THE BASIC TEACHINGS OF THERAVŒDA BUDDHISM CHAPTER I - PDF

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THE BASIC TEACHINGS OF THERAVŒDA BUDDHISM CHAPTER I PROGRAM OF WORSHIPPING Paying Homage to the Three Gems (RatanattayapaÓÈma) I pay homage to the Buddha. I pay homage to the Dhamma. I pay homage to the

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THE BASIC TEACHINGS OF THERAVŒDA BUDDHISM CHAPTER I PROGRAM OF WORSHIPPING Paying Homage to the Three Gems (RatanattayapaÓÈma) I pay homage to the Buddha. I pay homage to the Dhamma. I pay homage to the Sangha. I request! I request! I request! In order that any bad action I may have committed (against the Three Gems) either in deed, speech or thought may be effaced, and in order that I may acquire merit which will bestow upon me longevity, health, freedom from dangers and calamities, I raise my joined hands in reverence to the forehead and worship, honor, look at, and humbly pay homage to the Three Gems: the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha once, twice, and three times. PROGRAM OF WORSHIPPING 2 And as a result of this meritorious act of prostration 1 may I be free at all times from the four woeful realms 2, the three kinds of catastrophes 3, the eight kinds of wrong circumstances 4, the five kinds of enemies, the four kinds of misfortunes, the five kinds of loss, the ninety-six or ninety-eight kinds of diseases, and the sixty-two kinds of wrong views and quickly attain the Path, the Fruition, and the Noble Dhamma of NibbÈna. Requesting the Five Precepts with the Three Refuges Venerable Sir, I request the Five Precepts together with the Three Refuges. Out of compassion for me 5, please give me the Precepts. For the second time, Venerable Sir, I request the Five Precepts together with the Three Refuges. Out of compassion for me, please give me the Precepts. 1 stretching out or reaching out with face on the ground 2 woeful realms means the worlds or areas of deep suffering. 3 (catastrophes) catastrophe means misfortune or great disaster or a sudden, unexpected, and terrible event that causes great suffering, misfortune, or ruin . 4 surroundung conditions, occasion 5 because of compassion on me 3 BASIC TEACHINGS OF THERAVŒDA BUDDHISM For the third time, Venerable Sir, I request the Five Precepts together with the Three Refuges. Out of compassion for me, please give me the Precepts. [AhaÑ bhante tisaraóena saha paòcasêlañ dhammañ yècèmi, anuggahañ katvè sêlañ detha me bhante. Dutiyampi ahañ bhante tisaraóena saha paòcasêlañ dhammañ yècèmi, anuggahañ katvè sêlañ detha me bhante. Tatiyampi ahañ bhante tisaraóena saha paòcasêlañ dhammañ yècèmi, anuggahañ katvè sêlañ detha me bhante.] Paying Homage (VandanÈ) Homage to Him, the Blessed One, the Worthy One, the Fully Enlightened One. (Three times) [Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato SammÈsambuddhassa.] Taking the Three Refuges (TisaraÓa gamana) I go to the Buddha as my refuge 6. I go to the Dhamma as my refuge. I go to the Sangha as my refuge. For the second time, I go to the Buddha as my refuge. 6 I go the Buddha as my refuge means I recognize the Buddha as my refuge . PROGRAM OF WORSHIPPING 4 For the second time, I go to the Dhamma as my refuge. For the second time, I go to the Sangha as my refuge. For the third time, I go to the Buddha as my refuge. For the third time, I go to the Dhamma as my refuge. For the third time, I go the Sangha as my refuge. [BuddhaÑ saraóañ gacchèmi. DhammaÑ saraóañ gacchèmi. SaÑghaÑ saraóañ gacchèmi. Dutiyampi BuddhaÑ saraóañ gacchèmi. Dutiyampi DhammaÑ saraóañ gacchèmi. Dutiyampi SaÑghaÑ saraóañ gacchèmi. Tatiyampi BuddhaÑ saraóañ gacchèmi. Tatiyampi DhammaÑ saraóañ gacchèmi. Tatiyampi SaÑghaÑ saraóañ gacchèmi.] Taking the Five Precepts (paòca sêla) 1. I undertake 7 to observe the precept to abstain from killing living beings. 2. I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from taking what is not freely given. 3. I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from committing sexual misconduct 8. 7 guarantee, promise 5 BASIC TEACHINGS OF THERAVŒDA BUDDHISM 4. I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from telling lies. 5. I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from intoxicating drinks and drugs that cause heedlessness 9. [1. PÈÓÈtipÈtÈ veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 2. AdinnÈdÈnÈ veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 3. KÈmesu micchècèrè veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 4. MusÈvÈdÈ veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 5. SurÈ-meraya majjappamèdaôôhènè veramaóisikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi.] Requesting the ŒjÊvaÔÔhamaka-sÊla 10 with the Three Refuges Venerable Sir, I request the ŒjÊvaÔÔhamaka Precepts together with the Three Refuges. Out of compassion for me, please give me the precepts. For the second time, I request the ŒjÊvaÔÔhamaka Precepts together with the Three Refuges. Out of compassion for me, please give me the precepts. 8 bad behavior 9 lack of care and attention 10 SÊlakkhanddhavaggaÔÔhakathÈ, 281, PaÔisambhidÈmagga, 40, PaÔisambhidÈmaggaÔÔhakathÈ 1, 151 the precept which has liveli-hood as eighth PROGRAM OF WORSHIPPING 6 For the third time, I request the ŒjÊvaÔÔhamaka Precepts together with the Three Refuges. Out of compassion for me, please give me the precepts. [AhaÑ Bhante tisaraóena saha ŒjÊvaÔÔhamaka-sÊlaÑ dhammañ yècèmi anuggahañ katvè sêlañ detha me Bhante. Dutiyam pi, Tatiyam pi...] Taking the Eight Precepts for ŒjÊvaÔÔhamaka-sÊla 1. I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from killing living beings. 2. I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from taking what is not freely given. 3. I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from committing sexual misconduct. 4. I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from telling lies. 5. I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from slandering or divisive speech. 6. I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from harsh speech. 7. I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from frivolous talk or talking non-sense. 8. I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from wrong livelihood. 7 BASIC TEACHINGS OF THERAVŒDA BUDDHISM [1. PÈÓÈtipÈtÈ veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 2. AdinnÈdÈnÈ veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 3. KÈmesu micchècèrè veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 4. MusÈvÈdÈ veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 5. PisuÓÈya vècèya veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 6. PharusÈya vècèya veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 7. SamphappalÈpÈ veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 8. MicchÈjÊvÈ veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi.] Requesting the Eight Uposatha 11 Precepts with the Three Refuges Venerable Sir, I request the Eight Uposatha Precepts together with the Three Refuges. Out of compassion for me, please give me the precepts. For the second time, I request the Eight Uposatha Precepts together with the Three Refuges. Out of compassion for me, please give me the precepts. For the third time, I request the Eight Uposatha Precepts together with the Three Refuges. Out of compassion for me, please give me the precepts. 11 The Buddhist Sabbath or fast-day PROGRAM OF WORSHIPPING 8 [AhaÑ bhante tisaraóena saha aôôha~gasamannègatañ uposatha-sêlañ dhammañ yècèmi, anuggahañ katvè sêlañ detha me bhante. Dutiyampi,..., Tatiyampi,...sÊlaÑ detha me bhante.] Taking the Eight Uposatha Precepts (AÔÔha~ga Uposatha-sÊla) 1. I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from killing living beings. 2. I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from taking what is not freely given. 3. I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from unnoble conduct (sexual intercourse). 4. I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from telling lies. 5. I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from intoxicating drinks and drugs that cause heedlessness. 6. I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from eating after mid-day (until next dawn). 7. I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from dancing, singing, playing music, and witnessing shows or entertainments, from wearing flowers, using perfumes and beautifying with cosmetics. 8. I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from using high and luxurious seats and beds. 9 BASIC TEACHINGS OF THERAVŒDA BUDDHISM [1. PÈÓÈtipÈtÈ veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 2. AdinnÈdÈnÈ veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 3. AbrahmacariyÈ veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 4. MusÈvÈdÈ veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 5. SurÈ-meraya majjappamèdaôôhènè veramaóisikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 6. VikÈla-bhojanÈ veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 7. Nacca gêta vèdita visuka-dassana, mèlè gandha vilepana dhèraóa maóéana vibh sanaôôhènè veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 8. UccÈsayana mahèsayanè veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi.] Requesting the Nine Uposatha Precepts with the Three Refuges Venerable Sir, I request the Nine Uposatha Precepts together with the Three Refuges. Out of compassion for me, please give me the precepts. For the second time, I request the Nine Uposatha Precepts together with the Three Refuges. Out of compassion for me, please give me the precepts. For the third time, I request the Nine Uposatha Precepts together with the Three Refuges. Out of compassion for me, please give me the precepts. PROGRAM OF WORSHIPPING 10 [AhaÑ bhante tisaraóena saha nava~gasamannègatañ uposathasêlañ dhammañ yècèmi, anuggahañ katvè sêlañ detha me bhante. Dutiyampi,..., Tatiyampi,...sÊlaÑ detha me bhante.] Taking the Nine Uposatha Precepts (Nava~ga Uposatha-sÊla) The precepts from the first to the eighth that consist of the Nine Uposatha Precepts are exactly the same with those of the Eight Uposatha Precepts. 9. I undertake to dwell with my mind pervading with loving-kindness all beings. [1. PÈÓÈtipÈtÈ veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 2. AdinnÈdÈnÈ veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 3. AbrahmacariyÈ veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 4. MusÈvÈdÈ veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 5. SurÈ-meraya majjappamèdaôôhènè veramaóisikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 6. VikÈla-bhojanÈ veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 7. Nacca gêta vèdita visuka-dassana, mèlè gandha vilepana dhèraóa maóéana vibh sanaôôhènè veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi. 11 BASIC TEACHINGS OF THERAVŒDA BUDDHISM 8. UccÈsayana mahèsayanè veramaói-sikkhèpadañ samèdiyèmi 9. MettÈsahagatena cetasè sabbapèóabh tesu pharitvè viharaóañ samèdiyèmi.] CHAPTER II EXPLANATION OF WORDS The Fivefold Prostration The word, Prostration means stretching out flat, with face touching ground, position used in worship when the devotee is normally sitting . When someone prostrates himself or herself, his or her feet, knees, elbows, palms, and forehead should touch the ground or the floor. There are, basically, the following five factors: 1. Keeping the two feet together on the ground or the floor, 2. Putting the two knees evenly together on the ground or the floor, 3. Placing the two elbows 12 evenly together on the ground or the floor and stretching out the two forearms 13, 4. Placing the two palms spread on the ground or the floor, and 12 joints of the arm 13 part of the arm between the elbow and the wrist 13 BASIC TEACHINGS OF THERAVŒDA BUDDHISM 5. Touching the ground or the floor with the forehead. (SÊlakkhandhavagga AbhinavaÔÊkÈ, Vol.2, 18) The Explanation of the Three Words: Buddha, Dhamma, and SaÑgha Buddha is a person who has understood ultimate reality and enables others to understand it through His teaching of the Four Noble Truths. Dhamma is the Buddha's teachings: TipiÔaka or the Three Baskets, the Path to NibbÈna 14, the Fruition, and NibbÈna (the final bliss). SaÑgha is the community of Bhikkhus (Sangha) who follow the Buddha. The Three Gems (Ratanattaya) The Buddha was a historical person who lived in India over 2500 years ago. He was born as a prince in 624 B.C. At the age of 29, he renounced the world. After he practiced austerities 15 in the forest for six years, he became the Perfectly Enlightened One by his own human 14 NibbÈna means freedom from desire or craving or from all suffering ; NibbÈna , also extinction of greed, hate, and delusion. 15 austerities is ascetic practices . austerity means severity of manner or mortification . EXPLANATION OF WORDS 14 effort. He taught beings for 45 years and died at the age of 80. The Bodhisattahood The Life of the Buddha 16 From the time of the Bodhisatta (the Buddha-to-be) made the aspiration for Buddhahood, His practice of the thirty PÈramÊs comprising the ten PÈramÊs (perfections), 17 the ten UpapÈramÊs (the middle grade perfections), and the ten ParamatthapÈramÊs (the highest grade perfections), the five great givings, 18 the three great practices comprising 16 BuddhavaÑsaÔÔhakathÈ, A Manual of Buddhism, and The Illustrated History of Buddhism 17 The ten PÈramÊs: 1. DÈna (generosity or giving), 2. SÊla (morality), 3. Nekkhamma (renunciation), 4. PaÒÒÈ (wisdom), 5. VÊriya (energy or effort), 6. Khanti (patience), 7. Sacca (truthfulness), 8. AdhiÔÔhÈna (determination), 9. MettÈ (loving-kindness), and 10. UpekkhÈ (equaminity) 18 The giving of the most valuable treasure (Dhana-pariccÈga), of limb (A~ga-pariccÈga), of children (Putta-pariccÈga), of wife (BhariyapariccÈga), of life (JÊvita-pariccÈga) [JÈtakaÔÔhakathÈ 7, 333], The giving of limb (A~ga-pariccÈga), of life (JÊvita-pariccÈga), of the most valuable treasure (Dhana-pariccÈga), of Kingdom (RajjapariccÈga), of children and wife(puttadèra-pariccèga) [BuddhavaÑsaÔÔhakathÈ, 18] & the giving of body or life (AttapariccÈga), of eyes (NayanapariccÈga), of the most valuable treasure 15 BASIC TEACHINGS OF THERAVŒDA BUDDHISM practice for world (Lokattha-cariya), practice for His relatives ( Ètattha-cariya), and practice for Buddhahood (Buddhattha-cariya). The Birth On the full-moon day of May 19 in the year 624 B.C. 20, He was born, a noble Prince of Royal SÈkya clan, in the LumbinÊ Park at the Royal City of Kapilavatthu 21, on the borders of Nepal. His father was King Suddhodana, and His mother, Queen MahÈ MÈyÈ. Seven days after the birth of the child, the mother died, and her younger sister, MahÈ PajÈpati GotamÊ, who was also married to King Suddhodana, became the Prince's fostermother. The Naming Ceremony On the fifth day after the Prince's birth, He was named Siddhattha Gotama. His first name was Siddhattha (Dhana-pariccÈga), of Kingdom (Rajja-pariccÈga), of children and wife (PuttadÈra-pariccÈga) [Iti-vuttakaÔÔhakathÈ, 7] 19 VesÈkha, the second month of Indian calendar 20 Unlike the Christian Era, the Buddhist Era is reckoned on the death of the Buddha which occurred in 544 B.C. 21 The site of Kapilavatthu has been identified with Bhuila (Bhulya) in the Basti district, approximately 3 miles from the Bengal and N.W. Railway station of Babuan. EXPLANATION OF WORDS 16 which means 'wish fulfilled'. Gotama . His last name was According to the ancient custom, eight distinguished brahmins examined the characteristics of the Prince. Seven of them raised two fingers and gave a double interpretation, saying that He would become either a Universal Monarch or a Buddha. But the youngest Brahmin KoÓÉaÒÒa, who excelled the others in knowledge, raised only one finger and firmly declared that He would definitely retire from the world and become a Buddha. The Marriage Ceremony At the early age of sixteen, the Prince Siddhattha married his cousin Princess YasodharÈ 22, who was of equal years. After his happy marriage, he led a luxurious life, blissfully unexpected changes of life, outside the palace gates. In his father's dwelling, three lotus ponds were made for Him: 23 the first pond where blue lotuses bloomed, the second where red lotuses bloomed, and the third where white lotuses bloomed. He did not use things 22 The daughter of King Suppabuddha and Queen AmitÈ (King Suddhodana's younger sister) 23 A~guttara 1, 17 BASIC TEACHINGS OF THERAVŒDA BUDDHISM of other countries except the sandal-wood of KÈsi 24. His turban, tunic, dress and cloak were all from KÈsi 25. Day and night a white umbrella was held over Him so that He might not be touched by heat or cold, dust, leaves or dew. Three palaces were built for him one for the winter season, one for the summer season, and one for the autumn or rainy season. In accordance with the three seasons, he lived in the three different palaces by turns, surrounded by female attendants, and entertained by female musicians, without coming down from the palaces. The Renunciation With the march of time, truth gradually dawned upon him. His contemplative nature and boundless compassion did not permit him to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of a royal household. He did not know any woeful life, but he felt deep pity for sorrowing humanity. In the middle of comfort and prosperity, he realized the universality of sorrow. One day when he went out of the palace to see 24 KÈsi one of the sixteen Kingdoms of ancient India, its capital was Benares. It was famous for its silks and perfumes. 25 turban an eastern headdress consisting of a long cloth of silk, linen, or cotton, wound around the head tunic a loose-fitting, kneelength garment worn in ancient Greece and Rome cloak a loose, outer garment, usually without arm-coverings (sleeves) EXPLANATION OF WORDS 18 the royal park, he came into direct contact with the absolute realities of life. Within the narrow confines (limits) of the palaces, he saw only the rosy side of life, but the dark side, the common lot of mankind was withheld from him. His observant eyes met the four sights (signs) of a decrepit old man, a diseased person, a corpse, and hermit. The first three sights convinced him of the inexorable nature of life and the universal sickness of humanity. The fourth signified the means to overcome the ills of life and to attain calm and peace. Realizing the worthlessness of sensual pleasures highly prized by ordinary people, and the value of renunciation in which the wise seek delight, he decided to leave the world in search of truth and peace. When his final decision was made after much deliberation, the happy news of the birth of a son was conveyed to him. Contrary to expectation, he was not overjoyed but regarded the first and only offspring as a hindrance. Prince Siddhattha exclaimed, A hindrance RÈhu, has been born; a fetter has arisen . In accordance with the exclamation, the infant son was named RÈhula by his grandfather. At the age of twenty-nine, leaving all behind with a light heart, he stole away (move) from the palace at the 19 BASIC TEACHINGS OF THERAVŒDA BUDDHISM midnight of full moon-day of ŒsÈÄhÊ 26. As a penniless wanderer, he went forth in search of truth and peace. The ascetic Siddhattha practiced mental concentration with two famous ascetic teachers of his time. While studying with the ascetic teacher, ŒÄÈra KÈlÈma, he achieved the seventh stage of mental concentration and, as a student of the ascetic Udaka RÈmaputta, he reached the eighth and highest level of mental concentration. But he was not satisfied with only mental concentration and an ordinary system, which did not lead to NibbÈna. He knew that nobody was competent to teach him what he sought as all were entangled in ignorance. He gave up seeking external help, for truth and peace are to be found within. The Superhuman Struggle for Enlightenment He made a super-human struggle practicing all forms of severe austerity in Uruvela grove for six years. The superhuman struggle is an austere practice which is beyond human endurance of an ordinary person. He tried various plans such as, abstaining from rice meal and living on fruits which dropped from trees, then on fruits which dropped from the tree under which he sat, then living on 26 the full moon-day of July EXPLANATION OF WORDS 20 one fruit, one sesame seed or one grain of rice a day. By this lack of nourishment, his delicate body was reduced almost to a skeleton. The Middle Path He was fully convinced, through personal experience, of the utter futility of self-mortification. Abandoning it forever, he adopted a
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