Perfections Corner (42)

Dear All,

This is the continuation of Chapter 7: The Perfection of Truthfulness, taken from the book "The Perfections Leading to Enlightenment" by Sujin Boriharnwanaket and translated by Nina van Gorkom.
Questions, comments, or different opinions are welcome.

We read:

"When the Buddha had told the Haarita Jaataka, he explained the Truths and after he had finished, that monk attained the fruition of arahatship."
Truthfulness is sincerity in the development of kusala to the degree of a perfection. If there is no truthfulness, no sincerity in one's actions, they cannot reach accomplishment. Sacca, truthfulness, is necessary for all kinds of kusala, be it daana, siila or mental development. One should not neglect the development of even the slightest degree of kusala.

If one develops the perfections in order to abandon defilements, one should notice also subtle defilements such as deceptive speech even with regard to small matters. If deceptive speech becomes someone's habit, it will be easy to speak a lie and he will believe that it is not wrong to do so. If someone abstains from deceptive speech, if he is truthful, and acts in accordance with his promise, truthfulness will become natural to him. Then he is able to see the danger of akusala at the moment he tells a lie. Even deceptive speech concerning unimportant matters is akusala, but if someone accumulates deceptive speech all the time, he does not see its danger. Thus, we see that it is not easy to discern the characteristic of akusala.

We can have understanding of realities stemming from listening to the Dhamma but this does not mean that we know their characteristics when they are appearing. We should further develop understanding in conformity with what we learnt by listening and we should be aware of realities. We may be deceptive in speech, be it even a little, or we may not act in accordance with our promise, but when sati-sampaja~n~na arises it can realize that this is akusala. Many akusala cittas arise in a day, but we do not know this because of our forgetfulness; there is no awareness of the characteristics of realities, no understanding of them as they are. Understanding has to be very detailed and refined so that the characteristics of realities can be known as they are. The development of satipa.t.thaana will lead to a more precise discrimination between different realities and thus, pa~n~naa is able to know the characteristic of akusala. When akusala arises pa~n~naa can know what type of akusala arises, and it can know its characteristic as different from kusala. In this way kusala dhamma can gradually be further developed.

=== to be continued,




Theriigaathaa - Sisters (71)

Dear Friends,

Part 9
14. Ti.msanipaato
1. Subhaajiivakambavanikaatheriigaathaava.n.nanaa

371. "Aavilacitto anaavila.m, sarajo viitaraja.m ana"nga.na.m;
sabbattha vimuttamaanasa.m, ki.m ma.m ovariyaana ti.t.thasi.
369. [Your] mind is disturbed, [mine] is undisturbed. [You] are impure, [I] am completely free from impurity, without blemish, with my mind completely released. Why do you stand obstructing me?

Aavilacittoti cittassa aavilabhaavakaraana.m kaamavitakkaadiina.m vasena aavilacitto, tva.m tadabhaavato anaavila.m, raagarajaadiina.m vasena sarajo, saa"nga.no tadabhaavato viitaraja.m ana"nga.na.m sabbattha khandhapa~ncake samucchedavimuttiyaa vimuttamaanasa.m, ma.m kasmaa ovaritvaa ti.t.thasiiti?
Eva.m theriyaa vutte dhuttako attano adhippaaya.m vibhaavento "daharaa caa"ti-aadinaa dasa gaathaa abhaasi.

369. [Your] mind is disturbed means: you mind is disturbed because of thoughts of sensual pleasures, etc, that produce a disturbed mind (cittassa aavila-bhaava-karaana.m). Through the absence of these, I am undisturbed. [You] are impure (sarajo), full of depravity (saa"nga.no), through the impurities of passion, etc. (raaga-rajaadiina.m). Through the absence of these, I am completely free from impurity, without belmeish [and] through the freedom that is the cutting off of the group of five aggregates, with my mind released. Why do you stand obstructing me? After the therii had said this, the rogue, making his intention clear, spoke the ten verses beginning, "You are young."

372. "Daharaa ca apaapikaa casi, ki.m te pabbajjaa karissati;
nikkhipa kaasaayaciivara.m, ehi ramaama supupphite vane.
370. You are young and not ugly. What will going forth do for you? Throw away your yellow robe. Come, let us delight in the wood that is in full flower.

Tattha daharaati taru.nii pa.thame yobbane .thitaa. Apaapikaa casiiti ruupena alaamikaa ca asi uttamaruupadharaa caahosiiti adhippaayo. Ki.m te pabbajjaa karissatiiti tuyha.m eva.m pa.thamavaye .thitaaya ruupasampannaaya pabbajjaa ki.m karissati, vu.d.dhaaya biibhaccharuupaaya vaa pabbajitabbanti adhippaayena vadati. Nikkhipaati cha.d.dehi. "Ukkhipaa"ti vaa paa.tho, apanehiiti attho.

370. There, [you are] young means: young (taru.nii), established in the flower of your youth. And you are not ugly means: and you are not bad in appearance. And you are one who possesses the highest beauty. That is the implication. What will going forth do for you (te)? means: since you are established in the flower of your youth, endowed with beauty, what will going forth do for you (tuyha.m)? He says this, meaning, "Only old women or those of loathesome appearance should go forth." Throw away means: abandon. Or there is the reading ukkhipa ("throw away"). The meaning is: strip off.

373. "Madhura~nca pavanti sabbaso, kusumarajena samu.t.thitaa dumaa;
pa.thamavasanto sukho utu, ehi ramaama supupphite vane.
371. The trees send forth a sweet smell in all directions with the pollen of flowers rising up. The beginning of spring is a happy season. Come, let us delight in the wood that is in full flower.

Madhuranti subha.m, sugandhanti attho. Pavantiiti vaayanti. Sabbasoti samantato. Kusumarajena samu.t.thitaa dumaati ime rukkhaa mandavaatena samu.t.thahamaanakusumare.nujaatena attano kusumarajena saya.m samu.t.thitaa viya hutvaa samantato surabhii vaayanti. Pa.thamavasanto sukho utuuti aya.m pa.thamo vasantamaaso sukhasamphasso ca utu vattatiiti attho.

371. Sweet means: pleasant. The meaning is: fragrant. Send forth a smell means: emit an odour. In all directions means: everywhere. These trees, by means of the soft wind that is full of the pollen of flowers rising up, are, as it were, rising up themselves with their own pollen of flowers, and they emit a fragrant odour on all sides. The beginning of spring (pa.thama-vasanto) is a happy (sukho) season means: this is the first month of spring (pa.thamo vasanta-maaso), and the season pleasant to touch (sukha-samphasso) is beginning. That is the meaning.

== to be contintued,



Any Suttas describing Buddha eating Meat?

Hi, Nina (and Chris) -

In a message dated 12/1/2007 6:22:08 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
vangorko@xs4all.nl writes:

Dear Christine,
we have to look into the Vinaya, where the Buddha said that certain
kinds of meat are not allowed, such as monkey, and also when you know
that the animal (or fish) was especially killed for you.
We were discussing this before. I am careful in a restaurant where I
see fish swimming in an aquarium.
At home I'm entirely (lacto-ovo-)vegetarian, but when eating at a
restaurant I will often eat seafood. Like you, though, Nina, I would not have
lobster if there is a lobster tank in evidence. I also would not go fishing (or
hunting, of course).
I always find these abstentions of mine from eating lobster and from
fishing, though, slightly hypocritical, because in a modern market society,
rarely is an animal especially killed for one, but it is a fact that my eating of
fish and shellfish is a clear condition for them being killed. I do allow
myself seafood, assuming that fish, and especially shellfish, are "lower" on
the awareness scale than "higher animals", but it is still, IMO, an act of
violence against sentient beings.

With metta,

/Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
phantom, and a dream/

(From the Diamond Sutra)



Preserving the Buddha's Teachings, Ch 4, no 5.

Dear friends,

Some people believe that they should just practise, that study is not
necessary, but it is necessary to know what sati and paññå are, what
the object of satipatthåna is, and what the conditions are for their
arising. As we have seen, the object of satipatthåna is a paramattha
dhamma, an ultimate reality, that appears, not a concept. We should
not forget that sati of satipatthåna is a cetasika that arises when
there are the appropriate conditions, that it is not self. It is non-
forgetful, mindful of the reality that appears, so that right
understanding of that reality can be developed at that moment.
Sati can be of different levels of kusala, it accompanies each kusala
citta, it is non-forgetful of kusala: it arises with dåna,
generosity, with síla, morality, with samatha and with the
development of satipatthåna. Only through satipatthåna the wrong view
of self can be eradicated. When we perform dåna, sati accompanies the
kusala citta that is non-forgetful of kusala, but when sati is not of
the level of satipaììhåna, we are bound to take dåna for ìour dånaî,
for self. It is the same in the case of síla and samatha, if
satipatthåna is not developed, one is bound to take these ways of
kusala for self.

Paññå is a cetasika that arises when there are the appropriate
conditions, it is non-self. It may arise with dåna and síla, but it
does not always accompany these ways of kusala. Paññå always
accompanies mental development, including samatha and vipassanå. When
we study the teachings and we acquire intellectual understanding of
nåma and rúpa, sati and paññå accompany the kusala citta. However,
thinking of paramattha dhammas is not the same as direct awareness
and understanding of the reality appearing at this moment, and this
is satipatthåna.

The development of satipatthåna is a gradual process, because there
have to be the right conditions for the arising of sati and paññå of
satipatthåna. The right condition is the firm foundation knowledge of
the teachings. Thus, study of realities of our life and considering
them as they appear in our life. It depends on the individualís
inclinations to what extent he will study the details about citta,
cetasika and rúpa and the different processes of cittas, but a basic
knowledge of realities is necessary. Each person is unique, there are
no rules with regard to the development of understanding. But at the
present time it has to be a development that takes a long time (cira
kala bhavana).

Acharn Supee Thumthong who teaches Påli in Bangkok remarked that when
he studies realities he keeps firmly in mind that the results become
apparent only when the conditions are fulfilled. If paññå does not
arise to realize the dhammas that appear, it means that one's
understanding about the dhammas at the paññatti level is not firm
enough. He said that if one truly understands this, one will not
struggle and strive for results. In other words, one will develop
understanding naturally and not force oneself, trying to reach a
level one is not yet ready for.




Holy thread - What is it's significance ?

|| Sree ||
We have to undertake a number of rituals in our quest for God, like worship, paying obeisance in temples, doing Aarti apart from a number of Sanskars right from one's birth to marriage. We are also required to wear a holy thread. My question is what is the spiritual or religious reason behind wearing of the holy thread. My main concern is that one should not do a ritual or anything for that matter without knowing the reason behind that. Otherwise it amounts to blind faith. Blind faith and superstitions should not have place in our spiritual practice. Else we cannot progress spiritually. Hence the above query.

a.d. tapkire

|| Om Namaha Shivaya ||

In fact, wearing a holy thread is not a blind faith. It has a spiritual meaning. The sacred thread is first offered to the deity and then worn by the worshipper. Offering sacred thread means binding the expanse of the brilliance of deities in the rounds of the sacred thread and evoking It to function in duality. As the sacred thread is made of thread and is enriched with mantra-energy, the frequencies of sound emitted by it activate principle of God from the universe. This principle is attributeless. This then functions for the worshipper as per its spiritual emotion towards God through the medium of the 'with attributes' frequencies.

The sacred thread represents the silvery link between God(i.e. non duality) and the embodied soul (i.e.duality). Offering the sacred thread is an important process of interaction of duality-non duality. Wearing this sacred thread after the ritualistic worship endows the wearer with the Sattva predominant divine consciousness of the deity. Man is a mixture of Sattva, Raja and Tama attributes. But he required Sattva in more measure for doing a religious ritual and it is provided by the sacred thread.

This is spiritual reason behind the sacred thread. If we understand the spiritual science behind any religious rite, we get more spiritual benefit from the rite, otherwise the rite becomes an exercise in futility.

At Guru's Lotus Feet,

The sacred thread is supposed to remind us of many noble threes: our three obligations (ruNas), thrikataNa shuddhi (Purity of mind, words and deeds) etc. and our connection to Brahman (Brahma granti- the knot): Obligation to devas (deva ruNa)= spirit of sacrifice Obligation to parents (maataa pitR ruNa)= raise at least one child (through proper channel) and Obligation to teachers/masters (RSHi ruNa)= Learn something.

After marriage, another set of 3 is added on behalf of saha dharmiNI (wife).

K.S. tAtAchAr

| Sree ||

Though the reply seems to be logical, it is difficult to understand a few concepts mentioned therein. I fail to understand what is the 'frequencies' and 'God principle'. This seems to be a valuable piece of information. Which scripture contains this information? To the best of my knowledge, there is no mention of this in the Gita. Will you please throw some light on this ?


a.d. tapkire


When Lord Kriishna says, "I am Lord Shiva"

If anyone would like to please elaborate on the statement Lord Krishna
makes, "I am Lord Shiva."

The reason I am interested is that as my practice is developing I must
admit I feel a strong connection with Lord Shiva including worship of

I had started japa with Lord Krishna but after beginning now with
recitation of Om Namah Shivaya, I feel a growing sense of peace and
devotion and see changes in myself. I have also from the beginning felt
a love for Lord Ganesh and Devi Mother Ambaji.

I would welcome any comments.

Om Namah Shivaya

Blessings to all, Steve

Radhe Krishna!

Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are the manifestations of the Supreme Brahman, no doubt. When Veda Vyasa has himself written all the 18 Puranas, why should he talk high about Shiva in Shiva Purana, about Vishnu in Bhagavatam, and about Devi in Devi Purana? It is only for the Bhaktas to enhance their devotion to that particular God whom they are praying to, and increase their faith in Him. It is not because one God is superior to other. When the creation of the Universe occurs, Lord Brahma who is also a manifestation of the Supreme person, he will give all importance to Brahma, and when the sustenance of the universe is concerned, the importance will be to Vishnu, and when Shakti is involved, the importance will be to Devi (as given in Soundarya Lahari, the very first sloka) that even Lord Shiva will not be able to move even one limb without the help of Shakti. It is only peoples' ignorance that makes the differentiation.


K.V. Gopalakrishna

This is my humble opinion. Do not worry much about the names of the GOD. Whatever you get the strong feeling towards(whichever name it may be), just follow that faith and devotion. Do not worry about the output. Just be steady in your hope and faith. If after sometime, let us say, as per your question, if you get feeling towards some other God, even that is ok. Then start your feelings and faith towards that. DO not worry about any other Gods/Names other than what you are praying about..its all in the mind. Once our faith becomes completely steady in whatever u believe in, then you will realize that all paths/all prayers to all gods/all beliefs/all faith merge in the one and only path that leas to that ULTIMATE which is the source of everything, which you cannot give particular name to, which you cannot express in one since particular form but that which you feel is EVERYTHING.

Keep doing and keep praying whatever you feel at that point of time and in time, you will understand that ULTIMATE/DIVINITY by yourself.

The New Pali Course Part II

1. A virtuous man comes to an assembly without any fear.
eko / siilavanto / aagacchati / sabha.m / vinaa / bhaya.m
Eko siilavanto bhaya.m vinaa sabha.m aagacchati.

This is one of the results he has obtained through his virtue.
ida.m / eko / vipaakaana.m / so / so / laddha.m / siilena
Ida.m vipaakaana.m eko (ta.m) so siilena laddha.m.

2. Having thought thus I distributed alms among 200 beggars.
cintayitvaa / eva.m / aha.m / vibhaji.m / daana.m / dvisate /
yaacakesu Eva.m cintayitvaa aha.m dvisate yaacakesu daana.m vibhaji.m.

3. Then I asked him again the same thing;
tadaa / aha.m / patipucchi.m / ta.m / tadeva
Tadaa aha.m ta.m tadeva patipucchi.m;

he answered in another way.
so / kathesi / a~n~natha
so a~n~natha kathesi.

4. At the end of the discourse of the Ven. Saariputta, the
bhikkhus expressed their approval of his words.
ante / desanaaya / aayasmantassa / Saariputtassa / bhikkhavo
abhinandi.msu / tassa / vacanassa Aayasmantassa Saariputtassa desanaaya ante bhikkhavo (tassa) vacanassa abhinandi.msu.

5. If you always keep in mind the virtues of the Buddha, you
will not fall into wicked thoughts.
save / tva.m / sadaa / karoti / manasi / Buddhagu.ne / tva.m /
na patissasi / du.t.thaasu / cintaasu
Sace tva.m Buddhagu.ne sadaa manasi karoti, tva.m du.t.thaasu
cintaasu na patissasi.

6. The actions of the man, good or bad, will follow him to the
other world as a wheel follows the feet of the oxen that are
yoked to a cart.
kammaa / purisassa / kusalaa / va / akusalaa / anvessanti /
ta.m / paraloka.m / va / cakka.m / anveti / paade / go.nassa /
yojite / saka.ta.m
Purisassa kammaa kusalaa va akusalaa paraloka.m anvessanti va
cakka.m saka.ta.m yojite go.nassa paade anveti.

Link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Pali/message/11614

Please correct me if there is any mistakes.

Yong Peng.