God in Buddhism

Gautama Buddha rejected the existence of a creator deity, refused to endorse many views on creation, and stated that questions on the origin of the world are not ultimately useful for ending suffering. Buddhism instead emphasizes the system of causal relationships underlying the universe (pratītyasamutpāda or Dependent Origination) which constitute the natural order (dharma) and source of enlightenment. No dependence of phenomena on a supernatural reality is asserted in order to explain the behaviour of matter. According to the doctrine of the Buddha, a human being must study nature (dhamma vicaya) in order to attain prajñā “wisdom” regarding the nature of things (dharma). In Buddhism, the sole aim of spiritual practice is the complete alleviation of dukkha (“suffering”) in saṃsāra, which is called nirvana.

Some teachers tell students beginning Buddhist meditation that the notion of divinity is not incompatible with Buddhism, and at least one Buddhist scholar has indicated that describing Buddhism as nontheistic may be overly simplistic; but many traditional theist beliefs are considered to pose a hindrance to the attainment of nirvana, the highest goal of Buddhist practice.

Buddhists consider veneration of arhats and the Three Jewels very important, although the two main traditions of Buddhism differ mildly in their reverential attitudes. While Theravada Buddhists view the Buddha as a human being who attained Buddhahood through human efforts, some Mahayana Buddhists consider him an embodiment of the cosmicdharmakāya, born for the benefit of others. In addition, some Mahayana Buddhists worship Avalokiteśvara and hope to embody him.

Some Buddhists accept the existence of beings in higher realms , known as devas, but they, like humans, are said to be suffering in saṃsāra and are not necessarily wiser than us. In fact, the Buddha is often portrayed as a teacher of the gods, and superior to them. Despite this there are believed to be enlightened devas.

Some variations of Buddhism express a philosophical belief in an eternal Buddha: a representation of omnipresent enlightenment and a symbol of the true nature of the universe. The primordial aspect that interconnects every part of the universe is the clear light of the eternal Buddha, where everything timelessly arises and dissolves.

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Temple of the Emerald Buddha

The Wat Phra Kaew (English Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Thai: วัดพระแก้ว; full official name Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram, Thai: วัดพระศรีรัตนศาสดาราม) is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple (wat) in Thailand. It is located in the historic center of Bangkok (district Phra Nakhon), within the grounds of the Grand Palace.

The construction of the temple started when King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (Rama I) moved the capital from Thonburi to Bangkok in 1785. Unlike other temples it does not contain living quarters for monks; rather, it has only the highly decorated holy buildings, statues, and pagodas.

The main building is the central ubosoth, which houses the Emerald Buddha. There are three main doors used to enter the temple, however only the King and Queen are allowed to enter through the center door. Even though it is small in size it is the most important icon for Thai people. Legends hold that the statue originated in India, but it first surfaced in the vassal Kingdom of Cambodia and was given as a gift to the King of Ayuttaya in the 15th century 1434. The image disappeared when Burmese raiders sacked Ayuttaya and the image was feared lost. A century later, the ‘Emerald’ Buddha reappeared in Chiang Saen, after a rainstorm washed away some of its plaster covering. It was then moved to Chiang Rai, then Chiang Mai, where it was removed by prince Setatiratt to Luang Prabang, when his father died and he ascended the throne of that Siamese vassal state. In later years it was moved to the Siamese vassal state of Vientiene. During a Haw invasion from the North, Luang Prabang requested Siam’s help in repelling the invaders. The King of Vietienne tratoriously attacked the Siamese army from the rear, so the ‘Emerald’ Buddha returned to Siam when King Taksin fought with Laos and his general Chakri (the later King Rama I) took it from Vientiane, which at that time had been brought to its knees by the Thai Army. It was first taken to Thonburi and in 1784 it was moved to its current location. Wat Preah Keo, in Phnom Penh, is considered by many modern Cambodians as its rightful resting place, whereas, Haw Phra Kaew, in Vientiane, is considered by many Lao people as the Emerald Buddha’s rightful place.

The wall surrounding the temple area – from the outside only a plain white wall – is painted with scenes from the Thai version of the Ramayana mythology, the Ramakian. Several statues in the temple area resemble figures from this story, most notably the giants (yak), five-meter high statues. Also originating from the Ramayana are the monkey kings and giants which surround the golden chedis.

The Temple also contains a model of Angkor Wat, added by King Nangklao (Rama III), as the Khmer empire of Cambodia and the Thais share cultural and religious roots.

Despite the hot weather most of the year in Bangkok, long trousers are required to enter the wat. This rule is strictly enforced. The facility offers the rental of proper trouser wear.

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Vulture Peak

The Gijjhakuta, the Vulture Peak, was the Buddha’s favorite retreat in Rajagaha and the scene for many of his discourses. According to the commentaries this place got its name because vultures used to perch on some of the peak’s rocks.

The several rock shelters around the Gijjhakuta, its fine view across the valley, and its peaceful environment made it the perfect place for meditation. Climbing the steps that lead to the top, the pilgrim passes a large cave. This is the Sukarakhata (the Boar’s Grotto) where the Buddhadelivered two discourses, the Discourse to Long Nails and the Sukarakhata Sutta.

It was here too that Sariputta attained enlightenment. The Sukarakhata seems to have been formed by excavating the earth from under the huge rock that forms the grotto’s roof, an impression confirmed by legend. According to the Pali commentaries during the time of Kassapa Buddha a boar rooting around under the rock made a small cavity which was later enlarged when monsoon rains washed more earth away. Later, an ascetic discovered the cave and, deciding it would be a good place to live in, built a wall around it, furnished it with a couch, and ‘made it as clean as a golden bowl polished with sand.’

Climbing further, the pilgrim can see the ruins of stupas and the foundations of a small temple built on the summit in ancient times. When the simple and devoted Chinese pilgrim Fa Hien came here, he was deeply moved by the atmosphere on the Gijjhakuta. ‘In the new city, Fa Hien bought incense, flowers, oil and lamps and hired two monks, long residents in the place, to carry them to the peak. When he himself arrived, he made his offerings with flowers and incense and lit the lamps when the darkness began to come on. He felt melancholy but restrained his tears, and said, ‘Here the Buddha delivered the Surangama Sutra. I, Fa Hien, was born when I could not meet the Buddha and now I only see the footprints which he has left and the place where he lived and nothing more.’ With this, in front of the rock cavern, he chanted the Surangama Sutra, remaining there overnight and then returned towards the new city.’ In Dharmasvamin’s time (13th century), the Gijjhakuta was ‘the abode for numerous carnivorous animals such as tiger, black bear and brown bear,’ and in order to frighten away the animals, pilgrims visiting the Gijjhakuta would beat drums, blow conches and carry tubes of green bamboo that would emit sparks. A Buddha statue, dating from the 6th century CE, found on the Gijjhakuta, is now housed in the Archaeological Museum at Nalanda. The Gijjhakuta is located about 5 kilometers south-east of the town of Rajgir and is a popular destination for both local tourists and Buddhist pilgrims form overseas. Because the Sadharmapundrika Sutra (Lotus Sutra) was taught on the Gijjhakuta, the place is particularly popular with Japanese and Korean pilgrims.

Vulture Peak may be the second “holiest” place of Buddhism, after the Maha Bodhi Temple because this is the place where the Buddha spent so much time on retreat, meditating, and teaching so many discourses. Many Buddhists prefer to take the climb up on foot to take the same steps as the Buddha and his closest disciples.

It is also very close to the location of the First Buddhist council at Rajagaha. The Triple Gem is fully represented at Vulture Peak by the fact that Buddha spent so much time there, also teaching Dhamma and the other Sangha members going there for instruction, to teach, to meditate, and to compile all of the teachings at the First Buddhist council at The Sattapanni Cave, which is about 5 km from Vulture Peak.

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The Man Who Spit In Buddha’s Face

The Man Who Spit In Buddha’s Face

The Buddha was sitting under a tree talking to his disciples when a man came and spat in his face. He wiped it off, and he asked the man, “What next? What do you want to say next?” The man was a little puzzled because he himself never expected that when you spit on somebody’s face, he will ask, “What next?” He had no such experience in his past. He had insulted people and they had become angry and they had reacted. Or if they were cowards and weaklings, they had smiled, trying to bribe the man. But Buddha was like neither, he was not angry nor in any way offended, nor in any way cowardly. But just matter-of-factly he said, “What next?” There was no reaction on his part.

But Buddha’s disciples became angry, and they reacted. His closest disciple, Ananda, said, “This is too much. We cannot tolerate it. He has to be punished for it, otherwise everybody will start doing things like this!”

Buddha said, “You keep silent. He has not offended me, but you are offending me. He is new, a stranger. He must have heard from people something about me, that this man is an atheist, a dangerous man who is throwing people off their track, a revolutionary, a corrupter. And he may have formed some idea, a notion of me. He has not spit on me, he has spit on his notion. He has spit on his idea of me because he does not know me at all, so how can he spit on me?

“If you think on it deeply,” Buddha said, “he has spit on his own mind. I am not part of it, and I can see that this poor man must have something else to say because this is a way of saying something. Spitting is a way of saying something. There are moments when you feel that language is impotent: in deep love, in intense anger, in hate, in prayer. There are intense moments when language is impotent. Then you have to do something. When you are angry, intensely angry, you hit the person, you spit on him, you are saying something. I can understand him. He must have something more to say, that’s why I’m asking, “What next?”

The man was even more puzzled! And Buddha said to his disciples, “I am more offended by you because you know me, and you have lived for years with me, and still you react.”

Puzzled, confused, the man returned home. He could not sleep the whole night. When you see a Buddha, it is difficult, impossible to sleep anymore the way you used to sleep before. Again and again he was haunted by the experience. He could not explain it to himself, what had happened. He was trembling all over, sweating and soaking the sheets. He had never come across such a man; the Buddha had shattered his whole mind and his whole pattern, his whole past.

The next morning he went back. He threw himself at Buddha’s feet. Buddha asked him again, “What next? This, too, is a way of saying something that cannot be said in language. When you come and touch my feet, you are saying something that cannot be said ordinarily, for which all words are too narrow; it cannot be contained in them.” Buddha said, “Look, Ananda, this man is again here, he is saying something. This man is a man of deep emotions.”

The man looked at Buddha and said, “Forgive me for what I did yesterday.”

Buddha said, “Forgive? But I am not the same man to whom you did it. The Ganges goes on flowing, it is never the same Ganges again. Every man is a river. The man you spit upon is no longer here. I look just like him, but I am not the same, much has happened in these twenty-four hours! The river has flowed so much. So I cannot forgive you because I have no grudge against you.

“And you also are new. I can see you are not the same man who came yesterday because that man was angry and he spit, whereas you are bowing at my feet, touching my feet. How can you be the same man? You are not the same man, so let us forget about it. Those two people, the man who spit and the man on whom he spit, both are no more. Come closer. Let us talk of something else.”

Credit: wisdompills.com

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4 Foundations of Mindfulness

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness provide the basic meditation manual, as taught by the Buddha.

Contemplation of the body (Kaya)

Contemplation of the feelings (Vedana)

Contemplation of the mind (Citta)

Contemplation of the mind objects (Dharma)

(from Digha Nikaya 22, Majjhima Nikaya 10)

The four subjects include the mindfulness and awareness of breathing, feelings, sensations, the mind, emotions, and subjects of the Dharma.

The Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta and the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta are two of the most popular discourses in the Pali Canon, embraced by both Theravada and Mahayana practitioners (see, for example, Thich Nhat Hanh, 2005). (These two discourses are identical except that the latter includes extended exposition regarding mindfulness of The Four Noble Truths).

These discourses (Pāli: sutta) provide a means for practicing mindfulness in a variety of contexts and potentially continuously. It is the primary instructions given for meditation by the Buddha. Famously, the Buddha declares at the beginning of this discourse:

“This is the one and only way (or direct way) [Pāli: ekāyano … maggo], monks, for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the extinguishing of suffering and grief, for walking on the path of truth, for the realization of nibbāna….” (Vipassana Research Institute, 1996, pp. 2, 3.)

The meditation techniques identified in this sutta can be practiced individually or in tandem.

Location of the Sutta

In the Pali Canon, the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta is the tenth discourse in the Majjhima Nikaya (MN) and is thus often designated by “MN 10″; in the Pali Text Society (PTS) edition of the Canon, this text begins on the 55th page of the first volume of its three-volume Majjhima Nikaya (M), and is thus alternately represented as “M i 55.”

As for the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta, this is the 22nd discourse in the Digha Nikaya (DN) and is thus often designated by “DN 22″; in the PTS edition of the Canon, the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta begins on the 289th page of the second volume of the PTS’ three-volume Digha Nikaya (D), and is thus alternately represented as “D ii 289.”

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness, also called the Four Frames of Reference are also mentioned in the Samyutta Nikaya at SN 47.6 & SN 47.7. Since the teachings are found in the first four Nikayas and repeated in more than one place, the teachings can be considered one of the oldest and Buddhavacana. The Mahayana Chinese version of the scriptures contains a similar version of the Satipatthana Sutta, as well.

In post-canonical Pali literature, the classic commentary on the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta (as well as for the entire Majjhima Nikaya) is found in Buddhaghosa’s Papañcasudani (Bullitt, 2002; Soma, 2003).

Contents

In this sutta, the Buddha identifies four references for establishing mindfulness (satipatthana): body, sensations (or feelings), mind (or consciousness) and mental contents. These are then further broken down into the following sections and subsections:

1. Body (Kāyā)

Breathing

Postures (Walking, Standing, Sitting, Laying Down)

Clear Comprehending

Reflections on Repulsiveness of the Body

Reflections on Material Elements

Cemetery Contemplations

2. Sensations/Feelings (Vedanā)

pleasant or unpleasant or neither-pleasant-nor-unpleasant (neutral) feelings

worldly or spiritual feelings

3. Mind/Consciousness (Cittā)

lust (sarāgaṃ) or without lust (vītarāgaṃ)

hate (sadosaṃ) or without hate (vītadosaṃ)

delusion (samohaṃ) or without delusion (vītamohaṃ)

contracted (saṅkhittaṃ) or scattered (vikkhittaṃ)

lofty (mahaggataṃ) or not lofty (amahaggataṃ)[4]

surpassable (sa-uttaraṃ) or unsurpassed (anuttaraṃ)[5]

quieted (samāhitaṃ) or not quieted (asamāhitaṃ)

released (vimuttaṃ) or not released (avimuttaṃ)

4. Mental Contents (Dharma)

The 5 hindrances

The 5 aggregates of Clinging

The Sense-Bases and their Fetters

The 7 factors of enlightenment

The Four Noble Truths

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Invitation to Prathat BuddhaMetta 2014 at Wat Wangplado

All Buddhist devotees are cordially invited

To attend the great merit making and Vipassana Meditation

On this historic day of installing the crown of the Prathat Buddha Metta on top of Prathat Buddha Metta Stupa and the ceremony to permanently enshrine the Buddha Metta Sawang Rangsri (The white jade Buddha Statue) in the 2nd floor of the Prathat Buddha Metta Stupa at Wang Plado temple, Tambon Wangmai, Burabua District, Mahasarakham province.

Schedule

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

08.29 hrs:   The  ceremony to pay homage to the Buddha Metta Sawang Rangsri statue  before inviting the Buddha Metta Sawang Rangsri to be temporarily placed at an altar by the Bodhi tree for the devotees to pay respect to the statue.

13.29 hrs:   The ceremony to invite the First Sermon Buddha and the five disciples to be permanently enshrined in the Vihara formerly used for enshrining the Buddha Metta Sawang Rangsri Statue.

16.00 hrs:   Registration for Nekhamma ordination and for practicing silent Vipassana meditation.

19.00 hrs:     All devotees gather at the meditation grounds (in front of Buddha Metta Sawang Ransri Statue) for taking precepts and for practicing Vipassana on the four foundations of mindfulness.

21.00 hrs:  Taking a rest by fixing mindfulness on sleeping posture until fall asleep.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

04.30 hrs:     Bell alarm for getting up

05.00 hrs:  All practitioners gather at the meditation grounds for paying respect to the Buddha and practice the four foundations of mindfulness, that is for all to stand up and worship the Buddha 4 times with mindfulness, except for the elderly or disabled who are unable to stand up are allowed to sit and worship the Buddha in accordance with the instructions of the instructor.

07. 15 hrs:     Breakfast time

08.30 hrs:      Bell alarm for gathering at the meditation grounds.

09.00 hrs:      Listen to sermon pertaining to mindfulness meditation or practice Vipassana for about 30 minutes

11.00 hrs:      Lunch time for monks and laity

14.00 hrs:  Gather at the meditation grounds for continuous meditation (sitting- walking meditation each for 30 minutes)

17.00 hrs:      Time for refreshments and rest with mindfulness

19.00 hrs:  Bell alarm for gathering at the meditation grounds (breaking silence) by practicing mindfulness while worshiping the Buddha 4 times and continue practicing Vipassana until 21.00 hrs and being mindful of sleeping posture until fall asleep.

 

April 12, 2014

08.29 hrs:     Preparing to invite the Buddha Metta Sawang Rangsri to march in procession into Mahasarakham municipality and into Borabue municipality for the general public to pay homage and to sprinkle water in the ancient  tradition of Songkran festival, after which the Buddha Metta Sawang Randgsri will be marched back to be temporarily installed  on the temple grounds near Bodhi tree of Wang Plado temple for the devotees to  observe Songkran

activities such as to seek Thai New Year blessings  from the Buddha and monks and Songkran water bathing ceremony  respectively.

April 13, 2014

08.00 hrs:     08.00-18.00 hrs:  An occasion for the general public to participate in the water pouring  ceremony for the Buddha statue and  for the people to join in water pouring ceremony in the tradition of Songkran festival.

13.00 hrs:   The annual robe ceremony for raising funds for Prathat Buddha Metta project as customarily observed in the past.

16.00 hrs:     The ceremony for Naga ordination of Mr. Chua Sing Guan or Thai name Mr. Montri Jaising  to be presided by the Chief High Priest of Mahasarakam province, the most venerable Prathep Sithajarhn,  who will be the preceptor for the ordination.

April 14, 2014

10.19 hrs:        11 high ranking monks conduct chanting and rituals in celebrating the crown of the Prathat Buddha Metta and Buddha Metta  Sawang Rangsri Statue.

11.00 hrs:      Offer alms to the monk in attendance and lunch for the general public.

12.59 hrs:    The mounting ceremony of the crown of the Prathat Buddha Metta to be installed on top of the great stupa by the Most Venerable Pradhamma Visuthajarhn the chief high priest of Nong Weang Royal temple in Khon Kaen province, who will lead the monks to chant blessings, after which there will be a ceremony to invite the Buddha Metta Sawang Rangsri to be permanently installed in the 2nd floor of the great stupa (Prathat Buddha Metta)

17:00 hrs: Refreshments and resting times by focusing one’s attention on the body movements.

19.00 hrs:     Bell alarm for gathering at the meditation grounds for practicing mindfulness by worshiping 4 times and continuous practice until rest time (sleep) by focusing on sleeping posture.

 

April 15, 2014

08.00 hrs:       Bang Sagul ceremony (robe drawing ceremony) for the ancestors or the deceased throughout the day.

20.00 hrs  :    The devotees led by Air Vice Marshal  Sophon Chaoasamruai  and the people join in evening chanting and practice meditation until 23.00 hrs  and continue with overnight chanting until the next day ( 01.00 hrs). Thereafter, the monks and practitioners join in transferring loving kindness and merits to all beings.

April 16, 2014  

07.00 hrs:   Alms ceremony (rice and preserved foodstuffs) continued with offering morning alms to the monks and breakfast for all participants, thus ending the activities. Sadhu, sadhu, Sadhu Anumodhani!

 

Make enquiry for further information from Wang Plado temple or wishing to be host for almshouse can enquire about it from   081-975-7539,

082-154-5388, 087-097-2930, 081-150-1803

 

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ขอเชิญพุทธศาสนิกชน

   ร่วมบำเพ็ญมหากุศลและปฏิบัติธรรมเจริญวิปัสสนากัมมัฏฐาน  

 

          เนื่องในงานประวัติศาสตร์ยกยอดพระธาตุพุทธเมตตา และอัญเชิญพระพุทธเมตตาสว่างรังษี (หินหยกขาว)ขึ้นประดิษฐานเป็นการถาวรบนชั้น ๒ ของพระธาตุพุทธเมตตาณ วัดวังปลาโด ต.วังใหม่ อ.บรบือ จ.มหาสารคาม

กำหนดการ

วันอังคารที่ ๘ เมษายน พ.ศ.๒๕๕๗ ตรงกับขึ้น ๙ ค่ำ เดือน ๕

เวลา ๐๘.๒๙ น.  พิธีคาราวะและอัญเชิญพระพุทธเมตตาสว่างรังษีจากวิหาร มาประดิษฐาน
ให้ สาธุชนกราบไหว้บูชา ณ บริเวณลานต้นศรีมหาโพธิ์ หรือลานธรรม
เวลา ๑๓.๒๙ น.  อัญเชิญพระพุทธปางปฐมเทศนา และปัญจวัคคีย์ทั้ง ๕ ไปประดิษฐาน
ณ. วิหารแทนพระพุทธเมตตา
เวลา ๑๖.๐๐ น.  ลงทะเบียนสมัครบวชเนกขัมมะและปฏิบัติวิปัสสนากรรมฐาน(ปิดวาจา)
เวลา ๑๙.๐๐ น.  พร้อมกันที่ลานธรรม (หน้าพระพุทธเมตตาสว่างรังษี) เพื่อไหว้พระรับศีล
และสมาทานวิปัสสนากรรมฐานและปฏิบัติตามแนว สติปัฏฐาน ๔ คือ
กาย เวทนา จิต และธรรมารมณ์
เวลา ๒๑.๐๐ น.  พักผ่อนด้วยการมีสติกำหนดอิริยาบถนอนจนกว่าจะหลับ

วันพุทธที่ ๙ เมษายน พ.ศ.๒๕๕๗ ขึ้น ๑๐ ค่ำ เดือน ๕

เวลา ๐๔.๓๐ น.  สัญญาณระฆัง(ตื่นนอน)
เวลา ๐๕.๐๐ น.  พร้อมกันที่ลานธรรม (เปิดวาจา) กราบพระด้วยการเจริญสติปัฏฐาน ๕ ครั้ง
คือ ยืนขึ้นพร้อมกัน (ยกเว้นผู้สูงอายุ หรือผู้พิการ) ไม่สามารถยืนได้ หรือนั่งลง
ได้สะดวกก็อนุญาตให้นั่งกราบตามจังหวะที่ อาจารย์ได้ฝึกหัดให้ทุกขั้นตอน
เวลา ๐๗.๑๕ น.  เป็นเวลาอาหารเช้า
เวลา ๐๘.๓๐ น.  สัญญาณระฆัง พร้อมกันที่ลานธรรม
เวลา ๐๙.๐๐ น.  ฟังการบรรยายธรรม ในแนวทางเจริญสติปัฏฐาน หรือการปฏิบัติวิปัสสนา
ประมาณ ๓๐ นาที

เวลา ๑๑.๐๐ น.  เป็นเวลาฉันเพลหรือรับประทานอาหารกลางวัน
เวลา ๑๔.๐๐ น.  พร้อมกันที่ลานธรรม ปฏิบัติกรรมฐานอย่างต่อเนื่อง(นั่ง-เดิน อย่างละ ๓๐ นาที )เวลา ๑๗.๐๐ น.  เป็นเวลาน้ำปานะ(เครื่องดื่ม)และพักผ่อนอิริยาบถ โดยมีสติกำหนดรู้ตัวทุกขณะเวลา ๑๙.๐๐ น.  สัญญาณระฆังดังพร้อมกันที่ลานธรรม(เปิดวาจา)ฝึกเจริญสติปัฏฐานโดยการ
กราบ ๕ ครั้งแล้วปฏิบัติธรรมอย่างต่อเนื่องจนถึงเวลาจำกัด(นอน)โดยการสำรวม
และมีสติกำหนดรู้ในอิริยาบดนอนนั่นเอง

หมายเหตุ         สำหรับวันที่ ๑๐๑๑ เมษายน พ.ศ.๒๕๕๗ ขึ้น ๑๑๑๒ ค่ำ เดือน ๕
ปฏิบัติตามตารางเหมือนอย่างวันที่ ๙ ทุกประการ

วันที่ ๑๒ เมษายน พ.ศ. ๒๕๕๗
เวลา ๐๘.๒๙ น.  เตรียมอัญเชิญพระพุทธเมตตาสว่างรังษี ไปแห่ในเขตเทศบาลเมืองมหาสารคาม
และเขตเทศบาล อ.บรบือ เพื่อให้สาธุชนทั่วไปได้กราบไหว้บูชาและสรงน้ำเนื่อง
ในเทศกาลสงกรานต์ปีใหม่ของชาวไทยโบราณ แล้วอัญเชิญกลับมาประดิษฐานที่
ลานโพธิ์วัดวังปลาโดตามเดิม เพื่อเปิดโอกาสให้สาธุชนพุทธบริษัทที่มาร่วมงาน
ได้สรงน้ำขอพรปีใหม่ในวันสงกรานต์ และสรงน้ำพระพุทธ – พระสงฆ์ตาม
ประเพณี
วันที่ ๑๓ เมษายน พ.ศ.๒๕๕๗
เวลา ๐๘.00 – 16.00 น. เปิดโอกาสให้สาธุชนสรงน้ำพระและรดน้ำดำหัวตามประเพณี
ตลอดทั้งวัน
เวลา ๑3.00 น.  มีการทอดผ้าป่าประจำปี เพื่อสมทบทุนสร้างพระธาตุพุทธเมตตาตามที่เคยปฏิบัติ
มาเป็นประจำ
เวลา ๑๖.00 น.  มีพิธีบวชนาคชาวต่างชาติ คือ MR. CHUA SING GUAN หรือชื่อไทย
คุณมนตรี ใจสิงห์ โดยพระเทพสิทธาจารย์ เจ้าคณะจังหวัดมหาสารคาม
วัดมหาชัยพระอารามหลวง เป็นพระอุปัชฌาย์

วันที่ ๑๔ เมษายน พ.ศ.๒๕๕๗
เวลา 10.19 น.  พระสงฆ์เถระผู้ทรงสมณะศักดิ์  11  รูป เจริญพระพุทธมนต์สมโภชยอดพระธาตุ
และพระพุทธเมตตา
เวลา 11.00 น.  ถวายภัตตาหารเพลแด่พระสงฆ์ที่มาร่วมในงานและสาธุชนรับประทานอาหาร
ร่วมกัน
เวลา ๑๒.๕๙ น.  ทำพิธียกยอดเจดีย์พระธาตุพุทธเมตตา โดยพระเดชพระคุณพระธรรม
วิสุทธาจารย์ เจ้าอาวาสวัดหนองแวงพระอารามหลวง จังหวัดขอนแก่น เป็น
ประธานในพิธี เสร็จแล้วทำพิธีอัญเชิญพระพุทธเมตตาสว่างรังษี ขึ้นประดิษฐาน
บนชั้น ๒ เป็นการถาวรของพระธาตุพุทธเมตตา พระสงฆ์ทั้งมวลสวดชัยมงคล
คาถา (ชะยันโต)
เวลา ๑7.00 น.  เป็นเวลาน้ำปานะ(เครื่องดื่ม) และพักผ่อนอิริยาบถ โดยมีสติกำหนดรู้ตัวทุกขณะ
เวลา ๑9.00 น.  สัญญาณระฆังดังพร้อมกันที่ลานธรรม ฝึกเจริญสติปัฏฐานโดยการกราบ 5 ครั้ง
แล้วปฏิบัติธรรม อย่างต่อเนื่องจนถึงเวลาพักผ่อนอิริยาบถ (นอน) โดยมีสติ
กำหนดรู้ คือ สำรวมในการนอนนั่นเอง
วันที่ ๑5 เมษายน พ.ศ.๒๕๕๗
เวลา 08.00 น.  ประกอบพิธีบังสุกุลอัฐิหรือชื่อนามสกุลบรรพบุรุษญาติมิตรที่ล่วงลับไปตาม
ประเพณีตลอดวัน
เวลา 20.00 น.  คณะญาติธรรมนำโดย พล.อ.ต.โสภณ ขาวสำรวย พร้อมด้วยสาธุชนพุทธบริษัท
นำสวดมนต์เย็นและปฏิบัติธรรมจนถึงเวลา 23.00 น.เริ่มสวดมนต์ข้ามคืนจนถึง
เวลา 01.00 น. เสร็จแล้วพระสงฆ์และผู้ที่เข้าร่วมปฏิบัติวิปัสสนากัมมัฏฐานปลง
กัมมัฏฐานด้วยการขอขมาคารวะ แผ่เมตตา-อุทิศส่วนกุศลตามระเบียบสืบไป

วันที่ ๑6 เมษายน พ.ศ.๒๕๕๗
เวลา ๑7.00 น.  ทำบุญตักบาตร (ข้าวสารอาหารแห้ง) เสร็จแล้วถวายภัตตาหารเช้าแด่พระภิกษุ
สงฆ์และสาธุชนร่วมรับประทานอาหารเช้าพร้อมกันเป็นอันเสร็จพิธี สาธุ สาธุ
สาธุ อนุโมทามิ

กรุณาสอบถามรายละเอียดได้ที่วัดวังปลาโดและสาธุชนผู้มีจิตศรัทธาประสงค์จะเป็นเจ้าภาพตั้งโรงทาน โปรดติดต่อได้ที่ เบอร์โทรศัพท์. ๐๘๑-๙๗๕-๗๔๓๙ ,๐๘๒-๑๕๔-๕๓๘๘ ๐๘๗-๐๙๗-๒๙๓๐ และ ๐๘๑๐๕๐๑๘๐๓

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WHAT BUDDHISTS BELIEVE

Nirvana

Nirvana is the highest bliss, a supra-mundane state of eternal happiness. The happiness of Nirvana cannot be experienced by indulging the senses but by calming them. …

NIRVANA is the final goal of Buddhism. What is Nirvana then? It is not easy to know what Nirvana really is; it is easier to know what Nirvana is not. Nirvana is not nothingness or extinction. Would the Buddha have left His family and kingdom and preached for 45 years—all for nothingness? Nirvana is not a paradise. Several centuries after the Buddha,some of the Buddhist sects began to describe Nirvana as a paradise.Their purpose of equating Nirvana with a heavenly world was to convince the ‘less-intellectually-gifted’ and to attract them to the teachings of the sect. Striving for Nirvana came to mean looking for a nice place where everything is beautiful and where everyone is eternally happy. This might be a very comfortable folk tale, but it is not the Nirvana that the Buddha experienced and described. During His time the Buddha did not deny the idea of paradise or heaven asit was presented in the early Indian religions. But the Buddha knewthat this paradise was within Samsara and the final liberation was beyond it. The Buddha could see that the Path to Nirvana led beyond the heavens.

If Nirvana is not a place, where is Nirvana then? Strictly speaking we cannot ask where Nirvana is. Nirvana exists just as fire exists.There is no storage place for fire or for Nirvana. But when you rub pieces of wood together, then the friction and heat are the proper conditions for fire to arise. Likewise, when the nature of a person’smind is such that he or she is free from all defilements, then Nirvanic bliss will arise.

Anyone can experience Nirvana but until one experiences the supreme state of Nirvanic bliss, one can only speculate as to what itreally is, although we can get glimpses of it in everyday life. For those who insist on the theory, the texts offer some help. The texts suggest that Nirvana is a supra-mundane state of unalloyed happiness.

By itself, Nirvana is quite unexplainable and quite undefinable. As darkness can be explained only by its opposite, light, and as calm can only be explained by its opposite, motion, so likewise Nirvana, as a state equated to the extinction of all suffering can be explained by its opposite—the suffering that is being endured in Samsara. As darkness prevails wherever there is no light, as calm prevails wherever there is no motion, so likewise Nirvana is everywhere where suffering and change and impurity do not prevail.

A sufferer who scratches his sores can experience a temporary relief. But this temporary relief will only aggravate the wounds and cause the disease to worsen. The joy of the final cure can hardly becompared to the fleeting relief obtained from the scratching. Likewise, satisfying the craving for sense-desires brings only temporary gratification or happiness which prolongs the journey in Samsara. The cure for the samsaric disease is Nirvana. Nirvana is an end of the cravings which cause all the sufferings of birth, old age, disease, death,grief, lamentation and despair. The joy of Nirvanic cure can hardly be compared to the temporary Samsaric pleasure gained through fulfilling the sense desires.

It is not advisable to speculate on what Nirvana is ; it is better to know how to prepare the conditions necessary for Nirvana, how to attain the inner peace and clarity of vision that leads to Nirvana. Follow the Buddha’s advice: put His Teachings into practice. Get rid of all defilements which are rooted in greed, hatred, and delusion. Purify yourself of all desires and realise absolute selflessness. Lead alife of right moral conduct and constantly practise meditation. By active exertion, free yourself from all selfishness and illusion. Then, Nirvana is gained and experienced.

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Theravada

Theravada (Pāli: थेरवाद theravāda (cf Sanskrit: स्थविरवाद sthaviravāda); literally, “the Teaching of the Elders”, or “the Ancient Teaching”) is the oldest surviving Buddhist school. It is relatively conservative, and generally closest to early Buddhism, and for many centuries has been the predominant religion of Sri Lanka (about 70% of the population) and most of continental Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand). It is also practised by minorities in parts of southwest China (by the Shan and Tai ethnic groups), Vietnam (by the Khmer Krom), Bangladesh (by the ethnic groups of Baruas, Chakma, and Magh), Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia, whilst recently gaining popularity in Singapore and Australia. Today Theravada Buddhists number about 250 million worldwide, and in recent decades Theravada has begun to take root in the West and in the Buddhist revival in India.

History

The Theravāda school is ultimately derived from the Vibhajjavada (or ‘doctrine of analysis’) grouping which was a continuation of the older Sthavira (or ‘teaching of the Elders’) group at the time of the Third Buddhist Council around 250 BCE, during the reign of Emperor Asoka in India. Vibhajjavadins saw themselves as the continuation of orthodox Sthaviras and after the Third Council continued to refer to their school as the Sthaviras/Theras (‘The Elders’), their doctrines were probably similar to the older Sthaviras but were not completely identical. After the Third Council geographical distance led to the Vibhajjavādins gradually evolving into four groups: the Mahīśāsaka, Kāśyapīya, Dharmaguptaka and the Tāmraparnīya. The Theravada is descended from the Tāmraparnīya, which means ‘the Sri Lankan lineage’. Some sources claim that only the Theravada actually evolved directly from the Vibhajjavādins.

Main Doctrines

The main doctrines of Theravada are from the teachings found in the Pali Canon of early Buddhism. These include the Four Noble Truths, The Noble Eightfold Middle Path, and the Hindrances to Enlightenment. There is little to no use of worship in Theravada and emphasis is on mental development through meditation.

Levels of Attainment

Main article: 10 hindrances

A Buddha is someone who is fully enlightened. A person who is fully enlightened, but not the Buddha of our time, is called an Arahant in Pali. Such a person has eradicated all ten hindrances to enlightenment:

The belief in a permanent personality,ego

Doubt, extreme skepticism

Attachment to rites, rituals, and ceremonies

Attachment to sense desires

Ill-will, anger

Craving for existence in the Form world (heavenly realms)

Craving for existence in the Formless world (heavenly realms)

Conceit

Restlessness

Ignorance

An Anagami (non-returner) has completely eradicated the first five hindrances and never returns to earth or any other world system (planet, solar system). Such a person is re-born to a heavenly realm and attains enlightenment from there.

A Sakadagami (once returner) has eradicated the first three hindrances and greatly weakened the fourth and fifth; attachment to sense desires and ill-will. Such a person will be re-born to either the human or heavenly realm and will attain enlightenment there.

A Sotapanna (stream entrant) has eradicated the first three hindrances and will be re-born no more than seven more times and re-birth will either be as a human or a deva in a heavenly realm.

Different forms Theravada takes

Theravada Buddhism has taken four distinctive forms in the West and around the world, in modern times:

A. The Secular Buddhist Society Model. This is concerned with the intense study of the Dhamma in its original formulation as given in the Pali Canon, the development of norms of living in substantial conformity of the requirements of the Dhamma, and the encouragement of the observance of the Dhamma generally.

B. The Original London Vihara Model. This model encompasses the objectives of the secular societies, but places greater emphasis on the necessity to accommodate ordained monks to expound the Dhamma. In its interpretation of the Canon it tends to place greater emphasis on Buddhaghosa’s exegesis whereas the secular societies tend to go the original Canon itself.

C. The Lankarama Model. This is the ethnic Buddhist Model par excellence. Its main objective appears to be to cater to the spiritual needs of expatriate groups using the particular national models of Buddhism as practiced in their home countries without any consideration of its relevance to the universality of the Buddha’s teaching or the external conditions in the host country.

D. The Meditation Centre Model. Here the Buddhist Institution is transformed into a centre for “meditation” under the guidance of a self-proclaimed “teacher”. The meditation practiced is a simplified form of the first foundation of satipatthana ignoring all the preconditions which the Buddha was careful to lay down for the correct practice of this technique of mindfulness.

Dr. Gunasekara argues that models A and B are appropriate modes in following the teachings of Buddha whereas models C and D are departures from the teachings.
Variations A and sometimes B and D tends to be a Modern Theravada which focuses on the Pali Canon and acknowledges that some of the suttas are not meant to be taken too literally. Variation B and sometimes C are a Classical Theravada which tends to use the literal word of the writings in the Pali Canon and the Commentaries.

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Summary of Aryadeva’s Four Hundred Verses

Summary of Aryadeva’s Four Hundred Verses

Alexander Berzin, June 2007

Aryadeva and the Text

Aryadeva was born in Sri Lanka to a royal family, and lived between the middle of the second and the middle of the third centuries C.E. According to some accounts, he was born from a lotus. At an early age, he became a monk and studied the Buddhist scriptures, the Tripitaka, thoroughly there before leaving to South India to study with Nagarjuna in the Shatavahana kingdom of King Udayibhadra. King Udayibhadra was the recipient of Nagarjuna’s Letter to a Friend (bShes-pa’i spring-yig, Skt. Suhrllekha) and The Precious Garland (Rin-chen ‘phreng-ba, Skt. Ratnamali). Aryadeva accompanied Nagarjuna and continued to study with him at Shri Parvata, the holy mountains overlooking modern-day Nagarjunakonda Valley in Andhra Pradesh, within the Shatavahana kingdom.

At that time, Matrcheta, a devotee of Shiva, was defeating everyone at Nalanda in debate. Aryadeva went to meet the challenge. On the way, he met an old woman who was trying toaccomplish special powers and, for that purpose, needed the eye of a learned monk. Moved by compassion, he gave her one of his eyes, but when she took it, she simply smashed it with a rock. After that, Aryadeva became well-known as having only one eye.

Aryadeva defeated Matrcheta in both debate and special powers and, after that, Matrcheta became his disciple, changing his nameto Ashvaghosha. He went on to write Fifty Stanzas on the Guru(Bla-ma lnga-bcu-pa, Skt. Gurupancashika), the standard text for how disciples need to relate to a tantric master.

Aryadeva stayed at Nalanda for many years. Later in life, however, he returned to Nagarjuna, who entrusted all his teachings to him before he passed away. Aryadeva built many monasteries in that area of South India and taught extensively, establishing the Mahayana tradition and, in particular, theMadhyamaka tenets. Four Hundred Verse Treatise on the Actions of a Bodhisattva’s Yoga (Byang-chub sems-dpa’i rnal-‘byor spyod-pa bzhi-brgya-pa’i bstan-bcos kyi tshig-le’ur byas-pa, Skt. Bodhisattvayogacarya-catu:shataka-shastra-karika). It is known as The Four Hundred for short. Like Nagarjuna, Aryadeva too wrote commentaries on theGuhyasamaja Tantra. Before passing away, Aryadeva entrusted the teachings to Rahulabhadra.

Chandrakirti was in the next generation of disciples after Rahulabhadra. He wrote the most famous Indian commentary onThe Four Hundred. The root text and this commentary were translated into Tibetan by Patshab Lotsawa (Pa-tshab Nyi-ma grags, b. 1055). Patshab Lotsawa was a major translator of Nagarjuna’s work, as well as of Guhyasamaja texts. He revised the old translation of Nagarjuna’s Root Verses on Madhyamaka, called “Discriminating Awareness” (dBu-ma rtsa-ba shes-rab, Skt. Prajna-nama- mulamadhyamaka-karika) and Chandrakirti’s commentary on it, Supplement to (Nagarjuna’s “Root Stanzas on) the Middle Way” (dBu-ma-la ’jug-pa, Skt.Madhyamakavatara). According to Gelug, he was greatlyresponsible for the transmission and establishment of thePrasangika view in Tibet.

Rendawa (Red-mda’-ba gZhon-nu blo-gros) (1349-1412) wrote the earliest commentary on The Four Hundred, explaining it from the Sakya point of view of Madhyamaka. Gyeltsabjey (rGyal-tshab rJe Dar-ma rin-chen) (1364-1432) wrote the Gelug Prasangika commentary.

The text contains sixteen chapters, each with twenty-five verses, The first eight chapters discuss how to build up the positive force (merit) for understanding voidness (emptiness) by indicating how to correct distorted ways of regarding conventional truth and how to overcome disturbing emotions and attitudes. The second eight chapters indicate how to gain a correct understanding of deepest truth according to Prasangika-Madhyamaka.

Chapter One: Indicating Methods for Ridding Yourself of Grasping at (the Body as) Permanent

The first four chapters show how to rid yourself of the four incorrect considerations: considering something impermanent by nature to be permanent, something in the nature of suffering to be in the nature of happiness, something unclean by nature to be clean, and something lacking an impossible soul or self to have an impossible soul or self. They present these in terms of the human body.

Chapter One speaks about the first of these by discussing the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the time of death. It warns against the naivety of thinking that you will live forever. It then extends this to the death of loved ones, such as your son. It warns against attachment to loved ones, since that only causespain. Everyone must part; parting is the natural conclusion of meeting. Either you will have to depart first or your loved one will, but the parting is inevitable. If you rid yourself of attachment, even to your own body, then there is nothing to fear about death. You can go off happily into forest retreat.

Chapter Two: Indicating Methods for Ridding Yourself of Grasping at (the Body as) Pleasurable

Although your body is impermanent, still you need to take care of it. But remember, Aryadeva warns, it is like an enemy, since it brings you suffering and pain as well as pleasure and happiness. It is extremely easy to find suffering and unhappiness in life, but very difficult to find happiness. That is because the causes of suffering are many, but the causes of happiness are few.

It is the nature of the body that it brings you suffering, so why be so devoted to it? You experience suffering from hunger, sickness, old age, and death. Those sufferings only increase as life goes on. Happiness is dictated by your thoughts, but for samsaric beings, your thoughts are dictated by your suffering and unhappiness. And nothing is more compelling in a samsaric state than disturbing emotions and unhappiness. Further, the body is made of the four elements, which by nature clash. Therefore, of course the body brings suffering, like feeling too hot or too cold.

It is important not to build up negative force from destructivebehavior in the futile hope that it will bring you some temporary, ultimately unsatisfying physical pleasure. If you regard the body as the source of your pleasure, you will not overcome attachment to it. But impermanent things inevitably receive harm and fall apart. Therefore, you need to regard the body as suffering.

Chapter Three: Indicating Methods for Ridding Yourself of Grasping at (the Body as) Clean

You are attached to your body or, as a heterosexual man, to the body of a woman, as pleasurable because you incorrectly consider it clean. But you will never find lasting happiness from your attraction and attachment to a body. Even dogs find their mates attractive and are attached to them, so there is nothing special about the person you find so alluring.

Although people have attractive good qualities, they also have unattractive aspects, so don’t forget those. You won’t be able to stay together with the person you are attached to and any happiness you find is not the supreme happiness Buddha taught. Consider the filth inside your partner’s body. Isn’t it absurd to be so attached to a vessel full of excrement? You can never make the inside of the body clean no matter how much you wash the outside. Many points in this chapter are repeated and elaborated upon by Shantideva in the chapter on mental stability inEngaging in Bodhisattva Behavior (sPyod-‘jug, Skt.Bodhicaryavatara).

Chapter Four: Indicating Methods for Ridding Yourself of Grasping at (the Body as Having) an Impossible “Self” (about Which To Feel Pride)

Aryadeva discusses the next point by addressing himself to a king. There is no reason for a king to feel proud of his “self.” The land is not yours, since it is equally shared by everyone living on it. You are the servant of the people, paid by their taxes. To be able to protect and take care of them, they have to protect and take care of you. Further, you share not only in their taxed wealth, but also in their negative karmic force built up in your service, such as in war. If you punish the people and cause them hardship and pain, how can that be a source of your happiness? How can you find happiness as a king, if you are continually exploiting others and fighting wars?

Your high position comes from previous karmic causes, not from caste. There is nothing inherent about your position in life, so think about how your present actions will affect your future rebirths. If your occupation determined your truly existent caste, then even an outcaste could be considered a brahmin or a member of the royal caste if he worked as such. Also, if you are so proud of your authority and power, look to other rulers who are even more powerful.

Chapter Five: Indicating the Behavior of Bodhisattvas

There are no actions of a Buddha that are not causes for benefiting others. This is because Buddhas are omniscient and know what is of benefit and what is not. Moreover, all actions become beneficial depending on their motivation and intention. Thus, bodhisattvas can make even ordinarily destructive actions into constructive ones through their motivation and intention.

Bodhisattvas need to help tame disciples in accord with the disciples’ inclinations and needs and, like a doctor, not fight with them. The enemy is not the patient, but the sickness. It is therefore best to teach others first the topics that they have preference for, and not immediately the most profound topics when they are not ready for them and hearing about them would cause them to decline spiritually.

Just as a mother would be especially caring and kind toward her child when he or she is sick, a bodhisattva treats especially kindly those who are the most emotionally troubled. There isn’t anyone that bodhisattvas do not help, including shravakas. That is why bodhisattvas are willing to remain for as long as the universe endures, leading everyone to liberation and enlightenment.

Bodhisattvas take on any form to help others, even that of an animal. Therefore, it is important never to deprecate them. The positive force built up by bodhisattvas is enormous. Even while remaining in a samsaric state, they never suffer from it. Bodhisattvas are the happiest when they are able to be giving. Even hearing the word generosity makes them joyous. Therefore, avoid the attitude of giving to others in order to receive something back in return, since that is no different from a business transaction.

Chapter Six: Indicating Methods for Ridding Yourself of Disturbing Emotions

The three poisonous emotions and attitudes cause great suffering – longing desire, anger, and naivety or closed-minded ignorance. The activity of desire is to gather things to you; the activity of anger is to dispute and get things away from you; and the activity of naivety is to act as the basis that causes the other two to flare up. Not meeting with what you like, you experience desire; not having the force to overcome what you dislike, you experience anger; and not fully understanding reality, you experience naivety and closed-mindedness. But some people experience desire and some anger toward the same object, so the emotional response is not inherent in the object.

As a guru, you need to treat disciples differently, depending on the disturbing emotion that they suffer from the most. It is best to treat disciples with desire as servants and not be deferential to them, and disciples with anger as lords and to be deferential to them. Each of the three poisonous emotions has great disadvantages. Therefore, those with naivety need to studydependent arising. Those with desire need to stay away from food, entertainment, and so on that they are attached to and stay close to their gurus. Those with anger need to think about how becoming angry with someone or something is never helpful.

Many points here about the disadvantages of anger and how to overcome it are repeated and elaborated upon by Shantideva in his chapter on patience. A bodhisattva, then, needs to rid himself or herself of these three disturbing emotions and help others to do the same.

Chapter Seven: Indicating Methods for Ridding Yourself of Craving for Pleasurable Objects That People Desire

The ocean of suffering from uncontrollably recurring samsaric rebirth will be endless unless you work to get out of it. Youth comes before old age and then again after it, so it is pointless to cling to it and feel proud about it. Youth, old age and death are like competitors in a race to see which will come first. Moreover, there is no guarantee of what kind of rebirth will follow this one. It is proper, then, to live in fear and dread while under the influence of disturbing emotions and karma, and to renounce them and recurring rebirth under the control of them. Therefore make effort in listening to the Dharma, thinking about it andmeditating upon it.

Samsaric rebirth has the suffering of suffering, the suffering of change, and an increase of karmic results: one negative action can bring about many repeated disastrous results. Also, there is no certainty even that worldly happiness will arise from constructive behavior, since you can destroy its positive force through anger. In any case, worldly happiness – whether past, present, or future – can never satisfy, since it is impermanent. Therefore, do not make efforts merely for worldly happiness and pleasurable objects. The wise renounce that aim.

But just to renounce working for worldly happiness and pleasurable objects in this lifetime is not enough, since clinging to that aim will recur in future lives. So, do not perform constructive Dharma actions for the award of prosperity in future lives. To do so is the same as being attached to receiving a salary for doing good work. If you see all worldly happiness and pleasurable objects to be like an illusion, you can overcome clinging to them and attain liberation and enlightenment. Therefore, take no joy in worldly pleasures.

Chapter Eight: Training Disciples

Just as dissimilar people will not remain friends for long, likewise those who see the faults of samsaric phenomena will lose all desire to stay with them. Because any object or person can be an object of attraction, repulsion, or indifference for different people, objects and people do not exist by their own power as truly attractive. Desirability is established merely by mental labelingand dependently arises based merely on that. Thus, in any relationship between two persons, there is no such thing as a truly existent connection between them that can last forever.

Those who have built up little positive force will not even have doubts about the teachings on voidness; but for those with positive force, their samsaric existence becomes threadbare. Therefore, you need to understand fully the deepest teachings on voidness. There is no other way to gain liberation. But do not think that if everything were void of true existence, everything would be totally nonexistent and therefore there was no use in working for liberation. By doing actions that you think are truly existent, you create for yourself further samsaric rebirth and suffering; but, by doing actions that you understand lack true existence, you gain liberation. However, do not grasp at actions or different positions on voidness as being truly existent “things” to be accepted or rejected.

Disciples need to be led according to their capacity. Buddha taught generosity for those of least capacity, ethical discipline for the middling, and voidness for those of supreme capacity. In addition, disciples need to be led in stages. First, teach them to turn from destructive actions; intermediately, to turn from grasping for a gross self; and finally, to turn from all views of truly established existence. Note that this point can be understood either in a Svatantrika manner as indicating different levels of understanding voidness needed for gaining liberation and enlightenment, or in a Prasangika manner that these two levels of understanding are stages for attaining either liberation or enlightenment. Then, if you understand the voidness of one thing, you will understand the voidness of everything.

But, Buddha did not teach voidness in the same manner to everyone. One medicine does not suit every sickness. Thus to some disciples, Buddha taught that phenomena have truly established existence; to other disciples that some phenomena have truly established existence and some phenomena lack it; and to yet other disciples that nothing has truly established existence. Note that these three manners of explanation are the basis for dividing Buddha’s teachings into three rounds of transmission – the so-called “three turnings of the wheel of Dharma.” Even an understanding of a less sophisticated view of voidness is of benefit, since it will enable you to gain better samsaric rebirth states. But with the full understanding, all karmic seeds are burnt and you gain liberation.

Chapter Nine: Indicating the Meditations for Refuting Static Functional Phenomena

Functional phenomena that arise from causes and circumstances cannot be static with truly established existence. They depend on causes and circumstances, and do not exist just anywhere at any time. No functional phenomenon exists without a cause, and therefore it is impossible to have a static one such as a creator god as asserted by the Nyaya school.

Aryadeva goes on to refute the logic of other faulty systems. The Vaisheshikas argue that if something is produced, it is impermanent and if something is not produced, it is permanent and static. Since an atman of “soul” is not produced, it is therefore permanent. Aryadeva refutes this by arguing that if something is produced, it exists, but if something is not produced, it is not pervasive that it exists as static, because nonexistent things are also not produced.

Static space, for example, cannot be considered substantially existent based on the argument that it performs the function of acting as the object of cognition of it, as Vaibhashika asserts, because static things do not do anything. Further, static space cannot be all-pervasive and partless, as Vaisheshika asserts, because there are always directional parts. It is also contradictory for time to be both static and to allow functional phenomena to appear now or not to appear now, as Vedanta asserts, since then, again, something static would be performing a function. In general, any cause that does not have a result cannot be a cause, and so every cause itself must be a result of something else, since the ability of a cause to give its result is caused by circumstances. So, causes, such as time, cannot be static and permanent. Further, functional phenomena cannot arise from something static and nonfunctional, since phenomena related by a causal process need to be the same class or type ofphenomenon.

Ultimately smallest particles cannot be both static and also constitute objects, as Vaisheshika asserts. This is because the meeting of such particles functions as a cause for material objects, and therefore such particles are functional phenomena. Such particles cannot be partless either, as Vaisheshika also asserts, since if they were partless, they could not meet on one side. Shantideva repeats this last argument to refute the Vaibhashika assertion of ultimately smallest particles that are partless functional phenomena.

True stoppings or cessations of suffering cannot be nonstatic and impermanent, yet they do not exist as substantially existent static phenomena performing the function of serving as the object for cognition of them, as Vaibhashika asserts. Further, liberation is not the same as either of those two. Also, nirvana without residue does not mean that a person who attains it becomes totally nonexistent, as both Vaibhashika and Sautrantika assert. It means that there is no residue left of grasping for a substantially existent “self” or “soul” who has attained liberation. Further, nirvana itself does not substantially exist either.

Aryadeva also refutes as illogical the Samkhya assertion of a truly existent permanent liberated “self” as being conscious, because according to Samkhya, such a “self” has totally separated itself from all objects of cognition. There cannot be consciousnesswithout being conscious of something. The Nyaya position of a truly existent permanent liberated self as having no consciousness is also illogical, because how could such a self ever have the thought to work to gain liberation? Further, even if ordinary uneducated people do not hold any of these conceptuallybased incorrect views, this does not mean that they do not haveautomatically arising grasping for truly established existence.

Chapter Ten: Indicating the Meditations for Refuting a (Static, Impossible) “Self” or “Soul”

The assertion of a permanent, static truly existent “self” or “soul” leads to many further logical inconsistencies. Such a self or soul cannot be male, female, or hermaphroditic, as Vaisheshika asserts; because if it were, everyone would always be reborn as the same gender. Moreover, since the elements of the body are genderless, a self that relies on them could not have gender. Further, if a self were truly existent as “the self,” it would have to be the self of everyone; and therefore your self should be the object of my self pre-occupation too, but it is not.  Also, a self cannot change aspects in each rebirth and still be static. A static self could not incite the body’s movements, because a static object cannot do anything. And if you assert a static permanent self that cannot be harmed, why bother to do any actions to prevent suffering?

If, like the Nyayas, you say that the self is not conscious on its own, but gains consciousness by connecting with a physical mind, how could it still be static and permanent if it changes by connecting with a mind? But if, like the Samkhyas, you say a static permanent self is inherently conscious, then why is there the need for it to rely on cognitive sensors to have sensory cognition of a physical object? Moreover, if a conscious self is static and permanent, it should not ever stop being conscious of something it is conscious of.

Aryadeva goes on to refute the Samkhya assertion of primal matter made of the three principles of happiness, unhappiness, and neutral and yet not being itself a way of being aware of something. Also, a self that pervades the whole universe and all of time, as asserted by the Nyaya-Vaisheshikas, could not come here or go there. Also, as some Vedantists assert, it is illogical to assert that although a non-liberated self is an illusion and not truly existent, a liberated self is truly existent. Further, the impermanence of something cannot mean its truly existent transformation into a truly existent nothing; otherwise, all impermanence would mean that, and there could be no continuity of anything after its first moment ends.

Chapter Eleven: Indicating the Meditations for Refuting (Truly Existent) Time

If the past, present, and future were static and truly existent, as Vedantists assert, then the no-longer-existing, presently-existing, and not-yet-existing vase would all exist forever and there would be no need to produce anything. Not even a portion or aspect of a not-yet-existing vase can change into an aspect of a presently-existing vase or a no-longer-existing vase and still be static and truly existent as not-yet-existing. But if, like the Nyaya-Vaisheshikas and Vaibhashikas, you asserted that past, present, and future were impermanent and yet truly existent, how could anything change from being a truly not-yet-existing vase into a truly presently-existing vase and then into a truly no-longer-existing vase?

If a truly existent time-already-passed were to be impermanent and at some time have to pass away, how could something truly existently already-passed pass away again? But if it never passed away, then how could it be a time that had passed away? Also, it is illogical to assert, as some Vaibhashikas do, that the not-yet-existing, presently-existing and no-longer-existing vases are truly existent and identical with the truly existent vase itself, since then all three times would be identical and nothing could disintegrate and pass away.

If what did not yet exist already existed as a truly existent future, there would be no need for it to arise. It would already be happening. Thus, if your not-yet-existing vows already truly existed, why bother to make any effort to take them?

If, like the Sautrantikas, you assert that your not-yet-happeningsuffering existed as a truly existent static metaphysical entity, then you would already be liberated and there would be no need for Dharma practice, since it could never become presently-happening suffering.

If, like the Samkhyas, you assert the true simultaneous existence of cause and effect, you would not need bricks and pillars to build a house. On the other hand, if time had a truly existent occurring, then no moment of time could ever change from the state of occurring. But, if time truly existently had no occurring, there could be no end to its not occurring and so nothing could ever occur or happen.

Truly existent phenomena also could not have low-strength impermanence while they were occurring and high-strength impermanence when they were ending, because if they were truly existently of low-strength impermanence, that could never change. Also, phenomena could not be both truly existently occurring and at the same time impermanent, because  the two characteristics would contradict each other. If something is impermanent, it would have to change its status and it could only change from being something occuring into something no longer occuring. But if something is truly existently occuring, it must do that forever and so could never change into being something no longer occuring, thus could not be impermanent. Further, all remembering is deceptive cognition, since an already-passed cognition cannot possibly occur again.

Chapter Twelve: Indicating the Meditations for Refuting (Attraction to Distorted) Views

A proper vessel for receiving the teachings on voidness is someone who is upright and unbiased, has commonsensediscrimination and takes keen interest in voidness. By way of contrast, those who are improper vessels say that the fault is Buddha’s if they cannot understand the four noble truths.

It is important to rejoice in the teachings on voidness: only by understanding them can you liberate yourself from suffering. By gaining confidence in Buddha’s teachings on voidness, you can become confident that Buddha is a valid source of information about extremely obscure phenomena as well, such as karma.

Only those who know very little about voidness are afraid of it. This is because they are unaccustomed to voidness. But, because such people are accustomed to ignorance and confusion, which lead to further suffering, they are unafraid of that. Therefore, it is better to teach that there are truly existent selves to those who are not yet fit vessel for the teachings on voidness, since they might turn completely away from the Dharma if you teach them voidness prematurely.

Buddha did not teach voidness for the sake of debate, but still it burns off the distorted views of opponents. When you see holders of distorted views, whose closed-minded ignorance just causes them more suffering in samsara despite their wish for liberation, how could you not develop compassion for them? The teachings on voidness are far superior to the doctrines of the brahmins and the Jains. The suffering that Jains impose on themselves for the sake of gaining liberation, such as going naked in the winter and starving themselves, are the result of their karma and are certainly not a path to liberation. Birth as a brahmin and therefore reciting the Vedas as your caste duty is also not a path to liberation, since that too is the result of karma. By contrast, Buddha taught that the practice of Dharma is simply twofold: do no harm and understand voidness. Therefore, everyone needs to try to develop interest in voidness.

Chapter Thirteen: Indicating the Meditations for Refuting (Truly Existent) Cognitive Sensors and Cognitive Objects

You don’t see all qualities and aspects of a vase when you see its visible form, so how can bare visual cognition of a form establish the true existence of an object possessing other qualities as well, such as a touchable tactile sensation and a smellable odor? If bare visual cognition truly cognized the vase, it should cognize its smell too; and if it doesn’t truly existently cognize all the qualities of the vase, it cannot truly existently cognize any of them, including the visible form. The vase is made up of parts and the parts are made of parts ad infinitum. Thus since the tiniest particles that make up the form of the vase are just imputations on their parts, how can a composite of non-truly existent parts constitute a truly existent whole cognitive object? The same is true of the sounds of words, which are made up of phonetic parts and which constitute larger composites, namely sentences.

If the shape and the color of a vase are truly existently different, how could the visual cognition of the color of a vase also cognize the shape? And if they are truly existently identical, they why doesn’t a tactile cognition of the shape of a vase in the dark also cognize its color? Earth can be seen as something firm and solid, but it can also be known as that by tactile cognition. But if earth truly existed as an object of visual cognition, it could not also be an object of tactile cognition.

If, a vase arose as truly existently cognizable from its own side, there would be no need for it to be connected with the truly existent universal category of cognizability, which the Nyaya-Vaisheshikas assert as necessary for cognition; the vase would already be cognizable. But, if a vase arose as truly existently uncognizable, then it could not be cognized even it were connected to such a universal category.

Truly existent eye sensors cannot cognize truly existent visible forms that are truly different from them. If visible forms could be cognized by things that were truly different from them, ear sensors should also be able to cognize them, since they too are different from them. Moreover, a visual cognition cannot truly exist before the eye sensors look at a visible form, nor can it truly exist after the sensors look at the form. The latter is so because the seeing would then occur after the looking had ceased and the sensors were no longer looking at the form. But, if the visual cognition of a form occurred simultaneously with the eye sensors looking at a visible form, then looking at the form could no longer be the cause of seeing it.

According to the traditional pan-Indic analysis of senseperception, the power of cognitive sensors travels out to sensory objects in order to perceive them, not that sensory information travels from the object to the sensor as is asserted by Western science. If the power of a truly existent eye sensor had to travel out to an object in order to look at it, then it should take longer to see a distant object than it does to see a nearby object. And if it takes the same time, then why is a nearby object clearer than a distant one? They should be the same on the basis of truly existent eye sensors.

If the eye sensor travels out to its object after having noticed it, then what is the need to see it: it will already have seen it. And if it travels out without having noticed it, then it is traveling out to look at an object without knowing that it is going out to look at anything. But, if the power of the eye sensor did not have to travel out to its object, then it should be seeing everything all the time, whether nearby or distant, whether obvious or obscured. It should also be able to see itself.

Moreover, eye sensors, being physical matter, cannot be a way of being aware of anything; and consciousness, being a way of being aware of something, cannot be something physical that travels out to an object. So how can cognition occur as the result of the interaction of truly existent consciousness, cognitive sensors, and cognitive objects? Aryadeva then makes a similar analysis of ear sensors and audible sounds. Thus, cognition is like an illusion, arising from illusion-like consciousness, sensors, and objects.

Chapter Fourteen: Indicating the Meditations for Refuting Grasping at Extremes

A truly existent functional phenomenon could not come about from relying on anything else, since it should then exist totally independently by its own power. If a truly existent vase truly existed with a truly existent visible form in general, then whenever seeing any visible form, you would be seeing a vase. If the two truly existed as different, then a vase would not be a visible form.

If, as the Nyaya-Vaisheshikas assert, a vase and the universal category existence were both truly existent as separate types of truly existent phenomena, then your assertion of a vase truly existing in a separate category from existence makes no sense. The vase would have to be truly nonexistent. Aryadeva then refutes other Nyaya-Vaisheshika assertions, such as substances being able to exist without qualities, but qualities – for instance the quality of number, like being “one” or “two” – being unable to exist independently of qualifying a substance. Or, qualities not being able to qualify other qualities – both the quality of being a form and the quality of being large can qualify a substance, but “large” cannot qualify “being a form” and thus forms cannot be large.

If a truly existent vase is truly one with the eight types of truly existent constituent particles that constitute it, like the Sautrantikas assert, then the vase would have to be eight truly existent things, not one. Also, it is impossible for the particles of the four elements, which do have the ability to have contact, to join with the four particles of being a visible form, and so on, which do not have that ability, and form a single vase as a unit.

Aryadeva then goes on to refute that truly existent phenomena have truly existent defining characteristics, because the two cannot truly exist as either the same or as different from each other. He also refutes that truly existent wholes can exist as collections of truly existent physical parts or as the result of a collection of truly existent causes. He further analyzes how a collection of truly existent fuel, as an example of the earth or solid element, together with truly existent air and truly existent fire can become hot. If hot is a truly existent quality of the fire element, it cannot qualify the fuel as an example of the earth element. But doesn’t the fuel have to become hot in order to burn?

Aryadeva then explains that the line of reasoning of “neither one nor many” needs to be applied to refute all extreme views concerning existence, nonexistence, both, or neither.

Chapter Fifteen: Indicating the Meditations for Refuting Grasping at Affected Phenomena as Ultimately (Truly Arising)

Affected phenomena are those that arise, having been affected by causes and circumstances. Aryadeva now analyzes arisings as being ultimately truly existent.

Something truly nonexistent at the time of the cause cannot arise at the time of the result; but if a truly existent result already existed at the time of the cause, there would be no need for it to arise again. A truly existent cause cannot give rise to a truly existent result that is either truly the same as itself or truly different from itself. Moreover, there can be no truly existent arising, abiding, or ceasing, since at the time of one of these happening, the other two would be truly nonexistent and could either never happen or could never have happened.

Also, a truly existent phenomenon as a result cannot be produced from something either truly the same as itself or truly other than itself. Also, if something that arises is truly new, it could never become old. Since a truly existent arising, abiding, and ceasing cannot occur either separately and independently or simultaneously, when do they occur? Moreover, a truly existing arising, abiding, and ceasing cannot truly exist on the basis of a truly existent functional phenomenon as truly existent separate phenomena; otherwise, functional phenomena would be static and permanent.

Further, a truly existent functional phenomenon cannot arise from another truly existent functional phenomenon, because it would already truly exist. But, it cannot arise from a nonfunctional static phenomenon either. And a nonfunctional phenomenon cannot arise from another nonfunctional phenomenon, so how is there a truly existent arising of anything from anything?

Also, how could something truly existent and in the process of arising be already truly existing as what it will be? So what is it then? And does it make any sense to say that there is an interval between when the truly existent result does not yet exist and when it truly exists, and during that interval, the phenomenon exists as half truly existing and half truly not existent?

When does the process of a truly existing arising occur then? And how can a truly existent arising exist before an object that truly arises? And how can something truly existent be truly in the process of arising, as if its arising existed truly as something separate from it? Also, how can an arising truly exist before it has occurred and then become connected to a truly existent object that has not yet arisen and, by that connection, make that object arise?

Chapter Sixteen: Indicating How to Cause Teachers and Disciples to Gain Certainty (about Voidness)

Lastly, Aryadeva refutes truly existent logic, which is asserted by all non-Prasangika Buddhist schools of tenets. All these chapters, Aryadeva explains, have been written to refute any reasons anyone might give for grasping at things not to be void of truly established existence, despite everything being void of it. And even the author, the subject matter, and the words of this text are void of truly established existence. To counter another’s position and establish or prove your own position, you need to rely on logical reasoning. If, upon analysis with logic, what you assert is not found as existing, then you must understand that what you assert does not exist at all.

We Prasangikas do not use faulty lines of reasoning that even other Buddhists use, such as the Sautrantika argument that anything cognized by bare nonconceptual cognition truly exists, because it is cognized. Moreover, we do not even assert that voidness has truly established existence, which the Chittamatrins assert. If a basis for voidness does not have truly established existence, how could its voidness be truly established? Also, if voidness as the logical position to be proved had true existence, then its counter-position, non-voidness, would also have to be truly existent, since these two components of a line of reasoning depend on each other. But since voidness is not truly existent, neither is non-voidness.

If truly existent phenomena actually existed, they should be cognized by valid cognition. But they are never cognized by valid cognition, therefore how can they exist at all. Also, as there are no truly existent phenomena, it makes no sense to divide phenomena into some that truly exist and some that do not truly exist, like the Chittamatrins do. And if you accuse Prasangika as asserting that everything is totally nonexistent, then how is it that our logic is able to refute your position? If you say that our Prasangika logic is absurd, then why can’t you find any faults in it? If you cannot establish your position of non-voidness by logic and it were correct simply because you say it is correct; then any position would be correct merely by saying that it is so.

The words used in logical reasoning also lack truly established existence as referring to truly established phenomena. And it is illogical to say that voidness has true existence simply because it is proven by truly existent lines of reasoning or by using truly existent examples in the lines of reasoning to prove voidness.

If phenomena had truly established existence, what benefit would there be in understanding voidness, because voidness would be incorrect. But Buddha taught voidness of truly established existence because it is correct and its understanding gets rid of suffering. So, whether you assert truly established existence, truly established nonexistence, truly established both existence and nonexistence, or truly established neither existence nor nonexistence, voidness refutes all of them.

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Misconceptions about Buddhism:

1. The Buddha is the fat guy.

The statue of a bald, fat Buddha is actually a Chinese monk who lived in the 9th century CE.

 

2. All Buddhists are bald.

Although the shaving of the head is sometimes fashionable, such as the basketball players in the 1990’s, the shaved head is one sign of being a monk or a nun in the Buddhist tradition, where it is considered to be one less thing to identify with or be attached to. Lay people rarely shave their heads and primarily do so for the same reasons non-Buddhists do so; for ease, comfort, or fashion.

 

3. All Buddhists are vegetarians.

Many Buddhists choose a vegetarian diet to better practice the First Precept, but not all. About half of all Buddhists are vegetarian or vegan and the other half regularly consumes meat, limits it somewhat, or eats meat only if served or offered it by others.

 

4. All Buddhists meditate.

Meditation has been identified as the central practice of Buddhism (Edward Conze said that meditation is for Buddhism what prayer is for Christianity). It is unclear how many Christians actually pray, but the majority of Buddhists throughout history have not meditated. Meditation has, until rather recently, been considered a monastic practice, and even then, as a practice reserved for only certain monks. The Buddha did place great emphasis on meditation, but some traditions such as the Pure Land do little to no meditation in their practice.

 

5. All Buddhists who meditate sit in full lotus.

Very few Buddhists sit in full-lotus when they meditate. The Buddha advocated for mindfulness at all times and not just when sitting or in a certain posture. All postures are acceptable and used.

 

6. Reincarnation is fun.

As much as anyone might like to come back to play centerfield for the Yankees, this is just not the way it works. If you are tired of people saying “Been there. Done that,” just remember that Buddhists have been saying it in so many words for a couple of millennia. There is no place you have not been reborn, no form of sentient life that you have not already been a zillion times. It all should be a tedious bore right now, and all you should want to do is get out. Unless, of course, you’re a bodhisattva.

 

7. All roads lead to the same mountaintop.

Many great Buddhist figures, from Dogen to the current Dalai Lama, are emphatic on the point that enlightenment is only possible by following the Buddhist path. You can only get so far following other religions: all roads lead to Everest base camp, but from there, Buddhism is the only route to the summit. Buddhism holds that anyone can get to heaven leading a moral life and precepts from any religion, but the ultimate Nibbana is through the Buddhist path.

 

8. All Buddhists live in monasteries.

Most Buddhists throughout history have been laypeople and hence have not lived in monasteries. They could not do so, because without the laity the monasteries could not survive.

 

9. You must be a monk or nun to get enlightened.

There are reports of lay people from all traditions who have attained enlightenment.

 

10. All Buddhists are hippies.

Hardly, many Theravadins are quite conservative, as are some Zennies and Vajrayana Buddhists. Some follow what might be called rigid precepts and do not even drink alcohol.

 

11. Buddhists are idol worshipers.

Not true, some traditions don’t even use statues much. And those that do, do not worship them, just pay respects to the teacher and teachings. There is a Zen saying that if it is cold and your statue is made of wood, throw the Buddha statue in the fire to keep warm.

 

12. The Dalai Lama is the head of Buddhism.

The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, but not of the many other Mahayana schools, Zen schools, or Theravada.

 

13. Buddhists believe in reincarnation.

It is actually rebirth, not a transmigrating soul.

 

14. Buddhists must wear robes.

Buddhists wear whatever they like and are not required to wear robes. Some Zen sects wear a robe, but that is only for the meditation session and it is immediately taken off before leaving the zendo. It is also worn over the regular clothes. Other schools of Buddhism, such as Vajrayana and Theravada do not wear any robes even during meditation and retreats (except for monastics of course).

 

15. The Buddha is God or one of the gods.

The Buddha was as mortal as any of us and got sick and died too. He attained enlightenment and Nibbana but was born a human in 563 BC in his final life. He was not a Son of God either, as found in Greek mythologies.

 

16. Buddhism is a pessimistic religion.

The first noble truth is the noble truth of suffering. But there are 4 Noble Truths, not one. The rest deal with us getting out of suffering.

 

17. It’s all an illusion.

Nothing can bare ultimate examination. It is not all an illusion, as if nothing is there. It is all like an illusion, as in being dependently arisen; dependently arisen is not something that is obvious to the ignorant mind.

The following extract from – Do objects Exist ? by the Dalai Lama : “Analysis does not contradict the mere existence of the object. Phenomena do indeed exist, but not in the way we think they do.”

 

18. Buddhism is a reformation of Hinduism.

Buddhism is in sharp contrast to Hinduism. The Hinduism at the time of Buddha was Brahmanism and included a transmigrating soul, the caste system, polytheism, and animal sacrifices. The Buddha’s teachings rejected a permanent soul, the caste system, and animal sacrifices. Buddhism is often referred to as a non-theistic religion.

 

19. Buddhists are all dreadfully serious people, don’t wear make up and never have any fun.

Buddhists wear cosmetics, if they so choose, but do not use them during retreats and other days when they want to focus on their meditation practice. At other times, Buddhists use or don’t use cosmetics at the same rate as anyone else in the community / nation. Buddhists strive for equanimity, which is a balanced state of mind, primarily so that they do not react to situations especially with anger or without thought. Buddhists still can know how to have a good time, but attempt to do so without attachment. Ajahn Brahm and the Dalai Lama as well as many other famous teachers are known for their great sense of humor and frequently tell jokes, laugh, and smile.

 

20. Buddhists are not allowed to desire anything so cannot play sports or achieve anything either.

Buddhists play sports and some do very well at it. Tiger Woods is a champion golfer. Buddhist athletes do very well at archery and other sports too. Phil Jackson has won more championships in basketball than anyone else, as a player and coach (combined). Jackie Chan, Steven Seagal, Goldie Hawn and numerous others have made a success at acting. Steve Jobs is the CEO of Apple, Inc. Steve Wynn is the highly successful casino mogul in Las Vegas. Ellison Onizuka was a NASA astronaut. Several Nobel Prize winners have been Buddhist, winning awards in the sciences, medicine, literature, and peace. The Pali term chandha refers to intention, will, and zeal and is used for good and wholesome desires. Not all desires are bad or not allowed.

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