Jump to content


Photo

Petition from and to the international monastic and lay Sangha signed with the heart without name


  • Please log in to reply
1 reply to this topic

#1 Johann (Hanzze)

Johann (Hanzze)

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 79 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 10 December 2013 - 07:36 AM

sanghagift_sangham_sw.gif
 
2uidlogo_sangham_up.gif



Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

Buddham saranam gacchami

Dhammam saranam gacchami

Sangham saranam gacchami



Petition from and to the international monastic and lay Sangha
signed with the heart without name


Introduction and description:

This petition is on the one hand a humble declaration and affirmation of the exalted ethical status of the monastic Sangha, and for the sustainment and in support of this consideration also thought as a relief of burden of the monastic Sangha regarding worldly affairs, and therefore as a support for a long lasting further existence of the Dhamma-Vinaya (the teaching of the Buddha) in our age.

This petition is directed to all who are devoted to the holy life in accordance with the ancient tradition, who find themselves feeling unsettled or endangered for one reason or the other, who feel themselves lacking in confidence, or miss the strong support of those who, as lay-devotees, care for the long sustainment of the teachings.

This petition shall serve as a relief for all those who earnestly take upon themselves the life according to Dhamma and Vinaya, and even in hard times, in times of darkness, of profuse sensuality and strong attachment, help them feel supported sufficiently in order to see the timeless validity and effectiveness of the Dhamma-Vinaya with their own progress, to find complete release from the burden of doubt, and for their own well-being as well as the well-being of all other beings strive for the highest liberation, maybe even reach it in this very existence.

Even if we live today in a time of intellectual knowledge, of fast spread of mere information and easy accessibility of all kinds of gross sensual representation of the teachings, do living examples, living Dhamma, living Vinaya represent the factor, the foundation, the cause for unshakable confidence, enabling it in those who have not gained confidence yet and strengthening it in those who have some confidence already.

This petition, this appeal, this declaration, this plea comprises in summary a "declaration for the relief of the monastic Sangha" and an "appeal for unshakable confidence in Dhamma and Vinaya and thereby for uncompromising practice of keeping the rules", and in support of that also a "commitment to aid and assistance in regard to the four necessities for monastics and other homeless pracitioners".

The bhikkhus, bhikkhunis, male and female novices, homeless male and female practitioners, laymen, laywomen address with this petition all their companions and associates in the Sangha, as umbrella term for all those who are aiming to strive on in a wholesome direction but have not yet gained sufficient confidence, or fear that they may lack support, should they set out to implement the eightfold path in its totality, or to keep them from abandoning this existing path.

This petition is directed furthermore also to leaders of state, governments and persons in charge of framework requirements, to grant and allow for the freedom from reification necessary in order not to succumb to relinquishment of confindence in the Buddhist way of life, since the exercisability of this way of life is also dependent upon external, societal, national legal conditions. This concerns a necessary exemption from social and legal liabilities, concerning both obligation of implementation as well as obligation of acceptance in regards to the way of receiving the four requisites (food, clothing, lodging and medicine). This exemption is compensated in turn by the promise of virtuous adherence to the Buddhist moral rules and does thereby not present a threat to society in any way regarding worldly or transcendent desire of any kind, but enriches a society by an exemplary way of life without exerting undue pressure and without touching societal rules in any material way at all.

This petition also addresses however a mutual understanding and endorsement between those signing with their heart, who agree and remind themselves to support each other on the path, and to also be willing to admonish and correct each other in a well-meaning way, as well as an agreement and approval to being admonished as is appropriate.

This petition also sets a clear stand-off towards commonly accepted misconduct as has become customary in some places, and pernicious behaviour even if such may seem as already being part of the tradition and in certain ways tolerated and accepted or even sometimes fostered and promoted on a broad scale.

This petition also speaks out against following behaviour on the grounds of later commentaries and explanations, the more so as they do not serve the original purpose and the containment of the root causes of unwholesome behaviour but are aiming at an adaptation or a facilitation with regards to the usual acceptableness and broad accessibility. Unquestionably, present high ethical accomplishments in society are to be integrated into the understanding, and even in that case this shall serve as an affirmation, not a relaxation of the ethical standard.

This petition has as a goal, as an aspiration only the highest happiness and complete contentment in the freedom from suffering with the attainment of Nibbana. No worldly endeavours whatsoever underlie the intention of this petition, even if such endeavour will unavoidably also contribute to higher worldly well-being for all living beings.



Authority and signers of this petition:


Neither the author (who appears as signing only with his heart) nor those signing with the heart, nor the petition itself constitue in any way a higher authority in regard to Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha.

A potential authority lies at the utmost in its content of truth and a righteous realization of a course of action in accordance with it, and thereby solely the right recognition and implementation will constitue an expression of authority which accords with the significance of Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha, while at the same time not mandating for mitigation nor for addition to their original meaning.

The persons having come into appearance with this petition see themselves at the time of signing as bearer of its message in accordance with the course of Dhamma-Vinaya and affirm with this petition the course of Dhamma-Vinaya for the wellbeing of a long continuity of the course of Dhamma-Vinaya and bring in in accordance with the Dhamma-Vinaya to expression the following concerns for a repeated expression and for an encouragement of confidence:

  • Those signing with their heart appeal to each other for confidence that the monastic Sangha completely retreats from worldly matters as well as advocate thereby that the monastic Sangha may retreat completely from worldly matters in order to concentrate completely on the realization of the path once again.

As worldly matters are to be regarded in particular ways of life and activities in:

  • politics
  • economy
  • worldly social work and worldly ancillary services
  • art, entertainment, wellness and philosophy
  • as well as structural religious/ideological missionary work
  • teaching in worldly arts

Remark: Work and generosity within the scope of spiritual assistence, as a counselor and critical as well as circumspect advisor, in advising, impartial and appropriately consulted position are not affected hereby.

  • Those signing with their heart call to each other for having confidence that a monastic Sangha living in seclusion and homeless persons are a field of merit, worthy of support and gifts, and serve as a great target group for gifts of necessities and assert this declaration for the relief of concerns and anxieties of those practitioners doubting the support in this regard.

Lay practitioners of all kinds call to each other with this petition, in rememberance of monastic and righteously practicing homeless persons, independent of the kind of local community and with mental alignment towards the noble Sangha of the eight persons, to adequately support with the four vital necessities according to their capability:

  • with allowed nutrition
  • with allowed clothing
  • with allowed lodging
  • with allowed medicine

Monastic and homeless practitioners of all kinds call to memory with this petition, independent of the local community, to share the four requisites with those in need with a view to fostering due independence.

Those signing also don't have any doubt in the impermissibility of any means of exchange and payment for members of the monastic Sangha, be it in accepting, in using or even in regard to administration and would like to see these matters completely in the hands of the supporting laypeople.

  • Those signing with the heart also call to each other for having confidence in not only supporting the monastic Sangha living in seclusion and homeless ascetics in all worldly matters, but to also keep those matters out of their way as far as possible and partake in establishing a network of support, of sharing and distributing together.

For this purpose the signing participate in the establishment of a support cadaster (details see attachment) and handle it in their sphere conscientiously and responsibly.

  • Those signing with their heart consider and approve, for the purpose of relieving the monastic Sangha living in seclusion and homeless ascetics, and, as a possible intermediate stage, laypeople striving for the fulfillment of paramis, to support a "community of Buddhist (boy) scouts". This community shall serve as a refuge for those present monastics whose paramis have not yet reached the maturity to devote themselves completely to the supramundane path, and thereby remove points of conflict from the monastic Sangha. This community may constitue a network of homeless practitioners and aspirants to novice ordination who, on the basis of Buddhist ethics, adopt social work and help projects, which, however, declares itself as belonging to the monastic Sangha regarding worthiness of suport, and thereby does not contribute to corruption of the laity in regard to the Dhamma but can use this manner of practice for advancement and fulfillment of the paramis aiming towards the holy life.

This community, apart from support and propragation of worldly support, also serves as a connecting link, facilitator and essential distributor of access to the teachings leading to the highest good, without, however, any official mandate of decision contribution and execution of procedures of the monastic community.

  • Those signing with their heart call to each other for having confidence, to make the Dhamma under no circumstance and out of no higher motivation whatsoever into an object of business, trade or any other kind of commercial purpose. Whether in the context of a monastic project or of a lay project, the trade in Dhamma, the gift of Dhamma in expectation of something in return or on credit, in the hope of liquidating the debt stemming from the distribution of Dhamma is in no way compatible with the ways of Dhamma-Vinaya.

Those signing aspire to close collaboration in view of the objective of retreating out of impure business and bring to mind here the call for confidence in modesty.

  • Those signing with their heart call to each other for having confidence, in no way to misuse Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha in any way for worldly purposes, regarding ideologies or finding majorities for worldly pursuits and admonish each other never to make Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha subject to worldly conflicts, be it in the private, the group communal or the sphere of stately affairs, and mutually support each other in disencumbering Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha from being a tool of defense.
  • Those signing with their heart are conscious of the incisive impact of new media and means of communication and disapprove of just shrugging it off as a new phenomenon to be accepted without consideration for its import in reference to Dhamma-Vinaya. For this purpose, the participating parties mutually support each other in standing back from an undue use of these means of networking and avow to seeing also these means of access and supply as a matter of supply by and support by the laity.

Approaches to improvement and personal contribution are to be found in the attachment.

  • Those signing with their heart want to encourage worldly leaders, dignitaries, statesmen and persons in positions of responsibility and high status to admonish and rebuke the monastic Sangha in places where their behaviour has already taken on perishable dimensions and to inform citizens about and clarify to them righteous ways of conduct and, if necessary, even act upon these matters in authoritarian ways for the well-being of all. In the same vein, those signing want to encourage worldly leaders, dignitaries, statesmen and persons in positions of responsibility and high status to commend the special and high status of the Sangha, which is free from worldly interests, and to inform citizens of the meritorious fruits of supporting the monastic Sangha with the four requisites.

Those signing hereby also plea for the recognition of sovereignity of the monastic Sangha in regard to any worldly, social or communal obligation whatsoever. This, however, touches in no way penal sovereignity, especially in regard to a conformity with the ethical rules and may in such cases entail a stricter line of action in turn.

Furthermore those signing entreat to keep Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha out of political day-to-day business and to also not misuse them as a means of opinion making.

  • Those signing call to each other for having confidence, that a life according to Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha does not necessitate any worldly institution with authority similar as in various religions and also prescind from making Dhamma-Vinaya into a religious community out of worldly motives. Rather those signing mutually encourage each other to make do without recourse to worldly means of authority and trust in accordance with the way of life of Dhamma and Vinaya to be able to attain the goal from liberation from suffering within any societal structure.

In the same vein those signing encourage each other to stay in and foster a constant dialogue and exchange for the purpose of elimination of doubts and well-meaning admonishment. Furthermore those signing are in no way interested in setting themselves apart from other persuasions and thereby restricting dialogues.

In far as those signing are laypeople they want to encourage each other to increasingly take upon themselves the task of dialogue without restriction and segregation and thereby defuse possibly arising competition situations and keep them away from the monastic Sangha.

  • If it is not difficult for you to sign this petition with your heart, take it to heart, it will not prove too difficult to also give this present of confidence from the heart and share it further so that many hearts will share it, sign it and find the heart's affirmation.

signed

from heart to heart

Sangha vatthu, the field for prosperity of strength of heart.

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

 

2uidlogo_sangham_up.gif

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

Buddham saranam gacchami

Dhammam saranam gacchami

Sangham saranam gacchami

 

Petition von und an die internationale buddhistische klösterliche Sangha und Laiensangha

Mit Herzen ohne Namen gezeichnet

 

Einleitung und Beschreibung:

 

Diese Petition ist einerseits eine demütige Erklärung und Bekräftigung der erhabenen ethischen Stellung der klösterlichen Sangha, und zur Aufrechterhaltung und Förderung diese Umstandes, auch als eine Entlastung und Freistellung der klösterlichen Sangha von allen weltlichen Aufgaben gedacht, und damit als eine Unterstützung eines noch lange andauernden Bestehens des Dhamma-Vinaya (der Lehre Buddhas) in unserem Zeitalter, zu verstehen.

 

Diese Petition ist an alle gerichtet, die sich dem heiligen Leben entsprechend der alten überlieferten Tradition widmen und sich aus dem einen oder anderen Grund unsicher und gefährdend sehend, nicht das ausreichende Vertrauen haben oder es vermissen, die starke Unterstützung jener, die sich als Laien um das lange verbleiben der Lehren bemühen, zu spüren.

 

Diese Petition dient der Entlastung all jener, die sich ernsthaft dem Dhamma und der Vinaya annehmen und soll ihnen auch in schwierigen Zeiten, in Zeiten der Dunkelheit, der übermäßigen Sinnlichkeit und starken Anhaftung helfen, sich soweit unterstütz zu fühlen, daß sie eine Bestätigung der allzeitlichen Gültigkeit und Wirksamkeit des Dhamma-Vinaya mit dem weiteren Fortschritt selbst erfahren können und damit gänzlich von den Bürden des Zweifels befreit werden und zum eigen Wohle, wie auch das Wohl aller anderen Wesen die höchste Befreiung anstreben und eventuell noch in dieser Existenz erreichen.

 

Auch wenn wir heute in einem Zeitalter des intelektuellen Wissens, der raschen Verbreitung von bloßen Informationen und einfachen Zugriff auf alle Arten der groben sinnlichen Erfaßbarkeit der Lehrreden leben, stellen lebende Beispiele, gelebtes Dhamma, gelebte Vinaya jenen Faktor da, der Grund und Ursache für unerschütterliches Vertrauen, für jene, die noch keine Vertrauen haben, ermöglicht und jene die schon etwas Vertrauen haben, in diesem stärkt.

 

Diese Petition, dieser Aufruf, diese Erklärung, diese Bitte beinhaltet zusammengefasst eine „Erklärung zur Entlastung der klösterlichen Sangha“, einen „Aufruf zum unerschütterlichen Vertrauen zu Dhamma und Vinaya und damit zum  kompromisslosen üben des Einhaltens der Regeln“, wie auch unterstützend die „Zusage der Unterstützung im Hinblick der vier Bedarfsmittel für klösterliche und andere hauslose Praktizierenden.“

 

Die mit dem Herzen zeichnenden Bhikkhus, Bhikkunis, männlichen und weiblichen Novizen, hauslosen männlichen und weiblichen Praktizierenden, Laienmänner, Laienfrauen, richten diese Petition an alle ihre Gefährten und Begleiter im Rahmen der Sangha, als übergeordneter Begriff, für jene, die bestrebt sind in eine heilsame Richtung voranzuschreiten, aber noch nicht das ausreichende Vertrauen gefunden haben, oder Angst haben, daß es ihnen an Unterstützung fehlen würde, wenn sie den Einstieg in den achtfachen Pfad zur Gänze umsetzen, oder um sie davon abhalten diese bestehenden Wege zu verlassen.

 

Diese Petition richtet sich in weitere Folge auch an Staatsführer, Regierungen und für Rahmenbedingungen verantwortliche Personen, der klösterlichen Sangha und den praktizierenden Laienmitgliedern der Sangha, jene Freiheit von Verdinglichung zu gewähren, um nicht der Versuchung der Vertrauensentsagung gegenüber der buddhistischen Lebensweise unterliegen zu müssen, da die Ausübbarkeit dieser Lebensweise auch von äusseren, Gesellschaftsbedingungen, nationalgesetzlichen Bedingungen, abhängt. Dies betrifft eine notwendige Freistellung von sozialen und rechtlichen Verbindlichkeiten, sowohl im Bezug der Verpflichtung der Umsetzung, als auch der Verpflichtung zur Annahme im Bezug auf die Art des Empfanges der vier notwenigen Bedarfmittel (Nahrung, Kleidung, Unterkunft und Medizin). Diese Freistellung wird im Gegenzug mit dem Versprechen der strikten tugendhaften Einhaltung der buddhistischen Regeln aufgewogen und stellt damit in keiner Weise eine gesellschaftliche Gefährdung im Bezug auf weltliches wie auch überweltliches Verlangen dar, sondern bereichert ein Gesellschaft um eine Beispielhafte alternative Lebensweise, ohne auf andere bevorzugte Lebensweisen ungebührlichen Druck auszuüben und ohne geselschaftliche Regelungen überhaupt maßgeblich zu berühren.

 

Diese Petition richtet sich aber auch als eine Übereinkunft und Bestärkung zwischen den mit dem Herzen Zeichnenden, die sich damit auch bereit erklären und erinnern, sich gegenseitig auf dem Pfad zu unterstützen und stets bestrebt sind sich gegenseitig, in wohlwollender Weise, auch zu ermahnen und berichtigen, wie auch eine Zustimmung und Befürwortung jederzeit von Gefährten sachlich ermahnt und berichtig zu werden.

 

Diese Petition stellt auch eine klare Abgrenzung zu Mancherorts üblich gewordenem Fehlbenehmen und verderblichen Verhalten, auch wenn dieses bereits als Anteil der Tradition erscheinen mag und in gewisser Weise auf breiter Ebene toleriert und manchmal auch gepflegt und gefördert wird.

Diese Petition spricht sich auch gegen ein Folgen von Verhalten aufgrund von späteren Kommentaren und Erläuterungen aus, zumal sie dem Zwecke dienen, nicht dem ursprünglichen Zweck und der Beherrschung der Wurzelursachen des unheilsamen Verhaltens dienlich zu sein, aber das Ziel einer Anpassung oder Erleichterung im Hinblick auf die gewöhnliche Annehmbarkeit und breite Zugänglichkeit zu haben. Unumstritten sind gegenwärtige hohe ethische Errungenschaften in der Gesellschaft in das Verständnis einzubeziehen und auch in diesem Falle, soll es einer Bekräftigung und nicht einer Lockerung der Tugendmaßstäbe dienen.

Diese Petition hat als Zielrichtung, als Betreben ausschließlich das höchste Glück und gänzliche Zufriedenheit in der Freiheit von Leiden mit dem Erlangen von Nibbana. Keinerlei weltliche Bestrebungen unterliegen der Absicht dieser Petition, auch wenn dieses Bestreben unweigerlich auch zur Steigerung des weltlichen Wohles für alle Wesen beitragen wird.

 

Autorität und Zeichnende dieser Petition:

 

Sowohl der ursprüngliche Verfasser (der selbst nur als bloßer mit dem Herzen Zeichnender auftritt), noch die mit dem Herzen Zeichnenden, noch die Petition selbst stellen in irgendeiner Weise eine übergeordnete Autorität im Hinblick auf Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha dar.

 

Eine eventuelle Autorität liegt, wenn dann nur im Wahrheitsgehalt und einer rechtschaffenden Umsetzung eines dem Wahrheitsgehalt entsprechenden Handelns und damit wird lediglich das rechte Erkennen und Umsetzen dem Ausdruck einer Autorität entsprechen, die der Bedeutung von Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha entspricht und gleichzeitig keinerlei Mandat auf Minderung oder Ergänzung ihrer ursprünglichen Bedeutung erhebt.

 

Die mit dieser Petition in Erscheinung getretenen Personen, sehen sich zum Zeitpunkt der Zeichnung als Überbringer dieser Petition im Einklang mit dem Ablauf des Dhamma - Vinaya an und bekräftigen mit dieser Petition den Ablauf des Dhamma – Vinayas zum Wohle eines langen Fortbestehens des Ablaufes von Dhamma – Vinaya und bringen im Einklang mit dem Dhamma – Vinaya folgende Anliegen zu einem wiederholten Ausdruck des tiefen Vertrauens und zur Ermunterung des Vertrauens auf:

 

  • Die mit dem Herzen Zeichnenden rufen sich gegenseitig auf, Vertrauen darin zu haben, daß sich der klösterliche Sangha gänzlich aus weltlichen Belangen zurückzieht und befürworten hiermit auch, daß sich der klösterliche Sangha wieder gänzlich aus weltlichen Belangen zurückziehen mag und/um sich ausschließlich auf die Verwirklichung des Pfades (/zu) konzentriert.

Als weltliche Belange sind im Speziellen Lebensweisen und Bestätigungen in:

  • Politik
  • Wirtschaft
  • weltliche Sozialarbeit und weltlichen Hilfsdiensten
  • Kunst, Unterhaltung, Wellness und Philosophie
  • sowie strukturelle religiöse/ideologische Missionarsarbeit
  • Lehrtätigkeiten in weltlichen Künsten

zu sehen.

 

Anm.: Arbeiten und Großzügigkeit im Rahmen einer spirituellen Hilfestellung, als Ratgeber und kritisch wie umsichtiger Begleiter, in beratender, unparteiischer und passend konsultierter Stellung, sind davon nicht betroffen.

 

  • Die mit dem Herzen Zeichnenden rufen sich gegenseitig auf, Vertrauen darin zu haben, daß sich eine in Zurückgezogenheit lebende klösterliche Sangha und Hauslose ein Feld der Verdienste sind, der Unterstützung und Gaben wert und als großartiges Ziel von Gaben des Notwendigen dient und bringt diese Erklärung zur Entlastung von Sorge und Ängsten, der an der Unterstützung zweifelnden Praktizierenden, auf.

Laienpraktizierende aller Art, rufen sich mit dieser Petition in Erinnerung Klösterliche und rechtschaffend praktizierende Haus- und Mittellose, unabhängig der Art der lokalen Gemeinschaft und mit mentaler Ausrichtung auf den noblen Sangha der acht Personen, ausreichend mit den vier Notwendigen Bedarfsmittel zur Lebenssicherung entsprechend ihrem Vermögen zu versorgen:

 

  • mit erlaubter Nahrung
  • mit erlaubter Bekleidung
  • mit erlaubter Unterkunft
  • mit erlaubter Medizin

 

Klösterliche und Hauslose aller Art, rufen sich mit dieser Petition in Erinnerung, die vier Bedarfsmittel unabhängig von der lokalen Gemeinschaft mit Bedürftigen im Rahmen einer zu fördernden Unabhängigkeit zu teilen.

Die Zeichnenden hegen auch keinerlei Zweifel am nicht erlaubt sein von allen Arten der Tausch und Zahlungsmittel für Mitglieder der Klösterlichen Sangha, sei es nun im Annehmen, der Verwendung aber auch im Bezug auf Verwaltung und möchten diese Angelegenheit gänzlich den Unterstützenden Laien überlassen sehen.

 

  • Die mit dem Herzen Zeichnenden rufen sich gegenseitig auf, Vertrauen darin zu haben, den in Rückgezogenheit lebenden klösterlichen Sangha und Hauslose in allen weltlichen Angelegenheiten nicht nur zu unterstützen, sondern diese so gut es geht von ihnen Fern zu halten und nehmen daran teil, ein Netzwerk der Unterstützung, des Teilens und des Verteilens gemeinsam aufzubauen.

Zu diesem Zwecke unterstützen und beteiligen sich die Zeichnenden am Aufbau eines Unterstützungskatasters (Details siehe Anhang) und gehen damit in ihrer Sphäre gewissenhaft und verantwortungsvoll um.

 

  • Die mit dem Herzen Zeichnenden erwägen und befürworten, zum Zwecke der Entlastung der in Rückgezogenheit lebenden klösterlichen Sangha und Hauslose und als mögliche Zwischenstufe, für nach Erfüllung der Paramis strebende Laien, die Einrichtung bzw. Anerkennung eine „Gemeinschaft der buddhistischen Pfadfinder“ zu unterstützen. Diese Gemeinschaft soll jenen derzeitigen Klösterlichen, deren Paramis noch nicht die Reife erlangt haben, sich vollkommen dem überweltlichen Pfad zu widmen und dienen, eine Zuflucht zu bieten und damit Konfliktpunkte aus dem klösterlichen Sangha nehmen. Diese Gemeinschaft mag ein Netzwerk aus Hauslosen und Novizenanwärtern darstellen, die sich an buddhistischer Ethik anlehnend um weltliche Sozialdienste und Hilfsprojekte annimmt, sich jedoch klar als eine der klösterlichen Sangha, im Bezug auf Unterstützungswertigkeit erklärt und damit nicht zum Verderben von Laien im Bezug auf den Dhamma beiträgt, sondern diese Art der Praxis für einen Fortschritt und Erfüllung der Paramis in Richtung heiliges Leben nutzen kann.

Diese Gemeinschaft dient neben der Unterstützung und Vermehrung weltlicher Hilfe auch als Zwischenträger, Vermittler und als wesentlicher Verteiler der Zugänge zu den zum höchsten Wohle führenden Lehren, jedoch ohne jegliches offizielles Mandat der Mitentscheidung und Verfahrensdurchführung der klösterlichen Gemeinschaft.

 

  • Die mit dem Herzen Zeichnenden rufen sich gegenseitig auf, Vertrauen darin zu haben, den Dhamma unter keinen Umständen und aus keinerlei höheren Motivation zum Gegenstand von Geschäftigkeit; Handel oder anderen kommerziellen Zwecke dienlich ist. Ob nun im Rahmen eines klösterlichen Projektes oder im Rahmen eines Laienprojektes ist der Handel mit Dhamma, die Gabe von Dhamma in Erwartung einer Gegenleistung oder auf Kredit, in der Hoffnung die entstandenen Schulden aus dem Verteilen von Dhamma, zu tilgen, in keiner Weise mit den Wegen und Absichten von Dhamma – Vinaya vereinbar.

Die Zeichnenden streben zum Rückzug aus bestehenden unreinen Geschäftlichkeiten eine engere Zusammenarbeit an und bringen hier verstärkt den Aufruf in das Vertrauen zur Bescheidenheit auf.

 

  • Die mit dem Herzen Zeichnenden rufen sich gegenseitig auf, Vertrauen darin zu haben, Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha in keiner Weise für weltliche Zwecke im Hinblick auf Ideologien und Mehrheitsfindung für weltliche Vorhaben zu missbrauchen und halten sich gegenseitig an, Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha nicht zu einem Gegenstand von weltlichen Konflikten, sei es nun im privaten, gruppengesellschaftlichen oder staatlichen Bereich, zu machen und unterstützen sich gegenseitig darin, Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha als Gegenstand des Verteidigungswerkzeuges stets zu entlasten.

 

  • Die mit dem Herzen Zeichnenden sind sich der einschneidenden Wirkung von neuen Medien und Kommunikationsmittel bewusst und lehnen es ab, sie als eine einfach ungeachtet hinzunehmende neue Erscheinung ohne Berücksichtigung der Bezüge zu Dhamma – Vinaya hinzunehmen. Zu diesem Zwecke unterstützen sich die Beteiligten gegenseitig, Abstand von einer ungebührlichen Nutzung dieser Netzwerkmittel zu nehmen und bekennen sich dazu, auch diese Zugänge und Bereitstellung als eine Angelegenheit der Bereitstellung und Versorgung durch die Laienschaft zu sehen.

Ansätze zur Verbesserung und persönlichen Einbringung finden sich im Anhang.

 

  • Die mit dem Herzen Zeichnenden möchten weltliche Führungspersonen, Würdenträger, Staatsmänner und Verantwortungtragende Personen in hoher Stellung dazu ermutigen dem klösterlichen Sangha an Orten wo ihr Verhalten bereits verderbliche Ausmaße angenommen hat, zu ermahnen und zu Tadeln und Bürger über ein rechtschaffendes Benehmen aufzuklären und gegebenenfalls auch Autoritär auf entartete Erscheinungen zum Wohle aller einzuwirken. Im selben Zuge möchten die Zeichnenden weltliche Führungspersonen, Würdenträger, Staatsmänner und verantwortungtragende Personen in hoher Stellung dazu ermutigen die besondere und unterstützungswürdige Stellung der von weltlichen Interessen unabhängigen Sangha zu loben und Bürger über die verdienstvollen Früchte einer Unterstützung der klösterlichen Sangha mit den vier Bedarfsmittel zu unterrichten.

Die Zeichnenden bitten damit auch um die Anerkennung einer Souveränität der klösterlichen Sangha, im Hinblick auf jegliche weltliche, soziale und gemeinschaftlichen Verpflichtung. Dies berührt jedoch in keiner Weise strafrechtliche Souveränität, speziell im Hinblick einer Übereinstimmung mit den ethischen Verhaltensregeln und mag in diesen Fällen ein strengeres Vorgehen im Gegenzug enthalten.

Weiter ersuchen die Zeichnenden Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha aus politischen Tagesgeschäften herauszuhalten und sie auch nicht als Mittel der Meinungsbildung zu missbrauchen.

 

  • Die Zeichnenden rufen sich gegenseitig auf, Vertrauen darin zu haben, das ein Leben entsprechend Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha keinerlei weltlicher Institutionen mit Autoritätsgehalt ähnlich verschiedener Religionen bedarf und sehen auch davon ab, Dhamma –Vinaya aus weltlichen Absichten zu einer Religionsgemeinschaft zu machen. Vielmehr ermutigen sich die Zeichnenden gegenseitig ohne weltliche Autoritätsmittel auszukommen und Vertrauen der Lebensweise entsprechend dem Dhamma und dem Vinaya in jeder gesellschaftlichen Struktur das Ziel der Befreiung vom Leiden umsetzten zu können.

Im selben Zuge ermuntern sich die Zeichnenden gegenseitig dazu in einem steten Dialog und Austausch zum Zwecke der Ausräumung von Zweifel und wohlwollendem Tadel zu bleiben und diesen zu pflegen. Auch sind die Zeichnenden in keinster Weise daran interessiert, sich abgesehen von der Souveränität der klösterlichen Sangha als strenge Lebensführung, von anderen Glaubensrichtungen abzugrenzen und damit Dialoge einzuschränken.

Soweit die Zeichnenden Laienanhänger sind, wollen sie sich gegenseitig ermutigen vermehrt die Aufgabe des Dialoges ohne Abgrenzung in Formen einer Religion zu übernehmen und damit eine eventuell Entstehende Konkurenzsituation entschärfen und aus den Belangen der klösterlichen Sangha halten.

 

 

Wenn es ihnen nicht schwer fällt diese Pedition mit dem Herzen zu Zeichen, ins Herzen aufzunehmen, wird es ihnen nicht schwer fallen dieses Geschenk des Verrtauens auch aus dem Herzen zu geben und es weiter zu teilen, das noch viele Herzen es Teilen, zeichnen und Bestätigung des Herzens trifft.

 

 

 

gezeichnet

Von Herz zu Herz

Sangha vatthu das Umfeld für das Gedeihen von Herzenskraft

 

 



#2 Johann (Hanzze)

Johann (Hanzze)

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 79 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 16 December 2013 - 05:29 AM

That the True Dhamma Might Last a Long Time lang_de.png
Readings Selected by King Asoka
selected and translated by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
 

The edicts of King Asoka are a remarkable record of one of the most remarkable events in human history: One man's efforts to rule an empire with a policy based on Dhamma. Asoka's policy had three prongs: administration based on Dhamma, instruction in Dhamma for the populace, and personal practice of Dhamma by the ruler.

 

The edicts are direct evidence of the second prong, and for the most part present Dhamma as a series of moral principles and rational behavior that should be common to all religions. However, a few of them are addressed to Buddhists in particular, and one of them — the Bhabru Rock Edict — deals with themes that are of interest not only to historians, but also to Buddhists of all times and places. It deals with what may be done to keep the True Dhamma alive for a long time, and Asoka's recommendation is a list of passages from the Buddhist Canon that he says all Buddhists — ordained or not — should listen to and reflect on frequently. Here is the text of the edict:

 

"His Gracious Majesty, King of Magadha, bows down to the Sangha and — hoping that they are free from disease and living in peace — addresses them as follows: You know well the extent of my reverence and faith in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha. Whatever has been said by the Buddha has of course been well-said. But may I be permitted to point out the passages of scripture I have selected that the True Dhamma might last a long time: Vinaya-samukasa, Aliya-vasani, Anagata-bhayani, Muni-gatha, Mauneya-sute, Upatisa-pasine, and the Instructions to Rahula beginning with (the topic of) falsehood, as taught by the Blessed One.

 

"Reverend Sirs, I would like the reverend bhikkhus and bhikkhunis — as well as the laymen and laywomen — to listen to these passages frequently and to ponder on them.

 

"For this reason, Reverend Sirs, I am having this enscribed so that they may know of my intention."

 

As might be imagined, this passage has given rise to a great deal of conjecture ever since it was deciphered in 1840. Not the least of the questions is precisely which passages from the Canon Asoka is referring to, or indeed if he was referring to a Canon anything like what we have today.

 

Scholars have spilt a fair amount of ink sparring over the answer and have managed to reach a consensus on the identity of four of the passages: the Aliya-vasani is the Discourse on the Traditions of the Noble Ones (ariya-vamsa) (AN 4.28); the Anagata-bhayani are the four discourses on Future Dangers (AN 5.77-80); the Muni-gatha is the Discourse on the Sage (Muni Sutta) in the Sutta Nipata (Sn.I.12); and the Instructions to Rahula are the Cula-Rahulovada Sutta (MN 61).

 

The other three passages have proven more intractable. A number of scholars have favored the Nalaka Sutta as the Mauneya-sute — this, in spite of the fact that there is a Moneyya (Sagacity) Sutta in the Anguttara Nikaya (AN 3.23). The Upatisa-pasine (Question of Upatissa=Sariputta) is problematic because there is no one passage of that name and because Sariputta asks so many questions in the Canon. Some scholars have proposed the Sariputta Sutta in the Sutta Nipata, but archaeological evidence — votive tablets produced beginning with the time of Asoka and originating in the Buddhist pilgrim sites — show that Ven. Assaji's answer to Sariputta's first question about the doctrine, the answer that sparked a vision of the Dhamma in Sariputta when he heard it, has long been regarded as the ideal epitome of the Buddha's teachings. This tradition may have connections with this very edict. Ask any knowledgeable Buddhists today what Sariputta's most famous question was, and they will in all likelihood answer with this one.

 

As for the Vinaya-samukase, this has sparked the most fanciful conjectures, because the single reference to this word in the Canon is buried in a book hardly anyone reads: the Parivara (VI.4). The reference itself says nothing more than that there are four "vinaya-samukkamsa" — innate principles of the Vinaya — but the Commentary identifies them as the four Great Standards — most likely the four mentioned in the Mahavagga, dealing specifically with Vinaya, rather than the four in the Maha-parinibbana Sutta, which deal with Dhamma and Vinaya together.

 

This seems to settle the question of which passages Asoka was recommending, but it raises another one: Why these? And why in this order?

 

Perhaps the best approach to answering these questions would be to read the passages and ponder on them, as Asoka suggested. So here they are. Most of them are self-explanatory, except for the first, on the innate principles of Vinaya, and the poem on the sage, which — being a poem — occasionally makes use of imagery that might be unfamiliar to a modern reader. Thus I include in the translation of The Sage a set of notes, drawing mostly from the Commentary, but also from other parts of the Canon and from works on ancient culture in general.

 

As for the Innate Principles of the Vinaya, the passage itself contains nothing unremarkable, but it seems so obvious on first reading that one might wonder why anyone would call attention to it. Actually, it is a fine example of the Buddha's farsightedness in setting up a system of teachings and rules. There are bound to be a number of things not touched on in the rules, and this number is bound to grow as culture and technology change. An unenlightened approach to these changes would say either that anything not allowed is forbidden, or that anything not explicitly forbidden is allowed. The Buddha, typically, sets forth a system of interpretation that avoids both of these extremes and helps to ensure the long life of his doctrine and discipline by setting guidelines for expanding them to cover new objects and situations as they arise.

 

The Innate Principles of the Vinaya

 

Now at that time uncertainty arose in the monks with regard to this and that item: "Now what is allowed by the Blessed One? What is not allowed?" They told this matter to the Blessed One, (who said):

 

"Bhikkhus, whatever I have not objected to, saying, 'This is not allowable,' if it fits in with what is not allowable, if it goes against what is allowable, this is not allowable for you.

 

"Whatever I have not objected to, saying, 'This is not allowable,' if it fits in with what is allowable, if it goes against what is not allowable, this is allowable for you.

 

"And whatever I have not permitted, saying, 'This is allowable,' if it fits in with what is not allowable, if it goes against what is allowable, this is not allowable for you.

 

"And whatever I have not permitted, saying, 'This is allowable,' if it fits in with what is allowable, if it goes against what is not allowable, this is allowable for you."

— Mv.VI.40.1

 

The Traditions of the Noble Ones

 

These four traditions of the Noble Ones — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — are not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and are unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives and brahmans. Which four?

There is the case where a monk is content with any old robe cloth at all. He speaks in praise of being content with any old robe cloth at all. He does not, for the sake of robe cloth, do anything unseemly or inappropriate. Not getting cloth, he is not agitated. Getting cloth, he uses it not tied to it, uninfatuated, guiltless, seeing the drawbacks (of attachment to it), and discerning the escape from them. He does not, on account of his contentment with any old robe cloth at all, exalt himself or disparage others. In this he is skillful, energetic, alert, and mindful. This, monks, is said to be a monk standing firm in the ancient, original traditions of the Noble Ones.

 

Furthermore, the monk is content with any old almsfood at all. He speaks in praise of being content with any old almsfood at all. He does not, for the sake of almsfood, do anything unseemly or inappropriate. Not getting almsfood, he is not agitated. Getting almsfood, he uses it not tied to it, uninfatuated, guiltless, seeing the drawbacks (of attachment to it), and discerning the escape from them. He does not, on account of his contentment with any old almsfood at all, exalt himself or disparage others. In this he is skillful, energetic, alert, and mindful. This, monks, is said to be a monk standing firm in the ancient, original traditions of the Noble Ones.

 

Furthermore, the monk is content with any old lodging at all. He speaks in praise of being content with any old lodging at all. He does not, for the sake of lodging, do anything unseemly or inappropriate. Not getting lodging, he is not agitated. Getting lodging, he uses it not tied to it, uninfatuated, guiltless, seeing the drawbacks (of attachment to it), and discerning the escape from them. He does not, on account of his contentment with any old lodging at all, exalt himself or disparage others. In this he is skillful, energetic, alert, and mindful. This, monks, is said to be a monk standing firm in the ancient, original traditions of the Noble Ones.

 

Furthermore, the monk finds pleasure and delight in developing (skillful mental qualities), finds pleasure and delight in abandoning (unskillful mental qualities). He does not, on account of his pleasure and delight in developing and abandoning, exalt himself or disparage others. In this he is skillful, energetic, alert, and mindful. This, monks, is said to be a monk standing firm in the ancient, original traditions of the Noble Ones.

 

These are the four traditions of the Noble Ones — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — which are not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and are unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives and brahmans.

And furthermore, a monk endowed with these four traditions of the Noble Ones, if he lives in the east, conquers displeasure and is not conquered by displeasure. If he lives in the west... the north... the south, he conquers displeasure and is not conquered by displeasure. Why is that? Because the wise one endures both pleasure and displeasure.

 

This is what the Blessed One said. Having said this, he said further:

 

Displeasure does not conquer the enlightened one. Displeasure does not suppress him. He conquers displeasure because he endures it. Having cast away all deeds: who could obstruct him? Like an ornament of finest gold: Who is fit to find fault with him? Even the Devas praise him, even by Brahma is he praised.

— AN 4.28

 

Future Dangers: I

 

Monks, these five future dangers are just enough, when considered, for a monk living in the wilderness — heedful, ardent, and resolute — to live for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized. Which five?

 

There is the case where a monk living in the wilderness reminds himself of this: I am now living alone in the wilderness. While I am living alone in the wilderness a snake might bite me, a scorpion might sting me, a centipede might bite me. That would be how my death would come about. That would be an obstruction for me. So let me make an effort for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized.

 

This is the first future danger that is just enough, when considered, for a monk living in the wilderness — heedful, ardent, and resolute — to live for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized.

 

Furthermore, the monk living in the wilderness reminds himself of this: I am now living alone in the wilderness. While I am living alone in the wilderness, stumbling, I might fall; my food, digested, might trouble me; my bile might be provoked, my phlegm... piercing wind forces (in the body) might be provoked. That would be how my death would come about. That would be an obstruction for me. So let me make an effort for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized.

 

This is the second future danger that is just enough, when considered, for a monk living in the wilderness — heedful, ardent, and resolute — to live for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized.

 

Furthermore, the monk living in the wilderness reminds himself of this: I am now living alone in the wilderness. While I am living alone in the wilderness, I might meet up with vicious beasts: a lion or a tiger or a leopard or a bear or a hyena. They might take my life. That would be how my death would come about. That would be an obstruction for me. So let me make an effort for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized.

This is the third future danger that is just enough, when considered, for a monk living in the wilderness — heedful, ardent, and resolute — to live for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized.

 

Furthermore, the monk living in the wilderness reminds himself of this: I am now living alone in the wilderness. While I am living alone in the wilderness, I might meet up with youths on their way to committing a crime or on their way back. They might take my life. That would be how my death would come about. That would be an obstruction for me. So let me make an effort for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized.

This is the fourth future danger that is just enough, when considered, for a monk living in the wilderness — heedful, ardent, and resolute — to live for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized.

 

Furthermore, the monk living in the wilderness reminds himself of this: I am now living alone in the wilderness. And in the wilderness are vicious non-human beings (spirits). They might take my life. That would be how my death would come about. That would be an obstruction for me. So let me make an effort for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized.

 

This is the fifth future danger that is just enough, when considered, for a monk living in the wilderness — heedful, ardent, and resolute — to live for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized.

 

These are the five future dangers that are just enough, when considered, for a monk living in the wilderness — heedful, ardent, and resolute — to live for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized.

— AN 5.77

 

Future Dangers: II

 

Monks, these five future dangers are just enough, when considered, for a monk — heedful, ardent, and resolute — to live for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized. Which five?

 

There is the case where a monk reminds himself of this: At present I am young, black-haired, endowed with the blessings of youth in the first stage of life. The time will come, though, when this body is beset by old age. When one is overcome with old age and decay, it is not easy to pay attention to the Buddha's teachings. It is not easy to reside in isolated forest or wilderness dwellings. Before this unwelcome, disagreeable, displeasing thing happens, let me first make an effort for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized, so that — endowed with that Dhamma — I will live in peace even when old.

This is the first future danger that is just enough, when considered, for a monk — heedful, ardent, and resolute — to live for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized.

 

Furthermore, the monk reminds himself of this: At present I am free from illness and discomfort, endowed with good digestion: not too cold, not too hot, of medium strength and tolerance. The time will come, though, when this body is beset with illness. When one is overcome with illness, it is not easy to pay attention to the Buddha's teachings. It is not easy to reside in isolated forest or wilderness dwellings. Before this unwelcome, disagreeable, displeasing thing happens, let me first make an effort for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized, so that — endowed with that Dhamma — I will live in peace even when ill.

 

This is the second future danger that is just enough, when considered, for a monk — heedful, ardent, and resolute — to live for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized.

 

Furthermore, the monk reminds himself of this: At present food is plentiful, alms are easy to come by. It is easy to maintain oneself by gleanings and patronage. The time will come, though, when there is famine: Food is scarce, alms are hard to come by, and it is not easy to maintain oneself by gleanings and patronage. When there is famine, people will congregate where food is plentiful. There they will live packed and crowded together. When one is living packed and crowded together, it is not easy to pay attention to the Buddha's teachings. It is not easy to reside in isolated forest or wilderness dwellings. Before this unwelcome, disagreeable, displeasing thing happens, let me first make an effort for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized, so that — endowed with that Dhamma — I will live in peace even when there is famine.

 

This is the third future danger that is just enough, when considered, for a monk — heedful, ardent, and resolute — to live for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized.

 

Furthermore, the monk reminds himself of this: At present people are in harmony, on friendly terms, without quarreling, like milk mixed with water, viewing one another with eyes of affection. The time will come, though, when there is danger and an invasion of savage tribes. Taking power, they will surround the countryside. When there is danger, people will congregate where it is safe. There they will live packed and crowded together. When one is living packed and crowded together, it is not easy to pay attention to the Buddha's teachings. It is not easy to reside in isolated forest or wilderness dwellings. Before this unwelcome, disagreeable, displeasing thing happens, let me first make an effort for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized, so that — endowed with that Dhamma — I will live in peace even when there is danger.

 

This is the fourth future danger that is just enough, when considered, for a monk — heedful, ardent, and resolute — to live for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized.

 

Furthermore, the monk reminds himself of this: At present the Sangha — in harmony, on friendly terms, without quarreling — lives in comfort with a single recitation. The time will come, though, when the Sangha splits. When the Sangha is split, it is not easy to pay attention to the Buddha's teachings. It is not easy to reside in isolated forest or wilderness dwellings. Before this unwelcome, disagreeable, displeasing thing happens, let me first make an effort for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized, so that — endowed with that Dhamma — I will live in peace even when the Sangha is split.

 

This is the fifth future danger that is just enough, when considered, for a monk — heedful, ardent, and resolute — to live for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized.

 

These are the five future dangers that are just enough, when considered, for a monk — heedful, ardent, and resolute — to live for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized.

— AN 5.78

 

Future Dangers: III

 

Monks, these five future dangers, unarisen at present, will arise in the future. Be alert to them and, being alert, work to get rid of them. Which five?

 

There will be, in the course of the future, monks undeveloped in bodily conduct, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment. They — being undeveloped in bodily conduct, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment — will give full ordination to others and will not be able to discipline them in heightened virtue, heightened mind, heightened discernment. These too will then be undeveloped in bodily conduct... virtue... mind... discernment. They — being undeveloped in bodily conduct... virtue... mind... discernment — will give full ordination to still others and will not be able to discipline them in heightened virtue, heightened mind, heightened discernment. These too will then be undeveloped in bodily conduct... virtue... mind... discernment. Thus from corrupt Dhamma comes corrupt discipline; from corrupt discipline, corrupt Dhamma.

 

This, monks, is the first future danger, unarisen at present, that will arise in the future. Be alert to it and, being alert, work to get rid of it.

 

And again, there will be in the course of the future monks undeveloped in bodily conduct, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment. They — being undeveloped in bodily conduct, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment — will take on others as students and will not be able to discipline them in heightened virtue, heightened mind, heightened discernment. These too will then be undeveloped in bodily conduct... virtue... mind... discernment. They — being undeveloped in bodily conduct... virtue... mind... discernment — will take on still others as students and will not be able to discipline them in heightened virtue, heightened mind, heightened discernment. These too will then be undeveloped in bodily conduct... virtue... mind... discernment. Thus from corrupt Dhamma comes corrupt discipline; from corrupt discipline, corrupt Dhamma.

 

This, monks, is the second future danger, unarisen at present, that will arise in the future. Be alert to it and, being alert, work to get rid of it.

 

And again, there will be in the course of the future monks undeveloped in bodily conduct... virtue... mind... discernment. They — being undeveloped in bodily conduct... virtue... mind... discernment — when giving a talk on higher Dhamma or a talk composed of questions and answers, will fall into dark mental states without being aware of it. Thus from corrupt Dhamma comes corrupt discipline; from corrupt discipline, corrupt Dhamma.

 

This, monks, is the third future danger, unarisen at present, that will arise in the future. Be alert to it and, being alert, work to get rid of it.

 

And again, there will be in the course of the future monks undeveloped in bodily conduct... virtue... mind... discernment. They — being undeveloped in bodily conduct... virtue... mind... discernment — will not listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, profound, transcendent, connected with the Void — are being recited. They will not lend ear, will not set their hearts on knowing them, will not regard these teachings as worth grasping or mastering. But they will listen when discourses that are literary works — the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples — are recited. They will lend ear and set their hearts on knowing them. They will regard these teachings as worth grasping and mastering. Thus from corrupt Dhamma comes corrupt discipline; from corrupt discipline, corrupt Dhamma.

 

This, monks, is the fourth future danger, unarisen at present, that will arise in the future. Be alert to it and, being alert, work to get rid of it.

 

And again, there will be in the course of the future monks undeveloped in bodily conduct... virtue... mind... discernment. They — being undeveloped in bodily conduct... virtue... mind... discernment — will become elders living in luxury, lethargic, foremost in falling back, shirking the duties of solitude. They will not make an effort for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized. They will become an example for later generations, who will become luxurious in their living, lethargic, foremost in falling back, shirking the duties of solitude, and who will not make an effort for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized. Thus from corrupt Dhamma comes corrupt discipline; from corrupt discipline, corrupt Dhamma.

 

This, monks, is the fifth future danger, unarisen at present, that will arise in the future. Be alert to it and, being alert, work to get rid of it.

 

These, monks, are the five future dangers, unarisen at present, that will arise in the future. Be alert to them and, being alert, work to get rid of them.

— AN 5.79

 

Future Dangers: IV

 

Monks, these five future dangers, unarisen at present, will arise in the future. Be alert to them and, being alert, work to get rid of them. Which five?

 

There will be, in the course of the future, monks desirous of fine robes. They, desirous of fine robes, will neglect the practice of wearing cast-off cloth; will neglect isolated forest and wilderness dwellings; will move to towns, cities, and royal capitals, taking up residence there. For the sake of a robe they will do many kinds of unseemly, inappropriate things.

 

This, monks, is the first future danger, unarisen at present, that will arise in the future. Be alert to it and, being alert, work to get rid of it.

 

Furthermore, in the course of the future there will be monks desirous of fine food. They, desirous of fine food, will neglect the practice of going for alms; will neglect isolated forest and wilderness dwellings; will move to towns, cities, and royal capitals, taking up residence there and searching out the tip-top tastes with the tip of the tongue. For the sake of food they will do many kinds of unseemly, inappropriate things.

 

This, monks, is the second future danger, unarisen at present, that will arise in the future. Be alert to it and, being alert, work to get rid of it.

 

Furthermore, in the course of the future there will be monks desirous of fine lodgings. They, desirous of fine lodgings, will neglect the practice of living in the wilds; will neglect isolated forest and wilderness dwellings; will move to towns, cities, and royal capitals, taking up residence there. For the sake of lodgings they will do many kinds of unseemly, inappropriate things.

 

This, monks, is the third future danger, unarisen at present, that will arise in the future. Be alert to it and, being alert, work to get rid of it.

 

Furthermore, in the course of the future there will be monks who will live in close association with nuns, female probationers, and female novices. As they interact with nuns, female probationers, and female novices, they can be expected either to lead the holy life dissatisfied or to fall into one of the grosser offenses, leaving the training, returning to a lower way of life.

 

This, monks, is the fourth future danger, unarisen at present, that will arise in the future. Be alert to it and, being alert, work to get rid of it.

 

Furthermore, in the course of the future there will be monks who will live in close association with monastery attendants and novices. As they interact with monastery attendants and novices, they can be expected to live intent on storing up all kinds of possessions and to stake out crops and fields. This is the fifth future danger...

 

This, monks, is the fifth future danger, unarisen at present, that will arise in the future. Be alert to it and, being alert, work to get rid of it.

 

These, monks, are the five future dangers, unarisen at present, that will arise in the future. Be alert to them and, being alert, work to get rid of them.

— AN 5.80

 

The Sage

 

Danger is born from intimacy,[1]

society gives birth to dust.[2]

Free from intimacy,

free from society:

such is the vision of the sage.

Who,

destroying what's born wouldn't plant

again or nourish what will arise:

They call him the wandering,

singular sage.

He has seen the state of peace.

Considering the ground,

crushing the seed,

he wouldn't nourish the sap[3]

— truly a sage —

seer of the ending of birth,

abandoning conjecture,

he cannot be classified.

 

Knowing all dwellings,[4]

not longing for any one anywhere

— truly a sage —

with no coveting,

without greed,

he does not build,[5]

for he has gone beyond.

 

Overcoming all knowing all,

wise.

With regard to all things:

unsmeared.

Abandoning all,

in the ending of craving,

released:

The enlightened call him a sage.

 

Strong in discernment,

virtuous in his practices,

centered,

delighting in jhana,

mindful,

freed from attachments,

no constraints ::

no fermentations:[6]

The enlightened call him a sage.

 

The wandering solitary sage,

uncomplacent,

unshaken by praise or blame.

Unstartled, like a lion at sounds.

Unsnared,

like the wind in a net.

Unsmeared, like a lotus in water.

Leader of others,

by others unled:

The enlightened call him a sage.

 

Like the pillar at a bathing ford,[7]

when others speak in extremes.

He, without passion,

his senses well-centered:

The enlightened call him a sage.

Truly poised,

straight as a shuttle,[8]

he loathes evil actions.

Pondering what is on-pitch and off:[9]

The enlightened call him a sage.

 

Self-restrained,

he does no evil.

Young and middle-aged,

the sage self-controlled,

never angered,

he angers none:

The enlightened call him a sage.

 

From the best the middling

the leftovers he receives alms.

Sustaining himself on what others give,

neither flattering

nor speaking disparagement:

The enlightened call him a sage.

 

The wandering sage abstaining from sex,

in youth bound by no one,

abstaining from intoxication[10]

complacency totally apart:

The enlightened call him a sage.

 

Knowing the world,

seeing the highest goal,

crossing the ocean,[11]

the flood,[12]

— Such — [13]

his chains broken,

unattached without fermentation:

The enlightened call him a sage.

 

These two are different,

they dwell far apart:

the householder supporting a wife

and the unselfish one,

of good practices.

Slaying other beings,

the householder is unrestrained.

Constantly the sage protects other beings,

is controlled.

As the crested,

blue-necked peacock,

when flying,

never matches

the wild goose in speed:

Even so the householder

never keeps up with the monk,

the sage secluded,

doing jhana in the forest.

— Sn.I.12

 

Sagacity

 

Monks, there are these three forms of sagacity. Which three? Bodily sagacity, verbal sagacity, and mental sagacity.

 

And what is bodily sagacity? There is the case where a monk abstains from taking life, abstains from theft, abstains from unchastity. This is called bodily sagacity.

 

And what is verbal sagacity? There is the case where a monk abstains from lying, abstains from divisive tale-bearing, abstains from harsh language, abstains from idle chatter. This is called verbal sagacity.

 

And what is mental sagacity? There is the case where a monk who — with the wasting away of the mental fermentations — remains in the fermentation-free awareness-release and discernment-release, having known and made them manifest for himself right in the here and now. This is called mental sagacity.

 

These, monks, are the three forms of sagacity.

 

A sage in body, a sage in speech, A sage in mind, without fermentation: a sage consummate in sagacity is said to have abandoned everything. — the All.

— AN 3.123

 

Sariputta's (Upatissa's) Question

 

Now at that time the wanderer Sanjaya was residing in Rajagaha with a large company of wanderers — 250 in all. And at that time Sariputta and Moggallana were practicing the holy life under Sanjaya. They had made this agreement: Whoever attains the Deathless first will inform the other.

Then Ven. Assaji, arising early in the morning, taking his robe and bowl, entered Rajagaha for alms: Gracious in the way he approached and departed, looked forward and behind, drew in and stretched out his arm; his eyes downcast, his every movement consummate. Sariputta the wanderer saw Ven. Assaji going for alms in Rajagaha: gracious... his eyes downcast, his every movement consummate. On seeing him, the thought occurred to him: "Surely, of those in this world who are arahants or have entered the path to arahantship, this is one. What if I were to approach him and question him: 'On whose account have you gone forth? Who is your teacher? In whose Dhamma do you delight?'"

 

But then the thought occurred to Sariputta the wanderer: "This is the wrong time to question him. He is going for alms in the town. What if I were to follow behind this monk who has found the path for those who seek it?"

 

Then Ven. Assaji, having gone for alms in Rajagaha, left, taking the alms he had received. Sariputta the wanderer approached him and, on arrival, having exchanged friendly greetings and engaged in polite conversation, stood to one side. As he stood there he said, "Your faculties are bright, my friend, your complexion pure and clear. On whose account have you gone forth? Who is your teacher? In whose Dhamma do you delight?"

 

"There is, my friend, the Great Contemplative, a son of the Sakyans, gone forth from a Sakyan family. I have gone forth on account of that Blessed One. That Blessed One is my teacher. It is in that Blessed One's Dhamma that I delight."

 

"But what is your teacher's teaching? What does he proclaim?''

 

"I am new, my friend, not long gone forth, only recently come to this doctrine and discipline. I cannot explain the doctrine in detail, but I can give you the gist in brief."

 

Then Sariputta the wanderer spoke thus to the Ven. Assaji:

 

Speak a little or a lot, but tell me just the gist. The gist is what I want. What use is a lot of rhetoric?

Then Ven. Assaji gave this Dhamma exposition to Sariputta the Wanderer:

 

Whatever phenomena arise from cause: their cause and their cessation. Such is the teaching of the Tathagata, the Great Contemplative.
 

Then to Sariputta the Wanderer, as he heard this Dhamma exposition, there arose the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye: Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation.

 

Even if just this is the Dhamma, you have penetrated to the Sorrowless (asoka) State unseen, overlooked (by us) for many myriads of aeons.
 

Then Sariputta the wanderer went to where Moggallana the wanderer was staying. Moggallana the wanderer saw him coming from afar and, on seeing him, said, "Your faculties are bright, my friend; your complexion pure and clear. Could it be that you have attained the Deathless?"

 

"Yes, my friend, I have attained the Deathless. "

 

"But how, friend, did you attain the Deathless?"

 

"Just now, friend, I saw Ven. Assaji going for alms in Rajagaha: gracious in the way he approached and departed, looked forward and behind, drew in and stretched out his arm; his eyes downcast, his every movement consummate. On seeing him, the thought occurred to me: 'Surely, of those in this world who are arahants or have entered the path to arahantship, this is one. What if I were to approach him and question him: "On whose account have you gone forth? Who is your teacher? In whose Dhamma do you delight?"'

 

"But then the thought occurred to me: 'This is the wrong time to question him. He is going for alms in the town. What if I were to follow behind this monk who has found the path for those who seek it?'

 

"Then Ven. Assaji, having gone for alms in Rajagaha, left, taking the alms he had received. I approached him and, on arrival, having exchanged friendly greetings and engaged in polite conversation, stood to one side. As I stood there I said, 'Your faculties are bright, my friend, your complexion pure and clear. On whose account have you gone forth? Who is your teacher? In whose Dhamma do you delight?'

 

"'There is, my friend, the Great Contemplative, a son of the Sakyans, gone forth from a Sakyan family. I have gone forth on account of that Blessed One. That Blessed One is my teacher. It is in that Blessed One's Dhamma that I delight.'

 

"'But what is your teacher's teaching? What does he proclaim?'

 

"'I am new, my friend, not long gone forth, only recently come to this doctrine and discipline. I cannot explain the doctrine to you in detail, but I can give you the gist in brief.'

 

"'Speak a little or a lot, but tell me just the gist. The gist is what I want. What use is a lot of rhetoric?'

"Then Ven. Assaji gave me this Dhamma exposition:

 

"'Whatever phenomena arise from cause: their cause and their cessation. Such is the teaching of the Tathagata, the Great Contemplative.'"
 

Then to Moggallana the wanderer, as he heard this Dhamma exposition, there arose the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye: Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation.

 

Even if just this is the Dhamma, you have penetrated to the Sorrowless (asoka) State unseen, overlooked (by us) for many myriads of aeons.

— Mv.I.23.5

 

Instructions to Rahula

 

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Rajagaha, at the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Feeding Ground.

 

At that time Ven. Rahula[14] was staying at the Mango Stone. Then the Blessed One, arising from his seclusion in the late afternoon, went to where Ven. Rahula was staying at the Mango Stone. Ven. Rahula saw him coming from afar and, on seeing him, set out a seat and water for washing the feet. The Blessed One sat down on the seat set out and, having sat down, washed his feet. Ven. Rahula, bowing down to the Blessed One, sat to one side.

 

Then the Blessed One, having left a little bit of water in the water dipper, said to Ven. Rahula, "Rahula, do you see this little bit of left-over water remaining in the water dipper?"

 

"Yes sir."

 

"That's how little of a contemplative[15] there is in anyone who feels no shame at telling a deliberate lie."

 

Having tossed away the little bit of left-over water, the Blessed One said to Ven. Rahula, "Rahula, do you see how this little bit of left-over water is tossed away?"

 

"Yes, sir."

 

"Whatever there is of a contemplative in anyone who feels no shame at telling a deliberate lie is tossed away just like that.

 

Having turned the water dipper upside down, the Blessed One said to Ven. Rahula, "Rahula, do you see how this water dipper is turned upside down?"

 

"Yes, sir."

 

"Whatever there is of a contemplative in anyone who feels no shame at telling a deliberate lie is turned upside down just like that."

 

Having turned the water dipper right-side up, the Blessed One said to Ven. Rahula, "Rahula, do you see how empty and hollow this water dipper is?"

 

"Yes, sir."

 

"Whatever there is of a contemplative in anyone who feels no shame at telling a deliberate lie is empty and hollow just like that.

 

"Rahula, it's like a royal elephant: immense, pedigreed, accustomed to battles, its tusks like chariot poles. Having gone into battle, it uses its forefeet and hind feet, its forequarters and hindquarters, its head and ears and tusks and tail, but will simply hold back its trunk. The elephant trainer notices that and thinks, 'This royal elephant has not given up its life to the king.' But when the royal elephant... having gone into battle, uses its forefeet and hind feet, its forequarters and hindquarters, its head and ears and tusks and tail and his trunk, the trainer notices that and thinks, 'This royal elephant has given up its life to the king. There is nothing it will not do.'

 

"The same holds true with anyone who feels no shame in telling a deliberate lie: There is no evil, I tell you, he will not do. Thus, Rahula, you should train yourself, 'I will not tell a deliberate lie even in jest.'

 

"What do you think, Rahula: What is a mirror for?"

 

"For reflection, sir."

 

"In the same way, Rahula, bodily acts, verbal acts, and mental acts are to be done with repeated reflection.

 

"Whenever you want to perform a bodily act, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily act I want to perform — would it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful bodily act, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it would lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it would be an unskillful bodily act with painful consequences, painful results, then any bodily act of that sort is absolutely unfit for you to do. But if on reflection you know that it would not cause affliction... it would be a skillful bodily action with happy consequences, happy results, then any bodily act of that sort is fit for you to do.

 

"While you are performing a bodily act, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily act I am doing — is it leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful bodily act, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to affliction of others, or both... you should give it up. But if on reflection you know that it is not... you may continue with it.

 

"Having performed a bodily act, you should reflect on it... If, on reflection, you know that it led to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it was an unskillful bodily act with painful consequences, painful results, then you should confess it, reveal it, lay it open to the Teacher or to a knowledgeable companion in the holy life. Having confessed it... you should exercise restraint in the future. But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to affliction... it was a skillful bodily action with happy consequences, happy results, then you should stay mentally refreshed and joyful, training day and night in skillful mental qualities.

 

"Whenever you want to perform a verbal act, you should reflect on it: 'This verbal act I want to perform — would it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful verbal act, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it would lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it would be an unskillful verbal act with painful consequences, painful results, then any verbal act of that sort is absolutely unfit for you to do. But if on reflection you know that it would not cause affliction... it would be a skillful verbal action with happy consequences, happy results, then any verbal act of that sort is fit for you to do.

 

"While you are performing a verbal act, you should reflect on it: 'This verbal act I am doing — is it leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful verbal act, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both... you should give it up. But if on reflection you know that it is not... you may continue with it.

 

"Having performed a verbal act, you should reflect on it... If, on reflection, you know that it led to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it was an unskillful verbal act with painful consequences, painful results, then you should confess it, reveal it, lay it open to the Teacher or to a knowledgeable companion in the holy life. Having confessed it... you should exercise restraint in the future. But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to affliction... it was a skillful verbal action with happy consequences, happy results, then you should stay mentally refreshed and joyful, training day and night in skillful mental qualities.

 

"Whenever you want to perform a mental act, you should reflect on it: 'This mental act I want to perform — would it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful mental act, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it would lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it would be an unskillful mental act with painful consequences, painful results, then any mental act of that sort is absolutely unfit for you to do. But if on reflection you know that it would not cause affliction... it would be a skillful mental action with happy consequences, happy results, then any mental act of that sort is fit for you to do.

 

"While you are performing a mental act, you should reflect on it: 'This mental act I am doing — is it leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful mental act, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both... you should give it up. But if on reflection you know that it is not... you may continue with it.

 

"Having performed a mental act, you should reflect on it... If, on reflection, you know that it led to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it was an unskillful mental act with painful consequences, painful results, then you should feel distressed, ashamed, and disgusted with it. Feeling distressed... you should exercise restraint in the future. But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to affliction... it was a skillful mental action with happy consequences, happy results, then you should stay mentally refreshed and joyful, training day and night in skillful mental qualities.

"Rahula, all those brahmans and contemplatives in the course of the past who purified their bodily acts, verbal acts, and mental acts, did it through repeated reflection on their bodily acts, verbal acts, and mental acts in just this way.

 

"All those brahmans and contemplatives in the course of the future who will purify their bodily acts, verbal acts, and mental acts, will do it through repeated reflection on their bodily acts, verbal acts, and mental acts in just this way.

 

"All those brahmans and contemplatives at present who purify their bodily acts, verbal acts, and mental acts, do it through repeated reflection on their bodily acts, verbal acts, and mental acts in just this way.

 

"Therefore, Rahula, you should train yourself: 'I will purify my bodily acts through repeated reflection. I will purify my verbal acts through repeated reflection. I will purify my mental acts through repeated reflection.' That is how you should train yourself."

 

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, Ven. Rahula delighted in the Blessed One's words.

— MN 61

 

 

Whether King Asoka selected these texts on his own or had the advice of his mentor, Ven. Moggaliputta-tissa, no one knows. Still it is possible to derive from them a conception of Dhamma of which Asoka approved, whether or not it originated with him.

 

One of the main points of this selection is that Dhamma is a quality of a person, rather than of doctrines or ideas. The central passage in the selection, and its only extended poem — The Sage — paints an idealized picture of the Dhamma as embodied in the deeds, words, and attitudes of the person who practices it. Only if the Dhamma finds concrete expression in people's lives will it last.

The selection also shows something of the educational strategy Asoka might have had his Dhamma officials use in teaching his populace — Buddhist and non-Buddhist — to make the Dhamma a reality in their lives. The texts are not listed in random order. Instead, they follow a pattern to impress on their listeners first that the ideals of the Dhamma are timeless and well-tested, and that there is a need to realize them as quickly as possible. Then they analyze the ideal, present a picture of it in action, and end with the basic principles for putting it into practice.

 

The title of the first passage — the Vinaya samukase — is explained in the Commentary as follows: "Samukase" means that the principles are innately true, established of their own accord. Whether or not a Buddha arises to point them out, they are true in and of themselves.

 

The second passage, The Traditions of the Noble Ones, brings in the perspective of time that is to provide a recurring theme throughout Asoka's selections. It looks back to the past to show how venerable, time-tested, and pure the traditions of the Dhamma are. It plays on the notion of the traditions of a noble family — unadulterated, not open to criticism or suspicion — that were so important in ancient India. It even plays on words: The traditions of a family were supposed to enable those who followed them to conquer their enemies (ari), while the noble traditions taught by the Buddha enable one to overcome one's true enemy, displeasure (arati) in the mind.

 

Turning from the past to look at the future, the third set of selections — the four discourses on future dangers — presents a warning. The practice of the Dhamma should not be put off to a later date, because there is no certainty that the future will provide any opportunities for practice. First, there are the dangers of death, aging, illness, famine, and social turmoil in one's own life. Secondly, there are the dangers of degeneracy in the religion, when those who are supposed to practice it ignore the noble traditions and teachings, and instead do many unseemly, inappropriate things simply for the sake of material comfort. The point of this set of passages, of course, is to give a sense of urgency to one's practice, so that one will make the effort to take advantage of the teachings while one can.

 

The Sage, taking up the theme of danger, goes on to present an ideal of inner safety in the present tense, an ideal already embodied in the lives of those who have practiced the religion in full. It shows the actions and attitudes of one who finds his happiness not in relationships — and the home-building and food-raising they entail (all of which in Buddhism are viewed as symbolic of the round of death and rebirth) — but instead in the peace that comes in living a solitary life, subsisting on whatever food one may receive as alms, free to meditate in the wilderness.

 

The next passage — Sagacity — analyzes this ideal into three qualities of body, speech, and mind; and the sixth passage shows the ideal in action: Ven. Assaji, simply by the graciousness of his manner, inspires Sariputta the wanderer to follow him; and with a few well-chosen words, he enables Sariputta to gain a glimpse of the Deathless. This is thus no empty ideal.

 

This passage also contains what has long been recognized as the most succinct expression of the Four Noble Truths — suffering, its cause, its cessation, and the path to its cessation — just as the discourse on Sagacity contains one of the most succinct expressions of the goal of training one's actions in body, speech, and mind.

 

The final passage shows how this goal may be brought about, focusing on the development of two qualities — truthfulness and constant reflection — that underlie every stage of the practice. Although the earlier passages focus on the monk as the ideal, this one shows that the practice builds on qualities that anyone — lay or monastic; man, woman, or child — can develop within. It also ends with a return to the theme of time, and the timelessness of the Dhamma: Whoever in the past, future or present develops purity — or sagacity — in thought, word or deed, will have to do it in this way, and this way only. There is no other.

 

It is possible to search in Asoka's selection for passages that may have had personal meaning for him — the reference to the Deathless as the Sorrowless (asoka) state; the image of the peacock, the emblem of his dynasty; the image of the elephant who has given its life up to the king — but he himself would probably have preferred that Buddhists reflect on these selections to see what passages have meaning for them. The fact that the Dhamma is alive today is due in no small measure to his efforts. Buddhists today can carry on his work by doing as he asked: Reading and reflecting often on these selections and consistently applying the principles of truthfulness and self-examination to their own lives.

 

 

Notes
1. Dangers in intimacy: Craving and views.   2. Dust: Passion, aversion, and delusion.   3. Ground, seed, and sap: The khandhas (body, feelings, perceptions, thought formations, and consciousness), sense spheres, and elements form the ground in which grows the seed of constructive consciousness — the consciousness that develops into states of being and birth. The sap of this seed is craving and views.   4. Dwellings: States of becoming and birth.   5. He does not build: He performs none of the good or bad deeds that give rise to further states of becoming and birth.   6. No fermentations (asava): He has none of the forms of defilement — sensual desire, views, states of becoming, or ignorance — that "flow out" of the mind and give rise to the flood of the cycle of death and rebirth.   7. The pillar at a bathing ford: The Cullavagga (V.l) describes this as an immovable pillar, standing quite tall and buried deep in the ground near a bathing place, against which young villagers and boxers would rub their bodies while bathing so as to toughen them. The "extremes" in which others speak, according to the Commentary, are extremes of praise and criticism: These leave the sage, like the pillar, unmoved.   8. Straight as a shuttle: Having a mind unprejudiced by favoritism, dislike, delusion, or fear.   9. On-pitch and off (sama and visama): Throughout ancient cultures, the terminology of music was used to describe the moral quality of people and acts. Discordant intervals or poorly-tuned musical instruments were metaphors for evil; harmonious intervals and well-tuned instruments were metaphors for good. In Pali, the term sama — "even" — described an instrument tuned on-pitch: There is a famous passage where the Buddha reminds Sona Kolivisa — who had been over-exerting himself in the practice — that a lute sounds appealing only if the strings are neither too taut or too lax, but 'evenly' tuned. This image would have special resonances with the Buddha's teaching on the middle way. It also adds meaning to the term samana — monk or contemplative — which the texts frequently mention as being derived from sama. The word samañña — "evenness," the quality of being in tune — also means the quality of being a contemplative. This concept plays an important role in the Instructions to Rahula, below. The true contemplative is always in tune with what is proper and good.   10. Intoxication: The three intoxications are intoxication with youth, with good health, and with life.   11. Ocean: The way defilement splashes into undesirable destinations (so says the Commentary).   12. Flood: The flow of defilement: sensual desires, views, states of becoming, and ignorance.   13. Such: Unchanging; unaffected by anything.   14. Rahula: the Buddha's son, who according to the Commentary was seven years old when this discourse was delivered to him.   15. Samañña: the quality of being a contemplative (samana). Both words are derived from the adjective sama, which means "even" or "on pitch/in tune." For discussion of how a contemplative is "in tune," see n. 9.