buddhist study
佛學

          With the start of the new decade year 2020, we are facing with the pandemic of CoronaVirus all over the world, and most people find it stressful to prevent the catching of the virus. Presently it’s still spreading across the globe. All of these remind us what Buddha told us the impermanence, instability of the phenomena world.
We always want things to come our way to go well, live well for every undertaking. But, we find disappointments at times and may blamed on certain reasons for it.

          Buddha taught us that it comes from our actions of good and bad deeds. Then we need to understand Buddha dharma in order to practice the right action to fulfill our wishes of happiness. So, we need to spare our time on learning and practice the dharma now, for the days, months, years just fly with the sound of the clock ‘tik tok’ in every second.

          We will provide the material of learning information from the fundamental of Buddhism for beginners with stages of understanding. Our volunteer times in this still require our spare time, so your participation and patient will keep us going with our website staffs.

          Wishing all in good health.

Thank you.

MLZ

          A prince was born in the fifth century B.C.E. in Lumbini, Nepal which situated at the border of Nepal and India. His name was Siddartha Gotama. His mother died a week after giving birth and his mother’s sister who was later his father’s second wife brought him up in a luxury kingdom with all the good enjoyment surround him. His loving royal parents wished that he could grow up to be their heir to take the crown as a great king. So they protected the young prince from any contact with unpleasant situations. At the age of sixteen, he was married, and his son was born when he was twenty-nine years old. With the wealthy luxurious living in the palace which he could get anything that he needed, he then decided to look for outside the palace.Before Prince Gotama set his adventure to see the outside palace, his father the king ordered to clear the street with any unpleasant sights. Even though, he still saw a sick person, an old person and a corpse. He was amazed to realize that there were sufferings in human life. When he took another tour outside his palace, he saw an ascetic who tried to cultivate for the liberation from life and death. This gave the prince a decision that one should leave attachment of craving and practiced as ascetic to find the truth of liberation from sufferings in life. In the middle of the night, the prince left his wife and infant son with the palace behind and set out for his journey of cultivation.As an ascetic, the Prince abandoned all his jewellery and luxury clothing and turned himself only with a saffron-robed and a shaven head. He looked for spiritual teachers to guide him the meditation for cultivation of liberation. After experiencing the meditation where he learned from a few spiritual teachers to attain a refined inner calmness, but he found that these were unable to help him to find his solution to the end of suffering. So he decided to reduce his food intake and further practice his meditation. After six years, he realized that asceticism is not the path, for his body was too weak without food and it affected his mind. At this point he abandoned this ascetic practice. He then took some food that was offered to him to sustain his energy and prepared for another alternation path of awakening. He sat under a tree which later known as the Bodhi tree, and developed into deep profound meditation. He has encountered inner influence of sense desire and death in his meditation. However, he overcame all of the hindrances and gained the perfect awakening at the age of thirty-five of the unconditioned Nirvana, which is beyond birth, ageing and death. According to Buddhism, stated by R. Gethin that an awaken one is known as Buddha in perfection, a Tathagata, one who comes an goes in accordance with the profoundest way of things (1998 pg. 27).Buddha then walked to Sarnath to look for his ascetic friends who left him earlier, and taught them his way of finding the truth of cultivation in liberation. The five ascetics took their refuge to Buddha. From then on, Buddha and his disciples continue to teach from Sarnath to Kushinagar where he gave the last teaching and left this world into Nirvana.BibliographyGethin, Rupert. The Foundations of Buddhism by Oxford New York: Oxford University Press. 1998
          During the life of Buddha, there were the people of Kesaputta, a town of Kalama Kalamas where they were uncertain and in doubt of many spiritual teachers gave their views and claimed to be their propound doctrines. When Gotama Buddha passed by their town, they approached him for their doubt and confusion. This was in the Anguttara Nikaya – Kalama sutra stated how Buddha taught the Kalamas how to obtain the right view on Learning their cultivation:“Now, Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skilful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness’ — then you should enter & remain in them.” (AN 3.65 – translation by Thanissaro Bhikkhu 1994)Bhikku Bodhi translated with the explaination on (1998) ‘A Look at the Kalama Sutta’ that “the Buddha advised the Kalamas to abandon those things they know for themselves to be bad and to undertake those things they know for themselves to be good. This advice can be dangerous if given to those whose ethical sense is undeveloped, and we can thus assume that the Buddha regarded the Kalamas as people of refined moral sensitivity. In any case he did not leave them wholly to their own resources, but by questioning them led them to see that greed, hate and delusion, being conducive to harm and suffering for oneself and others, are to be abandoned, and their opposites, being beneficial to all, are to be developed.The Buddha next explains that a “noble disciple, devoid of covetousness and ill will, undeluded” dwells pervading the world with boundless loving-kindness, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity. Thus purified of hate and malice, he enjoys here and now four “solaces”: If there is an afterlife and kammic result, then he will undergo a pleasant rebirth, while if there is none he still lives happily here and now; if evil results befall an evil-doer, then no evil will befall him, and if evil results do not befall an evil-doer, then he is purified anyway. With this the Kalamas express their appreciation of the Buddha’s discourse and go for refuge to the Triple Gem.”The Kalamas replied:” Lord! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has the Blessed One — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. We go to the Blessed One for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the Sangha of monks. May the Blessed One remember us as lay followers who have gone to him for refuge, from this day forward, for life.” (AN 3.65 – translation by Thanissaro Bhikkhu 1994)Bhikku Bodhi further explained that “Does the Kalama Sutta suggest that a follower of the Buddhist path can dispense with all faith and doctrine, which he should make his own personal experience the criterion for judging the Buddha’s utterances and for rejecting what cannot be squared with it? It is true the Buddha does not ask the Kalamas to accept anything he says out of confidence in himself, but let us note one important point: the Kalamas, at the start of the discourse, were not the Buddha’s disciples. They approached him merely as a counsellor who might help dispel their doubts, but they did not come to him as the Tathagata, the Truth-finder, who might show them the way to spiritual progress and to final liberation.Thus, because the Kalamas had not yet come to accept the Buddha in terms of his unique mission, as the discloser of the liberating truth, it would not have been in place for him to expound to them the Dhamma unique to his own Dispensation: such teachings as the Four Noble Truths, the three characteristics, and the methods of contemplation based upon them. These teachings are specifically intended for those who have accepted the Buddha as their guide to deliverance, and in the suttas he expounds them only to those who “have gained faith in the Tathagata” and who possess the perspective necessary to grasp them and apply them. The Kalamas, however, at the start of the discourse are not yet fertile soil for him to sow the seeds of his liberating message. Still confused by the conflicting claims to which they have been exposed, they are not yet clear even about the groundwork of morality.Nevertheless, after advising the Kalamas not to rely upon established tradition, abstract reasoning, and charismatic gurus, the Buddha proposes to them a teaching that is immediately verifiable and capable of laying a firm foundation for a life of moral discipline and mental purification. He shows that whether or not there be another life after death, a life of moral restraint and of love and compassion for all beings brings its own intrinsic rewards here and now, a happiness and sense of inward security far superior to the fragile pleasures that can be won by violating moral principles and indulging the mind’s desires. For those who are not concerned to look further, who are not prepared to adopt any convictions about a future life and worlds beyond the present one, such a teaching will ensure their present welfare and their safe passage to a pleasant rebirth — provided they do not fall into the wrong view of denying an afterlife and karmic causation.Thus the discourse to the Kalamas offers an acid test for gaining confidence in the Dhamma as a viable doctrine of deliverance. We begin with an immediately verifiable teaching whose validity can be attested by anyone with the moral integrity to follow it through to its conclusions, namely, that the defilements cause harm and suffering both personal and social, that their removal brings peace and happiness, and that the practices taught by the Buddha are effective means for achieving their removal. By putting this teaching to a personal test, with only a provisional trust in the Buddha as one’s collateral, one eventually arrives at a firmer, experientially grounded confidence in the liberating and purifying power of the Dhamma. This increased confidence in the teaching brings along a deepened faith in the Buddha as teacher, and thus disposes one to accept on trust those principles he enunciates that are relevant to the quest for awakening, even when they lie beyond one’s own capacity for verification. This, in fact, marks the acquisition of right view, in its preliminary role as the forerunner of the entire Noble Eightfold Path.What can be justly maintained is that those aspects of the Buddha’s teaching that come within the purview of our ordinary experience can be personally confirmed within experience, and that this confirmation provides a sound basis for placing faith in those aspects of the teaching that necessarily transcend ordinary experience. Faith in the Buddha’s teaching is never regarded as an end in itself nor as a sufficient guarantee of liberation, but only as the starting point for an evolving process of inner transformation that comes to fulfilment in personal insight. But in order for this insight to exercise a truly liberate function, it must unfold in the context of an accurate grasp of the essential truths concerning our situation in the world and the domain where deliverance is to be sought. These truths have been imparted to us by the Buddha out of his own profound comprehension of the human condition. To accept them in trust after careful consideration is to set foot on a journey which transforms faith into wisdom, confidence into certainty, and culminates in liberation from suffering.” (1998- A Look at the Kalama Sutta)Bibliography:Thanissaro Bhikkhu- 1994 Kalama Sutta: To the Kalamastranslated from Pali @ accesstoinsight.orgBhikkhu Bodhi – 1998 A Look at the Kalama Sutta [email protected] accesstoinsight.org