Namo tassa Bhagavato Arshato Sammasam Buddhassa.
ADORATION TO THE BLESSED, SINLESS, EXALTED ALL KNOWING BUDDHA.
The Arya Dharma of
Sakya Muni, Gautama Buddha.
The Ethics of Self Discipline.
BY THE VENERABLE
THE ANAGARIKA DHARMAPALA.
BRAHMACHARI OF THE BODHISATVA PATH
& FOUNDER OF THE MAHA BODHI SOCIETY.
Born: 1864 - Died: 1933
MAHA BODHI BOOK AGENCY
4-A, Bankim Chatterjee Street, Calcutta-700 073. INDIA
Digital Version 1.00
Created October 2002
Published by D. L. S. Jayawardana
for Maha. Bodhi Book Agency.
Printed at PRESS LAND
5A, Bankim Chatterjee Street, Calcutta-73 Rhone ; 31-6312
MY SAINTLY MOTHER, Srimati MALLIKA MAHA UPASIKA.
The Memory of My Beloved Father,
"The Righteous Householder", Well Known For His
Philanthropic Benefactions In Ceylon,
THE MUDALIYAR HEVAVITARANA WIJAYAGUNARATNA ;
MY DEAR "FOSTER MOTHER",
the noble lady Mrs. T. R. Foster, of Honolulu, Hawaii
To Whose Unfailing Kindness & Munificent Donations,
The Construction of The First Buddhist Vihara In Calcutta
To Enshrine The Sacred Body Relic Of The LORD BUDDHA,
Promised by The Government
Of India To The Maha Bodhi Society, Has Been Made Possible
To the Memory of
Sri NEEL COMUL MOOKERJEE.
Who Lovingly Offered Me Hospitality
When I First Came To Calcutta In March, 1891,
And To Every English-speaking Person Throughout The World.
This little Volume is Dedicated by THE
ANAGARIKA BRAHMACHARI DHARMAPALA.
Anagarika Dharmapala, a noble son of Sri Lanka who was the leading light of the Buddhist revival in India in recent times has written several books and pamphlets in addition to editing the oldest Buddhist journal "The Maha Bodhi" the official organ of the Maha Bodhi Society of India from 1892 onwards. The Anagarika Dharmapala founded the Maha Bodhi Society of India in 1891 to safeguard the Buddhagaya temple for the Buddhists of the world and to spread the message of Love and Compassion and the noble Dhamma of the Lord Buddha in India and the world.
To achieve the noble purpose of reviving and spreading the Dhamma in the land of its birth as well as to the western world, he wrote lucidly, with great enthusiasm and an evangelical zeal, many books, foremost of which are the LIFE AND TEACHINGS OF BUDDHA and this book THE ARYA DHARMA OF SAKYA MUNI, GAUTAMA, BUDDHA or THE ETHICS OF SELF DISCIPLINE which was first published, in 1917. Through the medium of this book the Anagarika Dharmapala had briefly sketched the life of the Buddha, the great renunciation, a brief comparison of the tenets of Buddhism and the other religions of the world, the exhortation of the Buddha to Kings and to the common laymen on the ethics of day to day family life and a happy home.
He has also touched on the psychological aspects of Buddhism, on evolution and creation, on Karma and the fruits of Karma and also given the ancient version of the story of the Genesis as known to the primitive Aryans of India.
He has also dealt with Dhyanayoga, the attitudes of the West and some of the eastern countries to Buddhism and also dealt at length on the value of the Pali language for study of Buddhism and also as a unifying media on the need for the development of art, industry and culture for the economic upliftment and well being of the downtrodden masses of India.
On Buddhagaya the holiest of shrines of the Buddhists, the heart of the Anagarika Dharmapala has grieved. He speaks of the role to be played by the Maha Bodhi Society in the upliftment of the quality of life of the common people and the spread of the noble Dhamma to the people of India and the world. The fundamental doctrines of the Buddha Dhamma are clearly and with simplicity presented before the reader in the latter stages of the book and this will prove most helpful to all those who are interested in the study of Buddhism.
As we are entering the 125th Birth Anniversary of the; Ven. Anagarika Dharmapala and we are also on the threshold of the Centenary of the founding of the Maha Bodhi. Society of India, to pay our deep respects - and gratitude to this noble son of Lanka who made India his home and dedicated his entire life for the spread of Buddhism in India and the western countries, we are taking steps to popularize the writings of the Anagarika Dharmapala.
We take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation for the reprint of this valuable and enlightening booklet THE ARYA DHARMA OF SAKYA MUNI, GAUTAMA BUDDHA or THE ETHICS OF SELF DISCIPLINE by the Maha Bodhi Book Agency and we are particularly thankful to Mr. D. L. S. Jayawardena of the Maha Bodhi Book Agency for his enthusiastic effort in getting out this book during this period when the need for the message of Love and Compassion of the Buddha in the world which is full of turmoil, hatred and destructive wars, is felt necessary more than ever before.
We congratulate him for taking a keen interest to reprint this book and may the efforts made by publishing this book of spreading the Dhamma be objectively achieved for the welfare of the many and the good of the many. We are thankful to the printers for their excellent work.
May the Message of the Buddha pervade throughout the world.
May all beings be happy !
Sabbe Satta Bhavantu Sukhitatta !
Ven. M. Wipulasara Maha Thera
Maha Bodhi Society of India
4/A,Bankim Chatterjee Street, Calcutta-700073
2nd January, 1989.
BUDDHAGAMA AND THE RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD
Europe received its religion from the Asiatic Jews. Peter was a Gallilean fisherman, and Paul was a tentmaker of Tarsus. The founder of the religion was Jesus, son of a Jewish Carpenter of Nazareth. Islam was founded by Mohammed, who was by profession a supervisor of a caravan in service under an Arabian lady of Mecca. The religion of Zendavesta was founded by Zoroaster, a Persian. The religion of Jehovah was founded by Moses, a Hebrew born in Egypt. Protestant Christianity was founded by Luther, a German. Vedic Brahmanism was the Joint product of Brahman Rishis. The secret religion of the Upanishads was founded by the Rajarishis of ancient India. Even Yajnavalkya was trained under a Rajarshi. (See Vishnu Purana, 4 Adhyaya.) The Tirthaka religion of the Jains was founded by Mahavira of Vesali. The modern Vedantism was founded by Sankara, a Brahman of Malabar. Vasishta Advaita religion was founded by the Brahman Ramdnujachariya, the Dwaita religion was founded by the Brahman Madhvacharya. Vaishnava religion was founded by the Brahman Chaitanya. The religion of the Sikhs was founded by Guru Nanak. The religion of Tao was founded by the Chinese philosopher, Laotsze; Confucianism was founded by Confucius of China. The modern Brahma Samaj was founded by the Brahman, Raja Ram Mohan Rai. All these religions have one common basis, except the system of political ethics taught by Confucius.
Confucius did not wish to enter into the speculations of the hereafter. His was purely a moral and political system upholding the Conservative government of ancient China. The religion of Tao did not concern with the affairs of this world. The Chinese philosopher was wholly interested in the discovery of the divine principle of Tao, Vedanta, of the Advaita. Vedanta of the Vishistadvaita, and the Vedanta of the Dwaita, the religion of the Vaishnavas of Bengal founded by Chaitanya are of Indian origin, and are post Buddhistic. The religion of the Sikhs, the Visishtadvaitism, Dwaitism, Vaishnavism were founded after the invasion of India by the Moslems. The Brahma Samaj was founded after the British occupation of Bengal.
The one religion that stands by itself is the religion promulgated by the Prince of Kapilavastu, Sakya Muni, the Buddha Gotama. Historically it is the oldest religion in the world. Brahmanism underwent modifications after the invasion of India by the Moslems. The religion of Jesus after it was established in European soil was no more the religion of the poor. It became the religion of the diplomatic politician and the dogmatic ecclesiastic.
Islam was first the religion of the political refugees of Mecca, and after the acquisition of political power by Mahammad it became the religion of Fatalism, and as long as the power of the sword was in the hands of the Moslems it did not cease its conquest. Mahammad did not teach anything new to the people of Mecca, except that he isolated Allah destroying other gods worshipped by the Meccans. The story of Adam and several other stories from the Old Testament of the Bible he borrowed, and gave the creation account as it appeared in the Bible. changing the name of the Creator Jehovah into Allah.
The old customs of circumcision and the worship of the Kaaba, the black stone at Mecca, were adhered to. The ancient temple of Mecca, wherein the Kaaba was, belonged to the family of Mahammad. The very name Mahammad was older than his religion. He kept the old name, even after he became a Conqueror.
Judaism is a mixture of old Babylonian and Egyptian ethics. Judaism and Jehovah are interdependent, I am a holy God thou art a holy people unto me O Israel: that was the cry of the Jehovistic prophets. Judaism lost its place after the Jews returned from their exile in Babylon.
The Jews do not care to make converts. So are the Parsees of Bombay. Their religion is only for the Parsees. The Brahmins do not want converts from other castes and countries. Their religious books are in the Sanskrit language, and the non-Brahmans are prohibited from reading the Vedas. The non-Brahman Sudras are religiously under the domination of the Brahmans. No non-Brahman is initiated by the Brahmans, and there is no propaganda of Brahmanism in other lands.
Muhammad from the beginning of his career adopted the military method of the conqueror. The fighting soldier who dies in the battlefield was assured a heaven after death. The martial spirit could not be kept except by good food, and intoxicating drinks were prohibited since it interferes with the fighting spirit. This is an old doctrine.
The ancient Kshatriyas of India promised a heaven to the man who dies fighting in the battlefield. Sree Krishna in his Bhagavat Gita assured the fighting man that heaven is his reward. In the Jataka story called the Maha Bodhi Jataka this fact is mentioned. In the Gamini Samyutta of the Samyutta Nikaya, at the time of the Buddha this doctrine was prevalent, that the soldier who dies fighting is born in heaven. The soldiers were prevented from joining the Bhikkhu Order as their services were required in the battlefield by the King.
The religion of the Jews was a purely fighting religion with Jehovah as the commander-in Chief of the Judaic forces. All the wars were carried on by the people of Judah under the command of Jehovah. All the tactics of the military dictator were adopted by Jehovah. When he could not manage the Jews He went and joined the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, and betrayed the poor Jews to be taken captives to Babylon.
In the Old Testament the prophets were guided by Jehovah; in the Koran Mahammad advised Allah the course to follow. Whatever Mahammad desired to have was in this way obtained, inasmuch as Allah was always ready to comply with the wishes of Mahammad.
Jehovah failed in his policy, and he had to abandon the holy mount of Moriah at Jerusalem, although he had made every effort to guide the Jews to victory. The last book of the Old Testament is Malachi, and then there is a long interval without any history; of the activities of Jehovah. Again Jehovah appears with the appearance of the prophet of Nazareth. But in a different role. He is the Father of all. For nearly 300 years, the history of Jehovah was a blank, before the advent of Jesus.
Greece, Egypt, Syria, Babylon, Persia, and the country of Gandahar whose capital was Taxila in the time of Asoka came to know of the kingdom of the Gangetic Valley. Long before Alexander came to Gandahar, Taxila was known to the people of the Gangetic valley as a place of learning. From the time of Alexander to the time of the Muhammedan invasion of India there was an overland route from India to Egypt through the Mesopotamian countries. There was communication between China and Egypt through Turkestan. After the invasion of the countries to the west of India by the cohorts of Islam the overland route to India suffered, and gradually forgotten.
The religions of the world may be divided into two categories; Destructive and non-Destructive. Blood sacrificing religions are Vedic Brahmanism, Zorastrianism, Muhammedanism, Judaism, Christianity, Confucianism and Saiva Vedantism; the non-Destructive religions are Buddhagama, Jainism and Vaishnava religion of Chaitanya. Jainism adopted the doctrine of ahimsa, but narrowed its usefulness by extreme methods.
The religion of the Buddha was a purely psychological science which was taught only to those who were admitted into the Brahmachariya Order of Yellow robed Bhikkhus. The popular religion of gods, hells, pretas, Brahmas, of ancient India without the blood sacrifices, slightly modified was preached by the Buddha to the householders. The householders who followed the Buddha wore white robes. Tirthaka was the name given to the religion of the Jains.
In the Buddha's time there were many schools of philosophy, each one showing a way to heaven. The actors, ascetics, soldiers &c. had their own heavens. The Brahmans taught that heaven can be obtained by bathing in the sacred waters of the Ganges and other rivers, and also by means of prayer that souls can be sent to heaven. The chief God of the manvantara whom the people of India accepted was Brahma. He was a God of Love and Compassion. The Buddha was requested by Brahma to save the world.
The Brahma qualities of love, compassion, joyousness, contentment were required to be practised to be born in the Brahmaloka. The God of Love paid homage to the Lord Buddha for the supremeness of the Wisdom that the Lord possessed. The Buddha after He had attained the anuttara sambodhi knowledge looked throughout the Universe to whom He should pay homage, and among living gods and Brahmas and Brahmans there was none fit to receive His worship or homage. It was at this moment that the Brahma appeared before the Lord and said that there is none worthy to receive the homage of a perfect Buddha, and that the Buddha may pay homage to supreme Truth (DHAMMA).
All religions posit a god under different names. He is called Brahma, Brahman, Isvara, Vishnu, Mahadeva, Siva, Jehovah, Allah, Tao, Elohim, I-am that-I-am, Jah, Baal, Osiris, Ahuramazda, Ra, Marduk, Kurumasaba, God, Gott, Bhog, Om, &c. The creators of these gods were human beings. Each nation had its own god. The god of Israel was fighting with the gods of Canaan, and he was jealous, and ordered the children of Israel to worship him and no other. Of course they did not listen to him, and he was very angry, because they "went whoring after other gods." In the fight sometimes he is defeated by the god of Babylon, and once the Israelites being defeated by the Philistines, the former fled leaving the tabernacle of god on the field. The god was locked up in the tabernacle, and the Philistines set the tabernacle in a bullock cart, and sent it to the Israelites, and when it was brought to the field and left there, some of the Israelites looked into the tabernacle, with the result God got angry and destroyed several thousands.
Jehovah failed to kill the gods which gave him trouble. Mahammad destroyed all the gods of Mecca and kept only one, and isolated him. The Christians say that God created man about 6000 years ago from the earth of Mesapotamia. The God Allah created man about 7000 years ago. The Brahmans say that Brahma created the four castes, and that they came from his mouth.
The Kshatriyas declared that they came from the Sun, and that they are the kinsmen of the Sun. The Vaishyas and Sudras were not interested in philosophical matters, and they were not able to discover a god to represent them. The Kayastas created their own god and called him Chitragupta.
The craftsmen created their own god, and they called him Visvakarma. The Russians called their god Bhog. The ancient Romans had Jupiter as their god. The Greeks had Zeus. The ancient Brahmans created innumerable gods to suit the taste of the people. In all they have 330 millions gods, and the more the better, and each one had his own Ishtadevata, or his own god who is protecting him, something like the daemon of Socrates. Jesus called his god Our Father. The gods of exoteric religions did not know that the world was many millions years old.
Neither the prophets who proclaimed the gods had any idea of the modern sciences of geology, astronomy, paleontology &c. Before the discovery of the sciences of astronomy, geology, and of the element radium, the scientists had no evidence to demonstrate the age of the earth. The antiquities of Egypt, and Babylonia show that there existed civilized races in these countries eight thousand years ago.
The religion of Jews is a mixture of ancient Babylonian and Egyptian myths. Jesus appeared at a time when the Greeks, Romans, Syrians, Persians, Egyptians, Babylonians were still enjoying the fruits of their own civilizations. The ancient Romans did not destroy the ancient religions of Egypt and Assyria &c.
The first iconoclasts were the converts to Christianity after the conversion of the Roman emperor Constantine. Then commenced the destruction of the ancient religions, and their temples were all destroyed, and their philosophers burnt.
About five hundred years later Mahammad began to preach the religion of Islam, and the victorious Moslems carried fire and sword through countries where the Christians held sway, and Christianity was driven out from Asia Minor and Egpyt. When a nation gains victory in the battle field, the god of the Victorious party is elevated, the defeated god is driven out of the field. So do the gods appear and disappear. Jehovah disappeared and the God our Father came into existence. Ahuramazda was in Persia, but after Persia went under Islam, Ahuramazda was driven out, and Allah took his place.
In the Puranas are given discussions on different subjects, where in the gods and the Rishis took part. In these accounts the gods and Philosophers are engaged in mutual conversation and no jealousy is shown. Mahadeva, Isvara, Shiva, Vishnu, Sri Krishna, Brahma, together with the goddesses are found engaged in conversation with the Rishis. That the world is 7000 years old and that man was created by a god from clay, no philosophic thinker now believes. The creation stories are the myths of childhood of pagan peoples.
The charge of atheism is brought against the religion of the Lord Buddha. Buddha came to teach a path without the help of gods or devils. But the people who had their gods got angry because the Lord did not want their help. It is like the man who believed that light can only be got through the burning of oil and wick. He would not accept any other light except the oil light, and when the electrician came and said that he could give a brilliant light without having recourse to either oil or wick, the oil lamp man said, that can't be, let me have the electric light with the oil and the wick put in, and I shall be satisfied. The muddle-headed who have no idea of the science of evolution or the science of electricity would not believe that a brilliant light could be got without the aid of oil and wick. Buddhism is a religion that teaches new things which the old god believers had no conception of.
The Lord taught that man can get his salvation without the help of angry, blood thirsty deities. The religion that the Lord gave to the civilized Aryans of ancient India was psychological. No god is needed to get rid of anger, jealousy, ill-will, pride, ignorance.
It is a religion of internal development, and the angry gods can't help another to get rid of anger while they themselves were still dominated by jealousy and anger. Just as light is obtained by means of the electric dynamo without the help of oil, wick and match, so man by following the path of the Lord Buddha, which is the path of scientific wisdom, can attain the highest peace, bliss and freedom by individual effort and personal purity of heart.
The Buddhist can admit into the circle of gods Allah, Jehovah, God, Gott, or any other god who may come into existence in the twentieth century. No Buddhist can hate gods. They have to practise the mettabhavana, and give their love to all the gods. devils, and demons and all living beings. He admits all gods and he gives his love to all.
But gods who murder, and get angry, set fire to cities, kill innocent men, women and children, send tornadoes, typhoons, cyclones, earthquakes, thunderstorms, plagues, pestilences, and create the blind, deaf, dumb, the epileptic, the feeble-minded, and the crippled, the Buddhist rejects.
Some gods get angry daily, some gods want wine, bread and meat for their foods. Some gods without the blood of cows are not happy. Some gods get the worship of muddle-headed by giving them the liberty to kill animals and eat their flesh. They are satisfied with a little music and a few candles and a few psalms. Each man according to his intelligence makes his own god. The Buddhist loves them all. and they are given the merits of the good deeds that he does. No god need be angry with a Buddhist.
THE LIFE OF THE BUDDHA, GAUTAMA SAKYA MUNI
Four asankheyya and a hundred thousand kalpas ago there appeared the fully enlightened, omniscient, all compassionate Buddha who was called Dipankara. At that time there lived Sumedha, a holy Brahman saint, who, when he was a young man became the inheritor of vast wealth of his forefathers. He then began to reflect that this vast wealth, hoarded up from generation to generation, had been left behind by his ancestors for seven generations; and as they had not made use of it for good, let me use it for the good of the world. Thinking thus he advised his attendants to make it known that the accumulated wealth in the house of the Brahman Sumedha is to be given away in charity.
For seven days the vast wealth was given to the poor and the needy, and the seventh day he renounced the pleasures of the world, and went to the Himalayas to practise the rules of sainthood. He attained proficiency in the five abhignas and the eight samapatti, and was able to go through the sky to the heavens of the gods. At this time on a certain day the Brahman Sumedha came down from the Himalayas to the city called Amaravati and be found that the people were busy in decorating the streets and their houses, and he inquired from the people on whose account they are decorating the city for, and they told him that the Holy One, the Buddha Dipankara is expected in their city, and these decorations are in His name.
The very hearing of the word Buddha made him glad, and a thrill of joy went through his whole body. He thought that he should also show his reverence to the Buddha by decorating a portion of the road, and he asked them to let him also decorate a portion, and they gave him a portion of the road. The holy Brahman could have easily by his spiritual powers decorated the road, but he by his own hands began decorating the road.
Before he could finish his portion, the Buddha was seen coming with the band of holy Arhats in yellow robes.
The holy Brahman then resolved to offer his body to the Buddha, and he lay down with his face down wards, and stretched himself, lengthwise for the Buddha to walk over his body. The Buddha approached the holy man, and seeing him, stopped, and beckoning to the Arhats, said, "this holy man, if he so wishes may now pass on to Nirvana by becoming an Arhat, but he wills to be a Buddha like me, and I prophesy that under the name of Gotama, four asankheyyas and a hundred thousand kalpas hence, he will be born in the Sakya. family, his father will be the Raja Suddhodana, and his mother the Queen Maya, and that he will save countless millions of human and divine beings from the sorrows of Sansara.
Saying thus, the Buddha Dipamkara, taking a handful of flowers offered to the future Buddha, and the people all rejoiced, and shouted that they will be born when Sumedha becomes Buddha, and get salvation through Him.
The holy Sumedha at that, time resolved to fulfil the ten paramitas, which are:
Dana, Sila, Nekkhamma, Panna, Viriya, Satya, Kshanti, Adhisthana, Maitri, Upeksha.
Dana is charity absolute, giving life, wealth,. blood, flesh, eyes, children, wife.
Sila is perfection in moral conduct, never deviating from the path of virtue.
Nekkhamma is renunciation of sensual pleasure, and aspiring to lead the saintly life of mercy and holiness.
Pan! is perfect Wisdom to comprehend all the laws of nature which is beyond the grasp of the ordinary man. It is the wisdom of Nirvana transcending the wisdom of gods and men.
Viriya is unceasing, continuous exertion, persevering till death.
Kshanti is forgiving patience. Even when the body is being cut to pieces an angry word must not escape his lips. Only the thought of love should prevail.
Satya is truthfulness even unto death. Never to speak a lie even at the pain of death. Truthfulness is a weapon to defeat the liar.
Adhishtana is cultivating will power to do the highest act of good. No obstacle makes him despair, and with undaunted will he continues till the consummation is reached.
Maitri is all pervading love to every living creature. It is the love of the mother to the invisible child in the womb.
Upeksha is perfect equanimity, showing the same good feeling to all alike, whether friend or foe.
From the moment that the Buddha prophesied that Sumedha would become a samma-sam Buddha, he is a Buddha elect, and hence forward only known as the Bodhisatva Mahasatva. He is greater than all other beings, and his wishes become fulfilled. He may be born as an animal, or god, or Brahma, but the golden thread runs through life after life, which continues unbroken. For four asankheyya and a hundred kalpas he had to go through the path of perfection. Life after life he has to fulfil the paramitas. In some life he may fulfil the paramita of charity, in another life another paramita, and there is no deviating from the path. He has become incapable of doing evil. Under the Buddha Dipamkara he could have reached Nirvana, but the Arhatship that was in his possession he surrendered so that he may become the Buddha, and save the world. He has no more sin, and now he is only accumulating merits for the sake of the world, for their good. He does everything good for the welfare of the world. There is no more egoism in him. He does his duty and patiently waits.
He knows that he is the future Buddha. He gets the intuitive knowledge of the Bodhisatva and the fulfilment of the paramitas becomes easy. He does every act of sacrifice with delight. Because he knows that at some future time that he will save the world. He is the supreme one in every life.
The fulfilment of paramitas is necessary to reach Nirvana. The three paths to reach Nirvana are that of the Arhat, Pacceka Buddha and Sammasam buddha. It is different from the path leading to the heavens of Brahmas and devas.
To reach Nirvana as an Arhat the ten paramitas have to be practised for one assankheyya kalpa; to reach Nirvana as a Pratyeka Buddha, one has to practise the ten paramitas for two asankheyya kalpas; and to reach Nirvana as a sammasambuddha there are three ways, by strenuousness, by faith and by wisdom.
The Bodhisat who takes the strenuous life are called viriyadhika; the one who takes the path of faith is called saddhadhika, and the one who takes the path of wisdom is called Pannadhika. The pannadhika Bodhisat has to fulfil the paramitas for sixteen asankheyya kalpas; the saddhadhika Bodhisat takes eight asankheyya kalpas and the viriyadhika Bodhisat takes four assankheyyas and one hundred thousand kalpas. Our Buddha belonged to the viriyadhika class.
The Bodhisatva first received the initiation from the Buddha Dipamkara and then from the Buddhas Kondafifia. Tanhamkara, Medamkara, Mangala, Sumana, Revata, Sobhita,. Anomadassi, Paduma, Narada, Padumuttara, Sumedha, Sujata, Piyadassi, Atthadassi, Dhammadassi, Siddhattha, Tissa, Phussa, Vipassi, Sikhi, Vessabhu, Kakusandha, Konagamana and Kassapa.
In the fulfilment of the paramitas the perfection in each has to be reached by the Bodhisats.
The Bodhisat has to say (Dana.)
"In alms there is none can equal me In alms have I perfection reached.
They pierced me through with pointed stakes They hacked me with their hunting knives. Yet I was not angry but kept the precepts perfectly.
A kingdom dropped into my hands Like spittle vile I let it fall. Nor for it felt the smaller wish And thus renunciation gained.
With wisdom sifted I the case. And freed the Brahman from his woe In wisdom none can equal me In wisdom I've perfection reached.
Far out of sight of land were we. The crew were all as dead of fright; Yet still unruffled was my mind: In courage I've perfection reached.
Like one insensible I lay. While with his hatchet keen he hacked. Nor raged against Benares King; In patience I've perfection reached.
I kept the promise I had made And gave my life in sacrifice. A hundred warriors set I free in truth have I perfection reached.
"Tis not that I my parents hate. "Tis not that glory that I detest. But since omniscience I held dear. Therefore I kept my firm resolve.
No fear has any one of me Nor have I fear of any one. In my good will to all I trust And love to dwell in lonely woods.
While from the villages around, some came to mock and some to praise. Indifferent to pain and pleasure I acquired the perfection of indifference,"
In the last birth as Vessantara Prince the perfection of charity was reached when he gave his two children to the Brahman as an offering, and his wife, the princess Madri to the god Indra, and after death he was born in the Tusita heaven, and when the time came for him to take birth on earth to become Buddha, the gods approached the future Buddha and solicited Him to take birth in India for the salvation of the world. Then the Bodhisat looked to the five great signs of fulfillment; time, continent, country, mother, family ; and he found that the time was appropriate, that the best of the continents was Jambudipa, the best of countries was the Middle country of India, and the best of families was the family of the Sakyas descended from the Solar King, Ikshvaku, and the best of women was the Queen Maha Maya of immaculate conduct.
Ten thousand worlds rejoiced when the future Buddha left the Tusita devaloka to be conceived in the immaculate womb of the queen Maha Maya. Ten months after, the time came for delivery and the Queen went in procession to her own kingdom of Devadaha and when approaching the royal garden Lumbini, she felt a desire to visit the garden, and with all the retinue she entered the garden and was walking under the shady grove, when the pain of delivery came, and under the Sala Tree, the future Buddha was born.
Then came four Gods of the Suddhavasa heaven of immaculate minds, and received the future Buddha, and placed Him before his mother and said, Rejoice O Queen, a mighty son has been born to you. The four guardian angels then took the child and handed Him to the men, and then at that moment He uttered the words "I am the Chief, the Eldest, in all the world". At the same time the future Buddha was born there were born the future wife Yasodhara, to be known as the mother of Rahula; the horse Kanthaka, the courtier Kaludayi, the charioteer Channa, and the Bodhi Tree at Buddhagaya.
The gods of ten thousand worlds rejoiced on the day that the future Buddha was born. (The details of the birth story is given in the Jataka book, translated by C. H. Warren in his "Buddhism in Translations''.)
In the sixteenth year the Prince Siddhartha was married to the princess Yasodhara, and they lived in all happiness till their twenty-ninth year, when the Princess gave birth to a male child, and on that night the Prince Siddhartha made the great renunciation to seek the way of salvation.
On the seventh day of the birth of the future Buddha his mother died and was born in the Tusita heaven, and the divine Child was nursed by the second wife of Raja Suddhodhana, the Princess Maha Prajapati, sister of the late Queen. The Raja Suddhodana built for the use of the Prince three palaces one for the summer, one for the rainy season and one for the cold weather, and made them like habitations of gods. The Anguttara Nikaya commentary has given details of the three palaces.
After making the great renunciation the Prince Bodhisatva put on the yellow robe and walked on foot from the border of the Sakyan country to the capital of Magadha. He begged his food from the people and went alone to the rock cave on the Pandava hill and ate his food. Here the Bodhisat was visited by King Bimbisara, and the young king requested the Bodhisat to stay with him and rule half the kingdom. The Prince Bodhisat told the king that he belongs to the Aditya race, and that he is a Kosala Sakya Prince; that he left the pleasures of the palace to seek Truth.
Leaving Rajagriha the Bodhisat wandered alone to seek the Brahman rishis and for some time He lived under the two great rishis Alarakalama and Udraka Ramaputra, from whom He learnt the philosopy of the Arupa Brahmaloka. Not satisfied with the results of dhyana yoga leading to nevasnnanasanna, the Bodhisat came to Uruvela to spend the ascetic life, and for six years He mortified the body in the hope of reaching the highest bliss. His body by strict fasting was reduced to a mere skeleton, and one day he fell down unconscious, and his friends thought he was dead, and the gods said that he will not die till truth is found. At last He woke up from the swoon, and then he abandoned the path of asceticism.
He looked back to find out at what period of life he was happy when he was in his father's palace, and the picture of the ploughing scene at Kapilavastu when he was an infant, sitting alone under the Jambu tree came before His mind's eye. The idea of following the middle path came to him, and he found that the baby life requires everything in moderation. The phychology of the infant life helped the Bodhisat to discover the middle path as the road fit for the Brahmachari who was in search of Nirvana. This life He adopted, and when He began to take food after the long fasts, the five Brahman companions left the Bodhisat, and then He was alone.
He began to take food during the middle of the day, and by slow degrees He recovered the last flesh, and on the day of the full moon of the month of Vesakha (April-May) He went and sat at the foot of the Ajapala Banyan tree, when He received the milk food at the hands of Sujata. In the evening He came and sat at the foot of the Bodhi Tree resolved never to get up from the place till the Wisdom of Nirvana is realized. At the first watch of the night He gained the divine knowledge to look to the past for countless millions of years, and in the middle watch of the night He received the divine insight to look to the future, whereby He was able to see what happens to life at death. He found that man dies and is born again, and that according to his deeds he suffers or enjoys. In the early dawn the great Light of Omniscience He realized and the working of the great Law of Cause and Effect was revealed, and He became the Sammasam Buddha.
For seven weeks He spent, a week at each place near about the Bodhi Tree in the enjoyment of the happiness of final emancipation. No more was He in samsara. He had become an Arhat. He discovered the happiness of Eternal Nirvana. No more birth, and no more death. Sufferings have ceased absolutely. Only Love and Wisdom remain.
Mara the chief god of the heavens came to the Blessed One and said that now the Tathagata has gained final liberation, that He should live in silence, alone and enjoy rest. The Blessed One answered and said, Friend of Death, I shall not seek the repose of Nirvana in peace and solitude, but I will train men and women in the discipline and make them Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis, and will teach laymen and laywomen in the Doctrine, and make them to propagate the sweet Doctrine, and subdue the false doctrines, and then will I seek the final repose.
The Blessed One was requested by the Brahma Sahampati to preach the Doctrine, and purify the forgotten faith that leadeth to Nirvana. The Buddha accepted the offer, and began the life of activity to save the world from sin and sorrow by love and wisdom.
From Buddhagaya the Blessed One walked to Benares in search of the five Brahman companions who were His friends at Uruvela. He found them at the Dear Park at Migadava, now Sarnath. He preached the Doctrine of the Middle path, and the Four Noble Truths, and enunciated the Doctrine of No-Ego-Anatman.
After three months, in the month of October the Blessed One had sixty Bhikkhus, all emancipated from sin and sorrow. They were given the order to proclaim the Doctrine, sweet in the beginning, sweet in the middle, sweet in the end, for the welfare of the many, for their happiness, for their good, with compassion. The sixty Arhats went in sixty directions, and the Blessed One came to Gaya and Uruvela. At Uruvela He converted the fireworshipping ascetics, chief of whom was Uruvela Kassapa with 500 disciples. Then at Gayasirsa He converted the two other chief Jatilas, and at the site of Gaya sirsa He preached the Flame sermon to the thousand converted ascetics and they all became Arhats. With the thousand The Blessed One went to Rajagriha to meet the King, Bimbisara.
The King and his court were converted to the new faith. Thence forward for forty five years He went all over India preaching the Dhamma to king, and prince, noble and low, to man and woman, rich and poor, to the beggar and leper without distinction of birth. The day's work of the Blessed One is thus set forth in the Pali books
The Blessed One wakes up at two o'clock in the morning and sits in samadhi for His own happiness and in compassion for the world and seeks by His divine eye whether there is any one with the upanissaya karma fit to receive the gift of Truth that day, and when he sees in any part of the world the person, whether he be god or man, He would go to the place in the natural way, if the place is within measurable distance of one or more yojana; if the place is very far He would then use His iddhi power to transport Himself through space. The farthest world of many thousand million miles distance to Him was no distance. The time it takes for a strong man to stretch his arm is the time required for the Blessed One to visit the distant world of Brahma. It is said that from the sacred Body of the Blessed One there goes out rays of glory always, and on certain occasions He wills that they should emit several miles, and the people accustomed to the process recognise them and make preparations to receive the Blessed One. On certain days He goes without the company of Bhikkhus to receive alms from the people. The wealthy Brahmans invite the Blessed One to their homes together with the Bhikkhus in number about twelve hundred. Before the sun passes the meridian He finishes the day's meal, and for twenty four hours there was only one meal which He partook, and He strongly urged the Bhikkhus not to eat heavy food after the sun passes the meridian.
It was a help to keep the body in good health as well as for psychical reasons to develop the higher faculties. A little time after the meal is over He would give individually to each Bhikkhu instructions to develop the psychical insight for the attainment of Nirvana, according to the upanissaya karma of each.
The psychical temperament of each Bhikkhu He sees, and looks to the Bhikkhu's past birth before instructions are given. Some are inclined to lustful passion, some are muddleheaded, some are hot headed, some have more of faith, some have more reasoning power, some have more virility, and by the variations of temperament the individual Bhikkhu is judged, and the karmasthana best suited to the development of the individual is given, and the Bhikkhu is intructed to go into a retreat far or near, or to the Himalayas.
In the afternoon laymen and laywomen visit the Buddha with sweet fragrance and flowers and offer them at His sacred feet. He instructs them in the duties of the householder about the consequences that follow the life of sense enjoyment, about renunciation and purification. If the Blessed One sees the receptive heart in the listener He would then preach the "samukkansika dhamma". viz., the Four Noble Truths.
In the afternoon the Blessed One bathes His body and engage in conversation with the incoming Bhikkhus from distant places and countries, and at ten o'clock the Bhikkhus all retire, when the Buddha sits alone till midnight to receive the visits from the heavenly beings.
At midnight He retires to rest, and consciously repose on His right side to wake up again at two in the morning for the day's work. Thus did the Blessed One spend the time for forty five years, counting it not by years and months but by hours. An hour is equal to one year according to the psychology of spiritual growth. The Blessed One reposed only two hours a day, and to His Bhikkhus He gave four hours to sleep according to "Jagariyanuyoga". During the rainy season travelling is stopped, and the Bhikkhus were to remain in a place during the three months in one place. Where they stopped, especially in villages, they were fed by the village people, and the Bhikkhus preached daily to them. A programme for the whole year of activity was discussed at the pavarana ceremony which was in the month of Kartik (October).
Some times the Blessed One during the rainy season retires into solitude with instructions given before hand that only one Bhikkhu who is to attend on Him, shall see Him.
In the first assembly of Bhikkhus held at Rajagriha under the Blessed One in the seventh month after His Enlightenment there were 1250 Arhats. In the tenth month after the Enlightenment the Blessed One left Rajagriha with a retinue of about 20,000 to His father's kingdom, and at Kapilavastu the elderly Sakyan princes were reluctant to pay homage to Him, and the Blessed One to break down their "Sakyan" pride showed the "Double Miracle" (yamaka patihariya) and received their homage led by the aged Raja Suddhodana. He is no prophet who does not receive the homage of his own people.
No man, god, angel or demon can kill a Buddha. This is a law. The best of the Brahman thinkers joined the yellow robe and became Arhats. The two chief disciples of the Buddha were of the Brahman clan, Sariputra and Moggallana. Within the Holy Order of the Yellow Robe there was no distinction of caste. All were admitted and they were known as the "Sakyaputra Sramanas". The Buddha addressed the people in the purified Magadhi language.
To the householders the Blessed One taught the four principles of Service, viz : Dana, Priyavacana, Samanatmata and Arthachariya.
Dana is universal all comprehensive charity;
Priyavacana is sweet speech;
Samanatmata is equality in treatment;
Arthachariya is a life of usefulness for the good of others.
The ethical principle of Universal brotherhood was thus spiritually established.
The Blessed One taught history, social ethics, old world stories, kindness to animals, communal service, the duties of the king to his people, the duties of the Brahmans, about the duties of the wife to the husband, about the law of cause and effect, about rebirth in heavens, in the animal womb, in the different hells for the sins committed, about giving release to the departed who are born in the preta loka, about the evolution of the embryo, about observing caste rules to keep the kulavanse (social rank) and not depart from the laws laid down by ancestors. The life of holiness was enunciated according to grades viz., the sotapatti, the sakadagami, anagami and the highest, arhat.
Hells, pretalokas, animal kingdom, human kingdom, celestial regions, the heavens of the purified gods, the heavens of no perception, the heaven of pure consciousness, the formation of the solar systems, their number going up to billions, the formation of the earth from the nebular state, the growth of primeval life, the origin of the first life wave, the origin of the myth of the creator, the forty different methods to obtain happiness by means of purification of the mind, the superiority of mind and its growth when associated with the law of meritorious activity, the retardation of its growth when led by ignoble desires, the development of ideal desires, about the despicable ways of the householder, and the way that he should live to enjoy happiness, the methods to be employed to develop arts, industries, agriculture, cattle keeping, dairying and trade - all these and a hundred other subjects He taught to the people of India.
The Buddha proclaimed a complete doctrine of the past present and future. There is no known beginning, and no end. Nothing is created, and, nothing can be annihilated, and there is no permanent thing in the universe. Everything is subject to Change.
Those questions that are set aside are called thapaniya, and those questions that can't be answered are called Abyakata. The condition of Nirvana is abyakata, beyond speech. Nirvana is a condition to "be realized", and words and verbal explanations can never describe the state of Nirvana.
Questions that are outside the pale of the Nirvana doctrine are the following :
Is the world eternal ? Is the world not eternal ?
Is the world finite ? Is the world not finite ?
Is the Jiva the same as the body ? Is the Jiva another and the body another ?
Does the being exist after death ? Does the being not exist after death ?
Does the being exist and cease to exist after death ?
The being does not exist and will not exist after death ?
Are the world and the atman eternal ? The world and the atman not eternal ?
Are the world and the atman eternal and also not eternal ?
Was the soul as well as the world self made ?
Was the soul made by another as well as the world ?
Were they both self made and also made by another ?
Were they not self made; and made not by another and yet began at a certain time without a cause ?
According to the Blessed One these are theories, and the Blessed One is free from dogmatic expressions. He is a vibhajjavadi an Analyst, not a dogmatist (ekamsavadi). The theory in connection with these dogmas is a jungle, a wilderness, a puppet show, a writhing, and a fetter and is coupled with misery, ruin despair, and agony, and does not tend to aversion, absence of passion, cessation, quiescence, knowledge, supreme wisdom and Nirvana. There is no place in the practical doctrine of the Buddha for speculative theories.
He is the physician and the surgeon, and He found that man suffers from Ignorance and Covetousness, and that he is vacillating between fear and scepticism.
When Naciketa asked Yama the question does the soul of man exist after death, or does not exist after death, the answer that Yama gave was; Naciketa do not put such a question for it is not decided by the gods. The Blessed One after having gained Omniscience found that there is neither a permanency nor an annihilation of existence ; but a continuous change depending on the law of cause and effect according to the good or evil karma.
In enunciating the doctrine of karma the Blessed One gave the immortal doctrine of ceaseless activity for mortals to live up to. Aim high and exert strenuously to reach the goal of non-anger, non lust and enlightenment.
Appamada and Virya were the two great principles that the Blessed One ceaselessly proclaimed. For forty five years, from the 35th year to the 80th year the Blessed One worked for the happiness of the world of gods and men. In the 80th year The Blessed One finished His work and on the full moon day of Baisakh, He entered into the anupadhi sesa nibbana dhatu at Kusinara in the Sala Grove of the Mallyan princes.
THE DHARMAKAYA OF THE BLESSED ONE, THE BUDDHA.
At one time The Blessed One, the Buddha, was staying at Savatthi in the Eastern Vihara, called the Palace of Migara's mother. The two young Brahman Samaneras, Vasettha and Bharadvaja, expecting full ordination into the Holy Order of Bhikkhus were staying in the Vihara with the company of Bhikkhus. The young Brahmans were accomplished in the three Vedas, and of noble birth, inheritors of great wealth.
And the Blessed One having arisen from the meditation called phala samapatti, in which state He realizes the bliss of solitude, and leaving the Vihara, went to the place where the Cloister was, which stood under the shade of the shadow of the Vihara. And the Blessed One was walking up and down, and from His golden complexioned body there went forth the six-coloured rays.
At this time the Brahman youths saw at a distance the Blessed One walking to and fro the shaded Cloister, and the Brahman Vesattha said to the young Brahman Bharadvaja. Look, there is the Blessed One the Buddha, walking to and fro the cloister. Let us go down and meet the Holy One. Peradventure the Holy One will be graciously pleased to deliver a discourse, which will be to our advantage.
And the young Brahman Bharadvaja assented, and they came to where the Blessed One was walking, and they approached the Blessed One and made Him obeisance, and followed the footsteps of the Blessed One, to and fro the cloister.
Thereupon the Blessed One addressing them by name said well, Vasettha, Brahmans by birth ye are, thou and Bharadvaja, belonging to families of high birth, and now ye have forsaken the wealth that is thine, and entered the Religion of Noble Discipline.
What do the Brahmans say ? Do they use harsh words to show thee their displeasure, and do they blame thee ?
Lord, they do blame and use harsh words and abuse us and despise us most vehemently. And the Blessed One inquired and said, in what way do the Brahmans speak ill of thee, and blame thee Vasettha ?
Lord, Holy One, vouchsafe to hear what the Brahmans say, and Vasettha began;
The Brahmans alone belong to the high caste, the other castes are low; only the Brahmans are pure other castes are impure, the Brahmans are by birth, sons of Brahma, the Brahmans repose in the bosom of Brahma, from the mouth of Brahma came forth the Brahmans, and Brahma created them, and the Brahmans are the inheritors of Brahma they are born of Brahma.
And this high inheritance ye hath renounced and have accepted the low born position of the blacks, off scourings of the feet of Brahma, despised are the low, born, and ye have gone forth and joined the despised shavelings. Great indeed is the wrong ye hath done. Holy One the Brahmans in this wise do blame us and slander the holy Bhikkhus.
And the Blessed One thereupon said, Vasettha, it seemeth the Brahmans have forgotten the ancient story of the birth of the world, which was known to the Ancients, and therefore do they blame thee and the non Brahmans, and use slanderous language and condemn them that do not belong to their caste,
Now Vasettha, give ear and listen, and the Blessed One said. The Brahmans for the sake of getting issue, bring women of marriageable age of the Brahman caste, and also do give their daughters to Brahmans, and their women are seen during the period of menstruation, and in the period of pregnancy, and the time when they are going to give birth, and their women are seen when giving their breasts to suck the babes. All this is seen.
And the Brahmans nevertheless declare, although born of women that the Brahmans are superior in caste, and the non-Brahmans are low, the Brahmans are white and the non-Brahmans are black, that Brahmans are holy and others are impure, the Brahmans are sons of Brahma produced from the bosom of Brahma, born out of the mouth of Brahma, created by Brahma, and are inheritors of Brahma. All this is seen.
And yet the Brahmans born of women in declaring themselves sons of Brahma say things which are utterly false. In saying that the Brahmans came out of the mouth of Brahma they defame Brahma, and in slandering Brahma and speaking falsely they create and accumulate sin.
And the Blessed One continued and said, Vasettha, there are four categories of human beings, those of the landholder caste, of the Brahman caste, of the trading class, and those of the serving caste.
And among the landholder caste there are some who commit sin, by the destruction of life, by illicit gain, by unlawful sexual intercourse, by uttering false hood, by slandering others, by using harsh words by unprofitable conversation, by covetous desires, by showing hatred to others by harbouring erroneous views contrary to truth;
And these things which are considered sinful, which belong to the category of evil, which should be avoided, declared as evil, unfit to be practised by the noble disciple, which have been condemned as sinful and producing sorrow, and despised by the wise. And these sins are seen as being committed by some of the landholder caste, and by some of the Brahman caste, and by some of the Vaishya caste, and by some in the serving class;
And Vasettha, in this world, are found some among the landholder caste who abstain from the destruction of life, and other aforesaid evils, and live the righteous life; and also among the Brahman class some are found following the path of righteousness, and also among the Vaishya and the Sudra some are found who walk in the path of righteousness, praised by the wise.
And Vasettha, the saying of the Brahmans that only among the Brahmans are found the high, and the rest are low, and that the Brahmans alone came out of the mouth of Brahma, and that they are inheritors of Brahma;
Such a saying, Vasettha, is not approved of by the wise and among the four categories of human beings, whomsoever hath attained the path of the highest holiness of Arhatship, hath destroyed all evil desires, hath lead the godly life, hath walked in the four paths, hath done all things which hath to be done, hath laid aside the burden of contaminating evils, hath realized the consummation of Self, hath destroyed the burden of Existence. Such a one Vasettha may be called the Superman, by righteousness not by unrighteousness. Vasettha, in this world and in the next, Truth (Dhamma) alone is supreme.
It hath been said that Pasenadi, king of Kosala, knows that the Sramana Gautama of the Sakya clan hath gone forth leaving home to become an ascetic. It hath been declared that the Sakyans pay tribute to the King of Kosala, and that they obey his laws. And the elderly Sakyans show their respect to the king, and the younger Sakyans pay homage to the King by bringing the two palms together.
And the King doth receive the respect of the elder Sakyans, and the homage of the younger Sakyans, and This King when he sees the Tathagata, the Buddha, pays obeisance, homage and worship to the Blessed One, saying;
The Buddha is well born, I the king am not; The Blessed One is full of strength, I the king am not; The sight of the Blessed One pleaseth the heart, my complexion is not pleasing; the Sramana Gautama is full of power, I the king am not. In this wise doth the King sing the praise of the Blessed One. The King in paying honour to Truth doth honour the Tathagata.
Vasettha! Truth alone is supreme, both here and in the world to come. Vasettha, all ye that hath entered the Noble Order of Discipline, ye are of different castes and belong to different castes, and hath left home and joined the Holy Order of the Homeless.
And whensoever any one asketh what are ye, whose following are ye? Do ye say, We are the disciples of the Sramana Sakyaputra. Vasettha, Know ye that he who hath unshakable faith in the Tathagata, deeply rooted, not be disturbed by a Brahman, god, Mara, or Brahma or by any person in the world;
He may be called as one born in the Aryabhumi. and as living in association with the Tathagata, and he is called Son of the Blessed One, born of His Word, and the well beloved son, born of Truth, created by Truth, inheritor of Truth. The Tathagata out of His own mind created the Dhamma. The Body of the Tathagata is created by Truth, and it is called the Body of Truth and is the Supreme Body.
EXHORTATIONS OF THE BLESSED ONE TO KINGS.
India had always her own kings before the Moslem Invasion, which took place in the last decade of the 10th century of the Christian Era. Previous to the Moslem invasion no foreign foe desecrated the hallowed soil of India.
About 2220 years ago Alexander invaded the country now known as Candahar. But he did not come over to India proper. For nearly a thousand years India has remained dependent on the foreign conquerors.
The first great name that occurs in Indian Puranic history is Ikhsvaku of the solar dynasty. From the line of Ikhsvaku the descent of the Buddha is traced. The Vishnu Purdna gives the name of the Suryavansa kings beginning from Iksvaku, and in the list is mentioned the name of King Suddhodana. The Sakya clan occupied the territory north of Kosala.
The Buddha was the teacher of King Bimbisara of Magadha and of Pasenadi King of Kosala. King Bimbisara's son, Ajatasatru at first was against the Blessed One but later on became a faithful disciple, and helped the early Apostles of the Buddhist Church and became the patron of the first convocation held at Saptaparni Cave at the Vebhara Rock at Rajagriha. The King of Kosala till death remained a fervant disciple of the Blessed One, but his successor the Prince Vidudabha massacred the Sakyans of Kapilavastu.
The Blessed One in the Cakkavatti Sutta of the Digha Nikaya enunciated the political principles of good government which formed the bases of the primitive Aryan administration. The king was known as Dhammaraja, ruling according to the ethics of righteous government. The symbol of the ever revolving wheel was the symbol of Aryan government.
Ariya Cakkaratana had power to promulgate the laws of righteous government. What did the Ariya Chakkavatti proclaim ?
Do not destroy life.
Do not steal.
Do not commit adultery.
Do not tell lies.
Do not drink intoxicating liquor.
Protect and nurse Mother and Father and the Elders of the Family
The King was taught to follow the principles of Dhamma, and to make righteousness the basis of good government. The King has to see that his subjects not be reduced to poverty. He must rule the people, of his kingdom in righteousness, and look to the welfare of his army, of the Khattiyas, Brahmans and householders of the towns and villages and provinces, of the holy sramanas and holy Brahmans and of the four footed beasts and birds, and let no unrighteousness prevail in his kingdom.
If there are in the kingdom people who are poor, let them be given the means to obtain wealth, and by exertion when wealth is obtained let the people be exhorted to take care of their parents, sons and wives, to engage in some kind of art or craft, give charity to the yellow robed Sramanas and the holy Brahmans, things necessary for their welfare, so that heaven may be obtained in reward whereof.
In the Sarnannaphala sutta, Digbanikaya, the Blessed One enunciated the principle of democrate spirituality which is higher than the ethics of royal service. In the Agganna sutta, the Blessed One showed that in Aryan society the king was elected by the people, and that the king is called Raja because he has to delight the hearts of the people. In the Mahaparinibana sutta, Digbanikaya, the Blessed One enunciated the seven principles of political unity, which should be followed by smaller states if they wish to keep their independence.
The king is responsible for the prevalence of crime in his kingdom. When the king falls from the exalted state of righteousness, his ministers become corrupt, and Brahmans become unrighteous, and crime prevails.
The king should fulfil the laws of righteousness so that the people will follow him in the path of virtue. He must practice, charity, open alms houses, and take care of the holy men in his kingdom be, kind in his speech, treat every one with equal tenderness and make his reign a righteous one.
The best example of a Buddhist king is the great Emperor Asoka, and after two thousand years the world has come to realize the wonderful deeds he had done for the prosperity of the people over whom he ruled. The rock cut edicts of the King "Beloved of the gods" speak today to the whole world what a king's duties are.
With the extinction of the Kshattriya kings in India, state support was withdrawn which was given to the maintenance of scholarly Bhikkhus and their pupils. Aliens and low caste kings showed no. sympathy with the yellow robed Bhikkhus, and when they found no support they had to leave the country.
Buddhism is like a tender plant that requires nursing. When the ruling king turns bad the Bhikkhus follow the exhortation of the Blessed One ; they leave his Kingdom. For a thousand years the law of righteousness has remained dormant. May the time soon come when the Law of Piety will reign in the heart of the people and the princes of India.
THE ETHICS OF THE HAPPY HOME
The Blessed One began His mission of Love and Wisdom with the announcement of the gift of Immortality to those who were willing to listen to the Noble Doctrine of Eternal Freedom from Sin and Sorrow; from Hatred and Lust and from Ignorance. The Blessed One wished that all living beings should enjoy the bliss of peace, and happiness.
For seven weeks after the realization of the Wisdom under the Bodhi Tree at Uruvela near the river Neranjara, the Blessed One sat at seven places in the enjoyment of (vimutti sukha) the happiness of emancipation. He psychologically thought out the complex ramifications of the twenty four laws based on 24 Causes. The whole universe was brought under one great Law.
Every phenomenon has a Cause (ye dhamma hetu pabhava) and this Cause the, Tathagata has explained. The kaleidoscopic operations of the 24 laws the Tathagata witnessed, and it is said that when the whole scene became manifest to the mind's eye of the Blessed One, that there went forth from His glorified body the six coloured rays of blue, yellow, red, white, crimson and a blending of the five in one ray which coalesced with the other waves travelling to the remotest limits of the universe. The consummation of His desires, the peace of absolute Nirvana He realized, and now comes the Tempter, Mara, the chief God of the pleasurable heavens, and solicits the Blessed One to enjoy the bliss of Peace in solitude, alone, without any kind of active display.
Live in Peace, why make the effort, said Mara. The Blessed One answered "Evil One, Friend of Death, thy prayer shall not be answered. The rest and the peace which thou want that I should enjoy alone shall not be mine till I see the whole world become partakers thereof.
Not until the company of Bhikkhus, Bhikkhunis, Upasakas and Upasikas monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen is formed, and properly equipped in my Doctrine, and able to subdue the heresies and able to proclaim the Noble Doctrine, shall the Tathagata live in the enjoyment of Nirvanic repose. Away with thee Evil One."
The Doctrine is hard to understand thought the Blessed One. Men given to pleasurable enjoyments and living amidst luxury will they receive it? Just then the cry was heard from the heavens "Lord the world is ready to receive the Doctrine, preach Lord and save the world." The God of Love, the Brahma Sahampati, the Lord of all gods, thus spake, and appeared before the Blessed One.
Buddhism does not believe in persecuting people for the sake of religion. The Buddha saw by His divine eye that there are three kinds of human beings, the fully blossomed, ready to bloom, and the buds that may bloom later. Men's minds are compared to the lotus flower in the three grades, viz., the fully bloomed, the flower above water ready to blossom, and the flower unopened yet under water.
The boy in the lower class is not equal to the student in the middle form, and the senior student in the higher form, is superior to both. It would be foolish to expect that the boy of the lower form could at once develop into the senior boy. Time is required to grow. This doctrine is emphasised in the Dharma of the Tathagata.
The human being was not created a clay idol and galvanised by the fiat of a bloodthirsty demon-god. He is the product of his own karma. Man and animal, have no known beginning. There is no beginning in the cosmology of Buddhism. The beginning can't be found, because there is no known beginning. It is eternity behind, and eternity beyond. There is nothing permanent and nothing can be annihilated. Only the law of change endures. Countless billions of solar systems exist, the whole universe is spiritually bound by the law of cause and effect.
Until the last dying moment there is hope for the better in the case of man. There must not be any show of impatience to compel him to do anything against his will. Kindly, lovingly, persuade him to be good, if he is going in the path of self-destruction, which also means that he is bringing unhappiness on others. No man can do evil for himself alone.
He who does good to himself helps others. Besides the Blessed One saw that each individual has his own upanissaya karma, and to force him to do a thing when he has not the potentiality to grasp it, would be going against the law of karma. You can't make the thistle to produce figs. The mango tree will only produce mango, not coconuts.
The Blessed One enunciated the laws of Heredity, the germinating power of the Seed, the operating cause, and the Law of Nature. (kamma. bija, utu, dhamma). Buddhism knows no persecution, or oppression on religious or psychological grounds. There is all eternity before you, therefore why fear of annihilation ?
The compassion of the Buddhas is due to their Wisdom, and they wish to save those who are ready to hear the good. So long as there is eternity before there will be a line of Buddhas in continuity preparing Humanity for the acceptance of the Dhamma of the future Buddhas. The world will never be devoid of Holy Men.
The Blessed One wished to make the Aryan home happy. He wished to make the wife a goddess and the husband a god. The Blessed One wished to make the city beautiful, with its gardens, parks, tanks, forests, the alms hall, the public bath, the resting hall, the hospital, the townhall, the retreat for the religious, the lying in home, the beautiful drama with its park, pavilion, tank, night station, day station, cloister, hot bath, dining hall, service hall, garden of flowers, garden of fruits, and with this end in view He trained the Bhikkhus to become the teachers of the old and the young.
The perfections of virtue He taught to the householder. He must learn to give charity, however little, daily. He should train himself in the science of giving. Even a grain of rice the householder must learn to give. Morality is a necessity, it is the foundation of domestic happiness. No man who is a thief, will be admitted into respectable society. Man is a social, evolving, psychical being; he can't live without company. He must have his relations to make him happy.
The man without friends, relations, wife and children would not be able to endure life. Gods do not come down daily to keep, company with man, and he must therefore learn to behave morally and socially for the happiness of others.
There are certain religions that teach the existence of only one god. That god must be very unhappy. A god without company is a prisoner. The prophet who presented that kind of god to the world did not consult the god's happiness, except his own. He perhaps wished to be the despot and he duped the people to believe in one god.
The poor god must be pitied. He has only to be satisfied with the little blood that is given to him, and to see that the prophet gets all that he requires in the shape of more women, more liquor, more meat. An all powerful God is a psychological monstrosity. Progressive Evolution repudiates it. Barbaric paganism accepts it.
The people of ancient India did not fear the gods. Gods and men were not inimical to each other, they were interdependent. A blood-thirsty fiend in the form of a jealous god had no existence in the Aryan pantheon. The Supreme Law of Truth and Righteousness was above the gods; and no one dared to disobey the Great Law. The prophets who proclaimed the doctrine of a despotic god had no idea of the great Eternal Law of Cause and Effect.
In the Ethics of the Happy Home which the Blessed One enunciated there was no place for a despotic god who goeth against immutable laws. The gospel of self help is the profound doctrine which the Buddha proclaimed. To do the will of a Creator means to conform to the foolishness of a pagan prophet who proclaimed the idea.
There is no place in the Law of Righteousness for the equally despicable dogma of Fatalism. The foolish idea that man has been preordained to go through suffering, destroys the power of rational activity which is the birth right of the individual with a consciousness. The mind has no other work to do, but to generate Sankharas, and when it is associated with wisdom begotten of science, there is no place for the fatalistic idea of predestination.
A despotic creator and a dogma asserting that man is fated to go through a predestinated course rob man of his power to individualised activity in harmony with the law of Cause and Effect. Equally despicable is the dogma that man had no past and has no future, and that at death of the physical body, existence ceases. These were the beliefs of the Animists of ancient India.
To believe in the semitic dogma that man was made out of the dust of the ground connotes that he had no past, and that life began at a certain period, and that there is no more life after the death of the physical body. Such a doctrine is only fit for the Bedouin of the waterless desert.
Dr. Flinders Petrie in his most interesting work called the Dawn of Civilization, gives a picture of an ancient Egyptian piece of sculpture, where the god Khnumu is shown modelling man upon a potter's table. The ancient Egyptian idea of God making man from clay was incorporated in the later Semitic religions which had their foundation in the extreme west coast of Asia.
The greatness of man consists in his indomitable will to do good, and the power to realize Truth by his own self-sacrificing efforts. Rob man of this great virtue and he degenerates into a savage with the instincts of the tiger and the hyena.
Certain countries are by nature unsuited for agriculture, and in countries where people are engaged in rice cultivation, nature helps them to acquire wisdom by the experience of the daily efforts they are making to prepare the soil to sow the seed. The agriculturist has to observe, when the season arrives for sowing, meteorological changes in the atmosphere. He observes the gradual changes that are taking place when the seed of the rice begins to germinate. He values the efforts he makes to get a good harvest; he values the labour of the oxen without whose help he could not plough the field. In agricultural countries where rice is the staple food of man, it is remarkable that the idea of a Creator never found acceptance. It is the Bedouin and the wandering savage and the pirate who prays to a deity to protect him from danger while he is plundering and murdering others.
The Happy Home of the Aryan was not converted into a butcher's slaughter house. He did not contaminate the life giving earth with the blood of innocent and helpless victims whom he ruthlessly slaughtered to satisfy his lust. And he did not invoke an infuriated god as his authority to spill innocent blood.
The Aryan began with the slogan his day's work "ahimsaparamodharmah". Mercy is the supreme law. And the God that the Aryan worshipped had the four attributes of Love, Compassion, Delight and Equal mindedness. And the God was called Brahma. The Earth was not cursed by the Aryan gods. They blessed it. The idea of a god cursing the earth is too revolting to contemplate. It is the consummation of the Gospel of Curse.
The Ethics of the Happy Home inculcated certain duties on the family. The chief of the family was called the Ariyasavaka and he was honoured with the appellation of deva, and the obedient wife was called devi. The Aryan householder had to listen to the Good Law, and he had to also to think rationally from cause to effect.
There were certain things which he had to abandon as they were contaminations (kamma kilesa); certain things he had to abstain from doing (papa kamman nakaroti); certain things that led him towards hell he had to dissociate with (apaya mukhani nasevati). The contaminating acts are killing, stealing, committing adultery, enjoying sense pleasures ignobly, and lying speech.
The good Aryan must not be guided by his prejudices; anger, fear and ignorance he must avoid. The immoralities that lead a man to hell are Intoxication, wandering from place to place at unusual hours; attending bacchanalian orgies; association with evil companions and addicted to indolent habits.
The happiness of the householder is lost if he is given to drinking intoxicating liquor. The Blessed One enumerated the following evils resulting from drunkenness. Immediate loss of wealth; getting entangled in quarrels, and provoking them; prepares the body for new diseases; loss of reputation; looses the sense of shame; deteriorates the thinking faculty and helps to arrest the mental growth. In the next life he suffers from insanity.
The ethic of the Happy Home enjoins on the householder certain duties which are compulsory. He has to take care of his parents; his sons and wife he has to attend to his friends and ministers, and to his servants and craftsmen, and to the holy ascetics (samanas) and holy Brahmanas.
He has to give his sons education in arts, sciences (silpa, karmanta, vidya and karma), and he has to look after the wants of the teacher who teaches his sons. He must be true to his friend, and take care of him when he is in danger, must not abandon him when he is in want and even he should be prepared to sacrifice his own life for the true friend.
He has to divide his income into four parts, and spend one portion for his own comforts, two portion he has to set apart for his livelihood and one portion he must lay aside as a provident fund. From the portion that he spends for his own use, he should daily give a tenth portion for charity.
The Aryan householder if he is to live happily never should show slothfulness at anytime. The indolent man loses what he has in his possession, and is never able to gain new wealth. Indolence is the path to hell, and the wise man should think that activity is immortality (appamado amatapadam).
Four things the Aryan householder should cultivate viz., charity, (dana) ; sweet speech (priya vacana) equal treatment to all (samana atmata); and social. service (arthachariya). For forty five years the Blessed One exhorted daily the Upasakas and the Upasikas of Aryavarta.
The representative Husband and Wife of the Aryan Home are like the two Wheels of the Chariot. They must be alike in the nobility of their conduct, in their Wisdom and in their attachment to each other. Nakulapita and Nakulamata are the best examples of the Aryan husband and Aryan wife.
THE PATH OF PSYCHOLOGY.
The Buddha preached the Dhamma as well as a higher Dhamma. The latter is called the Abhidhamma. The Dhamma contains the popular Doctrine explained in a popular way the path to heaven, to the Brahma lokas and also to Nirvana.
The pure Brahman philosophy untainted by the doctrine of egohood is in no way antagonistic to the Dhamma of the Tathagata. Pure Brahmanism became contaminated after the religion of the Buddha Kasyapa had disappeared. The purifying doctrine was again preached by the Buddha Gotama. The essence of the Religion of the Buddhas is "Avoid all evil; increase the sum totality of good deeds; unceasingly cleanse the heart; this is the religion of the Buddhas."
The Tathagatas are the preachers of the supreme doctrine of anatma, which is synonymous with the word Nirvana. Nirvana is a condition to be created by self control, wisdom and love. Anger, illwill, hatred, pride, conceit, indolence, delay in doing the right thing, slothfulness, desire to do evil, exhibiting the spirit of revenge, desire to enjoy unhealthy lustful pleasure, harbouring anger, scepticism, self esteem, hypocrisy, running down others, covetousness, arrogance, stubborness, unyielding to truth, showing partiality, fear, muddleheadiess etc., are obstacles to the realization of Nirvanic happiness.
There is a path to realize the supreme condition of Nirvana, and that path is reached by the fulfilment of the ten paramitas, vin.,
Purity in body, by avoiding killing, stealing, committing adultery, speaking falsehood, drinking intoxicating liquor, smoking or eating stupefying drugs;
Desire to practise the higher life of sexual purity, avoiding sensuality;
Making efforts to acquire the higher wisdom;
Ever exerting in the performance of righteous duty;
Never deviating from the path of truthfulness;
Always willing to forgive even when persecuted and tortured;
Strengthening the will power by making good resolutions and keeping them even at the risk of life;
Showing love to all living beings, visible and invisible;
Always contented and cheerful whatever happens.
These ten paramitas have to be practised by those who wish to reach the haven of Nirvana. The Haven of Nirvana may be reached in three ways, vin., by the abhisambodhi method, by the pratyeka bodhi method, and by the sravaka bodhi method. The paramitas must be practised by the first method for four, eight or sixteen asankhya kalpas; the second method requires two asankheyya kalpas, and the last, one asankheyya. The name given to those who practise the parami path is Bodhisatva and the candidate to Buddhahood is called Mahasatva.
The Buddha after His enlightment enunciated the Middle Path for laymen and Bhikkhus to enter Nirvana within the period that His Dhamma lasts viz., five thousand years. There are four paths under His Dispensation to reach the Nirvana goal. The sotapatti, sakadagami, anagami, and arahatta.
The laymen may follow the sotapatti, sakadagami and anagami paths. The arahat path is for the Bhikkhus not for householders. In the dispensation of the Gautama Buddha the path was made so easy that if one most strenuously exerts he can reach Nirvana here on this earth, in this life within a limited period, ranging from one day to seven years, but the most strenuous will, unceasing effort day and night, night and day is needed.
The goal when once reached, experiencing the bliss of Nirvana is the same with the Buddha and the Arhats. The Buddha is the first Discoverer of the path long hidden, and He then tells the world of the existence of the great palace which is the end, and all must make the effort. The inventor of the motor car had to go through all the painful work before he obtained the results, but once he arrived at the goal of success, the path is easy, and the manufacturing of the motor car becomes easy.
Every individual living being is eternal, without a beginning and without end. There are two ways of existence the going round and round the circle like the bullock yoked to the mill with its eyes bandaged, now enjoying, now under going misery, now in hell now in heaven, now being born in the Brahmaloka, now an animal; and the eternal round of weary sansara continues to be the easy way to the ignorant, muddle headed being.
Like the sorrow stricken man who takes to drinking intoxicating liquor to forget his misery, the ignorant man goes round and round the weary circle under the opiate of sense pleasures, false beliefs, and scepticisms. The savage never thinks of the future, he is satisfied if he gets some thing to eat and drink, and a place to lie down.
The Aryan people of India had a most spiritualizing code of ethics for several thousands of years. The Brahman, Kshatriya, and Vaishya philosophers of ancient India had penetrated into the heights of the Brahmalokas, and there found that the gods were most kind, compassionate, loving, and contented and living in joyousness.
The calm atmosphere of the Himalaya mountains gave the philosophers an impetus for higher thought. They soared and found that the highest happiness can be secured only by practising the divine qualities of metta, karuna, mudita and upekkha. Love to all living beings, visible and invisible, far and near, high and low, devil and god, animal and man, all must be loved. Here the Aryan transcends all other nations. This is why India never is entirely destroyed.
The Buddha, 2500 years ago, came to show the Aryan to transcend to greater heights of altruistic freedom, and the teaching did elevate them, and the cultured Aryans left the shores of India for the distant countries to civilize and humanize the less civilized races.
They carried the teachings of love, compassion, mercy, contentment, right thinking, right livelihood, and taught the half civilized races to give up butchering animals and to cultivate love. Sensuality and morbid asceticism were condemned and spiritually modified to enjoy a clear consciousness.
Sensualism, materialistic beliefs and wealth make man a brute. Pride, ambition to get more power, degenerates the individuals and the race, and woe be to the man of race that follows the diabolical path.
The science of psychology will open the eyes of man to the power of his own potentialities, and he will try to work for the good of others, because it will bring his own development to quicker realization. The radiant mind is neglected and man leads a life of animal selfishness.
Man according to the Buddha is an everchanging being. For two consecutive moments he is not the same. With the knowledge of Abhidharma he may live in perfect safety enjoying the bliss of solitude and peace.
EVOLUTION AND CREATION.
In the Brahmajala sutta of the Digha nikaya, the Blessed One classified the religious beliefs current in ancient India. All people did not follow the theory of a cosmic creation, with Brahma as the chief. The fact that there were current in ancient India sixty-two different kinds of religious, beliefs, shows that ancient Indian people were remarkably tolerant of each other's religious views.
The Blessed One explained the variations of religious beliefs to His own disciples, and exhorted them to be neutral and to avoid religious disputations. He said that the Bhikkhus should not feel elated when the Tathagata is praised, neither should they betray their angry feelings when they hear the Tathagata blamed. They suffer if in either way they betray their feelings. They are in search of the great Gem, and petty tyrannies and worldly applause should not make them to deviate from the path for a second.
The Creator myth is condemned by the Buddha. Creation connotes a beginning. In the Buddha Dharma there is no known beginning, Before the beginning what was the Creator doing, and where did he live? A condition of things where there is no water, earth, air, heat, light, and space is unthinkable. If God rested on the waters who created the water, and if God created the water, where did he live before ?
Uncultured people are always very credulous. Analysis of religious beliefs is only possible in a country where there exist more than one religion. In a country where the people hold to one view of religion, there could not be any kind of conflict. Confusion of tongues creates differentiation. In the most primitive period there might have been one language in a country. The Buddha is called Tathagata, which connotes a successor of a former Buddha.
Buddhas have in the past appeared, and their number is innumerable. Instead of yugas and years, the Buddhas calculated time by kalpas, and the duration of a kalpa cannot be measured by arithmetical calculation.
A mahakalpa has twenty minor kalpas, and a mahakalpa goes through four periods decay, destruction, suspended animation, and reformation. The modern scientific view of a nebular hypothesis is in conflict with the creation theory.
The Vedic Brahmans were not philosophers, they were priests and sacrificers to gods, and they were able to create gods whenever they were required. Hence the avatar theory. The tribe of Brahmans were exclusive, and they monopolised the priestly profession to themselves. The scriptures which they read were their own property, and they interpreted them for their own advantage
In course of time the Puranas were compiled, suggesting thereby a historic foundation. The compiler of the Puranas was Veda Vyasa, He was a great seer and compiled a work which may be called the history of the ancients.
There are eighteen Puranas which are as follow: Brahmapurana, padmapurana, Vishnupurana, Sivapurana, Bhagavatapurana, Naradiyapurana, Markandeyyapurana, Agnipurana, Bhavishyapurana, Brahmavaivartapurana, Lingapurana, Varahapuran, Skandhapurana, Vamanapurana, Kurmapurana, Matsyapurana, Garudapurana, Brahmandapurana.
The Puranas give descriptions of meetings held by gods and to these meetings the rishis were admitted. Each god had his say, and the others listened attentively. There was no disputation and no conflict, and each purana gives the names of a number of gods who took part in the symposium. In the Brahmandapurana the following namcs appear as having taken part in advancing their views;
Saunaka, Suta Suka, Lomaharsha, Vayu, Mahervara, Bhagavan, Brahma, Daksha, Uma, Virabhadra, Mahadeva.
In the Vayu purana are found the following names of inter-locutors: Suta, Suka, Lomaharsha, Vayu, Bhagavan, Brahma, Vishnu, Daksha, Rudra, Uma, Mahesvara, Sanatkumara, Narada, Brihaspati.
In the Brahmavaivarta Purana the following names appear: Saunaka, Sautira, Narayana, Mahadeva, Brahma, Sri Dharma, Mahalakshmi, Saraswati, Savitri, Sankara, Bhagavan, Narada, Siva, Daksha, Gopika, Surya, Brahman, Sri Krishna, Ganga, Radhika Yama, Rati, Himalaya, &c.
In the Kurma purana the following names appear: Romaharshana, Indradyumna, Bhagavan, Kurma, Suta, Rishi, Muni, Vishnu, Brahma, Menova, Pulastya, Himava, Srideva, Dahksha, Kanya, Visvamitra, Jamadagni, Vasu, Vasishta, Bharajvada, Kasyapa, Sri Krishna, Brahmavishnu, Vyasa, Markandeyya and Isvara.
The Aryan consciousness was elevated by the spirit of tolerance. Why should it not, when it had all the advantages for progress. The mighty Himalayas, and the majestic rivers, the great forests were the associates of spiritual student. There was no jealousy and hatred in the Aryan consciousness.
Dr. Lionel Barnett in his "Antiquities of India" says in the preface, "the record of Indian history is one of deepest fascination, and the utmost imaginations of romance pale beside it. Indeed the civilization of India may be fitly compared to its marvellous temples, in which every emotion of the soul is expressed in plastic form with thrilling intensity."
The Puranas give variations of the genesis story as understood by the compilers. The compilers divided the periods into yugas to show that at least they had some idea of the immensity of time., and how small the Semitic gods appear to the Aryan mind in as much as the very creators of the Semitic mythology were creations of yesterday. The Puranic authors computed time by yugas, and the four yugas made one maha-yuga. The first of the four yugas was called the satya yuge. To a maha-yuga period there were 4,320,000 solar years. Seventy one maha-yugas make one manvantara, and a thousand maha-yugas make one kalpa.
The Semitic gods were of small mind. They had no idea of the existence of other countries and other nations, and the rivers of Mesapotamia and Mount Ararat and the few races that occupied the Euphrates valley and the Sinai desert went to make up the world. The cross became the totem, and the flesh of certain animals were taboo. The blood was life and the soul to the nomadic gods. The most devout had to eat the flesh of the god and drink his blood. Cannibal psychology could not go beyond! Folklore myths of animistic tribes were accepted as religious truths, and the world has deteriorated for nearly two thousand years, so great had been the demoralizing influence of Semitic animism.
Before the birth of the Buddha Dharma, the ancient philosophers in India had speculated on every conceivable form of the divine. The rishis by their purity of life obtained knowledge to commune with the divine consciousness, and they formulated the belief in the arupa brahmaloka, where existence was prolonged to the extent of 84,000 kalpas.
The Prince Siddhartha realized this divine state by means of purified knowledge, but He found that 84000 kalpas was a drop in the ocean of Time. He wished for some thing to go beyond time and space, and the Doctrine of Nirvana was the result of His triumphant conquest over matter and mind.
The interpretation of myths and the making of hymns to anthropomorphic gods were being done by the priests and prophets. Something new, something greater, was wanted to enlighten the world and the Tathagata enunciated the religion of Truths and the Wisdom of Nirvana. The birth and death of gods was a small matter.
The world was created, and the world was resting on the back of the tortoise and the tortoise was resting on the elephant, and the elephant resting on nowhere as such were the kind of myths the people liked to hear. The spirit of God moved on the waters, and water was there before God. The Tathagata said something new, and there was no mention of a creator and a beginning of the world in His Doctrine.
The usual way to light a dark place was by burning a lamp. The lamp required a wick and oil. Some one arrives and tells the people who were accustomed to burn the oil and the wick that a light can be obtained without the use of the oil and the wick. The light is shown, but the people refuse the radiant light because there is no oil and wick in the bulb.
The Buddha similarly came to give the world a new light without the intermeddling of gods, priests and blood sacrifice. A clear consciousness is the one thing which must not be expected from animists. Blood, meat, intoxicating drinks, sensual orgism go hand in hand with a creator.
The Creator myth is to be found in the Majjhima Nikaya in the Brahmanimantaniya and Maratajjaniya suttas. The brief account as given in the Brahmajala is given below:
"Now there comes a time after a long period when the world goes into dissolution. At the time when it is going through the process of destruction the life wave ceases, and living beings transmigrate and are born in the heaven of the radiant gods called Abhassara. They are mind born eating the food of delight, with radiant bodies, travelling through space, and in this happy condition they exist for ages."
And after a long period this world again begins to reintegrate, and in the re-evolution of the world the beings that were living in the Abbassara world cease to exist there and are reborn here. The first to be reborn here from the Radiant world is alone and he thinks "would that other beings might come to join me in this place, and with the thought instantaneously other beings from the radiant world are reborn here.
The first born then thinks to himself "I am Brahma, supreme, the mighty, the all seeing, the ruler, the Lord of all, the maker, the Creator &c. These that are here are born from me, and I created them".
In the Kevadda sutta Dighanikaya appear another version of the creator story, but with a sweet humour that makes every one smile. The Creator is to put to the test by a Bhikkhu, and Brahma acknowledges his ignorance that he is not able to say when the creation will cease. The creator is unable to tell the end of his own creation!
In the Brahmanimantaniya sutta, the Buddha himself goes to the seat of Brahma, and says; "Brahma, in saying that all things are permanent thou dost only declare thine own ignorance". In that story Mara stands near Brahma and pleads on the latter's behalf, and the Buddha asked Brahma to look back to some untold ages in the past and Brahma confess his inability to look back so far !
Neither the authors of the creator myths nor the people to whom these myths were proclaimed knew anything of the formation of earth by slow degrees. Geology and astronomy they knew not. Muddleheaded they were; and ignorant people were made victims of priestly selfishness.
In the Maha bodhi Jataka, No 528, is also a refutation of the creator theory. In the Dhammadhaja, Jataka, No. 220, the Brahman is made to do the impossible. The Bodhisatta was in that life born in a Brahman family, and the King's captain is angry with him, and he makes the king to kill the Brahman by asking the Brahman to do what the captain himself thought was beyond the power of gods. The ancient Indian people believed that gods had power to create inorganic things, "not even a deity can make a man with all four virtues, and the four virtues are, not to envy, not to drink wine, to have no low desire, and no wrath."
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HEARING.
Man first hears and then he begins to think, and he thinks either in a way which maybe called the right way or the wrong way. The Blessed One said "Bhikkhus, the sound and words that comes from outside, which he hears makes man to think, and he thinks either rationally or irrationally "Para toca ghoso ayonisoca manasikaro, micchaditthi, para toca ghosoyonisoca manasikaro, sammaditthi". Anguttara Nikaya.
All are born in the same way. The pain of travail makes no distinction between the woman of high caste and low caste; the high and the low has to go through the same pain. The baby born whether of the high caste or low caste has to go through the same experience. Both are helpless, lying on its back it has to be fed by the mother, and for several months it can only croak, and the time comes when it begins to crawl, and until it is able to articulate, it is more like a baby animal utterly helpless. The baby left to itself when able to crawl, the first it does is to scratch the earth and eat it. It has no idea of taste except that of the taste of milk. In the child state there is no differentiation of birth and caste. Children in the infant state do not show the spirit of ahamhara, and are unable to assert their individuality. When they begin to hear words, and able to understand their meaning, and know that the words come from their parents, and have to be listened to, the sense of fear of punishment begins.
When the sense of perception is developed, they begin to distinguish colours. The sense of vinnana begins when the child is able to drive away crows. At this stage the age of discipline begins. Children of tender age like to taste whatever is eatable, and they like to hide the things they like for future use. Children begin stealing at an early age. They receive a warning first, and then punishment.
Tec Agganna sutta tells us that at the first dawn of the world man was a spiritual being, eating no solid food, satisfied with the light of his own effulgence, and feeling no want of the light of the sun. The future human being does he not go through this experience for nearly ten months in the womb of the mother ?
The story as related in the Agganna sutta is more like an allegory of the birth of the embryo, its development in the womb, the coming out of the womb fully grown, its first feeling of darkness, its first cry, and then its first experience of seeing the sun light, the first tasting of milk, and later on when it begins to crawl, milk is substituted for some kind of soft food. At this stage it begins to eat earth and dirt etc.
If the story is carefully read in the light of an allegory it will be found that the Buddha wished to provoke the intelligent mind to think how foolish and sinful it is to think that man was created, and that he is superior to another by reason of mere birth. The story is an allegory of the evolution of the embryo and the rebirth of consciousness.
The caste feeling is artificial. The theory of caste is taught to the Brahman boy in his twelfth year. The colour feeling is also transmitted in European countries from the parent to the child. The child first hears and he is taught to carry out the order of his parents or teacher or priest. According to the Brahmanical Puranas the theory of caste was enunciated in the Dvaparayuga; in the Satya and Treta age there was no caste.
Why do grown up men do evil ? The young boy does not like to kill, but he is taught by the priest to carry out the will of an imaginary god. The boy is asked the indecent question "who made you?" and the answer is forced on him, and he says, "God made me in his own image and his own likeness. The unsymmetrical shape of the body of the negro, if the answer is true, is the model of god.
The Negro boy repeating the answer of the Christian catechism, if he is an intelligent boy, ought to feel that his god who created him is of the same shape as himself. An American boy when learning his catechism was repeating the words "god made me in his own image and in his own likeness," and the boy's little brother echoed: it is a bad model. Teachers and parents who teach little boys to repeat foolishly what was taught to a nomadic tribe in the desert of Sinai in a barbaric age, do immense harm to the undeveloped child. Unscientific dogmas. when diffused bring unhappiness to the world. Why should the little boy born in a civilized family, in an, enlightened age be taught religious dogmas which were good for tribes when they were yet in the nomadic state, and when the scientific spirit had not yet been evolved ?
Children should be taught the ethics of the happy home. The law courts are full of cases wherein people are accused of theft, adultery, forgery, assault, defamation, drunkenness, selling opium or liquor without a license, cruelty to animals and so on, but no one is accused of the crime of atheism or nihilism. Punishments are awarded to those found guilty of having committed immoral deeds. It is therefore necessary to teach the child from his infancy that it is bad to be cruel, to steal, to fight, to tell lies, to drink intoxicants, to speak harshly, to back bite.
This world of ours can be made happy if people would only abstain from committing immoral deeds. Muddleheaded priests and prophets wishing to dupe and dominate unmanageable tribes invented gods of cruelty, and taught the people that they will be punished if the god was not given the blood of bleating kids and innocent kine. To propitiate the imaginary gods created by pagan prophets millions of useful animals are slaughtered year by year, and the world is deluged by their blood.
Ask the child whether it is good to kill animals and, if he had not been taught the metaphysics of speculative theism, he would most assuredly answer in the negative.
He will say that stealing is bad, that associating with bad women is not good, that telling lies is bad, that backbiting is bad, that using harsh and abusive language is bad, that drinking intoxicating liquor is bad, and if he is asked why drinking liquor is bad, he will tell you that the drunkard loses his senses, that he beats his wife, and mother and father, and that he behaves badly. What is therefore needed ? Every child should be taught the ethics of the happy home, and the illiterate grown ups should be taught morality. Child psychology is an interesting subject of study. Books teaching the cruel deeds of savage gods, and the inhuman immoralities of prophets and priests should be made taboo. Stories of heroes who had done noble deeds of self sacrifice and charity should be taught to children.
Stories of fathers who were ready to sacrifice their sons and daughters, and of brutal prophets who sent bears to tear up little children, and of saviours who cursed trees, and killed hogs by the thousands to please a mad devil, and of myths of creators who made man from his mouth and the dust of the ground, should be excluded from the kindergarten and the school. The immoral stories that the child hears influence him to repeat them and the innocent mind is poisoned and its growth towards truth is thereby arrested.
Books containing immoral stories of gods and prophets and heroes should be excluded from the child's library. Destructiveness comes from an immoral, savage brain, and the good man can only teach to show loving kindness to all. Pride of birth and caste and colour has been productive of great unhappiness. The Ethics of Embryology and of Child Psychology may be taught to all children in common from their 7th year. Truthfulness should be emphasised as a necessity in the life of the child. Truthfulness is immortal speech said the Blessed One. Learn to hear only that which is productive of kindness, truthfulness and self sacrifice. Pride and Egoism are ignoble, and should be always condemned. The merciful Lord, the Blessed One, taught the Ethics of the Happy Home. May civilized humanity teach them to their children.
HOW THOUGHTS ARE GENERATED & CONTROLLED.
Religions founded upon priestcraft and dogma make man a slave of a despotic deity. Sankara says in his Commentary to the Vedanta Sutras that Isvara created the world and man for his own pleasure.
The Creator is compared to a despotic prince who does whatever he likes. There is none to question him. The Commentator to explain the position of the despotism of the creator had recourse to an earthly illustration. The muddle headed people, illiterate and lacking the reasoning powers reconciled to the statement, and accepted the statement as a dogma. Machiavelli too based his arguments in enunciating his views on diplomacy seeing the despotism of Borgia.
Imagination of man is responsible for many things. Moses after having murdered an Egyptian escaped to Arabia and at Mt. Horeb met Jehovah. The result of the interview was the establishment of a religion. Mahammad fled from Mecca to Medina and having gained the support of the Bedouins of Medina succeeded in founding a religion. Jesus with his little flock of disciples preached a doctrine which spread after his death rapidly in many lands. Judaism, Islam of Mahammad and Christianity are Semitic religions.
The credulity of the human mind is remarkable. A mere sound is enough to change the views of a human being. Fasting and prayer had been always popular with religious minded people, and a moderate course of asceticism and a well disciplined mind with a desire to live the purified life help man to gain mystic insight into the penetralia of mysteries.
There are dogmatic religions which show no mercy to the fallen. Man lives on this earth for say a hundred years, and then dies. There is no man while he is yet alive, who refrains from doing a little good. According to the dogma of a certain animistic religion a man may have done good but if he does not believe the dogma that a human being born some centuries ago in some part of the Asiatic world, was the son of a god, there is no salvation for him. Eternal damnation in a hell is the punishment meted out to him.
Men who formulated such dogmas and founded religions had no comprehension of the psychological nature of the human mind. They never realized that man was born with a purpose. Instead of promoting the happiness of humanity certain religious founders brought more unhappiness to the world by their revolting dogmas.
For nearly fifteen centuries many millions of human beings have been tortured, oppressed, burnt hanged, quartered for holding certain religious views that were not in conformity with the unscientific dogmas of the established religion. Millions of human beings have suffered death in vain on account of the devilishness of religious agitators.
This earth which could be made the scene of human happiness, is converted into a slaughter house. Destruction without the agency of man there is enough on this earth. Cyclones, famines, plagues, tornadoes, earthquakes, tidal waves, &c., carry hundreds of thousands off to death. Man instead of lessening the death rate adopt the most diabolical methods to accentuate slaughter.
Persecutions and destruction in the battle field are caused by human selfishness. If each one does what little good he can instead of committing evil, this earth would indeed be a happy place. Science and wisdom are brought into use to cause more destruction. The great war that is now being fought in Europe is devastating countries and millions are being sacrificed unnecessarily. The world is large enough for all, but the covetousness of some is greater than others, and to this cause the great war is due.
Religion is a thing of the heart, and it is beyond the power of man to go into the heart of other people. To oppress a human being for his inner convictions is diabolical. Bruno was burnt at the stake by the muddle headed ignorant ecclesiastics of Rome, and today we know that Bruno was right and the Vatican wrong.
Man is a thinking being, and he is changing every second in body and mind. He is not the same in thought for two consecutive minutes. The child of today who is ignorant of higher mathematics after he enters the higher form in the college may know to solve deep problems. To persecute a human being for religion is most inhuman. But the dogmatists, who adopted methods of persecution, had no knowledge of psychology, and of the psychical changes taking places in the human mind. Psychology was never a part of animistic religion. Dogma and psychology never go together. A religion without psychology is unfit for the thinker.
The only religion with a complete psychology. from beginning to end is the Arya Dharma enunciated by the Lord of Mercy, Sakya Muni, the Tathagata Buddha. In renunciation the Blessed One found freedom from pride, selfishness and anger, and love came to live on earth, and the earth was happy, for the bloody religions had not yet been born.
Fair Aryavarta was then purely Aryan, and the religion of love taught freedom to man by psychological methods. Men and women learnt the science, and they did not want priests, gods, and animal sacrifice to realize emanicipation from passion, anger, and ignorance. What was wanted was effort and uprightness, and freedom from hypocrisy.
The desire to gain the higher wisdom was developed, and the low desires for selfish gain were by effort annihilated. This Wonderful Doctrine perished from the land of its birth with the degeneration of the people who neglected the teachings of wisdom and love. The generation that lived when the final disappearance came were given to luxury and sensual indulgence. Two thousand years of prosperity made the later generations of the people to become indolent and luxurious. Laziness and luxury were responsible for the decline of the people of India.
Aryan psychology as enunciated by the Blessed One analysed the human mind and classified the feelings, perceptions and volitions thereof into categories of Good and Evil. To the Good belonged the meritorious thought, and to the evil the demeritorious thoughts. Man was taught that in his hands lay his own salvation, and that he is a responsible rational being, and that by controlling his senses, evil thoughts shall not arise, and that it is within his power to live a life of perfect holiness here. By the diffusion of the Doctrine of Love, brotherliness was established, animals received kindness at the hands of man, animal sacrifices ceased; and wisdom reigned. Psychological contentment is spiritual wealth.
The Abhidhamma teaches that there are seven mental phases to every act of consciousness: they are:
(phasso, vedand, sanna, cetand, ekaggatd, jivitin driya, manasikdra.) contact, feeling, perception, volition, focussing, life energy and rational activity.
Six mental conditions, viz., (vitakka, vicara, adhimokkha, viriya, piti, chanda.) birth of an idea; investigation; decision; effect; cheerfulness;. lofty desire.
There are fourteen mental phases which are immoral, viz., muddleheadedness; shamelessness; absence of fear to commit evil; restlessness; false views; pride; ill will; envy; miserliness; fretfulness; sleepiness; dullness; doubting. (moha, ahirika, anotappa, uddhacca, lobha, ditthi, mdna, dosa, issd, macchariya, kukucca, thina, middha, vioikiccha).
There are nineteen mental conditions which are ethically moral, viz., intelligent faith; recollectedness; sense of shame; fear of sin; generosity, non-hatred; mental equilibruim; mental serenity; and bodily serenity; lightness of body; and lightness of mind; gentleness in feelings; gentleness of mind; bodily activity; mental activity; proficiency in body and proficiency in mind; uprightness of feelings and uprightness of mind.
Right speech, right activity in abstaining from killing, stealing and sensual indulgence; and right livelihood in abstaining from selling poisons, liquor that intoxicates, weapons of destruction, flesh of animals, and human beings.
The two infinites, viz., kindness; delightful satisfaction.
Analytical wisdom (panna).
Things that we see, the sounds that we hear, the smells that we inhale, the varieties of eatables that we, taste, the objects that come in contact with our touch, all have the characteristic of creativeness.
The eye meets with a form and the two coalescing produces the eye consciousness, and the three coming together produces contact; contact produces feeling, and feelings produce thought germs which are called samkharas.
Man is a creative being. Whenever the sense organs are active a thought is in the process of coming to existence. Some individual thoughts are born and pass away without generating karma. Others produce karma after having gone through the manifold processes which are called (patisandhi bhavanga, avajjana, dassana, savana, ghayana, savana, phusana, sampaticchana, santirana, votthappana, Javana, tadalambana, cuti) rebirth, continued existence, inclination, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, receiving, investigating, determining, revolving, registering, ceasing to be. Before an impression is individualised it has to go through the different stages of psychological evolution.
We are living in a world of sense impressions. Every object however small is liable to create a thought, the minutest sound, the feeblest smell, the slightest taste, the least touch, or the former recollections of any one of these is sufficient to give rise to a thought. Ceasing to be and coming into existence, such is the ever revolving nature of the mind. It is compared to a monkey that is always busy, leaving one branch, catching hold of another, leaving that and getting hold of another.
Every time an object is brought before the eye, the eye consciousness is produced, and then the evolution of the eye consciousness begins after receiving the picture impression in the mind. It investigates, determines and in the javana state the apperceptioning takes place. In the javana revolution before the final registering is done the opportunity is given to abandon the object or to receive it is one's inheritance.
If in the javana state the mind is inclined to the object, and the coalition takes place with either one of the elements of (lobha) covetous desire (dosa) anger or (moha) foolish imagination, the karma is formed. Within the twinkling of the eye through the sense organs the karma thoughts come into being. By controlling the sense organs and by a little practise of the evolving nature of each thought, an evil thought, before it becomes a fully developed karma, can be rooted out.
Hints to train the mind, to discipline the sense organs, to prevent new evil karma arising, &c., are given in the Abhidhamma sangaha. The Pali copy cost only a few pence, with the commentary the volume cost about a rupee and a half. The English translation by Shwe Zan Aung, edited by Mrs. Rhys Davids may be had at the Oxford University Press, Bombay.
KARMA ACTIVITY AND ITS FRUITS.
Kamma or (Karma) is deed, and vipaka is the fruit. The field of activity is called karma kshetra. The thoughts or Vinnana are called (bija) germinating seeds.
The living being is composed of the five skhandhas, which are rupa, vedana safifia, samkhara and vinnana. Rupa is the physical body composed of the four great changing elements, viz., pathavi; apo, tejo and vayo, which may be called the hard, or solid; watery or liquid; fiery or heat; and the windy element or air. The physical organism when analysed may be divided into these four constantly changing elements. They are called the "mahabhuta" or the upadi rupa.
The development of the human cell in the womb of the mother is a subject of scientific study to understand the evolution of the embryo. Embryology, geology and biology are subjects that a student of the Abhidharma should study to know something of the evolution of the kalala bija (germinal seed) in the mother's womb. From the moment of the entrance of the seed into the womb it begins to go through the manifold processes of embryological evolution for nearly ten months, if in the interval no catastrophe falls to destroy the embryo.
In the ancient days in Egypt before its grand civilization was ultimately destroyed by the early Christians, the ancient Egyptians were taught that the deity formed man out of the earth. In the work called the "Dawn of Civilization" by Professor Flinders Petrie is given an illustration showing the formation of man by the deity from the earth.
If only people were taught the manifold processes of the evolution of the embryo, each one would then think that he began his career in the protoplasmic stage, that he first entered the tabernacle as a spirit and lived in darkness for nearly 300 days in the womb of his mother, like the deity who brought the Jews out of Egypt who lived in darkness for some four hundred years. There is no transmigration of a separate atman or soul in the animistic sense in the psychology of Buddha.
There is the skhandha parampara and the chitta parampara without a break in continuity according to the law of cause and effect. Man is materialized karma, and karma are the thoughts generated in consciousness. Karma generated by evil thoughts are called demeritorious karma producing sorrow; karma generated by pleasant thoughts are called meritorious karma productive of happiness.
Every ideation is a potential karma. Covetousness, anger, and unscientific comprehension of Dharma produce evil karma. Loving kindness, non-anger and scientific comprehension of Dharma produce good karma. Sankharas and the realm of fruition are interdependent. Every sankhara has its sympathetic realm either in the kamaloka or rupaloka or arupaloka.
To give a concrete instance: the eye sees, the eye consciousness takes cognizance of the form, and then goes through the stages of reception, deciding, fixing and the final impression is made after the fourth revolution of the fixing thought is associated with lobha, dosa, and moha, or alobha, adosa and amoha. Man is born of karma; his own karma are his relations, his karma is his refuge; he is the inheritor of his own karma. No god, creator, priest, brahman or king can interfere with his karma. Good karma elevates man, and his thinking power is purified and strengthened. Resoluteness to achieve great things has to be cultivated. The welfare of the world should be the impelling force to achieve great things. Compassion must always follow resoluteness.
Every evil thought is reborn if not destroyed; so does also a good thought. The karma generated in the past may all be destroyed by the accummulation of good karma. By the superabundant accumulation of good karma by strenuousness in this one life can emancipation be purchased. This is the secret that Buddha discovered under the Bodhi Tree.
Who created the skhandhas? such a question is out of place in the psychology of the Abhidharma. There is no creation but growth. When the lady in Uncle Tom's Cabin asked the Negro girl Topsy, "who created you ?", she answered "I growed, nobody created me."
The Rupa skhandha is undergoing changes momentarily. For two consecutive seconds there is no identity of even a particle of matter, but only continuity without a break. Man is therefore a highly complex compound, psycho-physiological in nature, undergoing changes with electronic rapidity, influenced by environments, of cold, heat, and feelings associated with pleasure, non-pleasure and indifference, influenced by perceptions and apperceptions, by means of objective pictures, forms, living and artificial, objective and subjective, creating karma with every volition, and consciousness taking cognizance of the whole phenomena "within this one fathom long body."
Man is a creative being. He imagines things and gives life to them. According to the capacity of his own imagination he creates, and the phantoms that he creates become the bases of metaphysical superstructure.
In primitive society man is like a child willing to believe and to accept what he has heard, and that which is put before him in a persistent form he willingly accepts. Religions founded on metaphysical speculations belong to the region of myths. An ascetic constitution given to prayer and fasts becomes a prey to objective hallucinations.
Take the case of Paul, who was on his way to Damascus, in the middle of the day, is attacked by a sun stroke, and falls on the ground. He had a guilty conscience and he came to the conclusion that it was God who had punished him for his persecuting spirit, and he forthwith accepts the principles of the religion that he had been trying to destroy.
He never saw Christ in flesh, although he was at Jerusalem, and it is the sound which he had heard that made him to express his compunction. On a mere phantom, the whole superstructure of religion was built by the tent maker of Tarsus, and for nearly nineteen hundred years several hundred millions of people have been following the principles enunciated by Paul. In those days analytical science had not been born, and the illiterate people were easily duped to accept whatever was presented to them if only it could be shown that it was abnormal.
Nothing is more easy than to form a new religion provided the man who wished to impose his views on others had the wilfulness to become a charlatan. He must lose his sense of shame, and be willing to sacrifice his life. He should follow the path of the ascetic, and practise austerities in the way of fasting and live in solitude in some mountain fastness engaged in prayer. Asceticism is an essential requisite. Fasting and prayer and living in a mountain fastness have been a sine qua non with all religious promulgators.
Moses was forty days and forty nights without food and drink in the mountain of Sinai. Jesus was engaged in fasting and prayer, and he especially recommended them to his disciples. Mahammad before he preached the religion of Islam was given to much fasting and prayer. He was praying to the gods of Mecca, and Allah heard him, and Mahammad was satisfied that Allah was speaking to him.
Each individual according to the Aryan theory has an ishta devata. Mahammad founded in Allah his ista devata, and Allah became the central figure of his new religion. Jesus too prayed and fasted for forty days and forty nights and he found his ishta devata in the heavenly father. Socrates had his ishta devata and he was guided by the inner voice.
The Prince Siddhartha too heard the voice of Mara, chief of the celestial region, who promised all things on earth if he would give up his quest. The Prince was not satisfied with the material and divine pleasures of the lower and the higher heavens. The voice of Mara, was kind of will-o-the wisp, but he did not follow it. The greater gods appeared before Him, and when they found that His quest was different from all other people they worshipped Him. Religions that do not teach the doctrine of Kamma may be called micchaditthi.
Certain religions do not teach a past but teach a future, and those that ignore the teaching of kamma may be called nihilistic. They teach a beginning a few thousand years back and an endless future either in a pleasurable or unpleasurable state.
Any religion that ignores the doctrine of cause and effect is unfit for the thoughtful. The principles of Kamma and vipaka taken together postulate the scientific theory of the Conservation of Energy. Man is like an electric dynamo generating energy (Karma) every second. The mind is like the cinema machine.
Kamma paccayo and vipaka paccayo are two of the twenty four paccayas which form the basis of the seventh book of the Abhidhamma called the Patthana. The Patthana doctrine shows the cosmic process in its entirety, and the fulness thereof can only be appreciated by superior beings as the Buddhas and the Arhats.
The twenty four pachchayas are Hetu; arammana; adhipati; anantara; samanantara; Sahajata; annamanna; nissaya; upanissaya; purejata; pacchajata; asevana; kamma; vipaka; ahara; indriya; jhana; magga; sampayutta; vippayutta; atthi; natthi; vigata; avigata.
The Doctrine of Karma has been distorted by those who have not comprehended the subject in its entirety. The Blessed One enunciated the doctrine from the scientific standpoint and psychologically explained it to His Bhikkhus. The Karma doctrine was known to the Jatila ascetics of the Upanishad school who kept the sacred fire and these only were admitted to the Bhikkhu Order by the Blessed One without letting them go through the four months' probation (parivasa). The members of the Sakya family were also exempted from the rule laid down about the parivasa.
The members of Sakya family were exempted from the probation rule because they were related to the Blessed One, and the Jatila ascetics who kept the sacred fire because they accepted the law of Karma.
In the Chandogya Upanishad, Yajnavalkya is asked to explain the doctrine of karma, which he does in secrecy, thereby showing that it was an esoteric doctrine explained only to the followers of the Upanishad. The fact is mentioned that Yajna valkya explained to Artabhaga in secret the doctrine of karma and nothing more is recorded.
It was left to the Blessed One to explain the important doctrine in its fullness to His Bhikkhus and the lay followers. Subha the young Brahman, son of Todeyya chief of the Todeyya school, one day came to the Blessed One and asked Him what is the cause that one man is born poor, another rich, one of low birth another high; and the Blessed One explained that it is due to their karma.
The karma kanda of the Brahmans did not give the rationale of the psychological operation of the doctrine of karma. To them karma was sacrifice and observing the rituals according to the Veda. The exoteric rituals, ceremonies, sacrifices etc. formed karma to the Brahmans.
They had no idea of the operations of the karmic law from the standpoint of yathabhutainana, which was the discovery of the Blessed Tathagata, after He had won the divine knowledge of looking into the past, and looking to the future, after death. By the science of pubbenivasanusmriti the Blessed One obtained the divine knowledge to look back into the past births of the individual and also to the past history of the earth.
He saw the cosmic destructions and the reconstructions of countless billions of solar systems; and by the divine eye of dibhachakkhu, He saw the future of the living being, how death follows birth, according to the karma he has done during life. Good deeds produced good fruits which gave birth to happiness either on earth or in heaven; bad deeds bring birth in a state of suffering on earth, or in a purgatory or in the animal kingdom.
The fire worshipping Jatila ascetics practised the Jhanas and abhijna, and obtained iddhi, and they looked to the past for many kalpas, and promulgated the law of good and bad karma.
After the attainment of the divine knowledge of looking into the past and looking to the future, the Blessed One did not rest, but pushed on in search of further wisdom, and then the supreme knowledge came that shook the foundations of the earth and heavens. The secret of life was revealed for the first time, and the Blessed One discovered the great Law of a Continuous Dependent Causality. - Imasmim satiidam hoti imassa uppada idam uppajjati, yadidam avijja paccaya &c.
A creative beginning was found to be baseless; and equally false was the belief that life ends in annihilation. The law of change in its fullness the Blessed One comprehended, and the knowledge based on wisdom came to Him that nothing is permanent and nothing is annihilated, but only change in continuity.
The error of the Egoists was that they took it for granted that things are permanent, and that a deity created matter out of nothing, at a certain period in the past. Fatalists formulated the erroneous idea that everything is predestinated, and that there is no need to make an effort to change the course of affairs.