[44] The Problems Of Life

08 Tháng Mười 20209:26 CH(Xem: 4277)
[44] The Problems Of Life

TheBuddhaAndHisTeachings_AThe Buddha And His Teachings - Đức PhậtPhật Pháp
Venerable Nārada Mahāthera
Phạm Kim Khánh dịch Việt
Source-Nguồn: dhammatalks.net, budsas.org







Who? Whence? Whither? Why? What? are some important problems that affect all humanity.


1) Who is man? is our first question.


Let us proceed with what is self-evident and perceptible to all.


Man possesses a body which is seen either by our senses or by means of apparatus. This material body consists of forces and qualities which are in a state of constant flux.


Scientists find it difficult to define what matter is. Certain philosophers define "matter as that in which proceed the changes called motion, and motion as those changes which proceed in matter. [1]"


The Pāli term for matter is Rūpa. It is explained as that which changes or disintegrates. That which manifests itself is also another explanation.


According to Buddhism there are four fundamental material elements. They are Pathavi, Āpo, Tejo, and Vāyo


Pathavi means the element of extension, the substratum of matter. Without it objects cannot occupy space. The qualities of hardness and softness which are purely relative are two conditions of this element. This element of extension is present in earth, water, fire and air. For instance, the water above is supported by water below. It is this element of extension in conjunction with the element of motion (Vāyo) that produces the upward pressure. Heat or cold is the Tejo element, while fluidity is the Āpo element.


Āpo is the element of cohesion. Unlike Pathavi it is intangible. It is this element which enables the scattered atoms of matter to cohere and thus gives us the idea of body.


Tejo is the element of heat. Cold is also a form of Tejo. Both heat and cold are included in Tejo because they possess the power of maturing bodies, or, in other words, the vitalizing energy. Preservation and decay are due to this element.


Vāyo is the element of motion. The movements are caused by this element. Motion is regarded as the force or the generator of heat. Both motion and heat in the material realm correspond respectively to consciousness and Kamma in the mental.


These four powerful forces are inseparable and interrelated, but one element may preponderate over another, as, for instance, the element of extension preponderates in earth; cohesion, in water; heat, in fire; and motion, in air.


Thus, matter consists of forces and qualities which constantly change not remaining the same even for two consecutive moments. According to Buddhism matter endures only for 17 thought-moments. [2]


At the moment of birth, according to biology, man inherits from his parents an infinitesimally minute cell 30 millionth part of an inch across. "In the course of nine months this speck grows to a living bulk 15,000 million times greater than it was at outset. [3] This tiny chemico-physical cell is the physical foundation of man.


According to Buddhism sex is also determined at the moment of conception.


Combined with matter there is another important factor in this complex machinery of man. It is the mind. As such it pleases some learned writers to say that man is not Mind plus Body, but is a Mind-Body. Scientists declare that life emerges from matter and mind from life. But they do not give us a satisfactory explanation with regard to the development of the mind


Unlike the material body immaterial mind is invisible, but it could be sensed directly. An old couplet runs:-


"What is mind? No matter.
What is matter? Never mind."


We are aware of our thoughts and feelings and so forth by direct sensation, and we infer their existence in others by analogy.


There are several Pāli terms for mind. Mana, Citta, Vi񱦣257;na are the most noteworthy of them. Compare the Pāli root man, to think, with the English word man and the Pāli word Manussa which means he who has a developed consciousness.


In Buddhism no distinction is made between mind and consciousness. Both are used as synonymous terms. Mind may be defined as simply the awareness of an object since there is no agent or a soul that directs all activities. It consists of fleeting mental states which constantly arise and perish with lightning rapidity. "With birth for its source and death for its mouth it persistently flows on like a river receiving from the tributary streams of sense constant accretions to its flood." Each momentary consciousness of this ever-changing life-stream, on passing away, transmits its whole energy, all the indelibly recorded impressions, to its successor. Every fresh consciousness therefore consists of the potentialities of its predecessors and something more. As all impressions are indelibly recorded in this ever-changing palimpsest-like mind, and as all potentialities are transmitted from life to life, irrespective of temporary physical disintegrations, reminiscence of past births or past incidents becomes a possibility. If memory depends solely on brain cells, it becomes an impossibility.


Like electricity mind is both a constructive and destructive powerful force. It is like a double-edged weapon that can equally be used either for good or evil. One single thought that arises in this invisible mind can even save or destroy the world. One such thought can either populate or depopulate a whole country. It is mind that creates one's heaven. It is mind that creates one's hell.


Ouspensky writes:--"Concerning the latent energy contained in the phenomena of consciousness, i.e. in thoughts, feelings, desires, we discover that its potentiality is even more immeasurable, more boundless. From personal experience, from observation, from history, we know that ideas, feelings, desires, manifesting themselves, can liberate enormous quantities of energy, and create infinite series of phenomena. An idea can act for centuries and milleniums and only grow and deepen, evoking ever new series of phenomena, liberating ever fresh energy. We know that thoughts continue to live and act when even the very name of the man who created them has been converted into a myth, like the names of the founders of ancient religions, the creators of the immortal poetical works of antiquity, heroes, leaders, and prophets. Their words are repeated by innumerable lips, their ideas are studied and commented upon.


"Undoubtedly each thought of a poet contains enormous potential force, like the power confined in a piece of coal or in a living cell, but infinitely more subtle, imponderable and potent. [4]"


Observe, for instance, the potential force that lies in the following significant words of the Buddha:


-- Mano-pubba񧡭ā dhammā ? mano - setthā - manomayā.
Mind fore-runs deeds; mind is chief, and mind-made are they.


Mind or consciousness, according to Buddhism, arises at the very moment of conception, together with matter. Consciousness is therefore present in the foetus. This initial consciousness, technically known as rebirth-consciousness or relinking-consciousness (Patisandhi vi񱦣257;na), is conditioned by past kamma of the person concerned. The subtle mental, intellectual, and moral differences that exist amongst mankind are due to this Kamma conditioned consciousness, the second factor of man.


To complete the trio that constitutes man there is a third factor, the phenomenon of life that vitalizes both mind and matter. Due to the presence of life reproduction becomes possible. Life manifests itself both in physical and mental phenomena. In Pāli the two forms of life are termed Nāma jivitindriya and Rūpa jivitindriya -- psychic and physical life.


Matter, mind, and life are therefore the three distinct factors that constitute man. With their combination a powerful force known as man with inconceivable possibilities comes into being. He becomes his own creator and destroyer. In him are found a rubbish-heap of evil and a storehouse of virtue. In him are found the worm, the brute, the man, the superman, the deva, the Brahma. Both criminal tendencies and saintly characteristics are dormant in him. He may either be a blessing or a curse to himself and others. In fact man is a world by himself.


2) Whence? is our second question.


How did man originate'?


Either there must be a beginning for man or there cannot be a beginning. Those who belong to the first school postulate a first cause, whether as a cosmic force or as an Almighty Being. Those who belong to the second school deny a first cause for, in common experience, the cause ever becomes the effect and the effect becomes the cause. In a circle of cause and effect a first cause is inconceivable. According to the former life has had a beginning; while according to the latter it is beginningless. In the opinion of some the conception of a first cause is as ridiculous as a round triangle.


According to the scientific standpoint, man is the direct product of the sperm and ovum cells provided by his parents. Scientists while asserting "Omne vivum ex vivo"--all life from life, maintain, that mind and life evolved from the lifeless.


Now, from the scientific standpoint, man is absolutely parent-born. As such life precedes life. With regard to the origin of the first protoplasm of life, or "colloid" (whichever we please to call it), scientists plead ignorance.


According to Buddhism man is born from the matrix of action (kammayoni). Parents merely provide man with a material layer. As such being precedes being. At the moment of conception, it is Kamma that conditions the initial consciousness that vitalizes the foetus. It is this invisible Kammic energy generated from the past birth that produces mental phenomena and the phenomenon of life in an already extant physical phenomenon, to complete the trio that constitutes man.


Dealing with the conception of beings the Buddha states:--


"Where three are found in combination, there a germ of life is planted. If mother and father come together, but it is not the mother's period, and the 'being-to-be born' (gandhabba) is not present, then no germ of life is planted. If mother and father come together, and it is the mother's period, but the 'being-to-be-born' is not present, then again no germ of life is planted. If mother and father come together, and it is the mother's period, and the 'being-to-bc-born' is also present, then, by the combination of these three, a germ of life is there planted."


Here Gandhabba (= gantabba) refers to a suitable being ready to be born in that particular womb. This term is used only in this particular connection, and must not be mistaken for a permanent soul.


For a being to be born here a being must die somewhere. The birth of a being corresponds to the death of a being in a past life; just as, in conventional terms, the rising of the sun in one place means the setting of the sun in another place.


The Buddha states:--"a first beginning of beings who, obstructed by ignorance and fettered by craving, wander and fare on, is not to be perceived."


This life-stream flows ad infinitum as long as it is fed with the muddy waters of ignorance and craving. When these two are completely cut off, then only does the life-stream cease to flow; rebirth ends as in the case of Buddhas and Arahants. An ultimate beginning of this life-stream cannot be determined, as a stage cannot be perceived when this life force was not fraught with ignorance and craving.


The Buddha has here referred merely to the beginning of the life-stream of living beings. It is left to scientists to speculate on the origin and the evolution of the universe.


3) Whither? is our third question.


Where goes man?


According to ancient materialism which, in Pāli and Samskrit, is known as Lokāyata, man is annihilated after death, leaving behind him any force generated by him. "Man is composed of four elements. When man dies the earthy element returns and relapses into the earth; the watery element returns into the water; the fiery element returns into the fire; the airy element returns into the air, the senses pass into space.


Wise and fools alike, when the body dissolves. are cut off, perish, do not exist any longer. There is no other world. Death is the end of all. This present world alone is real.


The so-called eternal heaven and hell are the inventions of imposters. [5]


Materialists believe only in what is cognizable by the senses. As such matter alone is real. The ultimate principles are the four elements -- earth, water, fire and air. The self conscious life mysteriously springs forth from them, just as the genie makes its appearance when Aladdin rubs his lamp. The brain secretes thought just as liver secretes bile.


In the view of materialists the belief in the other world, as Sri Radhakrishna states, "is a sign of mendaciousness, feminism, weakness, cowardice and dishonesty."


According to Christianity there is no past for man. The present is only a preparation for two eternities of heaven and hell. Whether they are viewed as places or states man has for his future endless felicity in heaven or endless suffering in hell. Man is therefore not annihilated after death, but his essence goes to eternity.


"Whoever," as Schopenhaeur says, "regards himself as having become out of nothing must also think that he will again become nothing; or that an eternity has passed before he was, and then a second eternity had begun, through which he will never cease to be, is a monstrous thought."


The adherents of Hinduism who believe in a past and present do not state that man is annihilated after death. Nor do they say that man is eternalized after death. They believe in an endless series of past and future births. In their opinion the life-stream of man flows ad infinitum as long as it is propelled by the force of Kamma, one's actions. In due course the essence of man may be reabsorbed into Ultimate Reality (Paramātma) from which his soul emanated.


Buddhism believes in the present. With the present as the basis it argues the past and future. Just as an electric light is the outward manifestation of invisible electric energy even so man is merely the outward manifestation of an invisible energy known as Kamma. The bulb may break, and the light may be extinguished, but the current remains and the light may be reproduced in another bulb. In the same way the Kammic force remains undisturbed by the disintegration of the physical body, and the passing away of the present consciousness leads to the arising of a fresh one in another birth. Here the electric current is like the Kammic force, and the bulb may be compared to the egg-cell provided by the parents.


Past Kamma conditions the present birth; and present Kamma, in combination with past Kamma, conditions the future. The present is the offspring of the past, and becomes in turn the parent of the future.


Death is therefore not the complete annihilation of man, for though that particular life span ended, the force which hitherto actuated it is not destroyed.


After death the life-flux of man continues ad infinitum as long as it is fed with the waters of ignorance and craving. In conventional terms man need not necessarily be born as a man because humans are not the only living beings. Moreover, earth, an almost insignificant speck in the universe, is not the only place in which he will seek rebirth. He may be born in other habitable planes as well. [6]


If man wishes to put and end to this repeated series of births, he can do so as the Buddha and Arahants have done by realizing Nibbāna, the complete cessation of all forms of craving.


Where does man go? He can go wherever he wills or likes if he is fit for it. If, with no particular wish, he leaves his path to be prepared by the course of events, he will go to the place or state he fully deserves in accordance with his Kamma.


4) Why? is our last question.


Why is man? Is there a purpose in life? This is rather a controversial question.


What is the materialistic standpoint? Scientists answer:-


"Has life purpose? What, or where, or when?
Out of space came Universe, came Sun,
Came Earth, came Life, came Man, and more must come.

But as to Purpose: whose or whence? Why, None."


As materialists confine themselves purely to sense-data and the present material welfare ignoring all spiritual values, they hold a view diametrically opposite to that of moralists. In their opinion there is no purposer -- hence there cannot be a purpose. Non-theists, to which category belong Buddhists as well, do not believe in a creative purposer.


"Who colours wonderfully the peacocks, or who makes the cuckoos coo so well?" This is one of the chief arguments of the materialists to attribute everything to the natural order of things.


"Eat, drink, and be merry, for death comes to all, closing our lives," appears to be the ethical ideal of their system. In their opinion, as Sri Radhakrishna writes:-- Virtue is a delusion and enjoyment is the only reality. Death is the end of life. Religion is a foolish aberration, a mental disease. There was a distrust of everything good, high, pure, and compassionate. The theory stands for sensualism and selfishness and the gross affirmation of the loud will. There is no need to control passion and instinct, since they are nature's legacy to men. [7]"


Sarvadarsana Sangraha says:--


"While life is yours, live joyously,
None can escape Death's searching eye;
When once this frame of ours they burn,
How shall it e'er again return? [8]"


"While life remains let a man live happily, let him feed on ghee even though he runs in debt."


Now let us turn towards science to get a solution to the question "why."


It should be noted that "science is a study of things, a study of what is and that religion is a study of ideals, a study of what should be."


Sir J. Arthur Thompson maintains that science is incomplete because it cannot answer the question why.


Dealing with cosmic Purpose, Bertrand Russell states three kinds of views -- theistic, pantheistic, and emergent. "The first", he writes, "holds that God created the world and decreed the laws of nature because he foresaw that in time some good would be evolved. In this view purpose exists consciously in the mind of the Creator, who remains external to His creation.


"In the 'pantheistic' form, God is not external to the universe, but is merely the universe considered as a whole. There cannot therefore be an act of creation, but there is a kind of creative force in the universe, which causes it to develop according to a plan which this creative force may be said to have had in mind throughout the process.


"In the 'emergent' form the purpose is more blind. At an earlier stage, nothing in the universe foresees a later stage, but a kind of blind impulsion leads to those changes which bring more developed forms into existence, so that, in some rather obscure sense, the end is implicit in the beginning. [9]"


We offer no comments. These are merely the views of different religionists and great thinkers.


Whether there is a cosmic purpose or not a question arises as to the usefulness of the tapeworm, snakes, mosquitoes and so forth, and for the existence of rabies. How does one account for the problem of evil? Are earthquakes, floods, pestilences, and wars designed?


Expressing his own view about Cosmic Purpose, Russell boldly declares:--"Why in any case, this glorification of man? How about lions and tigers? They destroy fewer animals or human lives than we do, and they are much more beautiful than we are. How about ants? They manage the Corporate State much better than any Fascist. Would not a world of nightingales and larks and deer be better than our human world of cruelty and injustice and war?


The believers in cosmic purpose make much of our supposed intelligence, but their writings make one doubt it. If I were granted omnipotence, and millions of years to experiment in, I should not think Man much to boast of as the final result of all my efforts. [10]"


What is the purpose of life according to different religions?


According to Hinduism the purpose of life is "to be one with Brahma" or "to be re-absorbed in the Divine Essence from which his soul emanated."


According to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, it is "to glorify God and to enjoy Him for ever."


Will an average person of any religion be prepared to give up his earthly life, to which he tenaciously clings, for immortality in their ultimate havens of peace?


Very doubtful, indeed!


* * *


Now, how does Buddhism answer the question "why?"


Buddhism denies the existence of a Creator. As such from a Buddhist standpoint there cannot be a fore-ordained purpose. Nor does Buddhism advocate fatalism, determinism, or pre-destination which controls man's future independent of his free actions. In such a case freewill becomes an absolute farce and life becomes purely mechanistic.


To a large extent man's actions are more or less mechanistic, being influenced by his own doings, upbringing, environment and so forth. But to a certain extent man can exercise his freewill. A person, for instance, falling from a cliff will be attracted to the ground just as an inanimate stone would. In this case he cannot use his freewill although he has a mind unlike the stone. If he were to climb a cliff, he could certainly use his freewill and act as he likes. A stone, on the contrary, is not free to do so of its own accord. Man has the power to choose between right and wrong, good and bad. Man can either be hostile or friendly to himself and others. It all depends on his mind and its development.


Although there is no specific purpose in man's existence, yet man is free to have some purpose in life.


What, therefore, is the purpose of life?


Ouspensky writes:--"Some say that the meaning of life is in service, in the surrender of self, in self-sacrifice, in the sacrifice of everything, even life itself. Others declare that the meaning of life is in the delight of it, relieved against 'the expectation of the final horror of death.' Some say that the meaning of life is in perfection, and the creation of a better future beyond the grave, or in future life for ourselves. Others say that the meaning of life is in the approach to non-existence; still others, that the meaning of life is in the perfection of the race, in the organization of life on earth; while there are those who deny the possibility of even attempting to know its meaning."


Criticising all these views the learned writer says:--"The fault of all these explanations consists in the fact that they all attempt to discover the meaning of life outside of itself, either in the nature of humanity, or in some problematical existence beyond the grave, or again in the evolution of the Ego throughout many successive incarnations -- always in something outside of the present life of man. But if instead of thus speculating about it, men would simply look within themselves, then they would see that in reality the meaning of life is not after all so obscure. It consists in knowledge. [11]"


In the opinion of a Buddhist, the purpose of life is Supreme Enlightenment (Sambodhi), i.e. understanding of oneself as one really is. This may be achieved through sublime conduct, mental culture, and penetrative insight; or in other words, through service and perfection.


In service are included boundless loving-kindness, compassion, and absolute selflessness which prompt man to be of service to others. Perfection embraces absolute purity and absolute wisdom.







Chapter 1


[1] Corresponding to Pāli Vesākha, Samskrit --Vaisākha, and Simhala Vesak.


[2] Unlike the Christian Era the Buddha Era is reckoned from the death of the Buddha, which occurred in 543 B.C. (in His 80th year), and not from His birth.


[3] A pillar, erected at this sacred spot by King Asoka, still stands to this day to commemorate the event.


[4] The site of Kapilavatthu has been identified with Bhuila (Bhulya) in the Basti district, three miles from the Bengal and N. W. Railway station of Babuan.


[5] See the genealogical table.


[6] Gotama is the family name, and Sākya is the name of the race to which the Buddha belonged.


Tradition holds that the sons of King Okkāka of the Mahāsammata line, were exiled through the plotting of their step-mother. These princes, in the course of their wanderings, arrived at the foothills of the Himalayas. Here they met the sage Kapila, on whose advice, and after whom, they founded the city of Kapilavatthu, the site of Kapila.


King Okkāka, hearing of the enterprise of the princes, exclaimed -- "Sakyā vata bho rājakumārā -- Capable, indeed, are the noble princes." Hence the race and the kingdom they originated were known by the name Sākya.


The Sākya kingdom was situated in South Nepal and extended over much of modern Oudh. See E. J. Thomas, Life of Buddha, p. 6.


[7] See Warren, Buddhism in Translations, p. 49 and Jātaka Commentary.


On Asita's advice his nephew Nālaka renounced the world and when the prince, as expected, attained Buddhahood, he heard His teaching and became an Arahant. See Nālaka Sutta, Sutta Nipata, p. 131.


[8] Arūpalokas are immaterial planes where those who have developed the Arūpa Jhānas (Absorptions or Ecstasies) are born.


[9] Samskrit -- Siddhārtha Gautama.


[10] Hearing that Prince Siddhattha renounced the world, this Konda񱡠and four sons of the other seven brahmins retired from the world and joined him as his followers. These were the first five Chief Disciples of the Buddha. See Ch. VI.


[11] See Majjhima Nikāya, Mahā Saccaka Sutta-No. 36.


[12] Jhāna -- a developed state of consciousness gained by concentration.


[13] Also known as Bhaddakaccānā, Bimbā, Rāhulamātā.


[14] A province in Central India noted for silk. Modern Benares was its capital.


[15] Anguttara Nikāya, part I, p. 145; Gradual Sayings, part I p. 128.


[16] Majjhima Nikāya. Part 1, Ariyapariyesana Sutta No.26, p. 163.


[17] Majjhima Nikāya, Part 1, Mahā Saccaka Sutta, No. 36


[18] "Seeing the four signs, I set out on horse-back ..." Buddhavamsa, XXVI, p. 65.


[19] Lit., bound or seized (la) by a fetter (rāhu).


[20] The third Arūpa Jhāna.


[21] The fourth Arūpa Jhāna




Chapter 2


[1] Majjhima Nikāya No. 36, Vol. 1, p. 242.


[2] Another name for Māra. According to the Books there are five kinds of Māras -- namely, i. Deity Māra (Devaputta), ii. Passion (Kilesa), iii. Kammic Activities (Abhisamkhāra), iv. Aggregates (Khandha) and v. Death (Maccu).


[3] Sutta Nipāta -- Padhāna Sutta, p. 74.


[4] Tato -- Pali Text Society's edition.


[5] Resulting from voluntary poverty.


[6] That is, indecision as to the certainty of the Goal.


[7] Warriors wear Mu񪡠grass crest on their heads or on their banners to indicate that they will not retreat from the battle-field


[8] Sangāme me matam seyyo -- Ya񠣥 jīve parājito


[9] See Ch. I.


[10] Āsavas (Defilements) -- are those which flow right up to the top-most plane of existence with respect to spheres, or right up to the Gotrabhū state, with respect to mind-flux. There are four Āsavas, viz: Sense-desires (Kāma), Becoming (Bhava), False Views (Ditthi) and Ignorance (Avijjā). In this particular text only three are mentioned. Here Bhava means the desire to be born in the realms of form and formless realms (Rūpa and Arūpa Bhava).


[11] Vimutto'smi.


[12] Khinā jāti, vusitam brahmacariyam, katam karaniyam nāparam itthattaya.




Chapter 3


[1] His disciples addressed Him as Buddha, Bhagavā (Exalted One), Sugata (Well-gone One) etc, while alien followers addressed Him as Bho Gotama, (Venerable Gotama), Samana Gotama (Ascetic Gotama), etc., Referring to Himself the Buddha used the term "Tathāgata" meaning "He who hath thus come", "He who hath thus gone."


[2] Samskrit -- Bodhisattva.


[3] Samyutta Nikāya part iii, p. 66; Kindred Sayings, part iii, p. 58.


[4] Majjhima Nikāya, Ariyapariyesana Sutta N. 26.


[5] Such as Konda񱡬 Alāra Kālāma, Uddakka Rāmaputta etc.


[6] Majjhima Nikāya, Ariyapariyesana Sutta, N. 26.


[7] A celestial being who resides in heavenly planes.


[8] A heavenly musician.


[9] A demon.


[10] Gradual Sayings, Pt. ii, pp. 44-45, Anguttara Nikāya Pt. ii -- p.37.


[11] Paritrānāya sādhūnām vināsāya ca duskrtām.
 Dharmsamsthāpanārthāya sambhavāmi yuge yuge.


[12] Hindu teachers, however, with the object of bringing within the fold of Hinduism the increasing adherents of Buddhism, have unjustly called the Buddha God's incarnation (Avatāra) -- an idea which He repudiated in His own time.


[13] Suddhi asuddhi paccattam n'a񱯠a񱡭 visodhaye. Dhammapada v. 165.


[14] Tumhehi kiccam ātappam akkhātāro tathāgatā.. Dhammapada v. 276


[15] Attadipā viharatha, attapatisaranā ana񱡳aranā. Dīgha Nikāya, Mahāparinibbāna Sutta Vol. 2, p. 100.


[16] Dwight Goddard -- Buddhist Bible, p. 20.


[17] (Gautama the Buddha, p. 1.)




Chapter 4




[1] The famous Pipal tree at Buddha Gayā in northern India which sheltered Him during His struggle for Enlightenment.


[2] Sea Chapter 25


[3] Brahmin is a racial term which means "one who studies the Vedas", generally applied to the priestly caste. Sometimes the Buddha uses this term in the sense of "one who has discarded evil" -- a Saint.


In this book "Brahmana" is used to denote a Saint, and "Brahmin", to denote a member of that particular caste.


[4] On the spot where the Buddha stood, a Cetiya has been erected by King Asoka. This was named Animisalocana Cetiya and is still to be seen.


[5] The right-hand branch of the original Bodhi tree which was brought to Ceylon by Sanghamittā Theri and planted by King Devānampiyatissa at Anuradhapura, the ancient capital of Ceylon, still exists in a flourishing condition, though more than 2200 years old.


[6] So called because the Buddha reflected on the jewels of the Abhidhamma.


[7] Namely, blue (nīla), yellow (pīta), red (lohita), white (odāta), orange (ma񪥴tha) and a mixture of these five colours (pabhassara).


[8] Uddāna, p. i.


[9] These three cannot be personified passions as the incident took place after the Enlightenment.


[10] This Naga King cannot be a human being. The Vinaya texts also cite an interesting story of a serpent who, assuming the form of a human being, lived for some time as a Bhikkhu in robes.


[11] Sukho viveko tutthassa sutadhammassa passato
 Abyāpajjham sukham loke pānabhūtesu samyamo
 Sukhā virāgatā loke kāmānam samatikkamo
 Asmimānassa yo vinayo etam ve paramam sukham.
 Uddāna p. 10.


[12] i.e., Craving (tanhā).


[13] Body.


[14] Passions (kilesa)


[15] Ignorance (avijj ā ).


[16] Nibbāna




Chapter 5


[1] Anguttara Nikāya: part ii, p. 20; Gradual Sayings, part ii, p. 20.


[2] This discourse was delivered by the Buddha while residing at Jetavana, Sāvatthi, long after the establishment of the Order of the Sangha. He showed His reverence towards the Sangha by requesting the Queen Mahā Pajāpati Gotami to offer to the Sangha the robe specially prepared for Him.


[3] Paralokavajjabhayadassāvino.


[4] Apārutā tesam amatassa dvārā - ye sotavantā pamu񣡮tu saddham


[5] See Majjhima Nikāya, Ariyapariyesana Sutta, No. 26


[6] Devatās (Pāli) are terrestrial or celestial deities, a class of beings, who, as a rule, are invisible to the physical eye. This particular feminine deity had been related to the merchants in a previous birth. It is interesting to note the non-human element appearing in various places connected with the life of the Buddha.


[7] Sattu, fried flour, and Madhu, honey, were a regular diet of travellers in India in the ancient days.


[8] Cātummahārājikas, the Guardian Deities of the four quarters.


[9] The commentary states that the Buddha wished that the four bowls be amalgamated into one


[10] Buddham saranam gacchāmi (I seek refuge in the Buddha), Dhammam saranam gacchāmi (I seek refuge in the Dhamma), is the twofold formula. As the Sangha or the Noble Order was not in existence then they did not recite the third -- Sangham saranam gacchāmi (I seek refuge in the Sangha). One becomes a Buddhist by intelligently reciting the Three Refuges.


[11] The Jātaka commentary relates that when these two first converts begged of the Buddha to give them an object of worship the Buddha touched His head and presented them some hair relics.


It is believed that these relics have been enshrined in the modern Swe Dagon Pagoda in Rangoon, the pride and glory of Burmese Buddhists. This bell-shaped massive Cetiya appears like a golden mountain from a distance.


[12] The first religious teacher who taught the Bodhisatta the Jhānas extending up to the Realm of Nothingness (Aki񣡱񦣲57;yatana).


[13] The second religious teacher who taught the Bodhisatta the highest state of mundane mental development, The Realm of Neither Perception nor Non-Perception (N'eva sa񱦣257; n' āsa񱦣257;yatana).


[14] The Buddha uttered these words because He attained Enlightenment by Himself without the aid of a teacher. He had teachers before His Enlightenment, but nobody taught Him the way to attain Buddhahood. It is therefore not correct to say that Buddhism is a natural outgrowth of Hinduism.


[15] Majjhima Nikāya, Ariyapariyesana Sutta, N, 26.


[16] See chapter 6.


[17] Lit. Stream-Winner.


[18] See chapter 6.




Chapter 6


[1] Sri Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, vol. 1, pp. 281-282.


[2] Mahāvagga p. 10, Samyutta Nikāya Vol. V, p. 420.


[3] Modern Saranath where, in a former existence, the Master sacrificed His life to save a helpless doe and her unborn little one. The locality takes its modern name from the Bodhisatta who, in that ancient birth, was Sāranganātha, protector of the deer.


[4] Kāmasukhallikānuyoga.


[5] Attakilamathānuyoga.


[6] Lit. -- "Thus who hath come" or "Thus who hath gone." When the Buddha refers to Himself He usually uses this epithet.


[7] Subjugation of passions.


[8] Realization of the Four Noble Truths.


[9] Attainment of the four Paths and four Fruits of Saintship.


[10] Pa񣦣257;pādānakkhandha -- According to Buddhism this so-called being is composed of five groups, viz: Rūpa, matter, Vedanā, feeling, Sa񱦣257;, perception, Samkhārā, mental states and Vi񱦣257;na, consciousness. These are the five psycho-physical component parts that constitute an individual. Matter is composed of forces and qualities. Mind too is composed of mental states (cetasikas). They are fifty-two in number. of them Vedanā, and Sa񱦣257; are treated as two distinct groups. The remaining fifty are collectively called Samkhārā.


[11] They are: (i) the knowledge of the Four Truths (sacca񦣲57;na); (ii) the knowledge as regards the respective function of the Four Truths (kicca񦣲57;na); and (iii) the knowledge that the respective function of each Truth has been accomplished (kata 񦣲57;na).


[12] Each Truth consists of three aspects. Thus four Truths consist of twelve modes.


[13] The reference is to the fruit of Arahantship (Arahattaphala)


[14] Dhammacakkhu signifies any of the lower three Paths Sotāpatti, Sakadāgāmi, and Anāgāmi. Konda񱡠attained the first stage of Sainthood (Sotāpatti). The other Bhikkhus attained Sotāpatti later.


[15] Yam ki񣩠samudayadhammam sabbam tam nirodha-dhammam.


[16] Celestial beings of Deva and Brahma planes.


[17] Mahāvagga, p. 13; Samyutta Nikāya pt. iii, p. 66.


[18] A permanent unchanging entity, created by a God or emanating from a Paramātma (Divine Essence).


[19] The so-called being is composed of these five aggregates. Outside these five there is no being. If one removes the aggregates, nothing remains. A soul abides neither in any one group or aggregate nor in all of them nor outside them.


[20] The Buddha makes the same assertion as above in connection with each of the remaining four component parts of the so-called being. The Buddha raises similar queries with regard to each of the other constituents of being. The translation is abridged here.


[21] With craving (tanhā) one erroneously thinks -- This is mine. With pride (māna) one thinks -- This am I. With false view one thinks -- This is my soul. These are the three misconceptions (ma񱡮ā).


[22] That is, they all attained Arahantship.




Chapter 7


[1] This event took place on the fifth day after the delivery of the first sermon when all the five Bhikkhus had attained Arahantship.


[2] By Pabbajjā, lit., going forth or renunciation, is meant the mere admission into the Holy Order by seeking refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma and the Sangha.


[3] In the early days of the Order the Higher Ordination -- Upasampadā --lit., replete with a higher morality, was granted with these words. See ch. 14


[4] Upāsaka (m) upasikā (f.) lit., one who closely associates with the Triple Gem. These two terms are applied to male and female lay followers of the Buddha. One becomes an Upāsaka or Upāsikā immediately after taking the three Refuges, viz:


Buddham saranam gacchāmi -- I seek refuge in the Buddha.
Dhammam saranam gacchāmi -- I seek refuge in the Doctrine.
Sangham saranam gacchāmi -- I seek refuge in the Order.


This is the threefold formula (Tevācika).


[5] Mahāvagga, pp.19, 20.


[6] Note the reference to gods (Devas).


[7] The Pāli term Brahmacariya has no connection whatever with a God or Brahma. It is used in the sense of noble or holy.


[8] Samussayatha saddhammam -- desayantā isiddhajam Katakattabbakammantā -- parattham patipajjatha.


[9] Seeking oneself. This phrase is very significant. Attānam is the accusative of atta which means self. Here the Buddha was not referring to any soul or spirit latent in man as some scholars attempt to show. How could the Buddha affirm the existence of a soul when He had clearly denied its existence in His second discourse? The Buddha has used this phrase exactly in the sense of "seek thyself" or "look within."


[10] Dhammacakkhu -- This refers to any of the three lower Paths -- Sotāpatti, Sakadāgāmi, and Anāgāmi.




Chapter 8


[1] Yamaka Pātihāriya, often translated as "The Twin Miracle" is a psychic phenomenon which only a Buddha could perform. By his psychic powers He makes fire and water issue from the pores of the body simultaneously. Patisambhidāmagga commentary states that by fire and water are meant red and blue rays.


[2] He saluted Him for the first time when he saw the infant prince's feet rest on the head of Ascetic Asita whom he wanted the child to revere. His second salutation took place at the Ploughing Festival when he saw the infant prince seated cross-legged on the couch, absorbed in meditation.


[3] See Jātaka Vol. vi, p. 479 -- No. 547. Dhammapadatthakathā, vol. iii, pp. 163-164. This interesting story, which is the longest in the Jātaka commentary, illustrates his unrivalled generosity.


[4] See Dhammapadatthakathā, vol, iii, p. 164, Buddhist Legends, vol. 3, p. 3.


[5] Dhammapada, v. 168.


[6] Dhammapada, v. 169.


[7] No. 447.


[8] Jātaka Translation Vol. IV. p. 179 (No. 485).


[9] Anguttara Nikāya commentary states: "Of one Buddha four disciples only have great supernormal powers: The rest can recall 100,000 Kalpas, not beyond that; but those recall incalculable eras. Under our Teacher's Order the two great disciples and the elder Bakkula and Bhadda Kaccāna, just these four, had this power." Gradual Sayings, Vol1, p. 22.


[10] pp. 584-599. Here she relates her association with the Bodhisatta when he met the Buddha Dipamkara and resolved to become a Buddha.


[11] Lit., bound or seized (la) by a fetter (rahu)


[12] Sukhā vata te chāyā, samana,


[13] See Buddhist Legends, part 1, p. 219.


[14] Majjhima Nikāya No. 61. See The Blessing, p. 173.


[15] Samyutta Nikāya ii, pp. 244 - 253, Kindred Sayings, ii, pp. 164-168.


[16] Sutta Nipāta, Rāhula Sutta. Chalmers --- Buddha's Teachings, p. 81.


[17] Majjhima Nikāya No. 62. See The Blessing, p. 182.


[18] See Anattalakkhana Sutta, Ch. 6.


[19] See chapter 6, p. 84, N. 1.


[20] Majjhima Nikāya No. 147.


[21] vv. 297, 298. Psalms of the Brethren, p. 183.




Chapter 9


[1] Dhammapada vs. 13-14.


[2] Psalms of the Brethren, p. 127 vs. 157, 158.


[3] Jātaka No. 456, Jātaka Translation, vol. iv. p. 61


[4] Such as bodily relics of the Buddha.


[5] This oldest historic sacred tree is still to be seen at modern Sahet Mahet (Sāvatthi) in India.


[6] Psalms of the Brethren, p. 354. Theragāthā vs. 1424.


[7] Anguttara Nikāya, Vol. i, p. 24. Gradual Sayings, part I. p. 19


[8] Digha Nikāya, Parinibbāna Sutta.


[9] Buddhist Legends, vol. iii, p. 160.


[10] Psalms of the Brethren, p. 353. Theragāthā, v. 1020. Dhammapada v, 147.


[11] Vināya Texts, part iii, p. 320. Anguttara Nikāya, Part iv, 274.


[12] Some of these rules will not be intelligible to the lay readers as they pertain to Vinaya Discipline


[13] The Higher Ordination


[14] The full moon and new moon days when Bhikkhus assemble to recite their Fundamental Rules.


[15] The formal termination of the rainy season.


[16] A form of disciplinary action.


[17] See Gradual Sayings, iv, p. 184


[18] See Gradual Sayings, iv, p, 185


[19] Vinaya Texts part III, pp. 329-330. See Gradual Sayings, iv, pp. 186, 187.


[20] Analytical Knowledge with regard to the meaning (Attha), Texts (Dhamma) Etymology (Nirutti), and the Understanding of these three (Patibhāna).




Chapter 10


[1] Kindred Sayings, Part 1, p. 272


[2] Kindred Sayings, Part 1, p. 273


[3] See Gradual Sayings, vol. iv, pp. 264-265


[4] Gradual Sayings, vol. ii, pp. 77-78. Anguttara Nikāya, vol ii, pp. 67-68.


[5] Gradual Sayings, vol. iv, pp. 56-58. Anguttara Nikāya, vol. iv, pp. 92-93.


[6] See chapter 9, page 135.


[7] Majjhima Nikāya iii, 262; Further Dialogues of the Buddha, vol. ii, pp. 302-305.


[8] Kindred Sayings, Part i, p. 80.


[9] Kesakalyāna, mamsakalyāna, atthikalyāna, chavikalyāna and vayakalyāna.


[10] Here fire signifies slandering.


[11] Usually the 1st, 8th, 15th, and 23rd of the lunar month are regarded as the Uposatha or Holy Days when lay followers observe the following Eight Precepts (atthasīla) - namely, abstinence from 1. killing, 2. stealing, 3. incelibacy, 4. lying, 5. liquor, 6. eating food after midday, 7. dancing, singing, music, unseemly shows, using garlands, perfumes, unguents, ornaments, and 8. using high and luxurious seats.


Though, as a rule, they are sometimes observed on Uposatha Days, there is no objection to practising them on any convenient day -- the object being to control deeds, words, and five senses.


[12] Gradual Sayings, iv. pp. 178-179.


[13] Gradual Sayings, iv. pp. 177- 178.


[14] See p. 150.


[15] Majjhima Nikāya No. 55.




Chapter 11




[1] Sutta Nipāta, Pabbajjā Sutta.


[2] See chapter 7.


[3] No. 544.


[4] See p. 105, note 1.


[5] The Pāli Ārāma means a mere park. There were no buildings when the Buddha accepted this generous gift. At present the term Ārāma is used in the sense of a monastery with necessary buildings for monks.


[6] An enraged warrior prince, though young, may ruthlessly cause harm to others. The bite of even a small snake may prove fatal. A little fire may produce a conflagration. Even a young monk may be a Saint or a Dhamma scholar.


[7] Majjhima Nikāya ii, No. 120


[8] See Mahā Supina Jātaka. Jātaka Translation -- Book 1, pp. 188-192 No. 77.


[9] Samyutta Nikāya 1, 68, Kindred Sayings, i, p. 94.


[10] Kindred Sayings, part 1, pp. 104-106.


[11] Kindred Sayings, part 1. pp. 109, 110. Dhammapada v. 201.


[12] Ibid. p. 110


[13] Kindred Sayings, part 1, p. 111. Samyutta Nikāya, part 1, p.86.


[14] See Kindred Sayings, part I, p. 122


[15] Majjhima Nikāya No. 89.


[16] Ibid. No. 90.




Chapter 12


[1] See chapter 9.


[2] See p. 113.


[3] Abhidhamma is the Higher Doctrine which deals with Buddhist Philosophy. See chapter 15.


[4] The three daughters of Māra


[5] Buddhist Legends, part i, p. 274.


[6] Dhammapada vv. 320, 321, 322.


[7] See Buddhist Legends, vol. 1, p. 176.


[8] Dhammapadatthakathā, Kosambaka Vatthu.


[9] Sutta Nipāta, p. 12,


[10] Vinaya Pitaka, Suttavibhanga (Pārājikā) pp1-11. Miss I. B. Horner, Book of the Discipline, Part 1, pp.1-23.


[11] The Buddha was referring to Venerable Ānanda.


[12] Sutta Nipāta, Ālavaka Sutta, p. 31, Chalmers, Teachings of the Buddha, p. 45.


[13] See Kindred Sayings, part 1, pp. 276-277.


[14] Psalms of the Brethren, pp. 318-325. See Angulimāla Sutta, No. 86, Majjhima Nikāya vol 2,p. 97.


[15] Psalms of the Brethren, pp. 320, 321


[16] Yato' ham bhagini ariyāya jātiyā jāto n'ābhijānāmi sa񣩣ca pānna jivitā voropetā. Tena saccena satthi te hotu, sotthi gabbhassā 'ti.


[17] Protective Discourse.


[18] Psalms of the Brethren, p. 328.




Chapter 13


[1] Buddhacakkhu constitutes the knowledge of the one's inclinations (āsaya) and the innate tendencies (āsayānusaya 񦣲57;na) and the knowledge of the dullness and keenness of faculties such as confidence, mindfulness, concentration, energy and wisdom (indriyaparoparyat-tana񦣲57;n)


[2] Satapa񣡳ataka, v. 78.


[3] The Dispensation of the Buddha.




Chapter 14


[1] Prof. Rhys Davids -- Dialogues of the Buddha - vol ii p. 91.


[2] Iti'pi so bhagava araham, sammā sambuddho, vijjācaranasampanno, sugato, lokavidhū anuttaro puri sadammasārathi satthā deva-manussānam, buddho, bhagavā'ti.


[3] Svākkhāto bhagavatā dhammo, sanditthiko, akāliko, ehipassiko, opanayiko, paccattam veditabbo vi񱦣363;hi' ti.


[4] Supatipanno bhagavato sāvakasangho, ujupatipanno, bhagavato sāvakasangho, 񦣲57;yapatipanno bhagavato sāvakasangho, sāmicipatipanno bhagavato sāvakasango, yadidam cattāri purisayugāni atthapurisapuggalā, esa bhagavato sāvakasangho, āhuneyyo, pāhuneyyo dakkhineyyo, a񪡬ikaraniyo, anuttaram, pu񱡫kettam lokassā 'ti.


[5] Later Ambapāli entered the Order and attained Arahantship.


[6] Jīvitasamkhāram adhitthāya.


[7] Anantaram abāhiram karitvā -- These two terms refer to both individuals and teachings. "This much of my doctrine will I not teach others" -- such a thought means limiting the Dhamma to an inner circle. "This much of my doctrine will I teach others"-- such a thought means barring the Dhamma to others. "To this person I shall teach" -- by such a thought a limitation is made to an inner circle. "To this person I shall not teach" -- such a thought implies individual discrimination. The Buddha makes no such distinctions both with regard to His teaching or His disciples. The Buddha had nothing esoteric in His Teachings. Nor had He an inner circle or outer circle amongst His disciples.


[8] Vedhamissakena


[9] Referring to the bliss of Arahantship (phalasamāpatti).


[10] Havens.


[11] Attadipā viharatha attasaranā ana񱡳aranā; dhammadīpā viharatha, dhammasaranā, ana񱡳aranā.


[12] These are the four kinds of Satipatthānas (Foundations of Mindfulness). Here the term dhamma is used in a different sense and it cannot adequately be rendered by one English word as it refers to both mental and physical objects.


See Satipatthāna Sutta, Majjhima Nikāya No. 10.


[13] The four Iddhipādas are -- Will (Chanda), Effort (Viriya), Thought (Citta), and Investigation or Wisdom (Vimamsā)


[14] Here the term kappa means the normal life-term which was about 100 years. Kappāvasesam means an extra fraction of a kappa -- i.eabout 120 or so.


[15] These are the 37 Constituents of Enlightenment (Bodhipakkhiya-dhamma)


[16] Vayadhammā samkhārā, appamādena sampādetha.


[17] Paripakko vayo mayham parittam mama jīvitam.
Pahāya vo gamissāmi katam me sarana mattano
Appamattā satīmanto susīlā hotha bhikkhavo
Susamāhita samkappā sacittamanurakkhatha
Yo imasmim dhammavinaye appamatto vihessati
Pahāya jātisamsāram dukkhasantam karissati.


[18] According to the commentary it is flesh of a boar neither too young nor too old, but not killed for His sake (pavattamamsa). Some say it is a kind of mushroom. It is also believed to be a special kind of delicious dish by that name, or a nutritious chemical food. See Questions of Milinda -- Vol. 1p. 244 and Dialogues of the Buddha part 2 p. 136 n. 1


[19] According to the commentary the Buddha chose Kusinārā to pass away for three reasons. First, to preach the Mahāsudassana Sutta in order to inspire people to be more virtuous; secondly to convert Subbadda, His last disciple, who could not have been converted by any other but Himself; thirdly to enable Dona, a brahmin, to distribute His relics peacefully amongst His followers.


[20] A little more than six miles.


[21] Lumbini on the Indian borders of Nepal.


[22] Buddha Gayā, about 8 miles from the Gayā station.


[23] Saranath.


[24] Kusinārā -- modern Kasiā -- about 32 miles from Gorakhpur station.


[25] This Subbadda should be distinguished from another Subhadda who entered the Order in his old age. It was the latter who remarked that the death of the Buddha was no occasion for sorrow as the Bhikkhus were free to do whatever they liked, without being bound by the injunctions of the Master. This remark of Subhadda prompted Venerable Kassapa to take immediate steps to hold a convocaion of the Dhamma and the Vinaya.


[26] They all flourished in the time of the Buddha.


[27] The first Samana is the Sotāpanna, Stream-Winner.


[28] The Sakadāgāmi, Once-Returner.


[29] The Anāgāmi, Never-Returner.


[30] The Arahant, The Worthy One, who is the Perfect Saint.


[31] Su񱦣257; parappavādā samanehi a񱥨i. Ime ca Subhadda bhikkhū sammā vihareyyum asu񱯠loko arahantehi assā 'ti.


[32] Pabbajjā -- Renunciation. This refers to the ordination as a novice, which is done by donning the yellow robe after having shaved hair and beard and taking the Three Refuges and the Ten Precepts. The .novice is called a Sāmanera. He has cut himself off from the world and its ways. Henceforth by him even his parents are addressed "lay-disciples."


[33] Upasampa?ā -- This refers to the Higher Ordination, which is bestowed only after the completion of the 20th year of life. He who receives it is a full member of the Order and is called a Bhikkhu.


He is bound to observe the Pātimokkha Precepts, the commission of any of the major offences of which involves 'defeat' and expulsion from the Order. If willing, he could remain as a Sāmanera. See pages 99-100, note 1 and 2.


[34] A probation is not demanded of the Buddhist aspirant to ordination.


[35] Yo ca kho mayā dhammo ca vinayo ca desito pa񱡴to so 'vo mamaccayena satthā.


[36] Ākamkhamāno, Ānanda, sangho, mamaccayena khuddānukhuddakāni sikkhāpadāni samūhantu!


[37] The reference was to the Venerable Ānanda, who encouraged by those words, attained Arahantship later.


[38] The death of the Buddha occurred in 543 B.C. on a Vesak fullmoon day.




Chapter 15


[1] See Mahāvamsa Translation pp. 14-50.


[2] Ibid. pp. 19-50.


[3] A hamlet in the interior of Ceylon, about 24 miles from Kandy. This sacred rock temple is still a place of pilgrimage to the Buddhists of Ceylon. Buddhaghosuppatti, a biography of the Great Commentator Buddhaghosa, states that the amount of books written on ola leaves when piled up would exceed the height of six elephants.


[4] Samskrit -- Tripitaka.


[5] Dispensation -- Sāsana is the Pāli term applied to the whole Buddhist Church.


[6] See Legacy of IndiaEdited by G. T. Garrat, pp, X, XI.


[7] Commenting on this Sutta, Mrs. Rhys Davids says "Happy would have been the village or the clan on the banks of the Ganges where the people were full of the kindly spirit of fellow-feeling and the noble spirit of justice, which breathe through these naive and simple sayings." See Dialogues of the Buddha part 111. p. 168.


[8] See "The Manual of Abhidhamma" by the Author.


[9] Points of 'Controversy: the authorship of which is attributed to Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa who presided at the Third Council in the time of King Asoka.


[10] Samyutta Nikāya vol. 5, pp. 437-438, Kindred Sayings, part 5, p. 370.


[11] Majjhima Nikāya, No. 22


[12] Webster's Dictionary


[13] William Durrant, The History of Philosophy, p. 2.


[14] Webb, History of Philosophy, p. 2.


[15] A philosophy in the sense of an epistomological system which furnishes a complete reply to the question of the what, of the what is life? -- this is not." (Dr. Dahlke, Buddhism, p. 25.)


[16] Buddhism, p. 1.


[17] An ordinary adherent may be genuine enough as a follower, but he is not a sharer by realization of the Buddha-Dhamma.


[18] The bracketed explanatory parts of the foregoing translation are in accordance with the interpretations of the commentary and sub-commentary. The Pā1i text of this important passage is as follows:


"Etha tumhe Kālāma. Mā anussavena, mā paramparāya, mā itikirāya, mā pitasampādānena, mā takkahetu,  nayahettu, mā ākāraparivitakkena, mā ditthinijjhānakkhantiyā, mā bhabbarūtpatāya, mā samano no garū ti.


[19] Anguttara Nikāya vol. i, p. 189; Kindred Sayings, part i, pp. 171, 172.


[20] Travel Diary of a Philosopher.


[21] See Buddhist Legends, vol. 3. pp. 249, 250.


[22] Samyutta Nikāya vol. 3. p. 129.


[23] Dhammapada v. 276.


[24] Comp. "Prayer is an activity in which I frankly confess I am not an adept." Canon B. H. Streeter in Modern Churchman -- Sept1924, p. 347.


"I do not understand how men continue to pray unless they are convinced there is a listening ear." (Rev. C. Beard, Reformation, p. 419.)


Sir Radhakrishnan states ?"Prayers take the character of private communications, selfish bargaining with God. It seeks for objects of earthly ambitions and inflames the sense of self. Meditation on the other hand is self change."


[25] See Sri Radhakrishnan, Gautama the Buddha.


[26] Webster's Dictionary.


[27] Ex-Bhikkhu Silācāra. See Ceylon Daily News -- Vesak Number May 1939.


[28] Dr. Dahlke, in arguing What Buddhism is, writes --"With this, sentence of condemnation is passed upon Buddhism as a religion. Religion, in the ordinary sense as that which points beyond this life to one essentially different, it cannot be." Buddhism and its Place in the Mental World, p. 27.


[29] Majjhima Nikāya, Sutta No. 22.


[30] Majjhima Nikāya, Rāhulovāda Sutta, No. 61. See pp. 130-133.


[31] Sutta Nipāta


[32] V. 129


[33] Anguttara Nikāya Part 1, p. 286.


[34] Majjhima Nikāya Vol. 1, p. 140 No. 22


[35] p. 67


[36] Parinibbāna Sutta; see chapter 14.


[37] Ibid.




Chapter 16


[1] Kindred Sayingspart 1, pp. 7, 8.


[2] Samyutta Nikāya, vol. ii, p. 32; Kindred Sayings, part ii, p. 27.


[3] See chapter 14, p. 223-224.


[4] Part 1, p. 261.


[5] Majjhima Nikāya, Cūta Malunkya Sutta, No. 63.


[6] See Udāna, vi, p. 4; Woodward, Some Sayings of the Buddha, pp. 287, 288.


[7] See Chapter 8, p. 113, note 1.


[8] Sutta Nipāta -- Vasala Sutta.


[9] lbid, p. 115.


[10] Majjhima Nikāya, Vol. ii, pp.83-90.) 


[11] Kindred Sayings, part I, p. 111.  See p. 202.


[12] Psalms of the Sisters -- p.. 82.


[13] See Kindred Sayings, Part i. p. 162.


[14] See chapter 10, pp 162-173.


[15] Kindred Sayings, 5  Part I, p. 270


[16] Jātaka Translation v. p. 110, No. 354.




Chapter 17


[1]  See Chapter 6


[2] Samyutta Nikāya, i. p. 62.  See Kindred Sayings, part I.p. 86.


[3] Hence there is no justification for the statement that Buddhism is a natural outgrowth of Hinduism, although it has to be admitted that there exist some fundmental doctrines common to both and that is because those doctrines are in accordance with eternal truth or Dhamma.


[4] See chapters 33, 34.




Chapter 18


[1] Samskrit: Karma


[2] See chapter 23


[3] The Stream of Life, p15.


[4] Of Shakespeare, Col. lngersol writes: "Neither of his parents could read or write.  He grew up in a small and ignorant village."


[5] "Human inequality springs from two sources, nature and nurture". J.B.S. Haldane, The Inequality of Mankind." p. 23.


[6] Kammassakā  mānava sattā, Kammadāyādā, Kammayoni, Kamma-bandhu, Kammapatisaranā, Kammam satte vibhajati yadīdam hinappanitatāyā?ti.


Majjhima Nikāya, Cullakammavibhanga Sutta, No. 135, Cf.  Venerable Nāgasena's reply to the identical question put by King Milinda. 


See Warren, Buddhism in Translation -- p. 214.


[7] With respect to this similarity of action and reaction the following note by Dr. Grimm will perhaps be of interest to the readers: "It is not difficult in all these cases also to show the law of affinity as the regulator of the grasping of a new germ that occurs at death.  Whosoever devoid of compassion, can kill men or, animals, carries deep within himself the inclination to shorten life.  He finds satisfaction or even pleasure in the short-livedness of other creatures.  Short-lived germs have therefore some affinity which makes itself known after his death in the grasping of another germ which then takes place to his own detriment.  Even so, germs bearing within themselves the power of developing into a deformed body, have an affinity for one who finds pleasure in ill-treating and disfiguring others.


"An angry person begets within himself an affinity for ugly bodies and their respective germs, since it is the characteristic mark of anger to disfigure the face.  "Whoever is jealous, niggardly, haughty, carries within himself the tendency to grudge everything to others and to despise them . Accordingly germs that are destined to develop in poor, outward circumstances, possess affinity for him.


"It is, of course, only a consequence of the above, that a change of sex may also ensue.


"Thus it is related in the Dīgha Nikāya No. 21 that Gopikā, a daughter of the Sākya house, was reborn after her death as Gopaka Devaputta, because the female mind has become repulsive to her, and she had formed a male mind within herself." The Doctrine of the Buddha. p. 191.


[8] Dīgha Nikāya, iii, 142, No. 30.


[9] P. 65; The Expositor, i. 87.


[10] See Compendium of Philosophy, p. 191, Manual of Abhidhamma by Nārada Thera.


[11] Anguttara Nikāya -- i, 173; Gradual Sayings, i. 157.


[12] See Abhidhammāvatāra, p. 54; Mrs. Rhys Davids, Buddhism, p. 119.


[13] See Gradual Sayings, part 2, p. 90.




Chapter 19


[1] Anguttara Nikāya iii, p. 415, The Expositor, part I, 117; Atthasālini, p. 88.


[2] See Poussin. The Way to Nirvana, p. 68.


[3] Atthasālini p. 68. The Expositor, part I, p. 91


[4] Dhammapada, V. 1.


[5] Ibid, V. 2.


[6] See Compendium of Philosophy - Abhidhammattha Sangaha, Chapter 1; Manual of Abhidhamma, ch. 1.


[7] 20 + 5 + 4 = 29


[8] Vol. 1, p. 227; Kindred Sayings, part 1, p. 293.


[9] Vol. ii, p. 602. See Warren, Buddhism in Translation, p. 248 The Path of Purity, iii, p 728.


Kammassa kārako natthi -- vipākassa ca vedako
Suddhadhammā pavattanti -- evetam samma dassanam.


[10] Psychology, p. 216.


[11] See Visuddhi Magga, ch XVII.




Chapter 20


[1] According to Buddhist philosophy there is no moment when we do not ordinarily experience a particular kind of consciousness, hanging on to some object -- whether physical or mental. The time limit of such consciousness is termed one thought-moment. Each thought-moment is followed by another. The rapidity of the succession of such thought-moments is hardly conceivable by the ken of human knowledge. It pleases the commentators to say that during the time occupied by a flash of lightning billions and billions of thought-moments may arise.


[2] Dhammapada, v. 165.


[3] Buddhist Legends (Dhammapadatthakathā), pt. 2, p. 262.


[4] Buddhist Legends p. 282.


[5] Ibid., pt. i. p. 278.


[6] According to some books he actually killed them.


[7] Literally, 'because done'.


[8] "In plants there is no transmission of stimuli by nerves. Nerves are unknown to them as nerve-centres."  Dr. Karl V. Frisch -- You and Life. p. 125.


[9] The Pāli text runs as follows:-


"N'atthi dinnam, natthi ittham, n'atthi hutam, n'atthi sukatadukkatānam kammānam phalam vipāko, n'atthi ayam loko, n'atthi paraloko, n' atthi mātā, n'atthi pitā, n'atthi sattā apapātikā, n'atthi loke samana-brāhamanā sammaggattā sammāpatipannā ye ima񠣡 lokam para񼯉> ca lokam sayam abhi񱦣257; sacchikatvā pavedenti. See Dhammasangani-p. 233. The Expositor-pt. ii. 493, and Buddhist Psychology-p. 355.


[10] According to the Abhidhammatha Sangaha there are five Rūpa Jhānas, but the Visuddhi Magga mentions four Jhānas. There is no great difference between the two interpretations. In the former the Jhānas are divided into five according to the five constituents. In the latter the second Jhāna consists of the final three constituents without the first two.


[11] For details see A Manual of Abhidhamma by Nārada Thera.




Chapter 21


[1] Anguttara Nikāya, part i. 249.  See Warren, Buddhism in Translation, p. 218.


[2] v. 127


[3] H. G. Wells - Outline of History.


[4] The reference here is to an Arahant who is not subject to any future sorrow.


[5] Anguttara Nikāya pt. i. p. 249 -- See WarrenBuddhism in Translation, p. 227.


[6] Samyutta Nikāya, pt. i, p. 91.  See WarrenBuddhism in Translation, p. 296, and Grimm, The Doctrine of the Buddha, p. 248.


[7] H. G. Wells - Outline of History.




Chapter 22


[1] "There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all.  The idea that things must have a beginning is due to the poverty of our imagination."   Bertrand Russell, Why I am not a Christian.


[2] See The world as Will and Idea.


[3] See his essay on "A Plea for Atheism," Humanity's Gain from Unbelief.


[4]  Isaiah, XXV, 7


[5] "A strict demonstration of the existence of God is utterly impossible.  Almost all the proofs that have been offered assume in the very premises the conclusion to be proved." Rev.W. Kirkus in Orthodoxy Scripture and Reason, p. 34.


"We have got to recognize that evil falls within a universe for which God is responsible.  We cannot absolve God for permitting the existence of sin and pain." -- Canon. C. E. Raven, The Grounds of Christian Assumption.


[6] Majjhima Nikāya, Cūla Mālunkya Sutta No. 63.


[7] Ibid., Mahātanhāsamkhaya Sutta, No. 38.  Although wick and oil may be present, yet an external fire should be introduced to produce a flame.


[8] See F. L. Woodward, Some Sayings of the Buddha., p. 40.


[9] Anamataggo? yam bhikkhave samsāro, pubbākoti na pa񱦣257;yati avijjānivaranānam sattānam tanhāsamyojanānam sandhāvatam.


"Incalculable is the beginning, brethren, of this faring on.  The earliest point is not revealed of the running on, the faring, of beings cloaked in ignorance, tied to craving."  F. L. Woodward -- Kindred Sayings, part iii.  p.118..


"Inconceivable is the beginning of this Samsāra, not to be discovered a first beginning of beings, who, obstructed by ignorance and ensnared by craving, are hurrying and hastening through this round of rebirths." -- Nyānatiloka Thera.


Samsāra, literally, means recurrent wandering.  Atthasālini defines Samsāra thus:-


Khandhānam patipāti dhātu-āyatanāna ca
Abbhocchinnam vattamānā samsāro?ti pavuccati..


Samsāra is the unbroken succession of aggregates, elements, and the sense-bases.




Chapter 23


[1] Anguttara Nikāya i, p. 174.  Gradual Sayings, i, p. 158.


[2] Majjhima Nikāya ii, p. 222.  Sutta No. 101.


[3] Dīgha Nikāya i, p. 221, Sutta No. 11.


[4] Digha Nikāya (No.24) iii, p.29. Dialogues of the Buddha. iii, pp. 26, 27.


[5] Jātaka Translation, vol. vi, p. 110.


[6] Jātaka Translation, vol. vi, p. 122.




Chapter 24


[1] Majjhima Nikāya i, Mahāsaccaka Sutta, No. 36, i. 248.


[2] Dhammapada, v. 153.


[3] Mahā Vagga, p. 10,  Samyutta Nikāya v428, See chapter 6.


[4] Majjhima Nikāya i, 169.


[5] Majjhima Nikāya ii, 45 (No. 81).


[6] Ibid., iii. 258 (No. 143).


[7] Part i,  111


[8] Digha Nikāya ii, 91 (No. 16).


[9] Cp. Mr. J. G. Jennings, The Vedantic Buddhism of the Buddha.


[10] The case of Shanti Devi of India is a striking example. See The Bosat, vol. xiii, No. 2. p. 27


[11] William W. Atkinson and E. D. Walter, Reincarnation and the Law of Kamma.


[12] Psalms of the Brethren (Theragāthā) gives an interesting account of a Brahmin named Vangisa, "who won favour as a teacher by tapping on skulls with his finger nails and discovering thereby where their former occupants were reborn."


Certain persons at times exhibit different personalities in the course of their particular lives.  Prof.  James cites some remarkable cases in his Principles of Psychology.  See F. W. H. Myers, Human Personality and its survival of bodily Death.  The Visuddhi Magga mentions an interesting incident of a deva entering into the body of a layman.  See The Path of Purity, part i, p. 48.


The writer himself (Ven. Nārada) has met persons who were employed as mediums by invisible beings to convey their thoughts and some others who were actually possessed by evil spirits.  When in this hypnotic state they speak and do things of which normally they are totally innocent and which they cannot afterwards recall.


[13]  See Many Mansions and The World Within by Gina Cerminara.


[14] "It was such experiences that led Sir Walter Scott to a sense of metempsychosis.  His biographer Lockhart quotes in his Life of Scott the following entry in Scott's diary for February 17th, 1828.


"I cannot, I am sure, tell if it is worth marking down, that yesterday at dinner time, I was strangely haunted by what I would call the sense of pre-existences, viz., a confused idea that nothing that passed was said for the first time, that the same topics had been discussed and the persons had stated the same opinions on them.  The sensation was so strong as to resemble what is called a mirage in the desert and calenture on board ship.  "Bulwer Lytton describes these mysterious experiences as that strange kind of inner and spiritual memory which often recalls to us places and persons we have never seen before, and which Platonists would resolve to be the unquenched and struggling consciousness of a former life." H.M. Kitchener, The Theory of' Reincarnation, p. 7.


The writer also has met some persons who remember fragments of their past births and also a distinguished doctor in Europe who hypnotises people and makes them describe some of their past lives


[15] See Buddhist Legends, vol. 3,  p. 108.


[16] Ceylon Observer, November 21, 1948.


[17] "We have come to look upon the present as the child of the past and as the parent of the future." T. H. Huxley.


[18]  Addison.




Chapter 25


[1] Tabbhāvabhāvibhāvākāramatta - Abhidhammattha Sangaha.  See "Manual of Abhidhamma" by Nārada Thera, p360.


[2]  Sutta Nipāta v. 730.


[3]   p. 14.


[4] "Radiant is this consciousness," (pabhassaram idam cittam) says the Buddha in the Anguttara Nikāya vol. 1, p. 10.  According to the commentator the Buddha was thus referring to the rebirth-consciousness.


[5] In the case of ?Rootless Resultants? (Ahetuka-vipāka).


[6] In the case of "Resultants with Roots" (Sahetukavipāka).


[7] Chambers, Buddha?s Teachings, vv. 729, 730




Chapter 26






Chapter 27


[1] See Kindred Sayings, part 1, pp. 85, 86.


[2] Apa + aya = devoid of happiness.


[3] See Kindred Sayings, part ii.. p. 170


[4] Khuddaka Pātha.


[5]  Literally, those who have an uplifted or developed mind (mano ussannam etasam).  The Samskrit equivalent of manussa is manushya which means the sons of Manu.  They are so called because they became civilized after Manu the seer.


[6] A Chinese Buddhist book states that on each of the four sides of this Plane are eight heavens (32) and a central one where King Sakka dwells.  Guide to Buddhahood.


[7] Kassapa Thera.


[8] For details and the life-term of various planes see A Manual of Abhidhamma by Nārada Thera, pp. 234- 246.




Chapter 28


[1] For details with regard to these "premonitory visions of the place of rebirth" see Dr. W. T. Evans-Wents, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, p. 183.


[2] According to Buddhism material qualities are produced in four ways.


i. Kamma i.e. past moral and immoral actions;
ii. Utu, i.e. physical change or the Tejo (heat) element which includes both heat and cold;
iii. Citta, i.e. mind and mental properties,
iv. Āhara i.e., nutriment that exists in food.


[3]   See p. 424.


[4]   Compare "The sex of the individual is determined at conception by the chromosome make-up of the gametes.  Through this, the embryo is endowed with a potentiality of developing towards one sex" Frank Alexander, Psychosomatic Medicine p. 219.


[5]  Bhikkhu Silācāra.


[6] See A Manual of Abhidhamma by Nārada Thera, p. 273.


[7]  According to Tibetan works, writes Dr. Evans-Wents, there is an intermediate state where beings remain for one, two, three, five, six or seven weeks, until the forty-ninth day.  This view is contrary to the teachings of Buddhism. The Tibetan Book of the Dead, pp.  XLII - XLIII, 58, 160-165


[8] Milinda's Questions, part 1, pp. 127-128.


[9] "There are about 1,000,000 planetary systems in the Milky Way in which life may exist." See Fred Hoyle, The Nature of the Universe, pp. 87-89.




Chapter 29


[1] Religion and Science p. 166.


[2] Religion and Science, p. 132.


[3]  Religion and Science, p. 166


[4]  William James, Principles of Psychology, p. 351


[5] Watson, Behaviourism, p. 4.


[6] Principles of Psychology, p. 215.


[7] It pleases the commentators to say that the time duration or one thought-moment is even less than the one millionth part of the time occupied by a flash of lightning.


[8] See Compendium of Philosophy -- Introduction, p. 12.


[9] See Warren -- Buddhism in Translations, pp. 234, 235.


[10] Dr. Ananda Coomarasvami -- Buddha and the Gospel of Buddhism. p. 106.




Chapter 30


[1] See The Questions of Milinda, part I. p. 111 and Dr. Dahlke, Buddhism and Science, p. 64.


[2] See "Anattā and Moral Responsibility" by Mr. A. D. Jayasundara, Mahabodhi Journal, vol. 41, p. 93.




Chapter 31


[1] Wife of King Kosala who lived in the time of the Buddha.


[2] Majjhima Nikāya, Sutta No. 57.


[3] See The Book of The Gradual Sayings I, pp. 31-34.




Chapter 32


[1] Pythagoras remembered having fought, as Euphorbus in the Trojan War. Empedocles had been in past births a boy, a girl, a bird and a scaly fish in the ocean. (Frag. 117, Diels.)


[2] i. 127


[3] Frances Cornford -- An Anthology of Modern Verse, Chosen by A. Methuen, London. Methuen and Co., and reproduced in "The Buddhist Annual of Ceylon." 1927.




Chapter 33


[1] Warren, Buddhism in Translations, p. 6.


[2] Abhidhammattha Sangaha.  See Compendium of Philosophy, p. 168.


[3] Khayamattam? eva na nibbānam ti vattabbam Abhidhamāvatāra.


[4] Quoted from Bhikkhu Silācāra's booklet, The Four Noble Truths.


[5] According to the commentary these four terms are used as synonyms.


Ajāta means that it has not sprung up on account of causes or conditions (hetupaccaya).  Abhūta (lit., not become) means that it has not arisen.  As it has not sprung up from a cause and has not come into being, it is not made (akata) by any means.  Becoming and arising are the characteristics of conditioned things such as mind and matter, but Nibbāna, being not subject to those conditions, is non-conditioned (asamkhata).  See Woodward, Verses of Uplift, p. 98, As it was said, p. 142.


[6]   Woodward, As it was said, p. 142


[7] Sa =with,  upādi =  aggregates -- mind and body, sesa= remaining.  The aggregates are called Upādi because they are firmly grasped by craving and ignorance.


[8] Since he will not be reborn.


[9] P. 38, Woodward, As it Was Said, p. 144.




Chapter 34


[1] See Gradual Sayings, i, p. 135.


[2] Majjhima Nikāya, No. 57.


[3] Majjhima Nikāya, No. 57 The Blessing, No. 4, pp. 129-132.


[4] Majjhima Nikāya, No. 57.


[5] Imasmim byāmamatte y'eve kalebare sasa񱦣299;mhi samanake lokan ca pa񱦣257;pemi, lokasamudaya񠣡, lokanirodha񠣡, lokanirodhagāminim patipada񠣡, pa񱦣257;pemi. Samyutta Nikāya, i, p. 62.


[6] Pattabbam eva h' etam maggena, na uppādetabbam. Verily this (Nibbāna) is to be attained (or realized) by means of the four Paths of Sainthood, and is not to be produced -- Visuddhi Magga.


[7] Kindred Sayings, pt. i, p. 23. Yattha āpo ca pathavi tejo vāyo na gadhati.


[8] See Woodward, Verses of Uplift, pp. 66-67.


[9] Questions of King Milinda, pp202-204.


[10] See Chapter 29.


[11] Kindred Sayingspart 1, p. 170.


[12] Dukkham? eva hi na koci dukkhito
  Kārako no kiriyā,? va vijjati
  Atthi nibbuti na nibbuto pumā
  Maggam atthi gamako na vijjati.




Chapter 35


[1] Sutta Nipāta, Pabbajjā Sutta, v. 406.


[2] Dhammapada, v. 142.


[3] "Stream-Winner" -- The first stage of Sainthood.


[4] "Once-Returner" -- The second stage of Sainthood.


[5] "Never-Returner" -- The third stage of Sainthood.


[6] "The Worthy One" -- The final stage of Sainthood.


[7] Various rules which a Bhikkhu is expected to observe.


[8] Excluding the seven modes of settling disputes (adhikaranasmatha dhamma).




Chapter 36


[1] Kasina here means whole, all, complete. It is so called because the projected light issuing from the conceptualized image of the Kasina object could be extended everywhere without limitation.


In the case of earth Kasina one makes a circle of about one span and four fingers in diameter and, covering it with dawn-coloured clay, smoothes it well. If there be not enough clay of the dawn colour, he may introduce some other kind of clay beneath. This concentrative circle is known as Kasina-Mandala.


The remaining Kasinas should be similarly understood. Details are given in the Visuddhi Magga. It may be mentioned that light and space Kasinas are not found in the Text. When they are excluded there are thirty eight subjects.


[2] These ten kinds of corpses were found in ancient cemeteries and charnel places where dead bodies were not buried or cremated and where flesh-eating beasts and birds frequent. In modern days it is impossible to obtain such corpses as subjects for meditation.


[3] Anussati -- lit., means constant mindfulness.


[4] Āhāre patikkūlasa񱡠-- i.e., the feeling of loathsomeness of food in its search, eating, etc.


[5] Catudhātuvavatthānam -- i.e., the investigation of the four primary elements of extension (pathavi), cohesion (āpo), heat (tejo), and motion (vāyo), with regard to their special characteristics.


[6] Padhāna Sutta. See p. 28.




Chapter 37






Chapter 38


[1] The third stage of the Path of Purity


[2] Kankhāvitaranavisuddhi, the fourth stage of the Path of Purity.


[3] Maggāmagga񦣲57;nadassanavisuddhi, the fifth stage of the Path of Purity.


[4] 1 These nine kinds of insight -- namely, udaya, vaya, bhanga, bhaya, ādīnava, nibbidā mu񣩴ukamyatā, patisankhā, and upekkhā, 񦣲57;nas are collectively termed Patipadā񦣲57;nadassanavisuddhi -- Purity of vision as regards knowledge of progress, the sixth stage of the Path of Purity.


[5] 2 Insight found in this supramundane Path Consciousness is known as Mānadassana Visuddhi -- Purity of Vision which is Knowledge, the seventh member of the Path of Purity.


[6] 3 Dr. Dahlke.


[7] See Dhammasangani Translation, p. 259.


[8] Section 1005


[9]  Literally, 'attainment to cessation'. See A Manual of Abhidhamma by Nārada Thera pp. 227, 435.


[10] The Path of Purity, part ii, p. 872.


Psalms of the Brethren. p. 346.


[11] See Woodward, Verses of Uplift, p. 114.


[12] Aggivacchagotta Sutta, No. 72.


[13] Evidently the writer is referring to the state of an Arahant after death.




Chapter 39


[1] Of life in the round of existence, i.e., an Arahant.


[2] One gives up sorrow by attaining Anāgāmi, the third stage of Sainthood. It is at this stage one eradicates completely attachment to sense-desires and illwill or aversion.


[3] Sabbadhi, the five Aggregates etc.


[4] There are four kinds of ganthas (ties)-- namely,


1. covetousness (abhijjhā), 2. ill-will (vyāpāda), 3. indulgence in (wrongful) rites and ceremonies (sīlabbataparāmāsa), and 4. adherence to one's preconceptions as truth (idam saccābhinivesa).


[5] This verse refers to the ethical state of an Arahant. Heat is both physical and mental. An Arahant experiences bodily heat as long as he is alive, but is not thereby worried. Mental heat of passions he experiences not.


[6] Arahants wander whithersoever they like without any attachment to any particular place as they are free from the conception of "I" and "mine".


[7] There are two kinds of accumulation -- namely, kammic activities and the four necessaries of life. The former tend to prolong life in Samsāra and the latter, though essential, may prove an obstacle to spiritual progress.


[8] To get rid of the desire for food.


[9] Nibbāna is Deliverance from suffering (vimokkha). It is called Void because it is void of lust, hatred and ignorance, not because it is nothingness or annihilation. Nibbāna is a positive supramundane state which cannot be expressed in mundane words. It is Signless because it is free from the signs of lust etc. Arahants experience Nibbānic bliss while alive. It is not correct to say that Arahants exist after death, or do not exist after death, for Nibbāna is neither eternalism nor nihilism. In Nibbāna nothing is eternalized nor is anything, except passions, annihilated. Arahants experience Nibbānic bliss by attaining to the fruit of Arahantship in this life itself.


[10] By indakhila is meant either a column as firm and high as that of Sakka's or the chief column that stands at the entrance to a city.


 Commentators state that these indakhilas are firm posts which are erected either inside or outside the city as an embellishment. Usually they are made of bricks or of durable wood and are octagonal in shape. Half of the post is embedded in the earth, hence the metaphor as firm and steady as an indakhila.


[11] Tādi is one who has neither attachment to desirable objects nor aversion to undesirable objects. Nor does he cling to anything. Amidst the eight worldly conditions -- gain and loss, fame and infamy, blame and praise, happiness and pain -- an Arahant remains unperturbed, manifesting neither attachment nor aversion, neither elation nor depression.


[12] As they are not subject to birth and death.


[13] From all deftlements.


[14] Since his mind is absolutely pure.


[15] The pun in the original Pāli is lost in the translation.


[16] Assaddho -- lit., unfaithful. He does not merely accept from other sources because he himself knows from personal experience.


[17] Akata, Nibbāna. It is so called because it is not created by anyone. Akata񱦣363; can also be interpreted as ungrateful.


[18] The links of existence and rebirth. Sandhicchedo also means a house-breaker that is a burglar.


[19] Hata + avakāso, he who has destroyed the opportunity.


[20] Vanta + āso, he who eats vomit is another meaning.


[21] By means of the four paths of Sainthood. Gross forms of desire are eradicated at the first three stages, the subtle forms at the last stage.


[22] Ninna and thala, lit., low-lying and elevated grounds.


[23] The passionless Arahants rejoice in secluded forests which have no attraction for worldlings.


[24] Free from the disease of passions


[25] Ki񣡮a, such as lust, hatred, and delusion which are hindrances to spiritual progress.


[26] Pāram -- the six personal sense-fields.


[27] Apāram -- the six external sense-fields.


[28] Not grasping anything as "me" and "mine."


[29] He who practises concentration (samatha) and insight (vipassanā).


[30] Āsīnam -- living alone in the forest


[31] By realizing the four Truths and eradicating the fetters


[32] That is, Nibbāna.


[33] Who has understood the four Noble Truths.


[34] Devoted to religious austerity.


[35] Because he, having destroyed the Passions would be reborn no more.


[36] The burden of the Aggregates.


[37] Who knows the way to the woeful states, to the blissful states, and to Nibbāna.


[38] Literally, towards beings.


[39] Those who are attached to the Aggregates.


[40] Lust, hatred, delusion, pride and false views.


[41] Undisturbed by defilements.


[42] That is, attachment to sense-desires.


[43] Arati, dislike for forest life (commentary).


[44] Upadhi. There are four kinds of upadhi,-- namely, the aggregates (khandha), the passions (kilesa), volitional activities (abhisamkhāra), and sense-desires (kāma)


[45] That is, the world of Aggregates.


[46] Usabham, fearless as a bull.


[47] Mahesim, seeker of higher morality, concentration, and wisdom.


[48] Vijitāvinam, the conqueror of passions.


[49] Nahātakam, he who has washed away all impurities.


[50] Buddham, he who has understood the four Noble Truths.


[51] Sagga, the six heavenly Realms, the sixteen Rūpa Realms, and the four Arūpa Realms.


[52] Apāya the four woeful states.


[53] Jātikkhayam, i.e. Arahantship.


[54] Abhi񱦣257;vosito, i.e., reached the culmination by comprehending that which should be comprehended, by discarding that which should be discarded, by realizing that which should be realized, and by developing that which should be developed (commentary).


[55] Sabbavositavosanam, i.e., having lived the Holy Life which culminates in wisdom pertaining to the Path of Arahantship, the end of all passions.




Chapter 40


[1] Literally, a hearer.


[2] Literally, a Worthy or Passionless One.


[3] Prof. Rhys Davids writes in his Buddhist Birth Stories (p. xxxiv):--  "There is a religious romance called Barlaam and Joasaph, giving the history of an Indian prince who was converted by Barlaam and became a hermit. This history, the reader will be surprised to hear, is taken from the life of the Buddha; and Joasaph is merely the Buddha under another name, the word Joasaph, or, Josaphat, being simply a corruption of the word Bodisat." "Joasaph is in Arabic written also Yudasatf; and this, through a confusion between the Arabic letters Y and B, is for Bodisat". See Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, vol. 6, p. 567.




Chapter 41


[1] Pāramī ? "Pāram", beyond, i.e., Bodhi or Enlightment, "i", to go. Literally, it means that which enables one to go to the Further Shore. The Pāli term Pāramitā is also used in the same sense.


[2] v. 74


[3] Jātaka Stories, No. 440.


[4] " One who to save a limb rich treasure gave
 Would sacrifice a limb, his life to save
 Yea, wealth, limb, life and all away would fling,
 Right and its claims alone remembering."


[5] Silena n'anupetassa sutena' ttho na vijati.


[6] The Path of Purity, vol. i. p. 12.


[7] Jātaka Stories, vol. iii, p. 158.


[8] Derived from the root "bhikkha," to beg. Bhikkhu, literally, means "one who begs." See p. 503


[9] Pa񱦣257;nuyātam viriyam vadanti
 Sabbattha siddhiggahanaggahattham.


[10] Jātaka Stories, vol. iii. p. 28.


[11] Jātaka Stories, vol. iii, p. 130


[12] Warren, Buddhism in Translations.


[13] Warren, Buddhism in Translations.


[14] Warren, Buddhism in Translations.


[15] See Chalmers, Buddha's Teaching, p.221.


[16] Majjhima Nikāya, Ghatikāra Sutta, No. 81.




Chapter 42


[1] Dhammapada, v. 5.


[2]  See p. 589


[3] Dhammapada v. 320.


[4] See p. 569, chapter 41.


[5] See Chapter 43.


[6] See Dhammapada v124


[7] Kindred Sayings, v. p. 334




Chapter 43






Chapter 44


[1] Ouspensky -- Tertium Organum p. 8.


[2] During the time occupied by a flash of lightning billions and billions of thought-moments may arise.


[3] Sir Charles Sherrington ? Life?s Unfolding, p. 32.


[4] Ouspensky -- Tertium Organum p. 125


[5] Sri Radhakrishna -- Indian Philosophy. Vol. 1. p. 278.


[6] "There are about 1,000,000 planetary systems in the Milky Way in which life may exist." See Fred Hoyle, The Nature of the Universe pp. 87-89.


[7] Indian Philosophy Vol. I, p. 201.


[8] Indian Philosophy Vol. I, p. 2.


[9] Bertrand Russell, Religion and Science. p. 191.


[10] Bertrand Russel, Religion and Science, p.221.


[11] Tertium Organum, p. 192.






Sincere thanks to Mr Pham Kim Khanh - Nārada Center, Seattle, U.S.A.,
for making this digital version available (Binh Anson, September 2002).




Great Effort !
A Factor of the Path !
A Factor of Enlightenment !




Gửi ý kiến của bạn
Tên của bạn
Email của bạn
10 Tháng Mười Hai 2020(Xem: 9468)
08 Tháng Mười Hai 2020(Xem: 8674)
03 Tháng Mười Hai 2020(Xem: 8711)
30 Tháng Mười Một 2020(Xem: 8465)
28 Tháng Mười Một 2020(Xem: 8296)
27 Tháng Mười Một 2020(Xem: 9270)
23 Tháng Mười Một 2020(Xem: 10911)
19 Tháng Mười Một 2020(Xem: 10767)
18 Tháng Mười Một 2020(Xem: 7457)
13 Tháng Mười Một 2020(Xem: 7615)
12 Tháng Mười Một 2020(Xem: 6753)
11 Tháng Mười Một 2020(Xem: 7135)
27 Tháng Mười 2020(Xem: 6681)
26 Tháng Mười 2020(Xem: 6575)
05 Tháng Mười 20209:30 SA(Xem: 6669)
Khi tôi cần bạn lắng nghe tôi, thì bạn lại bắt đầu buông lời khuyên nhủ, nhưng nào phải những gì tôi đang cần ở bạn đâu. Khi tôi cần bạn lắng nghe tôi, bạn lại tuôn lời giải thích, lý do tôi không nên cảm thấy muộn phiền. Nhưng có biết không, bạn đang giẵm đạp lên tình cảm của tôi rồi. Khi tôi cần bạn lắng nghe tôi, thì bạn lại muốn làm điều gì đó
22 Tháng Chín 202010:02 SA(Xem: 6008)
Theo kinh Địa Tạng, những người tạo ác nghiệp khi chết sẽ trở thành ngạ quỷ hay súc sanh. Ngạ quỷ là quỷ đói, bụng to bằng cái trống nhưng cái họng chỉ bé bằng cái kim nên ăn uống mãi mà cũng không no. Có lẽ điều này ám chỉ những vong linh còn nhiều dục vọng, vẫn thèm khát cái thú vui vật chất nhưng vì không còn thể xác để
20 Tháng Tám 20209:00 SA(Xem: 9250)
Những Miếng Thịt Chay Bằng Đậu Nành (Soy Curls) là một loại thực phẩm hoàn toàn tự nhiên, dùng để thay thế cho thịt, có lợi ích cho tim (vì làm bằng đậu nành), ngon miệng, và dễ xử dụng. Soy Curls trông khá giống miếng thịt (sau khi làm xong), có mùi vị thơm ngon, và tính linh hoạt của Soy Curls thì các thực phẩm khác không thể so sánh được.
20 Tháng Tám 20208:00 SA(Xem: 1213376)
Có tài mà cậy chi tài, Chữ tài liền với chữ tai một vần. Đã mang lấy nghiệp vào thân, 3250.Cũng đừng trách lẫn trời gần trời xa. Thiện căn ở tại lòng ta, Chữ tâm kia mới bằng ba chữ tài. Lời quê chắp nhặt dông dài, 3254.Mua vui cũng được một vài trống canh.
12 Tháng Bảy 20201:49 CH(Xem: 9706)
Hành trình về phương đông của giáo sư Spalding kể chuyện một đoàn khoa học gồm các chuyên môn khác nhau Hội Khoa học Hoàng gia Anh (tức Viện Hàn lâm Khoa học) cử sang Ấn Độ nghiên cứu về “huyền học”. Sau hai năm trời lang thang khắp các đền chùa Ấn Độ, chứng kiến nhiều cảnh mê tín dị đoan, thậm chí “làm tiền” du khách,
11 Tháng Bảy 20209:48 CH(Xem: 7743)
Tâm hồn con người hiện nay đã trở nên quá máy móc, thụ động, không thể tự chữa phải được nâng lên một bình diện khác cao hơn để mở rộng ra, nhìn mọi sự qua một nhãn quan mới. Chỉ có áp dụng cách đó việc chữa trị mới mang lại kết quả tốt đẹp được.” [Trang 13] Những câu chữ trích dẫn nói trên chính là quan điểm của tác giả,
10 Tháng Bảy 20208:57 CH(Xem: 8169)
Ngay trong phần đầu cuốn sách, tác giả Swami Amar Jyoti đã “khuyến cáo” rằng “Cuốn sách này không phải là hồi ký, vì các nhân vật đều không có thực. Tuy nhiên, đây cũng không phải một tiểu thuyết hư cấu vì nó tiêu biểu cho những giai đoạn đi tìm đạo vẫn thường xảy ra tại Ấn Độ suốt mấy ngàn năm nay”. Và tác giả hy vọng “cuốn sách
09 Tháng Bảy 20208:49 CH(Xem: 8610)
Ngày nay, người ta biết đến triều đại các vua chúa Ai Cập thời cổ qua sách vở của người Hy Lạp. Sở dĩ các sử gia Hy Lạp biết được các chi tiết này vì họ đã học hỏi từ người Ai Cập bị đày biệt xứ tên là Sinuhe. Đây là một nhân vật lạ lùng, đã có công mang văn minh Ai Cập truyền vào Hy Lạp khi quốc gia này còn ở tình trạng kém mở mang
08 Tháng Sáu 20203:30 CH(Xem: 5816)
Tôi rất vinh dự được có mặt tại lễ phát bằng tốt nghiệp của các bạn ngày hôm nay tại một trường đại học danh giá bậc nhất thế giới. Tôi chưa bao giờ có bằng tốt nghiệp đại học. Nói một cách trung thực thì ngày hôm nay tôi tiếp cận nhất với buổi lễ ra tốt nghiệp đại học. Ngày hôm nay, tôi muốn kể cho các bạn nghe ba câu truyện đã từng xẩy ra
04 Tháng Sáu 202011:07 CH(Xem: 6230)
Người bao nhiêu dặm đường trần phải bước. Để thiên hạ gọi là được thành nhân? Bao biển xa bồ câu cần bay lướt. Mới về được cồn cát mượt ngủ yên? Vâng! Đại bác bắn bao viên tàn phá. Rồi người ta mới lệnh cấm ban ra? Câu trả lời, bạn ơi, hòa trong gió. Câu trả lời theo gió thổi bay xa!
18 Tháng Tư 202011:18 CH(Xem: 5424)
Vì vậy, nếu một số quốc gia chỉ xét nghiệm những bệnh nhân nặng nhập viện - và không xét nghiệm bệnh nhân Covid-19 nhẹ (hoặc thậm chí có những bệnh nhân không hề có triệu chứng) không đến bệnh viện (ví dụ như cách Vương quốc Anh hiện đang áp dụng), thì tỷ lệ tử vong có vẻ như cao hơn so với các quốc gia nơi xét nghiệm
14 Tháng Tư 20209:39 CH(Xem: 6135)
Vi-rút corona là một họ lớn của vi-rút gây nhiễm trùng đường hô hấp. Các trường hợp nhiễm bệnh có thể ở mức từ cảm lạnh thông thường đến các chứng bệnh nghiêm trọng hơn như Hội chứng Hô hấp Cấp tính Trầm trọng (SARS) và Hội chứng Hô hấp Trung Đông (MERS). Loại vi-rút corona chủng mới này bắt nguồn từ tỉnh Hồ Bắc,
09 Tháng Tư 20206:47 SA(Xem: 5500)
Chúng ta có thể nhiễm Covid-19 do chạm vào các bề mặt bị nhiễm virus. Nhưng chỉ mới đây người ta mới hiểu rõ dần về việc loại virus này có thể tồn tại bao lâu bên ngoài cơ thể người. Khi Covid-19 lây lan, nỗi sợ hãi của chúng ta về các bề mặt nhiễm bẩn cũng tăng. Bây giờ mọi người đã quen với cảnh ở nơi công cộng trên khắp thế giới
07 Tháng Tư 20206:18 CH(Xem: 6747)
Tu sĩ Richard Hendrick sống và làm việc ở Ireland (Ái Nhĩ Lan). Ông đã đăng tải bài thơ “Lockdown” (“Phong tỏa”) của ông trên facebook vào ngày 13 tháng Ba năm 2020. Bài thơ đã được rất nhiều người tán thưởng. Bài thơ muốn truyền giao một thông điệp mạnh mẽ về niềm Hy Vọng trong cơn hỗn loạn vì bệnh dịch “corona” (Covid-19)
06 Tháng Tư 202012:27 CH(Xem: 4678)
Nhóm cố vấn sẽ cân nhắc các nghiên cứu về việc liệu virus có thể lây lan hơn so với suy nghĩ trước đây hay không; một nghiên cứu ở Mỹ cho thấy giọt ho có thể bắn đi tới 6m và hắt hơi tới 8m. Chủ tịch hội thảo, Giáo sư David Heymann, nói với BBC News rằng nghiên cứu mới có thể dẫn đến sự thay đổi trong lời khuyên về việc đeo khẩu trang.
05 Tháng Tư 20209:35 CH(Xem: 5329)
Virus corona đang lây lan khắp thế giới nhưng chưa có một loại thuốc nào có thể giết chúng hoặc một loại vaccine nào có thể giúp bảo vệ con người khỏi việc lây nhiễm chúng. Vậy chúng ta còn bao xa mới có được loại thuốc cứu mạng này?
04 Tháng Tư 202010:01 CH(Xem: 5614)
Thế giới đang đóng cửa. Những nơi từng tấp nập với cuộc sống hối hả hàng ngày đã trở thành những thị trấn ma với những lệnh cấm áp lên đời sống của chúng ta - từ giới nghiêm tới đóng cửa trường học đến hạn chế đi lại và cấm tụ tập đông người. Đó là một phản ứng toàn cầu vô song đối với một căn bệnh. Nhưng khi nào nó sẽ kết thúc
02 Tháng Tư 20209:40 CH(Xem: 5792)
Bảo vệ bản thân thế nào? WHO khuyến nghị: - Rửa tay thường xuyên bằng xà phòng hoặc gel rửa tay có thể diệt trừ virus - Che miệng và mũi khi ho hoặc hắt hơi - lý tưởng nhất là dùng khăn giấy - và sau đó rửa tay để ngăn sự lây lan của virus - Tránh chạm tay vào mắt, mũi và miệng - nếu tay bạn nhiễm virus có thể khiến virus
01 Tháng Tư 20207:07 CH(Xem: 6672)
Bệnh Dịch Do Vi-rút Corona (Covid-19) - Corona Virus (Covid-19)
18 Tháng Ba 202011:35 CH(Xem: 5877)
Trong một viện dưỡng lão ở nước Úc, cụ ông Mak Filiser, 86 tuổi, không có thân nhân nào thăm viếng trong nhiều năm. Khi cụ qua đời cô y tá dọn dẹp căn phòng của cụ và bất ngờ khám phá ra một mảnh giấy nhàu nát với những dòng chữ viết nguệch ngoạc. Đó là một bài thơ của cụ và đó là tài sản duy nhất, là cái vốn liếng quý giá nhất
02 Tháng Mười Hai 201910:13 CH(Xem: 7544)
Nhật Bản là một trong những quốc gia có tỉ lệ tội phạm liên quan đến súng thấp nhất thế giới. Năm 2014, số người thiệt mạng vì súng ở Nhật chỉ là sáu người, con số đó ở Mỹ là 33,599. Đâu là bí mật? Nếu bạn muốn mua súng ở Nhật, bạn cần kiên nhẫnquyết tâm. Bạn phải tham gia khóa học cả ngày về súng, làm bài kiểm tra viết
12 Tháng Bảy 20199:30 CH(Xem: 9882)
Khóa Tu "Chuyển Nghiệp Khai Tâm", Mùa Hè 2019 - Ngày 12, 13, Và 14/07/2019 (Mỗi ngày từ 9:00 AM đến 7:00 PM) - Tại: Andrew Hill High School - 3200 Senter Road, San Jose, CA 95111
12 Tháng Bảy 20199:00 CH(Xem: 11379)
Các Khóa Tu Học Mỗi Năm (Thường Niên) Ở San Jose, California Của Thiền Viện Đại Đăng
19 Tháng Mười Một 20206:34 CH(Xem: 10767)
Khi tôi viết về đề tài sống với cái đau, tôi không cần phải dùng đến trí tưởng tượng. Từ năm 1976, tôi bị khổ sở với một chứng bệnh nhức đầu kinh niên và nó tăng dần thêm theo năm tháng. Tình trạng này cũng giống như có ai đó khiêng một tảng đá hoa cương thật to chặn ngay trên con đường tu tập của tôi. Cơn đau ấy thường xóa trắng
08 Tháng Mười Một 20207:59 CH(Xem: 10489)
Upasika Kee Nanayon, tác giả quyển sách này là một nữ cư sĩ Thái lan. Chữ upasika trong tiếng Pa-li và tiếng Phạn có nghĩa là một cư sĩ phụ nữ. Thật thế, bà là một người tự tu tậpsuốt đời chỉ tự nhận mình là một người tu hành thế tục, thế nhưng giới tu hành
06 Tháng Mười Một 202011:19 CH(Xem: 8852)
Upasika Kee Nanayon, còn được biết đến qua bút danh, K. Khao-suan-luang, là một vị nữ Pháp sư nổi tiếng nhất trong thế kỷ 20 ở Thái Lan. Sinh năm 1901, trong một gia đình thương nhân Trung Hoa ở Rajburi (một thành phố ở phía Tây Bangkok), bà là con cả
23 Tháng Mười Một 202010:04 CH(Xem: 10911)
Thầy Xá Lợi Phất - anh cả trong giáo đoàn - có dạy một kinh gọi là Kinh Thủy Dụ mà chúng ta có thể học hôm nay. Kinh này giúp chúng ta quán chiếu để đối trị hữu hiệu cái giận. Kinh Thủy Dụ là một kinh trong bộ Trung A Hàm. Thủy là nước. Khi khát ta cần nước để uống, khi nóng bức ta cần nước để tắm gội. Những lúc khát khô cổ,
22 Tháng Mười 20201:00 CH(Xem: 16431)
Tuy nhiên đối với thiền sinh hay ít ra những ai đang hướng về chân trời rực rỡ ánh hồng giải thoát, có thể nói Kinh Đại Niệm Xứbài kinh thỏa thích nhất hay đúng hơn là bài kinh tối cần, gần gũi nhất. Tối cần như cốt tủy và gần gũi như máu chảy khắp châu thân. Những lời kinh như những lời thiên thu gọi hãy dũng mãnh lên đường
21 Tháng Mười 202010:42 CH(Xem: 8588)
Một lần Đấng Thế Tôn ngụ tại tu viện của Cấp Cô Độc (Anathapindita) nơi khu vườn Kỳ Đà Lâm (Jeta) gần thị trấn Xá Vệ (Savatthi). Vào lúc đó có một vị Bà-la-môn to béo và giàu sang đang chuẩn bị để chủ tế một lễ hiến sinh thật to. Số súc vật sắp bị giết gồm năm trăm con bò mộng, năm trăm con bê đực, năm trăm con bò cái tơ,
20 Tháng Mười 20209:07 CH(Xem: 8395)
Tôi sinh ra trong một gia đình thấp hèn, Cực khổ, dăm bữa đói một bữa no. Sinh sống với một nghề hèn mọn: Quét dọn và nhặt hoa héo rơi xuống từ các bệ thờ (của những người Bà-la-môn). Chẳng ai màng đến tôi, mọi người khinh miệt và hay rầy mắng tôi, Hễ gặp ai thì tôi cũng phải cúi đầu vái lạy. Thế rồi một hôm, tôi được diện kiến
14 Tháng Mười 202010:00 SA(Xem: 10835)
Một thời Đức Phật ở chùa Kỳ Viên thuộc thành Xá Vệ do Cấp Cô Độc phát tâm hiến cúng. Bấy giờ, Bāhiya là một người theo giáo phái Áo Vải, sống ở vùng đất Suppāraka ở cạnh bờ biển. Ông là một người được thờ phụng, kính ngưỡng, ngợi ca, tôn vinh và kính lễ. Ông là một người lỗi lạc, được nhiều người thần phục.
11 Tháng Năm 20208:38 CH(Xem: 12098)
một lần Đấng Thế Tôn lưu trú tại bộ tộc của người Koliyan, gần một ngôi làng mang tên là Haliddavasana, và sáng hôm đó, có một nhóm đông các tỳ-kheo thức sớm. Họ ăn mặc áo lót bên trong thật chỉnh tề, khoác thêm áo ấm bên ngoài, ôm bình bát định đi vào làng