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Dhammapada A Universal Guide

by Rohan L. Jayatilleke in Nepal

All religions of the world, be it Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism or Judaism, are based on the virtues of loving kindness (Metta), Compassion (Karuna), Blissful joy over others success (Muditha) and Equanimity (Upekkha) to foster peace and harmony, in a society, composed of various racial and other cultural divides.

The Buddha, in the 6th century BC, called these virtues, Brahma Vihara, meaning sublime State of Mind, to be developed by all persons, whatever their own religious persuasions.

The Pali Dhammapada belongs to world literature. It is equally of great appeal and appreciation in Buddhist and non-Buddhist countries, as it sets forth ideas of universal appeal besides being a manual of Buddhas teaching. It consists of 423 verses, short and enchanting and easy to recite and memorise. It is arranged according to topics in to 26 Vaggas to chapters, with the sound of silence in every word to silence the mind that is always engrossed with attachment (Lobha) enmity, (Dosa) and Ignorance (Moha).

The Dhammapada means religious word or saying, so stated in the following verses in it. Who will comprehend this earth (Self) and this realm of Yama and this world together with Devas? Who will investigate the well taught Path of Virtue, even as an expert garland maker will pick flowers (Puppha Vagga 44). A disciple in training will comprehend this earth, and this realm of Yama together with the realm of Devas? A disciple in training will investigate the well-taught Path of Virtue, even as an expert garland maker will pick flowers (Puppha Vagga 46).

The Dhammapada dispenses with all manners of sacrifices, obligations and ascetic practices of self-mortification, and lays stress on good moral conduct (Sila), stabilised by concentration (Samadhi) and concretised by sound reasoning (Panna). The Teaching of the Buddha in a nutshell, acceptable by any person or any race, caste or creed or religious persuasion, in any country or land, is metamorphosised in all evil actions, bodily or verbally. Accumulate what is good and purify ones mind (Loka Vagga 183). If any person is critical of anothers religion or its founder the religion being a matter of conscience, near and dear to him, to which he was born, weaned and reared, he causes an evil action and such a person should not be a follower of Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. This applies to all and those pose themselves as icons of saviours of Buddhism and Buddhist heritage, on the dissolution of their present lives. They will certainly be reborn in the form of poisonous reptiles or animals, and continue till eternity never to be reborn as human beings. This is succinctly termed by the Buddha as a by-product of total ignorance (Avidya). A worse taint then this is ignorance, the greatest taint, abandoning this taint, be taintless, O Bhikkhus (Mala Vagga 243).

Creed (Lobha), ill-will (Dosa) and delusion (Moha) are considered fires, unless they are held in check, it is never ever possible to lead a happy and harmonious life. The Buddha says, in order to achieve this state of happiness and harmony, one must avoid the two extremes of indulgence in sensual pleasures and practice, in self-mortification. One must follow the Middle Path and the Noble Eight Fold Path, which could be followed by any person, while declaring faith in his own religion. The attainment of the different stages of this Path Dhammapada says: Better than absolute sovereignty over the earth, better than going to heaven, better than even having a lordship, it is the fruit of a Stream Winner (Sotapanna) (Loka Vagga 176). The Buddha says the one, who could attain sotapanna through self-exertion, Buddhas are of little help as they can only guide and one should make the effort the Thatagathas are only teachers. Those who enter the Path are away from the bonds of Mara (death). (Magga Vagga 276).

Dhammapada shows on peace and on violence (verses 129, 130 and 142), and stresses that enmity never ceases with enmity but by loving kindness (verse 5). Anger should be controlled by loving kindness. Evil by good deeds, miserliness by generosity and falsehood by truth (verse 223). It also says that one should not speak harshly to another as he could get it back (Verse 133). Dhammapada also exhorts the bhikkhus to lead a spotless life and a life without any interference in politics of a town or village, if a bhikkhu is without Morality (sila) and unrestrained in thought, word and deed it says, it is better for him to eat a red-hot iron ball than eating alms (dana) offered by the people (Niraya Vagga 308).

Dhammapada further says, A bee without harming a flower, its colour or scent flies away, collecting only the honey, even so should the Muni (sage) wander in the village, without affecting the faith and generosity and wealth of the villagers (Puppha Vagga 49).

In another verse, When a young man in his prime of life living among his own people is snatched away by death, is like a flood that washes away the whole village that is asleep (Magga Vagga 287). Still in another verse, A man who is enmeshed only in his own work, is like a spider, who finds itself enmeshed in its self created web (Tanha Vagga 347).

The verse 173 (Atta Vagga) says, it is easier to do evil and harmful things than to do good and salutary things. Dhammapada also says, There are only few people in this world, who have a correct insight, most of them are blind (Loka Vagga 174). As regard the conduct of the people, To be born as a human being is indeed a rare thing (Buddha Vagga 182).

It is easy to see the faults of others, but not easy to see ones own (Maka Vagga 252). The smell of flowers comes only with the wind, but the fame of good men comes even against the wind (Puppha Vagga 54).

As the sayings of the Dhammapada are of universal appeal, the Dhammapada has been translated and published in numerous languages. It is a good guide book, for one to read.

වෙසක් පසළොස්වක පෝය

  මැයි මස 19 වැනිදා සඳුදා පූර්ව භාග 5.22 ට ලබයි.
20 වනදා අඟහරුවාදා පූර්ව භාග 7. 41 දක්වා පෝය පවතී.
සිල් සමාදන්වීම
මැයි 19 වනදා සඳුදාය.

මීළඟ පෝය මැයි මස 28 වන දා බදාදාය.


පොහෝ දින දර්ශනය

Full Moonපසෙලාස්වක

මැයි 19

Second Quarterඅව අටවක

මැයි 28

New Moonඅමාවක

ජූනි 03

First Quarterපුර අටවක

ජූනි 10

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