Saturday, December 26, 2009

People Who Committed Pancanantariya Kamma

Pancanantariya kamma is the weighty or serious kamma (Garuka kamma) which certainly produces its effects in the present life or in the next. Unlike other unwholesome actions, people who committed pancanantariya kamma can be saved by no means.

Pancanantariya kamma includes:

1. Killing one's mother (Matricide) 
2. Killing one's father (Patricide)
3. Murdering an arahant
4. Physically injuring Buddha
5. Creating a schism or split in the sangha

Maha Moggallana-to-be: was a dutiful son of blind parents. After his marriage, his wife persuaded him to kill his parents. He took his parents into the forest, pretended as robbers and beat them to death. For this ill deed, he suffered in the hell for many hundreds thousands of years.

Then in his final rebirth, he became an arahant, Maha Moggallana and a left chief disciple of the Buddha. He was foremost in supernormal powers and only second to Sariputta (a right chief disciple of the Buddha) in wisdom.

However, Maha Moggallana was repeatedly smashed and left for dead by assassins.

The assassins who murdered him were captured by the king Ajatasattu's men and were executed. As they killed an arahant and committed pancanantariya kamma, they reborn in the hell. And all those concerned in this crime suffered in the same way.

Buddha stated that, ''even supernormal powers will be of little or no use to oneself in avoiding their heavy kamma''.

Ajatasattu: imprisoned and tortured his father king Bimbisara to death. Later, he regretted for his evil deeds. After visiting the Buddha, he changed over to a follower of the Buddha. He then became a patron of the Buddhism and of the First Sangha Council.

Nevertheless, he was killed by his son . Ajatasattu suffered in the hell for thousands of years for his grave sin.

In the Samannaphala Sutta, Buddha said that, ''If Ajatasattu hadn't killed his father, he would have attained sotapannahood''.

Devadatta: was the most sinful person among those who committed pancanantariya kamma. He entered the order of monks in the early part of his life. Instead of attaining any of the sainthoods, he was superb in psychic powers.

At first, he was a good monk. Later, he changed to evil one, having jealousy towards the Buddha. He advised Ajatasattu to kill his father. Influenced by him, Ajatasattu committed patricide.

Devadatta attempted to kill the Buddha thrice. Firstly, he sent killers. Then, he himself hurled down a huge rock from the hill top at the Buddha. It only wounded the Buddha's foot and caused to bleed. Lastly, he intoxicated a fierce elephant to attack the Buddha. All his plans failed.

He then proceeded to split the sangha community. Before long, his followers went back to the Buddha, after Buddha's two chief disciples preached them.

Being a failure, Devadatta fell very ill. He was filled with remorse for his misdeeds. He wished to see the Buddha prior to his death. On his way to see the Buddha, he was engulfed by the earth. He suffered in Avici hell for one hundred thousands kappas.

As mentioned, none of the people committing pancanantariya kamma could escape punishment.

Thus, the Buddha said, ''We are the heirs of our actions''.

Posted by Aye Sat

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Six Attributes of the Dhamma

Svākkhāto bhagavatā dhammo sandiṭṭhiko akāliko ehipassiko opaneyyiko paccattaṃ veditabbo viññūhī ti.” 

[1] Svākkhāto bhagavatā dhammo _ The Dhamma is well expounded by the Blessed One, 

[2] Sandiṭṭhiko _ self-realized, 

[3] Akāliko _ immediately effective, 

[4] Ehipassiko _ inviting investigation, 

[5] Opaneyyiko _ leading onwards, 

[6] Paccattaṃ veditabbo viññūhī _ to be realized by the wise.

Posted by Nyan U.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Dhamma: Classification, Preservation and Propagation

Who makes a beginning in the classification of Dhamma? In the Abidhamma of the Buddha the first scripture was Dhammasangani i.e. Classification of Dhamma in which Matika worked as a classified table of mental constituents dealt with the whole system of the Abhidhamma.

Then the elder arahants introduced to classification, preservation and propagation in the Buddhist Synods. Venerable Ananda was well-versed in the doctrine (Dhamma). Likewise Venerable Upali was pre-eminent in the discipline (Vinaya). The Buddha's teachings were preserved and conserved in this manner from generation to generation of monks to present day.

It handed down until they were written on palm leaves in Ceylon some 500 years after the Buddha's parinibbana. All the Dhamma were recited to ensure its purity and authenticity. The teachings were eventually compiled and arranged into three classes, collectively known as Tipitaka. The Pali word, 'Tipitaka' literally means 'the three baskets'. These are:   

[1]  The first basket is the Sutta Pitaka, the discourses which contain many expositions of  Dhamma given to listeners who have a wide range on various occasions.  

[2] The second basket is the Vinaya Pitaka, the discipline which deals with rules and regulations laid down by the Buddha for monastic members of monks (bhikkhus) and nuns (bhikkhunis) as occasion arose.  

[3]  The third basket is the Abhidhamma Pitaka, the higher dhamma (Paramattha Desana) which on the whole discusses at length the psycho-philosophical aspects of teachings of the Buddha.

The Tipitaka is the most sacred literature of Buddhists. It surely contains the words of the Buddha as preserved through a period of time by his disciples who were arahants. The devoted and learned monks immediately committed his teachings word for word to memory. Thus the words of Dhamma were firmly preserved and were accurately in due course passed down although they are in oral form from teacher to pupil. Thus they ensured that the Dhamma would be conservative faithfully for posterity.

There is no doubt that arahants were highly intelligent and gifted with ability to remember whatever they had heard. The Buddha's teachings in the Tipitaka are also known as the doctrine of elders. That means the 'Theravada Buddhism'.

Nowadays, Tipitaka is translated and published in prominent languages and some versions are widely read from the Pali originals. To protect the Buddhism and its invaluable literature, the pious Buddhists had preserved and conserved for maintenance in future. Thus they do their utmost to carry out on giving recitation, discussion, listening to talks and lectures of Dhamma; to copy manuscripts on palm leaves; to inscribe on stones. This is an old traditional methods of maintenance. In modern age the advanced methods of preservation is made to print on paper in book forms and to record by the digital means, etc. The other ways are to open the meditation centres for practice of the Dhamma, and then to build pagodas, temples, monastic schools, Pariyatti Sasana Universities. These are the meritorious deeds of real Buddhists for promotion and propagation of Dhamma desana.

Buddha Sasanam Cirantitthatu!

Posted by Nyan U.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Dhamma

All the original teachings of the Buddha can be shown in one word of Pali 'Dhamma'. It is a nature thing, the doctrine of the Buddha. It teaches us how to live wisely and happily, and also shows how to face and solve problems. The dhamma is the main stream for everyone's enlightenment. So, most Buddhists take refuge in the Dhamma. And then they pay respect and appreciation for the teachings. Even the Buddha had to refuge to attain Nibbana.

The Dhamma is the only way to the end of sufferings in the world. In Anguttara Nikaya, after enlightenment the Buddha said, “Let me then honour, respect and live in dependence on this very Dhamma to which I have fully awakened”.

If one will live by the Dhamma, it will surely liberate him from misery and then give way to Nibbana. But without practice one cannot appreciate the truth. Really the Dhamma is to be studied, and to be realized. The more to be immediate realization and practice, the more the result is the ultimate goal that will be escaping from the cycles of rebirths (samsara). This liberating law is discovered and proclaimed by the Buddha. The six attributes of Dhamma are: 1- well expounded by the Blessed One, 2- self-realized, 3- immediately effective, 4- inviting investigation, 5- leading onwards, 6- to be realized by the wise. 

The Four Noble Truths (Sacca) are the abstract of the Buddha's Dhamma. They are:

[1] The Truth of Suffering (Dukkha sacca), 
[2] The Truth of the Cause of Suffering (Samudhaya sacca), 
[3] The Truth of the End of Suffering (Nirodha sacca), 
[4] The Truth of the Path to the End of Suffering (Magga sacca).

Gaining release from samsara, i.e. the cycle of birth, existence and death, is in need of each of the Noble Truths. The first truth is to be fully understood; the second, eradicated; the third, reached; the fourth, increased. Indeed, the Dhamma is a natural method for self liberation from the samsaric dukkha. 

The practice of Dhamma is applied on the devotional basis of contemplation with the firm precepts (sila). In this practice the Noble Eightfold Path is an essential tool for the liberated state which is known as Arahantship. It is also peaceful middle path that avoids extremes. These are as follows:

[1] Right View, 
[2] Right Thought, 
[3] Right Speech, 
[4] Right Action,
[5] Right Livelihood, 
[6] Right Effort, 
[7] Right Mindfulness, 
[8] Right Concentration.

The Buddha taught us to observe in accordance with these eight principles to know the Noble Truths. The right way to end suffering is to follow the 'Noble Eightfold Path'.

Posted by Nyan U.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Yasodhara: The supporter of Bodhisatta Gotama

Sumitta (Yasodhara-to-be) donated lotus flowers to Dipankara Buddha and aspired to be a whole supporter of future Bodhisatta Gotama. After supporting him for four asankheyyas and one hundred thousand kappas time, she finally became Yasodhara. It was her last life to support Bodhisatta Gotama who became Buddha then.

Yasodhara means ''bearer of glory''. As her name, she was very beautiful. She was also called Bhaddakacana, Bimbadevi, Rahulamata and Yasodhara Theri according to her life status.

Her parents were king Suppabuddha and queen Pamita. Siddhattha Gotama and Yasodhara were born on the same day. They were cousins.

When they were sixteen, a bride choosing ceremony was held for Siddhattha's marriage. The procession was almost done when Yasodhara reached. But she was the one chosen to be a bride.

Being worried, Yasodhara's father, king Suppabuddha asked Siddhattha to compete the fighting skills contest and testify his capability. Siddhattha won all the events and married Yasodhara. They spent thirteen years of luxurious and happy life together.

At the age of twenty nine, Yasodhara gave birth to a son, Rahula. On that night, Yasodhara slept soundly after tiredness of parturition, while Siddhattha renounced the world and left the palace to search true happiness.

Yasodhara's life was changed abruptly. Without her husband, all the luxuries, pleasure and joy were meaningless for her. Nevertheless, she took great care to her son. He was her only comfort.

Though she was in the palace, she stayed almost likewise her husband, a holy man, living in the forest. She wore plain clothes, did not use ornaments, ate only one meal a day and slept on the low bed.

Yasodhara was a loyal wife. She never remarried. Buddha returned His home town to see His father after attaining enlightenment. Yasodhara refused to greet Him. Instead, Buddha went to see her. She wept grievously, touching Buddha's feet. Soon she controlled herself and revered Him from a suitable place. Buddha discoursed Canda kinnara Jataka to acknowledge her devotion to Him.

In one of the previous births, Siddhattha was born as a Canda kinnara and Yasodhara was his mate Canda kinnari. Their residence was the Canda Mountain of Himava. They were inseparable lovers.

Once, the king who went hunting saw them singing and dancing by a small river. He fell for the mate Canda kinnari and shot Canda kinnara with an arrow to death. Then he proposed her, but in vain.

She put her dead husband's body in her arms and wept bitterly. She also protested devas for allowing the tragedy to take place. Because of her great loyalty, the deva appeared as a brahmin and restored Canda kinnara to life.

Later, Yasodhara became a nun and then an arahant. She was one of the only four disciples of Buddha with supernormal powers (Maha Abhinna), who could recall infinite eras of the past.

Yasodhara Theri passed away before Buddha when she was seventy eight.

Posted by Aye Sat

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Nine Attributes of the Buddha

Itipi so Bhagavā arahaṃ, sammāsambuddho, vijjācaraṇasampanno, sugato, lokavidū, anuttaro purisa dammasārathi, satthā devamanussānaṃ, buddho, bhagavā ti.

The Blessed One is:

[1] Arahaṃ _ indeed worthy,
[2] Sammāsambuddho _ fully self-enlightened,
[3] Vijjācaraṇasampanno _ perfect in knowledge and conduct,
[4] Sugato _ well-gone or well-spoken,
[5] Lokavidū _ knower of the worlds,
[6] Anuttaro purisa dammasārathi _ incomparable in taming beings,
[7] Satthā devamanussānaṃ _ the teacher of gods and men,
[8] Buddho _ enlightened, and
[9] Bhagavā _ blessed.

Posted by Nyan U.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Buddha Desana in a Nutshell

In Migadavon forest, at the time of dusk and moonrise, on Saturday, the full moon day of Waso, Lord Buddha started expounding the first sermon. It was known as Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta" in which middle way (Mijjhimapatipada) was explained to the first five monks (Panca Vaggi).

Throughout 45 years as a founder of Buddhism, he preached the sentient beings how to be emancipated from the cycle of births and deaths (samsara). Meanwhile, he taught the countless numbers of sermons (desana). Briefly, the Four Noble Truths were short and to the point of Whole Dhamma of the Buddha.

Out of the Four Noble Truths, suffering (dukkha) and origin of suffering (samudhaya) are lokiya and cessation of suffering (nirodha) and right path to nibbana (magga) are lokkuttara. In this case, Samudhaya is the cause and Dukkha is the effect; similar is Magga and Nirodha. Therefore, whether in Lokiya or Lokkuttara, it is clear-cut of cause and effect.

Thus, he showed that every rising had a cause and no effect came if the eradication of cause occurred. This process was known as the Dependent Origination (Paticcasamuppada). So, the essence of the Buddha's Dhamma is the only one to attain Nibbana.

With great compassion he took a non-stop propagation of his doctrines for all beings to get out of the cycle of rebirths. The Buddha's life was a practical example of the Dhamma he taught as such.

After having done his duties and responsibilities as a Buddha, he realized cessation of all Dukkha of Khandha (Parinibbana). In 148 Maha Era (543 BC), on Tuesday, the full moon day of Kason before dawn, he expired at the age of 80, in Kusinara, India. The Buddha said the very last words to his disciples as follows:

Handa dani bhikkhave amantayami vo, vaya dhamma sankhara, appamadena sampadetha.

This Pali stanza means _ Behold, monks! Now I'll admonish all of you. All conditioned things are changeable and not lasting. With steadfast mindfulness, endeavour to win your own liberation.”

Posted by Nyan U.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Gotama the Buddha

At sun-set, sitting on the Aprajita Pallanka the Bodhisatta won over the Mara (Demon), the evil one. The victory was because of his perfections which had been done for four asankheyyas and one hundred thousand kappas. After that he attained pubbenivasa nana (faculty to recall past existence) at nightfall. At midnight he attained dibbacakkhu nana (super-human vision). At dawn the Bodhisatta achieved asavakkhaya nana (the noble insight, arahatta magga citta) that is absolute eradication of all defilements (kilesa) in mind.

Then he had attained subbannuta nana and became the supereme Buddha, the Exalted One, the Enlightened One. That was in 103 Maha Era (588 BC) on Wednesday, the full moon day of Kason. He was 35 at that time. The earth shook heartily and severely due to the power and glory of Buddha's enlightenment. He stayed at the seven places (satta sattaha) for seven days each to achieve fruition, to show miraculous power, and to take into consideration of abhidhamma.

From that time onward, the Buddha was indeed experienced the noble truth in the ultimate purity. So, he became a Sammasambuddha. In bhadda kappa the Gotama Budha was the fourth noble one, endowed with nine attributes. The Exalted one is:  
  1. indeed worthy,  
  2. fully self-enlightened, 
  3. perfect in knowledge and conduct, 
  4. well-gone or well-spoken, 
  5. knower of the worlds, 
  6. incomparable in taming beings, 
  7. the teacher of gods and men, 
  8. enlightened, and 
  9. blessed. Also incomparable, the most honourable, the most difficult to see, rare and worthy of treasure in the universe was the only Lord Buddha.
The Buddha reached to Ajapala Bodhi tree from Rajayatana. Soon after reaching, he bore upon Dhamma in his mind and realized that the Dhamma is too much subtle for the wisdom of layman (puthujana). Most people's mind is full of three, namely greedy (loba), angry (dosa), and ignorance (moha). The Dhamma against these three does not deserved them. So, the Buddha had nature of things not to preach. At the request of Sahampati Brahma, the Buddha made a promise. Since then he began his ministry within the span of life. He then went to Migadavon forest.

Posted by Nyan U.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Self-mortification Experience of Bodhisatta Gotama (Dukkaracariya)

Bodhisatta Gotama left his palace and his beloved ones in search of true happiness. At first, he chose the wrong path: self-mortification practice which only caused pain and suffering. Nevertheless, this self-mortification (Dukkaracariya) experience of Bodhisatta Gotama highlighted the right way to attain enlightenment.

What made Bodhisatta Gotama to practise self-mortification
  1. His strong will to gain enlightenment.
  2. Presence of extreme beliefs at pre-Buddhist period
    These include: eternalism (believed that all things were permanent); nihilism (believed in the non-existing of the beings after death); self-indulgence (completely enjoying sensual pleasures) and self-mortification (totally torturing oneself).
  3. Recognizing that his achievement up to the eighth jhanic stage (nevasannanasanna yatana jhana) was unsatisfactory to reach his goal.
  4. His consideration: Three comparisons appear to his mind.
    • Rubbing two soaked sappy logs of wood cannot produce fire. Likewise,those who is still attached to the objects of sensual desires and delighting in passionate pleasures, he will be unable to obtain enlightenment however hard he tried.
    • Freshly cut green sappy logs of wood not soaked in water also cannot produce fire. Similarly, even one has abandoned the objects of sensual  desires but if he still delights in thoughts of passionate pleasures, he will be unable to obtain enlightenment.
    • Unsoaked dry sapless logs of wood will start fire by friction. Just so,having abandoned the objects of sensual desires and gave up the lustful thoughts and cravings as well, he will be able to attain enlightenment.
Referring to the third comparison, he decided to practise self-mortification.

How Bodhisatta Gotama performed self-mortification

Restraining respiration: He withheld the in-breathing and out-breathing of the nose, mouth and ears. The air which could not pass through his nostrils went upwards into his crown causing extreme pain. To find the way, the air then moved downwards and reached the belly, making intense pain. As a result, he was fainted.

Abstaining from food: He gradually reduced eating food. His daily meal was just a handful of bean soup or a small plum. Because of this malnutrition, he was exceedingly emaciated. His clear, bright, golden coloured skin changed into dark brown. His belly and his back nearly stuck to each other. Only skin and bones were the remnants of his body. He almost lost all his thirty-two marks of a Grand-Being together with the eighty minor signs.

Self-mortification experience of Bodhisatta Gotama lasts six years. Then he realized that it was futile. Wisely, he changed over to a new path: the middle way (Mijjhima Patipada) which led him to Nirvana.

Posted by Aye Sat

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Bodhisatta

The Bodhisatta, Siddhattha Gotama was born in 68 Maha Era (623 BC) on Friday, the full moon day of Kason (Visakha, May) in Lumbini, Nepal. He grew up in royal family as a Cakya prince to father King Suddhodana of Kapilavatthu and mother Maha Maya of Devadhatha.

He married princess Yasodhara, daughter of Suppabuddha and Pamita at the age of sixteen. They were enjoying royal pleasures happily together. At the young adult, his experiences with the external world urged him in quest of life. At 29, his seeking met by chance with the vision of four persons: the aged, the sick, the dead, and the recluse.

Then the Bodhisatta had been filled with remorse over seeing the Four Sights (Nimitta). So, he at once decided to renounce the life of royalty, wealth, power and newly born son, Rahula. He left the palace at midnight on Monday, the full moon day of Waso (Ashadha, July) in search of a correct answer to the problem of universal suffering.

In a lonely forest, he wandered for the sake of highest peace and greatest happiness. He became an ascetic. He ordained as a monk with bowl and robe which were offered by Ghatikara Maha Brahma. He was living simply by virtue of being self-reliant person. And also he dedicated to morality (sila), concentration (samadhi) and insight (panna).

In Uruvela forest, he practised the severest austerities i.e. the path of self-torture, to reach enlightenment and liberation. For six continuous years he strove to do self-mortification. This effort is known as Great Hard Practices (Dukkaracariya). Six years later the Bodhisatta got rid of it. He realized and made the middle way (Majjhima Patipada), the right path.

While sitting under the Ajapala banyan tree, Sujata came and offered a gruel food in golden bowl to the Bodhisatta. The Bodhisatta had 49 morsels of this good meal near the river bank of Naranjara. Then he set adrift of the golden bowl in the stream and vowed to let it go upstream if he'll be real Buddha hood today. The golden bowl took upstream. This special food recovered his lost health and strength. In the evening he went from the Sal grove to the Maha Bodhi tree, at the foot of which he scattered eight small bundles of grass that is Sotthiyas's charity. The Aprajita Plinka, seat for the Bodhisatta arose wonderfully from the grass due to his perfections (parami). He sat across-legged on it with his back to the Bodhi tree, and facing to the east. He vowed again that he'd never lose the gesture if not enlightenment. Then he practised anapana meditation.

Posted by Nyan U.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Ten Perfections (Dasa Parami)

Parami means perfection. It refers to the culmination of certain virtues. Those virtues are cultivated as a way of purifying kamma and helping the aspiration on the way for enlightenment.

Someone can look after all mankind in the world to have peace of mind getting rid of suffering. People will call this miraculous person as a Buddha. They refuge upon him. When the life was in danger, they bear him in mind as one to rely on.

Buddha made a lot of the acquired virtues in the samsara of his life. At the end he had got the worldly characteristics, sympathy, loving kindness, intellect, power etc. As a result those abilities which do better than human beings, devas and brahmas the Buddha is real and unique.

The pious and noble-minded persons act selflessly. They would devote their lives to the welfare of others. They used to take aim at the liberation from the cycle of rebirths (samsara). So the acquired virtue is the only work of the noble-minded persons.

Every Bodhisatta might conduct such acquired virtue. In other word, he practised the ten perfections (dasa parami). It was also a prerequisite for Buddhahood. The parami had ten summaries and thirty elaborations of virtues. The ten summaries of perfections (Pali and English) are:

[1] Dana parami: generosity,
[2] Sila parami: virtue or morality,
[3] Nekkhamma parami: renunciation,
[4] Panna parami: transcendental wisdom,
[5] Viriya parami: energy,
[6] Khanti parami: patience,
[7] Sacca parami: truthfulness,
[8] Adhitthana parami: determination or resolution,
[9] Metta parami: loving-kindness,
[10] Upekkha parami: equanimity.

With multiplication of those ten perfections by the three i.e. Parami, Upaparami and Paramattha parami the result become 30 in number.

Parami is known as the good deeds such as the charity of any property, an observance of Buddhist precepts. Upaparami is called when the good deeds include the charity of one's organ, making sacrifice to observe the precepts, etc. Paramattha parami has the name because of saving other's life and observing the precepts at the risk of his life.

Gotama Bodhisattha strived to gain certain criteria of various paramis. It took times till four asankheyyas and one hundred thousand kappas had gone.

How long does one kappa take place? A warehouse of one yojana i.e. 12.72 miles is made full with the seed of mustard. After that one seed is thrown away once a hundred years. It's possible to run out of all seeds. However, the period of one kappa is not finished yet. This long period is about one kappa.

So long as the countless number the period between the enlightenments of the two Buddhas came to know as asankheyya”. Thus, a period of four asankheyyas and one hundred thousand kappas was the shortest way to parami for the arising of one Buddha.

Posted by Nyan U.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sumedha and Sumitta

During the time of paying homage to the Dipankara Buddha, in the audience there was a lady known as Sumitta (Yasodhaya-to-be). As soon as that lady saw the hermit Sumedha she became highly pleased because of predestination determined by their past deeds. She also thought that she had been contented to get her life for meeting the hermit.

So, she left 3 bouquets out of 8 bouquets of lotus she had. It is for herself for her own aspiration. She offered the hermit 5 bouquets, praying in her mind. From laying prone, the hermit paid homage to the Buddha, with the lotus that Sumitta gave.

At that moment of laying prone, the hermit firmly vowed,

“I can accomplish arahantship by listening to the teachings of Dipankara Buddha. But, I will become an Enlightened One and I am able to make all beings liberated from samsara, and it's not suitable alone to get away from responsibility. Like the Dipankara Buddha I aspire to becoming a Buddha.”

Thus, Ascetic Sumedha gave up his resolution for a great compassion. Meanwhile, Dipankara the Buddha standing near the head of ascetic Sumedha, said preordainment of event to him,

“This hermit who lies here as a bridge at the risk of life, will make his aspiration to become Gotama the Buddha like me in future. His aspiration will come true.”

The crowd jostled and acclaimed the Buddha's preordainment. All beings at the scene rejoiced at this auspicious phenomena by crying out “Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!” (Excellent! Excellent! Excellent!).

After that, Dipankara the Buddha started to move on with deviation from the hermit. The Bodhisatta Sumedha also joyfully got up from his laying prone and was sitting across-legged. He then considered the Dhamma on the Buddha-to-be and comprehended the ten perfections in serial order. Sumedha thus set out on the development of the “Ten Perfections” (Dasa Paramis). In consideration of the power of wisdom again the violent earth-quake had happened.

Posted by Nyan U.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sumedha: His Wealth in Charity

The Buddha Gotama was the lineage of Cakya King. Sumedha the hermit, Bodhisatta of Gotama endowed with the ten perfections (paramis) from that time onwards. Four asankheyyas and one hundred thousand kappas ago, there lived a young boy named Sumedha, the Buddha-to-be in the city of Amaravati.

His ancestors were wealthy families. His mother was very virtuous and a virgin lady without relation with other caste. At the age of 16, he completed a course of study. While he was still young the two parents died. Sumedha inherited his parents' colossal assets. The family treasurer kept the legacy for him. When the time was right, the treasurer made over the financial properties to him.

On account of this, Sumedha considered, “My forbears amass only wealth in succession. Upon death nothing could be taken along.” He was deeply affected by this truth, and made a decision that I might act as to take it along with me. Therefore he thought that he would give away his wealth in charity and made himself a hermit. Then he said, “Take it as you need it!” and renounced every things, and left for the Himalaya. At that place, he saw a monastery and robes which were created by Vissukama, registrar-cum-carpenter of Sakka, the deva-king, and then he was ordained as a hermit.

The hermit Sumedha had practised meditation more and more. Within seven days he attained jhana (intense concentration of mind) and abhinana (transcendental knowledge). If one got Jhana and died, he reached the realm of Brahma. With also abhinana in the very life, he could bear through the earth and the air. Sumedha the hermit thus was wandering in the sky by the power of abhinana.

Sumedha was taking delight in jhana and abhinana. At that time Dipankara the Buddha had arose in the world. One day, Dipankara the Buddha, while on his wandering together with his disciples of Arahants, had reached the city of Rammaka which is neighbouring to Amaravati. People in Rammaka also requested Dipankara the Buddha and 400,000 arahants to accept food offerings from there. On the other hand, the people busied themselves preparing the road which will be used by the Buddha and his disciples. Some of them are putting up decoration, strewing the road-surface with white sand and adorning the roadsides. As a result of that, Sumedha the hermit roaming in the air saw the people rebuilt the road and flied down on land to make inquiry about the event. He knew that Dipankara the Buddha would arrived, so they're preparing the old road.

The hermit was elated at the news and he took responsibility for one part of the worst damaged road. He was filling up the muddy road with the earthling. Before finish, the Buddha arrived at this place. Not to let the Buddha walk on the mud he covered the mud with his robe and tanned leather on which he laid prone himself as a bridge, doing obeisance to the Buddha with his hands put together in anjali.

Posted by Nyan U.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bimbisara, the Ideal Father

Mother is always known to risk her life for carrying in her womb and giving birth to her child. Actually, father never hesitate to give his life for his child too. Literature showed that Bimbisara, the ideal father sacrificed his life to express his affection towards his son.

Bimbisara was the king of Magadha Empire. He extended his kingdom by defeating powerful kings. He used matrimonial alliances to strengthen his position as well. Thus, his empire was three hundred yojana vast with more than eight million villages. According to Mahavagga, he had five hundred queens, most of which senior ones were from his neighbouring powerful countries. He was also famous to have five unbounded wealthy persons (amitabhoga) in his kingdom.

Buddha visited Bimbisara after His enlightenment. Bimbisara offered meal and donated Veluvana Park to Buddha. After listening to Buddha's Maha Varada Kassapa Jataka, Bimbisara became Sotapanna. From then on, until he departed, he supported the further growth of Buddhism.

No matter how efficient and powerful king he might be, he sacrificed his life for his son, giving an example of the ideal father.

The tragic story started when Bimbisara's chief queen was pregnant. At that time, she had craving to drink the king's blood. When the king knew about that, he willingly cut his palm to ooze blood and fulfilled her desire. Owing to this event, the forecasters warned the king that his unborn child would be his enemy. But Bimbisara did not lessen his love at all. He even told his queen to take good care.

The child was born. The forecasters repeated their saying. Bimbisara neglected. The queen named her son ''Ajatasattu'' meaning ''unborn enemy''.

Once, the baby had an abscess in his thumb. He cried continuously of pain. With great love, Bimbisara carried the baby in his lap, keeping the baby's thumb in his mouth. Comfortably, the baby fell asleep. Soon, the abscess bursted out. Not to awake his son, the king swallowed all the pus and blood.

Ajatasattu fully grown up. One night, he attempted to kill his father. But he was caught. Instead of punishment, Bimbisara handed over the throne to his son.

The cruel son imprisoned his father and starved him. Ajatasattu's mother, the only person allowed to visit the king, brought food secretly in various ways for the king. Before long, Ajatasattu learnt about that and banned her entry.

Being Sotapanna, Bimbisara still survived by walking meditation. Then Ajatasattu ordered his men to cut the sole of his father's feet, put salt and oil mixture into it and let him walked on hot coal. Eventually, Bimbisara, the ideal father gave up his life with no regret.

Bimbisara immediately reborned in the Catumaharajika realm as Janavasabha deva.

Ajatasattu would have suffered in the lowest level of hell (avici), for committing Pancanantariya kamma.

Posted by Aye Sat

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Best Gratitude to Parents

The children need to rethink of the good things done for them by their parents. They must cultivate the four sublime states like parents for the reason that they will also become parents in the future. In this way the children are able to express their gratitude to parents for the present. Through this practice the children should seek how good and compassionate are the parents. Simultaneously they really know how difficult is for parents to boost and bring them up.

Whatever the children do will never be enough to repay what have been done for them by their parents. Hence the wise children should honour their mother and father till death. After their death the children should do meritorious deeds for them. If possible, the children should do whatever they can from now. Therefore the Buddha showed how to repay enough for parents. Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi makes it clear again:

But, monks, one who encourages his unbelieving parents, settles and establishes them in faith; who encourages his immoral parents, settles and establishes them in moral discipline; who encourages his stingy parents, settles and establishes them in generosity; who encourages his ignorant parents, settles and establishes them in wisdom __ such a one, monks, does enough for his parents; he repays them and more than repays them for what they have done.

In addition, the Buddha expounded obviously in the Mangala sutta: Matapitu upatthanam. This Pali stanza means, Looking after one's mother and father.

Let us make quite willingly our repayment of endless debts in response. May every children repay parents by the Buddha's way!

Posted by Nyan U.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Upstream: the Children's Cleverness

Aging will happen to each and every one of us because of its natural process. After the filial duty, their body and mind are tired and become very old. They have been afflicted with physical weakness and mostly illness.

It is the best time for children to repay their parents. The children must strongly wish to show gratitude and give help to their parents. They make sure that their duties to parents have been done completely. In this case, it will take a vast amount of patience not to have any grudge against parents.

If near and preferred, the children have a lot of duties to their parents such as:
[1] paying homage and honour
[2] bathing and anointing
[3] taking care of clean clothing and bedding
[4] preparing food, drink and feeding
[5] washing their feet and massage
[6] telling the words of inspiration and encouragement.

In the 'Buddha's Words', by Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi, the Buddha said,

Monks, I declare that there are two persons one can never repay. What two? One's mother and father. Even if one should carry about one's mother on one shoulder and one's father on the other, and while doing so should live a hundred years, reach the age of hundred years; and if one should attend to them by anointing them with balms, by massaging, bathing, and rubbing their limbs, and they should even void their excrements thereby that would one not do enough for one's parents, nor would one repay them. Even if one were to establish one's parents as a supreme lords and rulers over this earth so rich in the seven treasures, one should not enough for them, nor would one repay them. For what reason ? Parents are of great help to their children; they bring them up, feed them and show them the world.

Posted by Nyan U

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Old Age

Grandson: Walk quickly grandpa, why are you so slow?
Grandpa: Because I'm old.
Grandson: Why can't you chew nuts like me grandpa?
Grandpa: Because I'm old.
Grandson: Why do you know more things than me grandpa?
Grandpa: Because I'm old.

Posted by Aye Sat

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Five Names of Parents

Gotama Buddha gave five names to parents such as:-
(1) Brahma, (2) Pubbadevata, (3) Pubbacariya, (4) Ahuneyya, (5) Puratthimadisa.

Loving kindness, compassion, empathetic joy and equanimity are the sublime qualities of Brahma. Similarly everybody can know and find the same qualities within parents. So the Buddha said that parents were called Brahma.

And then even to the married son, the parents have not lessen the sublime states of mind. Like a deity, parents can also forgive the faults of their children and find means to help him. No matter how great he commits sin, parents always forgive. That is why, our Buddha named the parents as a Pubbadevata (deity).

The children grow in age with ignorance. Thus, they need ones who are their own first teachers. These first teachers will introduce them to the incredible world. Most children were taught how to act physically, verbally and mentally. This is called three kamma, viz: kaya kamma, vaci kamma and mano kamma. At the same time, the children can speak, sit, walk, eat and drink by the help of parents. So the Buddha pointed out the parents as the first teachers, Pubbacariya.

The teaching is not only to demarcate the good from the bad, but also love from hatred, polite from rude, and respect from disrespect. Therefore parents are worthy of offerings from children. The Buddha also nominated that parents are Arhuneyya in this aspects.

The parents make sure to provide their children with whatever helps the children might need. No matter how cost it was, parents search by any means and support them. As a result of this responsibility, the Buddha recognized parents as Puratthimadisa (east direction).

So, youngsters of today had better consider would-be parents with five names.

Posted by Nyan U

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Downstream: the Sublime States of Parents

Mother has to take care of what she does and doesn't during the period of pregnancy. Parents radiate loving kindness (metta) towards their foetus in the womb. Meanwhile parents look after the better living and eating for their unseen baby.

Parents are aware of everything day by day, month by month. It seems to be very tired, but they will be feeling happy. At that moment, parents wish that the embryo would be free from sickness and diseases, that the baby be born properly with full organs and has complete body parts.

The pregnant mother has to pay attention continuously to herself on living, sitting, eating and so on. On either side, the responsible father also tries his best for finding ways and means to earn money, that makes everything in their family. The parents' actions are in unison. These are efforts of parents prior to their baby's presence.

After that it's no need to say how hard the mother give birth to a child. On the other hand, the father is very anxious for a moment about his child's health. In most cases parents feel compassion (karuna) when they hear their little baby's crying. They always prevent the harms from the mosquito-biting or any reason.

The baby is growing gradually. He starts smiling, laughing, sitting, walking, running, playing etc. Before long, the baby can speak, sit and run. He plays happily alone with a toy, or even with other baby friends, or other elder ones. On this account, the parents feel empathetic joy (mudita).

The baby comes of age day by day. To get better way of living, parents educate their children at schools. Parents have to provide their children with the educational facilities. After having educated, the adolescent son gets married and stands on his legs. On this occasion, parents feel equanimity (upekkha) on their children.

Posted by Nyan U

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Incredible Strength of Parents

Many people are correlative in connection with each other. It is true. This is done in accordance with the Buddha's words: ''Monks, it's not easy to seek one who has not been formerly your relatives, such as mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, son etc.'' Hence no one can say that appreciation and gratitude were no concern of us. The Buddha also showed gratitude as in Pali ''katannuta'' in Mangala sutta.

Most people can be indebted to somebody. Especially there is a gratitude to the parents. The parents look after their children physically, verbally and mentally throughout the life. Care for their children is very great, grand and gorgeous. It is an incredible experience. One's early childhood did not comprehend how hard parents had been struggled. At the same time, the children were not grateful to their parents for taking care of them. They were enjoying their parent's attending to them a lot. However, parents do not presume that they are utterly fatigued.

The mother carries baby foetus in her womb for ten months. She also removes from baby his urine, excrement, spittle, snot etc. without disgust as if it were yellow sandalwood. And then she plays with her baby in her lap or carries him about at her hip. Simultaneously, his father has to take risks for the baby such as going battles, sailing and other difficulties to make a pile of wealth. In this way the two parents bring their baby up together.

The twos know how hard it is, but nevertheless will be brave enough. These are naturally formed incredible strength of parents.

Posted by Nyan U

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Believe It or Not

Friend: Are your son and daughter-in-law good to you?
Mother: I haven't seen them since their wedding day.
Friend: Where do they live?
Mother: Next door.
Friend: Oh! No.

Posted by Aye Sat

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Five Infinite Venerables

Buddhists usually pay homage to the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha, Parents and Teachers. Precisely, these are the Five Infinite Venerables, worth to revere.
  1. Buddha: the Enlightened one who expounded the Four Noble Truths that lead to Nibbana.
  2. Dhamma: the Teachings of the Buddha by which all beings can distinguish between the bad and the good deeds, and can win Arahantship.
  3. Sangha: the community of those who are Ariyas. They may help the practising Buddhists to do the same.
    So the Buddhists regard these three as ' Triple Gem' or 'Tri-ratana'.
  4. Parents: they restrain their children from doing evil, give care and food, educate for livelihood, arrange marriage and handover their inheritance.
  5. Teachers: they thoroughly instruct, ensure comprehension, provide well-roundedness, provide referrals and ensure safety.

Literature shows that Buddha repaid His parents and teachers.

After enlightenment, Buddha visited His father King Suddhodana. The king attained various stages of fruition and finally won Arahantship after hearing Buddha's Dhamma.

On the Seventh Lent, Buddha went to Tavatimsa Devaloka, where His mother had been reborned. He preached the Abhidhamma Pitika there.

Buddha did not neglect His foster mother, Prajapati Guatami. His Samkhitta Sutta made her Arahant.

Emphasizing the funeral occasion of Prajapati Guatami, Radhika Abeysekera wrote: ''The Buddha walked behind the carriage that carried her body. In this way, by example, the Buddha showed us that we should respect and honour our mothers for the care and love they had given us when we were too young to take care of ourselves.''

Buddha also looked for His former teachers, Alara Kalama and Udaka Ramaputta. They taught Him the ecstatic meditation when He was Bodhisatta. Unfortunatelly, they were dead.

Indeed, paying homage is not enough. We ought to act reciprocally, that is, we must repay them.

Posted by Aye Sat

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Real Honourable Ones

In the Mangala Sutta, the Buddha preached the devas and men at Jetavana monastery near Savatthi. One of His words in Pali ''Puza ca puzaneyyanam.'' It means to honour those worthy of honour.

In my young age, I was not sure to whom I have to pay honour clearly. I thought that there were many elders, teachers, laity, monks, etc. around me. I know vaguely how to select priority. So I learn deeply the Dhamma of the Buddha in search of this information. When I become adolescent, I definitely analyse what the worthy of honour is.

According to the Buddhist traditions, there are five revered ones in order of merit. These are the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha, the Parents and the Teachers.

I have shown how to worship to the Buddha. It is also the same way to the Dhamma and the Sangha serially. Likewise the Buddhists pay respect to their parents and teachers. I do also revere them at all times.

It is said to be 'Pavarana' celebration of Theravada Buddhism on the full moon day of the month of Vassa, the end of Buddhist Lent. Since the time of the Buddha, on this day, each monk must arrive before the group of monks (Sagha). A monk begs one's pardon of any deed which might have displeased any other among Sangha during the Vassa. Similarly there is also in practice among the laity of doing homage to the parents, the teachers, the elders and venerable people, It is a cultural tradition initiated on the example set by the Buddha.

Posted by Nyan U

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Non-Idol Worshiper

If one has a lack of knowledge in Buddhism, he will not know Buddhist customs and traditions. On this account, he can't get a real essence of the Buddha's Dhamma.

In Buddhist tradition, it is customary for Buddhists to build the Buddha images or pagodas. It is also to plant a Bodhi tree in every temple. These customs are to serve as religious objects of veneration.

I take it on trust. Buddhists do not normally pray to idols. I'm not also idol worshiper. What I do is to pay homage to a great teacher who is an exalted one. Our Buddha statues are built as a sign of respect. All Buddhists greatly appreciate for a highest achievement of enlightenment. To me, a Buddhist, the statue is only a mark of representation to recall the Buddha.

The devout ones are not to take worldly chances from the statue. Buddhists pay respect to the great virtues and sanctity of honourable unique teacher as represented by statue. So, whoever else say Buddhists as idol worshiper, I do appreciate and respect the Buddha's attributes which remain forever.

The Gotama Buddha was the only preacher who had a right way to liberation from cycle of rebirths (samsara). The Buddha has also taught us to ''Honour those who are worthy of honour.'' That is shown in Pali as: ''Puja ca puja neyyanam,'' in the Mangala Sutta.

That is why I have a profound admiration for the Buddha who is worthy of honour.

Posted by Nyan U

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Dad: Killing is not good.
Son: That's right.
Dad: Stealing is not good.
Son: Yes.
Dad: Adultery is not good.
Son: Of course.
Dad: Telling lies is not good.
Son: Sure.
Dad: Alcohol and drugs addicting is not good.
Son: Yeah. Then, what is good dad?
Dad: Abstaining all these is good, son.
Son: Excellent dad, excellent!

Posted by Aye Sat

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Right Homage

Prior to paying homage early in the morning, a pious devotee wakes up, washes face, brushes teeth and shaves. Newly bathing is better. White-clothed shows cleanliness and clarity, openness and truth.

He must take a suitable place to do obeisance. The place needs to be free from six faults of location such as: (1) Being too far, (2) being too near, (3) being right at the front, (4) being right at the back, (5) being at the high place, and (6) being against the wind.

With the bare feet the male devotee squats respectfully. Then he kneels in front of the Buddha statue or image. He bows first three times with fivefold manners of touch. Those are the modes of respect that the feet, hands, elbows, knees and forehead touch the floor. In addition, with clasped palm to palm and raised together on the forehead is done. A female devotee should sit with limbs down together.

After that he recites the memorized lines of 'Okasa' (Asking for permission), 'Aham bhante' (Asking for threefold refuge), 'Namotassa', 'Saranagamana', 'Five Precepts' and the Attributes of Triple Ratanas in Pali or vernacular words. The reciting should be in a clear, sweet, calm and steady sound.

In conclusion, he completes the worship with a final bow for three times. Sharing and praising this good deed (Sadhu!) for three times is the sign of termination. This gesture of worshiping in Buddhist tradition may be repeated as long as one's life lasts at any time or by the moment.

Posted by Nyan U.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Angulimala: the Victim of Information

Information technology is booming day after day.Tremendous information exist in various medias. In fact, all that glitters is not gold, it is wise to select valuable ones. Information can do good and or bad to people. Once, Angulimala was the victim of information.

It happened in the time of Buddha. The real name of Angulimala was Ahimsaka,meaning harmless.He was a student of the famous Bhramin guru. He was very strong and hardworking. Soon, he became a favourite student of the teacher.

Being jealous, some of his classmates gave false information to their teacher. Their information was: (1) Ahimsaka had seduced the teacher's wife (2) He bragged that he was wiser than the teacher. The teacher believed them. Then at the end of the training course, he demanded Ahimsaka to give him one thousand fingers as a final traditional gift.

The obedient student, Ahimsaka started to kill people and collected fingers. He strung fingers on a thread and wore it around his neck. Thus, he was called ''Angulimala'' which means necklace of fingers.

See, how bad information could changed a famous teacher into a bad one, and a harmless student into a brutal murderer.

The day arrived, when Angulimala had got 999 fingers. And he was wildly finding his last victim. Coincidentally, his mother came to warn him of the king's intention to arrest him. But he decided to slay her as his thousandth victim. At that moment, he saw Buddha and tried to catch him. But he failed. Instead, Buddha preached him. Some of the Buddha's words to him was: ''I had stopped harming living beings and you are still harming and hurting them''.

Finally, Angulimala mended his life afresh. He became a monk, then an arahant. These are the consequences of getting the good information from Buddha.

Certainly, the bad information creates miseries while the good one is beneficial. And so, why can't we contribute the valuable information?

Posted by Aye Sat

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Informing and Referring Information

Information as a concept has a wide range of meanings from everyday usage to technical settings. A computer is a tool for processing information. The information can be seen in the form of text, data, graphics, images or voice. Informing information is equally important to referring information.

In this information age, there have been great changes in the society of mankind. This evolution is due to the information technology. It is important to remember that the evolution can go on progress or regression. And then the technological progress can also combine with the moral and social regression. So we must take a great care of the brink of a bad and a good breakthrough.

Some information isn't really, what's going on. Be selective about the information we allow inside our mind. Was any of the information helpful to all of us?

Modern information science provides us with a very interesting piece of information about our past, present and future. Nowadays the explosion of information will become tremendous whether we like it or not. On account of this we need to discard a lot of bad information that leads to the evil deeds.

We are making available the good information resources and are sharing these with each other. For future reference we need to keep a necessary information. All information comes to us through our senses by means of the multi media. Meanwhile everybody should try his best to make a decision whether the entering information is real or not.

In fact the ultimate goal is to give and receive the referral information that is beneficial to all purposes.

Posted by Nyan U.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Doing Obeisance to the Buddha

“ Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa.”
Homage to the Blessed One, the Worthy One, the Fully Enlightened One.

Padamyar Myatshin Buddha Image on the terrace of Shwedagon Pagoda

Posted by: Nyan U