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.