Như bông hoa tươi đẹp, có sắc nhưng không hương. Cũng vậy, lời khéo nói, không làm, không kết quả.Kinh Pháp cú (Kệ số 51)
Người có trí luôn thận trọng trong cả ý nghĩ, lời nói cũng như việc làm. Kinh Pháp cú
Cách tốt nhất để tiêu diệt một kẻ thù là làm cho kẻ ấy trở thành một người bạn. (The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend.)Abraham Lincoln
Bạn nhận biết được tình yêu khi tất cả những gì bạn muốn là mang đến niềm vui cho người mình yêu, ngay cả khi bạn không hiện diện trong niềm vui ấy. (You know it's love when all you want is that person to be happy, even if you're not part of their happiness.)Julia Roberts
Một người trở nên ích kỷ không phải vì chạy theo lợi ích riêng, mà chỉ vì không quan tâm đến những người quanh mình. (A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor's.)Richard Whately
Nếu chuyên cần tinh tấn thì không có việc chi là khó. Ví như dòng nước nhỏ mà chảy mãi thì cũng làm mòn được hòn đá.Kinh Lời dạy cuối cùng
Khi gặp chướng ngại ta có thể thay đổi phương cách để đạt mục tiêu nhưng đừng thay đổi quyết tâm đạt đến mục tiêu ấy. (When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal, you do not change your decision to get there. )Zig Ziglar
Hãy lắng nghe trước khi nói. Hãy suy ngẫm trước khi viết. Hãy kiếm tiền trước khi tiêu pha. Hãy dành dụm trước khi nghỉ hưu. Hãy khảo sát trước khi đầu tư. Hãy chờ đợi trước khi phê phán. Hãy tha thứ trước khi cầu nguyện. Hãy cố gắng trước khi bỏ cuộc. Và hãy cho đi trước khi từ giã cuộc đời này. (Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you retire, save. Before you invest, investigate. Before you critisize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. Before you die, give. )Sưu tầm
Rời bỏ uế trược, khéo nghiêm trì giới luật, sống khắc kỷ và chân thật, người như thế mới xứng đáng mặc áo cà-sa.Kinh Pháp cú (Kệ số 10)
Việc người khác ca ngợi bạn quá hơn sự thật tự nó không gây hại, nhưng thường sẽ khiến cho bạn tự nghĩ về mình quá hơn sự thật, và đó là khi tai họa bắt đầu.Rộng Mở Tâm Hồn

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Danh mục tổng quát »» Phật học căn bản bằng Anh ngữ

Đây là tập sách Phật học căn bản nổi tiếng bằng Anh ngữ mang tựa đề The Buddhist Catechism do Henry S. Olcott biên soạn, xuất bản từ cách đây hơn một thế kỷ (năm 1915) và đến nay đã được tái bản đến hơn 44 lần, lưu hành khắp thế giới. Đặc điểm của sách là hình thức hỏi đáp ngắn gọn nhưng có thể giúp người đọc nắm hiểu được những điều căn bản nhất trong đạo Phật.
Chúng tôi dự kiến sẽ chuyển dịch toàn bộ sang Việt ngữ và trình bày song song để phục vụ bạn đọc trong việc học Phật pháp kèm theo học Anh ngữ. Tuy nhiên, bước đầu chưa có thời gian thực hiện nên chúng tôi tạm cho đăng tải riêng phần Anh ngữ, hy vọng có thể giúp ích cho các độc giả muốn tìm hiểu đạo Phật qua Anh ngữ.
Answer. The Buddhist.

[1] The word "religion" is most inappropriate to apply to Buddhism which is not a religion, but a moral philosophy, as I have shown later on. But, by common usage the word has been applied to all groups of people who profess a special moral doctrine, and is so employed by statisticians. The Sinhalese Buddhists have never yet had any conception of what Europeans imply in the etymological construction of the Latin root of this term. In their creed there is no such thing as a "binding" in the Christian sense--a submission to or merging of self in a Divine Being. Agama is their vernacular word to express their relation to Buddhism and the BUDDHA. It is pure Samskrt, and means "approach, or coming"; and as "Buddha" is enlightenment, the compound word by which they indicate Buddhism--Buddhagama--would be properly rendered as "an approach or coming to enlightenment," or possibly as a following of the Doctrine of SAKYAMUNI. The missionaries, finding Agama ready to their hand, adopted it as the equivalent for "religion"; and Christianity is written by them Christianagama, whereas it should be Christianibandhana, for bandhana is the etymological equivalent for "religion". The name Vibhajja vada--one who analyses--is another name given to a Buddhist, and Advayavadi is a third. With this explanation, I continue to employ under protest the familiar word when speaking of Buddhistic philosophy, for the convenience of the ordinary reader.
A. It is a body of teachings given out by the great personage known as the Buddha.
A. No, that is only a western term: the best name for it is Bauddha Dharma.
A. Certainly not. A Buddhist is one who not only professes belief in the Buddha as the noblest of Teachers, in the Doctrine preached by Him, and in the Brotherhood of Arhats, but practises His precepts in daily life.
A. An Upasika.
A. There is some disagreement as to the actual date, but according to the Sinhalese Scriptures it was in the year 2513 of the - present - Kali-Yuga.
A. He was born under the constellation Visa on a Tuesday in May, in the year 2478 - K.Y. - , he retired to the jungle in the year 2506, became Buddha in 2513, and, passing out of the round of rebirths, entered Paranirvana in the year 2558, aged eighty years. Each of these events happened on a day of full moon, so all are conjointly celebrated in the great festival of the full-moon of the month Wesak - Vaisakha - , corresponding to the month of May.
A. No. Buddha Dharma teaches no "divine" incarnation.
A. Yes, but the wisest, noblest and most holy being, who had developed himself in the course of countless births far beyond all other beings, the previous BUDDHAS alone excepted.
A. Yes, as will be explained later on.
A. No. It is the name of a condition or state of mind, of the mind after it has reached the culmination of development.
A. Enlightened, or, he who has the all-perfect wisdom. The Pali phrase is Sabbannu, the One of Boundless Knowledge. In Samskrt it is Sarvajña.
A. SIDDHARTHA was his royal name, and GAUTAMA, or GOTAMA, his family name. He was Prince of Kapilavastu and belonged to the illustrious family of the Okkaka, of the Solar race.
A. King Suddhodana and Queen Maya, called Maha Maya.
A. The Sakyas, an Aryan tribe of Kshattriyas.
A. In India, one hundred miles north-east of the City of Benares, and about forty miles from the Himalaya mountains. It is situated in the Nepal Terai. The city is now in ruins.
A. The Rohini, now called the Kohana.
A. Six hundred and twenty-three years before the Christian era.
A. It is now identified beyond question. An archaeologist in the service of the Government of India has discovered in the jungle of the Nepal Terai a stone pillar erected by the mighty Buddhist sovereign, Asoka, to mark the very spot. The place was known in those times as the Lumbini Garden.
A. He had, his father, the King, built him three magnificent palaces--for the three Indian seasons--the cold, the hot, and the rainy--of nine, five, and three stories respectively, and handsomely decorated.
A. Around each palace were gardens of the most beautiful and fragrant flowers, with fountains of spouting water, the trees full of singing birds, and peacocks strutting over the ground.
A. No, in his sixteenth year he was married to the Princess Yasodhara, daughter of the King Suprabuddha. Many beautiful maidens, skilled in dancing and music, were also in continual attendance to amuse him.
A. In the ancient Kshattriya or warrior fashion, by overcoming all competitors in games and exercises of skill and prowess, and then selecting Yasodhara out of all the young princesses, whose fathers had brought them to the tournament or mela.
A. He had such natural wisdom that when but a child he seemed to understand all arts and sciences almost without study. He had the best teachers, but they could teach him nothing that he did not seem to comprehend immediately.
A. No. He left all and went alone into the jungle.
A. To discover the cause of our sufferings and the way to escape from them.
A. No, it was boundless love for all beings that made him devote himself to their good.
A. Throughout numberless births and aeons of years he had been cultivating this love, with the unfaltering determination to become a Buddha.
A. His beautiful palaces, his riches, luxuries and pleasures, his soft beds, fine dresses, rich food, and his kingdom, he even left his beloved wife and only son, Rahula.
A. Not one in this present world-period: this is why Buddhists so love him, and why good Buddhists try to be like him.
A. Certainly. But we believe that this surpassing unselfishness and love for humanity showed themselves in his renouncing the bliss of Nirvana countless ages ago, when he was born as the Brahmana Sumedha, in the time of Dipankara Buddha: he had then reached the stage where he might have entered Nirvana, had he not loved mankind more than himself. This renunciation implied his voluntarily enduring the miseries of earthly lives until he became Buddha, for the sake of teaching all beings the way to emancipation and to give rest to the world.
A. He was in his twenty-ninth year.
A. A Deva appeared to him when driving out in his chariot, under four impressive forms, on four different occasions.

[2] See the definition of deva given later.
A. Those of a very old man broken down by age, of a sick man, of a decaying corpse, and of a dignified hermit.
A. No, his attendant, Channa, also saw them.
A. We often see such sights: he had not seen them, so they made a deep impression on his mind.
A. The Brahmana astrologers had foretold at his birth that he would one day resign his kingdom and, become a BUDDHA. The King, his father, not wishing to lose an heir to his kingdom, had carefully prevented his seeing any sights that might suggest to him human misery and death. No one was allowed even to speak of such things to the Prince. He was almost like a prisoner in his lovely palaces and flower gardens. They were surrounded by high walls, and inside everything was made as beautiful as possible, so that he might not wish to go and see the sorrow and distress that are in the world.
A. Yes, he seems to have felt for all beings so strong a pity and love as that.
A. By removing far away from all that could prevent his thinking deeply of the causes of sorrow and the nature of man.
A. One night, when all were asleep, he arose, took a last look at his sleeping wife and infant son, called Channa, mounted his favourite white horse Kanthaka, and rode to the palace gate. The Devas had thrown a deep sleep upon the King's guard who watched the gate, so that they could not hear the noise of the horse's hoofs.
A. Yes, but the Devas caused it to open without the slightest noise, and he rode away into the darkness.
A. To the river Anoma, a long way from Kapilavastu.
A. He sprang from his horse, cut off his beautiful hair with his sword, put on the yellow dress of an ascetic, and giving his ornaments and horse to Channa, ordered him to take them back to his father, the King.
A. He went afoot towards Rajagrha, the capital city of King Bimbisara, of Magadha.
A. The King with his whole Court.

[3] For an admirable account of this interview consult Dr. Paul Carus' Gospel of Buddha, page 20, et seq.
A. To Uruvela, near the present Mahabodhi Temple at Buddha Gaya.
A. In the forests were hermits--very wise men, whose pupil he afterwards became, in the hope of finding the knowledge of which he was in search.
A. The Hindu religion: they were Brahmanas.

[4] The term Hindu, once a contemptuous term, used by the Musalmans to designate the people of Sindh, whom they conquered, is now used in an ecclesiastical sense.
A. That by severe penances and torture of the body a man may acquire perfect wisdom.
A. No, he learned their systems and practised all their penances, but he could not thus discover the cause of human sorrow and the way to absolute emancipation.
A. He went away into the forest near Uruvela, and spent six years in deep meditation, undergoing the severest discipline in mortifying his body.
A. No, five Brahman companions attended him.
A. Kondañña, Bhaddiya, Vappa, Mahanama, and Assaji.
A. He sat and meditated, concentrating his mind upon the higher problems of life, and shutting out from his sight and hearing all that was likely to interrupt his inward reflections.
A. Yes, through the whole period. He took less and less food and water until, it is said, he ate scarcely more than one grain of rice or of sesamum seed each day.
A. No. He grew thinner and thinner in body and fainter in strength until, one day, as he was slowly walking about and meditating, his vital force suddenly left him and he fell to the ground unconscious.
A. They fancied he was dead, but after a time he revived.
A. The thought came to him that knowledge could never be reached by mere fasting or bodily suffering, but must be gained by the opening of the mind. He had just barely escaped death from self-starvation, yet had not obtained the Perfect Wisdom. So he decided to eat, that he might live at least long enough to become wise.
A. He received food from Sujata, a nobleman's daughter, who saw him sitting at the foot of a nyagrodha - banyan - tree. He arose, took his alms-bowl, bathed in the river Nerañjara, ate the food, and went into the jungle.
A. Having formed his determination after these reflections, he went at evening to the Bodhi, or Asvattha tree, where the present Mahabodhi Temple stands.
A. He determined not to leave the spot until he attained perfect wisdom.
A. The side facing the east.

[5] No reason is given in the canonical books for the choice of this side of the tree, though an explanation is to be found in the popular legends upon which the books of Bishop Bigandet and other European commentators are based. There are always certain influences coming upon us from the different quarters of the sky. Sometimes the influence from one quarter will be best, sometimes that from another quarter. But the Buddha thought that the perfected man is superior to all extraneous influences.
A. The knowledge of his previous births, of the causes of rebirths, and of the way to extinguish desires. Just before the break of the next day his mind was entirely opened, like the full-blown lotus flower, the light of supreme knowledge, or the Four Truths, poured in upon him. He had become BUDDHA--the Enlightened, the all-knowing--the Sarvajña.
A. At last he had. As the light of the morning sun chases away the darkness of night, and reveals to sight the trees, fields, rocks, seas, rivers, animals, men and all things, so the full light of knowledge rose in his mind, and he saw at one glance the causes of human suffering and the way to escape from them.
A. Yes, mighty and terrible struggles. He had to conquer in his body all those natural defects and human appetites and desires that prevent our seeing the truth. He had to overcome all the bad influences of the sinful world around him. Like a soldier fighting desperately in battle against many enemies, he struggled: like a hero who conquers, he gained his object, and the secret of human misery was discovered.
A. At first he was reluctant to teach it to the people at large.
A. Because of its profound importance and sublimity. He feared that but few people would understand it.
A. He saw that it was his duty to teach what he had learnt as clearly and simply as possible, and trust to the truth impressing itself upon the popular mind in proportion to each one's individual Karma. It was the only way of salvation, and every being had an equal right to have it pointed out to him. So he determined to begin with his five late companions, who had abandoned him when he broke his fast.

[6] The ancient story is that the God Brahma himself implored him not to withhold the glorious truth.
A. In the deer-park at Isipatana, near Benares.
A. Yes, a partly ruined stupa, or dagoba, is still standing on that very spot.
A. At first, no, but so great was the spiritual beauty of his appearance, so sweet and convincing his teaching, that they soon turned and gave him the closest attention.
A. The aged Kondañña, one who "understood" - Anna - , was the first to lose his prejudices, accept the Buddha's teaching, become his disciple, and enter the Path leading to Arhatship. The other four soon followed his example.
A. A rich young layman, named Yasa, and his father, a wealthy merchant. By the end of three months the disciples numbered sixty persons.
A. The mother and wife of Yasa.
A. He called the disciples together, gave them full instructions, and sent them out in all directions to preach his doctrine.

[7] Brahmanism not being offered to non-Hindus, Buddhism is consequently, the oldest missionary religion in the world. The early missionaries endured every hardship, cruelty, and persecution, with unfaltering courage.
A. That the way of emancipation lies in leading the holy life and following the rules laid down, which will be explained later on.
A. He converted a man named Kashyapa, renowned for his learning and teacher of the Jatilas, a great sect of fire-worshippers, all of whom became also his followers.
A. King Bimbisara, of Magadha.
A. Sariputra and Moggallana, formerly chief disciples of Sañjaya, the ascetic.
A. Sariputra for his profound learning - Prajña - , Moggallana for his exceptional spiritual powers - Iddhi - .
A. No, but natural to all men and capable of being developed by a certain course of training.
A. Oh yes, seven years later, while he was living at Rajagrha, his father. King Suddhodana, sent a message to request him to come and let him see him again before he died.
A. Yes. His father went with all his relatives and ministers to meet him and received him with great joy.
A. No. In all sweetness he explained to his father that the Prince Siddhartha had passed out of existence, as such, and was now changed into the condition of a Buddha, to whom all beings were equally akin and equally dear. Instead of ruling over one tribe or nation, like an earthly king, he, through his Dharma, would win the hearts of all men to be his followers.
A. Yes. His wife, who had mourned for him with deepest love, wept bitterly. She also sent Rahula to ask him to give him his inheritance, as the son of a prince.
A. To one and all he preached the Dharma as the cure for all sorrows. His father, son, wife, Ananda - his half-brother - , Devadatta - his cousin and brother-in-law - , were all converted and became his disciples. Two other famous ones were Anuruddha, afterwards a great metaphysician, and Upali, a barber, afterwards the greatest authority on Vinaya. Both of these gained great renown.
A. Prajapati, the aunt and foster-mother of Prince Siddhartha. With her, Yasodhara and many other ladies were admitted into the Order as Bhikkhunis or female devotees.
A. It grieved him much and he complained to the Buddha, who then made it a rule of the Order that no person should thenceforth be ordained without the consent of his parents if alive.
A. He was a man of great intelligence and rapidly advanced in the knowledge of the Dharma, but being also extremely ambitious, he came to envy and hate the Buddha, and at last plotted to kill him. He also influenced Ajatashatru, son of King Bimbisara, to murder his noble father, and to become his--Devadatta's--disciple.
A. Not the least, but the evil he plotted against him recoiled upon himself, and he met with an awful death.
A. Forty-five years, during which time he preached a great many discourses. His custom and that of his disciples was to travel and preach during the eight dry months, but during the season of Way--the rains--he and they would stop in the pansulas and viharas which had been built for them by various kings and other wealthy converts.
A. Jetavanarama, Veluvanarama, Pubbarama, Nigrodharama and Isipatanarama.
A. People of all ranks, nations and castes, rajas and coolies, rich and poor, mighty and humble, the illiterate and the most learned. His doctrine was suited to all.
A. In the forty-fifth season after his attaining Buddhahood, on the full-moon day of May, knowing that his end was near, he came at evening to Kusinagara, a place about one hundred and twenty miles from Benares. In the sala grove of the Mallas, the Uparvartana of Kusinagara, between two sala trees, he had his bedding spread with the head towards the north according to the ancient custom. He lay upon it, and with his mind perfectly clear, gave his final instructions to his disciples and bade them farewell.
A. Yes, a very important one, a great Brahmana pandit named Subhadra. He had also preached to the Mallya princes and their followers.
A. He passed into the interior condition of Samadhi and thence into Nirvana.
A. "Bhikkhus," he said, "I now impress it upon you, the parts and powers of man must be dissolved. Work out your salvation with diligence."
A. His existence is apparently as clearly proved as that of any other character of ancient history.
"A. - 1 - The testimony of those who personally knew him.
- 2 - The discovery of places and the remains of buildings mentioned in the narrative of his time.
- 3 - The rock-inscriptions, pillars and dagobas made in memory of him by sovereigns who were near enough to his time to be able to verify the story of his life.
- 4 - The unbroken existence of the Sangha which he founded, and their possession of the facts of his life transmitted from generation to generation from the beginning.
- 5 - The fact that in the very year of his death and at various times subsequently, conventions and councils of the Sangha were held, for the verification of the actual teachings of the Founder, and the handing down of those verified teachings from teacher to pupil, to the present day.
- 6 - After his cremation his relics were divided among eight kings and a stupa was erected over each portion. The portion given to King Ajatashatru, and by him covered with a stupa at Rajagrha, was taken, less than two centuries later, by the Emperor Asoka and distributed throughout his Empire. He, of course, had ample means of knowing whether the relics were those of the Buddha or not, since they had been in charge of the royal house of Patna from the beginning.
- 7 - Many of the Buddha's disciples, being Arhats and thus having control over their vital powers, must have lived to great ages, and there was nothing to have prevented two or three of them, in succession to each other, to have covered the whole period between the death of the Buddha and the reign of Asoka, and thus to have enabled the latter to get from his contemporary every desired attestation of the fact of the Buddha's life.
- 8 - The "Mahavansa" the best authenticated ancient history known to us, records the events of Sinhalese history to the reign of King Vijaya, 543 B.C.--almost the time of the Buddha--and gives most particulars of his life, as well as those of the Emperor Asoka
A. Sakyamuni - the Sakya Sage - , Sakya-Simha - the Sakyan Lion - , Sugata - the Happy One - , Satthta - the Teacher - , Jina - the Conqueror - , Bhagavat - the Blessed One - , Lokanatha - the Lord of the World - , Sarvajña - the Omniscient One - , Dharmaraja - the King of Truth - , Tathagata - the Great Being - , etc.
A. The enlightened, or he who has the perfect wisdom.
A. Yes, our belief is that, under the operation of eternal causation, a Buddha takes birth at intervals, when mankind have become plunged into misery through ignorance, and need the wisdom which it is the function of a Buddha to teach. - See also Q. 11. -
A. A person, hearing and seeing one of the Buddhas on earth, becomes seized with the determination so to live that at some future time, when he shall become fitted for it, he also will be a Buddha for the guiding of mankind out of the cycle of rebirth.
A. Throughout that birth and every succeeding one, he strives to subdue his passions, to gain wisdom by experience, and to develop his higher faculties. He thus grows by degrees wiser, nobler in character, and stronger in virtue, until, finally, after numberless re-births he reaches the state when he can become Perfected, Enlightened, All-wise, the ideal Teacher of the human race.
A. Bodhisat, or Bodhisattva. Thus the Prince Siddhartha Gautama was a Bodhisattva up to the moment when, under the blessed Bodhi tree at Gaya, he became Buddha.
A. In the Jatakatthakatha, a book containing stories of the Bodhisattva's reincarnations, there are several hundred tales of that kind.
A. That a man can carry, throughout a long series of reincarnations, one great, good purpose which enables him to conquer bad tendencies and develop virtuous ones.
A. Of course not: that depends upon his natural character, the state of development to which he has arrived when he forms the resolution to become a Buddha, and other things.
A. Bodhisattvas--the future Buddhas--are divided into three classes.
A. Pannadhika, or Udghatitajña--"he who attains least quickly", Saddhadhika, or Vipachitajña--"he who attains less quickly", and Viryadhika, or Gneyya--"he who attains quickly". The Pannadhika Bodhisats take the course of Intelligence, the Saddhadhika take the course of Faith, the Viryaahika take the course of energetic Action. The first is guided by Intelligence and does not hasten, the second is full of Faith, and does not care to take the guidance of Wisdom, and the third never delays to do what is good. Regardless of the consequences to himself, he does it when he sees that it is best that it should be done.
A. To dispel Ignorance and become wise - Prajña - .
A. Because it makes us prize what is not worth prizing, grieve when we should not grieve, consider real what is not real but only illusionary, and pass our lives in the pursuit of worthless objects, neglecting what is in reality most valuable.
A. To know the whole secret of man's existence and destiny, so that we may estimate at no more than their actual value this life and its relations, and so that we may live in a way to ensure the greatest happiness and the least suffering for our fellow-men and ourselves.
A. The knowledge of the "Four Noble Truths," as the Buddha called them.
A. 1. The miseries of evolutionary existence resulting in births and deaths, life after life.
A. Birth, decay, illness, death, separation from objects we love, association with those who are repugnant, craving for what cannot be obtained.
A. Yes: but all men suffer from them in degree.
A. By complete conquest over, and destruction of, this eager thirst for life and its pleasures, which causes sorrow.
A. By following the Noble Eight-fold Path which the Buddha discovered and pointed out.
A. The eight parts of this path are called angas. They are: 1. Right Belief - as to the law of Causation, or Karma - , 2. Right Thought, 3. Right Speech, 4. Right Action, 5. Right Means of Livelihood, 6. Right Exertion, 7. Right Remembrance and Self-discipline, 8. Right Concentration of Thought. The man who keeps these angas in mind and follows them will be free from sorrow and ultimately reach salvation.
A. Emancipation from the miseries of earthly existence and of rebirths, all of which are due to ignorance and impure lusts and cravings.
A. A condition of total cessation of changes, of perfect rest, of the absence of desire and illusion and sorrow, of the total obliteration of everything that goes to make up the physical man. Before reaching Nirvana man is constantly being reborn, when he reaches Nirvana he is born no more.
A. In the famous Dictionary of the Pali Language, by the late Mr. B. O. Childers, is a complete list.[1]
A. No. When Kutadanta asked the Buddha "Where is Nirvana," he replied that it was "wherever the precepts are obeyed".
A. The unsatisfied selfish desire - Skt., trshna, Pali, tanha - for things that belong to the state of personal existence in the material world. This unquenched thirst for physical existence - bhava - is a force, and has a creative power in itself so strong that it draws the being back into mundane life.
A. It does. The broad rule is that if we have an excess of merit we shall be well and happily born the next time, if an excess of demerit, our next birth will be wretched and full of suffering.
A. Applied to individuals, it is Karma, that is, action. It means that our own actions or deeds bring upon us whatever of joy or misery we experience.
A. The Dhammapada says: "There exists no spot on the earth, or in the sky, or in the sea, neither is there any in the mountain-clefts, where an - evil - deed does not bring trouble - to the doer - ."
A. As the result of deeds of peculiar merit, a man may attain certain advantages of place, body, environment and teaching in his next stage of progress, which ward off the effects of bad Karma and help his higher evolution.
A. Gati Sampatti, Upadhi Sampatti, Kala Sampatti and Payoga Sampatti.
A. It is not in the nature of every man to become a Buddha, for a Buddha is developed only at long intervals of time, and seemingly, when the state of humanity absolutely requires such a teacher to show it the forgotten Path to Nirvana. But every being may equally reach Nirvana, by conquering Ignorance and gaining Wisdom.
A. As a general rule that would be the case, until he had evolved beyond its level, but the inhabited worlds are numberless. The world upon which a person is to have his next birth, as well as the nature of the rebirth itself, is decided by the preponderance of the individual's merit or demerit. In other words, it will be controlled by his attractions, as science would describe it, or by his Karma, as we, Buddhists, would say.
A. Buddhism teaches that there are whole Sakwalas, or systems of worlds, of various kinds, higher and lower, and also that the inhabitants of each world correspond in development with itself.
A. Sabba papassa akaranm, Kusalassa upasampada Sachitta pariyo dapanam-- Etam Buddhanusasanam.
A. Yes: the first line embodies the whole spirit of the Vinaya Pitaka, the second that of the Sutta, the third that of the Abhidhamma. They comprise only eight Pali words, yet, as the dew-drop reflects the stars, they sparkle with the spirit of all the Buddha Dharma.
A. To "cease from sin" may be called passive, but to "get virtue" and "to cleanse one's own heart," or mind, are altogether active qualities. Buddha taught that we should not merely not be evil, but that we should be positively good.
A. They are disclosed in the formula called the Tisarana: "I follow Buddha as my Guide: I follow the Law as my Guide: I follow the Order as my Guide." These three are, in fact, the Buddha Dharma.
A. He means that he regards the Buddha as his all-wise Teacher, Friend and Exemplar, the Law, or Doctrine, as containing the essential and immutable principles of Justice and Truth and the path that leads to the realisation of perfect peace of mind on earth, and the Order as the teachers and exemplars of that excellent Law taught by Buddha.
A. Yes, but we are taught by the Buddha that only those who diligently attend to the Precepts, discipline their minds, and strive to attain or have attained one of the eight stages of holiness and perfection, constitute his "Order". It is expressly stated that the Order referred to in the "Tisarana" refers to the "Attha Ariya Puggala"--the Noble Ones who have attained one of the eight stages of perfection. The mere wearing of yellow robes, or even ordination, does not of itself make a man pure or wise or entitle him to reverence.
A. They are included in the following formula,, which Buddhists repeat publicly at the viharas - temples - :
A. That one who observes them strictly must escape from every cause productive of human misery. If we study history we shall find that it has all sprung from one or another of these causes.
A. In the first, third and fifth, for the taking of life, sensuality, and the use of intoxicants, cause at least ninety-five per cent of the sufferings among men.
A. He is said to acquire more or less merit according to the manner and time of observing the precepts, and the number observed, that is, if he observes only one precept, violating the other four, he acquires the merit of the observance of that precept only, and the longer he keeps that precept the greater will be the merit. He who keeps all the precepts inviolate will cause himself to have a higher and happier existence hereafter.
A. The Atthanga Sila, or the Eightfold Precept, which embraces the five above enumerated - omitting the word "unlawful" in the third - , with three additional, viz.:
A. There is no great merit in any merely outward act, all depends upon the inward motive that provokes the deed.
A. A rich man may expend lakhs of rupees in building dagobas or viharas, in erecting statues of Buddha, in festivals and processions, in feeding priests, in giving alms to the poor, or in planting trees, digging tanks, or constructing rest-houses by the roadside for travellers, and yet have comparatively little merit if it be done for display, or to hear himself praised by men, or for any other selfish motives. But he who does the least of these things with a kind motive, such as love for his fellow-men, gains great merit. A good deed done with a bad motive benefits others, but not the doer. One who approves of a good deed when done by another shares in the merit, if his sympathy is real, not pretended. The same rule applies to evil deeds.
A. The Dhammapada declares that the merit of disseminating the Dharma, the Law of Righteousness, is greater than that of any other good work.
A. The three collections of books called Tripitakas or "Three Baskets".
A. The Vinaya Pitaka, the Sutta Pitaka and the Abhidhamma Pitaka.
A. The first contains all that pertains to morality and the rules of discipline for the government of the Sangha, or Order, the second contains instructive discourses on ethics applicable to all, the third explains the psychological teachings of the Buddha, including the twenty-four transcendental laws explanatory of the workings of Nature.
A. No, but they revere them as containing all the parts of that most Excellent Law, by the knowing of which man may break through the trammels of Samsara.
A. Dr. Rhys-Davids estimates them at 1,752,800.
A. In 88-76 B.C., under the Sinhalese King, Wattagamini, or three hundred and thirty years after the Paranirvana of the Buddha.
A. Probably not, and it would be strange if they were. Within the forty-five years of his public life he must have preached many hundreds of discourses. Of these, in times of war and persecution, many must have been lost, many scattered to distant countries, and many mutilated. History says that enemies of the Buddha Dharma burnt piles of our books as high as a coco-nut tree.
A. Not at all. Man must emancipate himself. Until he does that he will continue being born over and over and over again--the victim of ignorance, the slave of unquenched passions.
A. An all-seeing, all-wise Counsellor, one who discovered the safe path and pointed it out, one who showed the cause of, and the only cure for, human suffering. In pointing to the road, in showing us how to escape dangers, he became our Guide. He is to us like one leading a blind man across a narrow bridge over a swift and deep stream and so saving his life.
A. Because it teaches that every man gets, under the operations of unerring KARMA, exactly that reward or punishment which he has deserved, no more and no less. No good deed or bad deed, however trifling, and however secretly committed, escapes the evenly-balanced scales of Karma.
A. A causation operating on the moral, as well as on the physical and other planes. Buddhists say there is no miracle in human affairs: what a man sows that he must and will reap.
A. That of Mitta or Maitreya--compassionate kindness. The importance of this doctrine is moreover emphasised in the giving of the name "Maitri" - the Compassionate One - , to the coming Buddha.
A. Yes, these and many more that may be read in the Buddhist Scriptures. The entire system of Buddhism came to his mind during the Great Enlightenment.
A. The Dhammacakka-ppavattana sutta--the Sutra of the Definition of the Rule of Doctrine.[5]
A. The "Four Noble Truths," and the "Noble Eightfold Path". He condemned the extreme physical mortification of the ascetics, on the one hand, and the enjoyment of sensual pleasures on the other, pointing out and recommending the Noble Eightfold Path as the Middle Path.
A. He did not, he opposed it. The worship of gods, demons, trees, etc., was condemned by the Buddha. External worship is a fetter that one has to break if he is to advance higher.
A. Our Pagan brother not only takes his images as visible representations of his unseen God or gods, but the refined idolater, in worshipping, considers that the idol contains in its substance a portion of the all-pervading divinity.
A. The Buddhist reverences the Buddha's statue and the other things you have mentioned, only as mementoes of the greatest, wisest, most benevolent and compassionate man in this world-period - Kalpa - . All races and people preserve, treasure up, and value the relics and mementoes of men and women who have been considered in any way great. The Buddha, to us, seems more to be revered and beloved than any one else, by every human being who knows sorrow.
A. Certainly. In the Maha Pari-Nirvana Sutta he says that emancipation is attainable only by leading the Holy life, according to the Noble Eight-fold Path, not by eternal worship - amisa puja - , nor by adoration of himself, or of another, or of any image.
A. From the beginning, he condemned the observance of ceremonies and other external practices, which only tend to increase our spiritual blindness and our clinging to mere lifeless forms.
A. In numerous discourses he denounced this habit as most pernicious. He prescribed penances for Bhikkhus who waste time and weaken their higher intuitions in wrangling over theories and metaphysical subtleties.
A. They are positively repugnant to its fundamental principles. They are the surviving relics of fetishism and pantheistic and other foreign religions. In the Brahmajata Sutta the Buddha has categorically described these and other superstitions as Pagan, mean and spurious.[6]
A. Among others, these: It teaches the highest goodness without a creating God, a continuity of life without adhering to the superstitious and selfish doctrine of an eternal, metaphysical soul-substance that goes out of the body, a happiness without an objective heaven, a method of salvation without a vicarious Saviour, redemption by oneself as the Redeemer, and without rites, prayers, penances, priests or intercessory saints, and a summum bonum, i.e., Nirvana, attainable in this life and in this world by leading a pure, unselfish life of wisdom and of compassion to all beings.
A. Samatha and Vidarsama: - 1 - the attenuation of passion by leading the holy life and by continued effort to subdue the senses, - 2 - the attainment of supernormal wisdom by reflection: each of which embraces twenty aspects, but I need not here specify them.
A. - 1 - Sottapatti--the beginning or entering into which follows after one's clear perception of the "Four Noble Truths", - 2 - Sakardagami--the path of one who has so subjugated lust, hatred and delusion that he need only return once to this world, - 3 - Anagami--the path of those who have so far conquered self that they need not return to this world, - 4 - Arhat--the path of the holy and worthy Arhat, who is not only free from the necessity of reincarnation, but has capacitated himself to enjoy perfect wisdom, boundless pity for the ignorant and suffering, and measureless love for all beings.
A. Like every other religion that has existed many centuries, it certainly now contains untruth mingled with truth, ever gold is found mixed with dross. The poetical imagination, the zeal, or the lingering superstition of Buddhist devotees have, in various ages, and in various lands, caused the noble principles of the Buddha's moral doctrines to be coupled more or less with what might be removed to advantage.
A. The true Buddhist should be ever ready and anxious to see the false purged away from the true, and to assist, if he can. Three great Councils of the Sangha were held for the express purpose of purging the body of Teachings from all corrupt interpolations.
A. The first, at Sattapanni cave, just after the death of the Buddha, the second at Valukarama, in Vaisali, the third at Asokarama Vihara, at Pataliputra, 235 years after Buddha's decease.
A. No: we are earnestly enjoined to accept nothing whatever on faith, whether it be written in books, handed down from our ancestors, or taught by the sages.
A. Yes. The Buddha has said that we must not believe in a thing said merely because it is said, nor in traditions because they have been handed down from antiquity, nor rumours, as such, nor writings by sages, merely because sages wrote them, nor fancies that we may suspect to have been inspired in us by a Deva - that is, in presumed spiritual inspiration - , nor from inferences drawn from some haphazard assumption we may have made, nor because of what seems an analogical necessity, nor on the mere authority of our own teachers or masters.
A. We are to believe when the writing doctrine or saying is corroborated by our own reason and consciousness. "For this," says he in concluding, "I taught you not to believe merely because you have heard, but when you believed of your own consciousness, then to act accordingly and abundantly." - See the Kalama Sutta of the Anguttara Nikaya, and the Maha Pari Nirvana Sutta. -
A. He says that he and the other Buddhas are only "preachers" of truth who point out the way: we ourselves must make the effort.
A. In the Dhammapada, Chapter xx.
A. The Dhammapada says: "Like a beautiful flower full of colour without scent the fine words of him who does not act accordingly are fruitless."
A. In the Dhammapada the Buddha said: "If a man foolishly does me wrong, I will return to him the protection of my ungrudging love, the more evil comes from him, the more good shall go from me." This is the path followed by the Arhat.[7] To return evil for evil is positively forbidden in Buddhism.
A. No, indeed. In the Five Precepts and in many of his discourses, the Buddha teaches us to be merciful to all beings, to try and make them happy, to love them all, to abstain from taking life, or consenting to it, or encouraging its being done.
A. The Dhammika Sutta says: "Let him - the householder - not destroy, or cause to be destroyed, any life at all, or sanction the act of those who do so. Let him refrain from even hurting any creature."

[8] At the Second Council there were two pupils of Ananda, consequently centenarians, while in Asoka's Council there were pupils of those pupils.
A. In his Dhammika Sutta we are warned against drinking liquors, causing others to drink, or sanctioning the acts of those who drink.

[9] The fifth Sila has reference to the mere taking of intoxicants and stupefying drugs, which leads ultimately to drunkenness.
A. To demerit, crime, insanity, and ignorance--which is the chief cause of rebirth.
A. Absolute chastity being a condition of full spiritual development, is most highly commended, but a marriage to one wife and fidelity to her is recognised as a kind of chastity. Polygamy was censured by the Buddha as involving ignorance and promoting lust.
A. The Anguttara Nikaya, Chapter iv, 55.
A. They should restrain them from vice, train them in virtue, have them taught arts and sciences, provide them with suitable wives and husbands, and give them their inheritance.
A. To support their parents when old or needy, perform family duties incumbent on them, guard their property, make themselves worthy to be their heirs, and when they are gone, honour their memory.
A. To show him respect, minister to him, obey him, supply his wants, attend to his instruction.
A. To cherish her, treat her with respect and kindness, be faithful to her, cause her to be honoured by others, provide her with suitable ornaments and clothes.
A. To show affection to him, order her household aright, be hospitable to guests, be chaste, be thrifty, show skill and diligence in all things.
A. In the Sigalovada Sutta.
A. The Dhammapada says: "One is the road that leads to wealth, another the road that leads to Nirvana."
A. That depends on which he loves most. If he uses his wealth for the benefit of mankind--for the suffering, the oppressed, the ignorant--then his wealth aids him to acquire merit.
A. But if he loves and greedily hoards money for the sake of its possession, then it weakens his moral sense, prompts him to crime, brings curses upon him in this life, and their effects are felt in the next birth.
A. That it is a taint worse than all taints that a man can put upon himself.
A. That the fault of others is easily perceived, but that of oneself difficult to perceive, a man winnows his neighbour's faults like chaff, but his own fault he hides, as a cheat hides the bad die from the gambler.
A. He says that a man's net income should be divided into four parts, of which one should be devoted to philanthropic objects.
A. Selling liquor, selling animals for slaughter, selling poison, selling murderous weapons, and dealing in slaves.
A. The killers of father, mother, and holy Arhats, Bhikkhus who sow discord in the Sangha, those who attempt to injure the person of a Buddha, those who hold extremely nihilistic views as to the future existence, and those who are extremely sensual.
A. Yes. They are: Sanjiva, Kalasutra, Sanghata, Raurava, Maha-Raurava Tapa, Pratapa, Avichi.
A. Certainly not. Its duration depends on a man's Karma.
A. No, by good deeds they may enjoy a limited term of happiness before being drawn into rebirth by their unexhausted tanha. To escape rebirth, one must tread the Noble Eight-fold Path.
A. According to our religion they are on a footing of perfect equality with men. "Woman," says the Buddha, in the Chullavedalla Sutta, "may attain the highest path of holiness that is open to man--Arhatship."
A. That "it has done more for the happiness and enfranchisement of woman than any other creed" - Sir Lepel Griffin - .
A. That one does not become of any caste, whether Pariah, the lowest, or Brahmana the highest, by birth, but by deeds. "By deeds," said He, "one becomes an outcast, by deeds one becomes a Brahmana" - See Vassala Sutta - .
A. Ananda, passing by a well, was thirsty and asked Prakrti, a girl of the Matanga, or Pariah, caste, to give him water. She said she was of such low caste that he would become contaminated by taking water from her hand. But Ananda replied: "I ask not for caste but for water", and the Matanga girl's heart was glad and she gave him to drink. The Buddha blessed her for it.
A. That by his merits he reached the highest fame, that many Khattiyas - Kshattriyas - and Brahmanas went to serve him, and that after death he was born in the Brahma-world: while there are many Brahmanas who for their evil deeds are born in hell.
A. It considers "soul" to be a word used by the ignorant to express a false idea. If everything is subject to change, then man is included, and every material part of him must change. That which is subject to change is not permanent: so there can be no immortal survival of a changeful thing.

[10] The "soul" here criticised is the equivalent of the Greek psuche. The word "material" covers other states of matter than that of the physical body.
A. The idea associated with it that man can be an entity separated from all other entities, and from the existence of the whole of the Universe. This idea of separateness is unreasonable, not provable by logic, nor supported by science.
A. Tanha, or the unsatisfied desire for existence. The being having done that for which he must be rewarded or punished in future, and having Tanha, will have a rebirth through the influence of Karma.
A. A new aggregation of Skandhas, or personality caused by the last generative thought of the dying person.

[11] Upon reflection, I have substituted "personality" for "individuality" as written in the first edition. The successive appearances upon one or many earths, or "descents into generation," of the tanhaically-coherent parts (Skandhas) of a certain being are a succession of personalities. In each birth the personality differs from that of the previous, or next succeeding birth. Karma the deus ex machina, masks (or shall we say reflects?) itself, now in the personality of a sage, again as an artisan, and so on throughout the string of births. But though personalities ever shift, the one line of life along which they are strung like beads, runs unbroken, it is ever that particular line, never any other. It is therefore individual--an individual vital undulation--which is careering through the objective side of Nature, under the impulse of Karma and the creative direction of Tanha and persists through many cyclic changes. Professor Rhys-Davids calls that which passes from personality to personality along the individual chain, "character" or "doing". Since "character" is not a mere metaphysical abstraction, but the sum of one's mental qualities and moral propensities, would it not help to dispel what Professor Rhys-Davids calls "the desperate expedient of a mystery" (Buddhism, p. 101), if we regarded the life-undulation as individuality and each of its series of natal manifestations as a separate personality? We must have two words to distinguish between the concepts, and I find none so clear and expressive as the two I have chosen. The perfected individual, Buddhistically speaking, is a Buddha, I should say; for a Buddha is but the rare flower of humanity, without the least supernatural admixture. And, as countless generations--"four asankhyyas and a hundred thousand cycles" (Fausboll and Rhys-David's Buddhist Birth Stories, No. 13)--are required to develop a man into a Buddha, and the iron will to become one runs throughout all the successive births, what shall we call that which thus wills and perseveres? Character, or individuality? An individuality, but partly manifested in any one birth, built up of fragments from all the births.

The denial of "Soul" by Buddha (see Sanyutta Nikaya, the Sutta Pitaka) points to the prevalent delusive belief in an independent personality; an entity, which after one birth would go to a fixed place or state where, as a perfect entity, it could eternally enjoy or suffer. And what he shows is that the "I am I" consciousness is, as regards permanency, logically impossible, since its elementary constituents constantly change and the "I" of one birth differs from the "I" of every other birth. But everything that I have found in Buddhism accords with the theory of a gradual evolution of the perfected man--viz., a Buddha--through numberless natal experiences. And in the consciousness of that individual who, at the end of a given chain of births, attains Buddhahood, or who succeeds in attaining the fourth stage of Dhyana, or mystic self-development, in any of his births anterior to the final one, the scenes of all these serial births are perceptible. In the Jatakat-thavannana--so well translated by Professor Rhys-Davids--an expression continually recurs which, I think, rather supports such an idea, viz.: "Then the Blessed One made manifest an occurrence hidden by change of birth," or "that which had been hidden by," etc. Early Buddhism then clearly held to a permanency of records in the Akasha, and the potential capacity of man to read the same when he has evolved to the stage of true individual enlightenment. At death, and in convulsions and trance, the javana chitta is transferred to the object last created by the desires. The will to live brings all thoughts into objectivity.

A. Rupa, Vedana, Sañña, Samkhara, and Viññana.
A. Rupa, material qualities, Vedana, sensation, Sañña, abstract ideas, Samkhara, tendencies of mind, Viññana, mental powers, or consciousness. Of these we are formed, by them we are conscious of existence, and through them communicate with the world about us.
A. Tanha--the will to live.

[12] The student may profitably consult Schopenhauer in this connection. Arthur Schopenhauer, a modern German philosopher of the most eminent ability, taught that "the Principle or Radical, of Nature, and of all her objects, the human body included, is, intrinsically what we ourselves are the most conscious of in our own body, viz., Will. Intellect is a secondary capacity of the primary will, a function of the brain in which this will reflects itself as Nature and object and body, as in a mirror... Intellect is secondary, but may lead, in saints, to a complete renunciation of will, as far as it urges "life" and is then extinguished in Nirvana (L. A. Sanders in The Theosophist for May 1882, p. 213).
A. Upon the perception that perfect justice, equilibrium and adjustment are inherent in the universal system of Nature. Buddhists do not believe that one life--even though it were extended to one hundred or five hundred years--is long enough for the reward or punishment of a man's deeds. The great circle of rebirths will be more or less quickly run through according to the preponderating purity or impurity of the several lives of the individual.
A. In one sense it is a new being, in another it is not. In Pali it is--"nacha so nacha añño" which means not the same nor yet another. During this life the Skandhas are constantly changing,[13] and while the man A. B., of forty, is identical, as regards personality, with the youth A. B., of eighteen, yet, by the continual waste and reparation of his body, and change of mind and character, he is a different being. Nevertheless, the man in his old age justly reaps the reward of suffering consequent upon his thoughts and actions at every previous stage of his life. So the new being of a rebirth, being the same individuality as before, but with a changed form, or new aggregation of Skandhas, justly reaps the consequences of his actions and thoughts in the previous existence.

[13] Physiologically speaking, man's body is completely changed every seven years.
A. Because memory is included within the Skandhas, and the Skandhas having changed with the new reincarnation, a new memory, the record of of that particular existence, develops. Yet the record or reflection of all the past earth-lives must survive, for, when Prince Siddhartha became Buddha, the full sequence of his previous births was seen by him. If their several incidents had left no trace behind, this could not have been so, as there would have been nothing for him to see. And any one who attains to the fourth state of Dhyana - psychical insight - can thus retrospectively trace the line of his lives.
A. No, that would be as absolute selfishness as though the reward hoped for had been money, a throne, or any other sensual enjoyment. Nirvana cannot be so reached, and the unwise speculator is foredoomed to disappointment.
A. Nirvana is the synonym of unselfishness, the entire surrender of selfhood to truth. The ignorant man aspires to nirvanic happiness without the least idea of its nature. Absence of selfishness is Nirvana. Doing good with the view to getting results, or leading the holy life with the object of gaining heavenly happiness, is not the Noble Life that the Buddha enjoined. Without hope of reward the Noble Life should be lived, and that is the highest life. The nirvanic state can be attained while one is living on this earth.
A. Delusion of self - Sakkaya-ditthi - , Doubt - Vicikiccha - , Dependence on superstitious rites - Silabbata-paramasa - , Sensuality, bodily passions - Kama - , Hatred, ill-feeling - Patigha - , Love of life on earth - Ruparaga - , Desire for life in a heaven - Aruparaga - , Pride - Mana - , Self-righteousness - Uddhacca - , Ignorance - Avijja - .
A. Greed, Malice, Sloth, Pride, and Doubt.
A. It is to help us to obtain knowledge of ourselves, by training our minds to think out every subject in detail. By following out this system of self-examination, we come finally to acquire knowledge and see truth as it is. This is the course taken by every wise teacher to help his pupil's mind to develop.
A. There are eighty so distinguished. They are called the Asiti Maha Savakas.
A. He knew the nature of the Knowable and the Unknowable, the Possible and the Impossible, the cause of Merit and Demerit, he could read the thoughts of all beings, he knew the laws of Nature, the illusions of the senses and the means to suppress desires, he could distinguish the birth and rebirth of individuals, and other things.
A. It is called Paticca Samuppada.

[14] This fundamental or basic principle may be designated in Pali, Nidana--chain of causation or, literally, "Origination of dependence". Twelve Nidanas are specified, viz.: Avijja--ignorance of the truth of natural religion; Samkhara--causal action, karma; Viññana--consciousness of personality, the "I am I"; Nama rupa--name and form; Salayatana--six senses; Phassa--contact, Vedana--feeling, Tanha--desire for enjoyment; Upadana--clinging, Bhava--individualising existence; Jati--birth, caste; Jara, narana, sokaparidesa, dukkha, domanassa, upayasa--decay, death, grief, lamentation, despair.
A. It is most difficult, in fact, the full meaning and extent of it is beyond the capacity of such as are not perfectly developed.
A. That even he was as helpless in this vast ocean of thought as one who is drifting on the ocean of waters.
A. The Buddha evidently meant that he taught everything freely, but equally certain is it that the real basis of the Dharma can only be understood by him who has perfected his powers of comprehension. It is, therefore, incomprehensible to common, unenlightened persons.
A. The Buddha looked into the heart of each person, and preached to suit the individual temperament and spiritual development of the hearer.
A. In other religions the priests claim to be intercessors between men and God, to help to obtain pardon of sins, the Buddhist Bhikkhus do not acknowledge or expect anything from a divine power.
A. The object in view was to cause the most virtuous, intelligent, unselfish and spiritually-minded persons to withdraw from the social surroundings where their sensual and other selfish desires were naturally strengthened, devote their lives to the acquisition of the highest wisdom, and fit themselves to teach and guide others out of the pleasant path leading towards misery, into the harder path that leads to true happiness and final liberation.
A. I observe the precept to abstain from dancing, singing and unbecoming shows.
A. Yes: there are 250, but all come under the following four heads:
A. Generally, to set them an example of the highest morality, to teach and instruct them, to preach and expound the Law, to recite the Paritta - comforting texts - to the sick, and publicly in times of public calamity, when requested to do so, and unceasingly to exhort the people to virtuous actions. They should dissuade them from vice, be compassionate and tender-hearted, and seek to promote the welfare of all beings.
A. The candidate is not often taken before his tenth year, he must have the consent of his parents, be free from leprosy, boils, consumption and fits, be a free man, have no debts, and must not be a criminal or deformed or in the royal service.
A. Samanera, a pupil.[2]
A. At a meeting of Bhikkhus he is presented by a Bhikkhu as his proposer, who reports that he is qualified, and the candidate says: "I ask the Sangha, Reverend Sirs, for the Upasampada - ordination - ceremony, etc."
A. He puts on the robes and repeats the Three Refuges {Tisarana - and Ten Precepts - Dasa Sila. -
A. Poverty and Chastity. A Bhikkhu before ordination must possess eight things, viz., his robes, a girdle for his loins, a begging-bowl, water-strainer, razor, needle, fan, sandals. Within limitations strictly specified in the Vinaya, he may hold certain other properties.
A. Once every fortnight, a Patimokka - Disburdenment - ceremony is performed, when every Bhikkhu confesses to the assembly such faults as he has committed and takes such penances as may be prescribed.
A. He rises before daylight, washes, sweeps the vihara, sweeps around the Bo-tree that grows near every vihara, brings the drinking-water for the day and filters it, retires for meditation, offers flowers before the dagoba, or relic-mound, or before the Bo-tree, then takes his begging-bowl and goes from house to house collecting food--which he must not ask for, but receive in his bowl as given voluntarily by the householders. He returns, bathes his feet and eats, after which he resumes meditation.
A. That act itself is without merit as a mere formality, but if one offers a flower as the sweetest, purest expression of heartfelt reverence for a holy being, then, indeed, is the offering an act of ennobling worship.
A. He pursues his studies. At sunset he again sweeps the sacred places, lights a lamp, listens to the instructions of his superior, and confesses to him any fault he may have committed.
A. 1. On the body, Kayanapassana. 2. On the feeling, Vedananupassana. 3. On the mind, Chittannpassana. 4. On the doctrine, Dhammanupassana.
A. To suppress one's animal desires and grow in goodness.
A. Intuition--a mental state in which any desired truth is instantaneously grasped.
A. When one, by the practice of Jñana, comes to its fourth stage of unfolding.
A. Quite the contrary. It is then that one's consciousness is most intensely active, and one's power to gain knowledge correspondingly vast.
A. In the ordinary waking state one's view of knowledge is as limited as the sight of a man who walks on a road between high hills, in the higher consciousness of Jñana and Samadhi it is like the sight of the eagle poised in the upper sky and overlooking a whole country.
A. They tell us that it was his custom, every morning, to glance over the world and, by his divine - clairvoyant - sight, see where there were persons ready to receive the truth. He would then contrive, if possible, that it should reach them. When persons visited him he would look into their minds, read their secret motives, and then preach to them according to their needs.
A. The followers of the Buddha Dharma outnumber those of every other religion.
A. About five hundred millions - 5,000 lakhs or 500 crores - : this is five-thirteenths, or not quite half, of the estimated population of the globe.
A. History does not record one of those cruelties and crimes as having been committed to propagate our religion. So far as we know, it has not caused the spilling of a drop of blood. - See footnote ante--Professor Kolb's testimony. -
A. It can be nothing else than its intrinsic excellence: its self-evident basis of truth, its sublime moral teaching, and its sufficiency for all human needs.
A. The Buddha, during the forty-five years of his life as a Teacher, travelled widely in India and preached the Dharma. He sent his wisest and best disciples to do the same throughout India.
A. On the full-moon day of the month Wap - October - .
A. He called them together and said: "Go forth, Bhikkhus, go and preach the law to the world. Work for the good of others as well as for your own.... Bear ye the glad tidings to every man. Let no two of you take the same way."
A. Besides the lower classes, great Kings, Rajas and Maharajas were converted and gave their influence to spread the religion.
A. Learned pilgrims came in different centuries to India and carried back with them books and teachings to their native lands. So, gradually, whole nations forsook their own faiths and became Buddhists.
A. To the Emperor Ashoka, surnamed the Great, sometimes Piyadasi, sometimes Dharmashoka. He was the son of Bindusara, King of Magadha, arid grandson of Chandragupta, who drove the Greeks out of India.
A. In the third century B.C., about two centuries after the Buddha's time. Historians disagree as to his exact date, but not very greatly.
A. He was the most powerful monarch in Indian history, as warrior and as statesman, but his noblest characteristics were his love of truth and justice, tolerance of religious differences, equity of government, kindness to the sick, to the poor, and to animals. His name is revered from Siberia to Ceylon.
A. No, he was converted in the tenth year after his anointment as King, by Nigrodha Samanera, an Arhat.
A. He drove out bad Bhikkhus, encouraged good ones, built monasteries and dagobas everywhere, established gardens, opened hospitals for men and animals, convened a council at Patna to revise and re-establish the Dharma, promoted female religious education, and sent embassies to five Greek kings, his allies, and to all the sovereigns of India, to preach the doctrines of the Buddha. It was he who built the monuments at Kapilavastu, Buddha Gaya, Isipatana and Kusinara, our four chief places of pilgrimage, besides thousands more.
A. Within recent years there have been discovered, in all parts of India, fourteen Edicts of his, inscribed on living rocks, and eight on pillars erected by his orders. They fully prove him to have been one of the wisest and most high-minded sovereigns who ever lived.
A. They show it to be a religion of noble tolerance, of universal brotherhood, of righteousness and justice. It has no taint of selfishness, sectarianism or intolerance. They have done more than anything else to win for it the respect in which it is now held by the great pandits of western countries.
A. He gave his beloved son, Mahinda, and daughter, Sanghamitta, to the Order, and sent them to Ceylon to introduce the religion.
A. Yes, it is all recorded in the Mahavansa, by the keepers of the royal records, who were then living and saw the missionaries.
A. Yes, she brought with her to Ceylon a branch of the very Bodhi tree under which the Buddha sat when he became Enlightened, and it is still growing.
A. At Annradhapura. The history of it has been officially preserved to the present time. Planted in 306 B.C., it is the oldest historical tree in the world.
A. Devanampiyatissa. His consort, Queen Anula, had invited Sanghamitta to come and establish the Bhikkhuni branch of the Order.
A. Many other Bhikkhunis. She, in due time, admitted the Queen and many of her ladies, together with five hundred virgins, into the Order.
A. His son and daughter introduced Buddhism into Ceylon: his monks gave it to the whole of Northern India, to fourteen Indian nations outside its boundaries, and to five Greek kings, his allies, with whom he made treaties to admit his religious preachers.
A. ANTIOCHUS of Syria, PTOLEMY of Egypt, ANTIGONUS of Macedon, MARGAS of Cyrene, and ALEXANDER of Epiros.
A. From the Edicts themselves of Ashoka the Great, inscribed by him on rocks and stone pillars, which are still standing and can be seen by everybody who chooses to visit the places.
A. Through the sects of the Therapeuts of Egypt and the Essenes of Palestine.
A. As early as the second or third century B.C. Five of Dharmashoka's monks are said--in the Samanta Pasadika and the Sarattha Dipani--two Pali books--to have been sent to the five divisions of China.
A. From China, in the year A. D. 372.
A. From Korea, in A. D. 552.
A. To Burma, in A.D. 450, and thence gradually into Arakan, Kamboya and Pegu. In the seventh century - A.D. 638 - it spread to Siam, where it is now, as it has been always since then, the State religion.
A. Buddhism was at first pure and noble, the very teaching of the Tathagata, its Sangha were virtuous and observed the Precepts, it won all hearts and spread joy through many nations, as the morning light sends life through the flowers. But after some centuries, bad Bhikkhus got ordination - Upasampada - the Sangha became rich, lazy, and sensual, the Dharma was corrupted, and the Indian nation abandoned it.
A. Yes. It is said that the Mussalmans invaded, overran and conquered large areas of India, everywhere doing their utmost to stamp out our religion.
A. They burnt, pulled down or otherwise destroyed our viharas, slaughtered our Bhikkhus, and consumed with fire our religious books.
A. No. Many Bhikkhus fled across the borders into Tibet and other safe places of refuge, carrying their books with them.
A. Yes. Rai Bhadur Sarat Chandra Das, C.I.E., a noted Bengali pandit, saw hundreds of them in the vihara libraries of Tibet, brought copies of some of the most important back with him, and is now employed by the Government of India in editing and publishing them.
A. Ceylon. The Encyclopaedia Britannica says that in this island Buddhism has, for specified reasons, "retained almost its pristine purity to modern times".
A. Yes. A careful revision of the Vinaya Pitaka was made in Ceylon in the year A.D. 1875, by a convention of the most learned Bhikkhus, under the presidency of H. Sumangala, Pradhana Sthavira.
A. In the year A.D. 1891, a successful attempt was made to get the Pradhana Nayakas of the two great divisions to agree to accept fourteen propositions as embodying fundamental Buddhistic beliefs recognised and taught by both divisions. These propositions, drafted by Colonel Olcott, were carefully translated into Burmese, Sinhalese and Japanese, discussed one by one, unanimously adopted and signed by the chief monks, and published in January 1892.
A. As the result of the good understanding now existing, a number of Japanese bhikkhus and samaneras have been sent to Ceylon and India to study Pali and Samskrt.
A. There are. Translations of our more valuable books are appearing, many articles in reviews, magazines and newspapers are being published, and excellent original treatises by distinguished writers are coming from the press. Moreover, Buddhist and non-Buddhist lecturers are publicly discoursing on Buddhism to large audiences in western countries. The Shin Shu sect of Japanese Buddhists have actually opened missions at Honolulu, San Francisco, Sacramento and other American places.
A. Those of Karma and Reincarnation. The rapidity of their acceptance is very surprising.
A. Their appeals to the natural instinct of justice, and their evident reasonableness.
A. Most emphatically it is not a revealed religion. The Buddha did not so preach, nor is it so understood. On the contrary, he gave it out as the statement of eternal truths, which his predecessors had taught like himself.
A. The Buddha taught that two things are causeless, viz., Akasha, and Nirvana. Everything has come ont of Akasha, in obedience to a law of motion inherent in it, and, after a certain existence, passes away. Nothing ever came out of nothing. We do not believe in miracles, hence we deny creation, and cannot conceive of a creation of something out of nothing. Nothing organic is eternal. Everything is in a state of constant flux, and undergoing change and reformation, keeping up the continuity according to the law of evolution.
A. Quite the contrary: in the Sigalowada Sutta in a discourse preached by the Buddha, He specified as one of the duties of a teacher that he should give his pupils "instruction in science and lore". The Buddha's higher teachings are for the enlightened, the wise, and the thoughtful.
A. The Buddha's doctrine teaches that there were many progenitors of the human race, also that there is a principle of differentiation among men, certain individuals have a greater capacity for the rapid attainment of Wisdom and arrival at Nirvana than others.
A. Buddhism supports the teaching of the indestructibility of force.
A. Properly speaking, a pure moral philosophy, a system of ethics and transcendental metaphysics. It is so eminently practical that the Buddha kept silent when Malunka asked about the origin of things.
A. Because he thought that our chief aim should be to see things as they exist around us and try to make them better, not to waste time in intellectual speculations.
A. It is because of the respective Karmas of children and parents, each may have deserved that such unusual relationships should be formed in the present birth.
A. Yes, there was a divine radiance sent forth from within by the power of his holiness.
A. Buddharansi, the Buddha rays.
A. Nila, Pita, Lohita, Avadata, Mangasta, Prabhasvra.
A. Yes, all Arhats did and, in fact, the light shines stronger and brighter in proportion to the spiritual development of the person.
A. In all viharas where there are painted images of the Buddha. They are also seen in the stripes of the Buddhist Flag, first made in Ceylon but now widely adopted throughout Buddhist countries.
A. In the Maha-Parinibbana Sutta, Ananda his favourite disciple, noticing the great splendour which came from his Master's body, the Buddha said that on two occasions this extraordinary shining occurs, - a - just after a Tathagata gains the supreme insight, and - b - on the night when he passes finally away.
A. In the story of Sumedha and Dipankara Buddha, found in the Nidanakatha of the Jataka book, or story of the reincarnations of the Bodhisattva Siddhartha Gautama.
A. As a halo of a fathom's depth.
A. Tejas, its extended radiance they call Prakasha.
A. The Baron Von Reichenbach. His experiments are fully described in his Researches, published in 1844-5. Dr. Baraduc, of Paris, has, quite recently, photographed this light.
A. Natural. It has been proved that not only all human beings but animals, trees, plants and even stones have it.
A. It is immensely brighter and more extended than in cases of other beings and objects. It is the evidence of their superior development in the power of Iddhi. The light has been seen coming from dagobas in Ceylon where relics of the Buddha are said to be enshrined.
A. Yes, in all pictures of Christian artists this light is represented as shining about the bodies of their holy personages. The same belief is found to have existed in other religions.
A. That of Chullapanthaka, as told in the Pali Commentary on the Dhammapada, etc.
A. He was a bhikkhu who became an Arhat. On that very day the Buddha sent a messenger to call him. When the man reached the Vihara, he saw three hundred bhikkhus in one group, each exactly like the others in every respect. On his asking which was Chullapanthaka, every one of the three hundred figures replied: "I am Chullapanthaka."
A. In his confusion he returned and reported to the Buddha.
A. To return to the vihara and, if the same thing happened, to catch by the arm the first figure who said he was Chullapanthaka and lead him to him. The Buddha knew that the new Arhat would make this display of his acquired power to impress illusionary pictures of himself upon the messenger.
A. To a man's reflection in a mirror, being exactly like him yet without solidity.
A. That Chullapanthaka should clearly conceive in his own mind his exact appearance, and then impress that, with as many duplicates or repetitions as he chose, upon the sensitive brain of the messenger.
A. That would depend on the will of the Arhat or hypnotiser.
A. Supposing that fifty or five hundred persons were there, instead of one, the Arhat could will that the illusion should be seen by all alike, or, if he chose, he could will that the messenger should be the only one to see them.
A. Very well known, it is familiar to all students of mesmerism and hypnotism.
A. Modern scientists teach that every generation of men is heir to the consequences of the virtues and the vices of the preceding generation, not in the mass, as such, but in every individual case. Every one of us, according to Buddhism, gets a birth which represents the causes generated by him in an antecedent birth. This is the idea of Karma.
A. It says: "The world exists by cause, all things exist by cause, all beings are bound by cause."
A. Not so: the principle of evolution, guided by Karma, individual and collective, will evolve another universe with its contents, as our universe was evolved out of the Akasha.
A. Yes, but they are natural, not supernatural. They may be developed by a certain system which is laid down in our sacred books, the Visuddhi Marga for instance.
A. The Pali name is Iddhi-vidhanana.
A. Two: Bahira, i.e., one in which the phenomena-working power may be temporarily obtained by ascetic practices and also by resort to drugs, the recitation of mantras - charms - , or other extraneous aids, and Sasaniks, that in which the power in question is acquired by interior self-development, and covers all and more than the phenomena of Laukika Iddhi.
A. They gradually develop in one which pursues a certain course of ascetic practice called Dhyana.
A. The Bahira can be lost, but the Sasanika never, when once acquired. Lokottara knowledge once obtained is never lost, and it is by this knowledge only that the absolute condition of Nirvana is known by the Arhat. And this knowledge can be got by following the noble life of the Eightfold Path.
A. Yes, some but not all equally, the capacity for acquiring these occult powers varies with the individual.
A. Of all the disciples of the Buddha, Mogallana was possessed of the most extraordinary powers for making phenomena, while Ananda could develop none during the twenty-five years in which he was the personal and intimate disciple of the Buddha himself. Later he did, as the Buddha had foretold he would.
A. Normally, they gradually develop themselves as the disciple progressively gains control over his lower nature in a series of births.[2]
A. No. The Buddha teaches the contrary, in that beautiful story of Kisa Gotami and the mustard-seed. But when a person only seems to be dead but is not actually so, resuscitation is possible.
A. There are six degrees attainable by Arhats, what is higher than them is to be reached only by a Buddha.
A. We may divide them into two groups, of three each. The first to include - 1 - Progressive retrospection, viz., a gradually acquired power to look backward in time towards the origin of things, - 2 - Progressive foresight, or power of prophecy, - 3 - Gradual extinction of desires and attachments to material things.
A. The same faculties, but inimitably developed. Thus, the full Arhat possesses perfect retrospection, perfect foresight, and has absolutely extinguished the last trace of desire and selfish attractions.
A. The will, its exertion, mental development, and discrimination between right and wrong.
A. Iddhi vidha. One possessing this can, by manipulating the forces of Nature, produce any wonderful phenomenon, i.e., make any scientific experiment he chooses.
A. No, he expressly discouraged them as tending to create confusion in the minds of those who were not acquainted with the principles involved. They also tempt their possessors to show them merely to gratify idle curiosity and their own vanity. Moreover, similar phenomena can be shown by magicians and sorcerers learned in the Laukika, or the baser form of Iddhi science. All false pretensions to supernatural attainment by monks are among the unpardonable sins - Tevijja Sutta - .
A. They believe that there are such beings who inhabit worlds or spheres of their own. The Buddhist doctrine is that, by interior self-development and conquest over his baser nature, the Arhat becomes superior to even the most formidable of the devas, and may subject and control the lower orders.
A. Three: Kamavachara - those who are still under the domination of the passions - , Rupavachara - a higher class, which still retain an individual form - : Arapavachara - the highest in degree of purification, who are devoid of material forms - .
A. He who is pure and compassionate in heart and of a courageous mind need fear nothing: no man, god, brahmarakkhas, demon or deva, can injure him, but some have power to torment the impure, as well as those who invite their approach.


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