第 2 頁 (共 3 頁)
Having a good/bad existence
發表於 : 2019-09-21, 13:23
Having a good existence:
Human being, deity, Brahma-god are good existences. When the beings are in these existences, their wholesome kammas have the chances to give the results. Even human world still has some sufferings; the other two are not. With the wholesome kammas have the chances to give the results that a person has the good sense objects as experiences.
Even he has some unwholesome kammas with him, these not have many chances to come in. Even though human existence is not free from sufferings, it is a lot better than the four woeful states (hell, animal, ghost, and tormented spirits of asura).
Therefore more or less the wholesome kamma has the chance to come in and experience the good sense objects and stay away from the bad ones.
Having a bad existence:
The four woeful states are called gati-vipatti. When a being is born there, and the unwholesome kammas have the chances for the results. The beings in hells and ghost realms are always in dukkha, torturing and burning with sufferings. Even animals are a little better.
But they still have the chances of unwholesome kammas give the results of starvation, thirst, and encounter with strong heat and rains. And kill with sticks & knives or eaten by others. The small insects are very easily killed by human beings with pesticides or stepping on them, etc. Even they have the past good kammas with them & none of it could save them.
Having a good/ugly look and physical structure
發表於 : 2019-09-21, 13:26
Having a good look and physical structure:
Physical good look is important in the human world. A woman poor and low status but beautiful and attractive could reach to a higher status. Then her past good kamma has the chance to give good results. E.g., a woman had beauty became a queen, consort, etc.
Mrs. Simpson became the wife of King Edward had a good look. Do not say about human beings; even lovely and cute animals are looked after by wealthy people. Their lives are better than some human beings.
Having an ugly look and physical structure:
Someone has an ugly look, but with wealth and higher status. Still, he or she has difficulty in the same social class. This was evident in the jataka story of Prince Kusa & the beautiful woman Pabbavati. To conquer her heart, the Bodhisatta had to suffer a lot (the ugly Prince Kusa was one of the past lives of the Bodhisatta).
A beautiful woman with an ugly husband, & others will take him as her servant. Once I met a businesswoman with fair complexion & a good look. Near her was a man with brown skin & ugly. He was managing her business with some workers. I took him as her worker. Later found out that he was her husband.
Living at the time of a good/chaotic period
發表於 : 2019-09-21, 13:30
Living at the time of a good period:
The time when countries are governed by good leaders and governments, these leaders and governments have skills, morals, good plannings, etc. for the welfare of the people and the countries. At that time, human beings good kamma can have the chances to experience good sense objects.
People are free from worries and difficulties. If we study ancient Chinese history, the Chou Dynasty periods were a very good example. It lasted for 800 years and the longest Dynasty in Chinese history. It was prosperous and long-lasting because the emperors and the citizens had moral integrity and virtues. Why was that?
Because from the emperors to the citizens had the education on morality and virtue, starting from the young age. They followed the teachings or educations of the sages and wise people handed down from generation to generation. People had these kinds of education in family life, schools, and societies.
By studying and researching Chinese writing, characters will find out the profound wisdom of the sages of the past. Human moral Integrity and virtues are like the root of a tree. If the root is rotten, then the tree will die and does not has the chance to bear fruits. Human mind and behavior not only affect societies greatly but also to the great nature.
Again if we study and research the Buddhist culture in some Theravadin countries such as Burma, etc. until the first half of the 20th century, Burmese were starting their education at a very young age at the village monasteries. Parents were also very close to the monasteries and the monks. Therefore the whole family, more or less, knew the dhamma, especially in morality and virtues. They had been heard or read the jataka stories and the law of kamma. (including the Dhammapada stories).
The well-known International meditation teacher S.N Goenka once time mentioned the moral virtues of Burmese Buddhists in one of his essays in Vipassanā Journal. It mentioned about his grandfather, who was on a business Journey, forgot his bag of money at the public rest place. Only he knew about it after arriving at a weekend marketplace far away. He had no time to go back and get the bag of money.
Only after he finished his business and went back to get it. The money was still there waiting for him. Even his grandfather mentioned that someone lost a gold ring in the marketplace, no one would take it. This kind of moral integrity was very evident in villages. The farmers went to the fields for work or slept at night; they never closed their home doors and never lost their properties.
Buddhist texts mentioned three kinds of aeon; an interim aeon, an incalculable aeon, and a great aeon. Antarakappa- an interim aeon is from 10 years to the maximum of many thousands of years. And they are then falling back to 10 years. The time human lifespans are rising is kala-sampatti. Human lifespans increasing are depending on moral integrity, virtues, weather, and foods. These were mentioned by the Buddha in the Cakkavati – Sīhanāda Sutta (sutta No. 26), Digha Nikāya.
Now, our human lifespans are falling back towards ten years. Therefore all human beings have to be very careful with our minds, speech & actions. For human survivals, peace & happiness, we all have the responsibilities.
Living at the time of chaotic periods:
There are the periods bad, evil, unqualified, immoral emperors, kings, and leaders governing the countries. The time when countries are destroyed or in wars are also kala-vipatti. All these things we can see in Africa, in the middle east and other places. There are also other causes; some foreign superpowers interfere with purposes and made the problems and situations worse and greater.
At these kinds of the period, the unwholesome kammas of human beings have the chances to come in. People are becoming poor and starving, with diseases and many other sufferings arise. At this time, people with good kammas even their kammas do not have the chances that they have to run for their lives and to hide. They cannot eat what they want and separate with their loved ones, etc.
Presence/Lacking of mindfulness, intelligence & perseverance
發表於 : 2019-09-21, 13:34
Presence of mindfulness, intelligence & perseverance:
Sati, viriya, ñāna are payoga. Ñāna-knowledge is not only the good one but also includes knowledge with faults in the unwholesome matters. Therefore in everything has mindfulness, perseverance, cleverness, heedfulness, etc. are payoga-sampatti. In the Realms of celestial beings and Brahma-gods, this is not evident. But the results of this is very distinctive in the human world. Very few have the strong unwholesome kamma with them to give the immediate results.
Therefore other kammas are depending on one's payoga- sampatti will give the results. In gist, to get good results, we should not depend on the past kamma only. We should also have to rely on this present payoga-sampatti. This payoga is supporting for the past good kamma. For someone’s success in business, the past good kamma includes 25% and the other 75% connected with this life sati, viriya, and ñāna.
The 16th United States President Abraham Lincoln was a very good example. Even though he was born into a very poor family, his present good qualities such as wise, intelligent, sympathy, and effort made him a great man. Man has this quality not only progress in worldly affairs but also Dhamma, and he can develop the paramis for Nibbāna.
Payoga-sampatti can prevent the unwholesome kammic results from arising. We can divide unwholesome, into two types strong and not strong, or big and small, or heavy and light. We cannot free from the strong, big, and heavy kammas with payoga-sampatti but can reduce its power. E.g., King Ajātasattu by killing his father and sure for falling into the great hell. But later he had remorse, had very strong faith in the Buddha and did other merits(all these were payoga-sampatti) that only fell into a smaller hell. Therefore the smaller unwholesome kamma can be prevented with it.
Present payoga-sampatti can make one succeeds in business and has good health. In this way, payoga-sampatti is the main point for the wholesome kamma to give the results. Someone has it can get an education, good spouse, good friends; can meet good teachers; can develop in education, prosper in wealth and status.
In payoga-sampatti; knowledge of understanding things is the first important. And then having awareness in matters and not to be lazy, when matters arise to make an effort and perseverance.
Lacking of mindfulness, intelligence & perseverance:
Without knowledge and intelligence become foolish. No mindfulness, heedlessness, laziness, no effort, etc. are payoga-vipatti. Has envy and avarice on others, impatience, anger and conceit in matters, etc. all these are payoga-vipatti which disturb and hinder progress. The main point here is except the strong or heavy unwholesome or wholesome kammas. The small or light kammas of the past have the chances or not is depending on human payogas (payoga-sampatti and vipatti).
If someone always has payoga-sampatti then the unwholesome kammas do not have the chances and only the wholesome ones.(As a very good example, we should study the life of Yuan Liao Fan & his four lessons. He was a Ming Dynasty Buddhist & changed his destiny with payoga-sampatti. For payoga-vipatti, the renegade monk Devadatta was a very good example.)
There are a lot of Dhamma can be contemplated on concerning with payoga-sampatti and vipatti (success & failure). Because it is the subject of present kammas and situations. In the 31 realms of existence, human existence is the most important one. It is like an International Airport. From here, every human can go to any part of the world. Human beings or living beings created all sorts of kammas from here.; to hells, ghosts, animals, back to human and all kinds of deity.
Even now we can see human hells, human ghosts, etc. on the Earth. Born as a human being and encounter the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha are priceless. Majority of human beings are wasting their priceless opportunities. Instead, they misuse their times with sensual pleasures and even doing meaningless and foolish things. Therefore they create a lot of negative kammas on Earth.
Very few people have wealth and powers, but they misuse them and create more serious negative kamma(some world leaders, governments, and rich people). These are the greatest fools. Wise and intelligent people use their wealth and power for others. These are the wisest man and woman. Therefore every Buddhist should create a lot of wholesome kammas, study and practice the Dhamma.
7. Broad knowledge
發表於 : 2019-09-24, 12:48
7. Broad knowledge
After the Buddha talked about “directing oneself rightly” and continued on broad knowledge as a blessing. Therefore without broad knowledge cannot directing oneself rightly. Broad knowledge is also vast learning. Here the most important knowledge is the Dhamma knowledge of the Buddha. This can be come from study and research the Dhamma Discourses, listening to the talks of the scholar monks and practicing, monks, etc. listening of Dhamma is one of the seven noble treasures (the other 6 are: conviction, virtue, conscience, concern, generosity, and discernment).
Other groups of Dhamma for noble growth are conviction, virtue, learning, generosity, and discernment. Here include sutta-learning. Therefore the Buddha emphasized learning as progress in worldly and spiritual matters. Paññā-knowledge as worldly has two kinds: arts and sciences which worldlings develop in many different ways. Some of them are harmful, and some are beneficial. If we talk about them will never end. The most important point for all worldly knowledge, i.e., arts and sciences are not too harmful and always beneficial to the human race and nature.
According to Ta-bye-kan Sayadaw; had broad knowledge was a skill in literature. It includes arts, sciences, and spiritual literature. We have to study, learn, research on broad knowledge which are useful, beneficial to oneself, and others. Why human and other living beings are quite different from each other? Their three types of kamma are quite different, so their results are. The three types of kammic differences come from different views and knowledge. Human beings are creating kammas with their views and knowledge.
(this subject is very wide and profound and has a lot to say. This point also supports the importance of moral education and the law of kamma).
Therefore broad knowledge of the Buddha Dhamma is very important. Knowledge cannot steal by others like other things. It will never be used up by giving. The Buddha Dhamma is priceless. With practice, only broad knowledge and learning are useful and beneficial. If not, it becomes useless. A person has broad knowledge, but no moral value and virtues are without blessings. For this point, there was a story in the Dhammapada on Tanhā Vagga-Chapter on craving. This was about Kapila, the fish. In the Buddha Kassapa’s time, Kapila the monk was very learned in the Teachings.
Because of his great learning, he gained fame and fortune. And then became very conceited and was full of contempt for other monks. When others pointed out his mistakes and never accepted. In the course of time, all good monks shunned him, and only the bad ones gathered around him. He also disregarded the Monk Discipline and abused other monks. For these evil deeds and reborn in hell. During the Buddha, Gotama’s time became a golden fish with a stinking mouth.
By the Buddha; studying and learning for knowledge should have right intention and purpose. Using it also had to be right.
There are three kinds of study:
(1) Studying for preservation, e.g., liked Ven.Ānanda.
(2) Studying for transcending dukkha, i.e., study and practice.
(3) The wrong study; it is like catching a poisonous snake in the wrong way, like, e.g., Kapila monk, Arittha monk.
There are four ways people can increase in defilements(kilesa). These are:
(1) With broad knowledge
(2) With old age, increase in sensual pleasure with age
(3) With fame, e.g., actors and actresses
(4) With increasing in wealth,
this is quite clear. Most rich people do not know how to use them properly. Power-mongers of politicians wants to become rich. Wealth-mongers of businessmen want power. They are supporting each other. Today some of the human problems and environmental problems were made by them.
Therefore broad knowledge is not always good. It depends on what kinds of knowledge and how we use it. The Buddha’s right knowledge (sammā-ñāna) is always overcoming our defilements, our real enemies-greed, hatred, and delusion, etc. and benefit to the human race and protect nature. Except that all are harming to the human race and nature is wrong knowledge (miccha-ñāna).
Why today the human mind is so polluted and harmful? The modern day the human mind is a lot of influence by media, books, TV, internet, video games, movies, music, etc. There is a lot of stuff connection with sex, violence, distraction, etc. which are unhealthy to the mind. If we do not use the six sense-doors(eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind) mindfully, wisely, properly, then the sense objects-media are poison for our minds.
Most people think school educating as earning a living and professions are only educations. How to use the six sense doors is also educating, even we know it or not. All of our knowledge comes in from these sense doors. This is the most important and fundamental education. Every human being comes into this world; there are two ways to go, down-fall-downward way, and progress-upward way. A man without a moral foundation or morality and virtues, then his life is going downward. He will reap the negative results and no benefits for himself and others.
Progress-upward way is the opposite, with positive results and benefit for himself and others. No-one wants a bad, evil person, a criminal in one’s own family, in society and a country. But everyone wants a good, wise, sagely and a noble person in one’s family, etc. These need a wholesome education. The best sources can be from the Buddha’s teachings and the teachings of the ancient Chinese sages and teachers. For the Buddha; it is unquestionable because he was the teacher of gods and humans. Ancient Chinese sages had a history of over 5000 years. It had rich experiences and systems.
8. Having skills
發表於 : 2019-09-25, 13:13
8. Having skills
The Pali-sippa is handicrafts. The Burmese word sippan (It seemed to come from this Pali word) is sciences. Therefore it includes all worldly skills. It will be a very wide subject in today world. It is important for material progress and development. If harmful to humans and environments and become useless and no blessings. It must benefit to humans and nature. So any skill in arts and sciences( with technology) must support the happiness and welfare of human beings. If not, it will have detrimental consequences.
In the Khuddaka Nikāya, Peta Vutthu-ghost stories, there was an interesting story that supports this point. In Baranasi City, there was a man who had the skill of throwing stones. He could make many different types of the picture by throwing stones on tree leaves. He made his living in this way. One day the king of Baranasi came to this place and saw his skill. He invited this man into his palace. The king had a brahmin teacher who was very talkative. Therefore he wanted to teach him a lesson. The king and the stone thrower arranged for it. He was hiding inside the curtain behind the king. The king summoned the brahmin teacher, and he was talking non-stop.
So the stone thrower threw a pallet of goat shit as soon as the brahmin opened his mouth to talk. It went straight into his mouth every time he tried to speak. In this way, the brahmin teacher corrected his talkativeness. The King gave 14 villages to the stone thrower as prize money. This man taught his skill to others. One of his servants learned this skill from him. After the man mastered it, he wanted to test his skill and went to the Ganges River.
A Pacceka-buddha named Sumitta was staying near the river. At that time he was in meditation. This foolish man out of delusion decided to test his skill on the Pacceka-buddha. He threw a stone at his right ear, and it went through and came out from the left ear. With the injury, the Pacceka-buddha passed away. When people knew what was happening and became very angry and killed this man. After he died and was born in hell. After he released from hell and at the time of Buddha, Gautama became a ghost near Rajagaha. Because of the result of his heavy kamma, this ghost’s head was struck with many iron hammers at the same time.
After he fell to the ground and the hammers disappeared. As soon as he got up again, the hammers appeared and struck his head again. And this way the ghost suffered continuously. The result and power of kamma were unthinkable. Therefore anyone should not use his or her skills to harm people or nature, and the outcome of suffering is unthinkable.
Here skills mean all kinds of skill, including in politics, economics, any types of arts and sciences, and technologies, etc. If for power and money only, it is like licking the honey on the tip of the razor blade.
9. Well mastered disciplines
發表於 : 2019-09-25, 13:22
9. Well mastered disciplines
Vinaya is disciplined and not only Buddhist Monks should have it. All human societies must have it. Only following and practicing it that human beings can have progress and development. For understanding and practicing has to be begun in family life and spreading into all parts of society. Starting from the family life have to teach and train the children. Laypeople disciplines are: to avoid the ten unwholesome courses of action; and to develop the ten wholesome courses of action.
The ten unwholesome courses of action:
(1) Destruction of life
(2) taking what belongs to others
(3) sexual misconduct
(5) malicious speech
(7) frivolous talk
(10) wrong view( Here not believe in the law of kamma)
(Note: Someone can ask, what about using intoxicants-i.e., drugs and alcohols? This is including in number ③).
The ten wholesome courses of action:
(1) To avoid the destruction of life and be anxious for the welfare of all lives.
(2) To avoid taking what belongs to others.
(3) To avoid Sexual misconduct
(4) To avoid lying, knowingly speaking a lie for the sake of any advantage
(5) To avoid malicious speech, to unit the discordant, to encourage the united, and to utter speech that makes for harmony.
(6) To avoid harsh language and speak gentle, courteous, and agreeable words.
(7) To avoid frivolous talk; to speak at the right time, by facts, what is useful, moderate, and full of sense.
(8) To be without covetousness
(9) To be free from ill-will, thinking; “May these beings are free from hatred and ill-will and will lead a happy life free from trouble.” etc.
(10) To possess the right view, such as gifts and offerings are not fruitless, and there are results of wholesome and unwholesome actions. That is believing in the cause and effect of the law of kamma.
When human beings are alive and living with three types of action(kamma); i.e., mental, verbal, and bodily actions. All are including in the ten unwholesome and ten wholesome actions. Therefore these are very important. If we want to live our lives free from the courses of 10 unwholesome action and have to follow the disciplines. The rules of law are also discipline.
So disciplines are a very wide range of subject. It includes worldly affairs to spiritual matters. Human degeneration and progress are connecting with disciplines. In the world, many problems and sufferings arise from humans without disciplines. Therefore disciplines are fundamentally important. We can justify a nation and people by its standards of discipline.
Why people have no discipline? Because some people do not have the proper education on moral disciplines and how to become a human. They did not bring up or grow up with disciplines. Usually, we overlook or even do not know the importance of how to bring up children with discipline. So every type of goodness must be trained and developed at an early age.
Without proper education and training on disciplines and grew up with bad habits and behaviors. And then becomes an immoral person. It is like a white sheet of canvas and a piece of soft clay. You can draw any picture and put other colors on it. You can model with the soft clay into any image, but with the hard and dry clay, it cannot be. Nowadays, people never take care or seriousness on disciplines and train children. Instead, they let all sorts of media to teach and train their children.
Therefore it at homes children are difficult to teach and at school so difficult to discipline them. There are also signs of disrespectful to parents and teachers by youngsters. If you look at the present-day human societies will see the signs of the decadence. With a proper comparison with the Chinese Virtue Standards - Di-Gi-Gui will see the negative sides of societies. When we were young never seen youngsters retorted to the parents and teachers when they taught them.
Nowadays we even heard the news of beating and killing them. We can get good children and citizens only by educating and training. We cannot let them go their ways without disciplines and moral standards of the period. Without these foundations, no family, society, and country will stable. We can justify this point with current situations around the world.
Nowadays, we heard a lot of very nice words on democracy, human right, equality, etc. Do we use them rightly and wisely? No, it is not. Mostly we use it as empty words and even create more problems and chaos.
Without disciplines and moral standards not only become empty words but also create instability, chaos, problems, and violence, etc. in family, society, and the country.
We can see all these things going on in this 21st century around the world. E.g., a rich superpower can have a weapon of mass destruction, but another small country cannot have it or keep it. This country can interfere and invade a small country. But if another country does the same thing is unacceptable. There are promoting and protecting sexual misconducts. Are these human right? There are a lot have to say and contemplate on some of the modern-day philosophies.
The ways of correcting and cure are not promoting and protecting unwholesome matters and also not by punishments. To educate and change people mind. Only with proper and right education can solve all these problems. Using these philosophies wrongly are not only create problems in politics, economics, media, etc. but it is also spreading into family life and schools. Therefore, nowadays, children and youngsters are cannot be taught, trained, and controlled them in the right directions. So these nice words are should only be used in good and wholesome matters.
It is the same as a nuclear power. If you use it wisely and will help the human race in progress. If you use it improperly and unwisely, it brings destruction to humans. It is also very important to take heed of someone's admonishing who has the knowledge, intelligence, wise and noble. (e. g. teachers and parents). There was a jataka story demonstrating this point. In one of his past lives, the Bodhisatta was a king. Later he had the sense of urgency (saṁvega) and renounced the world and became an ascetic.
Another king who was the past life of Ven. Ānada heard this news and also became an ascetic. Later they met each other in the forest and stayed together. One day they went for alms round and took back their foods to the forest. Ānanda took out the salt bag which he has stored before and put it into his foods. The Bodhisatta saw it and admonished him. He said to him; “You have been renounced the kingship and the whole country. It's not proper and inappropriate for clinging to this salt. Ānanda retorted; “You also renounced your kingship and came here for practice. It's not good for you to admonish others.”
The Bodhisatta replied; “What I have reminded you is sensible. Therefore I am not wrong.” Ānanda remarked again; “If you say something people don't like, then it is wrong.” At last, the Bodhisatta explained to him that he had to say something beneficial and appropriate. If not, it was like a blind wild buffalo moving around blindly in the thick forest and encountered suffering. Then Ānanda became aware of his own mistake.
Therefore it is very important to take heed of admonitions from parents and teachers with eagerness, willingness, and compliance. Today in societies a lot of youngsters have problems in family life and schools is lacking in these qualities. Therefore well-mastered discipline is a blessing and protection.
10. Well spoken words
發表於 : 2019-09-26, 13:06
10. Well spoken words
This is a very, very important topic. Even most people not take it seriously and not think about it carefully. It is a very wide and profound subject and not a small thing. We use words and speech nearly all times. Thinking is also inner chattering. The speech also a connection with the ten unwholesome and ten wholesome dhammas(see on the topic of well-mastered disciplines). Therefore we should abstain from speech connection with the ten unwholesome dhammas, and it should develop the kinds of speech connection with the ten wholesome dhammas. It is impossible without speech and cannot escape it from hearing.
There are four kinds of wrong speech and four kinds of right speech. The four kinds of wrong speech include in the ten unwholesome dhammas. These are lying, divisive speech, abusive speech, and idle chatter. The four kinds of right speech include in the ten wholesome dhammas. These are abstaining from the four wrong speeches: speaking only true; to unite the discordant, to encourage the united and to utter speech that makes for harmony; speak gentle, courteous and agreeable words; to speak at the right time, in accordance with facts, what is useful, moderate and full of sense.
The four kinds of right speech included in the Noble Eightfold Path as right speech. Speech – good or bad has power. Therefore we must take them seriously. The results of wrong or right speech will follow living beings in the round of existence even a Buddha could not escape from it.
The mouth is for speech and eating. Man needs to communicate with each other, so we use it all the times. If we are not deaf cannot escape from hearing. Therefore man invented languages and letters. All our human civilization is depending on it. Even though it is very important, we do not take it seriously. Therefore we use it improperly,
Unwisely and harmful to oneself and others. Wholesome speech and skillful speech bring harmony, happiness, and peace, and even leading to the ending of dukkha. One of the factors for the realization of Dhamma is listening Dhamma. In the Chinese language, the explanation of the Chinese letter character mouth(口=kho) is an opening where speech comes out, and foods go in. Whatever coming out and going in is very important for everyone.
We can create a lot of negative kammas and problems with it, and also can create a lot of positive kammas and benefit with it. It depends on how you use it. It can be harmful to oneself and others, and also can benefit for oneself and others. If we observe the world today, there are a lot of unwholesome things going on for the mouth. Polluted media and food poisonings are very harmful to the mind and physical body. Most media are talking about the development and promoting of greed, hatred, and delusion. Using science and technology to poison food chains( chemicals, pesticides, etc.). Some politicians are using the wrong speech and nasty tricks to get elected. How can the citizens rely on these leaders and their governments?
In the Buddha's teachings, we can study and learn a lot on wrong speech and right speech. The Buddha was the most skillful person in using speech. We should learn from him. There is a lot for reflection and contemplation on this subject. I want to quote some of them here. In the Sutta Nipāta, the Buddha gave a discourse on Well Spoken Words (Subhasita Sutta).
He distinguished four poorly spoken words and four well-spoken words.
(1) Unwholesome or poorly spoken words and wholesome or well-spoken words
(2) Unworthy or unjust words and worthy or just words.
(3) Unpleasant or un-enduring words and pleasant or enduring words
(4) False words and true words.
Then Ven. Vangisa(the arahant poet)praised the Buddha with the attractive verses: Speak only not cause us pain and not hurt each other. These are truly well-spoken words. Use pleasant speech which makes people glad, and not resorting to evil speech. These are pleasant speech. The speech, the Awaken One(i.e., the Buddha) speaks is leading to Nibbāna, putting an end to dukkha. This is the only surpassed or worthiest speech. Therefore we should take care of the wholesome and friendly qualities constantly watch the movements of our minds and speeches.
In the Discourse to Prince Abhaya(Abhaya-rāja-kumāra Sutta), Majjima nikāya, the Buddha divided the speeches into six types. In the discourse, the Buddha gave the factors that went into deciding what was and was not worth saying. The main factors were three: a statement was untrue or true; unbeneficial or beneficial, and not pleasing or pleasing to others. The Buddha only spoke what was true and beneficial. He would look for the time to speak these things whether or not it was pleasing to others.
With the main three factors and speeches can divide into six types:
(1) Untrue, unbeneficial and not pleasing
(2) True, unbeneficial and not pleasing
(3) True, beneficial and not pleasing
(4) Untrue, unbeneficial and pleasing
(5) True, unbeneficial and pleasing
(6) True, beneficial and pleasing
The Buddha spoke only what was true and beneficial. It might be pleased or not pleasing to others. But he would look for the appropriate time to speak them. So the Buddha spoke only (3) and (6) types of speech. One of the attributes of the Buddha is sugato- the well-spoken person(sugato also has other meanings). The first quality of the Dhamma is svākhāta-well expounded, that is good in the beginning, in the middle and the end.
Therefore the Buddha was the well-spoken person. His speeches were educating and training to become a worthy person. The speech the Buddha spoke for attaining Nibbāna that made an end to sufferings(dukkha). Therefore it was unsurpassed. The Buddha himself encouraged people for it. Therefore among the speeches, the speech on the Four Noble Truths are the most blessing and the best protection.
Last I want to quote a sutta and the topics of conversation in the Aṅguttara Nikāya. It is very important because we converse with people nearly all times. With conversations, human beings create a lot of wholesome and unwholesome kammas in all walks of life from the family level to government level. Therefore we should take it very seriously. In the sutta, the Buddha reminded it to the monks. But it also relates to lay-people. If everyone follows the instruction will bring happiness and peace in life and not pollute the mind, which is the source.
Topics of Conversation(Aṅguttara Nikāya)
The Buddha was staying in Sāvatthi, Anāthapindika’s monastery. One day a large number of monks, on returning from alms-round, gathered in the meeting hall and were engaged in many kinds of bestial topics of conversation: conversation about kings, robbers, and ministers of state; armies, alarms, and battles, foods and drink, clothing, furniture, garlands and scents ;relatives, vehicles, villages, towns, cities, the countrysides. Women and heroes; the gossip of the street and well; tales of the dead; tales of diversity; the creation of the world and the sea; talks of whether things exist or not.
The Buddha emerging from his seclusion in the late afternoon, went to the meeting hall. He asked the monks what they were talking about. They mentioned their conversation, and he told them that it was not right for monks to have these kinds of conversation. He taught them the proper conversation.
There are ten topics of proper conversation. Talk on modesty, contentment, seclusion, non-entanglements, arousing persistence, virtue, concentration, discernment, release, and the knowledge of vision and release. If you were to engage repeatedly in these ten topics of conversation, would outshine even the Sun and the Moon, so mighty, so powerful to say nothing of the wanderers of other sects.
We are not only engaging in conversation with others but also nowadays listening to a lot of them from the media; such as radio, movie, internet, etc. Most of us will never think that these media are teaching and educating us all the time. Why there are a lot of youth problems in family, school, and societies? Because they were educated by some media. If parents are not controlling and leading them in the right direction, most problems will never be solved. Instead, their minds will become more polluted. Speech is so important that it can lead to problems, disharmony, violence and wars in politics, economics, nationalism, racism, religion, etc. These are ill speech, hate speech, and others.
The speech also can lead to harmony, peace, love, compassion, and enlightenment. There are eight causes for wrong views to arise: Two of the causes are very important, and the Buddha mentioned it very often in some of his discourses. These are: listening to wrong talks/ teachings and unwise attention(ayonisomanasikara). Right view also based on listening to the right talks/ teachings and wise attention. In the Noble Eightfold Path, right view comes first, because it will lead to the right directions. Therefore the wrong view also will lead to the wrong directions.
Therefore the outcomes of the wrong view are bad consequences and right views are good consequences. Topics on speech are wide and profound. People are using it every day in the life. And if we can use it skillfully, then it is a better world to live. To understand more on speech, it needs to study the suttas. The Buddha was called-Teacher of gods and humans/ Satthā deva-manussānaṁ. Therefore well-spoken words are real protection and blessing,
11. Support for one’s parents
發表於 : 2019-09-27, 13:25
11. Support for one’s parents
Everyone’s life has duties. We have filial obligations to support and look after our parents. Nowadays human beings are very weak in this duty and even neglect about it. This is not a good sign for society. It is the sign for selfishness, ingratitude, disrespect, no empathy, no love, etc. Someone neglects this duty and obligation; it is sure that he cannot be good to others also.
The Buddha and the ancient sages emphasized this duty strongly. In the whole Chinese history and culture, there were highly developed philosophy and practices in this virtue as filial peity. A man does not have this virtue will never progress and no future. Why must we support for one's parents? There are many good reasons for it.
Someone has this virtue can be called a humane person, and without it, a beastly person. If anyone has a common sense, this is not difficult to understand. Our beginning of life totally depends on parents. Our survivals in life are starting from our mothers’ wombs until to grow up can take our responsibilities. The most fundamental importance is the basic education which our parents, especially the mothers, taught and trained us when we were young. This basic education is on morality and virtues.
Nowadays, most people neglect and overlook its importance. Mothers are our first teachers, and our progress in the right and wholesome directions are in their hands. It is also true that our failure in the wrong and unwholesome direction is in their hands. Good emperors, leaders, sages, and great people came from the care of good, intelligent, and wise parents. Even we can say filial obligations is the foundation of all goodness to arise. It represents gratitude, respect, love, sympathy, and concern for others.
There is a saying: “The hand swings the cradle conquers the world.” A woman has the most important role within the society, even those people in the society of today maybe not aware of it. In ancient time Chinese sages and wise people knew this point very clear and profoundly. Therefore they created and handed it down a lot of written records in texts and books from generation to generation.
She can teach and train her children to become a noble person, a sage and a great man for the society, and also can produce a wicked, evil, dangerous, and criminal for the society. A good, intelligent, and wise daughter is born to good parents. And then later in life will become a good wife and mother. Therefore a happy, peaceful, and harmonious society is a lot of dependence on women. Therefore it is not surprising that filial obligations or filial piety are the fundamental quality or virtue in Chinese culture, philosophy, education, and practice in Chinese history.
Supporting for one's parents is a noble action and must have to be done. With its obligation and action brings a lot of merit, satisfaction, and happiness. It is important to understand the gratitude of parents and should always remember it. To forget the duty & obligation is very bad indeed. We should not feel remorse or remember whatever bad things have been done before. We determine not to repeat it is enough. These things can appear near the time of death and bring more sufferings.
But for good things and on Dhamma, it is good to remember and reflect them very often, e.g., one’s own dāna and sīla, reflection on death, etc. There was a remarkable jataka story on a parent's love. This was the story of the Bodhisatta in one of his past lives as a hermit Sumanasama. He and both of his parents were living in a forest as ascetics. His parents were blind, and he had to look after them. One day the king of Benares came for hunting in the forest and shot Sumanasama with a poison arrow because he was mistaken him as a deer.
To save his life, both parents and the female deity who was also the mother of the Bodhisatta for seven past lives in the past, each one of them made the asseveration of Truth. Both parents said that they loved him more than their lives. The deity said that her love of Sumanasama was more than anyone she had before. With the power of their truthful asseverations made the arrow poison disappeared.
Someone can ask this question; “Of the parent's love who love is stronger?” In Dhammapada, on the Chapter of Mind(Cittavagga), the story of Soreyya gave a clear-cut answer. The love of a mother is more than the father. This story was strange and interesting. It expressed the power of the mind, and we should not neglect its functioning. Soreyya, the son of a rich man and some attendants went for a bath. On the way, he met the Ven.Māha-kaccāyana, who was adjusting his robes outside the city for alms-round.
He saw the golden complexion of the Thera and thought, “How I wish the Thera were my wife, or else the complexion of my wife was like him.” As the unwholesome thought aroused in him and his sex changed into a woman. She ran away and arrived at Texila and met a rich man. She married him, and two sons were born to her. Also, there were two sons from the previous marriage as a man. Later she had the chance to meet and offer foods to the Ven. Mahā-kaccāyana.
She respectfully asked forgiveness to the Thera for her wrong thought on him some years before. Then the Thera said to her: “I forgive you.” As soon as these words were spoken and she changed back to a man as before. With reflection, he was feeling very weary and repulsive of all these things and left the household life and became a monk. After that, he was often asked; “Whom do you love more, the two sons you had as a father or the other two you had as a mother?” To them, he would answer that his love for those born of the womb was greater.
The important lesson we gain from here is we cannot think about things foolishly out of control. We should not neglect the mind and become its slaves and have to control and train it for one's benefit and others. Any sexual fantasy and misconducts, including homosexuality, could bring problems, dangers, and sufferings.
The Buddha compared parents with the deity of the Brahman because they treated their children with love, sympathy, and appreciative joy and for success. We could appreciate the mother's love, if think about carefully her periods of pregnancy (9 months) and during the delivery (It must be very painful indeed, even sometimes have to risk their lives). After the delivery, she had to look after you carefully in all possible ways.
She had to feed you with her breast milk until we could take foods by ourselves. Therefore a mother's love is enriching with courage, patience, unselfishness, care, noble, and has the healing power. When I am contemplating these things, it makes me cry. Mothers are very noble, and their love is touching to the heart. Where is breast milk coming from? It is changing from her blood.
Once a Chinese movie director kept his wife breast milk in a small bottle for some years. One day he took out and checked it. It changed back into the blood. There was a story, a cow was feeding her calf, and at that time a hunter came and hit her with a spear. Instead of harming her, the spear was bent at the tip. Unselfish love is very powerful, and it has healing power.
Parents are our first teachers, especially mothers. Our progress in life depends on their education and training to us. Good and moral people, great men and sages are the outcomes of proper education and training. It has to be started from family life. Therefore the proper duties of a mother are very important for the growth and progress of the good qualities of the child. Without a good and skillful mother, the child's future is hopeless. We cannot easily repay for the kindness and gratitude of our parents.
According to the Buddha, the best way to pay it back was helping them grow in conviction(saddhā), virtue(sīla), learning(suta), generosity(cāga) and discernment(paññā). It is very important to treat our parents very well, and cannot treat them like others, e.g., the anger you have on your parents is more harmful. Insulting the parents is like burning oneself with fire.
The Buddha mentioned seven kinds of fire in the Aggi Sutta-the Fire Discourse Aṅguttara Nikāya. The fire of greed, hatred, and delusion have to be removed. The fire of parents, husband, and sages (samana) have to be worshipped (showing respect and making supports). The last fire has to be taken care; that is fuel fire. A husband gives security to the family. Therefore he has to be respected.
If someone very badly treating his or her parents and will get the same outcome from his or her children. Both of them can’t get good children of their own. This we can see in the life of King Ajātasattu. He killed his father King Bimbisara for power. Later in life, he was also killed by his son. Again his son was killed by his grandson.
Three generations had been committed patricides. Nowadays if we observe our present societies, there are more and more cases of insulting, beating, and killing parents than before. We can see more and older homeless people on the streets. These and other things are the signs of decadence in human societies. Human beings are creating their hells on Earth. These are also predictions for their future to come.
12. Assistance to one's wife and children
發表於 : 2019-10-09, 13:18
12. Assistance to one's wife and children
In Sigālovāda Sutta- Advice to Sigāla, Digha Nikaya, the Buddha gave instructions to Sigāla, the house holder’s son, on the duties and obligations as a husband to wife and children.
Assistance to one's wife in five ways:
(1) By respecting her
(2) By his courtesy
(3) By being faithful to her
(4) By handing over authority to her
(5) By providing her with adornments
Assistance to one’s children in five ways:
(1) Restrain them from evil
(2) Direct them towards the goods
(3) Train them to a profession
(4) Arrange suitable marriages for them
(5) In due time hand over the inheritance to them.
The five duties and obligations of a wife:
(1) By doing her duties well
(2) By hospitality to attendants, etc.
(3) By her fidelity
(4) By looking after his earnings
(5) By skill and Industry in all her business dealings
The five duties and obligations of a child:
(1) Once I was supported by them now, I'll be their support
(2) I'll perform those duties they have to perform
(3) I'll maintain the lineage and tradition of my family
(4) I'll look after my inheritance
(5) I'll give alms or generosity(cāga) on behalf of them(When the parents are dead)
This 12th blessing/protection of assistance to one's wife and children is a very interesting and important topic, and it has a lot to say and for contemplation. It is also wide and profound subject and depending on how someone views on it. People who want to penetrate about them should study, research, and contemplate all the teaching of ancient sages and the Buddha. Most people using or spending a lot of time and money to study and research for nourishing of greed, hatred, and delusion, which are the mind pollutants. Instead, they should work with the mind which is closet to them than anyone else. It can bring them to happiness or destruction.
These cover from family life to society (i.e., the eleventh & twelfth blessings). Each family life is the smallest part of society. Therefore it is like each part of the whole body. If any part of the body has a problem or becomes abnormal and you will surely suffer or die. If each family could handle their matters very well and will solve many problems which nowadays people encounter in societies.
Therefore it is so very fundamental that good education within the family life can have strong effects and influences in society. We should not only take education as making for a living. Our experiences with all the six senses are educations. Therefore no one can free from it. Education can be wholesome and unwholesome. Even science and technology, if we use it properly and rightly become right knowledge, and improperly and wrongly become wrong knowledge.
All other human knowledges also have to be counted, including religions. All wrong and harmful actions come from wrong views and thinkings. The assistance to one's child is the duty and obligation of all parents. As the Buddha mentioned it five ways; the most important ones are three. These are: restrain them from evils; directing them towards good; and train them to a profession.
The one and two are fundamental education, which is morality and virtue, and without it, the child will never become good persons and going in the right direction. Here I will present two stories in the Buddha's time. The first is the story of the son of Māhadhana in Jāravagga-Ageing; and the other, the story of Kāla, the son of Anathapindika in Lokavagga- The World, both from Dhammapada. The first one without morality and virtue had negative results, and the other was the opposite.
The Story of the Son of Mahādhana:
The son of Mahādhana did not have any education while he was young. When he came of age married the daughter of a rich man, and she also had no education. Here both sides of the parents did not do their duties and obligations as parents, and among the five duties, only the fifth one was fulfilled. (In due time both sides handed over the inheritances to them), & without the other factors, it became useless and harmful.
Therefore some wise parents, even they were rich, not leaving wealth behind for their children. But only gave them good education; such as morality, virtue, professional works, etc., so that they could stand on their own feet in life. When the parents on both sides passed away, they inherited a lot of money and very rich. Both of them were ignorant and only spending the money by wasting it (just only for sensual pleasure). They just ate and drank had a good time by squandering their money.
After they had spent all and later sold their fields and the house. Later they became very poor and helpless. Because they did not know how to make a living and became beggars and begging on the streets. Wealth and power are like very poisonous snakes for the fools, and it becomes a real treasure to the wise. The problems in society are there are more fools than the wise.
One day the Buddha saw him leaning against the wall of the monastery and eating the leftovers given by the novices; seeing him and the Buddha smiled. Ven. Ānanda asked the Buddha for the reason of his smiling. Then the Buddha answered to Ven. Ānanda;
“ Ānanda, look at this son of a rich man; he had lived a useless life, aimless life of pleasure. If he had learned to look after his riches and in the first stage of his life would have been the top ranking rich man. If he had become a monk, could have been an arahant and his wife an anāgāmi (the non-returner). If he had learned to look after his riches in the second stage of his life, he would have been a second ranking rich man.
If he had become a monk, could have been an anāgāmin; and his wife a sakadāgāmi (the once-returner), etc...However, because he had done nothing all the three stages of his life that lost all the riches, and also all the chances of realization of the paths and fruits.”
The Story of Kāla, Son of Anathapindika:
Kāla, the son of Anathapindika always kept himself away, whenever the Buddha and his company of monks came to their house. Anathapindika was worried that if his son kept on behaving in this way would not get any benefit. So he used money as a bait to change his son. He promised to give him 100 coins if the son consented to go to the monastery and keep the sabbath for one day. So Kāla went there and returned home early the next day without listening to any Dhamma discourse.
Next time, Anathapindika said to his son; “My son, if you learned a stanza of the Buddha's teaching, I'll give you 1,000 coins on your return.” Therefore Kāla went to the Monastery again. This time he tried to learn something from the Buddha. The Buddha gave him a short stanza for learning by heart, and at the same time made him forgot it. Thus he had to repeat it so many times that in the end came to understand the full meaning of the Dhamma and then attained the Path and Fruit of a stream-winner(sotāpanna).
Early on the next morning, Kāla followed the Buddha and the sangha to his house. His father offered the rice gruel to the Buddha and the sangha. After that, the father brought 1000 coins and gave him, in front of the Buddha, but he refused to take it. Then the Buddha told Anathapindika; “Dayaka, your son had attained the Fruition State of a stream-winner which is much better and greater than the richest off of a universal Monarch, the status of celestial beings and Brahmā-gods.”
These two stories in the time of the Buddha gave us food for thought, on the parents’ duties and obligations to children. If they neglect it and the children will be like the son of Mahādhana and going downhill in their lives. It was a nuisance for the family and society. The two outcomes were like heaven and earth. For the parents to behave like Anathapindika, they first should have the qualities of good and skillful parents. They must have the education and training from their parents, with experiences and learnings (suta).
Therefore fundamental education and training should begin at the family level. The ancient Chinese Sages understood it very clear and not much different from the Buddha. The systems and skillful means in the Chinese texts were more in details and rich experiences. At least it might have over 3,000 years of Chinese history. In the Sigālovāda Sutta, the first duty and obligation of a wife are doing her duties well. The wise of the past had a lot to say on these duties and obligations.
They have the clear-cut right views on these matters. One of the very important duties of a wife is as a mother. A very important duty of a mother is educating and training her children in the right and wholesome direction. Nowadays, a lot of mothers neglect this duty and obligation. Instead, their children are educating and training by many kinds of media; such as video games, TV, movies, internet, music, etc. There are a lot of unwholesome and unhealthy contents in them.
Only someone knows the Buddha's teachings, and the sages will know the harmfulness of these things. Why nowadays more youth problems in families, schools and societies than before? Because mental pollutions are increasing like the other external pollutions. External pollutions are the reflections of the human mind. A skillful mother comes from a good wife. And a good wife comes from a good daughter. She is not selected by votes, but with the upbringing of educating and training in the right & wise direction. We should not forget that there are more fools than wise in the world.
Most people do not take ethics, morality, virtues as very important and fundamental for human beings. Therefore they think, speak, and act foolishly out of delusion(moha). These are the foundation of all goodness to arise. These good and wholesome qualities of the mind are not invented by sages and the Buddha. They discovered and penetrated it with wisdom. These are parts of nature, mind laws, and also affect the physical world. They have the universal characteristic, such as the law of kamma. They are also closely related. They also represent human standards and status. Human beings are the masters of their destiny.
Other types of living beings do not have this chance and opportunity. Therefore the right and fundamental education are very important for everyone. Parents are the first teachers of children and more important than school teachers. So it has to begin early in family life. Chinese sages classified education into four types.
(1) Family education:
the standard textbook is a booklet called Di Gi Gui- Chinese ethical standards, compiled by a Ching Dynasty scholar from Confucian Classics. On human relationship within the family, schools, societies, and states on standards of ethics, morality, virtue, etc.
(2) Education on the law of kamma:
this is the province of Buddhism. The subject on the law of kamma is profound, deep, related to all living beings and fathomless, except for a Buddha. One of the inconceivable phenomena and the province of a Buddha. Therefore except a Buddha, no one can fully penetrate it. Even we can say that it is the perfect knowledge of a Buddha. If he was only giving the teaching on the law of kamma and no other teaching, still no one equals or greater than him. This law of kamma governs all kinds of living beings.
Why most living beings during their wandering in the round of existence encountered many different kinds of sufferings? The main answer is they don't know the law of kamma and never heard about it. Even the majority of Buddhists, they know about it superficially, not profound and clear enough. Therefore they cannot use it good enough in their daily life. Even though most Buddhists encounter the teaching and not receive many benefits which should be.
(3) Worldly educations:
many kinds and types of education of the world; schools, universities, professions for a living and ordinary knowledge, etc.
(4) Religious education:
all the major religions, not include the cults. With careful & wise contemplation; whatever people religions or faiths and the cultural background the education on law of kamma should be in the first place. Because it is the universal law and all living beings are under these laws. All beings cannot escape time and space; it is the same as with the law of kamma. All human actions; wholesome, unwholesome, and mixed under this universal law.
After studying and contemplating on laws of kamma and its working principles will have clear knowledge on it. And then study, contemplate and practice ethics, morality, and virtue become more effective. If a human being can study, contemplate, and practice these two educations(law of kamma and ethics) in their daily life, the human world will be like heaven on Earth.
In the Sigātovāda Sutta, on the duties and obligations of a husband to wife; the third one is by being faithful to her. In the same way, a wife to a husband is by her fidelity. Faithfulness and fidelity between husband and wife are very important for the family and also to society. Some of the problems in family and society are connecting with infidelity between husband and wife. It will create unhappy marriages and harmful to family members, especially children.
Then this affects society. A lot of youth problems are connecting to broken marriages. Because it affects the mind of children and they cannot have proper education and training. Why nowadays more youth problems and crimes than before? According to some researches, if there are more and more broken marriages, create more and more youth problems and crimes. Most people only take adultery as sexual misconduct, but there are also other sexual misconducts harmful to oneself, and then to society. Even these sexual misconducts are like entertainment in some media.