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The Buddha explains the Noble Eightfold Path

Rohan L. Jayatilleke
(In Benares/ Varanasi, Saranath)

Continued from March 21, 2008

Right Mindfulness is explained as follows: What is right mindfulness? Here, a bhikkhu abodes contemplating the body as body, ardent, fully aware and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. He abides contemplating consciousness as consciousness, fully aware and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. He abides contemplating mental objects as mental objects, ardent, fully aware and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. This is called right mindfulness (Samyutta Nikaya 45:8 Digha Nikaya 22)

Right Concentration is classified and explained as, What is right concentration? Here, quite secluded from sensual desires, sex secluded from unwholesome states, a bhikkhu enters upon and abides in the first meditation, which is accompanied by thinking and exploring with happiness and pleasure born of seclusion

The Buddha, the Blessed One, discoursed the first sermon, Dhammachakkapavattana Sutta to the former ascetic friends of Uruvela (Kondanna, Bhaddhiya, Vappa, Mahanama and Assaji - Assaji is the young brahmin who foretold at the naming ceremony that the prince will attain Buddhahood, while the others predicted that he will be a universal monarch (Cakravarti) and Kondanna understood the Dhamma and the Buddha called him Anna - Kondanna, the Kondanna the Knower and he gained the status of Stream winner (Sotapanna). Then the next sermon was Anatthalakkhana Sutta (Non - Self). In the meantime, Yasa, the son of Sujatha, who offered ghana-payasa (solidified cows milk) to the Buddha at Seenanigama, the wife of the chieftain and banker cum guilds chief (Vaishya-setti) too had been depressed over worldly life, and as was the traditions, arrived in Saranath (Varanasi) as this was the place called Isipathana, (where rishis congregate to discuss on their spiritual attainments) in order to enter the life of Vanapravastha (entry to forests for meditative life) and having met the Buddha, when Yasa was saying, Everything is in turmoil gained from the Buddha admission to the Order as a bhikkhu. Then his father came in search of Yasa and having met the Buddha he too became a lay disciple of the Buddha. He was the first layman to have become a lay disciple taking the first three vows of following the Path of the Buddha, the Dhamma and Sangha. In English Buddham Saranam Gacchami, Dhamman Saranam Gacchami and Sangham Saranam Gacchami are incorrectly translated as I go to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha for refuge. The word sara in pali means feet and Saranam Gacchami means, following the steps of the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. This is very clear from the end word gacchami means in Pali walk

In Sinhala it is used as Budun pihita, Dhamma pihita and Sangha pihita, Buddha with the Mahaparinirvana at the age of 80 at Kusinara, attained deathlessness and there is no Buddha to give protection. It should be that one follows the path of the Buddha. The associates of Yasa, who were also sons of rich merchants having heard their friend had entered the Order of the Sangha, these four, Vimala, Subahu, Punnaji and Gavampati, too met with the Buddha and entered the Order and fifty others of their associates too came to the Buddha and entered the Order. Thus all of them too attained Arahanthood. There were then 61 Arahants in the world including the Buddha

Then the Buddha addressed his first sixty Arahanth disciples as follows: Bhikkhus, I am free from all shackles whether human or divine. You too are free from all shackles whether human or divine. Go now wander, not two in the same direction and wander for the welfare and happiness of many, out of compassion for the welfare and happiness of many (bahujanasukhaya), out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, welfare and happiness of gods and men (bahujanahitaya). Teach the Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle and good in the end, with the meaning and the letter. Explain a holy life that is totally perfect and pure.
There are beings with little dust on their eyes who will be lost through not hearing the Dhamma. Who will understand the Dhamma. I shall go to Uruvela, Senanigama, to teach the Dhamma (Vinaya Mahavagga 1:7-20). The quintessence of the teaching of the Buddha is the Noble Eight Fold Path, and all the discourses are based on this fulcrum. This is observed, by what Buddha told the wanderer Sabhadda (last disciple of the Buddha) at Kusinara, moments prior to the Buddhas Great Demise (Mahaparinirvana)

The wandering asceyic Subhadda went to the Mallians sala tree grove and approached the Venerable Ananda and told him that he was distressed, and said. If only I could see the venerable Gotama, Master Ananda. The Venerable Ananda said,enough, friend Subbhada, do not trouble the Perfect One. The Blessed One is tired The wanderer Subbhada repeated the request second and third time too and got the same response from Ananda. The Blessed One heard this conversation. Then he told Ananda, Enough, Ananda, do not keep Subbhada out; let him see the Perfect One. Whatever he may ask of me, he would ask it only for the sake of knowledge, not to cause trouble, and what I tell him he would understand. The Venerable Ananda told Subbhada; Go friend Subbhada, the Blessed One gives you permission. He then went to the Buddha had a formal talk having exchanged greetings, he sat down at one side. Then he said to the Buddha, Master Gotama, there are these monks and brahamans, each with his community, with his group, each renowned and famous philosopher reckoned by many as a saint. I mean Purana Kassapa, Makkhali Gosala, Ajita Kesakambala, Pakudha Kacchayana, Sanjaya Bellattiputta and the Nigantha Nataputta. Have they all had direct knowledge as they claim, or none of them had direct knowledge, or have some of them had direct knowledge and some not? Enough, Subbhada. Whether they have all had direct knowledge as they claim, or none of them have had direct knowledge, or some of them have had listen carefully to what I say. Even so, Master, Subbhada replied, Subbhada, in whatever Dhamma and Discipline (Vinaya) the Noble Eightfold Path is not found, there the first monk is not found (Sotapanna-Stream Winner), the second monk is not found (Sakurdagama-Once Returner) the third monk is not found (Anagami-Non-returner), the fourth monk is not found (Arahant). The Noble Eightfold Path is found in this Dhamma and discipline, and it is only here that these four monks are found. Others doctrines are devoid of monks. And if these bhikkhus live rightly, the world would not be devoid of Arahants Subbhada having being discoursed the Noble Eightfold Path, he expressed his desire to be ordained. Then the Buddha directed Now Ananda give Subbhada the going forth Thus in the presence of the Buddha, Subbhada was given full ordination. Thus Subbhada became the last disciple of the Buddha. It is clear from this encounter, the Blessed One never disparaged other religions, or teachers or their doctrines

This concept of religious pluralism advocated by the Blessed One in the sixth century, even included in the Saptta Aparihani Dhamma, taught to the Licchavis (monarchs) of the Republic of Vajji at Vaishali, the Buddha said, among other factors for non-degenerating governance, Revere and honour Vajjian elders, revere and honour Vajjian shrines; five lawful protection for Arhants so that Arahants who have not come to the realm may come and Arahants who have come may live happily (Digha Nikaya 16). Herein Arhants was a term used by Jains first and Vaishali was the birth place of the 24th Thirankara of Jainism Niganthanathaputta/ Jaina Mahavira of the royalty of Vaishali

In the third century BC too Emperor Asoka promoted religious pluralism, as evidenced in his Dhalu Rock Inscription XII with versions in several places with instructions at length. The gist of this Rock Inscription is Extoling ones own religious persuasion is destroying ones own religion. Even when criticism is required it should be proper occasions and that too under restraint (samvara)

මැදින් අව අටවක

   මැදින් අව අටවක පෝය මාර්තු 29 වැනිදා සෙනසුරාදා අපරභාග 02.17 ට ලබයි. 30 වැනිදා ඉරිදා අපර භාග 04.09 දක්වා පෝය පවතී
සිල් සමාදන්වීම මාර්තු 29 වැනිදා සෙනසුරාදාය.

මීළඟ පෝය අපේ‍්‍රල් 05 වැනිදා සෙනසුරාදාය.


පොහෝ දින දර්ශනය

Second Quarterඅව අටවක

මාර්තු 29

New Moonඅමාවක

අපේ‍්‍රල් 05

First Quarterපුර අටවක

අප්‍රේල් 12

Full Moonපසෙලාස්වක

අප්‍රේල් 19

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