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"Never sloth, never lust, never the senses"-
this is clear thinking, which brings great joy.
Suppressing sloth steadily, slowly,
a man climbs the tower of serene wisdom.
Sees, below, the suffering multitudes,
as one from a high hill sees the level plain.

-Dhammapada

NIBBANA: As Buddhists we believe in a beginning-less journey of births and deaths called samsara. We also accept that there are 31 realms, like resting places, in this long samasric journey for beings to be born. These 31 realms are from the lowest i.e. the hell to the highest -Brahma realms.

When a being is caught in the samsaric journey, he delights in whatever birth he gets, so that even a wild buffalo will be delighted in its birth in the animal world for the simple reason that it has no realization of dukka, the Noble Truth of Suffering.

In the same way a puthujjana i.e. a person who has not realized the dhamma will be delighted in his birth as a human being; yet he will undergo endless dukka as long as he continues to be in the samsara.

While a being goes through this samsaric journey, he keeps accumulating all his experiences both pleasant as well as unpleasant by way of mental impressions.

All mental impressions get deposited in our consciousness. These are called sankharas, – loosely translated would mean mental formations. The sankharas lie dormant until such time the right conditions arise for them to trigger off a particular effect.

They are like the roots lying beneath the earth’s surface that grow when the rains come. But, in any form of birth there would be enough and more sankharas to continuously arise dependent on the particular conditions.

The samsaric wheel of births and deaths of a being is turned by these mental formations.

They are called kilesas or defilements being responsible for holding a being tied to the samsaric journey.

These kilesas are actually the mental impressions we keep hankering after.

We would never like to let go of them. Why ? because we have not ‘seen’ the truth or the dhamma, the real nature of things. (more…)

by Ven. Dr. W. Rahula
From: Gems of Buddhist Wisdom

Today is Binara Full Moon Poya day

Maha Pajapati Gotamire questing for permission from the Buddha to establish the order of nuns (Bhikkhuni Sasana)

Binara (full moon Poya commemorates the Buddha’s visit to heaven to preach to his mother and celestial multitude. Also the commencing of the Bhikkhuni (nun’s) Order. Pajapati Gotami approached the Buddha and implored him to establish the Bhikkhuni Order.

Buddhist Missionary Society, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1996

Let us discuss a question often asked by many people: What is the difference between Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism? To see things in their proper perspective, let us turn to the history of Buddhism and trace the emergence and development of Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism.

 

The Buddha was born in the 6th Century B.C. After attaining Enlightenment at the age of 35 until his Mahaparinibbana at the age of 80, he spent his life preaching and teaching. He was certainly one of the most energetic man who ever lived: for forty-five years he taught and preached day and night, sleeping for only about 2 hours a day.

 

The Buddha spoke to all kinds of people: kings and princes, Brahmins, farmers, beggars, learned men and ordinary people. His teachings were tailored to the experiences, levels of understanding and mental capacity of his audience. What he taught was called Buddha Vacana, i.e. word of the Buddha. There was nothing called Theravada or Mahayana at that time.

 

After establishing the Order of monks and nuns, the Buddha laid down certain disciplinary rules called the Vinaya for the guidance of the Order. The rest of his teachings were called the Dhamma which included his discourses, sermons to monks, nuns and lay people. (more…)

Buddha said “Tanhaya jayati soko, tanhaya jayati bhayam, tanhaya vippa muttassa, natti soko kuto bhayam” (Dmp. 16:216). It means that from craving springs grief, from craving springs fear, and for him who is holy and free from craving, there is no grief, much less fear.

Every Buddhist must have a copy of the Dhammapada at home, as its guiding light illuminates the mind to lead a virtuous life. He must read it and understand it, to achieve the best results.

The Dhammapada is a compendium of 423 verses abridged from the Khuddaka Nikaya of the Sutta Pitaka (one of the divisions of the Three Pitakas). The Sutta Pitaka contsists mainly of discourses delivered by the Buddha, during his 45 years of ministration. In addition, there are also few discourses delivered by some of his distinguished disciples, such as Ven. Sariputta, Moggallana and Ananda. (more…)

What good is a yellow robe if your mind is not pure?
What will the robe do, if truth is lacking, discipline is denied?

Cast aside meanness, stand on virtue,
learn discipline and speak the truth.
Then will the robe fit you.

– The Dhammapada (Ten Twin Verses)

"What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind If a man speaks or acts with an impure mind, suffering follows him; if a man speaks or acts with a pure mind, joy follows him     1-2

"Those who think the unreal is and think the real is not, they shall never reach the truth, lost in the path of wrong thought.  But those who know the real is and know the unreal is not, they shall indeed reach the truth, safe on the path of right thought."        11-12

"The man who is disturbed by wrong thoughts, whose selfish passions are strong and who only seeks sensuous pleasures, increases his craving desires and makes stronger the chains he forges for himself.  But he who enjoys peaceful thoughts, who considers the sorrows of pleasure, and whoever remembers the light of his life – he will see the end of his cravings; he will break the chains of death.  He has reached the end of his journey, he trembles not, his cravings are gone, he is free from sin, he has burnt the thorns of life.  He is free from lust, he is free from greed, he knows the meaning of words, and the meaning of their combinations, he is a great man, a great man who sees the light.  I have conquered all; I know all, and my life is pure; I have left all, and I am free from craving."      -349-353

"Good is the control of the eye, ear, smell and taste.  Good is the control of the body, words, mind and our whole inner life.  When a person has achieved perfect self-control, he leaves all sorrows behind."     -360-361

"He who has broken the five fetters – lust, hate, delusion, pride, false views – is one who is crossed to the other shore."

-Dhammapada

By Suryacitta

A man who had been practicing meditation for many years, and who’d experienced a host of cosmic experiences went to a famous master for confirmation of his spiritual achievement. The master said “sit down, I’d like to ask you a few questions first.”

“Who are you?” asked the master.

“My name is William,” replied the man.

“I didn’t ask your name, but who you are,” said the master.

“I’m British,” replied the man.

“I didn’t ask your nationality, but who you are,” replied the master.

“I’m a husband and father of two sons.”

“I didn’t ask whether you are a father or not, but who you are.”

“I’m an architect.”

“I didn’t ask what your profession is, but who you are.”

“I’m a Buddhist.” And on and on it went.

“Who are you?”

“In my spare time I help the poor and needy.”

“I didn’t ask about your spare time, but who you are.”

“I’m a meditator.”

This went on and on no matter how many times he was asked he couldn’t see the master’s point.

The master finally says, “When you know your appearance from who you really are, come back.” (more…)

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