Friday, March 14, 2014

What made the Bodhisatta seek Enlightenment?

Sitting in his upper chamber the immensely rich young brahmin Sumedha thought like this:

Not seeking Purity:
When a man soiled in dirt sees a pure lotus covered lake, but does not seek it to get a clean bath,
it is not an error of the lake, but a fault of the dirty man...
Even and exactly so: When there is the great lake of the deathless
Nibbāna capable of purifying
all the mental defilements, yet it is not being sought by the mentally polluted being, then it is not
an error of this immortal state, but a fatal fault of the mentally contaminated human being...
Neglecting the Way:
When a man surrounded by robbers does not flee, though there is a possible way to escape, then it
is not an error of this open way, but a fault of the man neglecting to break free by this road...
Even and exactly so: When there is this blessed
Noble 8-fold Way leading straight to absolute
freedom, yet it is not being used, then is not an error of this supreme method, but a fault of the
man failing to follow, clear and develop this ancient path...
Rejecting the Doctor:
When a seriously sick man does not seek the help of the doctor, who knows the effective cure,
then is neither a fault of the doctor nor of the medical treatment, but a mistake of the sick man!
Even and exactly so: When there is this sublime
Teacher, who can cure all mental diseases & thereby
allay all frustration and pain, yet he is not being sought, then - indeed - it is not a fault of this guide,
but a grave error of anyone mentally unhealthy and defiled and thus prone for downfall... 

These thoughts made the young man give away all his richness and become recluse in Himalaya:

Sumedha's Similes..
Have a nice & noble day!
Friendship is the Greatest! Bhikkhu Samāhita _/\_ ]

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Metta Means Most!

As I am, so are others...
As others are, so am I...
Having thus identified self and others,
Never Harm anyone, nor have any abused.
Sutta Nipata 3.710

Among tigers, lions, leopards & bears I lived in the jungle.
No one was frightened of me, nor did I fear anyone.
Uplifted by such universal friendliness, I enjoyed the forest.
Finding great solace in such sweetly silenced solitude…
Suvanna-sama Jataka 540

I am a friend of the footless,
I am a friend of all bipeds,
I am a friend of those with four feet,
I am a friend of the many-footed!
Anguttara Nikaya 4.67

May all creatures, all breathing things,
all beings one and all, without exception,
experience good fortune only.
May they not fall into any harm.
Anguttara Nikaya II, 72

Panda clings to saving Chinese Policeman after forest-fire :-) 

Train yourself in doing good
that lasts and brings happiness.
Cultivate generosity, the life of peace,
and a mind of infinite universal love.
Itivuttaka 22

With good will for the entire cosmos,
cultivate a limitless heart & mind:
Beaming above, below, & all around,
unobstructed, without trace of hostility.
Sutta Nipata I, 8

He who does not punish nor makes others punish,
He who steals not nor makes others steal,
who friendly shares with all that lives,
finds enmity with none.
Itivuttaka 27

Let no one deceive another
or despise anyone anywhere,
or through anger or irritation
wish for another to suffer.
Sutta Nipata I, 8

For one who deliberately & aware
develops Universal Friendliness
Seeing the fading away of clinging,
All chains are worn down & broken.
Itivuttaka 27

Overcome the angry by friendliness;
overcome the wicked by goodness;
overcome the miser by generosity;
overcome the liar by truth.
Dhammapada 223

Who is hospitable, open and friendly,
Generous, gentle and unselfish,
A guide, an instructor, a leader,
Such a one to honour may attain.
Digha Nikaya 31

The friend who is a helper and comrade,
the friend in both good and bad times,
the friend who gives good advice,
the friend who never despises,
these four as friends the clever keep
and cherish with pure devotion
as does a mother her only son.
Digha Nikaya 31

Having killed anger you sleep in ease.
Having killed anger you do not grieve.
The noble ones praise the slaying of anger
-- with its honeyed crest & poison root --
for having killed it you do not grieve.
Samyutta Nikaya II, 70

Knowing that the other person is angry,
one who remains mindful and calm
acts for his own best interest
and for the other's interest, too.
Samyutta Nikaya I, 162

Train yourself in doing only good
that lasts and brings great happiness.
Cultivate generosity, a peaceful living,
and a mentality of infinite friendliness.
Itivuttaka 16

Solitude is happiness for one who is content,
who has heard the Dhamma and clearly sees.
Non-violence is happiness in this world:
Harmlessness towards all living beings.
Udana 10

Have a nice & noble day!
Friendship is the Greatest! Bhikkhu Samāhita _/\_ ]

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Is Buddhism compatible with Marxism?

by Haskell Musry, The Buddhist Channel, Dec 31, 2013

Sydney, Australia -- In 2010 the Dalai Lama - a major leader of a major religion - declared himself “half Marxist half Buddhist”.
First we must ask questions about Buddhism itself.  Is Buddhism a single religion, or even a religion? Would the two main streams of Buddhism constitute a schism?  The Dalai Lama is the largely undisputed global figurehead of Mahayana Buddhism. There is no equivalent figurehead in the other dominant stream, Theravada, which stretches from South Asia to South-East Asia.
Both streams are practiced widely as a “religion”, with the Buddha treated more as a deity than a guru (teacher).  Theravada has also many local customs and practices in countries where it is practiced, and both streams have rituals, incense burning, prayer and chanting.  In both traditions, most leading monks would agree that such practices are mambo jumbo, and of little or no value other than to bring money into the temples and monastic order.  Many lay Buddhists also shun such irrelevant practices so that meditation, a sophisticated approach to human psychology, and intellectual understanding remain the main instruments of the widespread Buddhist cognoscenti.
After 2500 years, one would expect there to be some mystical, exaggerated and fantastic additions to the original belief, and perhaps even deliberate distortions. It is still very clear that what Buddha established is a rich philosophical tradition and an outstanding philosophical contribution.
From a Marxist viewpoint, Buddha was an early materialist who touched on dialectics.  Buddha would have been aware of the debate about the relationship of “absolute” to “relative” but not any dialectical resolution of that debate.
Whereas Hinduism embraced the absolute, the rebellious Buddha taught about the relative world, the real world.  His teachings are anchored in everyday life and all living things.  However, many of the accepted ideas of the time find currency in Buddha’s expression and Buddhist traditions: sexism, caste-ism, polytheism and migration of souls, for example.  But Buddha's primary polemic or treatise was: 1. There is suffering, 2. Suffering has a cause, 3. That cause can be eliminated, and 4. This is the path to defeat it (the eightfold path). The most fundamental laws he identified were that of “cause and effect”, and “everything changes”. This puts him squarely in the modern dialectical materialist camp. Another 2400 years of philosophical debate would have been of assistance to him then.
However, “karma” is implicitly elevated to mystical status and nirvana/nibbana is described as an absolute state (Marxists might say “qualitatively different state”).  Pleasingly, caste-ism, (poly)theism, and the soul were trashed along the way, implicitly if not explicitly by the Buddha.
Buddha eventually did admit women into the monk-hood, but they faced additional requirements, so we are yet to see a satisfactory outcome.
The Dalai Lama acknowledges Marxism’s moral character and condemns capitalism, but fails (at least publicly) to acknowledge Marxism’s philosophical validity.  But many on the left don’t really have much of an idea of what dialectical materialism is exactly about either.  In my 40 years on the left in Australia, having attended numerous political classes delivered by Marxist parties, I have never attended, or been aware of, a single class explaining dialectical materialism — the philosophical foundation of Marxist theory.
Historical materialism classes in socialist circles, by comparison, are a dime a dozen. Buddhism and other philosophical systems scarcely touch the horizon of the organised left.  The left in Australia has a serious deficiency in coming to grips with it's philosophical foundations, a deficiency which appears to mirrored in the international Buddhist community.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013

ബുദ്ധ വിഹാരം (ബുദ്ധ മഠം ) ചിലർ കൈക്കലാക്കാനായി ഇടിച്ചു നിരത്തുന്നു

 പാലക്കാട്‌ തേങ്കുരിസ്സി പുല്ലുപാരക്ക് സമീപം പണ്ടാരകാടില്‍ എന്ന സ്ഥലത്ത് 1973 ൽ സ്ഥാപിക്കപെട്ട ബുദ്ധ വിഹാരം (ബുദ്ധ മഠം ) ചിലർ കൈക്കലാക്കാനായി ഇടിച്ചു നിരത്തുന്നു .ഇതിനെ ഇടിച്ചു നിരത്തി കള്ള ആധാരം ഉണ്ടാക്കി കൈക്കലാക്കാനാണ് ശ്രമിക്കുന്നത് .

 ഇതിന്റെ ഭാഗമായി ഇവിടെ ഉണ്ടായിരുന്ന ബുദ്ധ വിഗ്രഹത്തെ ആദ്യം പിഴുതു മാറ്റിയിട്ടുണ്ട് .വിഹാരത്തിന്റെ പ്രധാന കെട്ടിടത്തിന്റെ കൈവരികൾ ഇടിച്ചു പൊളിച്ചു . ഇവിടെ നിന്നിരുന്ന വിലപിടിപ്പുള്ള വൃക്ഷങ്ങൾ വെട്ടികൊണ്ട് പോയിട്ടുണ്ട് .

ഇടതൂര്‍ന്നു നില്‍കുന്ന വൃക്ഷങ്ങള്‍ക്കും കുറ്റി ചെടികളാല്‍ ചുറ്റപെട്ട് സാമൂഹ്യ വിരുദ്ധരുടെ താവളമായി മാറിയ വിഹാരം കേരളമാഹബോധി മിഷൻ പ്രവർത്തകർ സന്ദര്സിക്കാനായി ചെല്ലുമ്പോൾ ഇതിനകത്ത് സാമൂഹ്യവിരുദ്ധരുടെ മദ്യപാനമായിരുന്നു കണ്ടത്  .

കാല്‍ നൂറ്റാണ്ട് മുന്പ് ഇവിടെ താമസിച്ചിരുന്ന ആറു എന്ന ബുദ്ധമത വിശ്വാസിയെ കുറിച്ച് പഴമക്കര്ക് അറിയാം. അവിവാഹിതനായിരുന്ന അദ്ദേഹം പിന്നീടു ഗയയിൽ ചെന്ന് ബുദ്ധ സന്യാസി ആകുകയും 1973 ല്‍ ഇവിടെ ബുദ്ധ വിഹാരം പണിയുകയും ചെയ്തു. ഇന്ത്യയുടെ വിവിധ ഭാഗങ്ങളില്‍ നിന്നായി ബുദ്ധ സന്യാസിമാര്‍ ഇവിടെ വരുകയും പ്രഭാഷണങ്ങള്‍ നടത്തുകയും ചെയ്തതായി പഴമക്കാര്‍ ഓര്‍ക്കുന്നു.
തന്റെ കുടുംബ സ്വത്തായി ലഭിച്ച സ്ഥലത്തല്ല അദ്ദേഹം വിഹാരം പണിതിട്ടുള്ളത് . പ്രശാന്ത സുന്ദരമായ പണ്ടാരംകാട്ടിൽ പണംകൊടുത്ത് വാങ്ങിയ 30 സെന്റ്‌ സ്ഥലത്താണ് കെട്ടിടം നിര്മ്മിചിട്ടുള്ളത് . സന്യാസിമാര്ക്ക് താമസികാനുള്ള സ്ഥലങ്ങളും , അടുക്കളയും ധ്യാന മണ്ഡപവും അടങ്ങിയതാണ് വിഹാരം .അടുക്കളയുടെയും മറ്റു കെട്ടിടങ്ങളേയും നശിപ്പിച്ചു കഴിഞ്ഞു

പുല്ലുപാരയിലെ പ്രമുഖ കര്‍ഷക കുടുംബത്തില്‍ ജനിച്ച ആറുമുഖൻ  തന്‍റെ സ്വത്തുക്കള്‍ മുഴവനും ബുദ്ധ മതം പ്രചരിപ്പിക്കാനും, ദാനങ്ങള്‍ നല്‍കാനുമായി ചിലവഴിചിരുന്നതായി നാടുകാര്‍ ഓര്‍ക്കുന്നു.

എല്ലാ വര്‍ഷവും ബുദ്ധ പൂര്‍ണിമയൂടനുബന്ധിച്ചു ബീഹാറിലെ ബോധി ഗയയില്‍ ഉള്ള ബുദ്ധ വിഹാരത്തിലേക്ക് പോകുമായിരുന്ന അദ്ദേഹം അവസാനം ഒരു സഹായിയുടെ കൂടെ ഗയ യിലേക്ക് പോയ കാര്യം എല്ലാവര്ക്കും അറിയാം . ഇടയ്ക്കു വെച്ച് സഹായി തിരിച്ചു വന്നെന്നും പറയപെടുന്നു .

സന്യാസിയുടെ തീരധാനത്തോടെ ഈ ആശ്രമം അന്യാദീനമായി. ഇവിടെ ഉണ്ടായിരുന്ന ബുദ്ധ പ്രതിമ മോഷിടിക്കപെട്ടു .
ഇയാൾക്ക് സഹോദരന്മാരോ , സഹോദരിമാരോ  അനന്തര അവകാശികലോ ആരുമുണ്ടായിരുന്നില്ല
കുടുംബ സ്വത്തായി ലഭിച്ച നെല്ക്രിഷിയിടവും , പറമ്പും ഇപ്പോൾ അകന്ന ബന്ധുക്കൾ കൈവശപെടുത്തിയിരിക്കുകയാണ് . ഇതുകൂടാതെ ഈ കെട്ടിടവും കൈകലകാനുള്ള ശ്രമത്തിലാണ് അവർ.

 ഇതിനെതിരെ കേരളമാഹബോധി മിഷൻ പ്രവർത്തകർ ഒരു വര്ഷം മുന്പ് അന്നത്തെ ജില്ല കലക്ടർ ശ്രി. മോഹന്കുമാറിനു പരാതി നല്കി . അത് ഉടനെ അന്വേഷിച്ചു റിപ്പോർട്ട്‌ നല്കാൻ ആലത്തൂർ തഹസിൽദാര്ക്ക് നിര്ദേശം നല്കിയെങ്കിലും  തഹസില്ധാർ ഇതുവരെ അന്വേഷണത്തിന് ഉത്തരവിട്ടിട്ടില്ല .അതിനാൽ  മുഖ്യമന്ത്രി , പ്രതിപക്ഷ നേതാവ് , വകുപ്പ് മന്ത്രി തുടങ്ങിവരെ നേരിൽ കണ്ടു പരാതി സമര്പ്പിക്കാനാണ് പുതിയ നീക്കം .

Monday, October 14, 2013

57th anniversary of historic step to revive Buddhism in India

by Senaka Weeraratna, Sri Express, Oct 13 2013

October 14, 1956 is the 57th anniversary of a historic event that took place in India when Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar converted to Buddhism

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar converted to Buddhism along with about 380,000 of his followers on October 14, 1956 at Deekshabhoomi which is situated in Nagpur, Maharashtra. Ven. Dr. Hammalawa Saddhatissa Maha Thera, a reputed monk from Sri Lanka, presided over this historic function.
Dr. Ambedkar and his wife Mrs.Savita Ambedkar took oath of Three Jewels and Five Precepts from the Burmese monk Mahasthavir Chandramani.
Dr. Ambedkar then gave the oath of Three Jewels, five precepts, and 22 Vows to his thousands of followers.
Devapriya Valisinha, General Secretary of the Mahabodhi Society was present at  this function. Devapriya Valisinha had for long years been in correspondence with Dr. Ambedkar.

This is evidenced by the publication of many articles written by Dr. Ambedkar in the Maha Bodhi journal during this period. When Dr Ambedkar decided to become a Buddhist and asked his followers to join him, Devapriya Valisinha attended the mass meeting held in Nagpur with several Bhikkus of the Society and helped in arranging the religious ceremony. He spoke on the occasion and presented to Dr Ambedkar an image of Lord Buddha on behalf of the Mahabodhi Society.
Dr. Ambedkar had already declared in 1935 that although he was born as a Hindu he would not die as one..After this declaration, he extensively studied the doctrines of all the major religions to choose Buddhism for him and his followers.
He selected Nagpur for his conversion ceremony, because as he explained in his speech on that occasion, Nagpur was the homeland of Naga people who had embraced Buddhism and supported its cause in innumerable ways in its early period in India. A ground near Ramdaspeth area in Nagpur was selected for the ceremony.
Biographical sketch

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (14 April 1891 – 6 December 1956), popularly also known as Babasaheb, was an Indian jurist, politician, philosopher, anthropologist, historian and economist. A revivalist for Buddhism, he inspired the modern Buddhist movement in India. As independent India's first law minister, he was principal architect of the Constitution of India. President Barack Obama referred to Ambedkar as a founding father of modern India during his address speech in Indian Parliament.

He studied Buddhism all his life, and in 1950 he travelled to Sri Lanka to attend the inaugural meeting of the World Fellowship of Buddhists which was founded by Dr. G.P. Malalasekera of Sri Lanka. On this visit Dr. Ambedkar delivered a lecture at the Colombo YMBA on the topic ' The rise and fall of Buddhism in India' and during question time he was subject to a series of searching questions on Buddhism in Indian History by Asoka Weeraratna (later to play a pioneering role in sending Buddhist missions from Sri Lanka to Germany) who attended the talk. Dr. Ambedkar had been taken aback and had then thanked Asoka Weeraratna for his courage in posing such challenging questions.
Dr. Ambedkar died on December 6, 1956, just one and a half months after this ceremony. A two-mile long crowd formed the funeral procession. One of the biggest gatherings for a funeral in India up to that time.



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What are the 8 Training Rules (Precepts), which brings Divinity?

The Blessed Buddha once said:
The habitual praxis of the observance day endowed with eight features
brings high reward and blessing, & is of sublime dignity and greatness.
And which are these eight features? Here, any Noble Disciple considers
within himself: Throughout their life the Arahats avoid the killing of any
living being, they do not hurt any of them. Without stick or any weapon,
tender-hearted, gentle, caring, & mild they think only of the welfare of
all living beings! So will also I, this day and night, avoid the killing and
hurting of all living and breathing beings. Without any cudgel or weapon,
tender-hearted, full of kindness, I will think only on the joyous welfare
of all living beings and creatures. In this regard I will follow the Arahats,
& I shall observe this observance day praxis perfectly! With this first
praxis is the observance day enriched. Observed in this very way, the
observance day endowed with eight features brings high - even divine -
reward & blessing & is of sublime dignity and immense greatness...
All sentient beings feel pain from violence...
All sentient beings fear death in panic!
Seeing other beings are like oneself;
Treating other beings like oneself;
One should never ever harm or kill ...
Dhammapada 129
Whoever never injures, neither with weapon nor stick,
beings searching for their happiness - when after death -
seeking same happiness, such gentle one always gain it!
Dhammapada 132
Harmlessness protects Everyone!
The one who has left all violence,
who never harm any being,
whether moving are stationary,
who neither kill, nor causes to kill,
such one, harmless, is a Holy One.
Dhammapada 405
More on this Optimal Buddhist Behaviour of Observance:

Source (edited extract):
Numerical Discourses of the Buddha. Anguttara Nikāya AN 8:44
Best Buddhist Behaviour: Never Killing!
Have a nice & noble day!
Friendship is the Greatest! Bhikkhu Samāhita _/\_ ]