Nov 1, 2009
Buddha also says that there are two kinds of fools: those who undertake unnecessary burdens and those who do not undertake necessary responsibilities.
Learning and thought must work together
Learning without thought is naught;
thought without learning is dangerous.
Food for the thinking mind, p. 52-3.
man means 'human heartiness'.
* Greek philosophy:
one who can use reasoning.
* Indian philosophy:
one who has a perfected soul.
one who excels all other beings in terms of mind and its development.
Who is a great man?
A great man shows his greatness
by the way that he treats
his poor fellow beings with compassion.
Dhammananda, K. S., "Food for the Thinking Mind," Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia, 1999, P. 232.
Who is regarded as a real man?
* A man without the feeling of mercy is not a man.
* A man without the feeling of deference and politenessis not a man.
* A man without feeling shame and dislike is not a man.
* A man without feeling right and wrong is not a man.
~ Mencius ~
Man can become god
Buddhism upholds the view that man is an intelligent being. He surpasses even the devas (gods) in wisdom and strength.
The Bodhisatva left heaven and descended to this world in order to attain his enlightenment.
Gods do not have the ability to purify and develop their minds to attain enlightenment. Only man can gain such a status.
Where is the fate of a man?
The fate of a man is decided not by the whims of a supernatural being, but by his thoughts, words and deeds.
Dhammananda, K. S., "Food for the Thinking Mind," Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia, 1999, P. 233 - 4.
If we look at it with a smiling face,
We see the face smiling back at us
But if we look at it with a face of anger,
We will see an ugly face reflected back.
In the same way, if we act with kindness and compassion,
We will reap the same good qualities.
Dhammananda, K. S., "Food for the Thinking Mind," Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia, 1999, P.397.
* Happy is he who has lofty and noble aspirations
* Happy is he who enriches the lives of others
* Happy i he who allows others to live in peace
* Happy is he who makes this world a better place to live in.
* Happy is he whose work, chores and daily tasks are labours of love.
* Happy is he who loves love.
Dhammananda, K. S., "Food for the Thinking Mind," Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia, 1999, P. 397.
For the slaying of anger in all its forms with it poisoned root and sweet sting - that is the slaying the nobles praise; with anger slayed, one weeps no more. (Buddha)
Dhammananda, K. S., "Food for the Thinking Mind," Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia, 1999, P. 394-5.
The setting sun in one country becomes the rising sun in another country. So a setting sun is not the end of the sun. In the same manner, death itself is not the end of a life.
Dhammananda, K. S., "Food for the Thinking Mind," Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia, 1999, P. 432.
Apr 19, 2009
(မွန္နန္း မဟာရာဇဝင္ေတာ္ၾကီး၊ ပထမတြဲ၊ ျပန္ၾကားေရး ဝန္ၾကီး႒ာန၊ ၁၉၉၂-ပထမအၾကိမ္၊ စာ-၃၁၆)
Apr 7, 2009
Monks, there are these eight bases of indolence. What eight?
And he lies down without putting forth energy.... This is the seventh basis ...
Berily, monks, these are the eight bases of energy.
(Anguttara Nikaya) (This is taken from the translation of AN by PTS, London. I'm sorry not to be able to give full reference at the moment and this is just testing Label)
Apr 6, 2009
Nor arm nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O be some other name!
What’s in a name? That we call a rose.
By any other word would smell as sweet.
(Blakemore Evans, G. (ed.), ‘Romeo and Juliet’, Cambridge University Press, p. 93)
Apr 5, 2009
Apr 4, 2009
Apr 3, 2009
ကုိယ္က်င့္သိကၡာပုိင္းဆုိင္ရာ တုိးတက္မႈမ႐ိွပါဘဲ ႐ုပ္ပိုင္းဆုိင္ရာမ်ားသာ တုိးတက္လာလွ်င္လည္းေကာင္း၊ သုိ႔မဟုတ္ စိတ္ပိုင္းဆုိင္ရာမ်ားသာ တုိးတက္လာလွ်င္လည္းေကာင္း၊ သို႔မဟုတ္ ႐ုပ္ပုိင္းဆုိင္ရာမ်ားႏွင့္ စိတ္ပုိင္းဆုိင္ရာမ်ား ႏွစ္မ်ဳိးလုံး တုိးတက္လာလွ်င္လည္းေကာင္း ယင္းသို႔ တုိးတက္လာျခင္းသည္ ေလာက၌ ေကာင္းေသာ လကၡဏာကုိ မေဆာင္၊ သုစ႐ုိတ္မ်ား ထြန္းကားမႈကုိ ျဖစ္ေပၚေအာင္မလုပ္၊ အႏိုင္က်င့္ဝါဒကုိသာ ဖက္တြယ္တတ္သျဖင့္ ေလာက၌ မေကာင္းေသာလကၡဏာကုိသာ ေဆာင္၏။ ဒုစ႐ုိတ္မ်ား ထြန္းကားမႈကုိသာ ျဖစ္ေစ၏။
ထုိေၾကာင့္ သာယာသည္ဆုိရာ၌ ကုိယ္က်င့္သိကၡာပုိင္းဆုိင္ရာ ထြန္းကားမႈ႐ွိျခင္းကုိသာ ဆုိပါမွ မွန္ကန္မည္ဟူ၍ နားလည္အပ္၏။
ေစာဒကတုဘက္လာလွ်င္၊ သူ႔ထက္ငါ ျငင္းတဲ့လူစား။
ဘုရားေဟာ ျမတ္ဓမၼကၡန္ကုိ၊ တတ္ေလဟန္ေယာင္၀ါး။
ကန္အေၾကာက္ အတင္းမေရွာင္း ျငင္းၾကလူ႔ေဘာင္။
အပါယ္ေဘာင္ ဆင္းရလိမ့္ေလး။ ။
Apr 2, 2009
As a bee gathers honey
from the flower without injuring its colour or fragrance,
even so the sage goes on his alms-round
in the the village. (Dh no. 49)
In a village or wilds,
that place is delightful
where arahants dwell. (Dh no. 98; Tr. Thanissaro Bhikkhu)
Though one may conquer
a thousand times a thousand men in battle,
yet he indeed is the noblest victor
who conquers himself. (Dh no. 103)
Hard is it to be born a man;
hard is the life of mortals.
Hard is it to gain the opportunity
of hearing the Sublime Truth,
and hard to encounter
is the arising of the Buddhas. (Dh no. 182)
To avoid all evil,
to cultivate good,
and to cleanse one's mind -
this is the teaching of the Buddhas. (Dh no. 183)
is the highest austerity.
"Nibbana is supreme," says the Buddhas.
He is not a true monk
who harms another,
nor a true enunciate
who oppresses others. (Dh no. 186)
Driven only by fear,
do men go for refuge to many places -
to hills, woods, groves, groves, trees, shrines. (Dh. no. 188)
Such, indeed, is no safe refuge;
Such is not the refuge supreme.
Not by resorting to such a refuge
is one released from all suffering. (Dh. no. 189)
He who has gone for refuge
to the Buddha,
to his Teaching and his Order,
penetrates with transcendental wisdom
the four Noble Truths -
the cause of suffering,
the cessation of suffering,
and the Noble Eightfold Path
leading to the cessation of suffering. (Dh. nos. 190, 191)
(Dhammapada, Venerable Buddharakkhita, reprinted by Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, Singapore)
Here are some of the pictures on the Dhamma mission.
Mar 30, 2009
Mar 29, 2009
Two hardboard walls, constructed shabbily.
A naked bulb and rotting wooden floor;
No windows but instead a door
Half hidden by a broken metal screen
From which a tattered piece of green
The room has neither sky or sun nor tree
Nor any kind of personality.
It is four walls two of them hardboard (bare);
A written table (large) covered with baize
Stacked high with files. A rickety chair:
Two china cups tea-stained with cracking glaze;
Above, a rusty fan layered with dust.
In fact there is dust everywhere.
A room along the corridors of power –
What years of study, study, planning, sweat, chicanery
Two win this foothold. Yet once there
Only a roughly scribbled name
Upon a crumpled piece of cardboard to proclaim
Who has the right to sit on just that chair
A hardboard wall constructed shabbily.
If there were a single plant, this cannot, I think, be that nice to see.
As a Buddhist, I was trained to be tolerant of everything except intolerance. I was brought up not only to develop the spirit of tolerance, but also to cherish moral and spiritual qualities, especially modesty, humility, compassion, and most important, to attain a certain degree of emotional equilibrium. I was taught to control my emotions through a process of concentration and meditation. Of course, being human, and not yet having reached the stage of arahant or arhat (one who attains perfect enlightenment), I cannot completely “control” my emotions, but I must say that I am not really excited or excitable.
To understand my religious background, a brief explanation of certain ethical aspects of Buddhism will be necessary. Among the teachings of the Buddha are four features of meditation, the primary purpose of which is the attainment of moral and spiritual excellence: metta (good will or kindness), karuna (compassion), mudita (sympathetic joy), and upkkha (equanimity or equilibrium).
A true Buddhist practices his metta to all, without distinction; Buddhists need to apply in their daily lives the teachings of metta even to those whom they have never seen before, and will not see afterwards. “Just as the sun shines on all, or the rain falls on all, without distinction,” metta embraces all beings impartially and spontaneously, expecting nothing in return, not even appreciation. Metta is impersonal love or good will, the opposite of sensuous craving or a burning, sensual fire that can turn into wrath, hatred, or revenge when not required. A true Buddhist has to practice metta to friends and foes alike.
Karuna (compassion) is the second aspect of Buddhist meditation that all true Buddhists are expected to practice. This quality of compassion is deeply rooted in the Buddhist concept of suffering. Human life is one of suffering; hence, it is the duty of a good Buddhist to mitigate the suffering of others, not only in his thought but also in practice. He shows his compassion or pity to all, be they living in this or in another world. (Buddhism believes in life after death.) Buddhist charity is best seen during the feasts or dana given to the poor or to homeless monks, who are provided with alms food with a view to the donor’s attaining a higher order of bliss in the other world. The regular practice of compassion opens one’s mind to the “Noble Truth of Suffering” and its origin. For the Buddha has taught us that suffering originates in craving and ignorance. Hatred, or instance, is the root of all evil.
Mudita (sympathetic joy) can best be defined as one’s expression of sympathy with other people’s joy. The happiness of others generates happiness in the mind of a good Buddhist. Melancholy and pessimism have no place in the Buddha-dhamma or dharma (the cosmic and moral law governing the world, as formulated by the Buddha in his teachings.) One’s life gains in joy by sharing in the happiness of others, as if that happiness were one’s own. The person who cultivates altruistic joy radiates it over everyone in his surroundings, and thus everyone enjoys working and living with him. The practice of mudita not only dispels worry and frustrations but strengthens our moral fiber. Thus a true Buddhist is expected to pray for the happiness of all human beings. By practicing mudita, one automatically renders as important service to the entire community.
Upekkha (equanimity or equilibrium or detachment) connotes the acquisition of a balance of mind, whether in triumph or tragedy. This balance is achieved only as a result of deep insight into the nature of things, and primarily by contemplation and meditation. If one understands how unstable and impermanent all worldly things and conditions are, one learns to bear lightly even the greatest misfortune that befalls one or the greatest reward that is bestowed on one. This lofty quality of even-mindedness or emotional equilibrium is the most difficult of all ethical virtues to practice and apply in our hectic world. To contemplate life, but not to be enmeshed in it, is the law of the Buddha.
To achieve upekkha, one has to meditate. The Buddha’s teaching regarding meditation aims at producing a state of perfect mental health, emotional equilibrium, and tranquility. But this concept of Buddhist meditation is very much misunderstood, both by Buddhists and non-Buddhists. The word “meditation” is generally associated with a particularly posture, or musing on some kind of mystic or mysterious thought or going into a trance. Such misunderstanding is mainly due to the lack of s suitable English word for the original term bhavana, which means mental culture or mental development. The Buddhist bhavana aims at cleaning the mind of impurities, such ill will, hatred, and restlessness; it aims at cultivating such qualities as concentration, awareness, intelligence, confidence, and tranquility, leading finally to the attainment of the highest wisdom.
In other words, through meditation I seek inner peace. I heartily agree with Father Dominique Georges Pire, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, when he says: “I still think that to be a peacemaker, that is to say a man of peace, one must first be at peace with oneself. One must achieve inner peace. This involves getting to know oneself and learning to control one’s impulses. Only then can a peaceful being approach the immense task of creating harmony between groups and between individuals.
It is far from my intention to claim that I have reached a very high stage on the path to attainment of the highest wisdom, or that I have attained complete “inner peace”. I can claim, however, that I practice bhavana every day. I try to cultivate the ethical aspects of Buddhism, and I believe that I have attained a greater degree of emotional equilibrium than most people. This explains why I received the tragic news of the sudden death (in a traffic accident) of my only son, Tin Maung Thant, on May 21, 1962, with minimal emotional reaction. For are not birth and death the two phases of the same life process? According to the Buddha, birth is followed by death, but death, in turn, is followed by rebirth.
The same minimal emotional reaction applied to the news brought to me on September 23, 1965, by the Norwegian permanent representative, Ambassador Sivert Nielson, that it was the intention of the Nobel Peace Committee in Oslo to award me the coveted prize for 1965. He showed me the letter addressed to him by the Nobel Peace Committee. My response was / is not the Secretary General merely doing his job when he works for peace? After Ambassador Nielsen left my office, my thoughts wandered to those who were more deserving of that prize than myself – those whose lifelong preoccupation had been the peace of the world, the welfare of mankind, and the unity of the human community: people like Paul Hoffman, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, and many others. In any event, it was most gratifying to learn (on October 25) that UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund), whose accomplishments in the humanitarian field no one questions, was the recipient of that prize.
Ref: MANDALA, (PP. 7-8)
Buddha Dhamma Mandala Society
Tower Road PO BOX 1442 S 9132
With Compliments of C. W. Printing
No. 83 Genting Lane # 04-02 Alhomied Building
Mar 27, 2009
UNESCO has unsuccessfully tried to designate Bagan as a World Heritage Site. The military junta (SPDC) has haphazardly restored ancient stupas, temples and buildings, ignoring original architectural styles and using modern materials that bear no resemblance to the original designs. Likewise, the junta has established a golf course, a paved highway, and built a 200-foot (61-m) watchtower in the southeastern suburb of Minnanthu.