo Kuang Shan
monastery at Kaohsiung to seek truth and peace through Vipassana.

Shyamal Barua
Kolkata, India


Sanjiv Bhandarkar,

[[Santosh Gairola@ Yawn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]]

Exactly what you’ve been doing while ranting at the “upper castes”.
Had you spent half the time in bending your back, your lot would have
been much better off.

Alakshyendra
Hyderabad, India

……”Mere pass AMBEDKAR hai!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Sanjiv Bhandarkar
Mumbai, India


Good article but without sense…… entire
article could be contradicted, Mr. Kulkarni the veda’s age of fooling
masses is gone, people are educated now with the help of Babasaheb and
teachings of Buddha.

Here’s your answer:

“”"”"”"”Question from Mr. Kulkarni=It is a glowing tribute to the
large-hearted and visionary leadership of Gandhiji that he prevailed
upon Nehru and other senior Congress leaders to give an important
responsibility to Ambedkar in drafting the Constitution and also to
include him in independent India’s first government as law minister.
This begets an important question for which Ambedkarites have no answer:
If India’s social and political system was so heartless, if it was
truly bent on excluding the depressed classes (Ambedkar’s term for what
has now come to be known as ‘Dalits’) from the power structure after the
British left, why would Gandhiji and Nehru give this opportunity and
honour to Ambedkar after the British actually left?”"”"”"”"”"”"”‘

Mr. Kulkarni’s the answer is below:.

Dr. Ambedkar’s inclusion into constituent assembly has always been
filled with fake love of Gandhi towards Dr. Ambedkar, the prejudice and
false propaganda of Brahminical speakers and politicians from the BJP
that Dr. Ambedkar was just a chairman and didn’t do anything in
constitution framing (without even having the basic knowledge of what a
chairperson does), even some great told historians like Ramachandra
Guha who wants to embrace Dr. Ambedkar but could not reject Gandhi
falsely believes that Gandhi was instrumental in giving Dr. Ambedkar a
place in Constituent assembly though Mr. Guha can only assume but never
prove with the common sense of events which led to the formation of
Constituent Assembly  ……….etc etc .

I have given facts collected from various writers on this
issue+personal research and on the basis of reasoning from the facts I
have provided the conclusion. “

As a consequence of the Cabinet Mission’s ill-fated attempt to broker a
deal between the Congress and Muslim League, elections were held in July
1946 to the provincial legislatures of British India. These
legislatures then elected 296 members to the Constituent Assembly
(allocated roughly in the ratio of one to one million). The remaining
seats in the Assembly were to be filled by representatives from princely
states.

In this election Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar and his Schedule caste
Federation were jointly defeated by the Congress and Left. The Congress
in Bombay, headed by Prime Minister B.G. Kher and under instructions
from Sardar Patel, ensured that Dr. Ambedkar is not elected and be part
of the constitution framing team.
But the Namsudras of the Bengal realized this threat and our great
leader Mahapran Jogendra Nath Mandal (with the assistance of Mukund
Bihari Mallick) who was nominated from Jaisur and Kulna (undivided
Bengal) sacrificed his seat so that Dr. Ambedkar becomes part of the 296
member constituent Assembly.
Ambedkar was elected by the undivided Bengal legislature with five
transferable votes (a minimum of four was required). The Scheduled
Castes Federation did not have five members in the Bengal legislature.
Therefore, it has been said that the votes for Dr. Ambedkar came from
Anglo-Indian member, independent members who were SC/STs, and possibly
even the Muslim League.
Dr. Ambedkar was the sole Schedule caste representative in the Constituent Assembly of the Scheduled Castes Federation.
Dr. Ambedkar was forced to seek election from Bengal, a province he did
not have much connection with, because he lacked the requisite support
in his home province of Bombay. Throughout the 1940s, Babasaheb Ambedkar
and the Congress clashed bitterly over the issue of Scheduled Caste
rights and representation. Dr. Ambedkar was an un-yielding critic of the
party’s positions on many issues, which he believed were not in the
better interest to the Scheduled Castes & Tribes .

Despite this political enmity with the Congress, once in the
Constituent Assembly, Dr. Ambedkar worked closely with his Congress
colleagues in formulating and drafting our national charter. Most of the
congress nominated Constituent Assembly had limited idea about
constitution but were elected by congress only because they had been
with congress and had been imprisoned earlier.

Babasaheb’s professional approach, his excellent knowledge on the
constitution and his love towards the country to remain strong and
united impressed many even from the congress. This thaw between the
Congress and Babasaheb Ambedkar stood the latter in good stead.

But there was still resistance not overtly but inside the congress
circle which became visible during the partition of East Bengal.

According to the Partition policy any constituency which had more
than 50% population of Muslims in Pakistan/East Bengal provinces had to
be given to Pakistan/East Bengal. But the Constituency which Dr.
Ambedkar represented from undivided Bengal- Jaisur and Khulna had 48%
Muslim population and hindus/dalits mostly were 52% which according to
the Partition policy must be remained with present India. But Congress
played a card making sure Dr. Ambedkar represented Jaisur and Khulna go
to East Bengal which technically made Dr. Ambedkar to be part of
Pakistan constituent Assembly. Dr. Ambedkar said that his people are
mainly in India and what help will they get if he becomes part of
Pakistan Constituent Assembly, he resigns from the post of East Bengal.
Giving away Jaisur and Khulna to East Bengal, in return to it Congress
was adamant to get Muslim dominated Murshidabad which is currently in
the West Bengal State of India giving paltry reasons of prosperity and
ganges which otherwise also would have been possible with effective
irrigation plans.
Did we prosper taking Muslim dominated Murshidabad and giving away hindu dominated Jaisur&Khulna?
Murshidabad was once a prosperous silk center under the nawab rule and
capital of undivided Bengal in 18th century, but today this district
has the most number of poor people in entire India. Some 1.47% of
India’s rural poor live in Murshidabad district of West Bengal. About 3
million people–or 56% of the district’s rural population–are below the
so-called poverty line which is the highest in entire country. Whereas
Khulna which was given away to Bangaladesh is the 3rd largest District
in Bangaladesh and a big commercial hub for entire Bangladesh. A bad
deal to India.

Dr. Ambedkar visits British Prime minister and Opposition leader and
conveys the injustice done to him. The British government takes a
serious note on this issue as this was against the partition policy and
informs Nehru to let Jaisur and Khulna remain with India or take Dr.
Ambedkar into constituent assembly from other place within the
partitioned India else there could be delay to sort this issue. As this
issue was directly with flaunting the partition policy with Muslim
league-A strong political force, the congress realized that it would
definitely have bad effect on partition process which had already
started with bloodshed.
Congress had planned that Mr. Malavankar to preside over the Constituent
Assembly, as Malavankar was not in the Constituent Assembly; it made
Jurist Jayakar to resign from his constituency in Pune to replace
Malavankar to his position.

But the Congress had realized the British serious concern over the
injustice done to Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar from Jaisur and Khulna seat and
concern over issues of partition with the Muslim counterparts.
Congress also had a major concern of separate representation of Schedule
caste/Tribe within India in the line before Poona Pact. Congress knew
it would cope badly with the Pakistan partition and was not ready for
any issues with the Schedule caste/Tribe. Dr. Ambedkar was a very strong
critique whom they had to face. Amicable solution was to keep Dr.
Ambedkar at-least in some decision process.

Within the Congress there were some members who had worked with Dr.
Ambedkar in constituent assembly during the 1946 tenure and appreciated
his professional approach, rapport and stupendous knowledge on
constitution and were compatible to work with him for the framing of the
constitution.

When Congress was looking at other countries constitutional experts:
Dr. Ambedkar’s writings “States and Minorities”What are Their Rights and
How to Secure them in the Constitution of Free India Framed as the
‘Constitution of the United States of India’”, which he wanted to
provide to Constitution assembly came as a form of book before he
presented it to the constitution assembly and was available with all the
congress members who appreciated his work and had realized his
excellent knowledge… This book is the foundation of our constitution
today.

To that end, on June 30, 1947 understanding the exigency and in-fact
the need of Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar and his high benefits of being part
of the constituent assembly & without his excellent knowledge there
is no go as India would become Independent soon but not republic,
Rajendra Prasad wrote to B.G. Kher, the prime minister of Bombay,
directing him to have Dr.Ambedkar elected to the Assembly on a Congress
Note.
Prasad explained that it was important to ensure that Ambedkar continued
in the Assembly due to his excellent knowledge in constitution:
Letter
Apart from any other consideration we have found Dr. Ambedkar’s work
both in the Constituent Assembly and the various committees to which he
was appointed to he of such an order as to require that we should not he
deprived of his services. As you know, he was elected from Bengal and
after the division of the Province he has ceased to be a member of the
Constituent Assembly. I am anxious that he should attend the next
session of the Constituent Assembly commencing from the 14th July and it
is therefore necessary that he should be elected immediately.
-Rajendra Prasad
8. Besides Prasad, Sardar Patel who restricted Babasaheb’s entry in
1946 was also closely involved in the effort to ensure that Babasaheb
Ambedkar remained in the Assembly. On the same day as Prasad wrote to
Kher, Patel spoke to the Bombay Premier, who was not the greatest fan of
Babasaheb Ambedkar, and urged Kher to take prompt action to ensure
Ambedkar’s election to the Assembly. The next day, Patel tried to pacify
Mavlankar by explaining that Dr. Ambedkar’s election required “earlier
action” since there was only one vacancy available. Patel told Mavlankar
that “all people here feel that [Ambedkar’s] attitude has changed and
he has been a useful Member in the Committee.” He advised Mavlankar that
“there [was] no hurry” about his election and promised that the
Congress would arrange for his election through another vacancy that
would occur after a short time. Patel reiterated this position in a
letter on 3 July 1947 to Mavlankar in which he noted that “everybody
wants [Ambedkar] now.” The rapprochement between the Congress and
Ambedkar was complete when Ambedkar returned to the Assembly on July
1947 greeted by loud cheers.
9. But the idea that it was not Gandhi who was instrumental in ensuring
Ambedkar’s entry into the Cabinet is not universally shared.
Mountbatten who gave Nehru plenty of unsolicited advice about whom to
include and exclude seemed pleasantly surprised at Dr.Ambedkar’s
inclusion. But he does not reveal how Dr. Ambedkar was allowed for a
cabinet position(Which was quiet obvious as the British had shown
concern of partition policy violation in Jaisur and Khulna- issue and
didn’t expect his inclusion without strong resistance from the congress
which now had seen so much benefit in the constitution knowledge of
Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar).
10. Valerian Rodriguez in his very useful compilation of Ambedkar’s
writings argues that purported intervention of Gandhi on Ambedkar’s
behalf is yet to be fully corroborated. And an early Ambedkar
biographer, Dhananjay Keer believes that Ambedkar was included in the
cabinet through the collective efforts of Sardar Patel, S. K. Patil,
Acharya Donde, and Nehru. Gandhi only granted formal approval for this
plan when it was presented to him by Nehru. That formal approval was not
based on love but based on thorough analysis of how much juice we could
take out of Sugarcane and then throw it like they did in 1952 and 1954
Lok Sabha Election.
11. On 29 th August 1947, a committee was constituted to frame the
Constitution of India. Ambedkar was chosen as its Chairman. Shri T. T.
Krishnamachari, a member of the committee, himself has said:


“Though a committee of seven members was formed, one of then resigned.
Another was nominated in his place. Another member died. No one took his
place. One of the members was very busy with government work. Owing to
ill health two other members were far away from Delhi. As a result, Dr.
Ambedkar alone had to carry the entire burden of preparing the draft of
the Constitution. The work he has done is admirable”.

As the Minister for Law, Dr. Ambedkar placed the draft Constitution before the Constituent Assembly on 4th November 1948.

12. Gandhi and Dr. Ambedkar never shared the same political or social
philosophy and there was no so popularized love of Gandhi/Congress
towards Dr. Ambedkar as its evident that Post constitution framing:

In 1952 Dr. Ambedkar competed for the North Mumbai Lok Sabha seat and
was defeated by his former personal aide N.S Kajolkar. Congress gave
the reason that Dr. Ambedkar was with Social party and they betrayed him
as an excuse but the fact is Dr. Ambedkar had just resigned due to
Hindu code bill issue before participating in the 1952 Lok Sabha
election from North Mumbai. Fact is Congress played the subcaste
politics against Babasaheb nominating his former aide N.S Kajrolkar
against him and restricted him into the parliament.
13. It didn’t end there as Dr. Ambedkar was subsequently elected to the
Rajya Sabha without full Congress Support and was again defeated in 1954
by Congress in Bhandara by-election.

Conclusion:
Major points contradicting the so called love of Congress and Gandhi to Dr. Ambedkar

What was Gandhi doing when:

In 1946 Congress restricts Dr.Ambedkar’s entry into constituent
Assembly. If Gandhi had plans for Dr. Ambedkar in framing the
constitution they wouldn’t have defeated him so cheaply. Constitution
framing is no child’s play and Congress/Gandhi were quiet intelligent to
know that a strong person should be in place for this responsible
position and 1946 constituent Assembly was formed for that
purpose,,,,,,,,, why did Congress/Gandhi restrict Babasaheb then in
1946?
When Dr. Ambedkar did enter Constituent Assembly with the help of
Mahpran Jogindarnath Mandal and our Bengali Namasudras, Gandhi/congress
played a card to restrict Dr. Ambedkar’s further membership in the
constituent assembly post independence by giving away Babasaheb’s
represented Jaisur and Khulna against the partition policy to east
Bengal and taking Murshidabad which today is the most poorest district
in entire India. Was Gandhi ready to give away Jaisur-Kulna a commercial
hub today in Bangladesh from India just to make sure Babasaheb does not
enter constituent assembly? Was country more important or the personal
prejudice to devoid dalit representation as did earlier in Poona Pact
1932?
Lacs of Namsudra massacre post independence by the communist rule could
have been better avoided by taking in those places which had more than
50% hindu population like Babasaheb represented Jaisur-Kulna by legally
abiding to partition policy.

Congress wouldn’t have had plans to nominate Malavankar to preside
constituent assembly by making Jurist Jayakar resign from Pune
constituency even as late as June 1947 just 2 months before freedom …
The Congress/Gandhi’s Constitution Chairman was Malavankar or someone
else from the Congress Lobby or Foreign constitutional experts, as its
clear that Dr. Ambedkar was not even the last recommended person by
Congress/Gandhi for this post till as late as June 1947?

Facts

Congress was looking at other countries for the constitution framing
and their uppercaste chamcha’s wanted to continue their manu
constitution and their man to head constituent assembly was not Dr.
Ambedkar. Just because Dr. Ambedkar gave an excellent constitution and
to please SC/ST’s Gandhi was made the messiah as usual. Politics or bad
Marketing.
Dr. Ambedkar’s entry was mainly due to his professional approach, his
rapport with even those who hated him and his excellent knowledge of
constitution/his great work in “States and Minorities” which is a part
foundation of our constitution today and his love for the country to
remain strong and united.
Congress showed its true love in the 1952 and 1954 Lok Sabha election by
playing subcaste politics and defeating Dr. Ambedkar, if congress had
love why did it turn against him?- because they never loved him but just
utilized his excellent knowledge to build constitution. He was not even
given Bharat Ratna till 1990.
If there is any person who did help Babasaheb then it was only Mahapran
Jogendra Nath Mandal and the Namsudra’s of Bengal who sacrificed
Jaisur-Khulna seat to make sure Babasaheb enter constituent assembly.
This sacrifice was used with an excuse of migrants to massacre lacs of
Namsudras post Independence by the brahminical and communist
order.…..Our utmost gratitude should be towards this great leader who is
forgotten in the pages of History.

Critiques are open to challenge me………………

Mr. Kulkarni, Prejudice masks the reality, so leave it and face the reality. …

Naveen
Bengaluru, India


Nehru was an inept womanizing British
sycophant….what makes Saba Naqvi spend so much time on this creature
called Nehru. If Nehru had anything big, it was his ego and hatred for
competition. Nehru did not give us the dynasty, the dynasty grabbed
India like a vice even before Nehru. Motilal started it all….

Nehru’s biggest legacy is the licking brown man mentality. What a
waste to think about this scum….in the future history books will be
rewritten and his sexual escapades with Mountbattens wife and other will
come out.

Somshankar Bose
Madison, United States

A Left which doesn’t find Ambedkar pivotal for transformative politics cannot be a Left at all.

Ambedkar concludes Buddha or Karl Marx this way: “What remains of the
Karl Marx is a residue of fire, small but still very important. The
residue in my view consists of four items:

(i) The function of philosophy is to reconstruct the world and not to
waste its time in explaining the origin of the world. (ii) That there
is a conflict of interest between class and class. (iii) That private
ownership of property brings power to one class and sorrow to another
through exploitation.

(iv) That it is necessary for the good of society that the sorrow be removed by the abolition of private property.”

And more interestingly, what comes before this is a strong and
incisive critique of marxist historicism based on a vulgur economic
determinism; a critique that is very much part of marxist tradition
itself. Ambedkar writes: “Nobody now I accepts the economic
interpretation of history as the only explanation of history. Nobody
accepts that the proletariat has been progressively pauperised.”

One might say that Ambedkar is the real Left in India and perhaps a
failure to recognize this has been the reason for the divergent
histories of SC/ST and Communist movements.

Vipin
Hyderabad, India


just shut up >>>> wayne alfred
delhi, India

sononemilind
Pune, India

-ve people with traditional venomous Dominating  hatred and angry ones who believe in First, Second, Third, Fourth rate souls and that the untouchables have no soul, so that they could do any harm they wished to do to them, But the Buddha did not believe in any soul. He said all are equal. To prevent them from acquiring the MASTER KEY as desired by Dr.Ambedkar for the creation of PraBuddha Bharath through the policy of SARVAJAN HITHAY  SARVAJAN SUKHAY by the Bahujan Samaj Party, HERE WE HAVE VIEWS PAPERS NOT NEWS PAPERS AND THE MEDIAS ARE JUST IDEAS OF THE TRADITIONAL, VENOMOUS, DOMINATING, HATRED AND ANGRY LEADERS OF THE CASTE RIDDEN SOCIETY.

Vinod Mehta

Ramachandra Guha,  Historian

Jaitley, Leader of Opposition, Rajya Sabha

Inder Malhotra, Veteran journalist

N. Ram, Veteran journalist

Swapan Dasgupta, Journalist and commentator

R V Subramanian
Gurgaon, India

Whatever
Bangalore, India
sandilya
Chennai, India

Santosh Gairola
Hsinchu, Taiwan

Chira
Bangalore, India

Raveesh Varma
Grand Rapids, MI, USA

wayne alfred
delhi, India

Sankar Ramamurthy
Delhi, India

Sudheendra Kulkarni

Saba Naqvi

D.L.Narayan
Visakhapatnam, India

Apoorvanand

Panini Anand

V.N.K.Murti
pattambi, India

shaturya
Lucknow, India

comments (0)
10/27/08
Frenetic pace and blissful tranquillity co-exist in Tokyo -Dalai Lama hints at retirement -Pratibha Patil to inaugurate Buddha Vihara in Gulbarga -Nanded set for tercentenary of Guru Granth Sahib -”Cultivation of mind should be the ultimate aim of human existence.” -Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar- Allegation of security lapses in Rahul Gandhi’s programme is baseless Launch drive for realisation of Commercial Tax Dues Charge of Ban on Rahul Gandhi’s programme totally baseless C.M. orders for providing Rs. two lakh each to the family members of two deceased of Kalanyanpur village in Jaunpur State Government gives nod for prosecuting 12 Senior I.P.S. Officers under Cr.P.C. Section-197 for irregularities in police recruitment scam C.M. directs for completing repairing works of damaged roads by October 31, 2008 C.M. condemns attacks on North Indians by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena C.M. announces increase of Rs. 50 in nutrition allowance for police officers and employees -IN FOCUS:BAHUJAN SAMAJ PARTY Mayawati will become the first woman Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath Prime Minister Historic Initiatives By Mayawati Uttar Pradesh : One year of development and progress Steps towards social Democracy-Maya asks Left for 2 Bengal seats -Caste alone counts for Mayawati as she eyes Delhi (News Analysis)-Karnataka: JD(S) to alliance with BSP in LS polls
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 5:35 am
Frenetic
pace and blissful tranquillity co-exist in Tokyo






Buddham Sharanam Gacchaami

Did you know that:
The Full Moon Day of the month of Vaishaakha (May) is the:

  1. The Birthday of Gautama Buddha

  2. The Renunciation day of Gautama Buddha

  3. The Enlightenment day (Nirvaana) day of Gautama Buddha.

Buddha was born near Kapilavastu in Nepalese Terai. 

Buddhists
associate Mansarovar with the legendary Anotatta Lake, where Buddha’s mother,
Queen Maya, conceived him. Legend says that the Queen, while in a dream state,
was transported to Mansarovar by the Gods and bathed in the lake’s holy waters.
When her body was purified and her womb thus ready to receive Buddha, he
appeared from the direction of Kailash riding a white elephant. 

Above paragraph
information from:

http://www.kailashmansarovar.org/ 

At his
birth-site stands an engraved pillar, erected by Ashoka proclaiming: ‘Here the
Buddha was born!’ Here Siddhartha lived a life of luxury up to the age of 29
years. After the young prince witnessed ‘old age’, ’sickness’ and ‘death’, the
future Buddha renounced his princely life in search of the key to ‘freedom from
sorrow’.

After 7 years of severe austerities, Buddha went into a state of
deep meditation and attained ‘Nirvaana’ (Enlightenment) under the shade of a
peepal tree in Bodh Gaya, 6 miles south of Gaya in Bihar.

Budh’ means ‘knowledge’

Buddha attained Supreme Nirvaana in his 80th year after
spreading his wondrous message to so many. When Buddha was asked if he was
enlightened, he replied: “I am awake”

Vivekananda considered Buddha to be a great seeker, probably the
‘greatest’

Though Buddha was fearless and bent to neither caste nor
traditions, he was extremely kind and loving.

Today, on the full moon day of the month of Vaisaakha, let us
pay homage to the man who taught humanity to follow the ‘Middle Path’ (Not too
much austerity, not too much indulgence)

Who expounded the theory that Desire is the root of all
suffering.

And who preached and urged man to practice compassion and to
have love in their hearts for their fellow beings on earth. Probably some of the
qualities that one must aspire for in excess.

Before
the rise of Kalki, Buddha is considered the 10th or final avatar of the
Dashavtaar.

 


Thought 2

The Four Noble Truths that the Great Buddha pondered upon are:

1 The existence of suffering.

2 The causes of suffering

3 The cessation of suffering

4 The path that leads to the cessation of suffering - this is known as the
Noble Eightfold Path and is divided into Shila - moral discipline comprising
of Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, then Samatha or developing Mental
Discipline by meditation. It is made up of Right Effort, Right Right
Awareness and Right Concentration. Finally there is prajna or wisdom that
comprises Right View and Right Thought.

Thought 3

There are three dimensions ordinarily available to approach truth.

The first dimension creates the scientist…the scientist
works with analysis, reason, observation…

The second dimension, …the poet functions through the
heart…the Sufis Bauls-they all have an aesthetic approach…hence they have so
many beautiful mosques, churches, cathedrals, temples…

(M L Varadpande also states that Indian tradition
considers all art to be of divine origin. Art is spiritual in nature and is a
blissful way of reaching and staying with God)

The third approach is that of grandeur. The old
 testament prophets – Moses Abraham Islam’s prophet Mohammed; Krishna and Ram
– their approach is through the dimension of grandeur…the awe that one feels
looking at the vastness of the universe. The Upanishads, Vedas, they all
approach the world of truth through grandeur. They are full of wonder. It is
unbelievably there, such grandeur that you simply bow down before it—nothing
else is possible…the rarity of a Buddha consists of this—that his approach is
a synthesis of  all the three and beyond the three.

No belief is required to travel with Buddha…first he
convinces your mind…by and by you start feeling that he has a message which is
beyond mind…Because of this rational approach he never brings any concept
which cannot be proved…Because he has never talked about God, many think that
he is an atheist—he is not. He has not talked about God because there is no
way to talk about God.

Buddha

Excerpted from Dhammapada




It is night when I get into Tokyo from the airport. I reel at the
sight of giant-sized billboards and bright neon lights that greet me
when I step out of the Shinjuku subway station. “When in Tokyo, take
time to stand on the street and absorb the sights and sounds around
you,” is my husband’s attempt at being helpful when he sees my baffled
expression.

A wave of black-suited men crosses the street, most murmuring on
their cell phones. When motorbikes come to a grinding halt in front of
us at pedestrian crossing, my daughters gape at the riders — teenagers
with coloured punk hairstyles, wearing torn leather jackets and
dangling earrings and hard rock music blaring from their earpieces.

I almost stumble when a kimono-clad woman brushes past me, her
wooden clogs clacking on the pavement. I hadn’t yet been an hour in the
city. We then make our way to the famous Ginza shopping district. The
ever-present neon signs seem to throb with the pulse of the crowds that
throng the thoroughfares and side streets. Young people and those
working jostle one another as they catch an evening meal or drink sake
and sing karaoke.

Garishly-lit Pachinko parlours and the sound of the pachinko
machines add to the cacophony. Everywhere around the Ginza station, the
sounds, sights and smells of a giant party permeate and stay with me
all the way to my hotel.

The next morning, we head out to catch Tokyo by the day. As we walk
through the Shinagawa district, I marvel at neatly laid out gardens
between giant skyscrapers — an unexpected oasis in the midst of a
mostly concrete landscape.

Walkways connect the buildings several stories above ground level
and I find myself enjoying the window-shopping offered by stores at
either end of the walkways.

It is with some reluctance that I allow myself to be torn from the
shops of Tokyo to head out for a short trip to the countryside. The sun
is slowly headed towards the Western horizon as our train pulls into
Kamakura, an old town barely an hour from Tokyo.

We hail a taxi for the short ride to Kamakura’s most famous
landmark. Large hands folded in a meditative pose are the first thing
that I see. I have to lean way back to look up to the serene face of
the giant bronze Buddha of Kamakura, the Daibutsu. I stand transfixed —
everything seems to fade into the background.

Set against the backdrop of the wooded hills in Kamakura, the
Daibutsu with its tranquil expression and mammoth size is the most
popular tourist sight in Japan. At a height of nearly 12 metres, it is
the second largest Buddha in Japan.

Originally housed in a temple, the Daibutsu remained untouched,
though the temple was destroyed in a tsunami in the late 15th Century.
The cherry blossom trees at dusk, the devotion of the monks and slight
twitter of birds transport me into a meditative state.

The statue radiates a serenity that envelopes all. My daughters’
tugging at my arm brings me back to reality. I realise that we are the
only visitors remaining. I reluctantly trail behind the family to our
bus.

Back on the train to Tokyo, the frenetic pace of the previous two days in the city seems but a distant dream.

Two worlds, so close and yet such contrast, I think. Yet, somehow
the bustle of Tokyo seems a perfect foil to the serenity of the
Daibutsu. 


Dalai Lama hints at retirement



AP



Dharamsala: Hinting that he is planning to retire, the Tibetan
spiritual leader, Dalai Lama, has said he has “given up” on efforts to
convince China to allow greater autonomy for Tibet.

Pratibha Patil to inaugurate Buddha Vihara in Gulbarga

It
has been built by Siddhartha Vihara Trust at a cost of Rs. 4 crore


The Buddha statue is the largest in south India

Bangalore: President Pratibha Patil will inaugurate the Buddha
Vihara, built by the Siddhartha Vihara Trust at a cost of around Rs. 4
crore on the outskirts of Gulbarga on January 7.

Tibetan Buddhist religious leader the Dalai Lama would inaugurate an
all-religion conference on January 19 and launch the consecration
ceremonies of the 18-ft-tall bronze statue of Buddha according to
Buddhist rituals. The Buddha statue, the largest in south India, has
already been installed.

A Buddhist monastery, a prayer hall and a meditation centre would be opened at the vihara.

State Government withdraws gram sabha land for rail coach factory in Raebareli keeping in view anger of local people

Nanded set for tercentenary of Guru Granth Sahib

S. Harpal Singh


Devotees from all over the world are flooding the city for the
celebration

The Hazur Sahib Gurdwara was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh between 1830 and 1835

35 ‘langars’ which can feed about 5 lakh people a day now functional




— PHOTOS: P.V. SIVAKUMAR





SPIRITUAL CROWN: Baba Ranjit Singh of the Buddha Dal
sports a 200-metre-long ‘sava man da damla’ that weighs 40 kg at the
Sachkhand Sri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib in Nanded for the Gurta Gaddi on
Sunday. (Right) The Holy Granth Sahib recitation in progress at the
shrine.

NANDED (MAHARASHTRA): Centred around the Sikh shrines here, the most
sacred of them being the Takhat Sachkhand Shri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib
Gurdwara, the growth of Nanded city has remained steadfast for the last
300 years as was visualised by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of
Sikhs. He had christened Nanded as ‘Abchalnagar’ or the steadfast city
in October 1708 at the time of elevating the Adi Granth, the holy book
of Sikhs as their perpetual Guru.

A steady flow of devotees and pilgrims from all over the world is
flooding the city, now hosting the tercentenary celebration of this
event and also the one marking the departure of Guru Gobind Singh to
his heavenly abode on November 3, 1708.

Guru Gobind Singh had also raised the status of the gurdwara at
Nanded to that of a Takhat or throne symbolising the seat of authority.
The Sachkhand Hazur Sahib Gurdwara became one of the five Takhats, the
others being the Akal Takhat at Amritsar’s Golden Temple complex,
Takhat Keshgarh Sahib at Anandpur, Takhat Damdama Sahib in Talwandi
Sabo and Takhat Patna Sahib. The first three are in Punjab and the
Takhat Patna Sahib, the place of birth of Guru Gobind Singh is in Bihar.

The Hazur Sahib Gurdwara with the golden dome and intricate art
work, was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh between 1830 and 1835. Nanded
also has 10 other gurdwaras that have historical importance for Sikhs.
The Nagina Ghat, Bandh Ghat, Maltekdi, Heera Ghat, Mata Saheb, Shikar
Ghat, Sangat Sahib, Ratangarh, Gobind Bagh and Damdama Sahib (Basmat)
are located in the vicinity of Nanded. The Nanaksar, Langar Sahib and
Bhajangarh Sahib were later additions to the list of pilgrim sites.

Nanded had been a part of the Hyderabad State ruled by the Nizam
until 1948 when Hyderabad was liberated following the famous police
action. It went into Maharashtra in 1956 when the reorganisation of
States on linguistic basis was done.

One of the unique aspects of the Sikh way of life like the 24-hour
‘langar’ or community kitchen is on display here. Among other things,
the system of ‘langar’ envisages doing away with class and status
within the community.

The NRI langar facility, opened on Saturday, serves to enhance the
overall capacity to feed pilgrims during the tercentenary of the
elevation of the Adi Granth. There are some 35 ‘langars’ functional
here with a cumulative capacity to feed about 5 lakh people per day.

The tradition of ‘langar’ was started by the third Sikh Guru,
Amardas, and it has come to be one of the main activities at community
level for the Sikhs. Irrespective of the social status people eat
seated on one plane that symbolises equality among the members of the
community.

The ‘langar’ cannot be run without the active participation of the
sevadars or volunteers who also signify the importance attached to
community service.

The Langar Sahib Gurdwara here is the largest of such facilities
and in Nanded, which can accommodate about three lakh people every day.
There are others that have been set up by people and organisations from
Punjab.


Long turban




It is simply a matter of routine for Baba Ranjit Singh, an ageing
Nihang Singh of the Buddha Dal of Sangrur district in Punjab who ties
his 200-metre-long turban twice every day. The bulky turban, known as
the ‘sava man da damla,’ weighs about 40 kg.

The Baba is in Nanded to participate in the tercentenary
celebrations. He was spotted sauntering towards the Nagina Ghat
Gurdwara on the banks of river Godavari on Sunday, sporting on his head
the traditional but formidable head gear.


Nihang tradition

The Nihang Singhs comprised the army of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th
Guru of Sikhs and were known as Guru di ladli faujan, the beloved
soldiers of the Guru.

They continue with the tradition of wearing the blue uniform of
which the blue or saffron turban forms a part. Some Nihangs wear the
huge sava man da damla following an incident from the life of Guru
Gobind Singh’s sons.

According to Nanded journalist Ravinder Singh Modi, Sahibzada Jujhar
Singh, the second son of Guru Gobind Singh was denied participation in
a battle by his elder brother Sahibzada Ajit Singh on the grounds that
the former was too ‘small’ or young for it. Sahibzada Jujhar Singh
tried to convince his brother that he was eligible to fight alongside
by tying a huge turban that made him look taller than Sahibzada Ajit
Singh. The Nihangs have since then sported the larger head gear as a
tribute to the young Sahibzada.

Baba Ranjit Singh bathes and washes his hair twice daily after which
he ties the long turban after combing the hair. He then attaches the
small versions of the arms that are carried by the Nihangs. There are
nine small and one big khanda, eight small kirpans, half a dozen small
spears and one simran mala or rosary visible on the turban. He also has
five small arms or shastras besides two small combs tucked inside the
turban. “This exercise takes only two hours,” quips Baba Ranjit Singh.

(Nihang
of the Buddha Dal with traditional “Dastar Bunga” turban, mostly worn
on occasions such as Hola Mohalla.
)

The Dal Khalsa: the Buddha Dal and the Taruna Dal

In 1733, the Mughal government decided, at the insistence of Zakarya
Khan, to stop the persecution of the Sikhs and made an offer of a grant
to them. The title of Nawab was conferred upon their leader, with a jagir consisting of the three parganas of Dipalpur, Kanganval and Jhabal.

After some mutual discussion, the Panj Piare (five revered Sikhs) - Baba Deep Singh, Jassa Singh Ramgarhia, Hari Singh Dhillon,
Bhai Karam Singh and Bhai Buddh Singh decided to make Kapur Singh the
Supreme Leader of the Sikhs. Kapur Singh was thus chosen for the title
and became Nawab Kapur Singh.

Word was sent round to Sikhs passing their days in distant jungles
and deserts that peace had been made with the government and that they
could return to their homes. Nawab Kapur Singh undertook the task of
consolidating the disintegrated fabric of the Sikh Jathas. They were merged into a single central fighting force (The Dal) divided into two sections - The Budha Dal, the army of the veterans, and the Taruna Dal,
the army of the young. Hari Singh Dhillon was elected leader of the
Taruna Dal. The former was entrusted with the task of looking after the
holy places, preaching the word of the Gurus and inducting converts
into the Khalsa Panth by holding baptismal ceremonies. The Taruna Dal
was the more active division and its function was to fight in times of
emergencies and fighting Afghan armies of Ahmed Shah Abdali.

Jassa Singh Ramgarhia and Sultan ul Quam Baba Jassa Singh Ahluwalia were then youngsters who led regiments under Hari Singh Dhillon in the Taruna Dal, reporting to Nawab Kapur Singh at Diwali and Vaisakhi.



Good Read

BJP criticised

Chitradurga: General Secretary of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)
Suresh Mane has said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has lost the
moral authority to be in power in Karnataka. He accused that the BJP
was responsible for the attacks on churches in the State. Addressing a
State-level BSP convention here on Sunday, he charged that the BJP was
practising communal politics. Mr. Mane criticised the party for “having
failed to protect the interests of the minorities.” — Staff
Correspondent



The nationwide rally by Bahujan Samaj Party against Indo-US nuclear deal started from the city here on Thursday.

 
Flagging off rally, BSP South India in-charge Suresh Mane said that the
rally intends to generate public awareness on “perils of Indo-US
nuclear deal” across the length and breadth of the country. Branding
the deal as  a “conspiracy to pledge the sovereignity of the country”,
he called upon the citizens to be vigilant against such destructive
measures.

“Management of nuclear waste is a Herculean task. It requires
investment of crores of rupees to set up waste management unit.
Further, nuclear power could meet only 6 pc of the total demand and
hence, Agreement is an exercise in futility. ”, he reasoned.

He claimed that India will not gain anything from the said deal and the
party has organised the rally  to sensitise people on the perceived
pitfalls of the Indo-US nuclear deal.

The rally is
scheduled to reach KGF via Narasapur, Malur and Tekal and further
proceed to Mulabagal, Srinivasapur, Chintamani, Shidlaghatta,
Gudibande, Gowribidanur, Chikkaballapur, Doddaballapur and reach
Devanahalli in three days.

On
20-10-2008 the Jeep rally from KGF will enter Yelahanka and pass
through Pulikeshinagar, Sarvagna Nagar, Shivaji Nagar, CV Raman Nagar,
KR Puram and Mahdevpura.Will generate public awareness on the perils of
Indo-US Nuclear deal, people’s apathy on the ever rising price rise and
unemployment problem which is because

The country has a poor
record on distribution of wealth

both by the Congress Party at the Centre and the BJP at the State.

Price
rise, regularising unauthorised colonies besides
unemployment and poor living conditions in slums were going to be the
key points to be raised in the Jeep Rally.

 

Explaining
that his party’s priorities were different from those of the Congress
and BJP, state party unit chief said, “BJP and
Congress have only done lip service. That is what we are going to tell
the voters.”

 

Claiming
that all poll calculations will be proved wrong in Karnataka as had been
the case in Uttar Pradesh.

.

 social
engineering of BSP would bear fruit since the party had accommodated
every community and caste while distributing tickets.

Vegetable prices to remain high

The high prices of vegetables and fruits in the City are expected to increase even further in the
coming days, reaching its peak


 This year, it is particularly obvious because of the high inflation rate.

Vegetable prices have
virtually hit the roofs in recent weeks. Carrots
are selling at Rs 48 per kg, tomatoes ( Rs 30 per kg), cauliflower,Cabbage has
risen  to Rs 15 a kg and beans  to Rs 29 a kg.Peas to Rs.150 a kg.
Brinjal (small) prices has doubled and coriander has seen a 300 per
cent increase. Among fruits pomegranate is the highest at Rs 150 per
kg. 

The price rise has hurt both sellers and buyers alike. Sellers have seen their margins
diminish with the rise in costs and buyers now have to fork out more money to meet their basic requirements.


The main reasons for the vegetable price rise is the rising inflationary trends in the
economy. 



Srinath of Reliance Fresh felt that only when there was a nationwide
decrease in inflation levels would the food price levels come down. 
The local vendors and Hopcom outlets  are also facing similar problems
due to rise in vegetable price.

India has 200 million hungry people: report
Gargi Parsai

High levels of child under-nutrition and poor calorie count


NEW DELHI: Punjab, the granary of India, ranks below countries like
Honduras and Vietnam in terms of hunger levels while Madhya Pradesh has
the most severe level of hunger in the country, followed by Jharkhand
and Bihar, says a report prepared by U.S.-based International Food
Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in collaboration with Welthungerhilfe
and Concern
Worldwide, California.
“When Indian States are compared to countries in the 2008 Global
Hunger Index, Madhya Pradesh ranks between Ethiopia and Chad. Punjab, is below Gabon, Honduras and Vietnam,” says
the Country Report released here on Tuesday by G.K. Chadha, member of
Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, on the eve of World Food
Day
.
“India is home to the world’s largest food insecure population,
with more than 200 million people who are hungry,” the India State
Hunger Index (ISHI) said. The country’s poor performance is driven by
its high levels of child under-nutrition and poor calorie count. “Its
rates of child malnutrition are higher than most countries in
sub-Saharan Africa,” the report said.

India, which scored 66th place in the 2008
Global Hunger list of 88
countries, does not have a single State in the ‘low hunger’ or
‘moderate hunger’ categories. Despite years of robust economic growth,
India scored worse than nearly 25 sub-Saharan African countries and all
of South Asia, except Bangladesh.

“Figuring amongst the 88 countries itself is shameful for the
country.. Policy-makers have to think about it. High GDP growth is not
sufficient. Inclusive growth is necessary. The country has a poor
record on distribution of wealth,”
Dr. Chadha said.

The India State Hunger Index measures hunger on three leading indicators and combines them into one index.
The three indicators are: prevalence of child malnutrition, rates of
child mortality, and the proportion of people who are
calorie
deficient. This approach is similar to the 2008 Global Hunger Index,
which includes India, and was also released on Tuesday for World Food
Day on October 16.
The ISHI found that 12 States fell in the ‘alarming’ category, and
one State – Madhya Pradesh – fell in the ‘extremely alarming’ category.
Four States – Punjab, Kerala, Haryana and Assam – were in the ‘serious’
category.

India’s slightly better performance relative to Bangladesh is
entirely due to better access to food in India, which in turn is a
consequence of India’s higher agricultural productivity. On the other
two components of the Global Hunger Index – child underweight and child
mortality – India ranks below Bangladesh.

In a few States, such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu,
calorie deficiency contributes almost as much as child underweight.
The report identified that strong economic growth does not
necessarily translate into lower hunger levels. Even States with high
rates of economic growth in recent years, such as Gujarat,
Chhattisgarh, and Maharashtra, have high levels of hunger, while States
with relatively slower economic growth, such as Punjab, achieved a
lower hunger level.

“Hunger and malnutrition are often rooted in poverty,” said Ashok
Gulati, IFPRI director in Asia. “Part of the solution rests with
increasing investments in agriculture and poverty reduction
programmes.”

How to eradicate poverty and unemployment problem in india ?


Jambudvipa,
that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath is a vast country diversified
geographically and humanly.We can
eradicate poverty and unemployment by making optimum use of our single
most vital asset, i.e. human resource or sheer manpower. It is the duty
of the Government to distribute the nations wealth to all sections of
the society.Supply healthy seeds to the farmers and distribute at least
10 acres of land to the tillers. Provide loans to all those who want to
start bussiness and trade. The Government employees must be montitored
to do their job honestly and sincerly.
Prime Minister


Historic Initiatives By Mayawati



The
one decision to construct Greater Noida-Balia Expressway by Mayawati
Government can change the entire landscape of Uttar Pradesh. Mayawati’s
thought about this mammoth project,only exemplifies her hidden
developmental streak.Nobody even dared to think about this earlier but
Mayawati not only conceptualised this and hopefully, will be able to
complete in time also.
Had the central government taken such
imitative then the state selected would have been either any southern
state or north-western state.U.P and Bihar come last in the reckoning,
always.
This is more significant for the simple reason that a state
chief minister has taken initiative of her own and if other chief
ministers also follow her, then, the infrastructure woes of the country
will be greatly reduced quickly.Nobody knows how much time National
Highways Authority of India,NHAI, will take to provide better motorable
roads to the citizens of this country.
As the U.P and Bihar have
non-UPA governments,it would deliberately not speed up construction
activities due to internal pressure.The condition of roads in U.P is
not bad but it is far worse in Bihar, mainly because of NHAI apathy.NHAI
never bothers to repair even existing National Highways. So,
constructing newer ones is asking for far too much.It is the state
government of Bihar which is managing even NHAI roads.The reasons for
NHAI’s discriminatory attitude is known to everyone.Under the pressure
of Rashtriya Janta Dal,NRJD, NHAI is skirting its
responsibility.RJD,would obviously not want to see the contrasting
picture under Nitish Kumar Government.Under its 16 years rule, RJD had
ensured that no stretch of road remained motorable, so that Charwaha
vidyalayas and bullock-cart transportation could be popularised. NHAI has ensured that the National Highways remain in such
condition that deter any one from travelling on that path.
The
proposed Expressways will pass through many ancient Pilgrimage
centers.Travelling between
Delhi-Kanpur,Kanpur-Allahabad,Allahabad-Varanasi would become a breeze
and millions of reluctant people will finally start visiting the most
sacred places on this earth.There will be all round developmental
activities and millions of employment opportunities would be generated.
Mayawati
has tremendous hold over bureaucracy and she is most likely to achieve
this ambitious feat ,but politicians are already roaming with open
daggers in their hands.They are most likely to stab from behind at the
very first opportunity they get. Like RJD of Bihar they would never like
to see Mayawati as a chief minister who transformed U.P of her very own
will.
If U.P. and Bihar have to come out of the rut then the
respective state governments have to take bold and path braking
initiatives.Bundelkhand has been facing famine for years now but no
concrete measures were taken to improve the situation.Similarly,Kosi
has been flooding a large part of Bihar but no measures to provide some
solace to the victims were ever tried.One or two trains for Bihar
announced by railway minister invites widespread derision and criticism
but they fail to appreciate how this state has been overlooked for
decades.
There are many aspects of Mayawati which should be praised for what is due to her and
this she deserves completely.



Allegation of security lapses in Rahul Gandhi’s programme is baseless


No security lapse during Rahul’s visit: U.P. government

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday rejected the charge
that there was any lapse on its part in providing security to AICC
general secretary Rahul Gandhi during his recent visit to Kanpur.

An inquiry was initiated after the Centre raised the issue with the
State police , which concluded that there was no security lapse during
Mr. Gandhi’s visit on October 24. Mr. Gandhi was provided security as
per the set norms, Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh told
reporters here.

“Whatever confusion was there was due to the organisers and the
State government has nothing to do with this,” Mr. Singh said adding
that Principal Secretary Home Kunwar Fatehbahadur Singh had written a
letter to the Centre informing it about the State government’s stand.


‘Letter not received’

He said the government had not received any letter from the Centre raising the issue of the alleged security lapse.

“The Union Home Secretary and Director IB had talked to U.P.
Director General of Police over phone on the issue and subsequently an
inquiry was ordered by him to probe the matter,” Mr. Singh said. — PTI



Launch drive for realisation of Commercial Tax Dues



Charge of Ban on Rahul Gandhi’s programme totally baseless



C.M. orders for providing Rs. two lakh each to the family members of two deceased of Kalanyanpur village in Jaunpur



State
Government gives nod for prosecuting 12 Senior I.P.S. Officers under
Cr.P.C. Section-197 for irregularities in police recruitment scam



C.M. directs for completing repairing works of damaged roads by October 31, 2008



C.M. condemns attacks on North Indians by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena



C.M. announces increase of Rs. 50 in nutrition allowance for police officers and employees


Maya asks Left for 2 Bengal seats

By Sanjay Basak

New Delhi

Oct. 26: BSP supremo Mayawati is trying to drive a hard bargain with
her new Left allies, particularly the CPI(M) and CPI), over seats in
the coming general elections. These two want to piggyback on her
strength in northern India, and the BSP chief has demanded at least two
Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal. In return, she is ready to give the
CPI(M) and CPI one ticket each in Uttar Pradesh.

Ms Mayawati had earlier decided that her party would contest all 81
seats in UP on its own. The Left is, however, still pitching for some
berths, and sources said she might be willing to leave Ghosi for the
CPI and Varanasi for the CPI(M).

“The talks are on,” a senior CPI leader said. Names are yet to be
finalised, but the sources indicated CPI national secretary Atul Anjan
might contest from Ghosi. The CPI(M) will take a decision only after Ms
Mayawati gives the green signal.

CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat’s plans to strengthen the
party in the Hindi heartland took a major hit when it failed to win
even a single seat in the last UP Assembly elections. This was the
first time the CPI(M) had failed to get any seat in the state.

The Left parties jumped on to the Mayawati bandwagon in the hope
that she could be their ticket to Parliament from UP. But her
unilateral decision to contest all 81 seats caught them on the wrong
foot, forcing them to have to request her to leave two seats for them.

Mr Karat met Ms Mayawati in Lucknow last Wednesday to discuss the
forthcoming Assembly elections in five states, where BSP general
secretary Satish Mishra was also present. The CPI(M) has decided to
support the BSP wherever it does not have any candidate itself in the
election-going states. This, the sources said, “signalled a possible
Left-BSP alliance during the Lok Sabha elections.” While there has been
no response from the BSP side so far, Mr Karat is “working round the
clock to give shape” to his proposed new third front, a CPI(M) leader
said. He added that the BSP was yet to agree to hold any joi-nt rallies
with the CPI(M).

IndiBlitz.com

You read it here first, right from the newsdesk

Caste alone counts for Mayawati as she eyes Delhi (News Analysis)

Lucknow,
Oct 25 (IANS) Bahujan Samaj Party
(BSP) chief and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati appears to be
banking entirely on the caste factor to race to the portals of power in
New Delhi. Be it Original Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great
Prabuddha Bharath, upper castes or religious minorities, she is
wooing them all for what they are.

Having scripted her success story in a
highly caste-ridden Uttar Pradesh where she managed to ride to power in
May last year by way of ’social engineering’, bringing
together the lowest and the highest castes in the Hindu social
hierarchy, Mayawati seems to be hoping to play the same card to capture
the centre.

We need a still broader caste
base to achieve our ultimate goal of grabbing power at the
centre,& she told three consecutive conventions of different
castes, convened by her in Lucknow within a span of 10 days.

Mayawati is busy mobilising the broader caste groups as well as
religious minorities ahead of the general election next year.

It began earlier this month with the
BSP much publicised Muslim conference. Shortly thereafter came
a convention of OBCs and Scheduled Castes, followed by a separate meet
of upper castes - all within a span of 10 days.

The meets turned into mutual admiration
societies, with Mayawati leaving no stone unturned to woo the
respective castes at these conventions and the key invitees singing
paens for the chief minister.

Making no bones about her intent to
mobilise support pointedly on the basis of caste and religion, Mayawati
had also gone to the extent of declaring that every caste or religion
would get its due in proportion to its contribution to the party.

Recalling her mentor Kanshi Ram 
much publicised slogan, jiski jitni sankhya bhaari, utni uski
bhagedaari (every caste will get representation on the basis of its
numerical strength), she has made it a point to tell the crowds
at each meet that the scenario has since changed and the party
new slogan for different castes is jitni jiski tayyari hogi,
utni uski bhagedaari hogi.

The message I wish to convey
through this slogan is plain and simple - the share of every caste in
governance will depend on its preparedness to help the BSP, she
said.

Mayawati has made it a point to list the number of her elected party representatives from different castes and religions.

When it came to the convention of upper
castes a week ago, she said: The prominent leaders of every
caste must get down to mobilising support for the party among their
respective castes.

Just as she went about giving full
points to her party blue-eyed Brahmin face and the BSP
national general secretary, Satish Chandra Mishra, for bringing in a
chunk of upper castes into the party fold, she implored a more recent
entrant, Akhilesh Das, to follow course and ensure larger support of
the Vaishya community.

Likewise, she urged Shahid Siddique, a former Samajwadi Party MP, to mobilise Muslim support for the BSP.

Mayawati makes no bones about caste

being the sole criterion not only in the selection of candidates for
the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections but even in administrative
appointments at all levels.

Be it the appointment of a commissioner,
a district magistrate, a superintendent of police or other key jobs,
the chief minister always seems keen to know the caste of the person.

There have been umpteen occasions when
she has publicly announced the caste of officers handpicked by her for
certain key positions in the state.

aggregator.in

Karnataka: JD(S) to alliance with BSP in LS polls

Bangalore, Oct 25: Ruling out any electoral allliance with Congress,
former Prime Minister and JD(S) National President H D Deve Gowda on
Saturday, Oct 25 said his party will fight the future elections in an
understanding with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).



JD(S) to have alliance with BSP in Karantaka for LS elections



Bangalore

,
Oct 25: Ruling out any electoral allliance with Congress, former Prime
Minister and JD(S) National President H D Deve Gowda today said his party will fight the future elections in an understanding with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

Talking to newspersons here, he said
JD(S) will have an alliance with BSP, TRS, Telugu Desam and Left
parties both in Karnataka and at national level.

Describing the coming assembly elections in Delhi

,
Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh and Jammu and Kashmir
as ‘mini general elections’, Mr Gowda said the results in these states
would set the trend for the coming Lok Sabha elections.

BSP has
already announced its intention to field its candidates for all the
assembly seats in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. JD(S) has also
identified two to three assembly constituencies in Madhyra Pradesh and
Rajasthan, he said.

He alleged that both Congress and BJP, two
major political forces in these six states were struggling to find ways
to fight the anti-incumbancy factor. The mood of the voters was
strongly against both Congress and BJP. ‘’It is not plain sailing for
the two main political parties in these states and people want to have
an alternate political front'’ he said.

He said elections to Lok Sabha were likely to be held either in Aprll or May 2009.

Expressing solidarity with Lok Sabha Speaker Somanath Chatterjee, Mr Deve Gowda expressed concern over the attitude
of the members of the Lok Sabha during the session. He also expressed
regrets over decreasing number of sittings of the Parliament session in
a year. It was only 39 days in 2008, he pointed out.

Calling
upon all the political parties to look into the matter seriously the
former prime minister wondered whether ‘Parliamentary institution was
losing its relevance. ‘’There is a need for all the political parties
to have an intraction on the matter and find ways to restore the
supremacy of Parliament, the highest institution in a democracy'’ he
said.

— UNI


BSP to finalise Delhi poll candidates list early November


New Delhi, Oct 26 (IANS) The Bahujan Samaj Party has
‘made some changes’ in its list of candidates for the Delhi assembly
elections and the ‘final list’ will be released in the first week of
November, a party official said Sunday.

The party has made some changes in the list of
candidates and our final list will be released in the first week of
November,said state party unit chief Brahm Singh Bidhuri.

Delhi will go to polls Nov 29 to elect 70 legislators.

Inflation, statehood for Delhi, regularisation of unauthorised
colonies besides poor condition of roads and electricity shortage will
be the issues that will form part of the BSP’s election campaign.

Complete statehood, regularising unauthorised colonies besides
unemployment and poor living conditions in slums will be the main
issues on which our party will focus in our campaign,said Bidhuri.

However, the party officials are silent on whether the demand for a
judicial probe into the Jamia Nagar shootout in which two suspected
terrorists were gunned down Sep 19 will form a part of the election
campaign.

Although the party MPs have raised the issue in parliament,
whether the demand for judicial probe will form a part of election
campaign in Delhi or not will be decided by our party priesident,Bidhuri told IANS.

With 16.9 percent Original Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great
Prabuddha Bharath population, 15 councillors in the Municipal
Corporation of Delhi and 5.7 percent vote share in 2003, the BSP is
confident of recreating the success of its social engineering effort in
Uttar Pradesh.

Behenji (Mayawati) is thinking about sarvajan (everybody). BSP
will erase other parties from the political scene. People have come to
know about the real colours of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janta
Party who have not done anything for the people, except pay lip
service,said Bidhuri.



comments (0)
11/13/07
Sangha-I. Introduction -Going for Refuge -MAHA BODHI SOCIETY-Questionnaire No.. 1 and Answers of First Year Diploma Course conducted by Mahabodhi Academy for Pali and Buddhist Studies
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 7:25 am

Sangha

I. Introduction

Going for Refuge

The act of going for refuge marks the point where one commits oneself to taking the Dhamma, or the Buddha’s teaching, as the primary guide to one’s life. To understand why this commitment is called a “refuge,” it’s helpful to look at the history of the custom.

In pre-Buddhist India, going for refuge meant proclaiming one’s allegiance to a patron — a powerful person or god — submitting to the patron’s directives in hopes of receiving protection from danger in return. In the early years of the Buddha’s teaching career, his new followers adopted this custom to express their allegiance to the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha, but in the Buddhist context this custom took on a new meaning.

Buddhism is not a theistic religion — the Buddha is not a god — and so a person taking refuge in the Buddhist sense is not asking for the Buddha personally to intervene to provide protection. Still, one of the Buddha’s central teachings is that human life is fraught with dangers — from greed, anger, and delusion — and so the concept of refuge is central to the path of practice, in that the practice is aimed at gaining release from those dangers. Because the mind is the source both of the dangers and of release, there is a need for two levels of refuge: external refuges, which provide models and guidelines so that we can identify which qualities in the mind lead to danger and which to release; and internal refuges, i.e., the qualities leading to release that we develop in our own mind in imitation of our external models. The internal level is where true refuge is found.

Although the tradition of going to refuge is an ancient practice, it is still relevant for our own practice today, for we are faced with the same internal dangers that faced people in the Buddha’s time. We still need the same protection as they. When a Buddhist takes refuge, it is essentially an act of taking refuge in the doctrine of kamma: It’s an act of submission in that one is committed to living in line with the principle that actions based on skillful intentions lead to happiness, while actions based on unskillful intentions lead to suffering; it’s an act of claiming protection in that, by following the teaching, one hopes to avoid the misfortunes that bad karma engenders. To take refuge in this way ultimately means to take refuge in the quality of our own intentions, for that’s where the essence of karma lies.

The refuges in Buddhism — both on the internal and on the external levels — are the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha, also known as the Triple Gem. They are called gems both because they are valuable and because, in ancient times, gems were believed to have protective powers. The Triple Gem outdoes other gems in this respect because its protective powers can be put to the test and can lead further than those of any physical gem, all the way to absolute freedom from the uncertainties of the realm of aging, illness, and death.

The Buddha, on the external level, refers to Siddhattha Gotama, the Indian prince who renounced his royal titles and went into the forest, meditating until he ultimately gained Awakening. To take refuge in the Buddha means, not taking refuge in him as a person, but taking refuge in the fact of his Awakening: placing trust in the belief that he did awaken to the truth, that he did so by developing qualities that we too can develop, and that the truths to which he awoke provide the best perspective for the conduct of our life.

The Dhamma, on the external level, refers to the path of practice the Buddha taught to this followers. This, in turn, is divided into three levels: the words of his teachings, the act of putting those teachings into practice, and the attainment of Awakening as the result of that practice. This three-way division of the word “Dhamma” acts as a map showing how to take the external refuges and make them internal: learning about the teachings, using them to develop the qualities that the Buddha himself used to attain Awakening, and then realizing the same release from danger that he found in the quality of Deathlessness that we can touch within.

The word Sangha, on the external level, has two senses: conventional and ideal. In its ideal sense, the Sangha consists of all people, lay or ordained, who have practiced the Dhamma to the point of gaining at least a glimpse of the Deathless. In a conventional sense, Sangha denotes the communities of ordained monks and nuns. The two meanings overlap but are not necessarily identical. Some members of the ideal Sangha are not ordained; some monks and nuns have yet to touch the Deathless. All those who take refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha become members of the Buddha’s four-fold assembly (parisa) of followers: monks, nuns, male lay devotees, and female lay devotees. Although there’s a widespread belief that all Buddhist followers are members of the Sangha, this is not the case. Only those who are ordained are members of the conventional Sangha; only those who have glimpsed the Deathless are members of the ideal Sangha. Nevertheless, any followers who don’t belong to the Sangha in either sense of the word still count as genuine Buddhists in that they are members of the Buddha’s parisa.

When taking refuge in the external Sangha, one takes refuge in both senses of the Sangha, but the two senses provide different levels of refuge. The conventional Sangha has helped keep the teaching alive for more than 2,500 years. Without them, we would never have learned what the Buddha taught. However, not all members of the conventional Sangha are reliable models of behavior. So when looking for guidance in the conduct of our lives, we must look to the living and recorded examples provided by the ideal Sangha. Without their example, we would not know (1) that Awakening is available to all, and not just to the Buddha; and (2) how Awakening expresses itself in real life.

On the internal level, the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha are the skillful qualities we develop in our own minds in imitation of our external models. For instance, the Buddha was a person of wisdom, purity, and compassion. When we develop wisdom, purity, and compassion in our own minds, they form our refuge on an internal level. The Buddha tasted Awakening by developing conviction, persistence, mindfulness, concentration, and discernment. When we develop these same qualities to the point of attaining Awakening too, that Awakening is our ultimate refuge. This is the point where the three aspects of the Triple Gem become one: beyond the reach of greed, anger, and delusion, and thus totally secure.

Dhammachari Jagatheesan Chandrasekharan handed over to Venerable Ananda Bhante at MAHA BODHI SOCIETY Rupees Five Thousand that was given as purse by Reverand Ronnie Prabhu on 09-11-2007 on the occation of Krishthosava.

MAHA BODHI SOCIETY

# 14, Kalidasa Road, Gandhinagar, Bangalore - 560009. Karnataka, India

Tel; 91-080-22250684, Fax ; 91-080-22264438, Email : info@ mahabodhi.info

Maha Bodhi Society, Bangalore is actively running the following programs. Please participate and make use of the opportunity.

1. Every day puja and meditation, Morning 5.30 a.m. and evening 6.00 p.m.

- to have peace of mind and to lead a good life.

2. Every Sunday discourse at 9.30 a.m to 11.30 a.m

- Teaching the basic teachings of Lord Buddha, meditation undertaking of precepts.

3. Every Saturday and Sunday Abhidhamma classes

- To understand the profound teachings of the Buddha.

Saturday : 3.00 - 5.30 p.m

Sunday : 12.00 - 2.30 p.m.

4. Mnahbodhi Monastic Institute

- Training monks to become the future ambassadors of Buddha Sasana.

5. Mahabodhi Academy for Pali and Buddhist Studies

- Giving diploma in Buddhist Studies through distance education in English, Kannada and Hindhi Languages,

6. Pabbajja course

- Temporary ordination and meditation course for seven days. Normally held once in two momths.

7. Every full moon day Dana service to hospitals

- Helping the patients for quick recovery and for the well being

8. Publishing Every month international magazine  DHAMMA in English

- To spread the teaching of the Buddha to the masses.

9. Publishing once in two months BUDDHA DHAMMA magazine in Kannada

- To Spread Dhamma in Karnataka.

10. Publishing Dhamma books and translation of Tipitaka

- To spread the teachings of the Buddha to the masses.

11. Special poojas and blessing ceremonies are held for devotees. Contact office for arrangments.

12. For more details please contact : Mahabodhi Office at 10.00 a.m. - 5.30 p.m.  ph. 91-080-22250684

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

Maha Bodhi Society is actively running all these programs by your kind help.

It can do further more. No donation is small. Any help or kind donation

from your side is welcome.

May all beings be happy !

 

Sabbadaanam Dhammadaanam Jinaati

 

     Questionnaire No.. 1  and Answers of First Year Diploma Course conducted by

Mahabodhi Academy for Pali and Buddhist Studies

 

Shri. Nyanatiloka

14, Kalidasa Road, Gandhinagar, Bangalore-560009

Tel: 91-080-64501433 Fax: 91-080-22264438

Email: mbou@mahabodhi.info

Web: www.mahabodhi.info

 

 

1.                   Together with the Three Refugees what moral principles should a Buddhist follow?

 

            Together with the Three Refuges the moral principles a Buddhist should follow are the five precepts-Pancasila

 

            In Buddhism, the most important rules are the Five Precepts. These have been passed down from the Buddha himself.

1. No killing                              Respect for life
2. No stealing                            Respect for others’ property
3. No sexual misconduct           Respect for our pure nature

4. No lying                                Respect for honesty
5. No intoxicants                       Respect for a clear mind

2.                  Write down Buddha Vandana in Pali and in English.

 

Buddha Vandana                                                                                   Salutation to the Buddha

 

Iti pi so Bhagava Araham Samma sambuddho             Such, indeed, is the Exalted One: worthy, perfectly enlightened, endowed with knowledge and conduct, well-gone, knower of the worlds, supreme trainer of persons to be tamed, teacher of gods and humans, enlightened and exalted

vijja carana-sampanno

Sugato Lokavidu Anuttaro

Purisa damma-sarathi

Sattha Deva-manussanam

Buddho Bhagava ti

 

         

2.                   Write a brief essay on the meaning of Buddha Vandana, as you understand it.

 

Buddha Vandana

 

Iti pi so Bhagavâ-Araham Sammâ-sambuddho.

Vijjâ-carana sampanno Sugato Lokavidû Anuttarro

Purisa-damma-sârathi Satthâ deva-manussânam

Buddho Bhagavâti

 

Homage to the Buddha

Thus indeed, is that Blessed One: He is the Holy One, fully enlightened, endowed with clear vision and virtuous conduct, sublime, the Knower of the worlds, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and men, enlightened and blessed.

 

3.                  Is the word ‘Buddha’ a personal name or title, or does it stand for an office?

 

 

The word Buddha is a title and does not stand for any office. For example President of any Country is a title. Person could be any one.

 

5.                  Explain clearly the meaning of the word ‘Buddha’ as you understand it.

 

The term Buddha means “Awakened”. As he fully comprehended the Four Noble Truths and as he arose from the slumbers of ignorance he is called a Buddha. Since he not only comprehends but also expounds the doctrine and awakens others, He is called a Samma-Sambuddha –a Fully Awakened One.

 

6.                  Why is he called Buddha? What are the pre-requisites for becoming a Buddha?

Before His Awakenment he was a bodhisattva which means one who is aspiring to attain Buddhahood. He was not born a Buddha, but became a Buddha by his own efforts.  Every aspirant to Buddhahood passes through the bodhisattva period — a period comprising many lives over a vast period of time. During this period he undergoes intensive spiritual exercises and develops to perfection the qualities of generosity, discipline, renunciation, wisdom, energy, endurance, truthfulness, determination, benevolence and perfect equanimity.  In a particular era there arises only one Fully Awakened Buddha. Just as certain plants and trees can bear only one flower, even so one world-system can bear only one Fully Enlightened Buddha.

“Monks, there is one person  whose birth into this world is for the welfare and happiness of many, out of compassion for the world, for the gain and welfare and happiness of gods and humanity. Who is this one person? It is the Tathâgata, who is a Worthy One, a Fully Enlightened One  ~ Anguttara Nikaya”

The Buddha was a unique being. Such a being arises but rarely in this world, and is born out of compassion for the world, for the good, benefit, and happiness of gods and men. The Buddha is called by many epithets, among them The Great Physician, The Giver of Deathlessness, The Lord of the Dhamma (Doctrine).   As the Buddha himself says, “He is the Accomplished One, the Worthy One, the Fully Awakened One.”  The Buddha had no teacher for His Awakenment. His knowledge of the secrets of all existence was realized by himself through his own intuitive wisdom.

“Hard is it to be born a man; hard is the life of mortals. Hard is it to gain the opportunity of hearing the Sublime Truth, and hard to encounter is the arising of the Buddhas.~ Dhammapada 182″

Who is the Buddha?


One may think that the Buddha was a human. But the Buddha denied this too. Once a Brahmin named Dona, approached the Buddha and questioned him.

“Your Reverence will be a deity ?”
“No, indeed, brahmin, a deity am I not,” replied the Buddha.
“Then Your Reverence will be a god?”
“No indeed, brahmin, a god am I not.”
“Then Your Reverence will be a human being?”
“No indeed, brahmin, a human being am I not.”
“Who, then will Your Reverence be?”

The Buddha replied that He had destroyed Defilements which conditions rebirth as a god or a human being and added:

“As a lotus, fair and lovely, By the water is not soiled, By the world am I not soiled; Therefore, brahmin, am I Buddha!”

The Buddha had discovered the path to liberation from the cycles of continued rebirth in this world. Out of compassion for the world, he shows the path and method whereby he delivered himself from suffering and death and achieved man’s ultimate goal. It is left for man to follow the path.

Be islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as your island, the Dhamma as your refuge, seeking no other refuge ~ Maha Parinibbana sutta”

These significant words uttered by the Buddha in his last days are very striking and inspiring. They reveal how vital is self-exertion to accomplish one’s ends, and how superficial and futile it is to seek redemption through self-proclaimed saviours, and to crave for illusory happiness in an afterlife through the propitiation of imaginary gods by fruitless prayers and meaningless sacrifices.

The Buddha was a human being. As a man he was born, as a Buddha he lived, and as a Buddha his life came to an end. Though human, he became an extraordinary man owing to his unique characteristics. The Buddha laid stress on this important point, and left no room for any one to fall into the error of thinking that he was an immortal being. This is important as he sets an example for what we too can achieve if we are to put effort in practising his teachings.

The Buddha’s Greatness


Born a man, living as a mortal, by his own exertion he attained the supreme state of perfection called Buddhahood, and without keeping his Awakenment to himself, he proclaimed to the world the latent possibilities and the invincible power of the human mind. Instead of placing an unseen Almighty God over man, and giving man a subservient position in relation to such a conception of divine power, the Buddha demonstrated how man could attain the highest knowledge and Supreme Awakenment by his own efforts. He thus raised the worth of man. He taught that man can gain his deliverance from the ills of life and realize the eternal bliss of Nibbana without depending on an external God or mediating priests.

He taught the egocentric, power-seeking world the noble ideal of selfless service. He protested against the evils of caste-system that hampered the progress of mankind and advocated equal opportunities for all. He declared that the gates of deliverance were open to all, in every condition of life, high or low, saint or sinner, who would care to turn a new leaf and aspire to perfection. He raised the status of down-trodden women, and not only brought them to a realization of their importance to society but also founded the first religious order for women. He banned the sacrifice of unfortunate animals and brought them within his compass of loving kindness.

“Driven by fear, men go for refuge to many places — to hills, woods, groves, trees and shrines. Such, indeed, is no safe refuge; such is not the refuge supreme. Not by resorting to such a refuge is one released from all suffering. He who has gone for refuge to the Buddha, the Teaching and his Order, penetrates with transcendental wisdom the Four Noble Truths — suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the Noble Eightfold Path leading to the cessation of suffering. This,
indeed, is refuge secure. By seeking such refuge one is released from all
sorrow.
~ Dhammapada 188-192″

He did not force his followers to be slaves either to his teachings or to himself, but through teaching the famous Kalama Sutta, granted complete freedom of thought and admonished his followers to accept his words only after subjecting them to a thorough examination.

He comforted the bereaved who had lost loved ones. He ministered to the deserted sick  with his hands. He helped the poor and the neglected. He ennobled the lives of criminals and courtesans and accepted them into his order of monks.  The rich and the poor, the saint and the criminal, loved him alike. His noble example was a source of inspiration to all. He was the most compassionate and tolerant of teachers.

 

7.                  What is the meaning of the term Bodhi? How many different types of Bodhi are there? Enumerate.

Buddha and Trees

When we read the various accounts of Buddha’s life we can’t avoid noticing the important role trees fulfilled in his life. Most western people have only heard about the tree Buddha sat under when he attained awakenment, but there are many others.

It seems clear to me that the world the physical Buddha was born into, was a place where trees were highly respected and venerated.

The relationship between people and Nature permeated the entire culture, since it was obvious to all that we depend utterly on our environment. In India, as elsewhere in Pagan countries at that time, the Gods and Goddesses were accurate descriptions of Nature’s forces.

There is no doubt that Gautama Buddha was a genuine historical human being, but the way his legend is now told shows that even more ancient elements have grown into the story. We can detect the theme of the archetypal Green Man, who is given birth by the Earth Goddess. He is at One with all of Nature since he is the physical manifestation of it: the green growth. His flowering nourishes the multitudes.

For me this adds an extra attractive dimension to the life story of the founder of what could be said to be the kindest of the Great Religions of the World..

Buddha’s birth in the Sal Forest

The Bodhisatta was born in Lumbini forest, outside the town of Kapilavatthu, in a country we now call Nepal. The native forest here is dominated by a tree called ‘Sal’, Shorea robusta (This is a tree very common in the Himalayan foothills. it was used to build houses and provided many other essential commodities to the local people. We have an illustration and will explore Sal Forest more on the next page).


The Buddha’s Mother, the Queen Maya was travelling with a retinue of servants, to her parental home when she had to give birth

She therefore took her rest under a Sal tree, which immediately bend down a branch for Maya to support herself. As soon as the Queen held on to the tree, the infant Siddharta emerged from her. It is said that “The infant walked seven steps each in four directions of the compass, and lotus flowers sprouted from where his foot touched the earth. Then the infant said, “No further births have I to endure, for this is my last body.”

 

The 7 year old Siddharta meditates
under the Jambolan tree

 

One day, in accordance with royal tradition, there was a royal plowing ceremony held in a field just outside Kapilavatthu. The King, who was to perform the ceremony himself, had Siddharta accompany him.


The boy sat watching the proceedings under a tree referred to in the Patåhamasambodhi as Jambupikkha, which is also known as the Jambolan tree.

 

What happens next is poetically described: The tree “was endowed with lush branches and leaves like a mountain indanil, with broad spread, a shady place…” The prince’s pure mind, endowed with the potential for the future attainment of Buddhahood, was moved to calm and naturally went into the level of concentration (samadhi) known as first absorption (jhana).


In the afternoon, when the plowing ceremony was over and the royal attendants rushed to find the Prince, they found that the shadow of the tree under which he sat had remained where it was at
midday, not following the movements of the sun.”

 

The seven weeks at Uruvela
(now called Bodhgaya) and its Trees

Buddha attained Awakenment under the Boddhi tree at Uruvela on Vaisakha Poornima, the full moon day in April-May month. After that he is said to have stayed for 7 weeks meditating and mastering all his senses, whilst staying under the Boddhi tree as well as some other trees. Various Buddhist accounts of these seven weeks do not always exactly match in some details such as timing, but we have tried to record the essence here. The possibility has to be kept in mind that the seven weeks are more of an allegory or a teaching aid than actual physical history.

Week 1

During the first week the Buddha stayed under the Great Bodhi tree and so does include the awakenment.

This is where, just before his awakenment, he received the bowl of kheer from the shepardess Sujatta. One version of this event is that Sujatta had prepared the food to offer to the tree spirit. When the starving skeleton of the Bodhisattva was found, he was thought to be a physical manifestation of the tree spirit.

This is also the place where Buddha had to face a battle with Mara. Mara is said to be the Lord of Death and desire (craving). Mara tempts people with the illusionary attractions of dualistic thinking: Good and evil, light and dark, success and failure, purity and defilement, life and death, ‘me’ as a separate entity from everything else, and so on.


Mara makes us forget that all these concepts are completely and utterly interdependent. He tells us we can choose for good, for the light, for success, for purity, for life, for our own ego. But of course we can never have the one without the other. No life without death, No good without evil.


Mara’s ultimate challenge to Buddha was to claim (the throne of) awakenment as his own achievement. But Buddha responded that it the result of the accumulated perfections of many previous lives and called on Mother Earth to witness the truth of this statement.

A Buddhist scripture called “The Pathamasambodhi” describes what happens next: “The great earth was incapable of remaining inactive … It sprang up from the earth in the form of a young maiden…” and served as witness for the Bodhisatta. Thereupon, [the maiden] squeezed water from her hair. That water is referred to as daksinodaka, which is all the water that the Great Being had used to consecrate the vows made in his previous lives, which Mother Earth had kept in her hair. When she squeezed her hair, all that water flowed out.


 ”It was a great flow that flooded all the land, like a great ocean….. The armies of Mara were powerless to stop it and were swept away and entirely carried off by the current. As for Girimekhala, Vassavadi Mara’s elephant, it was swept off its feet and, unable to maintain its balance, was carried off to the ocean. …Thus Mara was eventually defeated.”

The place, at the foot of the Bodhi tree, where Buddha sat is known as the “Throne of Awakenment.”  The Buddhist emperor Asoka had a shrine called the Diamond throne  (Vajrasana) erected at this exact place, which is often called “The navel of the Earth”.  A cutting of the progeny of the original Bodhi tree was planted nearby.  It seems reasonable to suppose that the title “Navel of the Earth” was derived from the actual tree, since this symbolism in connection with the tree is ancient and world-wide.

The Buddha’s statement that his awakenment was not just the achievement of the actual person he is now, but also of accumulated mindfulness of many different previous existences (which must have included a long evolutionary chain of all different creatures) is very significant. Again, this is an assertion which includes the whole of the Natural World, as opposed to the dualistic separatism of Mara.

In the ‘light’ of the above, we note that echo’s of Mara continue to be heard in the word ‘awakenment’. Light and dark create and need each other as much as any other pair of opposites. Maybe there might have been better translations of the original word, which must have meant something like ‘receiving (or being) supreme knowledge’???


Be that as it may, Buddha attained his awakenment at dawn. The time when the majority of living creatures wakes up invigorated by resting in the nurturing dark.


It is said that the devas (Nature spirits) played music, danced and sang in his honor.
Their tribute may be seen as another sign of the Buddha at-one-ness or harmony with Nature.

Week 2

Some accounts say that the Buddha spend this second week under the Banyan tree, where he faced Mara again, this time in the form of his three daughters. Their names translated give the following qualities:

None of the sensual attractions offered were able to tempt or distract the Buddha away from his mindfulness meditation.

This particular Banyan tree (Ficus benghalensis) he sat under is also known as the “ajapalanigrodha” tree from ‘ajapala’ meaning ‘a place for goatherds’ and ‘nigrodha’ meaning ‘banyan tree’. According to the legend, this banyan tree had long been a resort of goatherds, and goatherds in the local area had long used the shade of this banyan tree to graze their goats.

Other accounts of the 7 weeks say that Buddha stood in standing posture gazing motionless at the Bodhi tree in this second week and went to the Banyan tree later on.

Week 3

Again we meet with some differences in interpretation. Some hold that the Buddha sat meditating near Mucalinda lake/pond, whereas other think this event took place in week 6.


There was an incredible thunderstorm and a veritable deluge, lasting 7 days, coming down from the sky. However, the snake-king of the lake, called ‘Muchalinda’ came out of the lake and encircled Buddha’s body several times and held his great head above him like an umbrella.

The illustrated history of the Buddha’s life on www.budsir.org interprets the Mucalinda as a type of tree. Here follow two quotes which describe the tree:

·         “The mucalinda is a tree that grows commonly in India, and figures in much Indian literature, such as the Jatakas and elsewhere. In the Vessantara Jataka the mucalinda is the tree to which the Bodhisatta resorted when he was banished to the forest.” (1)

 

·         “In Thailand we call the mucalinda the “jik” tree. This seems to be right, as the places in which the two trees tend to take root are similar: both tend to arise in damp places, such as on river banks, near ponds, along canals and lakes. Its wood is resilient, its flowers hang down, and are white and red in color. The leaves are about the same size as roseapple leaves. The tender leaves are astringent and are tasty used as a vegetable and dipped in chili sauce. The flavor is similar to the leaves of the roseapple tree. Usually the tree has rich foliage and offers good shade.” (1)

The snake was said to have wrapped himself around Buddha seven times and in some pictures, it has seven heads. Snakes have not always had a popular press, but snakes or serpents are an ancient symbol of the life force that has much richness and depth (Read more about this elsewhere on The-Tree) Snakes which eat their own tail are an example and many people are also familiar with the healing symbol of two snakes wrapping themselves around a flowering wand 3½ turns.


Beneficent creatures that come from the bottom of lakes also often symbolise perfect attunement or intuition.


Mythical snakes have of course since ancient times been closely associated with trees. Not just as a tempting voice, like that of the  Snake in the Garden of Eden, but often as a partner with the Tree.
Both Tree and Serpent are beings whose qualities act as a map of the “shape of the world” and its energy-flows. (See
Tree of Life meditation)

This tale shows again that Buddha is completely at one with the World/Life force. This is a state in which we do not suffer from fear even in the heaviest of weathers, commotions or emotional traumas.


The image of Buddha being protectively embraced by the snake is also said to indirectly teach the benefits of developing loving kindness and compassion.(1)

 Week 4

The Buddha spent the fourth week in meditation under the Rajayatana or Ket tree reflecting on the Patthana or the Causal Law.


(Some sources say that he stayed under this tree in the seventh week).
While He sat here in deep contemplation the six rays of blue, yellow, red, white, orange and a combination of all these colours together emanated from His body. The Buddhist flag used in all Buddhist countries is designed on the basis of these colours.

Two caravan merchants from Burma, who were traveling through, heard about the Buddha and went to offer food, but the Buddha had no bowl to receive it in. However four deva kings (Nature spirits, who have the duty of protecting the world) each brought a bowl to offer to the Buddha. The Buddha received the four bowls and through a vow made them all into one. The kings are:

·         King Dhataratha, who lives in the East, is the Lord of the gandhabbas (heavenly musicians).

·         King Virulhaka, who lives in the South, is the Lord of the earth devas..

·         King Virupaka, lives in the West,  is the Lord of the nagas.

·         King Kuvera, lives in the North, is the Lord of the yakkhas.

The merchants became the very first followers of Buddha.

Rajayatana or Ket tree (Buchanania latifolia - Anacardiaceae or Cashew family) medium sized tree found in India, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Yunnan; fruit black, 1-seeded, kernels pear-shaped, 1 cm long, oily, edible, delicious with a combination of almond and pistachio flavours - known as “almondettes” occasionally imported into Europe, eaten raw or roasted or in sweetmeats, pounded and dried fruits made into bread in India, seed oil a substitute for almond or olive oil; bark and fruit yield a varnish; bark used in tanning; browsed; gum used in traditional medicine against leprosy; also used to treat burns, cholera, dysuria, fever, gingivitis, phthisis; wood for fuel; trees grown for erosion control . Kernel 51.8% oil, 12.1% protein, 21.6% starch, 5% sugars. (Facts from UN - FAO)

 Week 5

Buddha returns to the Banyan Tree (Ficus benghalensis).


“He reflected on the truth (dhamma) that he had been awakened to. Realizing how subtle and profound it was, he felt disinclined to teach, wondering whether there would be anyone who could understand his teaching. Thus, part of him was inclined to contentment [merely with his own awakenment], to not bothering to teach others.” (1)

Lord Sahampati was gravely concerned about those thoughts, and declared out loud three times, “Now the world is lost.” The Pathamasambodhi writes: “That sound resounded throughout the ten thousand world systems. Lord Sahampati, together with a retinue of devas, approached the Buddha and formally made a request to him to teach the Dhamma.” 


This “is an allegorical teaching. Translated into a factual statement, we might interpret Sahampati Brahma as being the Buddha’s own compassion. Even though the Buddha was inclined not to teach the Dhamma, another part of him, which was stronger, decided to teach.”


One of the most important statements the Buddha then made was that only by one’s deeds one becomes a perfect Brahmana, and not by birth. This was a radical assertion to make since the cultures of
India and Nepal have rigid caste systems.

 Week 6 and 7

From the sixth to the eighth weeks after the awakenment the Buddha spent his time going back and forth between the Great Bodhi tree and the goatherds’ banyan tree. 


Some accounts report that he sat in the 6th week under the Muchalinda Tree (see week 3) and in the 7th under the Rajayata or  Ket Tree (see week4).

The Buddha began to reflect what would be the best way to go about teaching Dhamma (the truth) and decided to start with his former companions, the five ascetics. 

Other trees in Buddha’s life

On the fourteenth day of the waxing moon of the eighth lunar month, in the eighth week after the awakenment, the Buddha took leave of the area of the awakenment to make his way to the Deer Park, nowadays known as Sarnath, in the vicinity of Varanasi. 


Here he found the five companions with whom he wondered in the forest for several years and here he delivered he also delivered his first teachings.


For the next 45 years the Buddha walked and taught in the region of the Ganges/Ganga river and its tributaries and the Himalayan foothills.


Of course Buddha lived in a time and place when forests and trees were still very abundant. Nevertheless it is truly remarkably how often specific trees and forests are mentioned in various Scriptures

It appears very much as if these trees and places are seen as entities in their own right, with a spirit which deserves recognition. In addition to all that is mentioned already above, we can also note the following:

·         The first Buddhist monastery was a grove of Bamboo trees donated by a regional king.

·         The new community also made a regular habit of holding retreats in forests, for example Palilaya Forest (see illustration above).

·         We could also wonder just how often the trees with their fruits and nuts provided a meal for Buddha and those of his follower monks, who were his traveling companions?

When the Buddha knew that the end of his life was near, he asked his helper Ananda to prepare a bed for him between two Sal trees (Shorea robusta) with his head turned towards the North and this is where he died. The two trees were said to be in full blossom when he died

http://www.budsir.org This is a huge Thai site, dedicated to making Buddhist scriptures digitally available. It contains amongst many other gems a illustrated history of the Buddha’s life. The pictures used to illustrate this page and quotes concerning the Pathamasambodhi and notated quotes derive from the illustrated history on this website.


There are are a wealth of excellent websites if you want to know more about the life of the Buddha. Please also see the links on previous pages

The Bodhi Tree - Ficus religiosa

Ficus religiosa is a variety of Fig tree that was already known as the Bodhi tree, is a sacred tree to Buddhists. It is the oldest depicted tree in Indian art and literature and it can be said that this is the mythical ‘World Tree’ or the ‘Tree Of Life’ of the Indian subcontinent (as we find other locally common trees fulfilling this role in different parts of the world, for example the Yggdrasil the Ash tree in Scandinavia).


On this page we present a overview of various bits of human knowledge about this Sacred Tree.

CONTENTS

·         Botanical Familiy                                            

·         Medicinal Uses of the Tree

·         Animal Fodder

·         Customs and beliefs

 

·         Cultivation

·         Websites

·         Common names

·         Nomenclature

·         Description

·         Habitat

 

Botanical Family

Moraceae (Mulberry family).
The tree is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Urticales, family Moraceae.

Common names

Bodhi tree, Bo tree, Peepal, Beepul tree, Pipal, Pipalla, Sacred tree, Ashwattha, Ashvattha, Sacred Fig, Buddha tree.


Since there are many different languages on the Asian sub-continent, this tree has a huge number of common names, too numerous to mention here.
Some examples follow:


Gujrati: Jari, Pipers, Pipal
Hindi: Pipal, Pipali
Kanarese: Arani, Ashwatha mara, Pippala, Ragi
Marathi: Pimpal
Sanskrit: Ashvatha, Bodhidruma, Pippala, Shuchidruma, Vrikshraj, yajnika
 

Nomenclature

‘Ficus’ is the latin word for ‘Fig’, the fruit of the tree.
‘Religiosa’ refers to ‘religion’, because the tree is sacred in both Hinduism and Buddhism and is very frequently planted in temples and shrines of both faiths.
‘Bodhi’ or its short form ‘Bo’ means ’supreme knowledge’ or ‘awakening’ in the old Indian languages.
‘Pipal’ relates (I believe) to the same ancient roots which give rise to English words like ‘Pip’ and ‘Apple’, and therefore mean something like ‘fruit-bearing tree’.
‘Ashwattha’ and ‘Ashvattha’ come from an ancient Indian root word “Shwa” means ‘morning’ or ‘tomorrow’. This refers to the fact that Ashwattha is the mythical Hindu world tree, both indestructible and yet ever-changing: the same tree will not be there tomorrow.

Description:

General: 


A medium sized tree with a relatively short trunk (often about the height of human being) and a large crown with wonderful wide spreading branches. 


The tree is semi- or fully deciduous in monsoon climates. It becomes leafless for a brief period in dry habitats.


The trunk has smooth grey bark and with age this trunk becomes irregularly shaped, fluted and often has low buttresses. The bark can have brownish specks and peel off in irregular rounded flakes
.

The young tree can be epiphytic. (Epiphytic plants can have aerial roots and do not require soil to grow. This strategy gives young plants many advantages such as plenty of light.  Water is obtained mostly via air humidity. Nutrients, such as nitrogen, are also derived from the air and occasionally from decomposing matter such as leaves and dead insects. The roots seek out cracks and crevices where soil, water and rotting organic matter accumulate. In natural circumstances most epiphytic plants may be attached to tree bark, as something to hold on to, but not in any way feeding off the tree. This is probably because the seeds have been excreted by birds who visited this tree.  Rocks or buildings are other places the young plants may be found. Once the roots reach the ground they switch over to growing as normal trees.)


A spectacular example is shown on the right.

Leaves: 


When the leaves first appear their colour is red-pinkish, but then they turn deep green and grow to about 12 to 18 cm long (5-7 inches). They are attached to long flexible stalks, which makes them rustle, flutter and dance in the slightest whiff of wind. The foliage can often be dense. The alternate leaves are heart-shaped, shiny with an elegant tail-like tip, which is often called a “drip-tip”, guiding water efficiently down to the soil. This prevents the sometimes heavy monsoon rain from collecting on the leaves for prolonged periods, which could make them rot in very warm weather. The leaves have 6-8 pairs of side-veins and a further network of very fine veins. This delicate venation and the ability of the leaf to disintegrate easily in water are both clearly illustrated in the greeting cards which are sometimes made with Peepal leaves. The leaves are soaked for 8 hours (in warm countries) in a bowl of water and then washed carefully under running water until only the veins remain. This skeleton leaf is dried and stuck on a darker background (see illustration on the right).

Flowers: 


The small red flowers appear in February. The tree is dependant on its associated pollinator wasp, Blastophaga quadraticeps to set seed.

Fruit: 

The tree fruits in May/June and bears a small flat-topped figs (12-13mm or ½ inch in diameter), which appears in pairs in the angles of the leaves on the twigs (or above the scars in the bark left by fallen leaves). They have 3 basal bracts, are green at first and ripen to a blackish purple (may have reddish dots). The fruiting tree becomes a treat for many different birds and animals.

Habitat:

Ficus religiosa is known to be a native Indian tree, and thought to be originating mainly in Northern and Eastern India, where it widely found in uplands and plane areas and grows up to about 1650 metres or 5000 ft in the mountainous areas.

 It is also found growing elsewhere in India and throughout the subcontinent and southern Asia, especially in Buddhist countries, wild or cultivated. After at least 3000 years of veneration and cultivation, it is of course difficult to tell exactly which trees are indigenous and which are not. 


It is a familiar sight in Hindu temples, Buddhist monasteries and shrines, villages and at roadsides. People also like to grow this sacred tree in their gardens. In urban situations where there is little room one often finds the tree growing in Bonsai form. Many places derive their name from the tree and one can find villages such as Piprahi and Piperbandha.


Ficus religiosa has also been widely planted in many hot countries all over the world from
South Africa to Hawaii and Florida, but it is not able to naturalise away from its Indian home, because of its dependence on its pollinator wasp, Blastophaga quadraticeps. 
An exception to this rule is
Israel where the wasp has been successfully introduced.

Cultivation:

Each Fig species has an associated species of agaonid wasp to pollinate its flowers. This means that it will only freely propagate itself in its native areas where this wasp is present, unless the wasp gets successfully introduced (see above). In turn the wasps will only lay their eggs in the Figs they are associated with. The pollinator wasp for Ficus religiosa is Blastophaga quadraticeps.


Wherever pollinator wasps are not present, the seeds are therefore not viable and the trees must be propagated from cuttings.


Once established Ficus religiosa can be a very long-lived tree. On page 3 we described the venerable tree in
Sri Lanka which is known to have been planted in the 3th century before Christ’s birth. There is also a veteran tree in Bombay which is even older at about 3000 years.

Known Medicinal Uses of the Tree:

Please note:


It has to be kept in mind that many of the uses reported below, may have been part of a particular system of medicine, mostly Indian Aryuvedic Medicine and the usage of parts of  Ficus religiosa, as given here, may not be as effective outside the general Aryuvedic regime or without the knowledge of an Aryuvedic practioner who would know the finer details of doses and application details.


One of the sources of the indications below, Pushp K. Jain warns the reader with a millennium old quote:


“Proper use makes a good remedy even out of poison while a good medicinal plant acts as a poison if used improperly.” Caraka-samhita (1000 B.C) 

All parts of the tree are cooling and useful in diseases of blood, vagina, uterus, leucorrhoea, burning sensation, biliousness, ulcers. The notable exception here is the milky juice or latex found in the stem, which must be handled with care and which should not be taken internally, as it may be toxic. 

Bark

·         The bark is cooling and astringent.

·         An aqueous extract of the bark shows anti-bacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.

·         The bark is useful in inflammations and glandular swellings of neck.

·         An infusion or decoction of the bark is used with some honey for the treatment of gonorrhoea, ulcers, skin diseases and scabies.

·         Freshly burnt ashes of the bark are steeped in water and given to cure obstinate cases of hiccups, resistant to other home remedies. This preparation also stops nausea. The healers simply burn the bark, collect the ash and store it for future use.

·         A decoction of milk boiled with dried bark is said to be a good aphrodisiac.

·         Unani practitioners blow the powder of the dried bark into the rectum through a pipe in cases of anal fistula and inflammatory swellings as an absorbent. The astringent property of the bark will be helpful here.

·         The dried bark powder is also sprinkled over unhealthy ulcers and wounds to promote granulation.

·         A standard compound preparation, Pancha Valkaladi Tailum, containing several herbs including the decoction of the bark of Peepal is used as an external application in cases of eczema, leprosy and rheumatism. 

·         Leaves and bark are astringent and laxative and are employed together to relieve diarrhea and dysentery and also to help reduce bleeding.

Root bark

·         Root bark is good for stomatitis, to clean ulcers, and it is astringent in leucorrhoea and promotes granulations.

·         According to Unani system of medicine, root bark is aphrodisiac and also good for lumbago

Root

·         Roots are said to be good for gout.

·         The roots are chewed to prevent gum disease.

Fruits

·         The fruit is laxative, promotes digestion, is aphrodisiac, and checks vomiting.

·         Ripe fruits are alexipharmic (an antidote or defensive remedy against poison, venom or infection), are good for foul taste, thirst, and heart disease,

·         The powdered fruit is taken for asthma. It is said that the powder taken with water for two weeks cures asthma.

Seeds

·         The seeds are cooling, laxative, refrigerant.

·         Seeds are useful in urinary troubles.

Leaves (Some of the indication below may seem contradictory, but the therapeutic action is very likely due to combining ingredients and quantities given, etc.)

·         The leaves are used with “ghee” (a clarified butter) as a poultice and applied to boils and to swollen glands in mumps.

·         As female tonic and also as preventive, the traditional healers of Chhattisgarh plains suggest the female patients to use the leaves of Pipal with cow milk regularly, both during attack and disease free time. They instruct them to boil the leaf in milk and drink it, once in a day. 

·         The leaves and bark together are employed to relieve diarrhea and dysentery and to reduce bleeding.

·         The leaves alone are used to treat constipation.

·         The leaves and young shoots together are purgative (strong laxative).

·         In some areas licking honey placed on peepal leaves is believed to cure speech irregularities.

Latex (milky juice in the stems)

·         The latex is used in the same way as other Fiscus species, including application to hemorrhoids, warts, and aching joints. This should never be used internally and must be handled carefully.

Animal fodder

The fruits, tender leaves and twigs of the tree are commonly lopped to provide cattle and elephant fodder.

Some Customs and beliefs associated with the Tree:

The traditions and beliefs surrounding this venerable tree go back into the mists of time. There is an Upanisadic  story of the Pippala tree as the Tree of Supreme Knowledge, which is the great-grandmother to the Bible story of Adam and Eve eating from The Tree of Life.

Ficus religiosa is said to have its mythical origin in the personality of Indra, the ruler of the skies, but many of the Hindu Gods have equally close associations with the tree. It has been called the Tree of eternal life whose roots originate in heaven and whose branches spread on Earth to bring blessings to humankind.


We will explore the religious and philosophical significance of the tree a bit more on page 7 (so as not to overload this page too much) and concentrate here on listing some of the practical side of the beliefs, which has lead to a great variety of customs
.

Vedic Boat


In Vedic times, boats were made of peepal wood. “(6)


I wonder if this usage is related to the tree being connected with the passage of souls to the world of the Dead, because further down we see that the tree is associated with Death, Ancestors and Ghosts. Many cultures all over the world have looked on special trees as vehicles to connect our world with the so called “Otherworld” and the residence of dead souls and ancestors in trees (as well as the trees’ own spirits) is universal.

Inspiration


The peepal has inspired artists and sculptors for centuries to create graphic designs and sculptural friezes which stylise its branches as a symbol of a rich life. “(8)


The leaves of some of the temple trees are highly prized as relics which pilgrims take home with them..
The leaves, which are about the size of a hand, have also been widely used as a canvas for small paintings, sometimes describing mythical or religious themes or also just rural scenes.

Fertility

The ashwattha symbolises the continuity of life because the tree itself lives and grows for hundreds of years. Childless couples devoutly believe in its powers and worship it, tying threads of white, red and yellow silk around it to pray for progeny and rewarding parenthood.”(8)


Women circumambulate the peepal tree to be blessed with children or to gain a desired thing or person.”(6)


Watering the bodhi tree enhances another aspect of its magic: the power of fertility. ‘Villagers come to the bodhi tree” observes Godakumbura “and having made due observances, pray for a male child, thus continuing the original fertility image” (1)


“Godakumbura enumerates a number of factors which seem to assert the fertility aspect of this tree. “When we consider the history of the bodhi tree, we notice that from the very beginning of its recorded history it was attended by females… Emperor Asoka had sent it to
Ceylon accompanied by the Theri Sanghamitta and Bhikkunis, making a total of twelve. Along with the large retinue that was sent to attend on the bodhi tree, Asoka also sent four royal maidens to pour water on the tree during the festivals that took place at the port. The bodhi tree was sprinkled with water by virgins of the Ksatriya, Vesya and Brahmana clans…. At Anuradhapura, the duty of attending on the bodhi tree fell to the nuns, the order which was founded by Theri Sanghamitta. 


The four royal maidens who were appointed by the king to sprinkle water on the bodhi tree were called peraehara bisavu (
Bath Maidens). The ‘Sinhala Bodhivamsaya’ (The Chronicle of the Bodhi tree) describes in detail the institution of peraehara biso “Saying that four royal virgins should pour water on the Bodhi-tree with golden and silver pitchers, the king decked them with every kind of ornament and appointed them to the office of Peraharabiso. All four of these royal virgins entered the king’s palace with great splendour. The position of the Peraharabiso maidens was somewhat like that of the Vestal Virgins in ancient Rome


Today, however, this ritual is conducted not by maidens but by monks and laymen. Bodhi-pujas, offering of vows to the bodhi has become today extremely popular. The bodhi tree which makes rains fall, crops grow and blesses women with offspring is, thus, tended with care and veneration by the Sri Lankan Buddhists. “(1)

Marriage


The Banian (Ficus benghalensis) tree is  ” supposed to be a male tree, while the Aswath-tha or Peepul (Ficus religiosa) is looked upon as a female, whence the lower orders of the people plant them side by side and perform the ceremony of matrimony with a view to connect them as man and wife”.(7)


In
Bengal, peepal and banyan trees are married..”(6)


“In Awadh, if a girl’s horoscope predicts widowhood, she is first married to a peepal tree on Chaitra krishna or Ashwin Krishna tritiya. In olden days, when remarriage was forbidden for girls, young widows were married to the peepal tree and then allowed to remarry.”(6)


“People belonging to Dhantale caste who reside in
Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh use a branch of the peepal tree in the marriage ceremony. The branch, along with a pot of water, is placed between the bride and groom. The village deity is installed under the peepal tree which also provides a shaded place to hold the panchayat.”(6)

More healing properties


Watering the bodhi tree even at other times is a common rite observed in all temples. Folklore has it that giving life to the bodhi tree by watering it is similar to giving life to a being who is in need of it. When someone is taken fatally ill, it is the custom for one of his relatives to visit the bodhi, water it seven times on seven days and make vows on behalf of the sick for speedy recovery.” (1)


The air purification properties of Pipal tree are also mentioned in ancient Indian literatures”. (7)


“The natives informed me about the benefits of taking bath under the Pipal tree.” (7)

Death, ancestors and ghosts


Peepal tree is also believed to be the abode of Lord Yama (god of death) and ancestors. Offerings made at its roots are believed to reach them. In Rajasthan, if a man dies, his son pours 300 buckets of water at the root of a peepal tree and circumambulates it five times so that his father’s soul would rest in peace. In Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, water, milk and sesame seeds are offered to ancestors in an earthen pot hung on the peepal tree.” (6)


The natives of rural areas associate Pipal tree with Bhoot (ghost) and according to them, this tree is home of ghosts. This is the reason that during night time, they hesitate to go near these trees.”(7)
The Munja ghost is also believed to stay on peepal tree.”(6)


The Thai people also believe that ghosts live in the tree and it is said that their whispers can be heard in the rustling leaves of the tree.

Rites of passage


A peepal tree is planted to the east of the house or temple. Eight, 11 or 12 years after the tree has been planted, the upanayan ceremony is performed for the tree. A round platform is constructed around the tree. Different gods like Ashwattha, Narayan, Vasudev, Rukmini, Satyabhama are invoked and worshipped. All the rituals of the upanayan ceremony are performed and then the tree is married to the basil plant.”(6)

Gods and the Tree

“Once, Agni (the fire god) left the land of the gods, took the form of Ashwattha and resided on the peepal tree for a year. Since then, Peepal is also known as Ashwattha.”(6)


“According to Padmapuran , Vishnu turned into a peepal tree because of a curse by sage Ambarish.”(6)
“Once, all the gods decided to visit Shiva. However, Narad informed them that it was an inappropriate time for a visit as Shiva and Parvati were in solitude. But Indra did not heed the advice and assured the gods that there was nothing to fear when he was there to protect them. Narad reported Indra’s arrogance to goddess Parvati. She cursed the gods that they, along with their wives, would turn into trees. When the gods asked for forgiveness, she promised that as trees, they would attain fame. Thus Indra turned into a mango tree, Brahma became a palash tree and Vishnu turned into a peepal tree.”(6)

Peepal and the Neem tree


In Tamil Nadu, peepal and neem trees are planted so close to each other that they mix up as they grow. A naga idol is placed under them and worshipped. This is believed to bless the worshipper with wealth. Women take an early morning bath and circumambulate these trees.”(6)

Other Rituals


Chakkiliyan people in Tamil Nadu place the Gangamma ghatam under a peepal tree near a river and worship it for ten days.”(6)


“Tribals in
Bengal call the peepal tree as Vasudev (a Hindu God). They water the plant in the month of Vaishakh and at times of difficulty.”(6)


“Peepal tree is planted in the temples of Shani and Hanuman. The tree is worshipped on Saturday, especially in the month of Shravana, because goddess Lakshmi sits under the tree on this day. Any person who waters the tree is believed to earn merit for his progeny, his sorrows are redeemed and diseases cured. The peepal tree is also worshipped to escape from contagious diseases and enemies.(”6)


Another popular ritual connected with the Bodhi-tree is the lighting of coconut-oil lamps as an offering (pahan-puja), especially to avert the evil influence of inauspicious planetary conjunctions………The other aspects of this ritual consist of the offering of flowers, milk-rice, fruits, betel, medicinal oils, camphor, and coins. These coins (designated panduru) are washed in saffron water and separated for offering in this manner.. The offering of coins as an act of merit-acquisition has assumed ritualistic significance with the Buddhists of the island. ………..Another part of the ritual is the hanging of flags on the branches of the tree in the expectation of getting one’s wishes fulfilled……Bathing the tree with scented water is also a necessary part of the ritual. So is the burning of incense, camphor, etc. Once all these offerings have been completed, the performers would circumambulate the tree once or thrice reciting an appropriate stanza. “(1)

Worship of the tree

“The Vibhanga Commentary (p.349) says that the bhikkhu who enters the courtyard of the Bodhi-tree should venerate the tree, behaving with all humility as if he were in the presence of the Buddha. Thus one of the main items of the daily ritual at the Anuradhapura Bodhi-tree (and at many other places) is the offering of alms as if unto the Buddha himself. A special ritual held annually at the shrine of the Anuradhapura tree is the hanging of gold ornaments on the tree. Pious devotees offer valuables, money, and various other articles during the performance of this ritual.”(1)


“To the Buddhists, the Bodhi-tree became a sacred object belonging to the paribhogika group of the threefold division of sacred monuments, while the ordinary veneration of trees, which also exists side-by-side with the former in Sri Lanka, is based on the belief already mentioned, i.e. that there are spirits inhabiting these trees and that they can help people in exchange for offerings. “(1)


Ficus religiosa leaves, which are about the size of a hand, have been widely used as a canvas for small paintings, sometimes describing mythical/ religious themes and also just rural scenes.

 

Some informative web pages, which have been consulted for this page:

·         1. http://srimahabodhi.org/index.htm

·         2. http://www.hinduweb.org/home/dharma_and_philosophy

·         3. http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/CropFactSheets/ficus.html

·         4. http://www.meadev.nic.in/photogallery/perspec/june2001/peepal.htm

·         5. http://www.meadev.nic.in/photogallery/perspec/june2001/peepal.htm

·         6. http://festival.indiatimes.com/articleshow/-1799077021.cms

·         7. http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/142_pipal.html

·         8. http://www.soulkurry.com/v2/culture/article.php3?articleid=64

Buddha and
the Bodhi tree

James Ricalton, the extraordinary traveller, who left us a photo and description of The Sacred Bo-Tree of Lanka in 1891 (see below)

The oldest living continually documented tree in the world

Many sacred trees in India and other countries are originally raised from seeds brought from the ancient Bodh Gaya tree (Photo on the right shows the entrance to the tree shrine). A shoot of the original Bodhi tree was taken to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century B.C. by Bhikkhuni Sangamitta, daughter of the Buddhist emperor Ashoka. The Lankan king Devanampiya Tissa planted it at the Mahavihara monastery in Anuradhapura where it still grows to this day. The event was documented in the the Mahavamsa or the Great Chronicle of the Sinhalese.
It is also recorded that forty Bodhi-saplings that grew from the seeds of the original Bodhi-tree at
Anuradhapura were planted at various places in the island during the time of Devanampiya Tissa himself. It has been a custom for every Buddhist monastery in the island to have its own Bodhi-tree. Nowadays the tree has become a familiar sight in Sri Lanka, and it is possible that all were derived from the original tree at Anuradhapura through seeds. No one know whether or not the Bodhi tree (Ficus religiosa) was indigenous before the introduction of the Anuradapura tree, as this cannot be proved or disproved.

Below you find a couple of brief and extremely readable extracts left to us by James Ricalton, who visited the tree in 1891. James was a much-loved teacher in Maplewood, USA, whose great passion was traveling all over the world. He also played a part in the physical enlightenment of our houses. Thomas Edison, a local friend of James, asked him to search the Far East for a bamboo filament to use in his new electric light bulb. He delivered hundreds of samples to Edison, together with his recommendation for the two species he felt most suitable. For nearly nine years (until Edison discovered something better), all Edison lamps were made with the bamboo filaments that Ricalton discovered. 

The Sacred Bo-Tree of (Sri) Lanka

ANURADHAPURA - “More than a hundred years before Tsin-Shee Hwang-Tee had set his millions of laborers at work on the great wall of China, ancient Anuradhapura was a flourishing city and the capital of Lanka, as the island was called by the ancients. It was a youthful contemporary of Babylon and Nineveh, greater than either in territorial area, and was in its glory and amplitude when Rome and Carthage were young”.


The Sacred Bo-Tree of Lanka
(The oldest historical tree in the world having stood for more than 2130 years)
From a photograph by James Ricalton.)

“For a time I become a pilgrim myself, and join their number, that I may witness the object of their devotion as wonderful to me as it is worshipful to them. We reach the uppermost of three successive terraces of masonry, which is crowned by the multiple trunk of a venerable tree. The several divisions of this tree are feeble, gnarled, and bent; the leaves lack the fresh verdancy of a vigorous growth, and plainly show the yellowish pallor of decrepitude. The soil that nourishes its roots is wellnigh saturated with the oil of its anointment; yet, bent with age, this patriarch spreads its protecting arms over the jaded devotees, while they deposit beneath it and around it their offerings of coconut-oil, palm-blossom, champac flowers, and the bloom of the temple-tree (frangipani). Then their eager gaze is turned upward to the branches; they crave a single leaf, but none would dare pluck it from the tree; it must fall in full maturity to yield its maximum of merit. I had travelled nearly a hundred miles to look upon this wonderful tree, and was also anxious to carry away a specimen of its sacred leafage. A passing breeze sways the branches; the leaves rustle; the watchers gaze more expectantly; a withered member is separated from its branch and comes sailing down. There is no whoop of exultation, no trifling smile; but instead, a determined sally, a pious scramble, a collision of zealous hands and heads, and the solitary leaf is borne away in the happy bosom of the successful competitor. The prizes were few and the competitors were many, so I could only hope to secure one by remaining till the pilgrims, at nightfall, had turned their steps homeward, which I did; but even then robed monks remained to guard this holy of holies.
As if, however, to reward my patience, two leaves fell at my feet, whereupon, well satisfied, I turned away from a tree that is enshrined in the hearts of four hundred millions of the human family, and which is, in all probability, the oldest historical tree in the world; and when I tell the reader that it has been dropping its consecrated leaves into the outstretched hands of pilgrims for two thousand one hundred and thirty years, he will, I trust, pardon a desire on my part to carry away a memorial.”

by James Ricalton in 1891


The stone surround and steps leading to the ancient Anuradhapura Bodhi or Bo-Tree in modern days. Note the many prayer flags hanging in the foreground.

Brief history of the Mahabodhi Temple

About 250 years after the Enlightenment, Buddhist Emperor Ashoka visited Bodh Gaya with the intention of establishing a monastery, shrine, and erecting the diamond throne (called the Vajrasana), the Seat of Awakenment. He is considered the founder of the Mahabodhi Temple.

During the 12th century AD, Bodh Gaya and the nearby regions were invaded by Muslim armies. Afterward, the Mahabodhi Temple fell into disrepair and was largely abandoned. During the 16th century, a Hindu monastery was established near Bodh Gaya. Over the following centuries, the monastery’s abbot or mahant became the area’s primary landholder and claimed ownership of the Mahabodhi Temple grounds.

In the 1880’s, the new British government began to restore Mahabodhi Bodhi under the direction of Alexander Cunningham. A short time later, in 1891, the Sri Lankan Buddhist leader Anagarika Dharmapala started a campaign to return control of the temple to Buddhists, over the objections of the mahant. The campaign was partially successful in 1949, when a new Temple law was passed and the daily management passed to a temple committee with 4 Hindu and 4 Buddhist members and a Hindu chairman.

From 2002 the Mahabodhi Temple has been an UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Details of carvings on the Stupa near the Bodhi tree

 

Some 19th century pictures of the Bodhi tree


Watercolour, 19th century By Thomas Daniel 

 


Painting of the Temple in 1830 by Charles D’Oyly

 


Engraving, 19th century By William Daniel 

The teachings of Buddha

After Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, he bathed in the Nairanjana (also spelled ‘Nerañjara’ )river, now called the river Phalgu. He is said to have spend 7 weeks (some say 50 days) in or near Uruvela village after his enlightenment, and this place was later called Bodh Gaya in honour of what happened here.
(We will write more about these 7 weeks on page 6, because not only was the Bodhi tree (a Fig tree, called Ficus religiosa)  involved during this period, but several other trees are also explicitly mentioned in various Buddhist traditions.)

“Seven weeks he tarried there, mastering his senses, while that be himself, knew the high bliss of deliverance and let (others) behold its felicity.” (Mahavamsa chapter 1)


Sarnath, also known as the “
Deer Park“,
 the place where Buddha presented his first teachings.
 One of the 4 holy places of Buddhism.

Then Buddha went to Sarnath, also known as the “Deer Park” to find the companions he used to wander with in the forest. The five ascetics were not impressed seeing that the Buddha was no longer a complete starving skeleton and reminded him of his former vows of denying the body. They made some fun of him saying things like: “Here comes the mendicant Gautama, who has turned away from asceticism!”

However Buddha said “Austerities only confuse the mind. In the exhaustion and mental stupor to which they lead, one can no longer understand the ordinary things of life, still less the truth that lies beyond the senses. I have given up extremes of either luxury or asceticism. I have discovered the Middle Way“.

Of course we don’t know exactly what happened between Gautama Buddha and his old friends. He may have told them how an instrument cannot make harmonious music if the strings are not just exactly strung right: “Too slack and they won’t play at all. Too tight and they break!” He may have used other examples to convince them to consider the Middle Way, but whatever took place: the five ascetics became his first disciples and found enlightenment too . Some say that the Buddha emanated light, which convinced the ascetics.

Gautama Buddha started teaching not to debate but for the advantage of and out of compassion for human beings. 
He explained the middle way which avoids extremes..
Very briefly, the essence of this teaching can be summed up by the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-fold path.

The Four Noble Truths

The Eight-fold Path

 

Monks meditating and praying near the Bodhi tree

Other major teachings, which all Buddhist schools agree on, are:

·         The law of dependent causation: Events are not predestined, nor are they random, but events are caused by the actions that preceded them.

·         Rejection of the infallibility of accepted scripture: teachings should not be accepted unless they are borne out by our experiences.

·         Anicca: All things are impermanent.

·         Anatta: There is no eternal soul, and the perception of a constant “self” is an illusion.

After his birth in what is now Nepal, the ascetic phase of Gautama played mostly in Southeastern India. The enlightenment and first teachings at Sarnath took place in the Buddha’s 35th year.
For the remaining 45 years of his life, he traveled the Gangetic Plain of central India (region of the Ganges/Ganga river and its tributaries), teaching his doctrine and discipline to an extremely diverse range of people, from nobles, street sweepers, outcastes, and including many adherents of rival philosophies and religions. His religion was open to all races and classes and had no caste structure. He founded the community of Buddhist monks and nuns (the Sangha) to continue the dispensation after his death and Paranirvana or complete Nirvana. He made thousands of converts.

To shun all evil.
To do good.
To purify one’s heart.
This is the teaching of the Buddhas.
       Dhammapada, XIV, 5

Buddhism largely consists of the doing of good action, the avoidance of bad action, and mental training. The aim of these practices is to put an end to suffering and achieve enlightenment; either for oneself, or ideally for all beings. Enlightenment leads to touching or abiding in nirvāna (Sanskrit: “Extinguishing.”). When you achieve this you do not have to be reborn again because you are no longer part of the wheel of pain and suffering. Yet some enlightened beings, such as the Dalai Lama and other great teachers, renounce this achievement and choose to be reborn again to work for the greater good of all sentient beings.
Buddhist morality is guided by principles of harmlessness and moderation. Buddhists frequently use meditation to try to gain insight into the fundamental operations of human psychology and the causal processes of the world.
While Buddhism does not deny the existence of supernatural beings (indeed, many are discussed in Buddhist scripture), it does not ascribe power for creation, salvation or judgment to them. Like humans, they are regarded as having the power to affect worldly events, and so some Buddhist schools associate with them via ritual.

 

The 4 holy places of Buddhism

There have traditionally been 4 holy places in Buddhism, which are all much visited by pilgrims. They are:

Prayer flags near the Bodhi tree

The Sacred Bodhi tree in Bodgaya

The Bodhi tree, which so many Buddhist pilgrims travels from far places to come and see,  is situated in the Mahabodhi Temple complex in Bodh Gaya.. It is believed that the tree has died or has been destroyed at least five times. However, it has always been replanted from offspring of the previous tree.
Quite early on a cutting of the original tree is said to have been planted in
Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka (You can read about this tree on the following page). The present tree in turn has grown from a sapling of the Anuradhapura tree.


Many tales are told about the Sacred Bodhi tree. It is believed that the original tree sprang up the day the Buddha was born

Bodh Gaya is now quite an international town. Over the years Buddhists of different countries (Burma or Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Japan, Tibet, China, Thailand, Bhutan) have built temples, stupas, monasteries, guest houses, and meditation centres in their own particular architectural styles. These are decorated with colourful images and Buddhist symbols. Many of them date back to the 8th to 12th century.


The Bodhi tree is close to the Stupa in the Mahabodhi Temple

Want to learn more about Buddhism?

Some of the information on these pages about Budhist teachings and the Mahabodhi Temple is derived from Wikipedia, a marvelous free Internet encycopedia with excellent and very comprehensive sections on the Buddha and his life  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gautama_Buddha and Buddhism and its teachings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism
It is probably one of the best sources on the Internet, which allows a beginner to get a good overview of Buddhist doctrines and its various schools.

Buddha and
the Bodhi tree

Buddha reached enlightenment, whilst sitting under a variety of Fig tree known as Ficus religiosa. In these pages we learn more about this extraordinary event, the place where it happened,  the tree species involved and we end with some contemplations about ancient Buddhism and trees. 


The Sacred Boddhi tree in in the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodgaya in 2004 CE. The tree is a descendant of the actual tree under which Buddha reached enlightenment.
Photo courtesy of Dan Minock
(from Beva pilgrimage website)

The Awakenment of Buddha

The birth of Buddha and the prophecy

In 544 BCE, over five centuries before the birth of Christ, the ruling family of the Sakyas in the kingdom of Magadha (an area which is now in Nepal) was enriched by the addition of a baby boy.
It was tradition for a woman to give birth in her parents house, but whilst on her way there, Mayadevi (also known as Mahamaya) his Mother, started her labours and so it was that a very special baby was born in Lumbini forest in
Nepal.


His name was Siddhārtha Gautama (Also spelt ‘Gotama’) and a highly respected hermit and seer foretold that this boy would become a great holy man or the greatest religious teacher in the world.
Siddhārtha’s Father, Suddhodana, was mighty upset by the prediction concerning his child. He had a different vision for his son and heir and wanted him to follow in his footsteps rather than face the rigours and austerities of becoming a holy man.


He took a great deal of trouble to give the boy a most enjoyable life and to shield him from the tragedies and pains all living creatures will have to endure at times. All to make sure that Siddhārtha would not be tempted to choose the spiritual path and aspire to be anything else but a prince.

Buddha’s first exposure to pain and suffering


Everything went according to plan. The young Siddhārtha thrived and excelled at many arts and activities. In time he was married to a beautiful woman, and a little son was born to the young couple.
Some legends say that on the occasion of the celebrations for the birth of this son, it was the first time ever that Siddhārtha was exposed to the world outside the 3 palaces in which he had been kept a happy prisoner.


The event deeply affected the sensitive young man and was to change his life for ever. He saw what has become known as the 4 “Passing sites”: an old crippled man, a sick man, a decaying corpse, and finally a wandering holy man. Siddhārtha was profoundly bewildered by the suffering he beheld and the realisation that that birth, old age, sickness and death came to everyone, not only once but repeated for life after life for endless aeons.


He felt the need rise within himself to find out if there is a way in which this suffering can be stopped or transformed. His heart flowed over with compassion at the thought of so much pain and anguish for all of humanity, and he set off to lead the life of a wandering holy man, determined not to return until he had found a path that would resolve suffering.

Six years (from age 29 to 35) as a wandering ascetic


There is an ancient tradition that by denying the flesh, we set the spirit free. In Hinduism it was thought that through advanced mind control and ascetic practices, it is possible to set the soul free from cycle of rebirth with its inevitable pain and suffering. The famous Holy people of
India are a good example of humans trying to achieve such a goal and there were a great number of these 2½ millennia ago.
For 6 years Siddhārtha lived the life of an ascetic. He sought instruction from hermit teachers and is said to have surpassed them in his practice, but he did not find the answer he was looking for. He and a small group of companions decided to take their ‘flesh-denying’ practices to the extreme. They practiced breath control, including holding the breath and are said to have survived on merely one grain of rice a day. He became a skeleton and nearly died.

Buddha’s Awakenment under the Bodhi tree


Their are different accounts of how Siddhārtha reached enlightenment, although all of these stories have very similar elements.


Everyone seems to agree that he had begun to realise that starvation and denying the body leads to yet more pain and suffering rather than resolving it. 


At dawn on Vaisakha Poornima, the full moon day in April-May, the kind daughter of the village chief of Senani, Sujata, brought him a bowl of kheer (sweet thickened milk). It is said that the gods had infused the kheer with ambrosia. 


He sat down under the Boddhi Tree to eat it.  ‘Bodhi’ means ‘to awaken’ and ‘Buddha’ means ‘one who is awake’. Siddhartha attained Samma Sambodhi, the Enlightenment that he had been seeking for six years. He was no more a seeker … he had become the Buddha.


The Sacred Boddhi tree in the
Mahabodhi Temple in Bodgaya, India

Ancient Universal principles and archetypes in Buddhism

In spite of all its beneficence Buddhism is undoubtedly a patriarchal religion.
Many of the visitors to websites like this feel a deep longing in their hearts for eco-spirituality. a way of being which embraces non-hierarchical, non-species-ist, non-exploitative, and non-violent, etc. ideas. A spirituality that includes the sacredness of the physical world here and now, as well as other dimensions.


This is why, very briefly, I will sum up some of the ancient universal principles and archetypes incorporated in Buddhism, which have their foundation in the old Nature religions.

·         Maya, His Mother

·        
The name of Buddha’s mother: Maya or Maia originates from the root ‘ma’ from which such words as Mama, making, magic, majesty, moon, month, menses, measure, meter, men, mental, mind, etc. are derived.


She is the pregnant womb of infinite potentiality, the World Virgin, the Cosmic Cauldron of Creativity, Nature made Manifest. She is the endless play of manifestations, which may seem similar yet are never exactly the same. She is the Mother of us all and the magical month of May was called after her..


In Greek myth Maia also was the Mother of the God Hermes, who was a healer and the messenger of the Gods. We come across her in many cultures and with many name variations. Examples are: Maga the Grandmother- goddess who bore Cu Chulainn’s mother; Mary, who was the Mother of Jesus Christ; the May-maiden of Scandinavian mythology.
She is often portrayed as an enchantress for she is the one who appears to make something out of nothing. She has been called ‘the self-projection of the Supreme’. She is much maligned, especially in patriarchal religions as a ‘temptress’, ‘the (oh, so temporary) pleasures of the flesh’, the one who brought pain and death by the virtue of giving life. The Hindu Maya was said to be ‘She who measures’ and ‘Illusion’.


However, her world of appearances gives Divine intelligence (of which we are a little spark)  the opportunity to know its own true nature and to experience its own endless possibilities.

·         Born and enlightened in the April/May month
It seems to me that the emphasis on the timing of Buddha’s birth and enlightenment points in the direction of the Buddha being not only himself but also a representation of the much older archetype of the Green Man, son of Mother Nature or the Earth Goddess. Buddha’s growth and flowering resonate to her great cycles.

 

·         The Union with Nature: Trees, Nature Spirits, Rain making


In the life story of the Buddha there are countless instances where is he and Nature all around him are completely in tune and at one. We’ve already explored how his relationship with various trees is described, and especially how he becomes at one with or receives enlightenment under the tree. We’ve also heard how all the Nature spirits delighted in his attainment and celebrated it. There are also various accounts of Buddha making rain when he visits drought-stricken areas.

·         The compassion that includes all


Buddha did not seek enlightenment just for his own sake, but to relieve the suffering and pain of all beings.
This too is an ancient theme as a quality which belongs to the son of Nature’s growth. The Green Man (vegetation) is harvested so all creatures can eat, and grow and ‘become’. The God Hermes, also the son of the Goddess Maia, is a healer. Jesus, the virgin Mary’s sun, is sacrificed to save the world.
Similarly Buddhism nurtures compassion and non-violence to all beings, a manifestation of the enlightened knowledge that we are all One.

 

 

Sal forest and Lotus flower

Buddha and the Sal tree

According to the various scriptures Buddha was both born and died under Sal trees. A branch of the tree bend down to support his Mother Maya and as soon as she held on to the tree, the baby appeared. He choose to lay down between two Sal trees to die and although this is said to have happened on the “15th day of the waxing moon, on the sixth lunar month, or the month of visakha” the trees were in full bloom when he died.


This is of course partly an allegory, but also indicates again his miraculous relationship with these trees. Usually the tree blossoms earlier at the onset of spring. I have never seen this myself but have read that the festival of Sarhul which means the sal blossom festival is to this very day celebrated by various tribes of the Chotanagpur plateau.


(This seems to be a festival of ancient Pagan origins. Prayers and sometimes sacrifices are made to
the Gods and Goddesses of Nature to ask for for protection and blessings on all beings in the forest. Where hunter-gathering is no longer practiced and agriculture has taken over, prayers are made for a good and abundant crops. Where the forest has been cleared a cluster of Sal trees has usually been kept as a place of worship or communication with the Nature Spirits. This is called “The Saran” or Sacred Grove. Last years seeds, such as rice, are blessed and ceremonially mixed with cow dung and this will be mixed with the rest of the seeds to be sown. Sal flowers and other blossoms are collected and offered to the Deities. There is also much merry-making.)

We will have a closer look at these trees, which featured so prominently in the Buddha’s life. Hopefully this brief glimpse will give us some appreciation of the abundant and varied uses of this one single tree species in addition to its rich spiritual and ecological significance!

The Sal tree and its forest

The lovely Sal tree grows in the foothills and plains south of the Himalayas from Nepal and India all the way into Burma. It is not surprising therefore that it has many different local common names, such as Sarai, Sargi, Salwa, Sakhu, Sakher, Shal, Kandar and Sakwa to mention but a few. 


It’s scientific name is Shorea robusta and it belongs to the Dipterocarpaceae family.


Sal is classified as a ‘
Tropical Moist Deciduous Forest‘ tree. Nevertheless it is seldom without any leaves at all. In dry condition it will shed its leaves from February to March.. New ovate-oblong leaves appear in April/May and will be shiny on top when mature. They have a tough texture and vary in size from 10 x 5cm to 25 x 15 cm. The creamy white spring flowers mature into fruit during the summer and the seeds ripen already in June/July. They often germinate whilst still on the tree, which is something we do not tend to see in our trees in Britain.

Sal is the dominating tree in the forests, in which it grows, hence we speak of ‘Sal Forests’. However, that does not mean monoculture, because in natural Sal woods we can find as many as 500 species in the understorey. 


Young trees have a linear crown, which becomes rounder and flatter as time goes by. In favourable conditions the tree can attain a height of 30-35m (100-117 ft) and a girth of 2-2½m (7-8 ft) in about 100 years.


With its erect trunk and excellent wood, Shorea robusta has always been used for building local houses, but is now also much sought after as a commercial timber, even to the extent that the supply does not match the demand.


The sapwood is whitish in colour and the heartwood becomes dark brown on exposure. The pores in the wood are filled with a resin which makes the timber very durable. With the Deodar and the Teak tree it forms a trio of the longest lasting Asian woods. It is very heavy (nearly 25 to 30 kg to a cubic foot), strong and fibrous. This last quality makes it hard to plane or to apply a polish. Hammering nails in the wood can also be a tough job. 


The high quality timber has been used for all those jobs where strength, durability and elasticity are essential and a polished surface is not so imported. Examples are: All general construction purposes, load-bearing timbers in bridges, wheels and carts, foundation piles for bridges and houses, telegraph poles, boat construction and also general carpentry and furniture.

Sal trees are also economically valuable for the many non-timber forest product they yield.
Tapping the tree yields a white opalin oleoresin (aromatic gum), variously known as ‘Sal damar’, ‘Rhal’, ‘Ral’, ‘Guggal’, ‘Laldhuna’, ‘Dhoom’, etc. It has a great variety of uses, which  include making paints and varnishes, incense (popular in Hindu homes during religious ceremonies), caulking boats and ships, a plastering medium for walls and roofs, a cementing material for asbestos and plywood sheets, medical uses such as a skin ointment, making carbon paper and type writer ribbon, and so on.


The leaves have many different uses as well! They have always been used for serving and carrying food in a variety of ways. They are collected and made into platters, bowls, cups, often lacquered. They are also used for making plates and small baskets to serve dry foods. Tribal people have used the leaves for preparing rice cakes and for smoking. Distilled leaves produce an oil used in perfumery and for flavouring chewing and smoking tobacco.


Quantities of lopped leaves can be used as roughage for cattle. Fallen leaves make a good fertiliser and are collected for this purpose. Like the oleoresin, the roots and the fruits, the leaves too have medicinal qualities. An interesting cultural use of the leaves is their employment as marriage invitations. The folded Sal leaves are given with a little bit of turmeric and a few rice grains inside.

Last but not least we come to the fruits and seeds of this useful tree.


The fruits have been ground by poor people into flour to ward off starvation and the pounded fruits have been given to people suffering from diarrhoeal diseases. The oil pressed from the seeds is edible and has been known as Sal butter.  It can be used for cooking, as well as for burning in simple oil lamps and has often been used to adulterate ghee (clarified butter).


In addition the seeds have been used as animal fodder in the form of pressed seedcakes. Like many tree products these cakes contains tannins (5-8%) and furthermore the protein in them tends to remain undigested. Nevertheless it is very useful to supply a portion of the dietary energy demands of animals. It can be used for cattle as 20% of their concentrates. The seedcakes may be given to pigs and poultry up to 10% of their daily rations with good results.

The many pressures on Sal forests (such as over-exploitation, deforestation, excessive leaf-litter collection, encroachment, inconsiderate collection medicinal supplies and fodder,  other form of human interference) have been added to in recent years by an increase in the appearance of the Sal-borer (Hoplocerambyx spinicornis),  whose attacks since 1997 in India has destroyed many thousands of trees.


Sal Forest © Banglopedia

The Lotus Flower and its symbolism

It is interesting to note that in the Sal Forests, which feature so large in the Buddh’as life story, we find another plant closely associated with Buddha: the sacred lotus, Nelumbo nucifera, also known as the Indian or Oriental Lotus. It is native to southern Asia, where it grows in ponds and still waters, and is found at altitudes of up to 1,600 metres.


Legend tells how Gautama Buddha could walk straight after he was born and wherever  he stepped Lotus flowers appeared. 


The chakra’s (meaning energy wheels) in our body have traditionally often been portrayed as varying Lotus flowers.  The crown chakra, the energy wheel located at the very top of the head, is also called “The Thousand-Petalled Lotus”, 


This top chakra opens on awakenment, just as the Lotus flower unfolds gradually in the morning, one petal at the time, in response to the light of the sun.

The Lotus has been a symbol of Spiritual Liberation, of the Sun, of Creation and Rebirth since ancient times, both in Asia, as well as in the Middle east and Egypt.


There are creation stories which tell how the world was born through a “Golden Lotus”, which was a sort of doorway or an opening from the womb of the universe. It is also told how the giant lotus which came forth from the watery chaos at the beginning of time gave rise to the Sun on its first day.


In Hinduism there is a similar story that it arose from the navel of God Vishnu, and at the center of the flower sat Brahma.. Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Protector) and Siva (the Merger), as well as other Gods and Goddesses are all associated with the Lotus  In
India the plant has therefore sometimes been called “God’s favourite flower”. The response of the Lotus which awakes at the first rays of the morning sun has also made the flower sometimes a symbol of Love.

The roots of the Lotus plants grow deep in the muddy soil below the water and they send up a long cylindrical stalk, which grows leaves  and flowers on the surface of water.
The muddy earth is usually compared to our earthly, material being. The water is compared to the astral world and the stalk is like the famous ’silver cord’, which people who have experienced astral travel, have so often described.


The world of air and light is compared to the way the spiritual world feeds our being.
The theme of sun and rebirth is reinforced by the fact that the flower closes its petals and (just like the sun) sinks underwater at night and rises up at dawn and opens again.
The perennial rise of the Lotus can thus be compared to similar spiritual themes, such as making Gold from base metals. Like the Lotus human consciousness can rise from a limited form of material being (and identification with just our ego and our body) to immense spiritual liberation (and the merging with the Divine Nature of All).

Meditating on the lotus is said to bring harmony into all aspects of our being. 
In  yoga, the lotus position (padmasana and known by most people as the classic meditation position) is adopted to help us reach the highest level of consciousness, which itself is found in the chakra at the top of the head (symbolised as the thousand-petalled lotus).


Hindu scriptures proclaim that Atman (the soul) lives in the lotus within the heart and looks like a brilliant light about the size of a  thumb.  You can practice seeing your heart as an opening lotus flower right in the centre of your chest.  Within behold the radiant glow your soul, your Self God, your radiant being, your connection with the root of All Being.

“In the Vimalakirti Sutra, the bodhisattva Manjushri addressing the Buddha, says, “Noble sir, one who stays in the fixed determination of the vision of the Uncreated is not capable of conceiving the spirit of unexcelled perfect enlightenment.  However, one who lives among created things, in the mines of passions, without seeing any truth, is indeed capable of conceiving the spirit of unexcelled perfect enlightenment.  {For] Noble sir, flowers like the blue lotus, the red lotus, the white lotus, the water lily, and the moon lily do not grow on dry ground in the wilderness, but do grow in swamps and mud banks.
Just so, the Buddha-qualities do not grow in living beings certainly destined for the uncreated but do grow in those living beings who are like swamps and mud banks of passions. Likewise, as seeds do not grow in the sky but do grow in the earth, so the Buddha-qualities do not grow in those determined for the Absolute but do grow in those who conceive the spirit of enlightenment, after having produced a Sumeru-like mountain of egoistic views. ”(1)

 

8.                  What is the meaning of the term Bodhisatta? How many different types of Bodhisattas are there? Enumerate.

It is a great pleasure to be asked to speak to you today about the two main traditions of Buddhism: those of the so-called hinayana and mahayana : the lesser way and the greater way, the ways of Shravaka to become an Arhat and the way of the Bodhisattva to become a Buddha.

Oh dear! Lots of foreign words - shravaka, arhat, bodhisattva- 30 seconds into the talk and you might already feel like going home!

Well, let’s try to explain these terms simply, before going into the details. Most religions are about the relationship between you, the individual, and God or, in the case of some religions, between you and a whole series of Gods. This God or these Gods are believed to be the governing power of the universe: creator of the universe. Buddhism is different. It has no belief at all in a creator God.

All of Buddhism is about working with the potential that exists in the human mind. Not about a relationship with another being, a Supreme Being, but about understanding and changing oneself. It is about awakening to the possibilities of life and in particular about using this extraordinary thing -which is our own mind- to the full: to become a wiser, kinder, more peaceful person. Buddhism believes that there is a timeless, perfect purity, a profound love for all beings, a perfect peace and amazing wisdom deep within each and every one of us. Life’s task is to discover it.

The Buddha taught very extensively about the nature of life and our human potential. He taught to thousands of people over a 45 year period. He taught each person according to his or her needs and capacities. Over the two and a half thousand years since he taught, all of those teachings of the Buddha have given rise to two main ways of working with one’s life, known as the Greater Way and the Lesser Way.

Those following the Lesser Way -Hinayana- want to find perfect inner peace and want to live in a kind, truthful and generous way in the world.. They are sometimes called Shravakas: Shravakas means those who heed the teachings. They have a certain “been there, done that” feeling about most of the pleasures of this world and are no longer interested in them one bit. You know, the way you feel about whatever was the craze three years ago - it just doesn’t grab you any more. These Shravakas see the world as obsessed with satisfying the senses to find happiness -seeing beautiful things, hearing nice sounds, smelling pleasant odours, tasting good food and seeking pleasant physical sensations. They consider such happiness too shallow, too fragile and find great inner strength instead in meditation. The end of their journey, their dream, their goal -the perfection of inner peace- is called the state of being an Arhat. Sometimes you can achieve that state in one lifetime of intense meditation, sometimes it takes many lifetimes.

Those following the Greater Way -Mahayana- are called Bodhisattvas: bodhi -sattva means with a mind to be Buddha. They are people who are also very aware of life’s fragile happiness and the suffering that exists in most people. They are so moved by this suffering that they promise, from the depths of their hearts, to dedicate this life and all future lives to caring for other beings. They feel that the best way to care is to become just like the Buddha. Buddhahood is a state far beyond that of the Arhat. It takes hundreds of lifetimes -hundreds of reincarnations- to achieve. The bodhisattva way is based upon truthfulness, peace and non-violence but its main characteristic is not a withdrawal from the world into inner peace but an active engagement with the world, a development of incredibly deep loving kindness, compassion and care for others. In fact, from beginning to end, the Bodhisattva’s way is the way of compassionate care.


So that you are clear about ‘where I’m coming from’, you should know I belong to the mahayana tradition and that I’ll be teaching today’s topic in the traditional way in which it is presented in the mahayana.

Please have a good look at these terms - they’ll come up a few times in the talk. Please notice that shravakas and bodhisattvas are those following a spiritual path, and that the ends of those paths are the states of Arhat and Buddha. Having introduced these two main strands of Buddhism very briefly, I’d like to go into them more deeply by talking about a topic traditionally called the three types of valuable human being, taught widely in India in the 11th century. They are called ‘valuable humans’ because -from a Buddhist point of view, in terms of Buddhist value judgements -they are really doing something with their lives: making a marked and definitive change to themselves, and perhaps other people, for the better. If you like, they can be considered the three sorts of audience for Buddhism or the three psychological types that Buddhist teachings address. This topic will help us understand where Arhats and Bodhisattvas fit in -they are the second and third types of valuable human- and help us define these words hinayana and mahayana.

The first type of valuable human being: the person who lives wisely in the world.

The vast majority of dedicated Buddhists (as opposed to people just born into a Buddhist culture and not strongly practising it) belong to this first type of valuable human being. They are not yet following the way of either the Arhat or the Bodhisattva. It is too soon. They are like children learning to walk. Shravakas and Bodhisattvas are like adults drive cars or pilot a plane. Unlike the Shravaka and Bodhisattva, this first type of valuable human is not yet ready to let go of its attachment to worldly things, in order to seek spiritual peace. The Buddha’s teachings can nevertheless still help them greatly. So really today’s talk could have been about three ways and been called the ways of the worldly Buddhist, the Arhat and the Bodhisattva.

How does the Buddha help the first sort of valuable human, the worldly Buddhist? By helping them live their lives according to principles based on the laws of karma. Karma means action and the laws of karma explain why things happen and how our actions determine our destiny. Everyone wonders why things happen. You know, you must have asked yourselves why you are you, different from the person sitting next to you. Why is there life’s exquisite beauty? Why are there life’s atrocious horrors? Most religions describe these things in terms of God’s purpose: divine forces are pulling the strings and pushing the buttons of life. Buddhism, by contrast, says that events are not God-created but the long-term consequences of our own action: actions as individuals and actions as groups. Buddhism says our actions make us what we are and make our world what it is.

The Buddha taught that nearly all the things we do, say and think have long-term consequences for their doer. What we are doing now is shaping our own future, in this life and lives to come. What we are now has been shaped by how we acted and reacted in the past. Remember that Buddhists believe this life to
be just one in a long chain of lives, as we reincarnate over and over again. What we do in this life generates all the details of our future lives: who we meet, the way the environment changes, our health, our suffering, our happiness. When we live in a harmonious, helpful and wise way with each other now, this generates happiness for later. When we live in conflict, self-centredly and unwisely now, it stores up suffering for later.

Thus, if we protect and save life -in this life- then we ourselves will be born with long life and good health next time round. If we are generous and caring now, we will feel satisfied with our lot in the future life and be cared for by others. If we lead what Buddhism defines as a respectful, responsible life in one’s sexual relationships, we will find loving, caring and suitable partners in the next life and so on and so forth.

The Buddha gave many teachings about our actions - and in particular a very helpful list of the 10 main actions to avoid and the 10 to cultivate. These form the basis for Buddhist morality just as the 10 commandments do in the Judaeo-Christian traditions. I have listed these 10 in the printed version of this talk, which is also on the Web.
There is, of course, in the action of this first type of Buddhist, a fair degree of self-interest: a studied concern for one’s own worldly future. These are not Buddhists who desperately want to leave all worldliness and find the lasting peace of nirvana. If we use Shakespeare’s words, “To be or not to be…” then our first Buddhist customer is definitely not ready not to be. This person likes life, still wants to be someone, somewhere in the world but preferably would like to be a healthier, happier and more prosperous person in a better family and social environment than at present. Even if that does not look likely in this existence, they try to live according to the Buddha’s teaching on karma so that they will have a better time in the next life.

In teaching the laws of karma - the cause and effects of our actions - the Buddha was not only trying to help people help themselves but also trying to make for a better society: one in which there is less violence, less dishonesty and greater respect for others.

Furthermore, our other two types of valuable human being -those following the ways of the Arhat and the Bodhisattva- emerge from this pool of good people. One day, one life, it is said, there will dawn in their minds a profound awareness of the extent of suffering that there is in the world and indeed in one’s own mind; then they become candidates for the ways of the Shravaka and the Bodhisattva.

The second type of valuable human being: the Shravaka, who shuns worldliness to attain nirvana; the nirvana of the Arhat.

Now we come to the second type of Buddhist or second type of valuable human being. These are people who -if we return to Shakespeare’s to be or not to be -no longer want ‘to be’ someone, somewhere. They have understood that there is a deep, spiritual state of equanimity and peace, far more satisfactory than anything this world can offer. You know, it’s as though you’ve been in a smoky, noisy, crowded room all your life and suddenly you discover the vast, clean open spaces of nature. The crowded, smoky room is a busy, worldly mind. The purity and freshness is discovered in the inner space of meditation. It is a peaceful, infinite space which transcends personality and the cult of personality - you know what I mean by cult of personality, where ME, I is all important - a world in which you have to assert yourself, create territory, be beautiful, be intelligent, BE …someone.

Our second type of valuable human being has had enough of seeking the pleasures of the senses and of having a happiness that always depends on external things: on other people, on the weather, on food, on sights, on sounds, on success at work, on human affection etc. They are shocked by the fragility
and impermanence ( anicca) of such happiness and by the price-tag of suffering ( dukha) that goes along with it. They know that the Buddha and the Arhats of the past managed to stopped being reborn into lives of mixed happiness and suffering. How did they do it? By stopping doing the harmful actions - karma- that generate rebirth. How to stop these harmful actions? By getting rid of their cause: anger, jealousy, pride, ignorance and desire. How to get rid of all those? by destroying their cause: the illusion of self, of ME of I.

These saintly beings cleanse their mind of all these unhelpful emotions, feelings and illusions and instead cultivated very natural states of inner peace and harmony. The advantage of this inner happiness is that it does not depend on other people and external things. It is a state of constant well-being which does not depend upon the up-and-down world of personality and feelings. It is self-contained. It is free of suffering. When it is perfected, it will remain forever. It is called nirvana. This is what the Shravaka hopes to achieve.

At this point, I think it will be useful to clarify the meaning of this word nirvana. Nirvana is not something in particular: not something that is . Nirvana means “suffering transcended”. In other words, it is defined by what it isn’t: it isn’t suffering. It means that you have got free from suffering forever. It is like saying, “got out of the fire”. One is no longer being burnt by the sufferings of life. But this does not tell us where we actually are: in a swimming-pool, up a mountain, in a space-capsule. It only tells us that we are out of the fire. So this word nirvana can cover many possibilities. This will become important when we look at the way of the bodhisattva. We will find that the bodhisattva is trying to achieve a much higher nirvana than that of the Arhat. Both are nirvana inasmuch as both have gone beyond the suffering of the world because both have ceased creating the karma that causes suffering. But the bodhisattva aims to become a Buddha and a Buddha has far more qualities than an Arhat and has removed more blockages from the mind.

To give an analogy: if we think of worldliness as the planet Earth, the Arhat has gone beyond the Earth’s gravitational field and is floating in the space of meditation. The Buddha has also gone beyond the Earth’s gravity but has reached the heart of the Sun of Wisdom.

Now let us return to the way of the Arhat. It consists of the Triple Training: Conduct, Meditation and Wisdom. I think you may know these. The basis for the Arhat’s path to the Arhat’s nirvana is a very pure ethical and moral conduct in all one says, all one does physically and also in one’s profession. In one respect, it is similar to the careful attention to karma of the first type of valuable human being. But the motivation is different. Here the pure conduct is aimed at switching off the video of life, not at making it into a better film! This different motivation channels things differently. It is like earning the same amount of money but investing it in another account. The Arhat’s good karma is not paying the worldly mortgage - it is going in to the permanent retirement fund.

On this basis of pure conduct, nirvana is achieved through the skilful combination of two things: meditation and wisdom. Let us first examine meditation.


Concentration meditation is the way in which those becoming Arhats overcome their passions, angers and other agitations of the mind. Concentration meditation cultivates inner peace. As the peace develops, desires, aggravations, and all these other things naturally diminish. As the peace grows, worldiness diminishes. It is like water. Let’s just think together for a minute. Has everyone seen a turbulent ocean? Try to imagine it: those vast, powerful, rolling grey-green waves Brrrr! You can’t see into it, it is busy, dangerous and it reflects nothing clearly. That’s the worldly mind: very agitated, very busy with itself, very short-sighted and very endless. Now let’s think of clear water - a very calm loch. Got the image? As water becomes calm, the waves subside. When water is calm, you can see all the fish and plants in its depths and it reflects the sky by day and the stars at night. The meditation mind is very still, clear and beautiful, like a very calm ocean. It has far-seeing wisdom.

As anger, desires and so on diminish through meditation, the peace becomes more lasting and more stable. This reveals levels of thought and subconscious activity of which one was not previously aware. Again and again, one refines the process of inner peace, until the mind is exceedingly clean and pure, knowing nothing but happiness and equanimity. A great, calm ocean of peace. Meditation requires careful training in mindfulness, concentration and channeling one’s effort.

Now let us consider wisdom. As meditation improves, the quietness and clarity of mind enables great precision in the mind’s self-knowledge. Just as our modern science pierces the secrets of the material universe through very fine investigation into the atom and into the human genome, the science of concentration meditation investigates the complex workings of the human mind and this knowledge is very helpful in transforming the mind and bringing it to stability and wisdom.This wisdom ends up being real insight into the Four Noble Truths, which lie at the very heart of the Buddha’s teaching. When I say ‘real insight’ I mean that the Four Truths are no longer ideas but things vividly, directly experienced as true, direct insight into life itself, without the need of thoughts. This gives you the “right view” of things -the right perspective- and provides the right intention for instructing other people.

I don’t want to get too technical in this talk. The Buddha’s own teachings -called sutra- on this topic of the way of the Arhat fill dozens of books. We could -for example- examine extensively the real meaning of the Eightfold Path that I have just described.

We could also explore (if we had time) how meditation actually changes the mind, bringing freedom and peace as well as the emergence of saintly qualities, which are quite extraordinary; miraculous.

Also, given time, we would explore the nature of wisdom in this path, seeing how it is anatta - a complete de-masking of all the delusions of self that the human mind can fabricate, whether it be a personal self or a cosmic self in the form of a God or a series of gods. This wisdom also recognises anicca - the totally transient, or impermanent, nature of the various phenomena of the worlds
of mind and matter and understands in detail how they come together and trigger each other into making the events we perceive as life, with all of its suffering; dukkha.

The Hinayana mental journey of purification is a voyage deep into the inner peace of one’s mind. There are four main stages on the journey, with Arhat being the final stage.

1. Stream-entrant when one has profound faith in what one is doing because the results are emerging and the process is very obvious. If we compared the path of meditation to unblocking a drain, it is at this stage that -after poking for ages with the rods- the blockage clears and the water starts to flow swiftly.

2. Once-returner when one has purified so much of one’s mind and karma that
there will be only one more rebirth in the world.

3. Non-returner when one is living that last life in which one becomes an Arhat

4. Arhat the final achievement when every trace, gross or subtle, of ego-delusion and its subsequent desires, anger, jealousy, pride and confusion are all irreversibly eliminated from the mind and the mind will rest continuously in deep, far-reaching meditation.

At this stage, I would like to sum up so far. We have looked at two types of what are called valuable human beings. Together, they make up what is known as the hinayana or the smaller way. I must make it clear that the term hinayana does not refer to the Buddhism of any particular country. It refers to the Buddhism suitable to a certain psychological type: a person who is working first and foremost for his or her own well-being. That person could be in Tibet, Sri Lanka or Scotland, following any school of Buddhism. Such people are not without love or compassion for others. It is just that they feel -quite pragmatically- that, in the end, we cannot change other people that much but that we can change
ourselves and that self-transformation is our prime duty as human beings. So much of the world’s problems come through people trying to change each other but being unwilling or unable to change themselves.

Hina means smaller or lesser and Yana means the power to carry. Because these first two types of valuable human being can, at best, only take one person to liberation -that person being oneself- then their way is called the lesser way. It’s like a car with only one seat. We will see that the greater way aims to carry many people to liberation. It’s like a jumbo jet.

C. The third type of valuable human being: the bodhisattva, who works within the world, in order
to attain the ‘non-situated’ Nirvana of the Buddha

The bodhisattva shares absolutely all the positive points of the hinayana follower: he or she recognises the futility and suffering of worldliness (samsara) and also knows that there is a much more elevated state to be achieved. But instead of wanting to make the Arhat’s journey deep into the mind’s peaceful
recesses, the bodhisattva wants to become a Buddha, so as to be able to help thousands of other people free themselves from suffering. A Buddha is not only a great guide and friend for living beings: a Buddha’s attainment - the Buddha’s Nirvana- is far purer than that of the Arhat. It is in understanding the difference between their two “nirvanas” that one can clearly understand the different paths of the bodhisattva and the Shravaka.

In the printed version of this talk, I have spelt the Buddha’s Nirvana with a capital N and the Arhat’s nirvana with a small n. The Buddha’s nirvana is called non-situated Nirvana, because we cannot situate it:
1. either in samsara - the world
2. or in the profound inner peace of the Arhat’s nibbana.

The Buddha’s Nibbana -with a captial N- is therefore said to be neither samsara nor nirvana (with a small n). Here I’d like to remind you of the all-important point made earlier: nirvana simply and only means that all suffering has ended but not all nirvanas are the same.

Like all nirvanas, the Nirvana of the Buddha has transcended worldly suffering and the necessity of rebirth as someone, somewhere. But it is much, much more than the profound peace of the Arhat’s nirvana. The Buddha’s Nirvana is the total discovery of the timeless, perfect, heart-essence of the universe. It is everywhere and in everything and everyone. It is a natural, brilliant world of peace present everywhere (once you know how to recognise it), not the peace of withdrawal into an inner sanctum. It is something naturally sacred, ultimately pure and radiant with immeasurable qualities of universal love, universal compassion and an incomprehensible outreach, helping beings to the farthest ends of the universe. Because it is so sublime, so far-reaching and so much beyond the imagination, we call it the undefinable or unlocated or non-situated Nirvana which we can locate neither in the things of this world nor in the peaceful meditation of the Arhat’s nirvana. The Arhat’s nirvana we can, by contrast, define very clearly, in terms of concentration meditation.

I really hope that as you come to understand this point about the difference between the two nirvanas. If you do, it will clear up the confusion created in books about Buddhism, in which they say that the bodhisattva renounces nirvana in order to help other beings. It sounds almost like somebody giving up their holiday in order to stay at home to help the family. Or like someone in prison who could be released but somehow has to commit more crimes to stay inside and help the inmates. This really is a misunderstanding. It is true that the bodhisattva abandons one sort of nirvana (the one with a small ‘n’, that of the hinayana path - the inner peace) but this is because he or she is taking a quite different route towards a different Nirvana: that of the Buddha: the peace of the compassionate, totally-wise mind. Nirvana with a capital N.

The only way to reach this Nirvana of the Buddha -often called buddha nature-is through perfect compassion. Compassion involves being in living contact with the suffering of the world, facing it and doing all one can to eliminate it. Furthermore, here one is not shutting off the senses but liberating them. There is a very good expression in Christianity which explains exactly what the bodhisattva is doing: being in the world but not of the world. Take the work of primary school teachers, for example. They need to skilfully enter into the world of 5 and 6 year-olds. They give these tiny children the magnificent skills of literacy and numeracy. It doesn’t mean that they have to become childish themselves and renounce their adulthood. They operate in the world of small children but are not themselves of that world.

Someone who dedicates this life and all future lives to attaining this universal essence which is Buddhahood and helping millions of beings alleviate their suffering is called a bodhisattva. Bodhi means Buddha and sattva means mind, in the sense of a determined and courageous mind. Thus a bodhisattva is someone with the courage and determination to become a Buddha. The word Arhat means the one who has conquered the enemy, the “enemy” being the delusion of personality and all the desires and adversities it produces.

What does the bodhisattva’s path involve? First, all the same mind-purifying work of the hinayana path. Whichever Buddhist path one follows, every trace of selfish desire, anger, jealousy, pride and confusion must be eliminated from the mind.But the way in which these are eliminated by the bodhisattva is different. You will remember that -in the hinayana way- it is done by going ever more finely
into the tranquil depths of concentration meditation. The mind draws away from the senses, draws away from all that is worldly and goes deep inside. The bodhisattva does not need to withdraw from the world but instead faces the world and learns through the world and through his or her own reactions to it. It
is not so much a path of escape as one of transformation. Anger is transformed into love. Jealousy is transformed into a sincere joy, which rejoices in the achievement of others. Pride is transformed into an awareness of the sameness of us all, before what is eternal and so on and so forth.

This work -of transforming emotions- is made possible by meditation, as only meditation gives clear insight into how the mind works. You know, if you want to fix something you first need to know how it works. Meditation helps us discover how the human mind works. The bodhisattva’s meditation practices are structured differently from those of the hinayana path. Also, there are many more of them. As mentioned before, the bodhisattva is avoiding the nirvana (with a small ‘n’) of the hinayana path and the bodhisattva is very careful not to be drawn into its beautiful inner peace of meditation’s tranquillity. One of the main tools for doing this is right thought or prayer.

In other religions, people pray to a God or to several gods, asking for their help. In Buddhism, prayer is not addressed to an external, other, being. Prayer is an organised way of changing the mind. By repeating good thoughts, sincerely from the depths of one’s heart, over and over again, they become habitual ways of thinking. They change the mind. In the end, the way one reacts to life’s situations will be made very different, just through constant prayer. The main prayer of the bodhisattva is a commitment to help all beings, by achieving the perfection of Buddhahood. Why is this? The Buddha was just one person. All he had were three robes, a begging bowl and one or two small objects. Yet,
through his purity and deep wisdom, he was able to help many tens of thousands of people personally during his own lifetime and many thousands of millions after his death, through his extensive teachings, which show people how to help themselves. The bodhisattva remembers this over and over again. One
person helps millions simply by attaining a perfect mind. The Bodhisattva knows that the finest way to help others is to become totally pure, totally wise and totally skilful in guiding others on the path, just like the Buddha. Many times a day, the bodhisattva dedicates his life to this end, in prayer, and tries to do every daily task -even making a cup of tea- with a mind filled with compassionate love for all other beings and a deep longing to attain buddhahood.

But longing to achieve something is not enough. One must actually do the work. I can stand here for years, longing to go to Hawaii, but I won’t budge an inch. One needs to earn the money, buy the ticket, buy the baggy shorts, get to the airport, catch a plane and so on and so forth. What the bodhisattva has to do in order to really become a Buddha is usually described through six things. These are like six parts of a puzzle. When they are all complete and perfectly put together, the puzzle of Buddhahood is complete. What are they:

The six paramitas LINK
1. Perfect generosity.
2. Perfect right conduct.
3. Perfect forbearance (you could call this one patience or tolerance).
4. Perfect diligence.
5. Perfect meditation.
6. Perfect wisdom.

The six are called the six paramita or six transcendent perfections. You will have noted that I have tried not to use Pali or other foreign words in this talk. We only need to use them when we have no equivalent term in English. I know a lot about this as my own life’s work is translating scriptures from Tibetan. Your
school examiners may want you to know words like anicca or dukkha but I cannot see the point too much. We have perfectly good words for these in English -impermanence and suffering- and why should you learn the Pali words, rather than the Sanskrit or the Japanese or the Tibetan? Anyway, paramita is a word without a direct equivalent in English and so it is useful to use the Sanskrit.
It literally means “gone to the other shore”. This is because when all these six qualities have been brought to an absolute perfection, one has crossed the ocean of worldly existence (samsara) and attained the other
shore of Buddhahood
. We can look at it another way. What is a Buddha? Someone in
whose mind these six things are totally, immaculately perfect.

Why does the bodhisattva work with his or her mind in a different way from the hinayana follower? Let us compare this universal essence -of love, compassion and wisdom which is everywhere and which we call buddha nature- to a bright light. Although this light is in each and every one of us, it cannot shine because it is covered up, blocked off. There are two layers of blockage:

1. The first is called klesha in Sanskrit. This is often translated as mind poisons or cankers or defilements. I have mentioned it a couple of times already today: it consists of selfish desire, aggression, jealousy, pride and ignorance. All of these feelings arise through the negative delusions of personality -the harmful ways in which one defines oneself- I must have, I can’t stand, I ought to have what he has, I’m better than she is etc. In the hinayana path one removes all such deluded ideas about self and this removes this first covering on the light of truth. By simply doing that, one no longer needs to act selfishly, therefore there is no bad karma and so one stops the cycle of rebirth after rebirth into worldly existence ( samsara) and eventually become an Arhat.

2. The second covering, blockage or veil is something much more subtle. For simplicity, we can call it “duality”. It is the split-second by split-second play of our minds, which is constantly defining not only ourselves but also the world around us. It is like a piece of mind-programming which produces, second
after second, a two-sided movie: me and you, self and other, ours and theirs, my body and the world in which it moves, my mind and my body etc. etc. It is through these conscious and subconscious processes that we define ourselves and our world: our parents, friends, enemies, every detail of life.
Each of us has his or her totally unique way of seeing and defining the world. We each move in our own unique universe. In the mahayana path, one needs not only to see anatta - that our delusions about ourselves are de void of truth - but also to see how our delusions concerning other people and other things are also devoid of truth. Piercing through the illusions and seeing the raw truth of the cosmos is called discovering its voidness (sunyata). We say voidness because we discover that other people and other things are devoid of the illusions we have been projecting onto them - like suddenly realising
that a mirage is just an optical illusion and not real water on the road or like realising that someone you have been assuming was uninteresting is in fact pretty cool. Part of the discovery of voidness concerns the non-ego (anatta) discovered in the hinayana path. But it is only a part. By only uncovering anatta, one becomes an Arhat. By uncovering the whole truth about everything, sunyata, one becomes a Buddha.

One simple way of putting things may be this: the Arhat overcomes all illusions concerning himself and is therefore totally at peace with himself. The Bodhisattva is overcoming all illusions not only about himself/herself but also about all other people and the entire universe and is therefore at peace with
everything. By destroying all illusions, the bodhisattva becomes a Buddha, knowing everything there is to be known. The Buddha is omniscient. The Arhat is extraordinarily wise but not ommniscient.

In the six paramita, the main work of discovering voidness is accomplished through a combination of the meditation paramita and the wisdom paramita. The second of these -wisdom paramita- is called prajnaparamita in Sanskrit. It is exceedingly important in mahayana Buddhism and there are many gigantic phiolosophical texts elaborating the meaning of voidness. Although there are so many texts, the truth of voidness can only be discovered directly, in meditation, as it transcends all thought and philosophy.

As the six paramita - generosity, right conduct, forbearance, diligence, meditation and wisdom - come to completion, the real meaning of the word Buddha becomes apparent.
QUOTE
At the start, Buddha simply meant someone: an historical figure who gave us the Buddhist teachings. But as time goes by, one realises that the historical Buddha Sakyamuni simply achieved something that everyone, one day, in one life or another, will achieve. What he discovered is inside each and every one of us. It is our true nature, our Buddha-nature. This does not mean that each of us is really, at heart, an Indian prince! It does mean that there is perfect love, perfect compassion, infinite wisdom and a great ability to help and guide others, locked up in each and every one of us. It is the inner light. We just need to find it and to remove all the layers of illusion covering it and blocking off its power.

This timeless light, universal peace or cosmic wisdom manifests in three ways, known as the three kaya.
LINK FROM GOLDEN ROSARY
1. This Buddha nature, just as it is and as only a Buddha will ever know it, is called dharmakaya. Dharmakaya is formless: that means it has no shape, colour, sound, smell or form whatsoever. It is a vast, cosmic wisdom: the wisdom of voidness

2. Bodhisattvas who are very saintly, who are no longer reborn in human worlds but have bodies of light, experience this buddha nature through the filters of their senses. Though it is formless, they see it as thousands of different Buddhas in various pure paradises. They hear it as deeply moving teachings
expressing the universal laws of truth. The whole experience of their senses is an uninterrupted mental ‘movie’ of transcendent perfection. The way Buddha-nature appears in these bodhisattva’s minds is called sambhogakaya: the enjoyment body, meaning the visions and experiences of purity enjoyed
by saintly bodhisattvas.

3. More ordinary beings, who are still in the world of rebirth and suffering, also have an experience of Buddha nature. They will have religious experiences, perhaps see a Buddha or a being of light in a vision and so on and so forth. This happens in moments when the mind is pure and open. It doesn’t last
and is not nearly so pure or so accurate as the experience of the bodhisattvas mentioned just now. The bodhisattvas’ experience is constant, never interrupted. Nevertheless, when worldly beings have experience of the Buddha mind, it is usually a remarkable moment which changes and shapes
the whole of their life. This aspect of Buddha-nature or Buddha mind is called nirmanakaya: the emanated body.

Today, I have spoken briefly -and very quickly- about the three types of valuable human being. Of course, this does not mean that other beings are worthless. It is just that these three types live lives which help themselves mature as human beings and they help the world. When the Buddha came to our planet, he came, like all great spiritual teachers, to help everyone, not just Buddhists. Understanding that we are each unique, he taught everyone he met according to their individual needs and, in general, he helped the three psychological types. I have spoken of today as the three sorts of valuable human being: the everyday Buddhist and those deeply committed to the paths of the Arhat and the Bodhisattva. It is not that one way is better than the other. They are just different way suited to different people.

Today I have not spoken about the “sociological” side of Buddhism: its different temples, different customs for marriages etc. These are simply the outer shell of a faith. They are the clothes it wears. The actual faith is a series of beliefs and attitudes towards life, towards oneself and other people. They form the real body of the religion. It is true that some Buddhist countries accentuate some of these ways, while others have dropped into the background or disappeared. I could have spent the whole lecture describing the geographical and historical develoment of Buddhism. Instead I have chosen to sketch the psychology of these main strands of Buddhism and tried to explain how the Buddha was trying to help everyone through these three approaches.

The Buddha often used the analogy of a doctor to describe himself. His teachings are like medicine, our mind’s impurities and our karma are like the sickness. These three ways are suited to different types just like different medicines are suited to different diseases. Can we say a heart medicine is better than medicine for rheumatism? Of course not. Would ther be any point in giving the rheumatism medicine to the heart patient? Of course not. These three ways of living one’s life and meditating suit different types of people. When someone comes to our monastery in Dumfriesshire for training, we use all three types
according to the individual.

In fact, when you look closely, you will see that -besides denoting types- these three psychologies often exist side by side in nearly all of us. One part of us wants very much to be, another part seeks a peace beyond the passing pleasures of this world and another part of us seeks the way to truly serve and help other beings find their way to liberation. I would like to conclude by expressing my profound respect for all the goodness achieved by all three types of valuable human being and by saying that I think the Buddha was extremely wise and broad-minded in providing such an immense spectrum of advice concerning these three ways, teachings filling over a hundred books, during the 45 years of his teaching.

 

9.                  What are the requirements for becoming the different types of Bodhisatta?

 

10.              How many types of Buddha are there? What are the prerequisites for becoming these different types of Buddha?

11.              What is Paarami? How many Paaramis are there? Enumerate.

12.              How do the paaramis determine the attainment of different types of Bodhi?

 

Introduction

In its earliest phase, as represented by the four main collections of the Sutta Pi.taka, the focal concern of Buddhism was the attainment of nibbaana by the practice of the Noble Eightfold Path. In these collections the Buddha teaches his doctrine as a direct path to deliverance, and perhaps no feature of the presentation is so striking as the urgency he enjoins on his disciples in bringing their spiritual work to completion by reaching the final goal. Just as a man who discovers his turban to be in flames would immediately seek to extinguish it, so should the earnest disciple strive to extinguish the flames of craving in order to reach the state of security, the consummate peace of nibbaana.

The oldest suttas, however, already mention three types of individuals who attain to the consummate state: a sammaasambuddha or perfectly enlightened Buddha, who realizes the goal without the aid of a teacher and teaches the Dhamma to others, founding a dispensation (saasana); a paccekabuddha or solitary enlightened one, who achieves realization unaided but does not establish a dispensation; and a disciple arahat, who realizes the goal through the instruction of a supreme Buddha and then teaches others according to his inclination and capacity. With the passage of time, quite possibly due to a decline in practice and an increasing rarity of higher attainments, these three types came to be viewed as three alternative ideals toward which a disciple could aspire in the hope of some distant future attainment. All were identical in their realization of nibbaana, but each was seen to stand for a distinct aspect of the enlightened personality and to presuppose a distinct yaana, a “vehicle” or spiritual career, leading to its actualization. For the Theravaada, the more conservative of the ancient schools, the emphasis was always placed on the ideal prescribed in the Paali suttas, the attainment of arahatship by following the instructions of the historical Buddha; the other ideals remained in the background, acknowledged but not especially attended to. Other early schools, such as the Sarvaastivaada and the Mahaasa”nghika, while upholding the primacy of the disciple’s course and the arahat ideal, also gave consideration to the other ideals as possible goals for individuals inclined to pursue them. Thus they came to admit a doctrine of three yaanas or vehicles to deliverance, all valid but steeply graded in difficulty and accessibility.

Within all the early schools, thinkers and poets alike attempted to fill in the background history to the three enlightened persons, composing stories of their past lives in which they prepared the foundations for their future achievements. Since it was the figure of the Buddha, as the founder of the Dispensation, who commanded the greatest awe and veneration, gradually a literature began to emerge depicting the evolution of the bodhisattva or “Buddha-to-be” along the arduous path of his development. In this way the figure of the bodhisattva,0 the aspirant to Buddhahood, came to claim an increasingly prominent place in the popular Buddhist religious life. The culmination of these innovations was the appearance, in about the first century B.C., of the Mahaayaana, the self-styled “Great Vehicle,” which proclaimed that of the three vehicles to enlightenment the bodhisattva-vehicle was alone ultimate, the other two being only expedients devised by the Buddha to lead his less competent disciples to perfect Buddhahood, which they held to be the only valid spiritual ideal.

Through its conservative bent and relative insulation from the other schools, the Theravaada managed to resist the metamorphic changes taking place elsewhere in the Buddhist world, preserving the teachings as compiled at the early councils without radical alterations of their doctrinal framework. Nevertheless, in this school as well, from a period even preceding the rise of the Mahaayaana, the figure of the bodhisattva began to make inroads into both its literature and spiritual atmosphere. Two elements in the early teaching seem to have provided the germs for this development. One was the fact that the Buddha had used the word “bodhisattva” to refer to himself in the period preceding his enlightenment, pushing its scope as far back as his existence in the Tusita heaven before his final descent to earth. The second was the recognition of the multiplicity of Buddhas, which showed the Sakyan Gotama to be, not a unique figure in the cosmic genealogy, but only the most recent member of a series of Buddhas each of whom attains enlightenment, founds a dispensation, and liberates a multitude of beings from the bondage of sa.msaaric suffering. The Diigha Nikaaya mentions by name the six most recent predecessors of the Buddha Gotama (D.ii,2), and predicts as well the advent of Metteyya, the Buddha of the future, who will rekindle the lamp of the true Dhamma after it is extinguished in the dark ages that lie ahead (D.iii,76).

These two features jointly implied the existence of “germinal Buddhas” or bodhisattvas toiling to perfect themselves through countless lives in order to reach the summit of supreme enlightenment. The trials and triumphs of the being who became our own Buddha were recorded in the Jaataka tales, relating the bodhisattva’s conduct in his previous births. Just when and how the bodhisattva entered upon this course is told in the Buddhava.msa, a late addition to the Sutta Pi.taka, in a story which has become the paradigm for all subsequent developments of the bodhisattva ideal. According to this story, incalculable aeons ago in the far distant past, our bodhisattva (as the ascetic Sumedha) made an aspiration (abhiniihaara) at the feet of the Buddha Diipa”nkara, the twenty-fourth Buddha of antiquity, in which he renounced the right to enter nibbaana then open to him, in order that he might become a Buddha in the future and provide salvation for the host of gods and humans. He then received a prediction from the Buddha confirming his future success, went off into solitude, and reflected on the qualities that had to be perfected to fulfill his goal. These, the ten paaramiis, became the standard constituents of the bodhisattva’s practice, the “requisites of enlightenment” (bodhisambhaara) of our present treatise.

But though the existence of a bodhisattva career was thus acknowledged by the Theravaada, the dominant attitude prevailed among the exponents of the school that this path was reserved only for the very rare and exceptional individual. Since it was not recommended in the oldest authentic records of the Buddha’s teaching, those who professed to follow the Buddha were advised to comply with the instructions contained in these documents and aim at the attainment of nibbaana by the practice of the Noble Eightfold Path. Thus the bulk of literature in the Paali school was devoted to explaining the details of this path and its doctrinal ramifications, while the practice of the paaramiis was treated only in broad and general terms.

As time passed, however, perhaps partly through the influence of the Mahaayaana, the bodhisattva ideal must have come to acquire an increasing appeal for the minds of the Buddhist populace, and the need became felt for a work explaining in a practical manner the factors and phases of the paaramitaa path without deviating from the established doctrinal position of the Theravaada. Works expounding the bodhisattva career abounded in the Mahaayaana schools, since this was their axial concern, but a comparable work was lacking in Theravaada circles. To meet this need, apparently, AAcariya Dhammapaala composed his “Treatise on the Paaramiis,” which is found in at least two places in the Paali exegetical literature, in a complete version in the Cariyaapi.taka A.t.thakathaa, and in an abridged version in the .tiikaa or subcommentary to the Brahmajaala Sutta.

The work introduces itself as a treatise composed “for clansmen following the suttas who are zealously engaged in the practice of the vehicle to great enlightenment, in order to improve their skillfulness in accumulating the requisites of enlightenment.” Followers of the suttas (suttantikas) are specified probably because those who aspired to follow the bodhisattva course had to work selectively from various suttas to determine the practices appropriate for their aim, as the text itself illustrates in filling out its material. The mention of the “vehicle to great enlightenment” (mahaabodhiyaana) does not indicate the historical Mahaayaana, but signifies rather the greatness of the bodhisattva career by reason of the loftiness of its goal and its capacity to provide for the emancipation of a great number of beings.

The “requisites of enlightenment” are the paaramiis themselves, the main topic of the treatise. The word paaramii derives from parama, “supreme,” and thus suggests the eminence of the qualities which must be fulfilled by a bodhisattva in the long course of his spiritual development. But the cognate paaramitaa, the word preferred by the Mahaayaana texts and also used by Paali writers, is sometimes explained as paaram + ita, “gone to the beyond,” thereby indicating the transcendental direction of these qualities. The list of paaramiis in the Paali tradition differs somewhat from the more familiar list given in Sanskrit works, which probably antedates the Mahaayaana and provided a ready set of categories for its use. Our author shows that the two lists can be correlated in section xii, and the coincidence of a number of items points to a central core already forming before the two traditions went their separate ways. The six paaramiis of the Sanskrit heritage are: giving, virtue, patience, energy, meditation, and wisdom. Later Mahaayaana texts add four more — resolution, skillful means, power, and knowledge — in order to co-ordinate on a one-to-one basis the list of perfections with the account of the ten stages of the bodhisattva’s ascent to Buddhahood. The Paali works, including those composed before the rise of Mahaayaana, give a different though partly overlapping list of ten: giving, virtue, renunciation, wisdom, energy, patience, truthfulness, determination, loving-kindness, and equanimity. Unlike the Mahaayaana, the Theravaada never developed a theory of stages, though such may be implicit in the grading of the paaramiis into three degrees as basic, intermediate, and ultimate (section xi).

The treatise draws upon various sources for its material, both Theravaada and Mahaayaana, and thus represents perhaps a unique instance of a classical style Theravaada work consciously borrowing from its northern cousin; in matters of philosophical doctrine, however, the work never deviates from the Theravaada perspective. The set of ten paaramiis itself comes from the Buddhava.msa, as does the discussion of the great aspiration (abhiniihaara) with its eight qualifications. All of this had become part of the standard Theravaada tradition by the time the work was composed and was easily absorbed. Other Paali sources — the suttas, Jaatakas, later canonical works, the Visuddhimagga, etc. — have all contributed to the overall composition of the treatise. The basic methodology of the commentaries is evident in the explication of the ten paaramiis by way of the fourfold defining device of characteristic, function, manifestation, and proximate cause (section v). The heritage of the oral traditions of various teachers in later Paali scholasticism is seen in the various views expressed on the three grades of practice for each paaramii (section xi), on the correlation of the four foundations with the different stages of the bodhisattva’s career (section xii), and on the classification of time required for the completion of the paaramiis (section xiv). Perhaps the influence of another early school, the Sarvaastivaada, lies behind the dyadic treatment of the six paaramiitas (section xii).

The main Mahaayaana work utilized by the author is the Bodhisattvabhuumi, the fifteenth chapter of the Yogaacaarabhuumi, a voluminous text of the Yogaacaara school ascribed to Maitreyanaatha, the teacher of Asanga. The Bodhisattvabhuumi has contributed to the sections on the practice of the paaramiis, particularly the first, on the four shackles to giving, and on the special accomplishments resulting from the paaramiis. The originals, however, have all been divested of their specifically Mahaayaana features to make them fully compatible with the Theravaada perspective. Mahaayaana influence may further be discernible in the emphasis on compassion and skillful means, in the vows to benefit all beings, in the statement that the bodhisattva causes beings “to enter and reach maturity in the three vehicles,” etc.

On points of doctrine, as we mentioned, the work remains well within the bounds of Theravaada orthodoxy. Its section on the perfection of wisdom has nothing more in common with the Praj~naapaaramitaa literature than the core of Buddhist doctrine shared by all schools. There is nothing about the identity of nibbaana and sa.msaara, the triple body of the Buddha, the suchness and sameness of all dhammas, mind-only, the provisional nature of the disciple and paccekabuddha vehicles, or any of the other ideas distinctive of the Mahaayaana. Even the mention of emptiness (su~n~nataa) is restricted to the absence of a self or ego-entity and is not carried through to the radical ontology of the Mahaayaana suutras. The discussion of wisdom draws entirely upon the Paali suttas and the Visuddhimagga, only with the stipulation that the bodhisattva must balance wisdom with compassion and skillful means and must postpone his entrance upon the supramundane path until his requisites of enlightenment are fully mature.

It should be noted that in established Theravaada tradition the paaramiis are not regarded as a discipline peculiar to candidates for Buddhahood alone but as practices which must be fulfilled by all aspirants to enlightenment and deliverance, whether as Buddhas, paccekabuddhas, or disciples. What distinguishes the supreme bodhisattva from aspirants in the other two vehicles is the degree to which the paaramiis must be cultivated and the length of time they must be pursued. But the qualities themselves are universal requisites for deliverance, which all must fulfill to at least a minimal degree to merit the fruits of the liberating path.

The present translation has been based on the version in the Cariyaapi.taka A.t.thakathaa, in the Burmese-script Sixth Council edition. This has been abridged in places in deference to the size limits of a Wheel booklet. For a translation of the complete text, the reader is directed to my translation of the Brahmajaala Sutta and its commentaries, The Discourse on the All-Embracing Net of Views (BPS 1978, 1992), Part IV.

— Bhikkhu Bodhi




A Treatise on the Paaramiis

We now undertake a detailed explanation of the paaramiis for clansmen following the suttas who are zealously engaged in the practice of the vehicle to great enlightenment (mahaabodhiyaana), in order to improve their skillfulness in accumulating the requisites for enlightenment.

This is the schedule of the questions: (i) What are the paaramiis? (ii) In what sense are they called paaramiis? (iii) How many are there? (iv) What is their sequence? (v) What are their characteristics, functions, manifestations, and proximate causes? (vi) What is their condition? (vii) What is their defilement? (viii) What is their cleansing? (ix) What are their opposites? (x) How are they to be practiced? (xi) How are they analyzed? (xii) How are they synthesized? (xiii) By what means are they accomplished? (xiv) How much time is required to accomplish them? (xv) What benefits do they bring? (xvi) What is their fruit? The answers follow.

(i) What are the paaramiis?

The paaramiis are the noble qualities such as giving, etc., accompanied by compassion and skillful means, and untainted by craving, conceit, and views.1

(ii) In what sense are they called “paaramiis”?

The bodhisattvas, the great beings, are supreme (parama), since they are the highest of beings by reason of their distinguished qualities such as giving, virtue, etc. The paaramiis — the activities of giving, etc. — are their character or their conduct. Or else: he excels, thus he is supreme (paratii ti paramo). The bodhisattva is the fulfiller and guardian of the noble qualities such as giving, etc.; that which belongs to the supreme — the character or conduct of the one who is supreme (i.e., of the bodhisattva) — is a paaramii, i.e., the activities of giving, etc.

(iii) How many are there?

In brief there are ten. These have come down in the texts in their specific character. As it is said:

“How many qualities are there, Lord, issuing in Buddhahood?”

“There are, Saariputta, ten qualities issuing in Buddhahood. What are the ten? Giving, Saariputta, is a quality issuing in Buddhahood. Virtue, renunciation, wisdom, energy, patience, truthfulness, determination, loving-kindness, and equanimity are qualities issuing in Buddhahood.”2

But some say there are six. This is said by way of their synthesis, which we will explain below (section xii).

(iv) What is their sequence?

Here “sequence” means sequence of teaching. This sequence is rooted in the order in which the paaramiis are initially undertaken, which in turn is rooted in the order in which they are investigated.3 The quality which is investigated and undertaken at the beginning is taught first. Therein, giving is stated first, for giving assists (the development of) virtue and is easy to practice. Giving accompanied by virtue is abundantly fruitful and beneficial, so virtue is stated immediately after giving. Virtue accompanied by renunciation… renunciation by wisdom… wisdom by energy… energy by patience… patience by truthfulness… truthfulness by determination… determination by loving-kindness… and loving-kindness accompanied by equanimity is abundantly fruitful and beneficial; thus equanimity is stated immediately after loving-kindness. Equanimity is accompanied by compassion and compassion by equanimity. (Someone may ask:) “How can the bodhisattvas, the great compassionate ones, look upon living beings with equanimity?” Some teachers say: “Sometimes they show equanimity toward living beings when it is necessary to do so.” But others say: “They do not show equanimity toward living beings (as such), but toward the offensive actions performed by beings.”

Another method (of explaining the sequence) may be given:

(1) Giving is stated at the beginning: (a) because it is common to all beings, since even ordinary people practice giving; (b) because it is the least fruitful; and (c) because it is the easiest to practice.

(2) Virtue is stated immediately after giving: (a) because virtue purifies both the donor and the recipient; (b) to show that, while giving benefits others, virtue prevents the affliction of others; (c) in order to state a factor of abstinence immediately after a factor of positive activity; and (d) in order to show the cause for the achievement of a favorable state of future existence right after the cause for the achievement of wealth.4

(3) Renunciation is mentioned immediately after virtue: (a) because renunciation perfects the achievement of virtue; (b) in order to list good conduct of mind immediately after good conduct of body and speech; (c) because meditation (jhaana) succeeds easily for one who has purified his virtue; (d) in order to show that the purification of one’s end (aasaya) through the abandoning of the offensive mental defilements follows the purification of one’s means (payoga) by the abandoning of offensive actions; and (e) to state the abandoning of mental obsessions immediately after the abandoning of bodily and verbal transgressions.5

(4) Wisdom is mentioned immediately after renunciation: (a) because renunciation is perfected and purified by wisdom; (b) to show that there is no wisdom in the absence of meditation (jhaana), since concentration is the proximate cause of wisdom and wisdom the manifestation of concentration; (c) in order to list the causal basis for equanimity immediately after the causal basis for serenity; and (d) to show that skillful means in working for the welfare of others springs from meditation directed to their welfare.

(5) Energy is stated immediately after wisdom: (a) because the function of wisdom is perfected by the arousing of energy; (b) to show the miraculous work the bodhisattva undertakes for the welfare of beings after he has reached reflective acquiescence in their emptiness; (c) to state the causal basis for exertion right after the basis for equanimity; and (d) to state the arousing of energy right after the activity of careful consideration, according to the statement: “The activity of those who have carefully considered brings excellent results.”

(6) Patience is mentioned immediately after energy: (a) because patience is perfected by energy, as it is said: “The energetic man, by arousing his energy, overcomes the suffering imposed by beings and formations”; (b) because patience is an adornment of energy, as it is said: “The patience of the energetic man shines with splendor”; (c) in order to state the causal basis for serenity immediately after the basis for exertion, for restlessness due to excessive activity is abandoned through reflective acquiescence in the Dhamma;6 (d) in order to show the perseverance of the man of energy, since one who is patient and free from restlessness perseveres in his work; (e) in order to show the absence of craving for rewards in a bodhisattva diligently engaged in activity for the welfare of others, for there is no craving when he reflects on the Dhamma in accordance with actuality; and (f) to show that the bodhisattva must patiently endure the suffering created by others even when he is working to the utmost for their welfare.

(7) Truthfulness is stated immediately after patience: (a) because the determination to practice patience continues long through truthfulness; (b) having first mentioned the patient endurance of wrongs inflicted by others, to mention next fidelity to one’s word to render them help; (c) in order to show that a bodhisattva who through patience does not vacillate in the face of abuse, through truthful speech does not relinquish (his antagonist); and (d) to show the truthfulness of the knowledge developed through reflective acquiescence in the emptiness of beings.

(8) Determination is stated immediately after truthfulness; (a) because truthfulness is perfected by determination, since abstinence (from falsehood) becomes perfect in one whose determination is unshakeable; (b) having first shown non-deception in speech, to show next unshakeable commitment to one’s word, for a bodhisattva devoted to truth proceeds to fulfill his vows of giving, etc., without wavering; and (c) to show, right after the veracity of knowledge, the complete accumulation of the requisites of enlightenment (bodhisambhaara); for one who knows things as they really are determines upon the requisites of enlightenment and brings them to completion by refusing to vacillate in the face of their opposites.7

(9) Loving-kindness is mentioned immediately after determination: (a) because loving-kindness perfects the determination to undertake activity for the welfare of others; (b) in order to list the work of actually providing for the welfare of others right after stating the determination to do so, for “one determined upon the requisites of enlightenment abides in loving-kindness”; and (c) because the undertaking (of activity for the welfare of others) proceeds imperturbably only when determination is unshakeable.

(10) Equanimity is mentioned immediately after loving-kindness: (a) because equanimity purifies loving-kindness; (b) in order to show the indifference one must maintain toward the wrongs inflicted by others when one is providing for their welfare; (c) having mentioned the development of loving-kindness, to state next the development of the quality which evolves from it; and (d) to show the bodhisattva’s wonderful virtue of remaining impartial even toward those who wish him well.

Thus the sequence of the paaramiis should be understood as explained.

(v) What are their characteristics, functions, manifestations, and proximate causes?

Firstly, all the paaramiis, without exception, have as their characteristic the benefiting of others; as their function, the rendering of help to others, or not vacillating; as their manifestation, the wish for the welfare of others, or Buddhahood; and as their proximate cause, great compassion, or compassion and skillful means.

Taken separately, the perfection of giving is the volition of relinquishing oneself and one’s belongings, accompanied by compassion and skillful means. The perfection of virtue is good conduct of body and speech, accompanied by compassion and skillful means; in denotation, it is the abstinence from what should not be done, the volition to do what should be done, etc. The perfection of renunciation is the act of consciousness which occurs renouncing sense pleasures and existence, preceded by the perception of their inherent unsatisfactoriness and accompanied by compassion and skillful means. The perfection of wisdom is the comprehension of the general and particular characteristics of dhammas, accompanied by compassion and skillful means. The perfection of energy is bodily and mental work for the welfare of others, accompanied by compassion and skillful means. The perfection of patience is the endurance of harm imposed by beings and formations, or the act of consciousness occurring in such a mode, predominated by non-aversion and accompanied by compassion and skillful means. The perfection of truthfulness is non-deceptiveness in speech, analyzed into an abstinence, a volition, etc., accompanied by compassion and skillful means. The perfection of determination is the unshakeable determination to undertake (activity for the good of others), accompanied by compassion and skillful means; or it is the act of consciousness occurring in such a mode. The perfection of loving-kindness is the wish to provide for the welfare and happiness of the world, accompanied by compassion and skillful means; in denotation, it is benevolence. The perfection of equanimity is the attitude of impartiality toward desirable and undesirable beings and formations, dispelling attraction and repulsion, accompanied by compassion and skillful means.

(On the basis of these definitions, the characteristics, etc., may be stated thus:)

(1) Giving has the characteristic of relinquishing; its function is to dispel greed for things that can be given away; its manifestation is non-attachment, or the achievement of prosperity and a favorable state of existence; an object that can be relinquished is its proximate cause.

(2) Virtue has the characteristic of composing (siilana); co-ordinating (samaadhaana) and establishing (pati.t.thaana) are also mentioned as its characteristic. Its function is to dispel moral depravity, or its function is blameless conduct; its manifestation is moral purity; shame and moral dread are its proximate cause.

(3) Renunciation has the characteristic of departing from sense pleasures and existence; its function is to verify their unsatisfactoriness; its manifestation is the withdrawal from them; a sense of spiritual urgency (sa.mvega) is its proximate cause.

(4) Wisdom has the characteristic of penetrating the real specific nature (of phenomena), or the characteristic of sure penetration, like the penetration of an arrow shot by a skillful archer; its function is to illuminate the objective field, like a lamp; its manifestation is non-confusion, like a guide in a forest; concentration, or the Four (Noble) Truths, is its proximate cause.

(5) Energy has the characteristic of striving; its function is to fortify; its manifestation is indefatigability; an occasion for the arousing of energy, or a sense of spiritual urgency, is its proximate cause.

(6) Patience has the characteristic of acceptance; its function is to endure the desirable and undesirable; its manifestation is tolerance or non-opposition; seeing things as they really are is its proximate cause.

(7) Truthfulness has the characteristic of non-deceptiveness in speech; its function is to verify in accordance with fact; its manifestation is excellence; honesty is its proximate cause.

(8) Determination has the characteristic of determining upon the requisites of enlightenment; its function is to overcome their opposites; its manifestation is unshakeableness in that task; the requisites of enlightenment are its proximate cause.

(9) Loving-kindness has the characteristic of promoting the welfare (of living beings); its function is to provide for their welfare, or its function is to remove resentment; its manifestation is kindliness; seeing the agreeable side of beings is its proximate cause.

(10) Equanimity has the characteristic of promoting the aspect of neutrality; its function is to see things impartially; its manifestation is the subsiding of attraction and repulsion: reflection upon the fact that all beings inherit the results of their own kamma is its proximate cause.

And here it should be mentioned that accompaniment by compassion and skillful means is the distinguishing feature of the characteristic of each virtue — e.g., of relinquishing in the case of giving, etc. For the virtues such as giving, etc., which occur in the mental continuities of bodhisattvas are always accompanied by compassion and skillful means. It is this which makes them paaramiis.

(vi) What is their condition?

The condition of the paaramiis is, firstly, the great aspiration (abhiniihaara). This is the aspiration supported by the eight qualifications (see just below), which occurs thus: “Crossed I would cross, freed I would free, tamed I would tame, calmed I would calm, comforted I would comfort, attained to nibbaana I would lead to nibbaana, purified I would purify, enlightened I would enlighten!” This is the condition for all the paaramiis without exception.

The eight qualifications through which the aspiration succeeds are: the human state, the male sex, the cause, the sight of the Master, the going forth, the achievement of noble qualities, extreme dedication, and strong desire (Bv. IIA,v.59).

(1) The human state (manussatta): The aspiration for Buddhahood only succeeds when made by one who has attained to the human state of existence, not when made by one existing as a naaga, supa.n.na, etc. Why? Because these other states do not correspond with the state of a Buddha (who always arises in the human state).

(2) The male sex (li”ngasampatti): For one who has attained to the human state, the aspiration only succeeds when made by a man, not when made by a woman, eunuch, neuter, or hermaphrodite. Why? For the aforesaid reason (i.e., because the Buddha is always of the male sex), and because there is no fulfillment of the required characteristics (in these other cases). As it is said: “This is impossible, bhikkhus, this cannot come to pass, that a woman might become a perfectly enlightened Buddha” (A.i,28).

(3) The cause (hetu): the achievement of the necessary supporting conditions. Even for a man, the aspiration only succeeds for one endowed with the necessary supporting conditions, one who has achieved the requisite causal foundation, not for anyone else.

(4) The sight of the Master (satthaaradassana): the personal presence of the Master. The aspiration only succeeds when made by one aspiring in the presence of a living Buddha. When made after the Exalted One has passed into parinibbaana — before a shrine, at the foot of the Bodhi-tree, in front of an image, or in the presence of paccekabuddhas or the Buddha’s disciples — the aspiration does not succeed. Why? Because the recipient lacks the power (necessary to confirm the aspiration). The aspiration only succeeds when made in the presence of the Buddhas, for they alone possess spiritual power adequate to the loftiness of the aspiration.

(5) The going forth (pabbajjaa): The aspiration succeeds only when made in the presence of the Exalted Buddha by one who has gone forth (into the homeless state of a monk), either as a bhikkhu or as an ascetic who maintains the doctrine of kamma and the moral efficacy of action; it does not succeed for one living in the household state. Why? Because the household state does not correspond with that of a Buddha (who has himself gone forth). The great bodhisattvas (in their last existence) attain the supreme enlightenment only after they have gone forth into homelessness, not while they are still householders. Therefore, at the time of making the resolution, it is only one who has gone forth, endowed with the appropriate qualities and determination, who can succeed.

(6) The achievement of noble qualities (gu.nasampatti): the achievement of such noble qualities as the direct knowledges (abhi~n~naa), etc. For the aspiration only succeeds when made by one who has gone forth and gained the eight meditative attainments (samaapatti) and the five mundane types of direct knowledge;8 it does not succeed for one devoid of these qualities. Why? Because one devoid of them is incapable of investigating the paaramiis. It is because he possesses the necessary supporting conditions and the direct knowledges that the Great Man, after he has made the aspiration, is able to investigate the paaramiis by himself.

(7) Extreme dedication (adhikaara): extreme devotion. The aspiration only succeeds for one endowed with the aforesaid qualities who at the time has such strong devotion for the Buddhas that he is prepared to relinquish his very life for them.

(8) Strong desire (chandataa): wholesome desire, the wish for accomplishment. One possessed of the aforesaid qualities must have strong desire, yearning, and longing to practice the qualities issuing in Buddhahood. Only then does his aspiration succeed, not otherwise.

The following similes illustrate the magnitude of the desire required. If he were to hear: “He alone can attain Buddhahood who can cross a whole world-system filled with water and reach the further shore by the bare strength of his arms” — he would not deem that difficult to do, but would be filled with desire for the task and would not shrink away. If he were to hear: “He alone can attain Buddhahood who can tread across a whole world-system filled with flameless, smokeless red-hot coals, cross out, and reach the other side,” etc…. If he were to hear: “He alone can attain Buddhahood who can tread across a whole world-system that has become a solid mass of sharp-pointed sword-stakes, cross out, and reach the other side,” etc…. If he were to hear: “He alone can attain Buddhahood who can cut through a whole world-system that has become a jungle of thorny creepers covered by a solid thicket of bamboo, cross out, and reach the other side,” etc…. If he were to hear: “Buddhahood can only be attained after being tortured in hell for four incalculables and a 100,000 aeons” — he would not deem that difficult to do, but would be filled with desire for the task and would not shrink away. Such is the magnitude of the desire required.

The aspiration, made by one endowed with these eight factors, is in denotation the act of consciousness (cittuppaada) occurring together with the collection of these eight factors. Its characteristic is rightly resolving to attain the supreme enlightenment. Its function is to yearn, “Oh, may I awaken to the supreme perfect enlightenment, and bring well-being and happiness to all beings!” It is manifest as the root-cause for the requisites of enlightenment. Its proximate cause is great compassion, or the achievement of the necessary supporting conditions. Since it has as its object the inconceivable plane of the Buddhas and the welfare of the whole immeasurable world of beings, it should be seen as the loftiest, most sublime and exalted distinction of merit, endowed with immeasurable potency, the root-cause of all the qualities issuing in Buddhahood. Simultaneous with its arising, the Great Man enters upon the practice of the vehicle to great enlightenment (mahaabodhiyaanapa.tipatti). He becomes fixed in his destiny, irreversible, and therefore properly gains the designation “bodhisattva.” His mind becomes fully devoted to the supreme enlightenment in its completeness, and his capacity to fulfill the training in the requisites of enlightenment becomes established. For when their aspiration succeeds, the Great Men correctly investigate all the paaramiis with their self-evolved knowledge which prefigures their future attainment of omniscience. Then they undertake their practice, and fulfill them in due order, as was done by the wise Sumedha when he made his great aspiration.

Like the aspiration, great compassion (mahaakaru.naa) and skillful means (upaayakosalla) are also conditions for the paaramiis. Therein, “skillful means” is the wisdom which transforms giving (and the other nine virtues) into requisites of enlightenment. Through their great compassion and skillful means, the Great Men devote themselves to working uninterruptedly for the welfare of others without any concern for their own happiness and without any fear of the extremely difficult course of conduct that great bodhisattvas must follow. And their nature is such that they are able to promote the welfare and happiness of beings even on occasions when they are merely seen, heard of, or recollected, (since even the sight, report, or thought of them) inspires confidence. Through his wisdom the bodhisattva perfects within himself the character of a Buddha, through his compassion the ability to perform the work of a Buddha. Through wisdom he brings himself across (the stream of becoming), through compassion he leads others across. Through wisdom he understands the suffering of others, through compassion he strives to alleviate their suffering. Through wisdom he becomes disenchanted with suffering, through compassion he accepts suffering.. Through wisdom he aspires for nibbaana, through compassion he remains in the round of existence. Through compassion he enters sa.msaara, through wisdom he does not delight in it. Through wisdom he destroys all attachments, but because his wisdom is accompanied by compassion he never desists from activity that benefits others. Through compassion he shakes with sympathy for all, but because his compassion is accompanied by wisdom his mind is unattached. Through wisdom he is free from “I-making” and “mine-making,” through compassion he is free from lethargy and depression.

So too, through wisdom and compassion respectively, he becomes his own protector and the protector of others, a sage and a hero, one who does not torment himself and one who does not torment others, one who promotes his own welfare and the welfare of others, fearless and a giver of fearlessness, dominated by consideration for the Dhamma and by consideration for the world, grateful for favors done and forward in doing favors for others, devoid of delusion and devoid of craving, accomplished in knowledge and accomplished in conduct, possessed of the powers and possessed of the grounds of self-confidence. Thus wisdom and compassion, as the means for attaining each of the specific fruits of the paaramiitaas, is the condition for the paaramiis. And the same pair is a condition for the resolution as well.

The four factors — zeal, adroitness, stability, and beneficent conduct — are likewise conditions for the paaramiis. Because they serve as the basis for the arising of Buddhahood, these factors are called “grounds for Buddhahood” (buddhabhuumiyo). Herein, “zeal” (ussaaha) means energy in striving for the requisites of enlightenment. “Adroitness” (umma”nga) is wisdom in applying skillful means to the requisites of enlightenment. “Stability” (avatthaana) is determination, an unshakeable determination of the will. “Beneficent conduct” (hitacariyaa) is the development of loving-kindness and compassion.

Another set of conditions is the six inclinations — the inclinations toward renunciation, solitude, non-greed, non-hatred, non-delusion, and escape. For bodhisattvas, seeing the fault in sense pleasures and in household life, incline to renunciation. Seeing the fault in company, they incline to solitude. Seeing the faults in greed, hatred, and delusion, they incline to non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion. Seeing the fault in all the realms of existence, bodhisattvas incline to escape. Therefore these six inclinations of bodhisattvas are conditions for the paaramiis. For the paaramiis do not arise without seeing the danger in greed, etc., and the superiority of non-greed, etc. The inclination to non-greed, etc., is the slanting of the mind toward relinquishing, etc., because of the superiority of non-greed, etc.

So too, for bodhisattvas striving for enlightenment, the inclination toward each of the ten paaramiis is a condition for the practice of each. For bodhisattvas, through their inclination toward giving, see the fault in its opposite, i.e., in stinginess, and therefore fulfill the perfection of giving. Through their inclination toward virtue, they see the fault in moral depravity, and therefore fulfill the perfection of virtue. Through their inclination toward renunciation, they see the fault in sense pleasures and in household life; through their inclination toward knowing things as they really are, they see the faults in ignorance and perplexity; through their inclination toward energy, they see the fault in laziness; through their inclination toward patience, they see the fault in impatience; through their inclination toward truthfulness, they see the fault in deceptive speech; through their inclination toward determination, they see the fault in lack of determination; through their inclination toward loving-kindness, they see the fault in ill-will; and through their inclination toward equanimity, they see the danger in the vicissitudes of the world. Thus they fulfill the perfection of renunciation and the other perfections down to equanimity. In this way, the inclination toward giving and the other nine virtues, by bringing about the achievement of all the paaramiis, serves as their condition.

Reviewing the danger in their opposites and the benefit in their practice is another condition for the paaramiis; e.g., in the case of the perfection of giving, the danger in non-relinquishing and the benefit in relinquishing. This is the method of reviewing:

(1) The perfection of giving should be reflected upon thus: “Possessions such as fields, land, bullion, gold, cattle, buffaloes, slaves, children, wives, etc., bring tremendous harm to those who become attached to them. Because they stimulate desire they are wanted by many people; they can be confiscated by kings and thieves; they spark off disputes and create enemies; they are basically insubstantial; to acquire and protect them one has to harass others; when they are destroyed, many kinds of calamities, such as sorrow, etc., follow; and because of attachment to these things, the mind becomes obsessed with the stain of stinginess, and as a result one is reborn in the plane of misery. On the other hand, one act of relinquishing these things is one step to safety. Hence one should relinquish them with diligence.”

Further, when a suppliant asks for something, a bodhisattva should reflect: “He is my intimate friend, for he divulges his own secret to me. He is my teacher, for he teaches me: ‘When you go you have to abandon all. Going to the world beyond, you cannot even take your own possessions!’ He is a companion helping me to remove my belongings from this world which, like a blazing house, is blazing with the fire of death. In removing this he helps me to get rid of the worry it costs me. He is my best friend, for by enabling me to perform this noble act of giving, he helps me to accomplish the most eminent and difficult of all achievements, the attainment of the plane of the Buddhas.”

He should further reflect: “He honors me with a lofty task; therefore I should acknowledge that honor faithfully.” And: “Since life is bound to end I should give even when not asked, much more when asked.” And: “Those with a lofty temperament search for someone to give to, but he has come to me on his own accord because of my merit.” And: “Bestowing a gift upon a suppliant will be beneficial to me as well as to him.” And: “Just as I would benefit myself, so should I benefit all the world.” And: “If there were no suppliants, how would I fulfill the perfection of giving?” And: “Everything I acquire should be obtained only to give to others.” And: “When will beggars feel free to take my belongings on their own accord, without asking?” And: “How can I be dear and agreeable to beggars, and how can they be dear and agreeable to me? How can I give and, after giving, be elated, exultant, filled with rapture and joy? And how can beggars be so on my account? How can my inclination to giving be lofty? How can I give to beggars even without being asked, knowing their heart’s desire?” And: “Since there are goods, and beggars have come, not to give them something would be a great deception on my part.” And: “How can I relinquish my own life and limbs to those who ask for them?”

He should arouse a desire to give things away without concern by reflecting: “Good returns to the one who gives without his concern, just as the boomerang9 returns to the one who threw it without his concern.” If a dear person asks for something, he should arouse joy by reflecting: “One who is dear is asking me for something.” If an indifferent person asks for something, he should arouse joy by reflecting: “Surely, if I give him something he will become my friend, since giving to those who ask wins their affection.” And if a hostile person asks for something, he should be especially happy, thinking: “My foe is asking me for something; though he is hostile toward me, by means of this gift he will surely become my dear friend.” Thus he should give to neutral and hostile people in the same way he gives to dear people, having first aroused loving-kindness and compassion.

If, due to their cumulative force, states of greed should arise for things which can be given away, the bodhisattva-aspirant should reflect: “Well now, good man, when you made the aspiration for full enlightenment, did you not surrender this body as well as the merit gained in relinquishing it for the sake of helping all beings? Attachment to external objects is like the bathing of an elephant; therefore you should not be attached to anything. Suppose there is a great medicine-tree, and someone in need of its roots takes away its roots; someone in need of its shoots, bark, trunk, limbs, heartwood, branches, foliage, flowers, or fruits takes away its shoots, bark, trunk, etc. The tree would not be assailed by such thoughts as: ‘They are taking away my belongings.’ In the same way, when I have undertaken to exert myself for the welfare of all the world, I should not arouse even the subtlest wrong thought over this wretched, ungrateful, impure body, which I have entrusted to the service of others. And besides, what distinction can be made between the internal material elements (of the body) and the external material elements (of the world)? They are both subject to inevitable breaking-up, dispersal, and dissolution. This is only confused prattle, the adherence to this body as ‘This is mine, this am I, this is my self.’ I should have no more concern over my own hands, feet, eyes, and flesh than over external things. Instead I should arouse the thought to surrender them to others: ‘Let those who need them take them away.’”

As he reflects in this way, resolved upon full enlightenment without concern for his body or life, his bodily, vocal, and mental actions will easily become fully purified. When his bodily, vocal, and mental actions, along with his livelihood, become purified, he abides in the practice of the true way, and through his skillful means in regard to gain and loss, he is able to benefit all beings to an even greater extent by relinquishing material gifts and by giving the gift of fearlessness and the gift of the true Dhamma.

This is the method of reflecting on the perfection of giving.

(2) The perfection of virtue should be reflected upon as follows: “Even the waters of the Ganges cannot wash away the stain of hatred, yet the water of virtue is able to do so. Even yellow sandalwood cannot cool the fever of lust, yet virtue is able to remove it. Virtue is the unique adornment of the good, surpassing the adornments cherished by ordinary people, such as necklaces, diadems, and earrings. It is a sweet-scented fragrance superior to incense as it pervades all directions and is always in place; a supreme magical spell which wins the homage of deities and of powerful khattiyas, etc., a staircase ascending to the world of the gods, to the heaven of the Four Great Kings,10 etc., a means for achieving the jhaanas and the direct knowledges; a highway leading to the great city of nibbaana; the foundation for the enlightenment of disciples, paccekabuddhas, and perfectly enlightened Buddhas. And as a means for the fulfillment of all one’s wishes and desires, it surpasses the tree of plenty and the wish-fulfilling gem.”

Virtue should be reflected upon as the basis for rapture and joy; as granting immunity from fear of self-reproach, the reproach of others, temporal punishment, and an evil destination after death; as praised by the wise; as the root-cause for freedom from remorse; as the basis for security; and as surpassing the achievements of high birth, wealth, sovereignty, long life, beauty, status, kinsmen, and friends. For great rapture and joy arise in the virtuous man when he reflects on his own accomplishment in virtue: “I have done what is wholesome, I have done what is good, I have built myself a shelter from fear.” The virtuous man does not blame himself, and other wise men do not blame him, and he does not encounter the dangers of temporal punishment or an evil destination after death. To the contrary, the wise praise the noble character of the virtuous man, and the virtuous man is not subject to the remorse which arises in the immoral man when he thinks: “I have committed evil, wicked, sinful deeds.” And virtue is the supreme basis for security, since it is the foundation for diligence, a blessing, and a means for achieving great benefits, such as preventing the loss of wealth, etc.

Accomplishment in virtue surpasses birth in a good family, since a virtuous man of low birth deserves to be worshipped even by great, powerful khattiyas. Virtue surpasses material wealth, for it cannot be confiscated by thieves, follows one to the world beyond, produces great fruit, and acts as the foundation for such qualities as serenity, etc. Because it enables one to achieve supreme sovereignty over one’s own mind, virtue surpasses the sovereignty of khattiyas, etc. And because of their virtue, beings attain sovereignty in their respective orders. Virtue is superior even to life, for it is said that a single day in the life of the virtuous is better than a hundred years of life devoid of virtue (Dhp.110); and there being life, the disavowal of the training (in the holy life) is called (spiritual) death. Virtue surpasses the achievement of beauty, for it makes one beautiful even to one’s enemies, and it cannot be vanquished by the adversities of aging and sickness. As the foundation for distinguished states of happiness, virtue surpasses such distinguished dwellings as palaces, mansions, etc., and such distinguished social positions as that of a king, prince, or general. Because it promotes one’s highest welfare and follows one to the world beyond, virtue surpasses kinsmen and friends, even those who are close and affectionate. Again, in accomplishing the difficult task of self-protection, virtue is superior to troops of elephants, horses, chariots, and infantry, as well as to such devices as mantras, spells, and blessings, for it depends on oneself, does not depend on others, and has a great sphere of influence. Hence it is said: “Dhamma protects the one who lives by Dhamma” (Thag.303).

When one reflects in this way upon the numerous noble qualities of virtue, one’s unfulfilled achievement of virtue will become fulfilled, and one’s unpurified virtue will become purified.

If, due to their cumulative force, states antithetical to virtue such as aversion should arise from time to time, the aspirant should reflect: “Did you not make the resolution to win full enlightenment? One defective in virtue cannot even succeed in mundane affairs, much less in supramundane matters. You should reach the peak of virtue, for virtue is the foundation for supreme enlightenment, the foremost of all achievements. You should always be well behaved, safeguarding your virtue perfectly, more carefully than a hen safeguarding its eggs. Further, by teaching the Dhamma you should help beings to enter and reach maturity in the three vehicles (see pp.1-2). But the word of a morally dubious man is no more reliable than the remedy of a doctor who does not consider what is suitable for his patients. How can I be trustworthy, so that I can help beings to enter and reach maturity in the three vehicles? I must be pure in character and in virtue. How can I acquire the distinguished attainments such as the jhaanas, etc., so that I will be capable of helping others and of fulfilling the perfection of wisdom, etc.? The distinguished attainments such as the jhaanas, etc., are not possible without purification of virtue. Therefore virtue should be made perfectly pure.”

(3) The perfection of renunciation should be reflected upon by first discerning the dangers in household life, according to the text “household life is constricting, a path for the dust of passions,” etc. (D.i,63); in sense pleasures, according to the text, “sense pleasures are like a chain of bones,” etc. (M.i,364); and in sensual desire, according to the text “suppose a man borrowed a loan and undertook work,” etc. (D.i,71). Then, in the opposite way, one should reflect upon the benefits in going forth, according to the text “going forth is like open space,” etc. (D.i,63). This is a brief statement. For details one should consult such suttas as “The Great Mass of Suffering” (M.i,83-90) or “The Simile of the Venomous Snakes” (S.iv,172-75).

(4) For the perfection of wisdom, the noble qualities of wisdom should be considered, as follows: “Without wisdom, the virtues such as giving do not become purified and cannot perform their respective functions. Just as, without life, the bodily organism loses its luster and cannot perform its proper activities, and as without consciousness the sense faculties cannot exercise their functions in their respective spheres, just so, without wisdom the faculties such as faith, etc., cannot perform their functions. Wisdom is the chief cause for the practice of the other paaramii. For when their wisdom-eyes open up, the great bodhisattvas give even their own limbs and organs without extolling themselves and disparaging others. Like medicine-trees they give devoid of discrimination, filled with joy throughout the three times. By means of wisdom, the act of relinquishing, exercised with skillful means and practiced for the welfare of others, attains the status of a paaramii; but giving for one’s own benefit is like an investment.. Again, without wisdom virtue cannot be severed from the defilements of craving, etc., and therefore cannot even reach purification, much less serve as the foundation for the qualities of an omniscient Buddha. Only the man of wisdom clearly recognizes the dangers in household life, in the strands of sense pleasure, and in sa.msaara, and sees the benefits in going forth, in attaining the jhaanas, and in realizing nibbaana; and he alone goes forth into homelessness, develops the jhaanic attainments, and, directed toward nibbaana, establishes others therein.

“Energy devoid of wisdom does not accomplish the purpose desired since it is wrongly aroused, and it is better not to arouse energy at all than to arouse it in the wrong way. But when energy is conjoined with wisdom, there is nothing it cannot accomplish if equipped with the proper means. Again, only the man of wisdom can patiently tolerate the wrongs of others, not the dull-witted man. In the man lacking wisdom, the wrongs of others only provoke impatience; but for the wise, they call his patience into play and make it grow even stronger. The wise man, having understood as they really are three noble truths,11 their causes and opposites, never speaks deceptively to others. So too, having fortified himself with the power of wisdom, the wise man in his fortitude forms an unshakeable determination to undertake all the paaramiis. Only the man of wisdom is skillful in providing for the welfare of all beings, without discriminating between dear people, neutrals, and enemies. And only by means of wisdom can he remain indifferent to the vicissitudes of the world, such as gain and loss, without being affected by them.”

In this way one should reflect upon the noble qualities of wisdom, recognizing it to be the cause for the purification of all the paaramiis.

Furthermore, without wisdom there is no achievement of vision, and without the achievement of vision there can be no accomplishment in virtue. One lacking virtue and vision cannot achieve concentration, and without concentration one cannot even secure one’s own welfare, much less the lofty goal of providing for the welfare of others. Therefore a bodhisattva, practicing for the welfare of others, should admonish himself: “Have you made a thorough effort to purify your wisdom?” For it is by the spiritual power of wisdom that the Great Beings, established in the four foundations, benefit the world with the four bases of beneficence, help beings enter the path to emancipation, and bring their faculties to maturity.12 Through the power of wisdom, again, they are devoted to the investigation of the aggregates, sense bases, etc., fully comprehend the processes of origination and cessation in accordance with actuality, develop the qualities of giving, etc., to the stages of distinction and penetration, and perfect the training of bodhisattvas. Thus the perfection of wisdom should be reinforced by determining the noble qualities of wisdom with their numerous modes and constituents.

(5) The perfection of energy should be reflected upon thus: “Without energy a man cannot even achieve success in worldly works directed to visible ends. But there is nothing the energetic, indefatigable man cannot achieve. One lacking energy cannot undertake to rescue all beings from the great flood of sa.msaara; even if his energy is only moderate he will give up in the middle. But one bristling with energy can achieve perfection in all he undertakes.”

The noble qualities of energy should be further reviewed as follows: “One intent on rescuing himself alone from the mire of sa.msaara cannot fulfill his ideal if he relaxes his energy; how much less one who aspires to rescue the entire world.” And: “Through the power of energy such wrong thoughts as the following are kept away: ‘It is quite right for you to escape from the suffering of sa.msaara by yourself alone; for so long as you are a foolish worldling the host of defilements is as difficult to restrain as a herd of mad elephants, the kamma caused by them is like a murderer with drawn sword, the evil destinations based on these actions stand constantly before you with open doors, and evil friends are always around to enjoin you in those actions and admonish you to practice them.’” And: “If even full enlightenment can be achieved by one’s own energy, what can be difficult?”

(6) The perfection of patience should be considered next: “Patience is the unimpeded weapon of the good in the development of noble qualities, for it dispels anger, the opposite of all such qualities, without residue. It is the adornment of those capable of vanquishing the foe; the strength of recluses and brahmans; a stream of water extinguishing the fire of anger; the basis for acquiring a good reputation; a mantra for quelling the poisonous speech of evil people; the supreme source of constancy in those established in restraint. Patience is an ocean on account of its depth; a shore bounding the great ocean of hatred; a panel closing off the door to the plane of misery; a staircase ascending to the worlds of the gods and Brahmaas; the ground for the habitation of all noble qualities; the supreme purification of body, speech and mind.”

Patience should be further fortified by reflection: “Those who lack patience are afflicted in this world and apply themselves to actions which will lead to their affliction in the life to come.” And: “Although this suffering arises through the wrong deeds of others, this body of mine is the field for that suffering, and the action which is its seed was sown by me alone.” And: “This suffering will release me from the debt of that kamma.” And: “If there were no wrong-doers, how could I accomplish the perfection of patience?” And: “Although he is a wrong-doer now, in the past he was my benefactor.” And: “A wrong-doer is also a benefactor, for he is the basis for developing patience.” And: “All beings are like my own children. Who becomes angry over the misdeeds of his own children?” And: “He wrongs me because of some residue of anger in myself; this residue I should remove.” And: “I am just as much the cause as he for the wrong on account of which this suffering has arisen.” And: “All those phenomena by which wrong was done, and those to whom it was done — all those, at this very moment, have ceased. With whom, then, should you now be angry, and by whom should anger be aroused? When all phenomena are non-self, who can do wrong to whom?”

If, due to its cumulative force, anger caused by the wrongs of others should continue to overpower the mind, one should reflect: “Patience is the contributive cause for rendering help to others in return for their wrong.” And: “This wrong, by causing me suffering, is a condition for faith, since suffering is said to be the decisive support for faith, and it is also a condition for the perception of discontent with all the world.” And: “This is the nature of the sense-faculties — to encounter desirable and undesirable objects. How then is it possible not to encounter undesirable objects?” And: “Under the control of anger, a person becomes mad and distraught, so why retaliate?” And: “All these beings are watched over by the Buddha as if they were his own dear children. Therefore I should not be angry with them.” And: “When the wrong-doer is endowed with noble qualities, I should not be angry with him. And when he does not have any noble qualities, then I should regard him with compassion.” And: “Because of anger my fame and noble qualities diminish, and to the pleasure of my enemies I become ugly, sleep in discomfort, etc.” And: “Anger is the only real enemy, for it is the agent of all harm and the destroyer of all good.” And: “When one has patience one has no enemies.” And: “Because of his wrong, the wrong-doer will meet suffering in the future, but so long as I remain patient I will not.” And: “Enemies are the consequence of my angry thought. When I vanquish anger by patience, my foe, who is the by-product of my anger, will also be vanquished.” And: “I should not relinquish the noble quality of patience because of a little anger. Anger is the antithesis and obstruction to all noble qualities, so if I become angry, how can my virtue, etc., reach fulfillment? And when those qualities are absent, how can I devote myself to helping other beings and attain the ultimate goal in accordance with my vows.” And: “When there is patience, the mind becomes concentrated, free from external distraction. With the mind concentrated, all formations appear to reflection as impermanent and suffering, all phenomena as non-self, nibbaana as unconditioned, deathless, peaceful, and sublime, and the Buddha-qualities as endowed with inconceivable and immeasurable potency. Then, established in acquiescence in conformity,13 the groundlessness of all ‘I-making’ and ‘mine-making’ becomes evident to reflection thus: ‘Mere phenomena alone exist, devoid of self or of anything pertaining to a self. They arise and pass away in accordance with their conditions. They do not come from anywhere, they do not go anywhere, they are not established anywhere. There is no agency in anything whatsoever.’ In this way a bodhisattva becomes fixed in destiny, bound for enlightenment, irreversible.”

This is the method of reflecting upon the perfection of patience.

(7) The perfection of truthfulness should be reviewed thus: “Without truthfulness, virtue, etc., is impossible, and there can be no practice in accordance with one’s vows. All evil states converge upon the transgression of truth. One who is not devoted to truth is unreliable and his word cannot be accepted in the future. On the other hand, one devoted to truth secures the foundation of all noble qualities. With truthfulness as the foundation, he is capable of purifying and fulfilling all the requisites of enlightenment. Not deceived about the true nature of phenomena, he performs the functions of all the requisites of enlightenment and completes the practice of the bodhisattva path.”

(8) The perfection of determination should be reviewed thus: “Without firmly undertaking the practice of giving (and the other paaramiis), maintaining an unshakeable determination in the encounter with their opposites, and practicing them with constancy and vigor, the bases of enlightenment — i.e., the requisites such as giving, etc. — do not arise.”

(9) The noble qualities of loving-kindness should be reflected upon as follows: “One resolved only upon his own welfare cannot achieve success in this world or a happy rebirth in the life to come without some concern for the welfare of others; how then can one wishing to establish all beings in the attainment of nibbaana succeed without loving-kindness? And if you wish to ultimately lead all beings to the supramundane achievement of nibbaana, you should begin by wishing for their mundane success here and now.” And: “I cannot provide for the welfare and happiness of others merely by wishing for it. Let me put forth effort to accomplish it.” And: “Now I support them by promoting their welfare and happiness; afterward they will be my companions in sharing the Dhamma.” And: “Without these beings, I could not acquire the requisites of enlightenment. Since they are the cause for the manifestation and perfecting of all the Buddha-qualities, these beings are for me a supreme field of merit, the incomparable basis for planting wholesome roots, the ultimate object of reverence.”

Thus one should arouse an especially strong inclination toward promoting the welfare of all beings. And why should loving-kindness be developed toward all beings? Because it is the foundation for compassion. For when one delights in providing for the welfare and happiness of other beings with an unbounded heart, the desire to remove their affliction and suffering becomes powerful and firmly rooted. And compassion is the first of all the qualities issuing in Buddhahood — their footing, foundation, root, head and chief.

(10) The perfection of equanimity should be considered thus: “When there is no equanimity, the offensive actions performed by beings cause oscillation in the mind. And when the mind oscillates, it is impossible to practice the requisites of enlightenment.” And: “Even though the mind has been softened with the moisture of loving-kindness, without equanimity one cannot purify the requisites of enlightenment and cannot dedicate one’s requisites of merit along with their results to furthering the welfare of beings.”

Moreover, the undertaking, determination, fulfillment, and completion of all the requisites of enlightenment succeed through the power of equanimity. For without equanimity, the aspirant cannot relinquish something without making false discriminations over gifts and recipients. Without equanimity, he cannot purify his virtue without always thinking about the obstacles to his life and to his vital needs. Equanimity perfects the power of renunciation, for by its means he overcomes discontent and delight. It perfects the functions of all the requisites (by enabling wisdom) to examine them according to their origin. When energy is aroused to excess because it has not been examined with equanimity, it cannot perform its proper function of striving. Forbearance and reflective acquiescence (the modes of patience) are possible only in one possessed of equanimity. Because of this quality, he does not speak deceptively about beings or formations. By looking upon the vicissitudes of worldly events with an equal mind, his determination to fulfill the practices he has undertaken becomes completely unshakeable. And because he is unconcerned over the wrongs done by others, he perfects the abiding in loving-kindness. Thus equanimity is indispensable to the practice of all the other paaramiis.

Such is the reflection on the perfection of equanimity.

Thus reviewing the danger in their opposites and the benefits in their practice is a condition for the paaramiis.

(vii) What is their defilement (sa”nkilesa)?

In general, being misapprehended by craving, etc., is the defilement of all the paaramiis. Taken separately, discriminating thoughts (vikappa) over gifts and recipients are the defilement of the perfection of giving. Discriminating thoughts over beings and times are the defilement of the perfection of virtue.. Discriminating thoughts of delight in sense pleasures and existence, and of discontent with their pacification, are the defilement of the perfection of renunciation. Discriminating thoughts of “I” and “mine” are the defilement of the perfection of wisdom; discriminating thoughts leaning to listlessness and restlessness, of the perfection of energy; discriminating thoughts of oneself and others, of the perfection of patience; discriminating thoughts of avowing to have seen what was not seen, etc., of the perfection of truthfulness; discriminating thoughts perceiving flaws in the requisites of enlightenment and virtues in their opposites, of the perfection of determination; discriminating thoughts confusing what is harmful with what is beneficial, of the perfection of loving-kindness; and discriminating thoughts over the desirable and undesirable, of the perfection of equanimity. Thus the defilements should be understood.

(viii) What is their cleansing (vodaana)?

Their cleansing is the removal of the taints of craving, etc., and the absence of the aforementioned discriminations. For the paaramiis become pure and luminous when untainted by such defilements as craving, conceit, views, anger, malice, denigration, domineering, envy, stinginess, craftiness, hypocrisy, obstinacy, presumption, vanity, and negligence, and when devoid of the discriminating thoughts over gifts and recipients, etc.

(ix) What are their opposites (pa.tipakkha)?

In general, all the defilements and all unwholesome qualities are their opposites. Taken separately, stinginess is the opposite of giving, and so on, as mentioned earlier. Further, giving is opposed to greed, hatred, and delusion, since it applies the qualities of non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion to gifts, recipients, and the fruits of giving, respectively. Virtue is opposed to greed, hatred, and delusion, since it removes crookedness and corruption in bodily conduct, etc. Renunciation is opposed to these three corruptions since it avoids indulgence in sense pleasures, the affliction of others, and self-mortification. Wisdom opposes them in so far as greed, etc., create blindness, while knowledge restores sight. Energy opposes them by arousing the true way free from both listlessness and restlessness. Patience opposes them by accepting the desirable, the undesirable, and emptiness. Truthfulness is their opposite because it proceeds in accordance with fact whether others render help or inflict harm. Determination is the opposite of these three defilements since, after vanquishing the vicissitudes of the world, it remains unshakeable in fulfilling the requisites of enlightenment in the way they have been undertaken. Loving-kindness is the opposite of greed, hatred, and delusion, through its seclusion from the hindrances. And equanimity is their opposite by dispelling attraction and repulsion toward desirable and undesirable objects, respectively, and by proceeding evenly under varying circumstances.

(x) How are they to be practiced?

(1) The perfection of giving, firstly, is to be practiced by benefiting beings in many ways — by relinquishing one’s own happiness, belongings, body, and life to others, by dispelling their fear, and by instructing them in the Dhamma. Herein, giving is threefold by way of the object to be given: the giving of material things (aamisadaana), the giving of fearlessness (abhayadaana), and the giving of the Dhamma (dhammadaana). Among these, the object to be given can be twofold: internal and external. The external gift is tenfold: food, drink, garments, vehicles, garlands, scents, unguents, bedding, dwellings, and lamps. These gifts, again, become manifold by analyzing each into its constituents; e.g., food into hard food, soft food, etc. The external gift can also become sixfold when analyzed by way of sense object (aaramma.nato): visible forms, sounds, smells, tastes, tangibles, and non-sensory objects. The sense objects, such as visible forms, become manifold when analyzed into blue, etc. So too, the external gift is manifold by way of the divers valuables and belongings such as gems, gold, silver, pearls, coral, etc.; fields, lands, parks, etc.; slaves, cows, buffaloes, etc.

When the Great Man gives an external object, he gives whatever is needed to whomever stands in need of it; and knowing by himself that someone is in need of something, he gives it even unasked, much more when asked. He gives generously, not ungenerously. He gives sufficiently, not insufficiently, when there is something to be given. He does not give because he expects something in return. And when there is not enough to give sufficiently to all, he distributes evenly whatever can be shared. But he does not give things that issue in affliction to others, such as weapons, poisons, and intoxicants. Nor does he give amusements which are harmful and lead to negligence. And he does not give unsuitable food or drink to a person who is sick, even though he might ask for it, and he does not give what is suitable beyond the proper measure.

Again, when asked, he gives to householders things appropriate for householders, and to monks things appropriate for monks. He gives to his mother and father, kinsmen and relatives, friends and colleagues, children, wife, slaves, and workers, without causing pain to anyone. Having promised an excellent gift, he does not give something mean. He does not give because he desires gain, honor, or fame, or because he expects something in return, or out of expectation of some fruit other than the supreme enlightenment. He does not give detesting the gift or those who ask. He does not give a discarded object as a gift, not even to unrestrained beggars who revile and abuse him. Invariably he gives with care, with a serene mind, full of compassion. He does not give through belief in superstitious omens; but he gives believing in kamma and its fruit. When he gives he does not afflict those who ask by making them do homage to him, etc.; but he gives without afflicting others. He does not give a gift with the intention of deceiving others or with the intention of injuring; he gives only with an undefiled mind. He does not give a gift with harsh words or a frown, but with words of endearment, congenial speech, and a smile on his face. Whenever greed for a particular object becomes excessive, due to its high value and beauty, its antiquity, or personal attachment, the bodhisattva recognizes his greed, quickly dispels it, seeks out some recipients, and gives it away. And if there should be an object of limited value that can be given and a suppliant expecting it, without a second thought he bestirs himself and gives it to him, honoring him as though he were an uncelebrated sage. Asked for his own children, wife, slaves, workers, and servants, the Great Man does not give them while they are as yet unwilling to go, afflicted with grief. But when they are willing and joyful, then he gives them. But if he knows that those who ask for them are demonic beings — ogres, demons, or goblins — or men of cruel disposition, then he does not give them away. So too, he will not give his kingdom to those intent on the harm, suffering, and affliction of the world, but he would give it away to righteous men who protect the world with Dhamma.

This, firstly, is the way to practice the giving of external gifts.

The internal gift should be understood in two ways. How? Just as a man, for the sake of food and clothing, surrenders himself to another and enters into servitude and slavery, in the same way the Great Man, wishing for the supreme welfare and happiness of all beings, desiring to fulfill his own perfection of giving, with a spiritually-oriented mind, for the sake of enlightenment, surrenders himself to another and enters into servitude, placing himself at the disposal of others. Whatever limbs or organs of his might be needed by others — hands, feet, eyes, etc. — he gives them away to those who need them, without trembling and without cowering. He is no more attached to them, and no more shrinks away (from giving them to others), than if they were external objects. Thus the Great Man relinquishes an internal object in two ways: for the enjoyment of others according to their pleasure; or, while fulfilling the wishes of those who ask, for his own self-mastery. In this matter he is completely generous, and thinks: “I will attain enlightenment through non-attachment.” Thus the giving of the internal gift should be understood.

Herein, giving an internal gift, he gives only what leads to the welfare of the recipient, and nothing else. The Great Man does not knowingly give his own body, limbs, and organs to Maara or to the malevolent deities in Maara’s company, thinking: “Let this not lead to their harm.” And likewise, he does not give to those possessed by Maara or his deities, or to madmen. But when asked for these things by others, he gives immediately, because of the rarity of such a request and the difficulty of making such a gift.

The giving of fearlessness is the giving of protection to beings when they have become frightened on account of kings, thieves, fire, water, enemies, lions, tigers, other wild beasts, dragons, ogres, demons, goblins, etc.

The giving of the Dhamma is an unperverted discourse on the Dhamma given with an undefiled mind; that is, methodical instruction conducive to good in the present life, in the life to come, and to ultimate deliverance. By means of such discourses, those who have not entered the Buddha’s Dispensation enter it, while those who have entered it reach maturity therein. This is the method: In brief, he gives a talk on giving, on virtue, and on heaven, on the unsatisfactoriness and defilement in sense pleasures, and on the benefit in renouncing them. In detail, to those whose minds are disposed toward the enlightenment of disciples, he gives a discourse establishing and purifying them (in progress toward their goal) by elaborating upon the noble qualities of whichever among the following topics is appropriate: going for refuge, restraint by virtue, guarding the doors of the sense-faculties, moderation in eating, application to wakefulness, the seven good qualities; application to serenity (samatha) by practicing meditation on one of the thirty-eight objects (of serenity meditation); application to insight (vipassanaa) by contemplating the objects of insight-interpretation such as the material body; the progressive stages of purification, the apprehension of the course of rightness (sammattagaha.na), the three kinds of clear knowledge (vijjaa), the six direct knowledges (abhi~n~naa), the four discriminations (pa.tisambhidaa), and the enlightenment of a disciple.14 So too, for beings whose minds are disposed toward the enlightenment of paccekabuddhas and of perfectly enlightened Buddhas, he gives a discourse establishing and purifying them in the two vehicles (leading to these two types of enlightenment) by elaborating upon the greatness of the spiritual power of those Buddhas, and by explaining the specific nature, characteristic, function, etc., of the ten paaramiis in their three stages. Thus the Great Man gives the gift of the Dhamma to beings.

When he gives a material gift, the Great Man gives food thinking: “May I, by this gift, enable beings to achieve long life, beauty, happiness, strength, intelligence, and the supreme fruit of unsullied bliss.” He gives drink wishing to allay the thirst of sensual defilements; garments to gain the adornments of shame and moral dread and the golden complexion (of a Buddha); vehicles for attaining the modes of psychic potency and the bliss of nibbaana; scents for producing the sweet scent of virtue; garlands and unguents for producing the beauty of the Buddha-qualities; seats for producing the seat on the terrace of enlightenment; bedding for producing the bed of a Tathaagata’s rest; dwellings so he might become a refuge for beings; lamps so he might obtain the five-eyes.15 He gives visible forms for producing the fathom-wide aura (surrounding a Buddha); sounds for producing the Brahmaa-like voice (of a Buddha); tastes for endearing himself to all the world; and tangibles for acquiring a Buddha’s elegance. He gives medicines so he might later give the ageless and deathless state of nibbaana. He gives slaves the gift of freedom so he might later emancipate beings from the slavery of the defilements. He gives blameless amusements and enjoyments in order to produce delight in the true Dhamma. He gives his own children as a gift in order that he might adopt all beings as his children by granting them a noble birth. He gives his wives as a gift in order that he might become master over the entire world. He gives gifts of gold, gems, pearls, coral, etc., in order to achieve the major marks of physical beauty (characteristic of a Buddha’s body), and gifts of the diverse means of beautification in order to achieve the minor features of physical beauty.16 He gives his treasuries as a gift in order to obtain the treasury of the true Dhamma; the gift of his kingdom in order to become the king of the Dhamma; the gift of monasteries, parks, ponds, and groves in order to achieve the jhaanas, etc.; the gift of his feet in order that he might approach the terrace of enlightenment with feet marked with the auspicious wheels; the gift of his hands in order that he might give to beings the rescuing hand of the true Dhamma to help them across the four floods;17 the gift of his ears, nose, etc., in order to obtain the spiritual faculties of faith, etc.; the gift of his eyes in order to obtain the universal eye; the gift of his flesh and blood with the thought: “May my body be the means of life for all the world! May it bring welfare and happiness to all beings at all times, even on occasions of merely seeing, hearing, recollecting, or ministering to me!” And he gives the gift of his head in order to become supreme in all the world.

Giving thus, the Great Man does not give unwillingly, nor by afflicting others, nor out of fear, moral shame, or the scolding of those in need of gifts. When there is something excellent, he does not give what is mean. He does not give extolling himself and disparaging others. He does not give out of desire for the fruit, nor with loathing for those who ask, nor with lack of consideration. Rather, he gives thoroughly, with his own hand, at the proper time, considerately, without discrimination, filled with joy throughout the three times.18 Having given, he does not become remorseful afterward. He does not become either conceited or obsequious in relation to the recipients, but behaves amiably toward them. Bountiful and liberal, he gives things together with a bonus (saparivaara). For when he gives food, thinking: “I will give this along with a bonus,” he gives garments, etc., as well.. And when he gives garments, thinking: “I will give this along with a bonus,” he gives food, etc., as well. The same method with gifts of vehicles, etc. And when he gives a gift of one of the sense objects, such as visible forms, he gives the other sense objects also as a bonus.

This entire accomplishment in giving he dedicates to the welfare and happiness of the whole world, and to his own unshakeable emancipation through supreme enlightenment. He dedicates it to the attainment of inexhaustible desire (for the good), inexhaustible concentration, ingenuity, knowledge, and emancipation. In practicing the perfection of giving the Great Being should apply the perception of impermanence to life and possessions. He should consider them as shared in common with many, and should constantly and continuously arouse great compassion toward beings. Just as, when a house is blazing, the owner removes all his property of essential value and himself as well without leaving anything important behind, so does the Great Man invariably give, without discrimination and without concern.

This is the method of practicing the perfection of giving.

 

(2) Now comes the method of practicing the perfection of virtue. Since the Great Man desires to adorn beings with the adornment of the virtue of the omniscient, at the beginning he must first purify his own virtue. Herein, virtue is purified in four modes: (1) by the purification of one’s inclinations (ajjhaasayavisuddhi); (2) by the undertaking of precepts (samaadaana); (3) by non-transgression (aviitikkamana); and (4) by making amends for transgressions (pa.tipaakatikara.na). For someone who is dominated by personal ideals is naturally disgusted with evil through the purity of his own inclinations and purifies his conduct by arousing his inward sense of shame. Someone else, who is dominated by a consideration for the world, afraid of evil, purifies his conduct by receiving precepts from another person and by arousing his sense of moral dread. Both establish themselves in virtue through non-transgression. But if, due to forgetfulness, they sometimes break a precept, then through their sense of shame and moral dread, respectively, they quickly make amends for it by the proper means of rehabilitation.

Virtue is twofold as avoidance (vaaritta) and performance (caaritta). Herein, this is the method by which virtue as avoidance should be practiced. A bodhisattva should have such a heart of sympathy for all beings that he does not feel any resentment toward anyone, even in a dream. Because he is dedicated to helping others, he would no more misappropriate the belongings of others than he would take hold of a poisonous water snake. If he is a monk, he should live remote from unchastity, abstaining from the seven bonds of sexuality (A.iv,54-56), not to speak of adultery. If he is a householder, he should never arouse even an evil thought of lust for the wives of others. When he speaks, his statements should be truthful, beneficial, and endearing, and his talk measured, timely, and concerned with the Dhamma. His mind should always be devoid of covetousness, ill-will, and perverted views. He should possess the knowledge of the ownership of kamma and have settled faith and affection for recluses and brahmans who are faring and practicing rightly.

Because he abstains from unwholesome states and from the unwholesome courses of kamma leading to the four planes of misery and the suffering of the round, and because he is established in the wholesome courses of kamma leading to heaven and liberation, through the purity of his end and the purity of his means the Great Man’s wishes for the welfare and happiness of beings succeed immediately, exactly in the way they are formed, and his paaramiis reach fulfillment, for such is his nature. Since he desists from injuring others, he gives the gift of fearlessness to all beings. He perfects the meditation on loving-kindness without trouble, and enjoys the eleven benefits of loving-kindness (A.v,342). He is healthy and robust, attains longevity, abundant happiness, and distinguished characteristics, and eradicates the mental impression of hatred.19 So too, because he desists from taking what is not given, his possessions cannot be confiscated by thieves, etc. He is unsuspicious to others, dear and agreeable, trustworthy, unattached to prosperity and success, inclined to relinquishing, and he eradicates the mental impression of greed.

By desisting from unchastity he becomes unexcitable, peaceful in body and mind, dear and agreeable, unsuspicious to beings. A good report circulates concerning him. He is without lust or attachment to women, is devoted to renunciation, achieves distinguished characteristics and eradicates the mental impression of greed.

By desisting from false speech his word comes to be authoritative for others. He is regarded as reliable and trustworthy, one whose statements are always accepted. He is dear and agreeable to deities. His mouth gives off a sweet fragrance and his bodily and vocal conduct are protected. He achieves distinguished characteristics and eradicates the mental impression of defilements.

By desisting from slander he obtains a retinue and a following that cannot be divided by the attacks of others. He possesses unbreakable faith in the true Dhamma. He is a firm friend, as exceedingly dear to beings as though they were acquainted with him in the last existence. And he is devoted to non-defilement.

By desisting from harsh speech he becomes dear and agreeable to beings, pleasant in character, sweet in speech, held in esteem. And he develops a voice endowed with eight factors.20

By desisting from idle chatter he becomes dear and agreeable to beings, revered, held in esteem. His statements are accepted and his talk measured. He acquires great influence and power, and becomes skillful in answering the questions of others with the ingenuity that creates opportunities (to benefit others). And when he reaches the plane of Buddhahood, he becomes capable of answering the numerous questions of beings, speaking numerous languages all with a single reply.

Through his freedom from covetousness he gains what he wishes and obtains whatever excellent possessions he needs. He is honored by powerful khattiyas. He can never be vanquished by his adversaries, is never defective in his faculties, and becomes the peerless individual.

Through his freedom from ill-will he gains a pleasant appearance. He is esteemed by others, and because he delights in the welfare of beings, he automatically inspires their confidence. He becomes lofty in character, abides in loving-kindness, and acquires great influence and power.

Through his freedom from wrong view he gains good companions. Even if he is threatened with a sharp sword, he will not perform an evil deed.. Because he holds to the ownership of kamma, he does not believe in superstitious omens. His faith in the true Dhamma is established and firmly rooted. He has faith in the enlightenment of the Tathaagatas, and no more delights in the diversity of outside creeds than a royal swan delights in a dung heap. He is skillful in fully understanding the three characteristics (of impermanence, suffering, and non-self), and in the end gains the unobstructed knowledge of omniscience. Until he attains final enlightenment he becomes the foremost in whatever order of beings (he happens to be reborn in) and acquires the most excellent achievements.

Thus, esteeming virtue as the foundation for all achievements — as the soil for the origination of all the Buddha-qualities, the beginning, footing, head, and chief of all the qualities issuing in Buddhahood — and recognizing gain, honor, and fame as a foe in the guise of a friend, a bodhisattva should diligently and thoroughly perfect his virtue as a hen guards its eggs: through the power of mindfulness and clear comprehension in the control of bodily and vocal action, in the taming of the sense-faculties, in purification of livelihood, and in the use of the requisites.

This, firstly, is the method of practicing virtue as avoidance.

The practice of virtue as performance should be understood as follows: Herein, at the appropriate time, a bodhisattva practices salutation, rising up, respectful greetings, and courteous conduct toward good friends worthy of reverence. At the appropriate time he renders them service, and he waits upon them when they are sick. When he receives well-spoken advice he expresses his appreciation. He praises the noble qualities of the virtuous and patiently endures the abuse of antagonists. He remembers help rendered to him by others, rejoices in their merits, dedicates his own merits to the supreme enlightenment, and always abides diligently in the practice of wholesome states. When he commits a transgression he acknowledges it as such and confesses it to his co-religionists. Afterward he perfectly fulfills the right practice.

He is adroit and nimble in fulfilling his duties toward beings when these are conducive to their good. He serves as their companion. When beings are afflicted with the suffering of disease, etc., he prepares the appropriate remedy. He dispels the sorrow of those afflicted by the loss of wealth, etc. Of a helpful disposition, he restrains with Dhamma those who need to be restrained, rehabilitates them from unwholesome ways, and establishes them in wholesome courses of conduct. He inspires with Dhamma those in need of inspiration. And when he hears about the loftiest, most difficult, inconceivably powerful deeds of the great bodhisattvas of the past, issuing in the ultimate welfare and happiness of beings, by means of which they reached perfect maturity in the requisites of enlightenment, he does not become agitated and alarmed, but reflects: “Those Great Beings were only human beings. But by developing themselves through the orderly fulfillment of the training they attained the loftiest spiritual power and the highest perfection in the requisites of enlightenment. I, too, should practice the same training in virtue, etc. In that way I, too, will gradually fulfill the training and in the end attain the same state.” Then, with unflagging energy preceded by this faith, he perfectly fulfills the training in virtue, etc.

Again, he conceals his virtues and reveals his faults. He is few in his wishes, content, fond of solitude, aloof, capable of enduring suffering, and free from anxiety. He is not restless, puffed up, fickle, scurrilous, or scattered in speech, but calm in his faculties and mind. Avoiding such wrong means of livelihood as scheming, etc.., he is endowed with proper conduct and a suitable resort (for alms). He sees danger in the slightest faults, and having undertaken the rules of training trains himself in them, energetic and resolute, without regard for body or life. He does not tolerate even the slightest concern for his body or life but abandons and dispels it; how much more then excessive concern? He abandons and dispels all the corruptions such as anger, malice, etc., which are the cause for moral depravity. He does not become complacent over some minor achievement of distinction and does not shrink away, but strives for successively higher achievements.. In this way the achievements he gains do not partake of diminution or stagnation.

The Great Man serves as a guide for the blind, explaining to them the right path. To the deaf he gives signals with gestures of his hands, and in that way benefits them with good. So too for the dumb. To cripples he gives a chair, or a vehicle, or some other means of conveyance. He strives that the faithless may gain faith, that the lazy may generate zeal, that those of confused mindfulness may develop mindfulness, that those with wandering minds may become accomplished in concentration, and that the dull-witted may acquire wisdom. He strives to dispel sensual desire, ill-will, sloth-and-torpor, restlessness-and-worry, and perplexity in those obsessed by these hindrances, and to dispel wrong thoughts of sensuality, ill-will, and aggression in those subjugated by these thoughts. Out of gratitude to those who have helped him, he benefits and honors them with a similar or greater benefit in return, congenial in speech and endearing in his words.

He is a companion in misfortune. Understanding the nature and character of beings, he associates with whatever beings need his presence, in whatever way they need it; and he practices together with whatever beings need to practice with him, in whatever way of practice is necessary for them. But he proceeds only by rehabilitating them from the unwholesome and establishing them in the wholesome, not in other ways. For in order to protect the minds of others, bodhisattvas behave only in ways which increase the wholesome. So too, because his inclination is to benefit others, he should never harm them, abuse them, humiliate them, arouse remorse in them, or incite them to act in ways which should be avoided. Nor should he place himself in a higher position than those who are of inferior conduct. He should be neither altogether inaccessible to others, nor too easily accessible, and he should not associate with others at the wrong time.

He associates with beings whom it is proper to associate with at the appropriate time and place. He does not criticize those who are dear to others in front of them, nor praise those who are resented by them. He is not intimate with those who are not trustworthy. He does not refuse a proper invitation, or engage in persuasion, or accept excessively. He encourages those endowed with faith with a discourse on the benefits of faith; and he encourages as well those endowed with virtue, learning, generosity, and wisdom with a discourse on the benefits of those qualities. If the bodhisattva has attained to the direct knowledges, he may inspire a sense of spiritual urgency (sa.mvega) in the negligent by showing them the fate of those in hell, etc., as is fit. Thereby he establishes the faithless (immoral, ignorant, stingy, and dull-witted) in faith (virtue, learning, generosity, and wisdom). He makes them enter the Buddha’s Dispensation and brings to maturity those already endowed with these qualities. In this way, through his virtuous conduct, the Great Man’s immeasurable flood of merit and goodness ascends to ever increasing heights.

The detailed explanation of virtue is given in diverse ways in the Visuddhimagga (Chapter I), in the passage beginning: “Virtue is the states beginning with volition present in one who abstains from the destruction of life, etc., or in one who fulfills the practice of the duties.” All that should be brought in here. Only there is this distinction: in that work the discussion of virtue has come down for beings who seek the enlightenment of disciples; but here, because the discussion is intended for great bodhisattvas, it should be explained making compassion and skillful means the forerunners. Just as the Great Man does not dedicate the merits from his practice of virtue to his own release from affliction in the unfortunate destinations, or to his own achievement of kingship in the fortunate destinations, or to becoming a world-ruling monarch, a god, Sakka, Maara, or Brahmaa, so too he does not dedicate it to his own attainment of the threefold knowledge, the six direct knowledges, the four discriminations, the enlightenment of a disciple, or the enlightenment of a paccekabuddha. But rather he dedicates it only for the purpose of becoming an omniscient Buddha in order to enable all beings to acquire the incomparable adornment of virtue.

This is the method of practicing the perfection of virtue.

(3) The perfection of renunciation is the wholesome act of consciousness which occurs renouncing sense pleasures and existence, preceded by the perception of their unsatisfactoriness and accompanied by compassion and skillful means. The bodhisattva should practice the perfection of renunciation by first recognizing the unsatisfactoriness in sense pleasures, etc., according to the following method: “For one dwelling in a home there is no opportunity to enjoy the happiness of renunciation, etc., because the home life is the dwelling place of all the defilements, because a wife and children impose restrictions (on one’s freedom), and because the diverse crafts and occupations such as agriculture and trade lead to numerous entanglements. And sense pleasures, like a drop of honey smeared over the blade of a sword, give limited satisfaction and entail abundant harm. They are fleeting like a show perceived in a flash of lightning; enjoyable only through a perversion of perception like the adornments of a madman; a means of vengeance like a camouflaged pit of excrement; unsatisfying like a thin drink or the water moistening the fingers; afflictive like food which is inwardly rotten; a cause for calamity like a baited hook; the cause of suffering in the three times like a burning fire; a basis for bondage like monkey’s glue; a camouflage for destruction like a murderer’s cloak; a place of danger like a dwelling in an enemy village; food for the Maara of the defilements like the supporter of one’s foes; subject to suffering through change like the enjoyment of a festival; inwardly burning like the fire in the hollow of a tree; fraught with danger like a ball of honey suspended from the bulrushes in an old pit; intensifying thirst like a drink of salt water; resorted to by the vulgar like liquor and wine; and giving little satisfaction like a chain of bones.”

Having recognized the unsatisfactoriness in sense pleasures in accordance with this method, he should then, by the reverse method, contemplate the benefits in renunciation, with a mind slanting, sloping, and inclining toward the happiness of renunciation, solitude, and peace.

Since renunciation is rooted in the going forth (i.e., into the homeless life of a monk), the going forth should be undertaken. If the Great Being is living at a time when no Buddha has arisen in the world, he should go forth under ascetics or wanderers who maintain the doctrine of kamma and the moral efficacy of action. But when the perfectly enlightened Buddhas appear in the world, he should go forth only in their Dispensation. Having gone forth, he should establish himself in virtue, as described above, and in order to cleanse his virtue, should undertake the ascetic practices. For Great Men who undertake the ascetic practices and maintain them properly become few in their wishes and content. The stains of their defilements get washed off in the waters of such noble qualities as effacement, solitude, aloofness from society, the arousal of energy, and ease of maintenance, and all their conduct becomes purified through their blameless rules, observances, and noble qualities. Established in three of the ancient traditions of the ariyans,21 they are able to achieve the fourth of the ariyan traditions, i.e., delight in meditation, entering and abiding in jhaana, both access and absorption, through whichever among the forty subjects of meditation are appropriate. Thus they completely fulfill the perfection of renunciation.

At this point it would be proper to explain in detail the thirteen ascetic practices and the forty meditation subjects for the development of concentration — i.e., the ten kasi.na-devices, the ten impurities, the ten recollections, the four Brahmavihaaras, the four immaterial states, the one perception, and the one analysis. But since all these are explained in complete detail in the Visuddhimagga, it should be understood in the way stated there. Only there is this distinction: in that work the subject is explained for beings who seek the enlightenment of disciples. But here, because it is intended for great bodhisattvas, it should be explained making compassion and skillful means the forerunners.

This is the method of practicing the perfection of renunciation.

 

(4) Just as light cannot coexist with darkness, wisdom cannot coexist with delusion. Therefore a bodhisattva wishing to accomplish the perfection of wisdom should avoid the causes of delusion. These are the causes of delusion: discontent, languor, drowsiness, lethargy, delight in company, attachment to sleep, irresoluteness, lack of enthusiasm for knowledge, false over-estimation of oneself, non-interrogation, not maintaining one’s body properly, lack of mental concentration, association with dull-witted people, not ministering to those possessed of wisdom, self-contempt, false discrimination, adherence to perverted views, athleticism, lack of a sense of spiritual urgency, and the five hindrances; or, in brief, any states which, when indulged in, prevent the unarisen wisdom from arising and cause the arisen wisdom to diminish. Avoiding these causes of confusion, one should apply effort to learning as well as to the jhaanas, etc.

This is an analysis of the sphere of learning: the five aggregates, the twelve sense bases, the eighteen elements, the four truths, the twenty-two faculties, the twelve factors of dependent origination, the foundations of mindfulness, etc., the various classifications of phenomena such as the wholesome, etc., as well as any blameless secular fields of knowledge which may be suitable for promoting the welfare and happiness of beings, particularly grammar. Thus, with wisdom, mindfulness, and energy preceded by skillful means, a bodhisattva should first thoroughly immerse himself in this entire sphere of learning — through study, listening, memorization, learning, and interrogation; then he should establish others in learning. In this way the wisdom born of learning (sutamayii pa~n~naa) can be developed. So too, out of his wish for the welfare of others, the bodhisattva should develop the wisdom of ingenuity in creating opportunities to fulfill his various duties to his fellow beings and the skillful means in understanding their happiness and misery.

Then he should develop wisdom born of reflection (cintaamayii pa~n~naa) by first reflecting upon the specific nature of the phenomena such as the aggregates, and then arousing reflective acquiescence in them. Next, he should perfect the preliminary portion of the wisdom born of meditation (pubbabhaagabhaavanaapa~n~naa) by developing the mundane kinds of full understanding through the discernment of the specific and general characteristics of the aggregates, etc.22 To do so, he should fully understand all internal and external phenomena without exception as follows: “This is mere mentality-materiality (naamaruupamatta), which arises and ceases according to conditions. There is here no agent or actor. It is impermanent in the sense of not being after having been; suffering in the sense of oppression by rise and fall; and non-self in the sense of being unsusceptible to the exercise of mastery.” Comprehending them in this way, he abandons attachment to them, and helps others to do so as well. Entirely out of compassion, he continues to help his fellow beings enter and reach maturity in the three vehicles, assists them to achieve mastery over the jhaanas, deliverances, concentrations, attainments, and mundane direct knowledges, and does not desist until he reaches the very peak of wisdom and all the Buddha-qualities come within his grasp.

The wisdom born of meditation may be divided into two groups. The first comprises the mundane direct knowledges, together with their accessories; namely, the knowledge of the modes of psychic power, the knowledge of the divine ear-element, the knowledge of penetrating other minds, the knowledge of recollecting past lives, the knowledge of the divine eye, the knowledge of kammic retribution, and the knowledge of the future.23 The second comprises the five purifications — purification of view, purification by overcoming doubt, purification by knowledge and vision of what is and what is not the path, purification by knowledge and vision of the way, and purification by knowledge and vision. The first four of these are mundane, the last is supramundane.

After acquiring through study and interrogation a knowledge of the phenomena such as the aggregates, etc., constituting the soil of wisdom, he should establish himself in the two purifications constituting its roots, purification of virtue and purification of mind, and then accomplish the five purifications just mentioned which constitute the trunk of wisdom. Since the method for accomplishing these, along with the analysis of their objective sphere, is explained in complete detail in the Visuddhimagga, it should be understood in the way given there.24 Only in that work the explanation of wisdom has come down for beings seeking the enlightenment of disciples. But here, because it is intended for the great bodhisattvas, it should be explained making compassion and skillful means the forerunners. One further distinction must also be made: here insight (vipassanaa) should be developed only as far as purification by knowledge and vision of the way, without attaining purification by knowledge and vision.25

(From this point on the remaining paaramis are treated piecemeal and synoptically rather than in systematic detail like the first four.)

A Great Being who has formed his aspiration for supreme enlightenment should, for the sake of fulfilling his paaramiis, always be devoted to what is proper and intent upon service. Thus he should be zealous in providing for the welfare of beings, and from time to time, day by day, should reflect: “Have I accumulated any requisites of merit and of knowledge today? What have I done for the welfare of others?” In order to help all beings he should surrender some possession of his with a mind unconcerned with body or life. Whatever action he does, bodily or vocal, all should be done with a mind slanting toward full enlightenment; all should be dedicated to enlightenment. He should turn his mind away from sense pleasures, whether superior or inferior, and should apply skillful means to the fulfillment of his various duties.

He should work energetically for the welfare of beings, be capable of enduring everything whether desirable or undesirable, and should speak without deception.26 He should suffuse all beings with universal loving-kindness and compassion. Whatever causes suffering for beings, all that he should be ready to take upon himself; and he should rejoice in the merits of all beings. He should frequently reflect upon the greatness of the Buddhas and the greatness of their spiritual power. Whatever action he does by body or speech, all should be preceded with a mind slanting toward full enlightenment. In this way, the Great Being, the bodhisattva, devoted to what is proper, endowed with strength, firm in striving, day by day accumulates immeasurable requisites of merit and of knowledge through the practice of the paaramiis.

Further, having relinquished his own body and life for the use and protection of beings, the bodhisattva should seek out and apply the antidotes to the various kinds of suffering to which beings are exposed — hunger, thirst, cold, heat, wind, sun, etc. And whatever happiness he himself gains by alleviating these kinds of suffering, and the happiness he gains when his own bodily and mental afflictions subside in delightful parks, gardens, mansions, pools, and forest abodes, and the happiness of the blissful jhaanic attainments he hears are experienced by the Buddhas, their enlightened disciples, paccekabuddhas, and great bodhisattvas, established in the practice of renunciation — all that he seeks to procure universally for all beings.

This, firstly, is the method for a bodhisattva not yet established on the plane of concentration. One established on the plane of concentration bestows upon beings the rapture, tranquility, happiness, concentration, and true knowledge produced in the achievements of distinction as they are experienced by himself. He procures them and dedicates them to all. Such a bodhisattva should contemplate the whole world of sentient beings immersed in the great suffering of sa.msaara and in the sufferings of the defilements and kamma-formations at its base. He should see the beings in hell experiencing violent, racking, agonizing pains uninterruptedly over long periods, produced as they are cut up, dismembered, split, pulverized, and roasted in scorching fires; the great suffering of the animals due to their mutual hostility, as they afflict, harass, and kill one another, or fall into captivity at the hands of others; and the suffering of the various classes of ghosts, going about with their bodies aflame, consumed and withered by hunger, thirst, wind, and sun, weeping and wailing as their food turns into vomit and spittle. He should contemplate as well the suffering experienced by human beings, which is often indistinguishable from the suffering in the plane of misery: the misery and ruin they encounter in their search (for the means of sustenance and enjoyment); the various punishments they may meet, such as the cutting off of their hands, etc.; ugliness, deformity, and poverty; affliction by hunger and thirst; being vanquished by the more powerful, pressed into the service of others, and made dependent upon others; and when they pass away, falling over into the hells, the realm of ghosts, and the animal kingdom. He should see the gods of the sense-sphere being consumed by the fevers of lust as they enjoy their sense objects with scattered minds; living with their fever (of passions) unextinguished like a mass of fire stoked up with blasts of wind and fed with a stock of dry wood; without peace, dejected, and dependent on others. And he should see the gods of the fine-material and immaterial spheres, after so long a life-span, in the end succumb to the law of impermanence, plunging from their heights back down into the round of birth, aging, and death, like birds swooping swiftly down from the heights of the sky or like arrows shot by a strong archer descending in the distance. And having seen all this, he should arouse a sense of spiritual urgency and suffuse all beings universally with loving-kindness and compassion. Accumulating the requisites of enlightenment in this way by body, speech, and mind without interruption, he should fulfill the perfection of energy, arousing zeal while working thoroughly and perseveringly and acting without cowering, in order that all the paaramiis may reach fulfillment.

While striving for the state of Buddhahood — the store and repository of inconceivable, immeasurable, vast, lofty, stainless, incomparable, undefiled qualities — he should encourage the arising of energy; for such energy is endowed with inconceivable spiritual power, which common people cannot even hear about, much less practice. It is entirely through the spiritual power of energy that the practice of all the requisites of enlightenment succeeds — the threefold arising of the great aspiration, the four grounds for Buddhahood, the four bases of beneficence, the single flavor of compassion, the reflective acquiescence which is the specific condition for the realization of the Buddha-qualities, being untainted amidst all things, the perception of all beings as his own dear children, not being fatigued by all the sufferings of sa.msaara, the relinquishing of everything that may be given away, delight in so giving, the determination upon the higher virtue, etc., unshakeableness therein, rapture and exultation in wholesome actions, the inclination toward seclusion, application to the jhaanas, being insatiable in blameless states, teaching the Dhamma to others as he has learned it out of the wish for their welfare, firm initiative in setting beings upon the true path, sagacity and heroism, being imperturbable in the face of the abusive speech and wrongs of others, the determination upon truth, mastery over the meditative attainments, the attainment of power through the direct knowledges, the comprehension of the three characteristics, the accumulation of the requisites for the supramundane path by practicing meditation in the foundations of mindfulness, etc., and the descent on to the nine supramundane states.27 Thus from the time of forming the aspiration until the great enlightenment, a bodhisattva should perfect his energy thoroughly and uninterruptedly, without surrendering, so that it might issue in higher and higher states of distinction. And when this energy succeeds, all the requisites of enlightenment — patience, truthfulness, determination, etc., as well as giving, virtue, etc. — will succeed; for all these occur in dependence on energy.

The practice of patience and the rest should be understood in accordance with the same method.

Thus through giving, relinquishing his own happiness and belongings to others, he practices the benefiting of others in many ways; through virtue, the protection of their lives, property, and wives, the non-breach of his word, endearing and beneficial speech, non-injury, etc.; through renunciation, many kinds of beneficial conduct such as giving the gift of the Dhamma in return for their material gifts; through wisdom, skillful means in providing for their welfare; through energy, the arousing of zeal in his work without slacking off; through patience, the enduring of the wrongs of others; through truthfulness, not breaking his pledge to help others without deception; through determination, remaining unshakeable in rendering them help even when encountering difficulties; through loving-kindness, concern for their welfare and happiness; and through equanimity, remaining imperturbable whether others render help or inflict harm.

This is the practice which the great bodhisattva, compassionate for all beings, undertakes for the sake of incalculable beings, by means of which he accumulates immeasurable requisites of merit and knowledge not shared by worldlings. Their condition has been stated. They should be accomplished thoroughly.

(xi) How are they analyzed (ko vibhaago)?

They are analyzed into thirty paaramiis: ten (basic) paaramiis, ten intermediate paaramiis (upapaaramii), and ten ultimate paaramiis (paramatthapaaramii).

Herein, some teachers say that the ten basic paaramiis are the intermingled bright and dark qualities practiced by a bodhisattva who has just formed his aspiration, whose end is the welfare of others, and whose means are directed toward working for this end; the intermediate paaramiis are the bright qualities untainted by any darkness; and the ultimate paaramiis are the qualities which are neither dark nor bright.

Others say that the basic paaramiis are being filled at the commencement (of his career); the intermediate paaramiis are filled on the plane of bodhisattvahood: and the ultimate paaramiis reach perfect fulfillment in all modes on the plane of Buddhahood. Or alternatively, the basic paaramiis involve working for the welfare of others on the plane of bodhisattvahood; the intermediate paaramiis, working for one’s own welfare; and the ultimate paaramiis, the fulfillment of the welfare of both oneself and others with the achievement of the Tathaagata’s powers and grounds of self-confidence on the plane of Buddhahood. Thus they analyze the paaramiis according to the beginning, middle, and consummation (of the bodhisattva’s career) by way of the resolution (to fulfill them), the undertaking (of their practice), and their completion, respectively.

The basic perfection of giving (daanapaaramii) is the relinquishing of one’s children, wives, and belongings such as wealth; the intermediate perfection of giving (daana-upapaaramii), the relinquishing of one’s own limbs; and the ultimate perfection of giving (daanaparamatthapaaramii), the relinquishing of one’s own life. The three stages in the perfection of virtue should be understood as the non-transgression (of moral conduct) on account of the three — children and wife, limbs, and life; the three stages in the perfection of renunciation, as the renunciation of those three bases after cutting off attachment to them; the three stages in the perfection of wisdom, as the discrimination between what is beneficial and harmful to beings, after rooting out craving for one’s belongings, limbs, and life; the three stages in the perfection of energy, as striving for the relinquishing of the aforementioned things; the three stages in the perfection of patience, as the endurance of obstacles to one’s belongings, limbs, and life; the three stages in the perfection of truthfulness, as the non-abandoning of truthfulness on account of one’s belongings, limbs, and life; the three stages in the perfection of determination, as unshakeable determination despite the destruction of one’s belongings, limbs, and life, bearing in mind that the paaramiis ultimately succeed through unflinching determination; the three stages in the perfection of loving-kindness, as maintaining loving-kindness toward beings who destroy one’s belongings, etc.; and the three stages in the perfection of equanimity, as maintaining an attitude of impartial neutrality toward beings and formations whether they are helpful or harmful in regard to the aforementioned three bases (i.e., belongings, limbs, and life).

In this way the analysis of the paaramiis should be understood.

(xii) How are they synthesized (ko sa”ngaho)?

Just as the ten paaramiis become thirtyfold through analysis, so they become sixfold through their specific nature: as giving, virtue, patience, energy, meditation, and wisdom.28

When this set is considered, the perfection of renunciation, as the going forth into homelessness, is included in the perfection of virtue; as seclusion from the hindrances, in the perfection of meditation; and as a generally wholesome quality, in all six paaramiis. One part of the perfection of truthfulness, i.e., its aspect of truthful speech or abstinence from falsehood, is included in the perfection of virtue, and one part, i.e., its aspect of truthful knowledge, in the perfection of wisdom. The perfection of loving-kindness is included in the perfection of meditation, and the perfection of equanimity in the perfections of meditation and wisdom. The perfection of determination is included in all.

These six paaramiis fall into at least fifteen pairs (yugala) of complementary qualities which perfect fifteen other pairs of qualities. How?

  1. The pair — giving and virtue — perfects the pair of doing what is beneficial for others and abstaining from what is harmful to them.
  2. The pair — giving and patience — perfects the pair of non-greed and non-hatred.
  3. The pair — giving and energy — perfects the pair of generosity and learning.
  4. The pair — giving and meditation — perfects the abandoning of sensual desire and hatred;
  5. the pair giving and wisdom, the noble vehicle and burden;
  6. the dyad of virtue and patience, the purification of means and the purification of the end;
  7. the dyad of virtue and energy, the dyad of meditative development (i.e., serenity and insight);
  8. the dyad of virtue and meditation, the abandoning of moral depravity and of mental obsession;
  9. the dyad of virtue and wisdom, the dyad of giving;29
  10. the dyad of patience and energy, the dyad of acceptance and fervor;
  11. the dyad of patience and meditation, the abandoning of opposing and favoring;
  12. the dyad of patience and wisdom, the acceptance and penetration of emptiness;
  13. the dyad of energy and meditation, the dyad of exertion and non-distraction;
  14. the dyad of energy and wisdom, the dyad of refuges;
  15. and the dyad of meditation and wisdom perfects the dyad of vehicles (i.e., the vehicles of serenity and insight).

The triad of giving, virtue, and patience perfects the abandoning of greed, hatred, and delusion. The triad of giving, virtue, and energy perfects the giving of wealth, life, and bodily vitality. The triad of giving, virtue, and meditation perfects the three bases of meritorious deeds. The triad of giving, virtue, and wisdom perfects the triad of giving material gifts, fearlessness, and the Dhamma. In the same way, the other triads and tetrads may be applied to each other as is appropriate in each case.

These six paaramiis are also included in the four foundations (cattaari adhi.t.thaanaani), which provide a synthesis of all the paaramiis.30 What are they? The foundation of truth, the foundation of relinquishment, the foundation of peace, and the foundation of wisdom. Therein, taking them first without distinction: after making his aspiration for the supramundane qualities, the Great Being, filled with compassion for all beings, establishes the foundation of truth by acquiring all the paaramiis in conformity with his vow; the foundation of relinquishment by relinquishing their opposites; the foundation of peace by pacifying their opposites with all the qualities of the paaramiis; and the foundation of wisdom by skillful means in promoting the welfare of others through those same qualities.

Taken separately, giving is a proximate cause for the four foundations of wholesome qualities as follows: (1) (for the foundation of truth) since one vows to give to those who ask without deceiving them, gives without violating one’s vows, and rejoices without deceiving them about the gift; (2) (for the foundation of relinquishment) through the relinquishing of the opposite qualities such as stinginess, etc.; (3) (for the foundation of peace) through the pacification of greed, hatred, delusion, and fear, in regard to the objects to be given, the recipients, the act of giving, and the loss of the objects to be given, respectively; (4) (and for the foundation of wisdom) through giving according to deserts, at the proper time, in the appropriate manner, and through the pre-eminence of wisdom.. Virtue is a proximate cause for the four foundations thus: (1) through non-transgression of the restraint undertaken; (2) through the relinquishing of moral depravity; (3) through the pacification of misconduct; and (4) through the pre-eminence of wisdom. Patience is a proximate cause for the four foundations thus: (1) through patient acceptance in accordance with one’s vow; (2) through the relinquishing of discrimination against others on account of their wrongs; (3) through the pacification of the obsession of anger; and (4) through the pre-eminence of wisdom.

Energy is a proximate cause for the four foundations: (1) through working for the welfare of others in accordance with one’s vows; (2) through the relinquishing of dejection; (3) through the pacification of unwholesome qualities; and (4) through the pre-eminence of wisdom. Meditation is a proximate cause for the four foundations: (1) through concern for the welfare of the world in accordance with one’s vow; (2) through the relinquishing of the hindrances; (3) through the pacification of the mind; and (4) through the pre-eminence of wisdom. And wisdom is a proximate cause for the four foundations: (1) through skillful means in promoting the welfare of others in accordance with one’s vow; (2) through the relinquishing of unskillful activity; (3) through the pacification of the fevers springing from delusion; and (4) through the attainment of omniscience.

The foundation of truth is practiced by acting in accordance with one’s vow and understanding; the foundation of relinquishment by relinquishing (outer) objects of sense enjoyment and the (inner) defilement of sensuality; the foundation of peace by the pacification of hatred and suffering; and the foundation of wisdom by understanding and penetration. The foundation of truth is embraced by the threefold truth and opposed to the three corruptions (of greed, hatred and delusion). The foundation of relinquishing is embraced by the threefold relinquishment and opposed to the three corruptions. The foundation of peace is embraced by the threefold pacification and opposed to the three corruptions. And the foundation of wisdom is embraced by the threefold knowledge and opposed to the three corruptions.

The foundation of truth embraces the foundations of relinquishment, peace, and wisdom through non-deceptiveness and through acting in accordance with one’s vow. The foundation of relinquishment embraces the foundations of truth, peace, and wisdom through the relinquishing of their opposites and as the fruit of relinquishing everything. The foundation of peace embraces the foundations of truth, relinquishment, and wisdom through the pacification of the fever of defilement and the fever of kamma. And the foundation of wisdom embraces the foundations of truth, relinquishment, and peace, since they are all preceded and accompanied by knowledge. Thus all the paaramiis are grounded in truth, clarified by relinquishment, intensified by peace, and purified by wisdom. For truth is the cause for their genesis, relinquishment the cause for their acquisition, peace the cause for their growth, and wisdom the cause for their purification.

In the beginning (of the bodhisattva’s career) truth is the foundation, since his vow is made in accordance with truth. In the middle, relinquishment is the foundation, since after forming his aspiration the bodhisattva relinquishes himself for the welfare of others. In the end, peace is the foundation, since the consummation (of the career) is the attainment of perfect peace. And in every phase — the beginning, the middle, and the end — wisdom is the foundation, since the entire career originates when wisdom is present, does not exist when it is absent, and because the nature (of wisdom) accords with the vow.

Thus it should be understood how the aggregation of the paaramiis is included in the four foundations, which are adorned with numerous noble qualities. And just as the paaramiis are all included in the four foundations, they are also included in wisdom and compassion. For all the requisites of enlightenment can be included in wisdom and compassion, and the noble qualities such as giving (and the other paaramiis), accompanied by wisdom and compassion, are the requisites for the great enlightenment culminating in the perfection of Buddhahood.

(xiii) By what means are they accomplished?

The means by which the paaramiis are accomplished is the four-factored method: (1) the accumulation without omission of all the requisites of merit, etc., for the sake of supreme enlightenment, by performing them without deficiency; (2) performing them thoroughly with respect and high esteem; (3) performing them perseveringly without interruption; and (4) enduring effort over a long period without coming to a halt half-way. We will explain the length of time later.

For the sake of the supreme enlightenment, the Great Being, striving for enlightenment, should first of all surrender himself to the Buddhas thus: “I offer myself up to the Buddhas.” And whenever he obtains any possession, he should first of all resolve upon it as a potential gift: “Whatever requisite of life comes my way, that I will give to those who need it, and I myself will only use what remains over from this gift.”

When he has made a mental determination to completely relinquish whatever possessions come his way, whether animate or inanimate, there are four shackles to giving (which he must overcome), namely: not being accustomed to giving in the past, the inferiority of the object to be given, the excellence and beauty of the object, and worry over the loss of the object.

(1) When the bodhisattva possesses objects that can be given and suppliants are present, but his mind does not leap up at the thought of giving and he does not want to give, he should conclude: “Surely, I have not been accustomed to giving in the past; therefore a desire to give does not arise now in my mind. So that my mind will delight in giving in the future, I will give a gift. With an eye for the future let me now relinquish what I have to those in need.” Thus he gives a gift — generous, open-handed, delighting in relinquishing, one who gives when asked, delighting in giving and in sharing. In this way the Great Being destroys, shatters, and eradicates the first shackle to giving.

(2) Again, when the object to be given is inferior or defective, the Great Being reflects: “Because I was not inclined to giving in the past, at present my requisites are defective. Therefore, though it pains me, let me give whatever I have as a gift even if the object is low and inferior. In that way I will, in the future, reach the peak in the perfection of giving.” Thus he gives whatever kind of gift he can — generous, open-handed, delighting in relinquishing, one who gives when asked, delighting in giving and in sharing. In this way the Great Being destroys, shatters, and eradicates the second shackle to giving.

(3) When a reluctance to give arises due to the excellence or beauty of the object to be given, the Great Being admonishes himself: “Good man, haven’t you made the aspiration for the supreme enlightenment, the loftiest and most superior of all states? Well then, for the sake of enlightenment, it is proper for you to give excellent and beautiful objects as gifts.” Thus he gives what is excellent and beautiful — generous, open-handed, delighting in relinquishing, one who gives when asked, delighting in giving and in sharing. In this way the Great Man destroys, shatters, and eradicates the third shackle to giving.

(4) When the Great Being is giving a gift, and he sees the loss of the object being given, he reflects thus: “This is the nature of material possessions, that they are subject to loss and to passing away. Moreover, it is because I did not give such gifts in the past that my possessions are now depleted. Let me then give whatever I have as a gift, whether it be limited or abundant. In that way in the future I shall reach the peak in the perfection of giving.” Thus he gives whatever he has as a gift — generous, open-handed, delighting in relinquishing, one who gives when asked, delighting in giving and in sharing. In this way the Great Being destroys, shatters, and eradicates the fourth shackle to giving.

Reflecting upon them thus in whatever way is appropriate is the means for dispelling the harmful shackles to the perfection of giving. The same method used for the perfection of giving also applies to the perfection of virtue and the other perfections.

Further, self-surrender to the Buddhas is also a means for the complete accomplishment of the paaramiis. For when the Great Man, straining and striving for the fulfillment of the requisites of enlightenment, encounters troubles difficult to endure, depriving him of happiness and his means of support, or when he encounters injuries imposed by beings and formations — difficult to overcome, violent, sapping the vitality — then, since he has surrendered himself to the Buddhas, he reflects: “I have relinquished my very self to the Buddhas. Whatever comes, let it come.” For this reason he does not waver, does not quake, does not undergo the least vacillation, but remains absolutely unshaken in his determination to undertake the good.

In brief, the destruction of self-love and the development of love for others are the means for the accomplishing of the paaramiis. For by fully understanding all things in accordance with their nature, the Great Being who has formed the resolution to attain the supreme enlightenment remains untainted by them, and his self-love thereby becomes eliminated and exhausted. Then, since through the repeated practice of great compassion he has come to regard all beings as his dear children, his loving-kindness, compassion, and affection for them increase. In conformity with this stage the Great Man, having expelled the defilements such as stinginess, etc., that are opposed to the requisites of enlightenment, and having dispelled greed, hatred, and delusion in regard to himself and others, further causes people to enter and reach maturity in the three vehicles by benefiting them to the utmost with the four bases of beneficence which accompany the four foundations, namely: giving, loving speech, beneficent conduct, and equality of treatment.

For the great compassion and the great wisdom of the Great Beings are adorned by giving. Their giving is adorned and accompanied by loving speech, loving speech by beneficent conduct, and beneficent conduct by equality of treatment. When the bodhisattvas are practicing the requisites of enlightenment, they treat all beings without exception as equal to themselves and perfect their sense of equality by remaining the same under all circumstances, pleasant or painful. And when they become Buddhas, their ability to train people is perfected by benefiting them to the utmost with these same four bases of beneficence brought to fulfillment by the four foundations. For the perfectly enlightened Buddhas, the base of giving is brought to fulfillment by the foundation of relinquishment, the base of loving speech by the foundation of truth, the base of beneficent conduct by the foundation of wisdom, and the base of equal treatment by the foundation of peace. For in regard to parinibbaana, all the disciples and paccekabuddhas are completely equal to the Tathaagatas; they are identical, without any distinction. Thus it is said: “There is no diversity among them in regard to emancipation.”

He is truthful, generous, and peaceful,

Endowed with wisdom and sympathy,

Complete in all the requisites:

What good can he not achieve?

 

He is the great compassionate Teacher,

Equanimous yet seeking the welfare of all,

Free from concern on all occasions:

Oh, how wonderful is the Conqueror!

 

Dispassionate toward all things of the world,

And toward all beings of equal mind,

Still he abides devoted to their welfare:

Oh, how wonderful is the Conqueror!

 

Always engaged in work promoting

The welfare and happiness of all beings,

He never ceases on account of the trouble:

Oh, how wonderful is the Conqueror!

(xiv) How much time is required to accomplish them?

As a minimum, four incalculables (asa”nkheyya) and a hundred thousand great aeons (mahaakappa); as a middle figure, eight incalculables and a hundred thousand great aeons; and as a maximum, sixteen incalculables and a hundred thousand great aeons.31 This threefold division obtains by way of those in whom wisdom is predominant, those in whom faith is predominant, and those in whom energy is predominant, respectively. For those in whom wisdom is predominant, faith is weakest and wisdom keenest; for those in whom faith is predominant, wisdom is middling (and energy weakest); and for those in whom energy is predominant, wisdom is weakest (and faith middling). But supreme enlightenment must be achieved by the power of wisdom; so it is said in the commentary.

But others say that the classification of the time required for bodhisattvas obtains by way of the keen, middling, and tender quality of their energy. Still others say that without distinction the three divisions of time correspond to the time required for their requisites of enlightenment to reach fulfillment, which in turn is determined by the keen, middling, and tender quality of their factors maturing toward emancipation (vimuttiparipaacaniyaa dhammaa)..

Bodhisattvas also become threefold at the moment they form the aspiration, according to their division into those who comprehend through a condensed teaching (uggha.tita~n~nuu), those who comprehend through an elaborated teaching (vipa~ncita~n~nuu), and those who are capable of training (neyya).32 Among these, one who comprehends through a condensed teaching has such supporting conditions that, if he were disposed toward the enlightenment of a disciple, he could attain arahatship together with the four discriminations (pa.tisambhidaa) and the six direct knowledges while listening to a four-line stanza from the lips of a perfectly enlightened Buddha, even while the third line is as yet unconcluded. The second has such supporting conditions that, if he were disposed toward the enlightenment of a disciple, he could attain arahatship together with the six direct knowledges while listening to a four-line stanza from the lips of the Exalted One, even while the fourth line is as yet unconcluded. And the third has the supporting conditions to attain arahatship together with the six direct knowledges when the four-line stanza he hears from the Exalted One is concluded.

These three types, who form their aspirations without any allotted division of time, receive predictions (of their future Buddhahood) directly from the Buddhas. Then they fulfill the paaramiis in order and reach the supreme enlightenment according to the aforementioned time allotted to each type. But that these Great Beings, day by day giving great gifts like those given by Vessantara,33 accumulating all the other paaramiis in the same way, making the five great relinquishings, reaching the summit in conduct for the good of kinsmen, conduct for the good of the world, and conduct developing intelligence — that they should become perfectly enlightened Buddhas before the time allotted to their respective types is fulfilled, this is not possible. Why? Because their knowledge is not yet mature enough and their accumulation of the factors issuing in Buddhahood not yet complete. For just as grain ripens only after the lapse of the time required (for its growth), so too the supreme enlightenment is perfected only after the lapse of the aforementioned periods of time. Before then, even though striving with all his might, the bodhisattva cannot attain enlightenment. The paaramiis are fulfilled according to the aforementioned distinction of time. Thus it should be understood.

(xv) What benefits do they bring?

The benefits obtained by bodhisattvas who have formed their aspirations are explained thus:

Those men in all factors complete,

Bound for perfect enlightenment,

Though wandering through the round of births

For countless aeons yet to come

 

Never arise in Aviici hell,

Nor in the intermundane voids.

They never appear as titans black

Or ghosts consumed by hunger and thirst.

 

Though reborn in the plane of pain,

They do not take on minor forms,

And when reborn in the human world

They never come deprived of sight.

 

Their hearing is intact from birth,

Nor are they dumb or lame of limb.

They never become of female sex,

Nor eunuchs or hermaphrodites.

 

Those men bound for enlightenment

Never commit the five black deeds.

Always pure in their way of life,

Their conduct’s range is free from flaw.

 

They never hold perverted views

But recognize the kammic laws.

They are born at times in heavenly worlds,

But not in the mindless or pure abodes.

 

Those true men bent on renunciation,

Detached from all the planes of being,

Plow their course for the good of the world,

Striving to fulfill the paaramiis.

Some other benefits of the paaramiis are the following: The sixteen wonderful and marvelous qualities that begin: “Mindful and clearly comprehending, AAnanda, the bodhisattva passes away from the Tusita heaven and descends into his mother’s womb” (D.ii,12); the thirty-two portents, such as “cold disappears and heat is allayed,” and “when the bodhisattva is born, this ten thousandfold world-system shakes, trembles, and quakes,” etc. (D.ii,15); and the other qualities shown here and there in the Jaatakas, the Buddhava.msa, etc., such as the fulfillment of the bodhisattva’s wishes, his mastery over kamma, and so forth. Other benefits are the pairs of complementary qualities such as non-greed and non-hatred already discussed.

Moreover, from the time that he makes the aspiration, the bodhisattva becomes like a father to all beings, wishing for their welfare. By reason of his distinguished qualities he is worthy of offerings, worthy of reverence, worthy of esteem, a supreme field of merit. He is generally dear to humans and to non-humans alike, and is protected by deities. Because his mind is grounded in loving-kindness and compassion, he cannot be harmed by wild beasts, etc. Whatever order of beings he is reborn in, on account of his distinguished merit, he surpasses the other beings there in his superior beauty, fame, happiness, strength, and dominion.

He is healthy and robust. His faith is very pure and lucid. His energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom are also very pure and lucid. His defilements, disturbances, and passions are weak. Because his defilements are weak, he is easy to admonish, adroit, patient, meek, congenial and hospitable. He is free from anger, malice, denigration, domineering, envy, stinginess, craftiness, hypocrisy, obstinacy, pride, presumption and negligence. He endures torments at the hands of others but never torments anyone himself. Whenever he enters a village area, the unarisen dangers and calamities facing the beings there generally do not arise, and those which have arisen subside. And whenever he is reborn in the planes of misery, unlike the common inhabitants there he is not oppressed by excessive suffering but acquires an even greater sense of spiritual urgency.

Therefore these distinguished qualities of the Great Man — such as being like a father to beings, being worthy of offerings, etc. — found in this or that state of existence, are the benefits of the paaramiis.

Further, the accomplishment of life-span, the accomplishment of form, the accomplishment of family, the accomplishment of sovereignty, credibility, and greatness of spiritual power are also benefits of the Great Man’s paaramiis. Therein, the “accomplishment of life-span” (aayusampadaa) is length of life or longevity in whatever state of existence he takes rebirth in; by this means he concludes whatever wholesome undertakings he began and accumulates many wholesome qualities. The “accomplishment of form” (ruupasampadaa) is beauty of form, comeliness, or loveliness; by this means he inspires confidence and esteem in beings who take physical form as their standard. The “accomplishment of family” (kulasampadaa) is rebirth in excellent families; by this means he is (judged) to be worth approaching and ministering to by beings who are intoxicated with the vanity of birth, etc. The “accomplishment of sovereignty” (issariyasampadaa) is greatness of power, greatness of influence, and greatness of retinue; by means of these he is able to benefit with the four bases of beneficence those who need to be benefited and to restrain with Dhamma those who need to be restrained. “Credibility” (aadeyyavacanataa) means trustworthiness, reliability; by this means he becomes an authority for beings, and his command cannot be disregarded. “Greatness of spiritual power” (mahaanubhaavataa) means magnitude of spiritual power; by this means he cannot be vanquished by others, but he himself invariably vanquishes them — by Dhamma, by righteousness, and by his genuine noble qualities.

Thus the accomplishment of life-span and so forth are benefits of the Great Man’s paaramiis. These are the causes for the growth of his own boundless requisites of merit, and the means by which he leads other beings to enter and reach maturity in the three vehicles.

(xvi) What is their fruit?

Their fruit is, in brief, the state of perfect Buddhahood. In detail, it is the acquisition of the form-body (ruupakaaya) resplendent with the multitude of meritorious qualities such as the thirty-two characteristics of a Great Man, the eighty minor marks of physical beauty, the fathom-wide aura, etc.; and, founded upon this, the glorious Dhamma-body (dhammakaaya) radiant with its collection of infinite and boundless meritorious qualities — the ten powers, the four grounds of self-confidence, the six kinds of knowledge not held in common with others, the eighteen unique Buddha-qualities, and so forth.34 And so numerous are the Buddha-qualities that even a perfectly enlightened Buddha could not finish describing them, even after many aeons. This is their fruit.

And it is said:

If a Buddha were to speak in praise of a Buddha,

Speaking nothing else for an aeon’s length,

Sooner would the long-standing aeon reach its end,

But the praise of the Tathaagata would not reach its end.

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09/16/07
Sarvajan Hitai, Sarvajan Sukhai-U.P. experiment will be repeated in Gujarat with the cooperation of the people : Chief Minister -State BSP president B. Gopal said the party was being strengthened in Karnataka and he was confident that the party would do well in the next Assembly elections using the same formula that enabled it to record a thumping victory in Uttar Pradesh. “We will also open our account in the municipal elections,” he said. -Sindhia Inaugurates Campaign for Municipal Elections at Anekal on 16th Sept.2007 -BSP will do well in Lok Sabha polls-
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Sarvajan Hitai, Sarvajan Sukhai

U.P. experiment will be repeated in Gujarat with the cooperation of the people : Chief Minister

Vadodara (Gujarat) : September 15, 2007 The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Km. Mayawati, while reiterating her resolve of creating an atmosphere free of injustice, crime, fear, corruption, which is conducive for development, and also establishing rule of law by the law and ending the jungleraj, said that our Government had achieved splendid success at all the fronts during its four month long tenure. She said that the people of the State had given a clear cut mandate in favour of our programmes and policies. The Chief Minister was addressing media persons at the Hotel Taj Residency, here today. She said that our Government honoured its words and did not indulge in false promises like other political parties. The Government, without wasting any time, immediately began its work after coming into power. This has given some good results. The people of the State were appreciating the administrative acumen of the Government and our policies were also being appreciated. She said that when she came into power the criminals were ruling the roost in the State and people were fed up with the injustice and criminals. The State Government had taken some tough measures against the mafias and criminals and brought the law and order of the State back on the track. Notorious brigand Dadua, who was synonym of terror for 27 years, was eliminated. Km. Mayawati said that the State Government followed the policy of bringing all the sections together instead of creating a fragmented society. All the sections would be provided equal opportunities of development. Our Government had given top priority to development and improvement in law and order situation of the State. Some historic decisions had been taken for achieving the objective. Our party’s Government has decided to adopt a policy of ‘Sarvajan Hitai, Sarvajan Sukhai’ and make U.P. a front line State of the country. For that, our Government has begun some important programmes to honour its promises. Budgetary provisions had been made to support these programmes. The Chief Minister said that through the policy of ‘Sarvajan Hitai, Sarvajan Sukhai’ the Government had brought the deprived sections of the society like SC/ST, OBC, backward classes of the religious minorities and poor people of the upper caste together. They had been brought into the mainstream of development, she pointed out. Our aim is to remove the caste and high-low barrier prevalent in the society and create an atmosphere conducive for development. We want to draw inspiration from personalities like Mahatma Jyotiba Phule,

Mahatma Jotirao Phule in his Youth 

 

 

 

 Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj,

Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj

 

Naraina Guru,

http://www.freeindia.org/biographies/narayanaguru/

Narayana Guru - The saint-reformer, who led a quiet and significant social revolution..

Periyarji,

 Baba Saheb Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B._R._Ambedkar

 and

Manyawar Kanshi Ramji

and establish a society based on equality where all the sections could prosper and develop. The country could not progress and development would not take place until all the sections did not progress in a uniform manner, she pointed out. She said that she had demanded from the Government of India to provide reservation facility to the poor people of the upper caste so that their poverty can be removed to some extent. She said that she wanted to implement similar system in Gujarat as well, so that people here could also develop and progress ahead. The C.M. said that it was only our party which could prop up the country as it did not believe in discrimination and partiality. Some important decisions taken in U.P. prove that only BSP could improve the lot of the people of the State. She said that the BSP had come to power in U.P. for the fourth time and this time it was a clear majority. Welcoming media men, she said that the positive results of the U.P. experiment should be given proper publicity in the media at the national level. The Cabinet Minister Mr. Satish Mishra, Cabinet Secretary Mr. Shashank Shekhar Singh, Secretary and Director Information Mr. Diwakar Tripathi and other officers were present on the occasion. *******

BSP will do well in Lok Sabha polls

Bangalore: The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will win at least 70 out of the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh in the next parliamentary elections and have an important say in the formation of the Government at the Centre, according to Veer Singh, MP

 

 and general secretary of the party.

Speaking at a function organised here on Saturday to induct members of the Brahmin, Reddy, Lingayat and Gowda communities into the BSP, he said that Mayawati stood a good chance of becoming Prime Minister as well. The BSP was gaining strength in Karnataka too where the Congress and the BJP had “proved to be no different from each other” and the JD(S) “changes its colours every now and then” in pursuit of power, said Mr. Singh. BSP’s experiment of embracing people from all castes had paid off in the “UP lab” and the trend was catching up everywhere

GULBARGA: A delegation of 60 farmers from 24 taluks of four districts of the Hyderabad Karnataka region will visit villages in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh to study the success stories of farmers who had adopted cow-based natural farming in the fields.

State BSP president B. Gopal said the party was being strengthened in Karnataka and he was confident that the party would do well in the next Assembly elections using the same formula that enabled it to record a thumping victory in Uttar Pradesh. “We will also open our account in the municipal elections,” he said.

Sindhia Inaugurates Campaign for Municipal Elections at Anekal on 16th Sept.2007 



P.G.R. Sindhia

Bangalore: The former Minister and senior Janata Dal (Secular) leader P.G.R. Sindhia, who caused a flutter sometime ago by challenging the JD(S) leadership, has now  joined the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

 I  campaign for BSP candidates in the elections to the urban local bodies, as I will  a part of the BSP.”

 There are many other leaders in the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress and the JD(S) who are in touch with BSP leaders. One of them is the former Health Minister H.C. Mahadevappa, who is part of the Siddaramaiah group, which shifted its allegiance to the Congress.

Discussions on

BSP general secretary in charge of Karnataka, Veer Singh, MP, has been in the State for holding discussions with several political leaders although they are unlikely to take the plunge before the term of the current Assembly ends.

Performance of The Uttar Pradesh Government< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />

C.M. constituted 6-member committee for suggestion of pending cases in the High Court

Directives issued to complete pending works of Dr. Ambedkar villages by December 31 at all costs

Mayawati to develop gram sabhas

Work to be staggered in five phases beginning January 2008

Separate scheme for the 23 urban-based constituencies soon

UP suspends 12 IPS officers, 6500 cops sacked Tuesday, September 11 2007 21:05(IST

C.M. directs officers to take stringent action against rioters

30,000 from U.P for Haj

C.M. imposes ban on elections of student unions

“They disrupt studies in the classroom”

“Create law and order problems

Lucknow: The United States plans to set up an office here to assist on issues like such as commercial, cultural and emergency counselling and act as a communication platform, a senior diplomat of the country said here on Thursday.

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Government has suspended an Additional Superintendent of Police for his alleged role in the smuggling of woods, official sources said.

The force is deployed in six districts of the State

Two lakh houses to be constructed for the poor

Bio-fertiliser unit to be established in Lucknow

Travel time between Eastern U.P. and Western U.P. to be cut short by 16 hours

Lucknow : September05, 2007 The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Km. Mayawati has said that a 1000 km.-long ultra modern expressway would be constructed on the banks of river Ganga. This would be first of its kind in the world. The ‘Eastern U.P. (Varanasi-Ballia) to western U.P. (NOIDA) Ganga expressway would link Ballia with NOIDA. This 8-lane expressway costing about Rs. 40,000 crore would be constructed by using the latest technology and it would have all the modern facilities as well. She said that to translate the project into reality, work would begin very soon. After the completion of this project the travel time would be cut short to eight hours only which is at present 20-24 hrs. This would save the time as well as the fuel of vehicles. After a visually-aided presentation of the project at her 5-Kalidas Marg residence here today, the Chief Minister, addressing a press conference said that the decision to construct the project had been taken with a view to create a network of world-class roads in the State so that the people could be benefited by fast moving travel system. The State Government has included creation of development-oriented atmosphere in its top priorities. Moreover, creation of employment opportunities is not possible without developing infrastructure. Therefore, while deciding the priorities of infrastructure to ensure all-round development, giving a boost to sectors like energy, employment infrastructure development centres, world-level infrastructure of roads, excellent transport system, agriculture and urban regeneration has also been emphasised. Giving information to the media persons, Km. Mayawati, said on the occasion that the expressway would originate from Ballia and pass through Varanasi, Allahabad, Pratapgarh, Unnao, Shahjahanpur, Badaun, Bulandshahr and link NOIDA with Poorvanchal. It would have world class latest amenities like petrol pumps, telephones booths, cybercafés, food-courts and emergency medical facilities etc. This expressway would be constructed by building flood control embankments on river Ganga. This multi-purpose and ambitious project would benefit entrepreneurs, traders, citizens and people of the rural areas among others. It would ensure rapid development of the backward areas situated on the left bank of river Ganga. She said that after the completion of the project the economic and social development would get a new dimension. The C.M. said that keeping an eye on the uniform development of the backward areas situated on the left bank of river Ganga, the State Government intends to complete the multi-purpose project in quick time. The allround development of Poorvanchal was the first and foremost commitment of the Government, she pointed out. This project would remove the regional imbalances and benefit farmers, labourers, unemployed youths and other sections of the society, she said. Expressway’s connectivity with Delhi would open new vistas for the unemployed youths of the State, because a large number of Business Process Outsourcing (B.P.O.s) and IT industries would set up their units here she added. Km. Mayawati said that the major benefit accruing from this project would be that it would drastically cut short the distance between the far-flung areas of eastern U.P. and Delhi. Smooth plying of vehicles had become very difficult because of uncontrolled entry of vehicles on the roads and a large variety of vehicles. This had sent the State’s transport system into disarray, adversely affecting the State’s business activities, as constant impediments caused delay, increase fuel consumption and transport cost and the goods start decaying as well. This project would benefit the entrepreneurs and traders by cutting down, both travel time and fuel expenses. The project would also help in re-energising the traditional industries based in areas like Bhadohi, Kannauj and Khurja etc. and also help the weavers and craftsmen to improve their economic condition effectively. Besides, it would also ensure revival of ancient and historic cities like Mirzapur, Bithur etc. situated on the bank of river Ganga. The C.M. said that proposals for linking other prominent cities of the State like Agra, Jhansi, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Saharanpur, Banvasa etc. with this expressway were also under consideration. Detailed proposals were being prepared, so that the pace of development could be accelerated and U.P. could become a frontline and prosperous State of the country. Km. Mayawati said that the setting up of the industrial areas along with the ‘Eastern U.P. (Varanasi-Balia) to Western U.P. (NOIDA) Ganga Expressway Project was also proposed. This would ensure rapid economic development of the area on one hand, while on the other it would provide employment opportunities to a large number of youths in the region. This expressway would also provide opportunities to the farmers to transport their crops, especially those which decay quickly, to Delhi and other remote markets in a considerably short time. This would help them increase their income and their crops would also not decay. The C.M. said that the project would ensure all-round development of Poorvanchal. The project would have dual benefits as it would ensure smooth transport facilities on one hand, while on the other it would stop erosion of land and save lakhs of hectares of cultivable land. A large number of people residing in villages situated on the banks of river Ganga and facing the fury of floods year after year would be the biggest beneficiaries of this project. The present U.P. Government was making efforts for the progress of backward areas by removing regional imbalances. In this regard, the Chief Minister had met the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh on July 20 last and demanded a special package of Rs. 80,000 crore for the all-round development of the State including the backward areas of Bundelkhand and Poorvanchal. This included a demand of Rs. 9,400 crore for meeting the challenges of infrastructure facilities in Poorvanchal. Besides, Rs. 2,200 crore have also been demanded by the Chief Minister to meet the challenge of floods in Eastern U.P. Terming investment of huge capital as imperative for quick economic progress, Km. Mayawati said that the project would be developed on the basis of private investment in which the Government’s role would be that of a facilitator. Besides, the Government aims to provide security to the weaker and poor sections of the society, which include labourers, small and marginal farmers and farm workers. To provide them large scale employment opportunities, the Government was making arrangement for capital investment, so that these sections could also improve their economic condition. The present U.P. Government, led by the Chief Minister, Km. Mayawati had taken a resolve to establish a society based on equality by following the ideology of ‘Sarvajan Hitay, Sarvajan Sukhay’. Under it, the State Government had included creation of development-oriented atmosphere in its top priorities. The greenery along with the expressway would effectively check pollution and fulfill the need of environment protection. This project would open up a new chapter in the development of Uttar Pradesh, the largest State in the country, as India was fast emerging as the new economic engine of the world. The project aims at prosperity and progress of all the people of the State, she added. ******* ‘Eastern U.P. (Varanasi-Balia) to western U.P. (NOIDA) Ganga expressway project : Some important points • Quick to and fro facilities and transportation of goods are the deciding factors for economic development of any State. Therefore, development of infrastructure was key to India’s progress. There is a need for network of good roads for the proper transportation of goods and ever-increasing traffic. It has become imperative to develop a new network of roads. • The U.P. Government has taken cognizance of increasing goods transportation traffic, which doubles in a span of 10-13 years. On the basis of these facts, inadequate road infrastructure was a serious problem for the State. The holy city of Varanasi is connected with New Delhi through National Highway No.-2 (N.H.2) and it passes through the State capital in the form of N.H.56 and N.H.24. This highway is the life line of the State and presently carries the burden of some important cities of the State. • The State Government has decided to construct an eight-lane ‘Eastern U.P. (Varanasi-Balia) to western U.P. (NOIDA) Ganga expressway between Ballia and Greater NOIDA, which will have controlled entry from important cities. This expressway will be constructed on the proposed marginal embankment of the State Irrigation Department to be built for controlling floods on the left bank of river Ganga. A small part of the expressway between Greater NOIDA and Narora, will be situated on the ground. • The express highway will originate near Freight Container Depot in Sikandrabad. The part of the expressway from the starting point to Narora will not follow the banks of river Ganga. After Narora, the expressway will be constructed on the left marginal embankment of river Ganga till Narainpur in Gazipur district. • The expressway will pass through Gautam Buddhanagar, Bulandshahr, Badaun, Shahjahanpur, Fatehgarh, Farrukhabad, Hardoi, Unnao, Raebareli, Pratapgarh, Allahabad, Sant Ravidasnagar, Mirzapur, Varanasi, Chandauli and Gazipur. It will be 100mts. wide. • The proposed expressway will be of eight-lanes and every four-lanes will be divided by a median of 0.50 meter width. The width of the roads from all sides will be 14.5 meters. On every side of the road a 2.5 meter wide kacchi strip will be left. The median will be 0.50 meter wide. Since, the embankment will be 7-8 meter high, construction of a metal beam crash barrier on the sides of the expressway has been proposed for the safety of the users. • The initial design of the project shows that on the subsidiary rivers of entire length of expressway will have four major bridges, three major bridges on canals, eight railway over bridges, 256 small bridges, eight flyovers on crossings of National Highways, 12 flyovers on crossings of State highways, 40 flyovers and 225 under pass on crossings on main district roads/other districts roads. • Service roads will be constructed on some spots for local traffic facilities. Expressway has been designed for the speed of 120 kms. per hour. Drains will be constructed on the sides and on the breath, besides the energy disposers for the proper water drainage. • This project will provide the most needed and direct access to eastern Uttar Pradesh especially the holy city of Varanasi. As a result, tourism and investment will come to the State, besides the savings in vehicle movements cost. The city traffic density will decrease due to the diversion of heavy traffic towards expressway. Air and noise pollution caused by vehicles will also be reduced in urban areas. • The entire project will be in the State of U.P. and the kachhar areas of Ganga river. The length of the project will be situated 1.5 kms. away from the Ganga river water flow. • All the districts from which the expressway passes have proper distribution of rains during summer and monsoon seasons. • Expressway crosses through the subsidiary rivers, nullahs, canals and the tributaries of Ganga river. • The water drainage of the project’s affected areas is being made through the medium of Ganga river. This river is the principal source of water in expressway length. • Three sub-rivers, three canals and 236 small tributaries cross the proposed express highway. Ganga river flows beside the expressway and the expressway does not cross the Ganga river anywhere in its entire length. *******

Chief Secretary inaugurated 33 new websites of different departments

Lucknow. 01-Sept-2007 Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Kr. Mayawati has determined to utilize e-governance services to the maximum in discharging Government related works. To fulfill this objective the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh Sri Prashant Kumar Mishra has inaugurated 33 websites of different departments today. He expressed that the main objective of website is to bring transparency, perfection and responsive administration in order to end corruption and to bring improvement in providing better services to the citizen. He further expressed that the websites of different departments shall be linked with important and various kinds of information viz. health related services, property related land records, property tax related information, various information pertaining to panchayats and development works shall be available online. The Chief Secretary addressed the participants of programme after inaugurating the websites in Yojana Bhawan today. He further said that in bringing the general public to the reach of information and telecommunication technology is to equip with different information. In addition to this the objective is to bring positive outlook and to strengthen the Government services in order to benefit the citizen in social, economical and development facilities to all sections of the society. He told that secretariat is the epicenter of the Government setup. Keeping in view the e-Governance culture has to be initiated from the secretariat. For this purpose computers and internet facility shall be available to all the 384 sections of the secretariat. All the staff of the secretariat particularly UDA and above staff shall be provided mandatory training in computer and e-Governance for 100 hours. He said that incentives will be provided to the secretariat staff for attaining the computer knowledge. Sri Mishra said that the objective is to improve the transparency and responsiveness in the image of the Government by making available information to the general public through website. He further said that with development of website general public will be benefited and information related to different departments will be available in the rural areas. In this way the utility of information technology through websites of different departments is to strengthen the work culture and quality of the Government. The online information can be accessible in the remote area in 24 x 7 time by a common man is the need of the hour in the present era. Sri Mishra said that apart from different information on websites, information related to tenders, departmental programme, various forms and other documents shall be available. In this way the Government shall provide the information at the doorstep of the citizen. He also said Uttar Pradesh State Wide Area Network (UPSWAN) will connect 900 nodes covering all the blocks, tehsils and districts of the State within a year. He further said that e-Governance facilities will be available in 17909 Common Service Centers to be established in the villages in the next three years. The Principal Secretary, I.T. while presenting the utility and work culture of website said that internet is the network of networks and computers spread all over the world. E-Governance can be implemented by effective use of computers and networks. Exchange of information is possible through website. The public participation is ensured through different available services. In this way IT plays an important role in strengthening the relationship between public and Government. Through website transparent and clean image of the Government will reach the general public. Sri Garg said that 50,000 unemployed youths shall be getting employment opportunity through the establishment of Common Service Centers (CSC). The scheme of CSC will be organised with the assistence of Government of India. Under this scheme, one village among every six villages will be selected for the establishing CSC. Through this information and forms related to Animal Husbandry, Social Development, Agriculture, Trade, Tourism, Transport and employment will be available. Dr. B.K. Gairola told that all the districts administration of the State has been provided with high-speed network backbone of 2 MBPS to cater to the e-Governance needs. NIC is also working on UP State Wide Area Network (UPSWAN) project to setup statewide backbone connecting 900 nodes covering all the blocks, tehsils and districts of the State. The SWAN project will boost the e-Governance programs of the State. Uttar Pradesh is the first State in the Country to have implemented e-Scholarship programme inaugurated on 30th August 2007 benefiting more than 2 crore students of SC/ST, OBC, Minority & BPL families of the State through electronic transfer of the scholarship amount directly to their bank accounts. It is a major step towards rural e-Governance. Some of the other successful capital IT projects in the State includes land records computerisation (running successfully at 302 tehsils), property registration system (implemented at 106 sub-registrar offices), transport computerisation (35 RTOs/ARTOs have been covered so far). India portal has been developed and its URL is http://india.gov.in Managing Director of UPDESCO told that websites of different departments have been developed out of which websites of 33 departments have been newly developed, websites of 13 departments have been refurbished and websites of 35 departments have already been developed and hosted on the net. The websites of field level offices and other organisations are being developed. The websites are being developed in bilingual. The Government Orders (GOs), Bylaws, Acts, Ordinances etc. will be kept on the websites. The websites will be interactive for the benefits of the general public. On this occasion Sri Anis Ansari Agriculture Production Commissioner, Sri Atul Kumar Gupta Industrial Development Commissioner, Sri Amod Kumar Spl. Secretary IT & Electronics, Sri B.L. Agarwal Spl. Secretary IT & Electronics, Sri Onkar Nath M.D. UPLC, Dr. B.K. Gairola Director General NIC and Dr. S.B. Singh SIO NIC etc. were also present.

BSP completes 100 days in office

LUCKNOW: Chief Minister Mayawati, on completion of 100 days in office, hinted that capturing power in New Delhi is the next big target of the Bahujan Samaj Party. 100 days in office, Maya eyes Delhi Hindustan Times 100 days in UP, Maya now eyeing Delhi Times of India all 3 news articles Online edition of India’s National Newspaper Friday, Aug 24, 2007 Mayawati puts on hold corporate-run retail business 

 Riding on the crest wave of the Original Inhabitants of The Great Prabuddha Bharath-Brahmin social engineering formula and having completed 100 days in office on Wednesday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati made it clear that the Bahujan Samaj Party’s next stop was Delhi.

Aware of the popular political perception that the road to Delhi passes through Uttar Pradesh, Ms. Mayawati outlined her party’s agenda for the future. Addressing the function to mark the completion of 100 days in office at the Ganna Kisan Sansthan auditorium here, Ms. Mayawati said memorials to Bhimrao Ambedkar, who instilled a feeling of self-respect and pride in the Dalits, and BSP’s founder, Kanshi Ram, would be built in New Delhi when the BSP captures power at the Centre.

Ms. Mayawati condemned the attempts of the Opposition parties to deride her Government for creating “symbols ” in the form of the Ambedkar Memorial and the proposed Kanshi Ram memorial. She denied that there was a move to build memorials in the name of Dr. Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram in all the 70 districts of the State. The Chief Minister said while the Ambedkar Memorial — completed during her second and third stint as Chief Minister — in Lucknow was being given a facelift, another in the name of the BSP’s founder would be built soon in the State capital.

Stating that its neglect and vandalism during the previous regime necessitated the renovation of the memorial, Ms. Mayawati said she wanted to create a permanent structure which would exist for “thousand years” and whose “walls were not shaken” by the passage of time.

The Chief Minister painted a rosy picture of the achievements of her 100-day old Government ( she was sworn in Chief Minister for the fourth time on May 13) with emphasis on the rule of law and a society free from injustice and crime. She said the BSP Government took 100 decisions in 100 days whose collective goal was to take forward the party’s motto of “sarv jan hitaya, sarv jan sukhaya.”

Elimination of the dreaded brigand, Dadua, on July 22, 2007 was billed as the biggest achievement of the 100-day-old Government with the Chief Minister describing the encounter as “a historic success.” On the law and order and crime front, of the 1452 mafias identified by the police, action had been taken against 948 mafia elements in the last 100 days, the Chief Minister claimed. For removing the backwardness in Purvanchal and Bundelkhand regions of the State, Ms. Mayawati reiterated her demand for the Rs. 80,000-crore “Special Area Incentive Package” from the Centre.

State Government withdraws new agriculture policy

Lucknow : August 23, 2007 The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, while giving the information regarding the important decisions taken by the Cabinet on Thursday, said that the new agriculture policy passed by the Cabinet on August 03, 2007 had been withdrawn in view of farmers’ opposition. She said this policy was announced keeping in view of benefiting farmers and the development of agriculture sector. Addressing the press persons at Media Centre after the Cabinet meeting, the Chief Minister said that new agriculture policy was explained earlier in detail with a view to remove confusion among farmers regarding it. After giving a serious thought over this issue the Intelligence Department was asked to gather reports from all the 70 districts. According to the report, it was found that about 60 per cent farmers were against this policy. Therefore, the Cabinet had decided to withdraw this agriculture policy. The State Government never wanted to take any decision against farmers’ wish, she pointed out. The Chief Minister said that some opposition parties were spreading rumours that maximum land limit was going to be decreased by amendment in Ceiling Act. Several Cabinet members had also made her aware that after the formation of the government opposition was spreading rumours regarding the amendment in Ceiling Act. Denying vehemently, she said that no proposal of decreasing the maximum land limit had come to the government, neither had it been discussed nor any decision been taken in this connection. She termed it as totally false and baseless. Giving information regarding another decision, Km. Mayawati said that law and order problem was created due to the opposition of people on the opening of Reliance Fresh Stores in Lucknow and Varanasi on August 22, 2007. Keeping this in view, the setting up of Retail Stores, besides law and order, hygiene and health aspects needed to be reviewed. A committee had been constituted under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Shashank Shekhar Singh in this regard. The Principal Secretaries of Agriculture, Home, Housing and Urban Development, Medical and Health were included in this committee, she said adding that committee would give its report in a month after discussing all the aspects in detail. This committee will also review the opening of new stores in this connection. Due to the law and order problem, the district administration of Lucknow and Varanasi had decided to close all the Reliance Fresh Stores. The Principal Secretary to C.M. Mr. Shailesh Krishna, while giving details in this connection, said that concerning district magistrate could take the decision of closure in view of law and order problem. The law and order became worse, therefore district administration had taken the decision of closure and police force was employed on concerning stores to improve law and order. This decision of closure was temporary, he said adding that further decision would be taken after a high-level review on all the aspects. Mr. Krishna said that proceedings were going on for opening of stores like Reliance Fresh and Spencer in some other districts. Government was considering for making a policy in this regard after reviewing all aspects. Giving information regarding another decision, he said that the duration of district cooperative committees’ members had been decreased to two years from five years. This decision had been taken in view of insensitivity of members and complaints of poor arrangements in committees. The process of election could take time, therefore the procedure of appointing administrator had been restored. On this occasion, Cabinet Minister Mr. Satish Chandra Mishra, Cabinet Secretary Mr. Shashank Shekhar Singh and Chief Secretary Mr. P.K. Mishra were also present. ————-

C.M. honours S.T.F. team members

Lucknow : August 22, 2007 On the occasion of completing 100-days of her Government, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Km. Mayawati announced in a programme organised for the celebration that a grand memorial of Manyawar Kanshi Ram would be built in his honour, besides the museum and a rest house in Lucknow. Denying the baseless allegation by opposition parties that Ambedkar Memorial would be built in every district of the State, she said that necessary arrangements were being made for a long-lasting Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar Memorial. She said that earlier Governments overlooked Dr. Ambedkar Memorial due to which it needed major repairing and improvement works. Acknowledging the paucity of space for seating arrangements in local Ganna Sansthan Auditorium, she announced that another auditorium having six times more capacity would be constructed very soon in Lucknow. The Chief Minister said that police officers and employees were being honoured for their valour and exemplary services. Likewise, the I.A.S. and P.C.S. officers would also be honoured for their good works regarding development. This honour would be given on the basis of three months progress of development works for which surprise visit would be made. The good officers would be encouraged and stern action would be taken against those officers, who were failed in achieving desired results. She said that I.A.S. and P.C.S. officers had an important role in providing thrust to the development and the Government would give full protection to the good officers. She appreciated the efforts of her Principal Secretaries Mr. Shailesh Krishna and Kuwar Fateh Bahadur for organising such a grand programme in a very short span of time on the completion of 100-days of Government. On this occasion, the Chief Minister honoured the S.T.F. and police personnel for their successful operation of killing the dreaded dacoit Dadua. She awarded the letter of appreciation, revolver and Rs. three lakh each to the Additional Police D.G. Mr. Shailjakant Mishra, Police D.I.G. S.T.F. Mr. Arvind Kumar Jain and S.S.P. S.T.F. Mr. Amitabh Yash for their superb guidance and contribution in conducting operation Dadua. She announced Rs. three lakh each to the police officers later on. She said that law and order situation was an important factor for development works. The Chief Minster awarded a plot in Lucknow, letter of appreciation and Rs. three lakh each to A.S.P. S.T.F. Mr. Anant Dev, Police Inspector S.T.F. Mr. Hrishikesh Yadav and Inspector S.T.F. Mr. Anil Kumar Singh. Besides, Sub-Inspector S.T.F. Mr. A.P. Mull, Head Constable S.T.F. Mr. P.K. Singh, Head Constable S.T.F. Mr. Ratan Lal Kanaujia, Head Constable S.T.F. Mr. J.P. Sharma, Constable S.T.F. Civil Police Mr. Rizwan Ahmad, S.T.F. Mr. Manoj Chaturvedi, Head Constable P.A.C. Mr. Kailash Yadav S.T.F. and Commando Mr. Ram Nath Rana, Commando Mr. Harish Chandra Yadav, Commando Mr. Virendra Singh, Commando Mr. Krishna Mohan Singh, Commando Mr. Shashi Bhushan, Commando Mr. Anil Kumar, Commando Mr. Ram Prakash, Commando Mr. Sheshnath Yadav, Constable Drivers S.T.F. Dr. Brajesh Kumar, Mr. Shiv Kumar and Mr. Dhirendra Singh got out of turn promotion, letter of appreciation and Rs. three lakh each. On this occasion, D.G.P. Mr. Vikram Singh, while expressing his gratitude towards the Chief Minister said that the entire police administration got encouragement and felt honoured today. He assured the Chief Minister that police force would do its best efforts for fulfilling her dreams. He also presented a memento of Japanese sword ‘Samurai’ to the Chief Minister. **************

SC/ST and weaker sections will be given top priority in development : Chief Minister

Lucknow : August 22, 2007 Elaborating upon the policies, commitments and priorities of the State Government, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Km. Mayawati said that it had been successful at all the fronts during the past 100 days. She said that the true development would take place when its impact could be felt by the downtrodden. All the works undertaken would be verified to ascertain the degree of development, she pointed out. She said that the efforts of the government would not be confined to papers only, instead they would be translated into reality. The Chief Minister was addressing a function organised at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Ganna Sansthan to mark the achievements of the government on the completion of 100 days. She said that after taking over the reins of the government, she had directed all the officers to stick to the policy of ‘Sarvajan Hitai, Sarvajan Sukhai’. Km. Mayawati said that after taking the oath, she initiated efforts to solve the long pending dispute between U.P. and Delhi over the plying of buses. This step benefited a large number of students, service class people, poor and labourers. The jungle raj prevalent in the State was ended and rule of law by law was established by creating an atmosphere free of injustice, crime and fear. The government set up ‘Civil Services Board’ to eradicate ‘transfer industry’, so that the senior officers could work impartially and fearlessly. ‘Day officers’ have been appointed in the police stations, who would listen to the complaints of the people and ensure that the cases were registered. The DMs and other officers have been directed to remain present at their offices between 10 a.m. and 12 noon to listen to the grievances of the people. The tehsil diwas are being organised on every Tuesday to solve the problems of the people. Besides, a three tier review system had also been introduced to ensure effective redress of the grievances of the people. Almost 7000 people got their FIRs registered during the past two months, whose FIRs were not filed during the past three years. Orders have been issued to initiate legal action against those who had filed fake FIRs. The C.M. said that the State Government had formed special investigation team (SIT) to effectively control the activities of white collared criminals and also to check economic offences and frauds. The basic problems of the naxalism affected areas would be taken into account, while initiating action. She said that with a view to controlling the criminal activities of the mafias, who were operating from jails, the Jail Department has been put under the administrative control of the Home Department. The notorious brigand Dadua, who was a synonym of terror, has been gunned down and the team who helped to eliminate him had been honoured today. An amount of Rs. Five lakh was being provided to the family members of the six martyred jawans, who laid down their lives during an exchange of fire with Thokia gang. She also paid homage to the martyred jawans. Km. Mayawati said that a growth rate of 10 per cent was being targeted for the 11th Five Year Plan. She directed the officers to go to the field to verify the data. She said that the government was serious towards the social security, therefore the amount of Rs. 150 being paid under the old age and kisan pension scheme had been doubled to Rs. 300. All the lease holders were being provided the possession of the land on priority basis. Effective action was being taken to dispossess illegal land grabbers. Eligible villagers were being handed over the possession of Gram Sabha land, ponds etc. The SC/ST were being given priority in it. She said that the unauthorised possession on the Gram Sabha land by the members of the SC/ST and farm labourers was being regularised. This would benefit those farm labourers of the SC/ST category, whose land did not exceed 3.125 acres including the unauthorised possession. The C.M. said that the State Government had decided to set up Regional Rural Employment Generation Centres instead of providing unemployment allowance to the youths. The road side vendors were being provided licences to save them from exploitation. An arrangement of Rs. 395 crore had been made in the budget for the schemes of Bundelkhand and Poorvanchal. Km. Mayawati said that there was a gap of 2000 MW in the demand and supply of power in the State. There was no increase in the generation capacity, which needed to be improved, she pointed out. The Chief Minister said that the incomplete works of selected villages left by earlier Government under Dr. Ambedkar Gram Vikas Yojna were being completed. An amount of Rs. 200 crore was arranged under Scheduled Caste Housing Scheme and Rs. 160 crore for providing Indira Awas to 2.5 lakh poor families living below the poverty line belonging to all sections of society. ‘Manyawar Kanshi Ram Ji Shahri Samagra Vikas Yojna’ was being started for which Rs. 200 crore has been arranged. Decision had been taken for the recruitment of 88,000 primary teachers. Agriculture Development and Investment Policy was implemented for the welfare of farmers. Fair Price System was being improved and reservation system had been implemented for the allotment of fair price shops. A G.O. had been issued for filling the vacant seats backlog in Government Departments for reserved categories. Decision had been taken for providing reservation in private sector on voluntary basis, she said. On this occasion, the Cabinet Secretary Mr. Shashank Shekhar Singh said that the development of Uttar Pradesh was a big challenge after Independence where the economic backwardness and social imbalances were on the top. A need for dynamic leadership was being felt for providing stability to the Government and thrust to the development. It had become possible for the first time in the political history of the State in the leadership of the Hon’ble chief Minister and the State Government was moving ahead in the direction of ‘Sarvajan Hitai, Sarvajan Sukhai’. **********

C.M. stresses for responsive and sensitive administrative system

Lucknow : August 21, 2007 The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Km. Mayawati has directed to senior administrative and police officers for taking effective steps to solve common man’s daily problems on priority basis. She said that our government intention was to bring prosperity to the State by benefiting all sections of the society through development. Underlining the need for sensitive and responsive administrative system, she said that each section of the society should get the opportunity for development, especially the weaker sections, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward class. She pointed out that the talks for making the State as Uttam Pradesh were in the newspapers only so far, should indeed take practical shape. She said that district magistrates would be held directly responsible for any laxity found in solving the people’s problems. If any slackness or negligence was found on surprise visit made by her then concerning officers would face stern action, besides their transfers, she warned. The Chief Minister was reviewing the progress of development works here today at Tilak Hall with all the commissioners, district magistrates, DIGs and other senior administrative officers of the State. She said that the development works should actually took place in reality, not only on the papers and if any false report was found in this regard then concerning officers would not be spared. She said that good officers would be encouraged. The progress report regarding the development works would be held at government level every month and she herself would study those reports and make surprise visit. If any difference between the report sent to the government and her surprise visit was found then concerning officers would face stern action and officer-in-charge secretary of the government would also be held responsible. She stressed that arrears of cane farmers should be paid and district magistrates besides the commissioners should cooperate in this regard. The district magistrates should take interest in solving the people’s problems and sit at their offices on working days between 10 a.m. to 12 noon, so that people should not come to Lucknow for their petty problems and grievances. The development works should be completed within stipulated time period without compromising on quality. She warned the officers that the review meeting to be held next month would verify and the progress of development works strictly. Km. Mayawati reiterated her government priorities and said that the poor law and order situation had a direct affect on the development works. The police administration should cooperate in maintaining the law and order, so that the development works could not be affected. She appreciated the efforts of officers for improving the law and order situation during the last three months. The Chief Minister directed for completing the development works of Ambedkar villages selected during her last three regimes. She said the policy of ‘’Sarvajan Hitai, Sarvajan Sukhai'’ should be implemented with full honesty and transparency. Regretting the slow progress of development even after the 60 years of independence in the villages, she said much remains to be done. Our government had emphasised for development in villages, but the incomplete works in Ambedkar villages were not completed, besides its maintenance and repairing, when our government was out of power. Km. Mayawati said that new Ambedkar villages would not be selected this year but our emphasis would be on completing the works on priority basis of selected Ambedkar villages earlier. She said that under Dr. Ambedkar Gram Sabha Vikas Yojana, five Gram Sabhas would be selected in each Assembly Constituency and the criteria for selecting the Gram Sabhas would be sent to the district magistrates very soon. She directed for launching special campaign for giving possession to weaker sections to which the land had been allotted during her last three regimes. Stern action should be taken against those elements who had taken the land forcibly belonging to land Patta holders. The priority should be given to scheduled caste in land allotment, she said adding that the possession of land by scheduled caste people till May 13, 2007 should be regularised. The Chief Minister said that development of cities was also necessary, besides the villages for the development of the State. She directed that effective steps should be taken for preventing power theft. It took place only with the cooperation of officers. The district magistrates and commissioners should identify these officers of the department and take strong action, she warned. Km. Mayawati directed for immediately repairing the loose wires of electricity due to which many incidents took place. Medicines and doctors should remain available in hospitals and primary health centres. The district magistrates should make surprise visits in primary schools and hospitals for checking the attendance of teachers and doctors. She appealed to the officers for providing better results. The Chief Minister, while appreciating the campaign launched in capital Lucknow against the adulteration in food items and fake medicines, said that similar campaigns should be launched in districts. She said that availability of fertilizers and seeds should be ensured, besides the preparation for Rabi crops. She also directed for repairing of tube-wells, water for canals, creation of employment opportunities and scholarships distribution for children belonging to all sections during the second fortnight of September by launching special campaign. She also directed for speeding up the relief works in flood affected areas and stressed that there should not be any unnecessary harassment to poor people for revenue realisation. She said that fair price system should be improved. She warned that the directives issued in this review meeting should be implemented strictly, otherwise stern action would be taken against the concerning officers The Cabinet Secretary Mr. Shashank Shekhar Singh, Chief Secretary Mr. P.K. Mishra, APC Mr. Anees Ansari, IDC Mr. Atul Gupta, Principal Secretaries to C.M. Mr. V.K. Sharma, Mr. Shailesh Krishna and Mr. Kunwar Fateh Bahadur and DGP Mr. Vikram Singh also reviewed the development works and law and order situation during the meeting.

C.M. reviews law and order situation of U.P.

Lucknow : August 17, 2007 The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Km. Mayawati, while reviewing the law and order of the State at the Tilka Hall (Vidhan Sabha) here today, said that the F.I.R.s would be lodged at the S.P. offices if the police station fails to register it. She said that after reviewing the situation stern action would be initiated against the concerning S.H.O. for not registering the F.I.R. This order would come into force from today, she pointed out. She directed the senior officers to fill the vacancies of S.I.s by launching a special recruitment drive. Warning the officers to control the killings, she said that the culprits should be arrested immediately. Ordering cancellation of large number of arms licences issued by the previous government after reviewing them, she said that they also played a role in damaging the law and order of the State. She directed the officers to respect the peoples’ representatives and take immediate action on their complaints and suggestions. Surprise inspections would be conducted by her to know the ground reality of the law and order, she warned. This was the first law and order review meeting held by the C.M. after taking over the reins of the State. Elaborating upon her priorities, the C.M. said that an atmosphere sans injustice, crime and fear, which is conducive for development, should be created by streamlining the law and order of the State. She said that it was the top priority of the Government to establish rule of law by the law in the State. The police administration has succeeded in keeping up the promise made by the State Government to the people up to some extent. Notable decline was registered in the crime graph of the State because of the courage shown by the police officers. She appreciated their efforts and asked them to keep it up. Km. Mayawati said that several directives and G.O.s had been issued from time to time to improve the law and order of the State. These should be strictly followed, she pointed out adding that the law and order would be reviewed every month. The police officers should remain present at their respective offices between 10 a.m. and 12 noon to listen to the complaints of the people. Surprise inspections would be conducted to take stock of the situation, she warned. If, any officer was found absent from his office during the office timings then stringent action would be initiated against them. The officers should compulsorily be present at the thana diwas, she said. Quick action should be taken on the complaints, she added. If the number of F.I.R.s increases then there was no need to worry, the C.M. stated. Giving the S.P.s the confidence that they would not be transferred on anyone’s advice, she asked them to perform their duties without fear and with total honesty. Those who do good work would be given good posting, she said adding that those showing laxity and indifference in their approach would be transferred and action would also be initiated against them. The Chief Minister said that those, who had been harassed during the previous regime, can lodge their F.I.R.s by August 22 only. She said that if someone lodged a fake F.I.R. then action would be initiated against the guilty and if the F.I.R. was correct then action would be initiated against the erring police officers. She said that registration of fake F.I.R.s tarnished the image of the State Government. Km. Mayawati said that law and order situation of the State had become from bad to worse during last few years and police officers had to work hard to improve it. She hoped that police officers would do their best efforts for making the State crime free. We had promised to establish the rule of law in the State before coming into the power. We had assured the people that whoever was the criminal would be dealt with sternly, she said adding that we had moved in this direction with full honesty and transparency. Strong action was being taken against the criminals rising above from caste and religion. Our police had killed the dreaded dacoit Dadua, who had become the symbol of terror in the two States. Those police personnel would be honoured on August 22, 2007 on the occasion of government’s completion of 100 days. She said that people should become aware regarding the steps taken by the government for improving the law and order situation during the last three months. Km. Mayawati directed for preventing the incidents of murders and said that most of these murders took place due to the personal enmity. SHOs should ensure necessary action immediately in these cases in their respective areas. She said that notorious and professional criminals should be immediately arrested, if they were found engaged in these incidents. Immediate action should be taken in the incidents of violence and cruelty against women. There should be no harassment on any section of society, especially on SC and ST because if the incidents of cruelty, harassment or exploitation occur on them then the image of the government got affected. She warned the police officers that the SC and ST Act should not be misused. The Chief Minister said that the Government has implemented the reservation system in all police stations and the postings of scheduled caste SHOs should not be a mere formality, but their postings should be in the big police stations of city and rural areas. She said that naxal activities in Mirzapur, Chandauli and Sonebhadra districts should be prevented by knowing its root causes. Earlier, reviewing the law and order situation, Cabinet Secretary Mr. Shashank Shekhar Singh, Chief Secretary Mr. P.K. Mishra, Principal Secretary Home Mr. J.N. Chamber and DGP Mr. Vikram Singh directed the police officers for improving it more. They also spoke about the priorities and expectations of the Chief Minister. The Cabinet Secretary said that unless there was any serious complaint SP would not be transferred. The police officers should discharge their duties with enthusiasm without any fear and give better results. The evaluation of officers would be done on the basis of action taken by them in the registered crimes not on the basis of data. The police officers giving better results would be encouraged, he added. The Principal Secretaries to C.M. Mr. V.K. Sharma, Shailesh Krishna, Kunwar Fateh Bahadur, Secretary Mr. Vijay Singh, Secretary Home Mr. Vijay Gupta and Mrs. Renuka Kumar, SSPs and senior officials of police department were present on the occasion. *******

No change in U.P. Ceiling Act

Lucknow : August 24, 2007 The U.P. Government has denied any change in maximum land limit for any family under U.P. Ceiling Act 1960. The Principal Secretary for Revenue, Mr. S.R. Lakha, while giving this information here today, said that there was no proposal for consideration at government level for decreasing the maximum land limit under U.P. Ceiling Act 1960. He said that government came to know about the rumours being spread among people in different parts of the State that proceeding was going on for decreasing the maximum land limit for any family by amendment of U.P. Ceiling Act 1960, which was totally baseless and false. Mr. Lakha said that directives had been issued to all commissioners and district magistrates in this regard. They have been directed for making aware to their sub-ordinates ADMs, SDMs, tehsildars, nayab tehsildars, revenue inspectors and lekhpals, so that there should not be any confusion in this connection and rumours could be put off.

18 IAS officers transferred

Backlog of allotment of fair price shops should be complete within three months

Lucknow : August 11, 2007 The Uttar Pradesh Government has decided to implement present reservation system in allotment of fair price shops equally and effectively. In a Goevernment order issued in this connection and sent to all the District Magistrates and Districts Supply Officers of the State, it has been directed that the implementation of present reservation system should be ensured in allotment of vacant fair price shops of rural as well as urban areas with immediate effect. A reservation of 21 percent for scheduled castes, 02 percent for scheduled tribes and 27 percent for other backward classes was to be provided under the present reservation system. It has also been mentioned in the Government Order that calculation of reservation of fair price shops should be made on the basis of the total number of fair price shops of the different districts. It was also essential to ensure that how many shops existed in the district, how many shops are covered under the present system of reservation and the number of shops are allotted to the members of the reserved category. In case the number of shops allotted to the reserved category members was less, then immediate action should be taken to complete the backlog in the allotment of the fair price shops. The Districts Magistrates and District Supply Officers have been asked to fill the backlog within a period of three months, by launching special campaign. In case of laxity in this matter, the District Magistrate and District Supply Officers of the concerned districts would be made responsible. The review for the completion of backlog would be done at the level of Chief Secretary after three months. Horizontal reservation has also been made admissible in the reservation category of fair price shops of rural and urban areas. A reservation of 20 percent for women, 08 percent for family members of soldiers wounded or killed during action, 05 percent freedom fighters/wife of reserved category and 02 percent for disabled person. It had come in the knowledge of the Government that the present system of reservation was not properly implemented in allotment of fair price shops. That was why the target for reservation in allotment of fair price shops remained incomplete. Besides a large member of fair price shops were lying vacant for allotment in various districts. It was essential to follow the system of reservation in allotment of fair price shops in letter and spirit. ——–

Supervising Officers will be appointed to made PDS effective

Lucknow : August 11, 2007 The U.P. Government has directed all the District Magistrates to ensure effective distribution of food grains, sugar and kerosene according to the urban and rural roster under the targeted public distribution system (PDS). The State Cabinet Secretary Mr. Shashank Shekhar Singh has directed all the D.Ms to nominate one Supervising Officer (SO) in their respective districts immediately to streamline the PDS. The distribution of the food grains, sugar and kerosene would be ensured by holding camps under the SOs. The D.Ms should organise a quota-holder-wise camp under the supervision of SO between 05 and 15th day of every month and ensure that PDS is made effective. Such officers should be posted who were responsible for the timely and accurate distribution of food grains, sugar and kerosene. The report of the concerning S.O. should also be obtained, The card-holder consumers could get food grains from their fair price shop owner till the end of the month. Mr. Singh said that the district level officers, their subordinate senior officers and tehsil level officers like, junior engineers, Nayab Tehsildars, Kanoongo, ADO, ADCO, CDPO, officers of the soil conservation, nagar palika, mandi samiti and other departments can be appointed as the supervising officer. The DMs would also ensure that the area Lekhpal/Gram Panchayat Adhikari were present at the fair price shops during the ‘camp period’ to ensure effective distribution of the articles. He said that all the fair price owners should ensure the distribution of the food grains in two or three phases as per the requirement by holding camps under the supervision of the S.O. The Cabinet Secretary said that normally the camp would be of one-day duration. If needed the SOs would extend it for next day and ensure distribution of the article under their supervision. Proper and timely information would be provided to the quota-holders, concerning officers and the public. Wide-ranging publicity of the camp should also be ensured. Mr. Singh said that the DMs would direct the senior officers of their respective districts to conduct checking/verification of the distribution system on the basis of random sampling. These officers would also keep an eye on the activities of the SOs. The Cabinet Secretary said that it would be the responsibility of the officers and employees to ensure that the PDS was successful. The DMs/SDMs could make adverse comment about such officers/employees who did not perform their duties well. Departmental action would be initiated against such officers/employees. The report of SOs would collected by the SDMs and it would also be reviewed. Action would be initiated against the defaulters. Mr. Singh said that the Government had come to know that the ration card holders were not getting the food grains, sugar and kerosene supply being distributed under the PDS at the fair price. Therefore, the Government has taken this decision. It may be recalled that a date-wise roster has been prepared for the urban and rural areas for the distribution of the articles under the targeted PDS. ********

Sarwajan Hithay Sarwajan Sukhay-Flood situation improves in UP -Jail warden suspended -On the threshold of ‘social democracy’ -KUMARI MAYAWATI -18 IAS officers transferred

Online edition of India’s National Newspaper Wednesday, Aug 15, 2007

On the threshold of ‘social democracy’

KUMARI MAYAWATI

When an eagle takes flight, it has to fly against the wind and not with it

India is a country of more than a billion people. Hence, the world’s largest democracy is getting set to celebrate its 60th year of political Independence. The people of Uttar Pradesh, the most populous and politically mighty State, however, have a different reason to rejoice in the year of 2007.

The rise of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) or the Majority People’s Party to power after the March-May election to the 403-member Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly is clearly a great phenomenon for ushering in an era of ‘Social Democracy.’ Truly, the U.P. Assembly election-2007 results have created strong undercurrents and a wave in Indian politics. Think of it as a positive and progressive sign as the Shashan Mantra of “Sarwajan Hitai, Sarwaja n Sukhai” (Progress and Prosperity For All) is under way.

Moreover, I would not like to speak about the BSP’s superb electoral victory merely in terms of politics, as people say: “Whoever gets to lord over the Legislative Assembly [of Uttar Pradesh] will have a bearing on who rules at the Centre.” True, the road to Parliament passes through Uttar Pradesh. It is also true that Uttar Pradesh has been dominating the Indian political scene right from Independence. But the bitter fact is that the majority of the people of this Hindi heartland State of U.P. remain in misery and abject poverty and are socially downtrodden. Naturally, people have remained grossly disenchanted and disillusioned with the Congress-like politics and Manuvadi-type of politicians. The BJP too was never different in the eyes of the people.

It is a known fact that victory by majority has been elusive for any so-called high and mighty political party for the past 16 years in Uttar Pradesh for one reason or another. In such circumstances and given the heightened public outcry for good governance, a grand electoral success by the BSP against all odds in the crucial Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh was unprecedented. Social scientists termed this success of the BSP ‘social engineering’ and my political strategy. However, in broader terms, it was a surgical social strike, through political and electoral moves with the best of intentions. This was an uphill and risky task as our country is so orthodox, so archaic in its thoughts and its social structure that very few could even attempt to think of it.

We all know that after Independence the rulers were at liberty to reform our social system — which is so full of inequities, so full of inequalities, discriminations, and of other things, which conflicts with our fundamental rights. But they lacked a strong political will.

To be fair, we all know that an honest, committed, and well-intentioned attempt to serve the greater cause of ‘Social Transformation and Economic Equality’ among its people had never been a fair and honest play in Indian political governance. Disenchantment was thus inevitable. Moreover, social acrimony and caste hatred perpetuated by the Manuvadi politicians guided by vested political and electoral interests played a negative, rather a devastating role in eroding the credibility of a party in a democratic system despite knowing fully well that the failure of parliamentary democracy would result in rebellion, anarchy, and communalism.

In such an atmosphere, we tried our best with solid groundwork. First we united those who have been oppressed, depressed, and exploited. And then tried to bring closer those who have been poles apart under the obnoxious caste system, propounded by a man called Manu and perpetuated by vested interests of Manuvadis who were out to destroy the real democratic system at the grassroots level.

Social harmony, solidarity, and cohesiveness are the trump cards of success of a society and the country. The Bahujan Samaj, as a victim of religious dogmatism, caste hatred, and gross social discrimination, is serious about weeding out this cruel phenomenon in the larger national interest. Thus my message is that we, the BSP people, are the real well-wishers of the oppressed, exploited people and also the poor among the upper castes of society; and that our policies and programmes go beyond the narrow boundaries of caste, class, and creed. My action was a kind of satyagrah and guided by the philosophy of Baba Saheb Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar that “Whichever action brings the people together is the right action … and insiste nce on such action is satyagrah… Satyagrah is thus bringing people together.”

Here, I can stress that politics should not be the be-all and end-all of the country’s life. After achieving success in our laboratory, in the State of Uttar Pradesh, we are trying to study diligently the real problem faced by the people in States other than U.P. encompassing political, social, religious, and economic aspects, and then fighting it with our own dedicated way for bringing salvation to the downtrodden. We thus started acting solidly on our political philosophy of “Sarwajan Hitai. Sarwajan Sukhai.” To translate the dictum into reality, we are pursuing the case of the poor belonging to the upper castes by advocating reservation for them as well.

People are free to say anything about my move but the fact is that we, the BSP people, are Ambedkarite and hardcore nationalists. The notion that Dalits always adopt a nationalist attitude is beyond any doubt. We are aware that when an eagle takes flight, it has to fly against the wind and not with it. The Dalit situation is similar and they have to progress the same way, mark my submission.

In this course many people may have funny notions about gratefulness, but I would like to quote an Irish philosopher who said: “No man can be grateful at the cost of his honour. No woman can be grateful at the cost of her chastity. And no nation can be grateful at the cost of its liberty.” Perhaps I have made my point that the larger interest of the Bahujan Samaj is above everything for me and my firm belief is that a “Samta-Mulak Samaj” (a society based on equality — politically, socially, and economically) can be established when there will be “proportionate empowerment.” In the meantime, I would like to reiterate that self-respect of each and every section of society should be honoured as it is more important than material gains. Our struggle is for self-respect, not for economic progress alone — for a man it is his birthright to lead an honourable life. A country that fails to protect the self-respect of its people is bound to go down in the dumps.

Coming to another hard and harsh reality of basic differences, particularly on the economic front, between the BSP — the emerging national political power — and the rest of the political parties, I would like to summarise it in one paragraph. India is becoming a roaring capitalist success story and the number of capitalists is increasing every day while the BSP is for the growth in the capital of the country, not in the number of capitalists. This tells the whole tale of our economic philosophy and scheme of things on which we are working under the concept of “Sarwajan Hitai, Sarwajan Sukhai,” which is the crying need of the day.

Pure administration

A change of outlook and a purity of administration are very important for the welfare of the people because the people are more concerned with how the law is administered and not how the law was made. I am making efforts in this direction, too, although the task is arduous and demands sustained efforts at different levels.

Blaming politicians for every kind of malaise in the administration was a fashion and there was a chorus from all around for giving a free hand to bureaucrats in running the administration. I have taken the lead and given them a free hand to run the administration.

Today, bureaucrats can take decisions and act as per the demand of the situation, something they were not used to doing in the past. A strenuous effort is on to take the State out of ‘Jungle Raj’; and rid it of injustice, crime, terror, and corruption; and to help people feel comfortable and tension-free. The elimination of the dreaded dacoit Dadua is a pointer. There is now a chance for every section of society to jump into the fray as the mantra of my government is that a good government is better than an efficient government and no administration can do any good unless its is sensitive. And no administration can be sensitive if it is manned by one community or caste alone.

Can Indian democracy restructure its pyramidal caste hierarchy? People in many parts of the country are eagerly asking this billion dollar question. But they had no satisfactory and logical answer so far. I can, however, most humbly and respectfully claim that at least the BSP, under my leadership, in Uttar Pradesh is making noteworthy efforts to answer this question of great national interest.

Social acrimony is subsiding and rural as well as urban Uttar Pradesh is feeling the impact of social harmony, which was unthinkable until a few months ago. Let us hope for the best and think about this initiative in the larger national interest.

“Uttam Aur Khush-hal Pradesh” (Good & Prosperous State) is in the making in Uttar Pradesh — thanks to a new silent social revolution that is bringing about a change in people’s outlook, which will bring s miles to the faces of each and every section of society, thereby transforming the face of the country as a whole.

Kumari Mayawati, a former teacher, is Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and President of the Bahujan Samaj Party.

Mawati asks party workers to ready for polls

Advantage BSP, says opinion poll – Triple Gem Study Circle

The BSP will come within a whisker of a majority if snap polls are held for the Lok Sabha, according to an opinion poll conducted in 23 States by the Triple Gem Study Circle.

submitting return and tax

Lucknow : August 10, 2007 The State Cabinet has decided to amend rule 41 of the Trade Tax rules of U.P. Trade Tax Act-1948. A decision to this effect was taken by the state cabinet in a meeting presided over by U.P. Chief Minister Km. Mayawati. Under sub rules (1), (2) and (3) of the Rule 41 of U.P. Trade Tax Rules. The last date for submitting return and tax has been fixed as 20th of every month. Earlier the last date for submitting the return and tax for the traders recovering taxable sale and purchase above Rs. 10 lakh under the trade tax rule was 25th of every month. The last date for submitting the return and tax for the traders recovering taxable sale and purchase below Rs. 10 lakh was 25th of every quarterly. The traders were depositing the amount through cheques in different banks. A time of three to four days was spent in clearance of such cheques for the receipt of cheque amount in government treasury. The employees and officers had force many problems in the work of clearance drawing the last week of the month. The adversely affected the routine works. Keeping this difficulty in view, the cabinet has divided that the trade tax return and tax would now be deposited only up to 20th day of every month. ——-

Notification of U.P. Cooperative Sugar Mill Societies (Special Provision) Rules 2007 approved

Lucknow : August 10, 2007 The U.P. Chief Minister Km. Mayawati while presiding over a cabinet meeting on Thursday last accorded sanction for notification of Uttar Pradesh Cooperative Sugar Mill Societies (Special Provisions) Rules, 2007 after making necessary amendments in Uttar Pradesh Cooperative Sugar Mills (Special Provision) Rules 2003. The main amendments include definition of sound business, deletion of word sick and duration of notice, advisor replacing the advisory committee for advising the Registrar. *******

U.P. to regulate allotment of fair price shops

LUCKNOW: The implementation of the present reservation system in the allotment of fair price shops under the Public Distribution System (PDS) in Uttar Pradesh would be made more effective.

The District Magistrates and district supply officers have been directed to ensure that the quota system was strictly followed in the allotment of vacant FP shops in the rural and urban areas of the State.

A reservation of 21 per cent for the Scheduled Castes, 2 per cent for Scheduled Tribes and 27 per cent for Other Backward Classes was provided under the quota system in the State.

Heavy backlog

There were 2,202 vacant FP shops out of the total 71,814 in the State but the quota system was not being properly implemented in the allotment of shops to the beneficiaries, which resulted in a heavy backlog.

A Government Order issued to this effect states that the reservation of FP shops should be calculated on the basis of total number of FP shops in the districts. In case the number of shops allotted to the reserved category was less, then immediate action should be taken to clear the backlog.

Briefing newsmen, the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Shailesh Krishna said in the earlier arrangement the quota was fixed at the block level, which resulted in the backlog.

Now the State Government had ensured that the reserved quota allotment was made at the district level, Mr. Krishna added.

Fill backlog

Mr. Krishna said the DMs and district supply officers had been directed to fill the backlog within three months through a special campaign and these officers would be held accountable for any laxity on this count.

He added that the quarterly review of the backlog position would conducted by the Chief Secretary.

The system of horizontal reservation would also be applied in the allotment of the shops.

Accordingly, 20 percent of the shops would be reserved for women, 8 per cent for the dependents of soldiers wounded or killed during action, five per cent for Freedom Fighters and two per cent for physically impaired persons.

Meanwhile, the Government has directed the DMs to ensure that the roster system was followed in the distribution of foodgrains, sugar and kerosene oil under the PDS.

Streamlining

Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh has issued directives to the DMs for nominating supervising officers in their districts to streamline the PDS.

Mr. Singh said camps would be organised between the fifth and 15th day of each month where the PDS ration would be distributed under the supervision of the supervising officers.

This would ensure improvement in the distribution system and check the practice of foodgrains being sold in the black market by the FP shop licencees

Industry bodies support U.P. move on job quota

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Assocham president Venugopal N. Dhoot has supported the decision of Uttar Pradesh Government for voluntary reservation of jobs for private sector investments in the State.

He said that the unique features of the policy were that those who did not want to avail incentives/tax concessions from the State would not fall under the purview of the job reservation policy. Mr. Dhoot said the agenda push forward for 30 per cent jobs — 10 per cent each for SC, OBCs and backward religious minorities and economically weaker sections from the upper castes — would not make any way industry uncompetitive because there was no dearth of talent. This would, indeed, help the Government to implement its agenda for ‘inclusive growth.’

Assocham had adopted a Code of conduct for its 2,50,000 members from the large, medium and small scale sectors and had started implementing the affirmative action on voluntary basis.

In a meeting of the Assocham Managing Committee held on Friday, the Chamber had created a fund of Rs. 5 crore for skill development and providing basic/higher education to the children from the underprivileged sections of the society.

Noting that U.P. had the potential to become a leading industrial centre of India, given its rich resource base and large labour force, another apex chamber, FICCI, wondered as to how the current initiative of the State Government of ‘voluntary’ reservation of 30 per cent of jobs in the private sector for fresh investment into the state, would make the State more competitive vis-À-vis its six competitor States which rank higher than it.

The industry body said that it would be happy to look at the new frontiers skill training in partnership with the U.P. Government, as it had begun to do with several other States. It will also strongly support reforms in education and health services along with specific projects for Public-Private-Partnership.

U.P. moots voluntary quota in private sector

Special Correspondent

LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh Government has proposed voluntary reservation in the private sector for the Scheduled Castes, the Other Backward Classes and religious minorities, and economically weaker sections in the upper castes. This decision was taken at a meeting of the State Cabinet, presided over by Chief Minister Mayawati on Thursday.

An official press statement issued on Friday said the voluntary reservation arrangement would be in the form of a contract and would apply to industrial units and private educational institutions that would be set up with government assistance. The contractual arrangement would also extend to infrastructural facilities, service sector projects and divested units.

According to the Cabinet decision, a contractual arrangement would be made with those industrial units which have been given assistance by the State Government or any of its department or agency in the form of land or grant, property, or any other facility.

As per the terms of the voluntary agreement, 10 per cent of the jobs in the private sector would be reserved for the SCs, 10 per cent for the OBCs and religious minorities and 10 per cent for the economically weaker upper caste people.

The press statement said the Cabinet decision was a positive step as there was a likelihood of large-scale private investment in the State.

Sarvajan Hithay Sarvajan Sukhay

If the Sarvajan i.e., The Entire People all inclusive themselves become the media, following positive, helpful and wholesome News could be distributed among all the needy sections of the society for their welfare and Happiness.

Farmers free to sell their produce in open market if they get remunerative prices Lucknow : August 09, 2007 The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Km. Mayawati said that the new Agriculture Infrastructure and Investment Policy would not compel the farmers for the Contract Farming. Instead, it would be a voluntary and alternative arrangement for them, she stressed. Those, who were acting hand in glove with the middlemen and the elements exploiting the farmers, were now trying to create confusion among the farmers. The new policy aimed at the uplift of the farmers, she added. Their designs would never succeed, she exhorted. The Chief Minister expressed these views at the press conference held at the Tilak Hall, here today. Some of the disgruntled elements had raised questions on the efficacy of the agricultural reforms of the State through the newspapers, which were totally baseless and their main objective was to create confusion only, she stated. Km. Mayawati said that the contract would be effective for the sale/purchase of the agricultural produce only and the farmers would be free to sell/purchase their produce in the open market. Whenever, the farmers got remunerative prices of their produce they would be free to sell it in the open market, she said. Besides, the farmers would retain their land ownership rights, viz. their land rights would remain intact, she pointed out. The Chief Minister said that so far the farmers were compelled to sell their produce in the mandi through the middlemen who exploited them to the hilt, but the new policy would provide a huge market free of middlemen and the elements trying to exploit them. They would get remunerative prices of their produce, she stressed. The farmers were forced to sell their quick decaying products like vegetables, fruits etc. at a throw away price and they could not get even the cost price of their produce. The middlemen took the advantage of the situation, she pointed out. Now, the entire scenario would change as the investor would directly purchase the product from the farmers’ fields and that too at the remunerative prices, she stated. Km. Mayawati said that the new policy would attract huge investments in the rural areas for which our farmers were just waiting thus far. She said that the capital investment would create a network of agri-based industries and that in turn would create new employment opportunities. Now, the people residing in rural areas would not be forced to go to the big cities like Mumbai and Delhi in search of employment, she pointed out. The C.M. said that the farmers required quality seeds, fertilisers and pesticides urgently. The new policy would meet all these challenges and ensure that the farmers’ needs were fulfilled at their doorstep, she said. Replying the questions regarding the impending danger of the land becoming barren due to use of fertilizers, she said that chemical fertilizers played an important role in making the green revolution successful. Was the land of Punjab and Western Uttar Pradesh became barren due to the use of chemical fertilizers, she asked. Terming this apprehension as baseless, she said that chemical fertilizers would be used according to the need after the verification of land’s quality in a scientific manner. As a result, production and productivity would increase and farmers would be benefited. The Chief Minister said that our policy was to provide big consumer market to the small and marginal farmers, which they can get only if they produce quality crops and they had modern means to reach big and profitable markets. All these things are possible only under the new policy, she said adding that besides the Rabi and Kharif crops, the farmers would be encouraged for other produces during the in between period due to the surplus flow of capital investment. The agriculture workers would also get regular employment and their economic condition including the farmers would improve and the migration of rural people toward cities would be checked. Km. Mayawati said that our policy would extend the facilities of education and health in villages, besides creating the new employment opportunities and changing the face of villages. The prosperity and productivity in rural areas would increase social harmony, she added. Regretting the opposition and confusion created by some political parties which are in league with middlemen, in our efforts of bringing prosperity to farmers, the Chief Minister said that our efforts were to check the exploitation of farmers from middlemen, besides suicides. She said that those who never studied our policy had no basis for opposition of the new policy, which had been introduced with the purpose of checking the exploitation of farmers continued for the last 60 years. The vested interests are raising a false bogey and creating confusion among farmers regarding the farmer oriented policy, but the farmers would not be misguided by their sinister designs, she said. ******

PGI will be turned into the best institute of the country : C.M. Lucknow : August 09, 2007 The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Km. Mayawati, while inaugurating the new Dialysis Ward at the SGPGI here today said that the kidney patients specially those belonging to the weaker sections should be benefited from it. She said that all possible efforts should be made to ensure the same. Assuring the PGI of all possible financial aid, she said that the institute would not face any financial constraints. She directed the officers concerned to launch recruitment drive to meet the dearth of the doctors. On the occasion, she laid the foundation of the animal house and central library buildings and directed the officers to ensure that the construction was completed at the earliest and in a qualitative manner. She said that the Government would help making the PGI the best institute of the country. The Chief Minister was addressing a gathering of the medical experts and prominent citizens after inaugurating the Dialysis Ward. Appreciating the contribution of the doctors, she pointed out that the medical community had created its own identity through its hard work. She said that PGI’s credibility had been enhanced as far as quality medical services were concerned. Now, the people were coming to the institute for serious diseases. Km. Mayawati said that tele-medicine department of S.G.P.G.I. was playing an important role in providing suggestions to students of Medical Colleges belonging to the State and country. Congratulating the doctors, officers and employees of the institute, she said they were doing their best efforts for providing better medical facilities to the people, besides creating awareness regarding the serious and chronic diseases. She appealed to the medical fraternity to develop such technology through research, so that the common man was benefited by V.I.P. medical facilities. The Chief Minister directed to the officers for keeping hygienic conditions and clean environment at S.G.P.G.I., besides encouraging tree-plantation for greenery. Emphasising the need of planting Neem and Peepal trees, she said that such trees had significant role in providing good health and better environment. The programme was also addressed by Parliamentary Affairs and Medical Education Minister Mr. Lalji Verma and Chief Secretary Mr. P.K. Mishra. On this occasion, Minister of State for Medical Education Mr. Daddan Mishra, Cabinet Secretary Mr. Shashank Shekhar, Principal Secretary Medical Health and Family Welfare Mr. Arun Kumar Mishra, S.G.P.G.I. Director Prof. A.K. Mahapatra were present, besides the doctors, medical students and eminent citizens. *******

Maya looks to expand in other states

LUCKNOW: After consolidating its position in Uttar Pradesh, the Bahujan Samaj Party is targeting states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Himachal Pradesh. Starting from Madhya Pradesh, the BSP had organised a Kushwaha sammelan in Gwalior and also entrusted Parsnath Maurya to work for bringing Mauryas and Kushwahas in the party fold. It also plans to organise a similar convention in Tikamgarh, Bhopal and Indore in the near future. The BSP had considerable support in Madhya Pradesh, especially in the areas adjacent to Uttar Pradesh. Maurya was recently made head of the backward class commission.

Next is Gujarat which the national general secretary of BSP Satish Chandra Mishra may visit to strengthen the organisation, said sources. The five expelled BJP leaders from Gujarat are not averse to joining the BSP, said a party leader.

The party’s coordinators, sources said, may be sent to Gujarat to assess the situation there.The party also plans to organise dalit-pichda sammelan in the states where elections are to be held in a year or two, said a party leader. A few days back, the BSP had won over the office-bearers of Mukti Morcha in Orissa.The party will then organise caste-based conferences to garner support . Once the BSP completes caste-based conferences, it will organise tour of the party supremo in an atmosphere in favour of the party.

This strategy will be adopted in the states where elections are due in a year or two. In any case the BSP plans to gain foothold in a few states even before the 2009 parliamentary elections. Back home in Uttar Pradesh, the party is chalking out a strategy to win over support of groups which have alienated themselves from the mainstream parties, said a party leader.The BSP thinks that if it wins the by-polls to Ballia parliamentary seat, along with Farrukhabad and Swartanda assembly constituencies, the party will leave an impact on the electorates of the neighbouring

Mukhyamantri Utkrishta Sewa Police Medical for policemen for meritorious service

Lucknow : August 04, 2007 1. In the cabinet meeting presided over by U.P. Chief Minister Km. Mayawati, held on the Friday last, it was decided to give away ‘Mukhyamantri Utkrishta Sewa Police Medical’ to the officers and employees of police department for extraordinary achievement and contribution in their service. Besides, awarding a gold medal of 18 carat worth Rs. 25,000 the awardees would also get cash award of Rs. 25,000. A maximum of three persons would be given this award every year. A five member committee headed by Principal Secretary, Home has been constituted for selecting the awardees. The other member of the committee included Directors General of Police and Fire, Additional Director General of Police (Personnel) and Home Secretary. 2. The cabinet has made certain amendments in U.P. Sahkari Samiti Adhiniyam 1995. A provision has been made by this amendment that such sugar mills in which the State Government has more than 50 p.c. of share capital and if State Government is satisfied that such sugar mills were unable to conduct ‘Sound Business’ and it was essential to have private capital investment/sale of such mills. In such case it would not be compulsory to pass the proposal in the general body meeting for the Registrar. The U.P. cabinet has given assent to the Uttar Pradesh Sahkari Mill Samiti (Sanshodhan) Ordinance-2007. ***********

Farm sector thrown open to private players in UP

Mayawati unveils new agriculture policy for the State

LUCKNOW: In a major policy initiative, the agriculture and allied sector in Uttar Pradesh was thrown open to private players whose role would not be limited to buying the produce directly from the farmers. They will also provide better seeds, fertilisers and pesticides as well as arrange for finance and crop insurance for the farmers for overcoming the hazards of crop loss. Contract farming, introduced for the first time in the State, is another vital component of the new policy.

The Agriculture Infrastructure and Investment Policy, announced by Chief Minister Mayawati on Friday aimed at ensuring all round development of the farm sector in the State where 90 per cent of the farmers were small and marginal, and where 60 per cent of the rural families possessed less than one hectare of land. An Ordinance will be issued soon.

The new policy amends the Uttar Pradesh Krishi Utpadan Mandi Act, 1964 and Uttar Pradesh Krishi Utpadan Mandi Rules, 1965. This has been done to save the farmers from being exploited by middlemen and enable him to get competitive prices for their produce. The policy focuses on, Contract farming; Investors given the rights to purchase the produce directly from the growers; Private investors can set up private “mandis” where the farmers can sell their produce; Small entrepreneurs can set up “kisan bazar” ( called the “haat” in rural parlance) in the joint sector;Farmers can also sell their produce directly to the consumers.

Though the private investors would be able to purchase the farm produce directly from the agriculturists but the cost paid to the farmers would not be less than the minimum support price on the articles decided by the State or Central Government.

Incidentally, the Agri Investment Policy aimed at taking the retail revolution to the rural areas. With this end in view only the major private players would be allowed to invest whose net worth was more than Rs 500 crore and were willing to make capital investment of Rs 5000 crore in the next three years.

Regarding contract farming, the new policy stipulates that the investors could enter into contract only for the purchase of farm produce. They will have no right on the ownership of land, which remains to be vested in the farmer. A model agreement of the contract farming would be chalked out by the prescribed committee. More importantly, the contract system will be optional for the farmers and in case the contracted price was lower than the existing market price of the produce the farmer has been given the option of selling his crop in the open market.

Under the policy, the private investors would be encouraged to invest in food processing, storage, packaging, transportation, distribution and export.

The State Government’s role will be that of a facilitator. Different schemes, policies and infrastructural policies pertaining to road, canals and power would be implemented for enhancing the commercial activities in the rural areas and giving a favourable atmosphere to the investors. Besides, there will be single point approval of licences and single point tax collection.

Addressing a Press conference, the Chief Minister said the new policy had been framed to bring the rural areas in the mainstream of economy by ensuring far-reaching changes in the State’s agriculture scenario. Uttar Pradesh is the first State to bring out such a comprehensive policy, which focussed on the betterment of small and marginal farmers, Ms. Mayawati noted.

She lamented that even after 60 years of Independence the farmer of the State was living in abject poverty since he had been denied proper infrastructure for farming and remunerative prices for his produce.

As a consequence, the condition of the 90 per cent small and marginal farmers had deteriorated.

This had manifested in farmers’ suicide and large-scale migration of the rural population to the urban areas, Ms Mayawati added.

Under the new policy measure, UP hopes to attract investment of Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 crore in the next three to four years and achieve the target of 5.7 per cent agriculture growth rate in the 11th Five Year Plan ( 2007-2012)

Farm sector thrown open to private players in UP

Mayawati unveils new agriculture policy for the State

LUCKNOW: In a major policy initiative, the agriculture and allied sector in Uttar Pradesh was thrown open to private players whose role would not be limited to buying the produce directly from the farmers. They will also provide better seeds, fertilisers and pesticides as well as arrange for finance and crop insurance for the farmers for overcoming the hazards of crop loss. Contract farming, introduced for the first time in the State, is another vital component of the new policy.

The Agriculture Infrastructure and Investment Policy, announced by Chief Minister Mayawati on Friday aimed at ensuring all round development of the farm sector in the State where 90 per cent of the farmers were small and marginal, and where 60 per cent of the rural families possessed less than one hectare of land. An Ordinance will be issued soon.

The new policy amends the Uttar Pradesh Krishi Utpadan Mandi Act, 1964 and Uttar Pradesh Krishi Utpadan Mandi Rules, 1965. This has been done to save the farmers from being exploited by middlemen and enable him to get competitive prices for their produce. The policy focuses on, Contract farming; Investors given the rights to purchase the produce directly from the growers; Private investors can set up private “mandis” where the farmers can sell their produce; Small entrepreneurs can set up “kisan bazar” ( called the “haat” in rural parlance) in the joint sector;Farmers can also sell their produce directly to the consumers.

Though the private investors would be able to purchase the farm produce directly from the agriculturists but the cost paid to the farmers would not be less than the minimum support price on the articles decided by the State or Central Government.

Incidentally, the Agri Investment Policy aimed at taking the retail revolution to the rural areas. With this end in view only the major private players would be allowed to invest whose net worth was more than Rs 500 crore and were willing to make capital investment of Rs 5000 crore in the next three years.

Regarding contract farming, the new policy stipulates that the investors could enter into contract only for the purchase of farm produce. They will have no right on the ownership of land, which remains to be vested in the farmer. A model agreement of the contract farming would be chalked out by the prescribed committee. More importantly, the contract system will be optional for the farmers and in case the contracted price was lower than the existing market price of the produce the farmer has been given the option of selling his crop in the open market.

Under the policy, the private investors would be encouraged to invest in food processing, storage, packaging, transportation, distribution and export.

The State Government’s role will be that of a facilitator. Different schemes, policies and infrastructural policies pertaining to road, canals and power would be implemented for enhancing the commercial activities in the rural areas and giving a favourable atmosphere to the investors. Besides, there will be single point approval of licences and single point tax collection.

Addressing a Press conference, the Chief Minister said the new policy had been framed to bring the rural areas in the mainstream of economy by ensuring far-reaching changes in the State’s agriculture scenario. Uttar Pradesh is the first State to bring out such a comprehensive policy, which focussed on the betterment of small and marginal farmers, Ms. Mayawati noted.

She lamented that even after 60 years of Independence the farmer of the State was living in abject poverty since he had been denied proper infrastructure for farming and remunerative prices for his produce.

As a consequence, the condition of the 90 per cent small and marginal farmers had deteriorated.

This had manifested in farmers’ suicide and large-scale migration of the rural population to the urban areas, Ms Mayawati added.

Under the new policy measure, UP hopes to attract investment of Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 crore in the next three to four years and achieve the target of 5.7 per cent agriculture growth rate in the 11th Five Year Plan ( 2007-2012)

For the first time State Government to get such a huge amount as loan

Lucknow : July 26, 2007 The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Km. Mayawati disclosed that with the aim of increasing the resources for developmental works, the Central Government has been requested to make available Structure Adjustment Loan of Rs. 15,242 crore from the World Bank. She said that the amount received as loan would be utilised for repayment of earlier loans of the State, taken on higher rates of interest. She said that loans granted by the World Bank had lower rates of interest as such it would reduce the burden of loan interest and amount thus saved would be utilised for encouraging the programmes run for economic reforms and developing infrastructure facilities. The Chief Minister stated that it was for the first time that the Government of India submitted a proposal before the World Bank for loaning of such a huge amount. Generally, World Bank extends loan assistance for a sum ranging between Rs. 1000 crore to Rs. 1500 crore, she added. The Chief Minister said that in consequence to the recommendation of the Government of India, the State Government discussed the matter by contacting the officers of the World Bank. She said that the World Bank has assured to provide the loan assistance to the tune of Rs. 15,242 crore during the current Financial Year. Km. Mayawati said that the loan assistance of the World Bank would not add to the indebtedness of the State, as the amount would be utilised for paying off the already existing loans. She said that it was not a proposal for getting a new loan but it was a debt-swap. The Chief Minister stated that the loan of the World Bank would be available on a cheaper rate of interest of 6.25 per cent, which included all the overheads. The loan already existing was obtained at 11.50 per cent interest rate. Thus, the State would save about five per cent as rate of interest. She informed that on the loan of the World Bank, the State would not have to repay the principal amount for five years due to moratorium. She said that the proposed loan would reduce the rate of interest at the rate Rs. 1450 crore p.a. in the first five years, besides it would benefit the State in the shape of lower interest rates for the next 20 years. ———-

NBW issued against MP in MLA’s murder case

For alleged abduction and intimidation of an eyewitness

Umesh Pal lodged an FIR against the Phoolpur MP

Atiq’s brother has been declared an absconder last week

Feeling the heat: Atiq Ahmed, MP.

Allahabad: A non-bailable warrant has been issued against Samajwadi Party strongman and MP Atiq Ahmed asking him to surrender before police within a week in connection with alleged abduction and intimidation of an eyewitness in the BSP MLA Raju Pal murder case.

“Proceedings have been initiated against Atiq Ahmed, the Lok Sabha member from Phoolpur under section 82 of CrPC following an FIR lodged in the Dhoomanganj police station in the city by Umesh Pal, an eyewitness in the Raju Pal murder case,” DIG, Allahabad Range, Vijai Kumar told PTI here.

He said as part of the proceedings, a notice was put out at Atiq’s residence in the city on Wednesday, whereby he has been asked to surrender before police within a week, failing which he would be declared an absconder and his property would be attached.

The DIG said Umesh Pal, who is also a member of the Zila Panchayat and a relative of Raju Pal, had alleged that he was picked up by Atiq’s henchmen on February 28, 2006, and taken to Atiq’s office in the Chakia locality where he was beaten up and asked to retract from his statement before the trial court.

Atiq’s brother Ashraf, a former MLA and co-accused in the Raju Pal murder case, had been declared an absconder last week.

Raju Pal was shot dead here in broad daylight on January 25, 2005, three months after his electoral debut from the Allahabad West Assembly seat.

In the by-poll that followed the death of Pal, Ashraf wrested the seat surmounting a strong sympathy wave in favour of the slain MLA’s wife Puja who was fielded by the BSP.

However, in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections held this year, Puja managed to defeat Ashraf by a margin of around 10,000 votes.

The crackdown on Atiq and Ashraf follows the promise made by Mayawati during the election campaign and reiterated by her upon her assuming the Chief Ministership that the culprits in Raju Pal murder case would be brought to justice once her party was voted to power. — PTI

Uttar Pradesh Seeks a Development Package of Rs.80,000 Crore From the Government of India

Our top priority is to ensure that Uttar Pradesh becomes a state which is Injustice-free, crime-free, fear-free and corruption-free and to create an Environment of development, ensure the rule of law in every walk of life and Create a society of “Sarvajan hithay – sarvajan sukhay” (welfare of all and Happiness for all)

- Km. Mayawati Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh

Request to Government of India for financial Assistance to bring Purvanchal and Bundelkhand into the mainstream of Development

Demand of Rs. 9400 crore to fill the infrastructural gaps in Purvanchal

Demand for assistance of Rs. 4700 crore to fill the Infrastructure gaps in Bundelkhand.

-In addition, a demand to provide “Special Area Incentive Package” to enterprises in both these regions, (Exemption From central excise for 10 years, exemption from Income Tax-100% for 10 years and 30% for next 5 years and 15% subsidy on capital investment)

special assistance of approx. Rs. 22,000 crore for Development of Agriculture and Allied activity.

Assistance of Rs. 6500 crore for Development activities relating to Rural development and Panchayati Raj

Assistance of Rs. 13,300 crore for the other development proposals.

assistance of Rs. 23,800 crore for the development of people belonging to SC/ST, OBC, religious minorities and upper caste, living below poverty line.

Along with this, it has also been urged that the backlog of reserve vacancies lying vacant in the Entire country be filled up in accordance with the Reservation policy of Government of India. To Implement the reservation policy in private and other sectorsalso by making amendment in the Constitution and placing the same in the Ninth Schedule.

Demand to extend the benefit of reservation policy to the people of upper caste also living below Poverty line and to make require amendment in the constitution.

Department of U.P. Information and Public Relations, Uttar Pradesh

 

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