Buddhist Philosophy

KATHINA DANA (Robe Offering)

KATHINA DANA (Robe Offering) This month starting from the the full moon day of October to the Full moon day of November all the lay devotees of the Theravada tradition offer robes and requisites to the sangha known as the Kathina robes. This is a merit making field. For last three months starting from the full moon of July to the full moon of October monks had been in a…

SOME SALIENT CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BUDDHA

SOME SALIENT CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BUDDHA By THERA PIYADASSI ONE of the noteworthy characteristics that distinguishes the Buddha from all other religious teachers is that he was a human being with no connection whatsoever with a God or any other supernatural being. He was neither a God nor an incarnation of God nor any mythological figure. He was a man, but an extraordinary man (acchariya manussa). He was beyond the…

The First Buddhist Council (Sanghayana)

The First Buddhist Council (Sanghayana)  The First Buddhist council was convened in the year following the Buddha's Parinibbana, which is 543–542 BCE according to Theravada tradition, at various earlier dates according to certain Mahayana traditions, and various later dates according to certain Western estimates.[1] According to late commentarial accounts, King Ajatashatru (Sanskrit अजातशत्रु) sponsored the council. Tradition holds that the Council was held in a hall erected by Ajatasattu outside…

The Four ways in which Suffering is inflicted

The Four ways in which Suffering is inflicted In consonance with the “Patisambhida Magga Pali,” there are four ways in which manifests itself. To wit 1 Creativity inherent in craving (Āyuhanatthaya) 2 Nidanatthaya 3 Bonding capacity of craving (samyogatthaya) 4 Obliteration of the path of Nirvana (pali-bodatthaya) 1 Creativity inherent in craving (Āyuhanatthaya) The ability of the force of craving for assembling, creating and establishing the five skandha’s fraught with…

THE DOCTRINE OF KARMA & SURVIVAL

THE DOCTRINE OF KARMA & SURVIVAL There are two other principal teaching of the Buddha that a student of Buddhism ought to be acquainted with. They are Kamma and rebirth or repeated existence. These are two principal tents of Hinduism too, but there they are permeated with the notion of self or soul (atma) which Buddhism categorically denies. Karama is the law of moral causation. Basically it is violation. “Violation…

The seven Factors of Enlightenment

The seven Factors of Enlightenment “Monks, these seven factors of enlightenment, when developed and cultivated, lead to going beyond from the near shore to the far shore. What seven? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness, the enlightenment factor of investigation of the dhamma, the enlightenment factor of energy, the enlightenment factor of rapture, the enlightenment factor of tranquility, the enlightenment factor of concentration, and the enlightenment factor of equanimity. These seven…

Buddhism : Cultural and Philosophical concepts

Buddhism : Cultural and Philosophical concepts Introduction The historical Buddha – Siddhartha Gautama – was born to the Sakya clan inside the borders of modern-day Nepal. He is referred to as Sakyamuni meaning “the sage of the Sakyas,” and is a Buddha for being an awakened being. Many date the Buddha’s life to 566-486 BCE, but some contest his death was around 410 BCE. He was born into a wealthy…

The Significance of the Kaṭhina Robe Offering Ceremony

The Significance of the Kaṭhina Robe Offering Ceremony The three-month rains-retreat seclusion of Buddhist Saṅgha concludes with the pavāraṇā (invitation) ceremony, which is in turn followed by Kaṭhina robe offering festival. It is a traditional ceremony and ancient custom mostly found in the Theravada Buddhist tradition. Today, the Kaṭhina robe offering is a large, annual festival where Buddhists get together and celebrate the day by offering monastics gifts, such as…

The amplification of Buddhist monastic rules during rains-retreat (vassāvāsa)

The amplification of Buddhist monastic rules during rains-retreat (vassāvāsa) The Buddhist monastic Saṅgha was not founded as the counterpart to the other sectarian traditions in the Buddha’s time, but rather it was an institution that evolved after gradual progress. The result of this progress, monastic rules and regulations were transmitted due to sociological environments and its internal principle of evolution. Members of the Buddhist Saṅgha were commonly recruited from all…

Buddhist Rains-retreat (vassāvāsa) - a courtesy of monasticism

Buddhist Rains-retreat (vassāvāsa) - a courtesy of monasticism When the rainy season has come and it is raining, many living beings are originated and many seed just spring up.....Knowing this one should not wander from village to village, but remain during the rainy season in one place  -- Ᾱcārāṅga Sūtra. Jaina Sūtras -I, 136.p  by H. Jacobi This passage refers to the Jain mendicants’ practice during the Buddha's time in…

How to Practice Vipassana Insight Meditation

How to Practice Vipassana Insight Meditation by Sayadaw U Pandita Step-by-Step Instructions on how to do this important practice ­— the foundation of all Buddhist Meditations — from the famed Vipassana master Sayadaw U Pandita. Vipassana, or insight meditation, is the practice of continued close attention to sensation, through which one ultimately sees the true nature of existence. It is believed to be the form of meditation practice taught by…

Teach Your Children Well

Teach Your Children Well A former colleague recently asked me to come up with an outline of how to teach the Four Noble Truths to children ages 4 to 14. It was going to be part of a presentation at his Unitarian Universalist congregation. I did a quick search for some online material, but was surprised at how scant the resources were when it came to teaching kids about Buddhism.…

Teach Your Children Well

Teach Your Children Well A former colleague recently asked me to come up with an outline of how to teach the Four Noble Truths to children ages 4 to 14. It was going to be part of a presentation at his Unitarian Universalist congregation. I did a quick search for some online material, but was surprised at how scant the resources were when it came to teaching kids about Buddhism.…

This is the only way

This is the only way This is the only way, O bhikkhus." Why did the Blessed One teach this Discourse? Because of the ability of the people of the Kurus to take in deep doctrine. The inhabitants of the Kuru country — bhikkhus, bhikkhunis, upasakas, upasikas — by reason of their country being blessed with a perfect climate, and through their enjoyment of other comfortable conditions, were always healthy in…

This is the period of the Rainy Retreat

This is the period of the Rainy Retreat “Ayam Vassana Kalo” Kațina, The Ritual Offering of the Robe Kațina refers to the offering of the special robe (Kațina civara) prepared and presented to monks who have completed the three-month period of retreat called Vas in Sinhala, and Vassana in Pali, meaning the period of rain.  Kațina literally means ‘firm,’ or ‘solid,’ because the offering of a Kațina robe helps to…
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