The Concept of Personality Revealed
Through The Pancanikaya
By Ven. Thich Chon-Thien
Buddhism is often understood as a religion or an ethical way of life for the Buddhists. Not so many articles consider it as a way of education. Even in a very well-known educational work entitled "Theories of Personality" by Calvin S. Hall and Gardner Lindzey, published in 1991, 3rd Edition, there is only one new chapter on "Eastern Psychology" discussing Abhidhamma, in sixteen pages, as an Eastern personality theory. In this research work, the author has made an attempt to present Lord Buddha's teachings recorded in the Pali Sutta Pitaka as a theory of personality on which a new course of education or culture may be based. The author began his work from the starting point of the current crises of human society then came to Lord Buddha's concept of personality, then to the solutions for those crises. The author was aware of difficulties that he would come across during the period of proceeding with the work, but under the kind and interesting supervision and encouragement from his supervisor, Dr. Bhikshu Satyapala, he worked on the chosen topic, "The Concept of Personality revealed through the Pancanikaya", with confidence, especially after the topic was admitted by The Board of Research Studies for the Humanities, Delhi University, through its meeting held on February 16, 1994.
The author has divided his research work into five parts:
1. Introduction of the topic.
2. Dependent Origination as the Noble Truth.
3. The Concept of Personality revealed through the Pancanikaya.
4. Five Aggregates and Individual problems.
5. Conclusion: A new course of education or culture, and solutions for the current crises.
The author does not mention a human being as an entity having a permanent nature, but as a conditioned existence or a process of becoming. In doing this, the author has a hope that this research work will present something interesting to the world of education.
On the completion of this work, the author would like to express his sincere gratitude to Dr. K.T.S. Sarao, Head of the Department of Buddhist Studies, Delhi University, who gave him kind advice, to Dr. Reader, Bhikshu Satyapala who kindly supervised the whole work to its completion. He would also like to express his sincere gratitude to other Professors, Readers and Lecturers of the Department of Buddhist Studies.
He is also extremely grateful to the I.C.C.R. of the Indian Government for granting him a scholarship for M. Phil. and Ph.D. Studies, to Vietnamese Government for giving him permission to go to Delhi to pursue research in Buddhist Studies, and to Dr. Bhikkhu THICH MINH-CHAU, the Rector of the Vietnam Buddhist Research Institute, who always encouraged him to think of a Buddhist way of Education.
Last but not the least, the author does not fail to express here his gratitude to those whose works proved very useful source of reference for his Thesis.
Bhikkhu Thich Chon-Thien (Nguyen Hoi)
Department of Buddhist Studies
University of Delhi, Delhi - 110007, India
Title And Clarification Of The Topic
Education is often understood as what has made up culture and civilization of a country. It includes creative works as the source of civilization, and its various roles of building and developing society as the source of the culture of a people. Education, culture and civilization all are products of man's way of thinking. People of all times always wish safety, peace and happiness to themselves. A system of human education or culture must therefore bring safety, peace and happiness to human beings. Such a system of education, or such a course of culture, must be based on an ideal system of educational philosophy, psychology, and an ideal pattern of education. These important educational problems, in the author's opinion, must come from an ideal theory of personality, which can tell the truth of man, life and the un-separable relationship between them.
As people could know, the civilization of human beings of nowadays is in crises. The developed countries have centered on developing light and heavy industries, especially the heavy ones. The developing countries are on their ways to industrialization. They are all concerned much about the development of economy -i.e. concerned much about production and advantages - and in the process almost ignoring the development of a moral and spiritual way of life. This course of development relating to the craving (tanhà) and grasping (upàdàna) of human beings has brought to this world cold and hot wars, the serious pollution of the environment and ethical, social crises. The contemporary educators, religious leaders, ecologists etc., all over the world have warned us of the danger of mass-destruction through atomic and chemical wars, and air, land and water pollution.
There are also other values of the current education that need to be re-evaluated and clarified through the Lord Buddha's teachings, such as:
The problem of Competition:
The civilization of the twentieth century is based on the spirit of competition. For Westerners, this spirit can help them have a fast development of economy and culture. But, in reality, it has caused the crises as mentioned above. So it must be reviewed.
Competition itself is an effort of a man who wants to be stronger or better than others, while his main problem is as to how to be better than what he is now, as Lord Buddha taught:
" If one man conquer in battle a thousand times thousand men, and if another conquer himself, the latter is the greatest of conquerors". (1) (Dhp. 103)
-(" Yo sahassam sahassena sangàme manusse jine Ekanca jeyyamattànam sa ve sangàmajuttamo"). (2) (Dhp. 103 )
-" One's own self - conquered is better than all other people; not even a god, a gandharva, not Màra with Bràhman could change into defeat the victory of a man who has vanquished himself, and always lives under restraint" (3) + (4). (Dhp. 104 - 105)
("Attà have jitam seyyo yà cà'yam itarà pajà Attadantassa posassa niccam sanatacàrino" (5)
" Neva devo, na gandhabbo, na màro sahabrahmmunà Jitam apajitam kayirà tathàruùpassa jantuno".) (6)
The problem of training only a social man:
The economic and industrial development requires a system of education emphasizing the training of a social man, or a man of power, while an education of humanness requires a man himself.
For a man himself, he should know who he really is, and how to attain happiness in the here-and-now. With regard to this, Lord Buddha said:
-" Self is the lord of self, who else could be the lord? With the self well subdued, a man finds a lord such as few can find". (7) (Dhp. 160)
(" Attà hi attano nàtho ko hi nàtho paro siyà Attanà'va sudantena nàtham labhati dullabham") (8)
- " Let the wise man guard his thoughts, for they are difficult to perceive, very artful, and they rush wherever they list: thoughts well guarded bring happiness". (9) (Dhp.36)
-(" Sududdasam sunipunam yatthakàmanipàtin-am cittam Rakkheyya medhàvi cittam guttam sukhàvaham") (10)
-" We live happily indeed, though we call nothing our own! We shall be like the bright gods feeding on happiness". (11) (Dhp. 200)
(" Susukham vata jìvàma yesam no natthi kincanam Pìtibhakkhà bhavissàma devà àbhassarà yathà") (12)
The problem of a pattern of education:
The contemporary educators tend to create a pattern of education. This means giving a fixed nature to a man, and stopping his process of becoming. It sounds like making shoes of one size for all people of different sizes. So, there must be something wrong in that pattern. For the truth of man, Lord Buddha declared:
- " All forms are selfless"...
- ("Sabbe dhammà anattà"... )
The problem of interrelationship among things:
If a man cannot realize the interrelationship among things, he cannot realize the truth of man and life. His ignorance will cause him and his life lots of troubles, as it does in the case of environmental pollution. In this case, education should help men understand the truth of every existing thing to protect environment as well as men. The Buddhist doctrine of Dependent Origination (Paticcasamuppàda)and the Five aggregates (Pancakkhandha) may be theories of this education for environment that will be discussed in the following pages.
Education for lasting peace for the world:
Peace is the absence of war. In schools, the science of history only mentions the events and apparent causes of peace and war, but not the motives coming from men's mind. So, it cannot help human beings build up the lasting peace for the world.
According to Lord Buddha's teachings, the root causes of all evil deeds, including wars, are greed (lobha), ill will or hatred (dosa), and ignorance (moha). So, the best thing to be done to extinguish all wars is dealing with greed, ill will, and ignorance by practicing Dhamma as He taught:
-" Victory breeds hatred, for the conquered is unhappy. He who has given up both victory and defeat, he, the contended, is happy"(13) (Dhp. 201)
(" Jayam veram pasavati dukkham seti paràjito Upasanto sukham seti hitvà jayaparàjayam"; (14)
-" We live happily indeed, not hating those who hate us! Among men who hate us, we dwell free from hatred !" (15) (Dhp. 197)
(" Susukham vata jiìvàma verinesu averino Verinesu manussesu viharàma averino") (16)
-" We live happily indeed, free from greed among the greedy! Among men who are greedy let us dwell free from greed!" (17) (Dhp. 199)
(" Susukham vata jiìvàma ussukesu anussukà Ussukesu manussesu viharàma anussukà") (18)
A system of educational philosophy:
Educational philosophy is used to serve educational purposes in opening a good course of education for men's happiness. It is based on three spheres: epistemology, axiology and ontology. The current system of educational philosophy, as well as philosophy in common sense, is created by self-thought which is untrue, therefore it meets with crisis.
The truth of Dependent Origination (Paticcasamuppàda) Lord Buddha realized will show the way to come out of the crisis which is the operation of non-self thought, or the operation of wisdom (paññá or vijja) leading to the cessation of ignorance. This operation will be discussed in next chapter (I.2.)
Education to remove individual problems:
It may be said that all schools of thought from the old days are classified in three spheres:
a. The third person sphere: All thoughts claiming that there exists the first cause of this universe are called thoughts of the third person - the person people are talking about. Since the role of mastering life of human beings has been lost in this sphere, this thought sphere is called alienation.
b. The second person sphere: All thoughts claiming that truth exists in nature or the phenomena are called thoughts of the second person - the person people are talking to. This thought sphere is also called alienation because of the same reason as given above.
c. The first person sphere: All thoughts claiming that a human being is the master of his own life, or life is for human beings' happiness, are called thoughts of the first person - the person is talking. This thought sphere is humanist. It includes Buddhism, Existentialism, Phenomenology and world organizations for human rights that help a man awaken and turn back to himself. But here a man is still facing the hot problems caused by the contradiction between orders coming from his thinking and his desiring. This appears like the contradiction between the "Id" and the "Superego" discovered by Sigmund Freud. In the author's mind this contradiction may only be resolved by the doctrine of Paticcasamuppàda which suggests a way to come out of self-thought, desire and sufferings caused by them. This doctrine may also suggest many interesting thoughts on education that the author is going to mention next (in "I.2".).
On educational psychology:
Educational psychology is a branch of study examining theories of personality, human behaviors, the growth of children, adolescents and adults, also examining the nature of teaching, learning, the tools of research and evaluation, and the way of helping men resolve their problems for their happiness. With regard to the aim of understanding man, and of helping man be happy, many teachings of Lord Buddha recorded in Pancanikàya are available:
- "This is the case, monks, where an uninstructed average person, taking no account of the pure ones, unskilled in the Dhamma of the pure ones... recognizes extension as extension, he thinks of extension, he thinks (of self as) extension, he thinks, "extension is mine" - he rejoices in extension. What is the reason for this? I say that it is not thoroughly understood by him". (19)
- ("Idha, bhikkhave, assutavà puthujjano ariyà-nam adassàvì ariya-dhammassa akovido ariyadhamme aviniìto sappurisànam adass-àvìsappurisadhammassa akovido appurisad-hamme aviniìto, pathavim pathavito sanjànàti, pathavim pathavito sannatvà pathavim mannati, pathaviyà mannati, pathavito mannati, pathavim me ti mannati, pathavim abhinandati; tam kissa hetu: aparinnàtam tassàti vadàmi"). (20)
" And, monks, the Tathágata also, Perfected one, Fully self - awakened one, intuitively knows extension as extension; from intuitively knowing extension as extension, he does not think of extension, he does not think (of self) in (regard to) extension, he does not think (of self) as extension, he does not think, "extension is mine" - he does not rejoice in extension. What is the reason for this? It is because he, having known that delight is the root of anguish, knows that from becoming there is birth, and that there is old age and dying for the being. Consequently I say, monks, that the Tathágata, by the waning of all cravings, by dispassion, by stopping, by abandoning, by completely renouncing, is wholly self - awakened to the incomparable Full self - awakening". (21)
("Tathàgato pi, bhikkhave, araham sammàsambuddho pathavim pathavito abhijànàti, pathavim pathavito abhinnàya pathavim na mannati, pathaviyà na mannati, pathavito na mannati, pathavim me ti na mannati, pathavim nàbhinandati; tam kissa hetu: nandì dukkhassa muâlanti iti viditvà, bhavà jàti, bhuùtassa jaràmarananti. Tasmàtiha, bhikkhave, Tathàgato sabbaso tanhànam khayà viràgà nirodhà càgà patinissaggà anuttaram sammàsambodhim abhisambuddho ti vadàmi") (22)
And " There are, monks, cankers that should be got rid of by vision, there are cankers that should be got rid of by endurance, there are cankers that should be got rid of by avoidance, ... by elimination, ... by development." (23)
(" Atthi, bhikkhave, àsavà dassanà pahàtabbà, atthi àsavà samvarà pahàtabbà, atthi àsavà patisevana pahàtabbà,atthi àsavà adhivàsanà pahàtabbà, atthiàsavà parivajjanà pahàtabbà, atthi àsavà vinodanà pahàtabbà, atthi àsavà bhàvanà pahàtabbà") (24)
A theory of personality:
The personality theory is the central point of education in general, of educational psychology in particular, on which the content of education, methods of teaching and counseling are based. The educational psychologists and theorists therefore always do their best to form it. The current personality theories by Freud, Carl Jung, Eric Fromn, Adler, Maslow, Lewin, Skinner, Allport, Carl Rogers, etc,. are useful and very well-known, but very limited; they cannot say the true nature of man and life, because they regard them as having a fixed nature while in fact they are impermanent and selfless.
In Buddhism, over fifteen centuries ago, and more than that, there were at least three personality theories formed, such as Abhidhamma of Theravada Buddhist Sect, Abhidharmakosa of Sarvastivàda Sect, and Vijnànavàda of Mahayanist Sect. All of them are mental analyses, which divide a person's mind into healthy or good mental factors. (Kusala cittas), unhealthy mental factors (akusala cittas) and neither healthy nor unhealthy mental factors. All of them also relate to the practice of meditation as a means to realize one's mind and to release sufferings.
In this work, the author only mentions the personality theory taught directly by Lord Gotama Buddha, and recorded in the Pancanikàya. Lord Buddha did introduce it in different forms: six-fold-sense-fields (salàyatana); six sense organs and six sense-objects; six sense organs, six sense-objects and six consciousnesses; five aggregates (pancakkhandha); and Dependent Origination (Paticcasamuppàda). The writer believes only the doctrine of Dependent Origination and of the five aggregates can say what a person really is, and can show the way to come out of individuals' problems and social crises. Let us now follow some of Lord Buddha's teachings regarding to the root purpose of education of the modern time:
- " How, brethren, the untaught many - folk have this view: "This body is mine: I am this: this is myself!" Of such an one the body alters and becomes otherwise. Owing to the altering and other-wise-ness of body, sorrow and grief, woe, lamentation and despair arise in him.
- So also with regard to feeling, perception, activities and consciousness.
- And how, brethren, is there no grasping and no worry?
- Herein, brethren, the well-taught Aryan disciple has this view: "This body is not mine: I am not this: this is not my self". Of such an one the body alters and becomes other-wise-ness. But in spite of altering and other-wise-ness of body, sorrow and grief, woe, lamentation and despair arise not in him. So also with regard to feeling, perception, activities and consciousness". (25)
- (" Katham ca, bhikkhave upàdà - paritassanà hoti. Idha, bhikkhave, assutavà puthujjano ruøpametam mama esoham asmi eso me attàti samanupassati. Tassa tam ruøpam viparinamati annathà hoti, tassa ruøpaparinàmannathàbhàvà uppajjanti sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupàyàsà
Vedanam etam mama // la //...
Sannam etam mama //
Sankhare etam mama //
Vinnànam etam mama //...
- Katham ca, bhikkhave, anupàdà aparitassa-nà hoti. Idha, bhikkave, sutavà ariyasàvako ruùpam netam mama neso ham asmi na me so attàti samanupassati. Tassa tam rupam viparinamati annathà hoti, tassa ruøpavipar-inàmannathàbhàvà nuppajjanti sokaparide-vadukkhadomanassupàyàsà.
Vedanam netam mama...
Sannam netam mama
Sakhàrà netam mana...
Vinnanam netam mama...") (26)
For the Enlightened One, as the above quotation shows, a human being is nothing but the five aggregates flowing on and on. His point of view of educating men is showing them the truth of suffering, its cause, its cessation and the way to the cessation of suffering from those aggregates. Such a theory of personality and education will be discussed throughout this Ph. D. Thesis entitled "The Concept of Personality revealed through the Pancanikàya.
Scope Of The Topic
There are many things relating to the topic, but in this work the author has concentrated only on the following:
- A concise description of Indian society and thought before the advent of Lord Buddha.
- A summary of Lord Buddha's way to the ultimate truth.
- The doctrine of Dependent Origination or Paticcasamuppàda and its operation, just on the basis of the Pancanikàya.
- Personality Theories and the five aggregates or Pancakkhandha on the basis of the Pancanikàya.
- The Buddhist concept of personality and a new course of education.
The term "personality" has a lot of meanings as used by western psychologists and personality theorists. It is used in the sense of "social skill or adroitness" in the terms of "personality training" or "personality problem". It is also used in the sense of "the most outstanding or salient impression" a person creates in others, in terms of "aggressive personality" "submissive personality" or "a fearful personality". It may be used in the sense of "social stimulus value" of an individual, or in the sense of "individual aspects of behavior" etc. In this thesis, personality only means what a man really is, or what a man consists of in a realistic and practical way of analysis by Lord Buddha Gotama.
For the term "concept" or "theory", it is commonly understood as what is opposite to a fact. It is just a speculation concerning reality that is not yet known to be so. In this topic, theory or concept has a quite different sense, because it is not created by pure speculation or by way of thinking of duality. It means the declaration of what a man really is by the one whom himself realized the truth of man and life. Here, theory, or concept, is therefore very close to the fact; it appears as a shadow of reality.
Pancanikàya is the term showing Sutta Pitaka belonging to the Tipitaka of Theravada Buddhist Sect. It lies in the Pali literature from the time of Lord Buddha to the time of the King Ashoka.
The Tipitaka, in Pali, includes Vinaya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka and Abhidhamma Pitaka. Vinaya Pitaka contains rules and regulations of the Buddhist Sangha such as rules for reception into the Order, for the periodical confession of sins, for activities in rainy seasons, for abiding, clothing, medical remedies, and for the Sangha activities.
The Abhidhamma Pitaka is a supplement to the Sutta. It includes the Dhammasangani, the Vibhanga, the Kathàvatthu, the Puggalapannatti, the Dhàtukathà, the Yamaka and the Patthàna. These works were formed by Lord Buddha's disciples at the time of the Third Council held during King Asoka's reign, in the third century B.C.
The Sutta Pitaka is the direct teaching of Lord Gotama Buddha during forty five years of His life.
It consists of five collections called Pancanikàya: (27)
Long Sayings (Digha Nikáya), Middle Length Sayings (Majjhima Nikáya), Kindred Sayings (Samyutta Nikáya), Gradual Sayings (Anguttara Nikáya), and Minor Sayings (Khuddaka Nikáya). (28)
In this work, the author only refers to the above Pancanikàya, and specially examines the doctrine of Dependent Origination (Paticcasam-uppàda) and of the Five Aggregates (Pancakkh-andha) as the basis on which the personality theory is formed. His purpose is to introduce a new regard to things seeing that: a man, not as a permanent entity, cannot separate from his society and environment; without society or environment, he cannot exist; in other words, environment or society appears as a part of his own body. This is different from the current personality theories claiming that a man is an entity independent from nature. From this new regard, a new course of education may be opened for solutions for the current social crises. For that purpose, this work will be done under the form of an applied and fundamental research. It will start with chapter 2 (I.2) on the doctrine of Dependent Origination as the truth of life.
(1) : The Dhammapada, tr. by Max Muller, sacred Books of the East, verse No. 103.
(2) : The Dhammapada, Devanàgari, first Edition, 1977, Department of Buddhist studies, Delhi University, verse No. 103.
(3) : The Dhammapada, tr. by Max Muller,..., verse No. 104, 105.
(4) : The Dhammapada, Devanàgari,...,verse No. 104.
(5) : Ibid, verse No. 105.
(6) : The Dhammapada, tr. by Max. Muller,..., verse No. 160.
(7) : The Dhammapada, Devanàgari,..., verse No. 160.
(8) : The Dhammapada, tr. by Max. Muller,..., verse No. 36.
(9) : The Dhammapada, Devanàgari,..., verse No. 36.
(10) : The Dhammapada, tr. by Max. Muller,..., verse No. 200.
(11) : The Dhammapada, Devanàgari,..., verse No. 200.
(12) : The Dhammapada, tr. by Max. Muller,..., verse No. 201.
(13) : The Dhammapada, Devanàgari,..., verse No. 201.
(14) : The Dhammapada, tr. by Max. Muller,..., verse No. 197.
(15) : The Dhammapada, Devanàgari,..., verse No. 197.
(16) : The Dhammapada, tr. by Max. Muller,..., verse No. 199.
(17) : The Dhammapada, Devanàgari,..., verse No. 199.
(18) : "Discourse on the Synopsis of Fundamentals", Middle Length sayings, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1987, p.3.
(19) : "Mùlapariyàya-sutta", Majjhima-Nikáya, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1979, p.1.
(20) : "Discourse on Synopsis of Fundamentals",..., 1987,pp. 7-8.
(21) : "Mùlapariyàyasuttam",..., PTS, London, 1979, p.6.
(22) : "Discourse on All the Cankers", Middle Length Sayings, Vol.I, PTS, London, 1987, p.9.
(23) : "Sabbàsavasuttam", Majjhima-Nikáya, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1979, p.7.
(24) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1992, p.18.
(25) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1975, pp. 18-19.
(26) : 1, 61.p2, Atthasàlini, Ed. by P.V. BAPAT, R.D. VADEKAR, Published by Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona., 1942.
(27) : There is a difference of opinion in the Theravada tradition with regard to the range and number of treatises falling under theKhuddaka-Nikáya. One tradition holds that the Khuddaka- Nikáya consists of only 15 treatises. The range of the present work has been limited as per the second tradition excluding the Vinaya-Pitaka and the Abhidhamma-Pitaka.
Dependent Origination as the Ultimate Truth of Life
As usual, before coming to examine the ultimate truth Lord Buddha Gotama realized in the sixth century B.C. it is worthwhile to mention Indian society and thought before His advent.
Indian Society And Thought Before The Advent Of Lord Buddha
Indian society is the one, which gave birth to one of the oldest civilization of the world. It was at first a "Bronze Age" formed about 3,000 B.C. according to the archaeological information. The settled people in India, such as Mundian, Sumerian... especially Dravidian, were possible to form an agricultural civilization called the Indus civilization. According to A.K. Warder, in his book titled "Indian Buddhism" (Delhi 1991, p.17), this civilization spread eastwards into the Ganges valley and South-East across Gujarat. Its main centers were two great cities, one in Punjab, and the other in Sindh. Mentioning the religion of Indus people, Warder wrote:
"In religion the Indus people appear to have had a cult of a Great God, some of whose characteristics suggest that he was the prototype of the modern S ùiva (who has always been especially popular among the Tamils): on the one hand he seems to symbolize creation and fertility, on the other hand he may appear in the role of an ascetic, or a yogi developing his supernatural powers". (1)
In the period of time from the 16th century B.C. to the 13th century B.C., the Indus civilization came to collapse when the Aryan people possibly from the Caucasia (belonging to Armenia, U.S.S.R.) entered India. They passed Hindu - Kush Mountains, arrived at Punjab. Here the Dravidians firmly fought against the Aryan, but they failed. The Ariyans turned to be influenced by the agricultural civilization of the Dravidians; they followed the way of life of the Dravidians, settled in villages, towns and cities. The Dravidian, on the other side, were influenced by the thoughts of the Aryan as nomads. These two civilizations were combined and made up in a new one during the period of time of the "Iron Age", around 1,000 B.C. to 800 B.C. regarding this historical event, A.K. Warder wrote:
"According to the archaeological evidence Aryan people entered India at the time of the collapse of the Indus civilization (about 1,600 B.C.). In fact they were probably barbarian invaders who conquered the Indus people and destroyed their cities. These Aryan spoke an early form of Sanskrit called "Vedic" after the earliest extant Indian texts (the Veda), which can at present be read. The earliest of these Vedic texts of the Aryans were perhaps composed two or three centuries after the conquest". (2)
Dr. Chandradhar Sharma claimed that:
"The Vedas are the oldest extant literary moment of the Aryan mind. The origin of Indian philosophy, as an autonomous system, has developed practically unaffected by external influences. Unfortunately our knowledge of the Vedic period is, even to this day, too meager and imperfect". (3)
The thoughts introduced in the Vedas, especially in the Rig-Veda were therefore under the colors of the Aryans. They seemed to have originated from the Caucasia of the very old days, from the places where the Aryan nomads paused after they passed many mountainous regions, lonely deserts or immense plateaus, in shining sky, heavy rains, snowy storms, or under the torches flickering in late nights. Those thoughts are of the boundless and powerful universe, which relates to human beings. They became more and more practical and closer and closer to men when they mentioned gods of earth, of trees, of cows of the Dravidians in the very old time of the agricultural civilization.
A.K. Warder added:
"During the period of the Paurava Empire the ancient Vedic texts were collected, many more were composed, and older and newer texts were formed into a Canon of scriptures collectively called the Veda. In actual fact there was not a single Canon, but several recensions belonging to as many schools of priests....... The canon is therefore the collected learning of the Brahmans or priests. It consists of poetry, songs, ritual and philosophy". (4)
There were a lot of changes in Indian society in the beginning of the "Iron Age", so A.K. Warder continued:
"From the Veda effectively codified under the Pauravas, and from the compositions attributed to this group of thinkers of about the 9th century B.C., orthodox and conservative thought in India has since derived its religion, its ritual, its philosophy, its heroic epic, its ancient historical traditions, its laws, its geometry, its astronomy and its linguistic science. All this constitutes what is generally known as "Brahmanism; as a civilization, a way of life, a religion and much else. In a sense this formative of Brahmanism was a "heroic period" that of the most famous heroes celebrated in the epic". (5)
Here, the earliest period of time of the Vedas may be called the Vedic period, and the next period of time, when the Indian thoughts became more practical and scientific, the Post Vedic period. The Indian thought of these two periods are described clearly by Benimadhab Barua in his work titled "A History of Pre-Buddhistic Indian Philosophy". It may be summarized as follows: (6)
-- At the early time of Indian culture, Vedic Sages opened the pages of hymns mentioning cosmological problems and considering water as the original matter of things. Then another question arose: What came into being immediately after water before created things?
For this question, Aghamarsana, who was known as the first philosopher of India, replied: that was the year, the time principle which is the lord of birth and death.
-- Heranyagarbha said it was the Golden germ.
-- Narayana claimed it was Purusa. Etc.
Then, again another question was put up: from what did water spring up?
-- Ghamarsana said it was from night or chaos.
-- Prajapati Paremesthin replied: I may know it, or perhaps I may know it not.
-- Brahmanaspati claimed: it was from nothing.
-- Anila's answer was from Air element.
And so forth...
The philosophical questions gradually came into being after the Vedic period of time. They became clearer and clearer, and more and more scientific. This clearly tells us that the conception of selfness of things were more and more emphasized. From the philosophical question asked from the early time of the Vedas: How can I unite with nature, god or Brahman came to the question asked by later Brahmana teachers that: Who am I? (or Who is he?).
The answer to this question related to metamorphosis from a physical or organic man to a physiological man, then to a psychological man, then to a metaphysical man, then lastly to a spiritual or religious ethical man (7).
-- I am Naramaya: I am an individual being as all animals on earth and all creatures of the air are. All organic or inorganic beings are formed from Purusa (the Sun or the solar substance).
-- I am Annamaya (embryonic man): a man is composed of food or five elements, produced from the essence of food digested by the father communicated to the mother and established in the womb.
-- I am Pranamaya (physiological man): a man born of the parents, brought forth by the mother, a living body, that is to say, a body imbued with life, composed of food or elements nourished by food, reduced at death to an anatomical man, a corpse dissolved hereafter into elements or returned to the physical world.
-- I am Manomaya (psychological man): is a conscious individual who can perceive through the senses, who dreams, imagines, thinks, fells, wills and who perceives duality and plurality among things.
-- I am Vijnànamaya (metaphysical man): a man who is endowed with nothing but the inherent conscious sentient principle or soul, a thinker who realizes the unity of cause in the variety of appearance.
-- I am Ànandamaya (spiritual or religious - ethical man): a blessed soul united with divine. It seems to appear to us that early Vedic sages lived very naturally and closely to nature - this relates to the way of life of the Aryans as nomads -. The limit between man and nature didn't appear clear. Their philosophical questions were therefore centered on "who is he?" and "How can I unite with him?" But after that period of time, the Brahmana teachers turned to think and think of the "I" (the first person), of the self of things as entities, then the colors of Indian thoughts started turning practical - this relates to the settled way of life of the agricultural civilization of the Dravidian. This is the reason why the author of this work call this period of time of Indian philosophy the Post Vedic philosophy. This period existed until the time when the six Schools of thought appeared.
Six Schools of thought under the time of Lord Buddha:
Under the time of Lord Buddha, the Masters of the Six Schools of thought in India were best known. They all opposed to the doctrine taught by Lord Buddha, and were classed by Buddhists as the Six Heretics or Sophists (cha-titthiyà). They were known as Purana Kassapa, Makkhali Gosala. Ajita kesa - Kambala, Pakudha Kaccàyana, Sañjaya Belatthaputta and Nigantha Nàtaputta.
Purana Kassapa: (8)
He was known as a naked ascetic, died in 572 B.C...His doctrine, according to the Sutta of Samannaphala (Length Sayings, Vol.I), is called Akiriyavàda, or Ahetuvàda (the doctrine of non-action). For him, when we act or cause other to act, it is not the soul that acts or cause others to act. The soul really is passive (niskriya), out of the result of good or bad actions - the reality is also beyond both good and evil.
Makkhali - Gosàla (or Maskarin Gosala): (9)
In the Jaina Bhagavati sutra and its commentary, Makkhali Gosala theory is summed up as the doctrine of transformation, but in Buddhist texts, Sàmannaphalasuttam, it is considered as "theory of purification through transmigration (samsára - suddhi). For this point of view, both fools and wise alike will reach perfection by gradual transformation. All beings will attain, and must attain, perfection in course of time.
Ajita Kesa - Kambala: (10)
His philosophy is materialism; it may be called Annihilationism or non-Eternalism. He claimed that there is no individuality after death. When a living body constituted of the four elements dies, earth element returns to the earth, water to the water, heat to the fire, air to the air, and the sense faculties pass into space. Everybody ceases to be after death.
Pakudha Kàtyayana: (11)(orKakuda Kàtyàyana):
Hisphilosophy is seen in sàmannaphalasu-ttam as the doctrine of seven categories (satta - kàya - vàda); in Jaina sutra Kritanga it is described as the doctrine of soul as a sixth (atma - sastha - vàda). For his view, there is no act of killing, or hearing, knowing, or instructing in reality. That is only the act of separating from one another the elements constructing their organic unity. When a man with a sharp sword cleaves a head in twain, he does not thereby deprive anyone of life, a sword only penetrated into the interval between seven elementary substances. This way of reasoning is very dangerous. It can cause men to destroy ethics and make disorder of society.
Sañjaya Belatthaputta (12):
Sañjaya Belatthaputta is classed by Buddhist text as the best-known skeptic. He was a master of Shariputra, the chief of disciples of Lord Buddha, before the latter became a disciple under the guidance of Lord Buddha. His doctrine is known as Agnostics, Skeptics or Eel Wrigglers. Lord Buddha says, when Sañjaya and his disciples are asked a question on this or that, they equivocate and wriggle like an eel and their reason will fall into one or another or all of the following four cases.
Case 1 and 2:
We neither know the good (kusala) nor the evil (akusala) as it really is. In such case, if we make a positive declaration either with regard to good or evil, we may be led away by conceit or pride, or influenced by ill-will and resentment. Under these conditions we may be proved wrong, and that may cause us the pain of remorse and ultimately a hindrance to the tranquility we aim at. Or in the second place, we may fall into a grasping condition of heart (upàdana), which will culminate in a similar disturbance of peace.
Case 3 and 4:
We neither know the good nor the evil as it really is. There are persons who are clever, subtle, expert, controversialists, hair splitters (vàda - vedhi - rupa), who go about, as it were, shattering the dogmas of others. But we, on the other hand, are dull and stupid. Hence, if we make a definite statement with regard to good or evil, they may join issue with us, ask us for reasons, and point out our errors. This may cause us as before, the pain to remorse and disturb our imperturbability. Thus, fearing being wrong in an expressed opinion, the falling into a grasping condition of heart, or the joinder of issue, we declare nothing to be either good or evil, but on a question being put to us on this or that, we answer thus:
-- Is A B? -- No.
-- Is A not B? -- No.
-- Is A both B and not B? -- No.
-- Is A neither B nor not B? -- No.
Such is a reason of a wriggling eel!
Nigantha Nàtaputta: (13)
Nigantha Nàtaputta's doctrine is described in Samannaphalasuttam as fourfold self - restraint. When he was asked by King Ajàtasattu that, "Can you, Nigantha Nàtaputta, point to such a reward visible here and now as a fruit of the homeless life?" Nigantha Nàtaputta said, your majesty here a Nigantha is bound by a fourfold restraint. What four? He is curbed by all curbs, enclosed by all curbs, cleared by all curbs, and claimed by all curbs. And as far as a Nigantha is bound by this fourfold restraint thus the Nigantha is called self-perfected, self-controlled, self-established".
All the above Indian thoughts, from Vedic thought, were evaluated and classified in Buddhist text as follows:
-- Eighteen kinds of wrong view concerning the past:
* Eternalism: 4 kinds of wrong view.
* Partly Eternalism and partly non-Eternalism: 4 kinds of wrong view.
* Finitism: 2 kinds of wrong view.
* Infinitism: 2 kinds of wrong view.
* Eel wrigglers: 4 kinds of wrong view.
* Chance - originationism: 2 kinds of wrong view.
-- Thirty-nine kinds of wrong view concerning the future.
* Conscious post - mortem survival: 16 kinds of wrong view.
* Unconscious post - mortem survival: 8 kinds of wrong view.
* Neither - conscious nor - unconscious post - mortem survival: 8 kind of wrong view.
* Annihilationism: 7 kinds of wrong view.
-- Five kinds of wrong view concerning the present:
* Claimer of nibbána in the here and now: 5 kinds.
For those 62 kinds of wrong view, Lord Buddha declared:
"This, monks, the Tathágata understands: these view points thus grasped and adhered to will lead to such and such destinations in another world. This the Tathágata knows, and more, but He is not attached to that knowledge. And being thus unattached He has experienced for himself perfect peace, and having truly understood the arising and passing away of feelings, their attraction and peril and the deliverance from them, the Tathágata is liberated without remainder. These, monks, are those other matters profound, hard to see, hard to understand, peaceful, excellent beyond mere thought, subtle, to be experienced by the wise, which the Tathágata having realized them by his own super knowledge, proclaims, and about which those who would truthfully praise the Tathágata would rightly speak". (14)
(" Tayidam, bhikkhave, Tathàgato pajànàti: "Ime ditthàna evam gahità evam paramatthà evam gatikà bhavissanti evam abhisampàrayàti". Tanca Tathàgato pajànàti, tatoca uttaritaram pajànàti, tanca pajànanam na paràmasati, aparàmasato c'assa paccattam yeva nibbuti vidità, vedanàna samudayanca atthagamanca assàdanca àdiìnavanca nissarananca yathàbhuùtam viditvà anupàdà vimutto, bhikkhave, Tathàgato.
" Ime kho te, bhikkhave, dhammà gambhiìrà duddasà duranubodhà santà panità atakkàvacarà nipunà panditavedaniìyà ye Tathàgato sayam abhinnà sacchikatvà pavedeti, yehi Tahtàgatassa yathàbhuccam vannam sammà vadamànà vadeyyum".) (15)
Evaluation of Indian thought by Indian thinkers: S. Radhakrishnan, a contemporary Indian thinker, gives an evaluation of Indian thoughts in his work titled "Indian philosophy" that:
" The Indian never felt that the world was a field of battle where men struggled for power, wealth and domination. When we do not need to waste our energies on problems of life on earth, exploiting nature and controlling the forces of the world, we begin to think of the higher life, how to live more perfectly in the spirit. Perhaps an enervating climate inclined the Indian to rest and retirement. The huge forests with their wide leafy avenues afforded great opportunities for the devout soul to wander peacefully through them, dream strange dreams and burst forth into joyous songs... It was in the asramas and tapovanas or forest hermitages that the thinking men of India meditated on the deeper problems of existence". (16)
S. Radhakrishnan added:
" The philosophic attempt to determine the nature of reality may start either with thinking self or the objects of thought. In India the interest of philosophy is in the self of man where the vision is turned outward, the rush of Fleeting events engages the mind. In India " Atmamam viddhi", know the self, sums up the law and the prophets. Within man is the spirit that is the center of everything.
...Indian psychology realized the value of concentration and looked upon it as the means for the perception of the truth". (17)
S. Radhakrishnan's comments, as quoted above, are so clear and interesting.
Generally, the essence of Indian thought is so. On the basis of that thought, the author thinks, a good course of Indian education might be built.
Ancient Indian education:
Let's now follow the assessment of S.D. Dev, in his book entitled "Education and Career":
" The Vedas construed man a spark of the divine, potential God. Education made man the meeting point of Heaven and Earth. In the Upanishadic language the task of education was to draw out the luster of the heavenly fire and to fill the Earth with it. According to Badarayana of the Brahma Sutra the purpose of education was to produce men of wisdom, holiness and sanctity... Aim of education in Ancient India has, however, been character building to increase strength of mind with a view to expand one's intellect, to enable the people to stand on their own feet and to produce men of wisdom, holiness and sanctity". (18)
S.D. Dev also wrote:
" The Indian seers clearly perceived that education is necessary for man to lead an ideal life. Aim of education in ancient India was to train the boys and girls to take initiative, to accept discipline, responsibility and leadership, to behave, to appreciate the difference between right and wrong and be familiar with accepted social and moral codes of behavior and finally to possess a healthy sense of the richness of his country's past history, to enable him to serve his fellow men and women...
The illumination, insight and guidance which education gives to us effects a complete transformation. "If one human being is superior to another", says a Vedic thinker, "It is not because he possesses an extra hand or eye, but because his mind and intellect are sharpened and rendered more efficient by education. Devoid of education, says Bhartrihari, we are mere beasts; education elevates us into human beings. Life without education is, therefore, utterly futile and worthless". (19)
From what S. Radhakrishnan and S.D. Dev expressed, as quoted above, the author recognizes that the central point of the thought and education of ancient India lies in the self of human being where exists wisdom or the spirit that is the center of everything. This is also a crucial point, in the author's opinion, opening a new course of modern education or culture for peace and happiness of men. However, "What is that true self", and "how to cultivate, or produce, wisdom from that true self" are other problems. It is the same for the way of meditation: one may ask: What is that way of meditation? What people could get from it? The right answer for those questions still existed as a dream of India until the time when Lord Buddha Gotama attained Enlightenment under the "Bodhi - tree" at Bodh Gaya. Then the great dream of great India really came true.
As the discourse of Brahmajàla said, the Indian sages and thinkers were obsessed by their attachment to knowledge's and feelings therefore they couldn't know and see truth and the Way to Truth. Only Lord Buddha did not attach to His knowledge and feeling, so He realized Truth, Enlightenment. This fact will be examined in next part.
Lord Buddha's Way To The Noble Truth
About Lord Buddha Gotama:
The man who realized Noble Truth and became the Buddha was the prince, Siddhartha by name. He was born in 624 B.C. according to the source of information taken from the World Buddhist Conference held in Tokyo in 1952 - at the park Lumbini in the Kingdom of Nepal of today. His father, Shuddhodana, belonging to Khattiya social class, Sakya family, was the king of Kapilavatthu. His mother, the queen Mahàmàyà, died a week after giving birth to Him. Right after the birth, a wise sage, named Asita, read His body and foretold in general that: there were thirty two special marks on His tiny body which say that He would lead His homeless life as a wandering monk and would become a fully - enlightened Buddha, a teacher of Gods and Men.
The discourse of Nàlaka of Suttanipàta (Khuddakanikàya Collection) recorded Asita's words as follows:
-- Then remembering his own migration he was displeased and shed tears; seeing this the sakyas asked the weeping Isi whether there would be any obstacle in the prince's path?" (20)
(" Ath' attano gamanam anussaranto akalyaruøpo galayati assukàni, disvàna Sakyà isim avocumrudantam: "no ce kumàre bhavissati antaràyo".) (21)
-- "Seeing the Sakyas displeased the Isi said: I do not remember anything (that will be) unlucky for the prince, there will be no obstacles at all for Him, for this is no inferior (person). Be without anxiety". (22)
(" Disvàna Sakye isimavoca akalye: "nàham kumàre ahitam anussaràmi, na càpi - m - assa bhavissati antaràyo, na orak' àyam, adhimanasà bhavàtha".) (23)
-- "This prince will reach the summit of perfect enlightenment. He will turn the wheel of the Dhamma, he who sees what is exceedingly pure (i.e. Nibbána), this prince feels for the welfare of the multitude, and his religion will be widely spread". (24)
(" Sambodhiyaggam phusissat' àyam kumàro, so dhammacakkam paramavisuddhadassì vattes' àyam bahujanahitànukampi, vitthàrik ' assa bhavissati brahmacariyam".) (25)
-- "My life here will shortly be at an end, in the middle (of His life) there will be a death for me; I shall not hear the Dhamma of the incomparable one, therefore I am afflicted, unfortunate and suffering". (26)
(" Mamanca àyu na ciram idhàvaseso, ath' antarà me bhavissati kàlakiriyà, so' ham na sussam asmadhurassa dhammam, ten' amhi atto vyasanagato aghàvì".) (27)
Siddhartha grew up to be a very splendid young man, was good at His studies, excellent at all kinds of sports and martial arts, was very handsome, just and kind. He married Yashodhara, the most beautiful girl of His time, when he was eighteen years of age. His only son, Rahula, was born when He was twenty-nine years of age.
Siddhartha made four fateful trips to the outside world, out of the Kingdom. On the first trip, He met an old man; on the second, a sick man; on the third, a corpse being carried away to be cremated on the burning ghat; and on the fourth, a wandering holy monk. He did receive a vital shock on the above trips which made Him come to the most important decision of His life: He left His throne for leading His life as a wandering ascetic monk to look for truth. He was twenty-nine years old then.
He came to study under two most distinguished Samana teachers of the time: Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta. Alara Kalama taught Him how to attain the jhana of Nothingness; Uddaka Ramaputta taught Him how to attain the jhana of neither perception nor non - perception. He obtained in a short period of time what Alara and Uddaka obtained, but He was still unsatisfied with His attainment, because He knew he was then hindered by ignorance (avijjà)
Siddhartha then went into the jungle near Uruvela and practiced the forms of asceticism with the sage Kondanna and his four friends. He spent six years living alone and naked in forests, slept on beds of thorns, burned in the heat of midday sun, and suffered cold at night, until the day He starved Himself into a state of extreme emasculation. In this period of time of practicing asceticism, there were three thoughtful images arising in His mind once. They were recorded that:
"Moreover, Aggivessana, three similes occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before: It is as if there were a wet sappy stick placed in water; then a man might come along bringing any upper piece of fire stick and thinking: "I will light a fire, I will get at". What do you think about this, Aggivessana? could that man,... light a fire, could he get heat ?" - No good, Gotama.
In like manner, Aggivessana, whatever recluses or Brahmans dwell not aloof from pleasures of the sense that are bodily, then if that which is for them, among the sense pleasure, desire for sense pleasure, infatuation with sense pleasure, fever for sense pleasure if that is not properly got rid of subjectively nor properly allayed, whether these worthy recluses and Brahmans experience feelings which are acute, painful, sharp, severe, they could not become those for knowledge, for vision, for the incomparable self - awakening, and whether these worthy recluses and Brahmans do not experience feelings which are acute, painful, sharp, severe, they could not become those for knowledge, for vision, for the incomparable self - awakening. This, Aggivessana, was the first parable that occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before.
Then, Aggivessana, a second parable occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before. It is as if, Aggivessana, a wet sappy stick were placed on dry ground, far from water...Then, Aggivessana a third parable occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before. It is as if, Aggivessana, a dry sapless stick were placed on dry ground, far from water...
In like manner, Aggivessana, whatever recluses or Brahmans dwell aloof from pleasure of sense that are bodily, then if that which is for them, among the sense - pleasures, desire for sense pleasures, affection for... infatuation with... thirst for...fever for sense pleasures - if this is well got rid of subjectively, well allayed, then whether these worthy recluses and Brahmans experience feelings that are acute, painful, sharp, severe, indeed they become those for knowledge, for vision, for the incomparable self - awakening; and whether these worthy recluses and Brahmans do not experience feelings that are acute, painful, sharp, severe, indeed they become those for knowledge, for vision, for incomparable self - awakening. This, Aggivessana, was the third parable that occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before". (28)
("Api-ssu mam, Aggivessana tisso upamà patibhamsu anacchariyà pubbe assutapubbà: Seyyathà pi, Aggivessana, allam kattham sasneham udake nikkhitam, atha puriso àgaccheyya attaràranim àdàya; aggim abhinibbattessàmi, tejo pàtukarissàmìti Tam kimmannasi, Aggivessana: api nu so puriso amum allam kattham sasnehamudake nikkhittam uttaràranim àdàya abhimanthen-to aggim abhinibbatteyya tejo pàtukareyyàti. No h'idam, bho Gotama, tam kissa hetu: adum hi, bho gotama, allam kattham sasneham, tanca pana udake nikkhittam, yàvad eva ca pana so puriso kilamathassa vighàtassa bhàgì assàti - Evameva kho, Aggivessana, yehi keci samanà và bràmanà và kàyena c'eva kàmehi avupakatthà viharanti, yoca nesam kàmesu kàmacchando kàmasneho kàmamucchà kàmapipàsà kàmaparilàho so ca ajjhattam na suppahìno hoti na suppatippassaddho, opakkamikà ce pi te bhonto samanabràmanà dukkhàti pàpà katukà vedanà vediyanti abhabbà và te nànàya dassanàya anuttaràya sambodhàya, no ce pi te bhonto samanabràhmanà opakkamikà dukkhàti akatukà vedanà vediyanti abhabbà và te nanàya dassanàya anuttaràya sambodhàya... Aparà pi kho mam, Aggivessana, dutiyà upamà patibhàsi anacchariyà pubbe assutapubbà:... Aparà pi kho mam Aggivessana tatiyà upamà patibhàsi...") (29)
Then He practiced holding breath for a long time until there were violent pains in His body and head. He realized this way of practicing could not answer to his main problem; if He went on abusing His body in that way, He would die before He could find the answer. He then took food again in order to have enough strength to make a new start of practice. His five fellow ascetics witnessed His change and declared, "Gotama has taken the easy life !" then they kept themselves far away from Him.
Siddhartha was then so lonely in the midst of the immense ocean of sufferings of birth and death. He started thinking again and again of a middle way between the luxurious and the ascetical ways that He had not practiced. He recalled an incident during a "plowing Festival" when, as a child of six or seven years old, He sat under a rose - apple tree and entered meditative absorptions. He said to himself that, "Might that be the way to Enlightenment?"
Siddhartha went on to Uruvelà and stopped at a place nowadays called Bodh Gaya in the modern Indian state of Bihar, He determined to sit under the Bodh-tree and practiced his own way of meditation until He could find the exact answer to the question of dealing with suffering in life.
The discourse of Ariyapariyesana recorded:
_" Then I, monks, a quester for whatever is good, searching for the incomparable, matchless path to peace, walking on tour through Magadha in due course arrived at Uruvelà, the camp township. There I saw a delightful stretch of land and a lovely woodland grove, and a clear flowing river with a delightful ford, and a village for support nearby. It occurred to me, monks, "Indeed it is a delightful stretch of land... Indeed this does well for striving of a young man set on striving". So I, monks, set down just there, thinking, "Indeed this does well for striving". (30)
(" So kho aham, bhikkhave, kim kusalagavesì anuttaram santivarapadam pariyesamàno Magadhesu anupubbena càrikam caramàno yena Uruvelà senànigamo tadavasarim Tatth'addasam ramanìyam bhumibhàgam pàsàdikan ca vanasandam, nadin-ca sandantim setakam supatittham ramanìyam samantà ca gocaragàmam. Tassa mayham, bhikkhave, etadahosi: Ramaniìyo vata bhuùmibhàgo pàsàdiko ca vanasando, nadì ca sandati setakà supatitthà ramanìyà, samantà ca gocaragàmo, alam vat'idam kulaputtassa padhànatthikassa padhànàyati. So kho aham, bhikkhave, tatth'eva nisìdim, alam - idam padhànàyati".)
After entering deep into meditative concentration (samádhi), He practiced insight meditation (vipassana) and thereby attained three special kinds of knowledge's (Tevijjà)
1) He remembered many former existences of Him self.
2) He gained knowledge of the workings of kamma: How those who acquire bad results of kamma by doing evil actions are born in miserable states, and how those who acquire good results of kamma by doing good actions are born in happy states.
3) He gained the third and highest knowledge of the destruction of the cankers (or taints, or defilements: àsavas). Three àsavas are often mentioned: sensual desire, desire for existence and desire for non-existence.
These three perfect knowledge's appeared in the last night when Siddhartha attained Enlightenment under the Bodhi-tree as the Bhaya bheravasyttam (Majjhima Nikáya, Vol.I.)
-- "Thus with mind composed, quite purified, quite clarified, without blemish, without defilement, grown soft and workable, fixed, immovable, I directed my mind to the knowledge and recollection of former habitations: I remembered a variety of former habitations, thus: one birth, two births, three..., four..., a hundred..., a hundred thousand births and many an eon of integration - disintegration; such an one was I by name, having such and such a clan, such and such a color, so was I nourished, such and such pleasant and painful experiences were mine, so did the span of life end...
This Brahman, was the first knowledge attained by me in the first watch of the night; ignorance was dispelled, knowledge arose, darkness was dispelled, light arose, even as I abided diligent, ardent, self-solute.
-- Then with mind composed quite purified...I directed my mind to the knowledge of the passing hence and the arising of beings...I comprehend that beings are mean, excellent, comely, ugly, well-going, ill-going, according to the consequences of their deeds, and I think: Indeed these worthy beings who were possessed of wrong conduct in body, who were possessed of wrong conduct of speech, who were possessed of wrong conduct of thought, scoffers at the Aryans, holding a wrong view, incurring deeds consequent on a wrong view - these, at the break up of the body after dying, have arisen in a sorrowful state, a bad bourn, the abyss, Niraya Hell. But those worthy beings who were possessed of good conduct in body...of speech,...in thought, who did not scoff at the Aryans, holding a right view... at the breaking up of the body after dying, have arisen in a good bourn, a heaven world... This, Brahman, was the second knowledge attained by me in the middle watch of the night; ignorance was dispelled, knowledge arose..."
" Then with mind composed, quite purified... I directed my mind to the destruction of the cankers. I understood as it really is: this is anguish, this is the arising, this is the stopping of anguish, this is the course leading to the stopping of anguish.
I understood as it really is: There are the cankers, this is the arising of the cankers...this is the course leading to the stopping of the cankers. Knowing this thus, seeing thus, my mind was freed from the canker of sense pleasures... from the canker of becoming... from the canker of ignorance... This, Brahman, was the third knowledge attained by me in the last watch of the night; ignorance was dispelled, knowledge arose, darkness was dispelled, light arose even as I abided diligent, ardent, self-resolute". (32)
(" So evam samàhite citte parisuddhe pariyodàte anangane vigatupakkilese mudubhuùte kammaniye thite ànejjappatte pubbenivàsà-nussatinànàya cittam abhininnàmesim. So anekavihitam pubbenivàsam anussaràmi, seyyathidam:ekampi jàtim dve pijàtiyo, ... jàtisatasahassampi, anekepi samvattakappe aneke pi vivattakappe; amutr' àsim evannàmo evamgotto evam vanno evamahàro evam sukhadukkhapatisamvedì evamàyupariyanto, so tato cuto amutra udapàdim, tatra p'àsim evannàmo evamgotto evamvanno evamàhàro evam sukhadukkhapativediì evamàyupariya-nto, so tato cuto idhupapanno ti. Iti sàkàram sauddesam anekavihitam pubbenivàsam anussaràmi. Ayam kho me, bràhmana rattiyà pathame yàme pathamà vijjà adhigatà. Avijjà vihatà vijjà uppannà. Tamo vihato àloko uppanno. Yathà tam appamattassa àtàpino pahitattassa viharato.
" So evam samàhite citte parisuddhe pariyodàte anangane vigatupakkilese mudubhuùte kammaniye thite ànejjappatte sattànam cutuapapatananàya cittam abhininnàmesim. So dibbena cakkhunà visuddhena atikkantamànusakena satte passàmi cavamàne upapajjamàne...
" So evam samàhite citte parisuddhe... abhininnàmesim. So,idam dukkhanti yathàb-hutam abbhannàsim .Ayam dukkhasamudayo ti yathàbhuùtam abbhannàsim. Ayam dukkhanirodhoti yathàbhutam abbhannàsim. Ayam dukkhanirodhagàmini patipadàti yathàbhuø-tam abbhannàsim....
Ayam kho me, bràhmana, rattiyà pacchime yàme tatiyà vijjà adhigatà, avijjà vihatà vijjà uppannà, tamo vihato àloko uppanno. Yathà tam appamattassa àtàpino pihatattassa viharato".) (33)
The above attainment of the Noble Truth was also recorded in the discourse of Ariyapariyesana as follows:
"It occurred to me, monks: This Dhamma won to by me in deep difficult to see, difficult to understand, tranquil, excellent, beyond dialectic, subtle, intelligible to the learned. But this is a creation delighting in sensual pleasure, delighted by sensual pleasure, rejoicing in sensual pleasure, this were a matter difficult to see, that is to say, causal uprising by way of condition. This too were a matter difficult to see, that is to say, the tranquillizing of all the activities, the renunciation of all attachment, the destruction of craving, dispassion, stopping, nibbána". (34)
(" Tassa mayham, bhikkhave, atadahosi: Adhigato kho me ayam dhammo gambhìro duddaso duranubodho santo panìto atakkàvacaro nipuno panditavedaniìyo. Àlayaràmà kho panàyam pajà àlayaratà àlayasammudità. Àlayaràmàya kho panapajàya àlayaratàya àlayasammuditàya duddasam idam thànam yadidam idappaccayatà paticcasamuppàdo, idam-pi kho thànam duddasam yadidam sabbasankhàrasamatho sabbupadhipatinissaggo tanhakkhayo viràgo nirodho nibbànam".) (35)
The Truth of Dependent Origination (Paticcasamuppàda) was described in Kindred Sayings, Vol.II (Samyuttanikàya, Vol.II) as follows:
" Then to me, brethren, came this thought: "What now being present, does decay - and - death come to be ? What conditions decay - and - death? Then to me thinking according to law came to pass comprehension of insight: let there be birth, then there is decay - and - death. Decay - and - death is conditioned by birth... let there be ignorance, then activities come to be, activities are conditioned by ignorance. Such verily is this "activities are conditioned by ignorance", and the rest. Even so is the coming to be of this entire mass of ill.
Then, brethren, to me came the thought: What now being absent, does decay - and - death not come to be? From the ceasing of what is there ceasing of decay - and - death?
Then to me, thinking according to law, came to pass comprehension of insight: let there be no birth, then decay - and - death ceases. From ceasing of birth comes ceasing of decay - and - death.
And thus also came to me comprehension of insight into the like concerning birth, becoming, grasping, craving, feeling, contact, sense, name - and - form, consciousness, activities, ignorance. Such verily is this "ceasing of activities because ceasing of ignorance, and the rest. Even so is the ceasing of this entire mass of ill". (36)
"Tassa mayham, bhikkhave, etadahosi // kimhi nu kho sati jaràmaranam hoti kimpaccayà jaràmarananti // Tassa mayham bhikkhave, yoniso manasikàrà ahu pannàya abhisamayo // jàtiyà kho sati jaràmaranam hoti jàtipaccayà jaràmaranan ti // .
Iti hidam avijjàpaccayà sankhàrà // sankhàrapaccayà vinnànam // pe // Evam etassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo hoti //
Tassa mayham, bhikkhave, etadahosi // Kimhi nu kho asati jaràmaranam " na hoti kissa nirodhà jaràmarananirodhoti // Tassa mayham, bhikkhave, yoniso manasikàrà ahu pannàya abhisamayo // jàtiyà kho asati jaràmaranam na hoti jàtinirodhà jaràmarananirodhoti //
Tassa mayham, bhikkhave, etadahosi // Kimhi nu kho asati jàti "na hoti // bhavo // upàdànam // tanhà // vedanà / phasso // salàyatanam // nàmaruùpam // vinnànam / sankhàrà na honti // kissa nirodhà sankhàranirodho ti //
Tassa mayham, bhikkhave, yoniso manasikàrà ahu pannàya abhisamayo // Avijjàya kho asatisankhàrà na honti avijjànirodhà sankhàranirodho ti // ... (37)
Evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa nirodho hoti // ")
So, Dependent Origination realized by Lord Buddha Gotama, which had not been heard before in India, is a very special doctrine determining the difference between Buddhism and other religions and philosophies. It is this, which opens what is called Buddhist Pali Tipitaka or Pali Sutta Pitaka in a narrow meaning. It is this, which shows the truth of men and nature, and the truth of men's suffering and the way of ceasing it. Therefore, it may be considered as the source of a good course of education or culture suggesting a new course of research for the true meaning of personality which says that the meaning of Dependent Origination really is the Buddhist concept of personality; to understand what a man really is, one should understand what Dependent Origination is. It is unnecessary to examine separately the concept of man as the existence of the Four Elements (Catu-dhàtu), or as a Satta, a puggala, attà, jiva etc. which denote, 'ego-entity', because all these concepts are implied in the term Nàma-ruùpa, the fourth element of the Dependent Origination - This is what the author is going to discuss about in next chapters.
(1) : A.K. Warder, "Indian Buddhism", Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, Pvt. LTD. Delhi, 1991, p.18.
(2) : Ibid. p.18.
(3) : Chandradhar Sharma, A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, Pvt. LTD, Delhi; 1991, p.18.
(4) : Ibid., p.20.
(5) : Ibid., p.21.
(6) : Benimadhab Barua, A history of Pre-Buddhistic Indian Philosophy, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, Delhi, Varanasi, Patna, 1970; p.6.
(7) : Ibid., p. 45.
(8) : Ibid., p. 277.
(9) : Ibid., p. 304.
(10) : Ibid., p. 293.
(11) : Ibid., p. 281.
(12) : Ibid., p. 325.
(13) : Ibid., p. 378.
(14) : " The Discourse on The Supreme Net," Long Discourses, tr. by Maurice Walshe, Wisdom Publication, London, 1987, p.87.
(15) : " Brahmajàla-sutta", Dìgha-Nikàya, PTS, London, 1975, p. 36.
(16) : S. Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1989, p. 22.
(17) : Ibid., p,.28.
(18) : S.D. Dev, Education and Career, Printed in India, Printing Press, New Delhi-110005, pp. 4-5.
(19) : Ibid., pp. 8-9.
(20) : " The Discourse on Nàlaka," Suttanipata, verse No. 691, tr. by F. Max Muller, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, Delhi, 1992, p.125.
(21) : "Nàlakasuttam Nitthitam", Sutta-nipàta, Khuddaka-Nikàya, PTS, London, 1990, p.134, verse No. 691.
(22) : "The Discourse on Nàlaka",..., verse No. 692, p.125.
(23) : "Nàlakasuttam Nitthitam",..., p. 134, verse No.692.
(24) : "The Discourse on Nàlaka",..., verse No. 693, p.125.
(25) : "Nàlakasuttam Nitthitam",..., p.134, verse No.693.
(26) : "The Discourse on Nàlaka",..., verse No. 694, p.125.
(27) : "Nàlakasuttam Nitthitam",..., p.135, verse No.694.
(28) : "Mahàsaccakasuttam", Middle Length Syings, Vol. I, PTS,London, 1987, pp.295-296.
(29) : "Mahàsaccakasuttam", Majjhima-Nikáya, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1979, pp. 240-241.
(30) : "the Discourse on Ariyapariyesana", Middle Length Sayings, Vol. I., PTS, London, 1987, pp.28-29.
(31) : "Ariyapariyesana-sutta", Majjhima-Nikáya, Vol.I, PTS, London, 1979, pp.166-167.
(32) : "The discourse on Bhayabherava", Majjhima-Nikáya, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1987, pp. 28-29.
(33) : "Bhayabherava-sutta", Majjhima-Nikáya, PTS, London, 1979, pp.22-23.
(34) : "The Discourse on Ariyapariyesana",..., pp. 211-212.
(35) : "Ariyapariyesana-sutta",..., p. 167.
(36) : Kindred Sayings , Vol. II, PTS , London , 1990, pp.6-7.
(37) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. II, PTS, London,1989, pp. 10-11.
Part Two: Dependent Origination (Paticcasamuppada)
The Meaning of Dependent Origination
To understand well the doctrine of Dependent Origination, which is out of all extremes of point of view, the writer thinks one needs to grasp the meaning of its details.
What is cause?
When this thing is present, that thing exists;
When this thing is not present, that thing does not exist.
"This thing" is called the cause of "that thing". In other words, the cause of one thing is the main element that determines its presence. For example, the seed of a mango is the cause of a mango-tree. According to Lord Buddha's teachings, a seed of a mango is called the chief cause (Paccaya or hetu); the other elements or causes making up the mango-tree are called causes (nidàna or paccaya). In Pàli language, the Chief cause is called "hetu", "samudaya", the other causes are called "paccaya" or"nidàna" (meaning condition). Both the chief cause and other cause are called nidàna.
What is the causal Law?
(Or the Law of Dependent Origination).
Lord Buddha taught:
" Conditioned by ignorance, activities come to pass; conditioned by activities, consciousness comes to pass; conditioned by consciousness, name - and - form come to pass; conditioned by name - and - form, the six senses come to pass; conditioned by six senses, touch comes to pass; conditioned by touch, feeling comes to pass; conditioned by feeling, craving comes to pass; conditioned by craving, grasping comes to pass; conditioned by grasping, becoming comes to pass; conditioned by becoming, birth comes to pass; conditioned by birth, old age and death, grief, lamentation, suffering, sorrow, despair come to pass. Such is the uprising of this entire mass of ill. This, brethren, is called "Causal happening".
But from utter fading away and ceasing of ignorance [comes] ceasing of activities; from ceasing of activities [comes] ceasing of consciousness; ...; from ceasing of birth [comes] ceasing of old age and death, ... despair. Such is the ceasing of this entire of ill". (1)
(" Avijjàpaccayà, bhikkhave, sankhàrà // sankhàrapaccayà vinnànam//vinnànapaccayà nàmarupam//nàmarupapaccayà salàyatanam //salàyatanapaccayà phasso//phassapaccayà vedanà// vedanàpaccayà tanhà // tanhapaccayà upàdànam // upàdànapaccayà bhavo // bhavapaccayà jàti // jàtipaccayà jaràmaranam soka - parideva - dukkhadomanassupàyasà sambhavanti // Evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo hoti // Ayam vuccati, bhikkhave, samuppàdo // //
Avijjaya tveva asesaviràganirodhà sankhàranirodhovinnànanirodho//vinnànan-irodhà nàmaruùpanirodho // nàmaruùpanirodhà salàyatananirodho // salàyatananirodhà phassanirodho // phassanirodhà vedanànirodho // vedanànirodhà tanhànirodho // tanhànirodhà upàdànanirodho // upàdànanirodhà bhavanirodho // bhavanirodhà jàtinirodho // jàtinirodhà jaràmaranam soka - pari - deva - dukkha... nirujjhanti // Evam-etassa kevalassa dukkh-akkhandhassa nirodho hotii ti // //"). (2)
What is causal happening?
--" What, brethren, is causal happening?
Conditioned by rebirth is decay - and - death -whether, brethren, there be an arising of Tathágatas, or whether there be no such arising, this nature of things just stands, this causal status, this causal orderliness, the relatedness of this or that. Concerning that the Tathágata is fully enlightened, that He fully understands. Fully enlightened, fully understanding He declares it, sets it forth, manifests, explains; makes it plain, saying, "Behold! Conditioned by rebirth is decay - and - death, conditioned by becoming is rebirth... conditioned by ignorance are activities. Whether, brethren, there be an arising of Tathágatas, or whether there be no such arising, this nature of things just stands..." (3)
(" Katamo ca, bhikkhave, paticca-samuppàdo //jàtipaccayà, bhikkhave, jaràmaranam uppàdà và Tathàgatànam anuppàdà và Tathàgatànam // thità va sà dhàtu dhammatthitatà dhammaniyàmatà idappaccayata// //Tam Tathàgato abhisambujjhati abhisameti // abhisambujjhitvà
bhisametvà àcikkhati deseti pannàpeti patthapeti vivarati vibhajati uttàniì - karoti passathàti càha // Jàtipaccayà, bhikkhave, jàràmaranam // ... //avijjàpaccayà bhikkhave, sankhàrà uppàdà và Tathagatànam anuppadà và Tathàgatànam // thità va sà dhàtu dhammatthitatà dhammaniyàmatà idappaccayatà // tam Tathàgato abhisambhujjhati abhisameti // ... "). (4)
What are things as having causally happened?
--" And what, brethren, are things as having causally happened? Decay - and - death is impermanent, conditioned, arisen causally, is by nature withering away, passing away, fading away, coming to an end. So too is birth, becoming, grasping, craving, feeling, contact, six-fold sense, name - and - form, consciousness, activities, ignorance. These, brethren, are called things as having causally conditioned". (5)
(" Katame ca, bhikkhave, paticcasamuppannà dhammà // // Jaràmaranam bhikkhave, aniccam sankhatam paticcasamuppannam hayadhammam vayadhammam viràga dhammam nirodhadhammam // Jàti, bhikkhave, aniccà... // Bhavo, bhikkhave, anicco... // ... // Avijjà, bhikkhave, aniccà sankhatà paticcasamuppannà khayadhammà vayadhammà viràgadhammà nirodhadhammà //ime. vuccanti, bhikkhave, paticcasamuppa-nnà dhammà // "). (6)
As shown in the Buddha's teachings quoted above, every existing thing is conditioned. In fact, it is but the presence of conditions originating it, so it is selfless or unsubstantial. A man also is an existing thing, so it is conditioned and selfless. Those who can see this truth of Dependent Origination see existing things; those who can see existing things, see the principle of Dependent Origination. And those who can see those things see Lord Buddha Himself, as He said:
" Hush, Vakkali ! What is there in seeing this vile body of mine? He who seeth the Norm, Vakkali, he seeth me; he who seeth me, Vakkali, he seeth the Norm". (7)
(" Alam, Vakkali, kim te iminà putikàyena ditthena //Yo kho, Vakkali, dhammam passati so mam passati // yo mam passati so dhammam passati //") (8)
" This was said by Lord Buddha: "Whoever sees conditioned genesis sees Dhamma, whoever sees Dhamma, sees conditioned genesis. These are generated by conditions; that is to say, the five groups of grasping. Whatever among these five groups of grasping is desire, sensual pleasure, affection, catching at, that is the uprising of anguish. Whatever among these five groups of grasping is the control of desire and attachment, the ejection of desire and attachment that is the stopping of anguish! Up to this point, your reverences, much has been done by the monk". (9)
(" Yo paticcasamuppàdam passati so dhammam passati, yo dhammam passati so paticcasamuppaàdam passati. Paticcasamup-pannà kho pan' ime yadidam panc' upàdànakkhandhà. Yo imesu pancas' upàdànakkhandhesu chando àlayo anunayo ajjhosànam so dukkhasamudayo, yo imesu pancas'upàdànakkhandhes chandaràgavinayo chandaràgapahànam so dukkhanirodho. Ettàvatà pi kho, àvuso bhikkhuno, bahu katam hoti".) (10)
The above quotations in the opinion of the author point out three very important things, which are:
-- The truth of everything, of Dependent Origination and of the Tathágatas are the same. In other words, there exists only one Noble truth for all Dhammas in this universe.
----What is called a man is nothing but the five aggregates of grasping (pancas' upàdanakkhandhà) which are conditioned and therefore selfless.
So, the Buddhist concept of personality must be derived from the above two doctrines.
-- Suffering of men or the cessation of men's suffering (or happiness) actually is the uprising or stopping desires for the five aggregates. This discovery is very useful to educators in building up a course of education for the happiness of men.
In addition to the above things, another point should be noticed: the meaning of "seeing conditioned genesis" is to be understood as the result of the control of desire for and attachment to the five aggregates. It requires one's mind to be educated, trained, cultivated. In other words, it requires a way of education.
The Meaning Of The Twelve Causes
At first, a man needs to grasp the meaning of each element of the Dependent Origination which is always mentioned as including twelve causes: Ignorance (Avijjà), Activities (Sankhàra), Consciousness (Vinnàna), Name - and - Form (Nàma - Ruùpa), Six bases (Salàyatana), Touch (Phassa), Feeling (Vedana). Craving (Tanhà), Grasping (Upàdàna), Becoming (Bhava), Birth (Jàti), Old - age and Death, Grief, Lamentation, Illness, Sorrow and Despair (Jarà - Marana...).
However, in some places, Lord Buddha presented the Dependent Origination in a simpler form of eight, nine, or ten elements as follows:
" Thus, Ánanda, mind - and - body conditions consciousness and consciousness conditions mind -and - body, mind - and - body conditions contact, contact conditions feeling, feeling conditions craving, craving conditions grasping, grasping conditions becoming, becoming conditions birth, birth conditions aging - and - death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and distress. Thus this whole mass of suffering comes into existence". (11)
(" Iti kho, Ánanda, nàmaruùpa - paccayà vinnànam, vinnàna- paccayà nàmaruùpam, nàmaruùpa- paccayà phasso, phassa - paccayà vedanà, vedanà -paccayà tanhà, tanhà- paccayà upàdànam, upàdàna- paccayà bhavo, bhava- paccayà jàti, jàti - paccayà jarà - maranam, jarà - marana- paccayà soka- parideva - dukkha- domanassupàyàsà sambhavanti. Evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo hoti".) (12)
The above quotation shows that there are only eight elements existing in the Dependent Origination. Below is the quotation presenting only ten elements:
" Then, monks, the Bodhisatta Vipassì thought:
"This consciousness turns back at mind - and- body, it does not go any further. To this extent there is birth and decay, there is death and falling into other states and being reborn, namely: mind - and- body conditions consciousness and consciousness conditions mind - and - body, mind - and - body conditions the six sense bases, the six sense bases conditions contact, contact conditions feeling, feeling conditions craving, craving conditions grasping, grasping conditions becoming, becoming conditions birth, birth conditions aging and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and distress. And thus this whole mass of sufferings takes its origin". (13)
(" Atha kho, bhikkhave, Vipassissa Bodhisattassa etadahosi: "Paccudàvattati kho idam vinnànam nàmaruùpamhà, nàparam gacchati. Ettàvatà jàyetha và jìyetha và mìyetha và cavetha và uppajjetha và yadidam nàmarupa - paccayà vinnànam, vinnàna- paccayà nàmaruùpam, nàmaruùpa- paccayà salàyatanam, salayatana paccayà phasso, phassa - paccayà vedanà, vedanà -paccayà tanhà, tanhà- paccayà upàdànam, upàdana - paccayà bhavo, bhava paccayà jàti, jàti - paccayà jarà - maranam soka- parideva- dukkha - domanassa - upàyàsà sambhavanti. Evam- etassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo hoti".) (14)
The simplest form taught by Lord Buddha is as follows:
"What brethren, is the arising of ill? Because of sight and visible objects, visual consciousness arises; contact is the clash of the three; feeling is conditioned by the contact, craving by the feeling. This, brethren, is the arising of ill".(15)
(" Katamo ca, bhikkhave, dukkhassa samudayo // cakkhum ca paticca rupe ca uppajjati cakkhuvinnànam//tinnam sangatiphasso// phassa-paccayà vedanà // vedanà paccayà tanhà // Ayam kho, bhikkhave, dukkhassa samudayo // //"). (16)
The above teaching contains only five elements of the Dependent Origination. In fact, it depends on the places where Lord Buddha felt necessary to present it in what form (eight, nine, ten, five or twelve elements or more). Below is the form presented in twenty-three elements.
"Now, therefore, brethren, activities are in causal association with ignorance, consciousness is in causal association with activities, name - and - form with consciousness, the six-fold sense sphere with name - and - form, contact with..., feeling with..., craving with..., grasping with..., becoming with..., birth with..., sorrow with birth, faith with sorrow, joy with faith, rapture with joy, serenity with rapture, concentration with serenity, the knowledge and vision into things as they really are with concentration, repulsion with the knowledge and vision..., passion-less-ness with repulsion, liberation with passion-less-ness, knowledge about extinction [of intoxicants] with liberation". (17)
("Iti kho, bhikkhave, avijjuøpanisà sankhàrà //sankhàruøpani sàmvinnànam// vinnànuøpani-sam nàmaruøpam // nàmaruøpuøpanisam salàyatanam // salàyatanuøpaniso phasso // phassuøpanisà vedanà // vedànuøpanisà tanhà // tanhuøpanisam upàdànam // upàdànuøpaniso bhavo // bhavuøpanisà jàti // jàtuøpànisam dukkham // dukkhàpanisà saddhà // saddhuøpanisam pàmojjam // pàmojjuøpanisà pìti // pìtuøpanisà passaddhi // passaddhuøpanisam sukham // sukhuøpaniso samàdhi // samadhuøpanisam yathàbhutamnànadassanam// yathàbhuøtan-ànadassanuøpanisà nibbidà // nibbiduøpaniso viràgo viràguøpanisà vimutti // vimuttuø panisam khaye nànam //"). (18)
Among the different forms of the Dependent Origination presented in Sutta Pitaka, the form of twelve elements is understood as the most typical form to be examined in this work.
The above quotations, regardless of the forms of expression, all introduce the mental process operating from ignorance (avijjà) to suffering (dukkha) or to the knowledge about extinction of suffering as well as the truth of men, life and their relationship. This will be discussed in details next.
What is ignorance? -- Lord Buddha defined:
" Nescience concerning ill, its rise, its cessation and concerning the way going to the cessation of ill. This is called ignorance". (19)
("Katamà ca, bhikkhave, avijjà // // Yam kho, bhikkhave, dukkhe annànam dukkhasamudaye annànam dukkhanirodhe annànam dukkhanirodhagàminiyà patipadàya annànam// Ayam, vuccati, bhikkhave, avijià // "). (20)
Nescience concerning ill, its rise, ... means nescience concerning the Four Noble Truths, law of Kamma, and the Dependent Origination is ignorance.
In the Discourse of Sammàditthi (Majjhimanikàya, Vol.I., PTS, London, 1987, p.70). Mahàthera Shariputra, the chief disciple of Lord Buddha, defined:
" When, your reverences, a disciple of the Aryans comprehends the cankers thus, comprehends the uprising of the cankers thus, comprehends the stopping...comprehends the course leading to the stopping...,he having got rid of all addiction to attachment, having dispelled addiction to shunning, having abolished addiction to the latent view "I am", having got rid of ignorance, having made knowledge arise, is here-now an end-maker of anguish..." (21)
(" Yato kho àvuso ariyasàvako evam àsavam pajànàti, evam àsavanirodham pajànàti, evam àsavanirodhagàmini - patipadam pajànàti, so sabbaso ràgànusayam pahàya patighànusayam pativinodetvà asmiìti ditthimànànusayam samuhanitvà avijjam pahàya vijjam uppàdetvà ditthe va dhamme dukkhass' antakaro hoti".) (22)
Mahàthera Shariputra's definition means that conception of "I am" or "I was" or "I will be" or conception of personality, which is this or that, is ignorance. And it is ignorance, which is the fountainhead of wrong thoughts, activities and suffering. It is the operation of ignorance which leads to Activities, Consciousness, Name - and - Form, the Six-fold sense sphere, Touch, Feeling, Craving, Grasping, Becoming, Birth, Old-age and Death... and therefore each element of the above means suffering; man or life means suffering.
What are activities? -- Lord Buddha said:
" These are three activities: those of deed, speech and mind. These are activities". (23)
("Tayo me, bhikkhave, sankhàrà kàyasankhàro vacìsankhàro cittasankhàro // Ime vuccanti, bhikkhave, sankhàrà //"). (24)
This teaching means all the activities of a whole man are of sankhárá. Another time, Lord Buddha taught:
" And what, brethren, are the activities? They are these seats of will: the will for sights, the will for sounds, for smells, for tastes, for touches, and for mental images. These, brethren, are the activities". (25)
("Katamà ca, bhikkhave, sankhàrà // chayime, bhikkhave, cetanàkàyà // ruùpasancetanà saddasancetanà gandhasancetanà rasasance-tanà photthabbasancetanà dhammasancetanà ime vuccanti, bhikkhave, sankhàrà //'). (26)
In this quotation, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touches and mental images are what makes up the phenomenon, and the Activities (sankhárá) appears as the mental forces of it. The world people see really is the world created by the Activities, and is the result of what people call "Will to live".
Activities have another meaning as shown below:
"That which we will, and that which we intend to do, and that wherewithal we are occupied. This becomes an object for the persistence of Consciousness; the object being there, there comes to be a station of Consciousness. Consciousness being stationed and growing, there comes to pass descent of name - and - shape; because of name - and - shape, sense; because of sense, contact; ... Such is the uprising of the entire mass of ill.
Even we do not will nor intend to do, yet if we are occupied about something, this too results in the same. But if we neither will, nor intend to do, nor are occupied about something, there is no becoming of an object for the persistence of consciousness. The object being absent, there comes to be no station of consciousness. Consciousness not being stationed or growing, there comes to pass no descent of name - and - shape; hence cessation of sense..., of contact... of feeling... of craving... of becoming... of birth... of decay- and death. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of ill". (27)
(" Yanca, bhikkhave, ceteti yanca pakappeti yanacaanuseti // àrammanam etam hoti vinnànassa thitiyà // àrammane sati patitthà vinnànassa hoti// tasmim patitthite vinnàne virulhe nàmaruùpassa avakkanti hoti // // Nàmaruùpapaccayà salàyatanam // ... pe...Evam etassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandh-assa samudayo hoti // //
No ce, bhikkhave, ceteti no ca pakappeti atha ce anuseti // àrammanam etam hoti vinnànassa thitiyà // àrammane sati patitthà vinnànassa hoti // // Tasmim patitthite vinnàne viruùlhe nàmaruùpassa avakkanti hoti // // Nàmaruùpapaccayà salàyatanam // pe... // Evam etassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo hoti // //
Ya ca kho, bhikkhave, no ceteti no ca pakappeti no ca anuseti // àrammanam etam no hoti vinnànassa thitiyà //... pe ... // Evam etassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa nirodho hotì ti //"). (28)
This quotation says to us Activities are one's Kamma, which is the cause of sufferings in this life and the cause of taking rebirth.
What is consciousness? -Lord Buddha taught:
" These are the six groups of consciousness:
Eye - consciousness, ear - consciousness, smell-consciousness, taste - consciousness, touch -consciousness, and mind - consciousness". (29)
("Katamanca, bhikkhave, vinnànam // Chayime, bhikkhave, vinnànakàyà // Cakkhuvinnànam sotavinnànam ghànavinnànam jivhàvinnànam kàyavinnànam manovinnànam // Idam vuccati, bhikkhave, vinnànam //") (30)
It is explained that:
" And why, brethren, do you say Consciousness?
One is conscious, brethren. Therefore the word "Consciousness" is used. Conscious of what? of [flavor] sour or bitter, acrid or sweet, alkaline or non - alkaline, saline or non - saline. One is conscious, brethren. That is why the word "Consciousness" is used". (31)
("Kinca, bhikkhave, vinnànam vadetha // vijànàtìti kho, bhikkhave tasmà vinnànamti vuccati // kinca vijànàti // ambilam pi vijànàti // tittakam pi vijànàtiì // katukam pi vijànàti madhukam pi vijànàti / khàrikam pi vijànàti // akhàrikam pi vijànàti // lonakam pi vijànàti // alonakam pi vijànàti // vijànàtììti kho, bhikkhave, tasmà vinnànan ti vuccati //"). (32)
The commentators of Suttas explained the word "consciousness" that:
- It means awareness (Sanjànàti). -
- It means discrimination (Vijànàti). -
- It means decision (Pajànàti).
Being conscious of the six sense - objects, as Lord Buddha affirmed, is the source of man's knowledge's, man's attachment to the world and man's sufferings. It conditions name - and - form and other elements, so it is recognized as the subject of cognition, the object of cognition and the content of it. It exists in all mental, oral and bodily activities.
What are Name-and-Form? - Lord Buddha defined:
" Feeling, Perception, Will, Contact, work of mind; this is called Name. The four great elements and the form derived from them; this is called form. This is the Name, this is the Form called Name-and-Form". (33)
("Katamanca, bhikkhave, nàmarupam // Vedanà sannà cetanà phasso manasikàro // idam vuccati nàmam // Cattàro ca mahàbhuøtà catunnanca mahàbhuøtànam upàdàya ruøpam idam vuccati rupam // Iti idanca nàmam idanca ruùpam//Idam vuccati nàmaruùpam //".) (34)
Feeling, Perception, Will, Contact, Work of mind, from the above teaching, are of the aggregates of Feeling, Perception, Will and Consciousness; Form is Form Aggregate. Name - and - Form are therefore the five Aggregates of man (Pancakkhandha).
In the discourse of Mahànidàna (Length Sayings - Dìghanikàya), Lord Buddha gave more explanation:
" I have said that cognition is the cause of Name-and-Form. Now in what way that is so, Ánanda, is to be understood after this manner. Were cognition not to descend into the mother's womb, would Name-and-Form become constituted therein? - It would not, Lord. Were cognition, after having descended into the mother's womb, to be extinct, would Name-and-Form come to birth in this state of being? It would not, Lord. Were cognition to be extirpated from one yet young, youth or maiden, would Name-and-Form attain to growth, development, expansion? - It would not, Lord.
Wherefore, Ánanda, just that is the ground, the basis, the genesis, the cause of Name-and-Form, to wit, cognition". (35)
("Vinnàna - paccayà nàma - rupan ti" iti kho pan'etam vuttam, tad Ànanda iminà p'etam pariyàyena veditabbam yathà vinnàna - paccayà nàma - rupam. Vinnànam va hi Ànanda màtu kucchim na okkamissatha, api nu kho nàmarupam màtu kucchismim samucchissathàti ?".
" No h'etam, bhante".
" Vinnànam va hi Ánanda màtu kucchim okkamitvà vokkasissatha, api nu kho nàma - rupam thattaàya abhinibbattissathàti?".
" No h'etam bhante".
" Vinnànam va hi Ánanda, daharass" eva sato vocchijjissatha kumàrassa và kumàrikàya và, api nu kho nàma ruùpam vuddhim, virulhim vepullamàpajjissathàti?".
'No h'etam bhante?'. '
Tasmàt ih' Ánanda es'eva hetu etam nidànam esa samudayo esa paccayo nàma rupassa, yadidam vinnànam".) (36)
In the relationship of the twelve elements of the Dependent Origination, as disclosed in the quotations mentioned above it will not be right to say that Name - and - Form and Consciousness are the same or different from each other, because they really are not entities having a fixed nature, but relate closely to each other: In consciousness (or Cognition) exist the other eleven elements; also in Name - and - Form exist the other eleven ones. Both come from Ignorance and both lead to suffering.
Six-fold sense sphere (Salàyatana):
What is six-fold sense sphere?
" The sense of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind. This is called six-fold sense". (37)
("Katamanca, bhikkhave, salàyatanam // cakkhàyatanam sotàyatanam ghànàyatanam jivhàyatanam kàyàyatanam manàyatanam /Idam vuccati, bhikkhave, salàyatanam //"). (38)
Saying the six-fold sense sphere means saying the meeting of the six sense - organs and the six sense objects. When this meeting appears, Consciousness appears; so the six-fold sense sphere itself implies ignorance and suffering.
What is Contact? The Buddha declared:
" There are these six groups of contact; eye- contact, ear - contact, nose - contact, tongue - contact, body - contact, and mind - contact. This is called Contact". (39)
("Katamo ca, bhikkhave, phasso // Chayime, bhikkhave,phassakàyà // Cakkhusamphasso sotasamphasso ghànasamphasso jivhàsamph-asso kàyasamphasso manosamphasso // Ayam vuccati, bhikkhave, phasso /".) (40)
Contact is only the meeting of three elements: sense organ, sense object and the consciousness regarding to the sense organ. This also means the meeting of the subject of cognition, the object of cognition and the content of cognition. Contact is therefore the manifestation of consciousness or ignorance, or suffering.
What is feeling? - Similarly, Lord Buddha taught:
"There are these six groups of feeling: feeling that is born of eye - contact, feeling that is born of ear -contact, feeling that is born of nose - contact, feeling that is born of tongue - contact feeling that is born of body - contact, feeling that is born of mind - contact. This is called feeling". (41)
("Katamà ca, bhikkhave, vedanà // Chayime, bhikkhave, vedanàkàyà // cakkhu - samphassajà vedanà // sotasamphassajà vedanà //kàyasamphassajà vedanà // manosamphassajà vedanà//Ayam vuccati, bhikkave, vedanà //". (42)
There are three kinds of feeling as they are often introduced in many discourses recorded in Pancanikàya: happy feeling, painful feeling and indifferent one.
The happy feeling always produces more craving or desire in one's mind. The painful one always produces anger. The last one always fosters illusion. Feeling is, therefore, the source nurturing desire, anger and illusion. It really is the maker of rebirth and suffering.
What is craving? - Lord Buddha showed:
" There are these six groups of craving: craving for things seen, for things heard, for odors, for tastes, for things tangible, for ideas. This is called craving". (43)
("Katamà ca, bhikkhave, tanhà // Chayime, bhikkhave, tanhàkayà // Ruâpatanhà saddatanhà gandhatanhà rasatanhà photthabbatanhà dhammatanhà // Ayam vuccati, bhikkhave, tanhà //". (44)
In the discourse of Right View (Sammàdi-tthisuttam), Mahàthera Sàriputta mentioned three groups of craving as follows:
" And what, your reverences, is the uprising of anguish? That craving which is connected with again - becoming, accompanied by delight and attachment, finding delight in this and that, namely the craving for sense pleasures, the craving for becoming, and the craving for annihilation-this, your reverences, is called the origin of anguish". (45)
(" Katamo c'àvuso, dukkhasamudayo: Yà'yam tanhà ponobhavikà nandiràgasahagatà tatratatràbhinandinì, seyyathìdam : Kàmata-nhà bhavatanhà vibhavatanhà, ayam vuccat'àvuso dukkhasamudayo".) (46)
Craving for pleasures means craving for the satisfaction of forms, sounds, odors, tastes and touches. This means sensual pleasures.
Craving for becoming (bhava) means craving for existence, survival in good states of life, or in happier and more delicate states of existence.
Craving for annihilation means craving for non - existence because of the tiresome existence.
As everybody can experience in his daily life, one comes into existence to live with his thirst for happiness and pleasures derived from the six sense - objects. But, unfortunately, everything, every pleasure changes from moment to moment, and this brings man doleful sufferings and makes man's desires burst into flames. The more his desires burst into flames, the more suffering he experiences... This says that craving means the root cause of suffering, or suffering itself.
What is grasping? - The Buddha said:
" There are the four graspings; grasping of desire, grasping of opinion, grasping of rule and ritual, and grasping of soul - theory. This is called grasping". (47)
(" Katamanca, bhikkhave, upàdànam // Cattarimàni, bhikkhave, upàdànàni // Kàmupàdànam ditthupàdànam sìlabbatupà-dànam attavàdupàdànam // Idam vuccati, bhikkhave, upàdanam //".) (48)
The truth of suffering of life forces men to grasp their desire and what they desire for as a means to look for happiness. Men then come to consider their desire and thought as what of their Self, and consider their Self true. This phenomenon produces the grasping of desire, opinion and soul-theory and strengthens ignorance and suffering. On the other hand, their "self - thought" also produces craving for and grasping of things.
What is becoming? It is defined that:
" There are these becomings: becoming in Kàma (worlds), becoming in Rupa (worlds), and becoming in Aruøpa (worlds)". (49)
("Katamo ca, bhikkhave, bhavo // Tayo me, bhikkhave, bhavà // Kàmabhavo ruùpabhavo arùpabhavo//Ayam vuccati, bhikkhave, bhavo".) (50)
Becoming means existence. It shows states in which beings exist. Kàma worlds are the worlds where beings desire for forms, sounds, smells, tastes and touches. Ruøpa-worlds are states where beings desire for delicate forms, existence and survival. Aruøpa worlds are spheres where beings are tired of sensual desire and even desire for existence; they tend to desire for non - existence.
Becoming is therefore the manifestation of craving.
What is birth? It is explained as follows.
" That which, of this and that being in this or that group, is birth, continuous birth, descent, reproductive, appearance of component factors' acquiring of sense - spheres. This is called birth". (51)
(" Katamà ca, bhikkhave, jàti // Yà tesam sattànam tamhi tamhi sattanikàye jàti sanjàti okkanti abhinibbatti khandhànam pàtubhàvo àyatanànam patilàbho//Ayam vuccati, bhikkhave, jàti//".) (52)
For human beings, the appearance of name - and - form, or the five aggregates, is called birth. So, birth is the appearance of ignorance and suffering.
Old Age and Death (Jàra - marana):
" What is old age and death? - It means that: "That which, of this or that being, in this and that group, is decay, decrepitude, breaking up, hoariness, wrinkling of skin, shrinkage of a life - span, over - ripeness of faculties: this is called old - age. That which of this or that being from this or that group, is falling or decease, separation, disappearance, mortality or dying, accomplishment of time: separation of component factors, laying down of the carcass: this is called death. Thus, it is this decay and this dying that is called old - age and death". (53)
("Katamanca, bhikkhave, jaràmaranam // Yà tesam tesam sattànam tamhi tamhi sattanikàye jarà jìranatà khandiccam pàliccam valittaccatà àyuno samhàni indriyànam paripàko // ayam vuccati jarà // Yam tesam sattànam tesam tamhà tamhà sattanikàyà cuticavanatà bhedo antaradhànam maccumaranam kàlakiriyà khandhànam bhedo kalebarassa nikkhepo // idam vuccati maranam // Iti ayanca jarà idanca maranam // Idam vuccati, bhikkhave, jaràmaranam //".) (54)
Old - age - and - death itself is suffering to men. It is the image of destruction of conditioned things, which is contrary to men's desire for survival. Thus, it seems so terrible to everybody.
Above are meanings of the twelve elements of Dependent Origination explained by Lord Buddha. The operation of those elements will make up what is called the whole existence of a man that the writer is going to examine.
The Operation Of The Twelve Elements Of Dependent Origination
Under the Bodhi - tree, Lord Buddha thought:
* Without birth, suffering cannot come into existence;
* Without becoming, birth cannot come into existence;
* Without grasping, becoming cannot be present;
* Without craving, grasping cannot be present;
* Without feeling, craving cannot be present;
* Without contact, feeling cannot be present;
* Without six-fold sense sphere, contact cannot be present;
* Without name - and - form, six-fold sense sphere cannot be present;
* Without consciousness, Name - and - form cannot be present;
* Without activities, consciousness cannot be present;
* Without ignorance, activities cannot be present;
So, Ignorance is the source of life stream of suffering. But it is conditioned, not the first cause of life as Lord Buddha said:
"Monks, the extreme point of ignorance is not apparent, so that one may say: "ignorance was not before; it has since come to be". And this statement, monks, is made. Nevertheless, this thing is apparent: ignorance is conditioned by this or that". (55)
("Purimà, bhikkhave, koti na pannayati avijjàya "ito pubbe avijjà nàhosi, atha pacchà sambhavì ti, evan c'etam, bhikkhave vuccati. Atha ca pana pannàyati "idappaccayà avijjà'ti".) (56)
Ignoring that everything is conditioned is ignorance. Supposing that everything has its own self which is permanent is ignorance. From this ignorance, a man comes to attach to that imaginary self, and again produces ignorance and nurtures it. From this wrong view and thought, he comes to look for the truth of his self, and the first cause of the world. His self - thought makes arise his craving, ill - will and illusion that are the motives of his mental, bodily, and oral activities. This causes him so much trouble.
When his self-thought operates, consciousness must be present and operates; this operation requires the presence of the subject of cognition (meaning consciousness), the object of cognition (meaning name - and - form, or sixfold sense sphere, or the outer world) and the meeting of that subject and object (meaning Touch) is present. At that moment, feeling immediately appears. So, all the elements: ignorance, activities, consciousness, name - and - form, six fold sense sphere, touch and feeling co - exist in any process of mental operation.
Feeling includes mental reaction, which is craving or ill - will or illusion, or two of these three things. Craving itself implies grasping (or attachment to things). They are boundless, and manifest under endless forms. This requires the existence of the worlds or tibhava. In short, when a man' self - thought operates, twelve elements of the Dependent Origination all are present. These elements are selfless and impermanent, so they lead the man to unsatisfied feeling.
Therefore, a man is nothing but the operation of those twelve elements leading to suffering, if his mind is dominated by self - thought. In the case of non - self thought, or the realization of Dependent Origination operates in his mind, this operation will lead to the destruction of those twelve elements, or the destruction of suffering. Then the man appears as the one of non - self regard to things, and of happiness in the here - and -now. He actually proves that the long cherished dream of him and of education comes true.
It is, in reality, self - thought or non - self - thought of men which creates all values of things, gives estimate to them, and opens the course of human beings' culture. The current culture, in general view, has been made up and controlled by self - thought (or avijjà) which has produced a multitude of points of view on life, on universe and human values, and also individual, social crises. The solutions to these crises may be found in the operation of non - self thought coming from the wisdom regard of Dependent Origination which will be mentioned in next part of this work (II.2.).
(1) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II., PTS, London, 1990, pp 1-2.
(2) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. II, PTS, London, 1989, pp 1-2.
(3) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 21.
(4) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. II,..., p. 25
(5) : Kindred Sayings, vol. II,..., p. 22.
(6) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. II,..., p. 26
(7) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1992, p. 103.
(8) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1975, p. 120.
(9) : Middle Length Sayings, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1987, pp. 236-237.
(11) : "The Great Discourse on Origination", Long Discourses, tr. by Maurice Walshe, Wisdom Publications, London, 1987, p. 50.
(12) : "Mahànidàna Suttanta", Digha-Nikáya, Vol. II, PTS, London, 1982, pp. 56-57
(13) : "Great Discourse on Subline Story",..., p. 211.
(14) : "Mahàpadàna-Sutta", Digha Nikáya, Vol. II, PTS, London, 1982, pp. 32-33.
(15) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II, PTS, London, 1990, p. 50.
(16) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. II, PTS, London, 1989, p. 72.
(17) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., pp. 26-27.
(18) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. II,..., pp. 31-32.
(19) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. Ii,..., p. 4.
(20) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. II,..., p. 4.
(21) : "Discourse on Right View", Middle Length Sayings, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1987, p. 70.
(22) : "Sammàditthisuttam Navamam", Majjhima Nikáya, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1987, p. 55.
(23) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 4.
(24) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. II,..., p. 4.
(25) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1992, p.53.
(26) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1975, p. 60.
(27) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II, PTS, London, 1987, p. 46.
(28) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. II, PTS, London, 1989, p. 66.
(29) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 4.
(30) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. II,... p. 4.
(31) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III,... p. 74.
(32) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. III,... p. 87.
(33) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 4.
(34) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. II,... p. 3-4.
(35) : "Great Discourse on Origination", Long Discourses, tr. by Maurice Walshe,..., p. 226
(36) : "Mahànidàna-Sutta", Digha Nikáya, Vol. II, PTS, London, 1982, pp.62-63.
(37) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 4.
(38) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. II,... p. 3.
(39) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 4.
(40) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. II,..., p. 3.
(41) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 4.
(42) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. II,... p. 3.
(43) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 4.
(44) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. II,... p. 3.
(45) : "Discourse on Right View", Middle Length Sayings, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1987, p. 60
(46) : "Sammàditthi-Sutta", Majjhima Nikáya, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1976, pp. 48-49.
(47) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 4.
(48) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. II,... p. 3.
(49) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 3.
(50) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. II,..., p. 3.
(51) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 3.
(52) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. II,..., p. 3.
(53) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 3.
(54) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol., II,..., pp. 2-3.
(55) : Gradual Sayings, Vol. V, PTS, London, 1986, p. 78.
(56) : Anguttara-Nikáya, Vol. V, PTS, London, 1958, p. 113
In the Light of Dependent Origination
The problems often discussed in a culture are the outlook on life and universe, individual questions, environment and values. These problems play their role in determining the course of development of culture. They are going to be reviewed in this chapter in the light of Dependent Origination.
The Outlook On Life And Universe
Examining the origin or nature of life and universe is the main task of the sphere of metaphysics. This problem has a very important position in philosophy. It was examined from the dawn of Egyptian, Indian and Chinese thought. This is the searching for the essence of existing things relating to the problem of eternity and non - eternity, self and non - self, reality and annihilation, creator and creations, etc.
Lord Buddha Gotama, who Himself realized the Noble Truth, considered all metaphysical questions empty. He often kept silent and gave no answers to such metaphysical questions, because for Him, those questions do not realistically relate to the purpose a monk should aim at - that is the final freedom. This experimental attitude of His mind is mentioned in many discourses of the Pancanikàya. However, on the author's way to study universe and human beings, some philosophical problems relating to spirituality and materiality are necessary to be discussed.
When a man is examining universe, he is with it in the here - and- now. How can he know what the universe really is when he cannot understand who he really is? So, the practical thing for him is turning back to himself and seeing where and who he is so that he can come to the destruction of all hindrances to the truth of things. In doing this, he is to follow a practical method of phenomenology, and experimental method of mind by Lord Buddha.
For materiality, Lord Buddha declared that the material world is formed by the Four Great Elements as many Indian thinkers before Him did: they are Earth element, Water element, Fire element and Air element. These elements are dynamic and impermanent, so all existing things compounded by them must be impermanent. The question about the origin of them is unacceptable to the truth of Dependent Origination as discovered by Lord Buddha; it becomes senseless.
According to Dependent Origination, this phenomenal world is conditioned, selfless and empty; human beings are but the compound of the five aggregates (pancakkhandha) which are selfless and empty; both the world and men co - exist, but cannot separate from each other. This truth was proved again by Lord Buddha's teaching recorded in the discourse of Mahàpunnama (Majjhima Nikáya, Vol.III) and of Dhàtuvibhanga (Majjhima Nikáya, Vol. III): Form aggregate among the five aggregates compounding a man includes an inside part which is his physical body, and an outside part which is the physical world; this means the universe itself is a part of a man's body.
Since men's thought is limited by self - thought and by the limit of men's sense organs, it cannot set its feet on the true world of things, so people may ask: does this universe exist as what human beings perceive or, does it exist independently from what human beings perceive?
In response to the above questions, the realists claim the universe appears exactly as what human beings perceive; the Western idealists supposed men can know only the world perceived by their sense organs, but can never know the world itself, as Platon did; Immanuel Kant is a rationalist but he accepted that idealist point of view. Although there are various regards to things, Western philosophers and educators believe that there is an objective world independent from human beings that can never be known. This means to the author the root difference between Lord Buddha's teaching and other schools of thought, and gives him a hope to find solutions for the crises caused by the self - thought way.
Once, in the discourse of Pàtigamiya (Khuddakanikàya), Lord Buddha Gotama mentioned the unconditioned world (asankhàra) as the world existing out of the sphere of going and coming, birth and death etc., and declared that is the world of the destruction of suffering, or of attachment to things. This proves that the world people see and know is that of attachment or of inversions (mental, perceptual, emotional inversion and inversion of view), which is derived from ignorance (avijjà).
The true world is therefore this phenomenal world without men's attachment to things. Lord Buddha affirmed:
" And, I, Bhaggava, who teach this and declare this, am wrongly, vainly, lyingly, and falsely accused by some ascetics and Brahmins who say: The ascetic Gotama is on wrong track, and so are His monks. He has declared that whoever has attained to the stage of deliverance called "the Beautiful" finds everything repulsive". But I do not say this. What I say is that whenever anyone has attained to the stage of deliverance called the Beautiful he finds that it is beautiful". (1)
("Evam - vàdim kho mam Bhaggava evam akkhàyim eke Samana- Bràhmanà asatà tucchà musà abhutena abbhàcikkhanti: Viparito Samano Gotamo, bhikkhavo, ca. Samano Gotamo evam àha: -Yasmim samaye subham vimokham upasampajja viharati, sabbam tasmim samaye asubhan t'eva sanjànàtiìti". Na kho panàham Bhaggava evam vadàmi: "Yasmim samaye subbam vimokham upasampajja viharati, sabbam tasmim samaye asubhan t'eva sanjànàtiìti. Evanca kho aham Bhaggava vadàmi: Yasmim samaye subbham vimokham upasampajja viharati, subhan t'eva tasmim samaye sanjànàtiìti".) (2)
The above teaching also reveals Lord Buddha's educational point of view, which is: educating men means helping them cultivate their mind for the deliverance from all troubles and defilements. When their mind is pure, they will immediately see the purity of the world (or the true world): Happiness and truth appear at the same time to them. It is not training them according to any theory of personality, or any pattern of education. It is not either the searching for the origin of life or universe.
Then another question may be asked: spirituality comes after materiality, or materiality comes after spirituality? - This is a problem of philosophy.
As mentioned before, man's thinking operates on the basis of self - concept. Without self - concept, it cannot function. It is self - concept, which makes up the concept of order of things, then the concept of "before", "after" or "the first cause". Reality itself has nothing to do with that self - concept. It always says that materiality or spirituality is conditioned as the doctrine of Dependent Origination does. If form aggregate cannot separate from other aggregates, materiality cannot either separate from spirituality: both co - exist. However, because of the emphasis of cultivating man's mind, Lord Buddha declared:
" All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage". (3) Dhp.1.
(" Manopubbangamà dhammà manosetthà manomayà
Manasà ce padutthena bhàsati và karoti và
Tato nam dukkhamanveti cakkam va vahato padam".) (4)
-" All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him like shadow that never leaves him". (5) Dhp.2.
(" Manopubbangamà dhammà manosetthà manomayà
Manasà ce pasannena bhàsati và karoti và
Tato nam sukhamanveti chàyà va anapàyini".) (6)
Men should be sure that thought (or mind) mentioned in the above teachings is conditioned, even the Tibhava, or three Worlds, they are conditioned; and all conditioned things, as materiality and spirituality, are selfless and therefore empty. Only problem of suffering of man and its cessation, but not speculations, was considered seriously by Lord Buddha on His way of teaching.
Knowledge is another important matter to be reviewed. It relates to existing things and is so close to a man that he considers it something of his self. What is it? A knowledge of the outer world is but a synthesis of the sources of information given by sense - organs. But sense - organs are not believable information givers. For example, when a man puts his left hand in a basin of cold water, his right hand in a basin of pretty hot water; then right after that he puts both hands in a basin of warm water; his hands do not give him the same feeling. This is an error. It is the same for other sense organs. The above synthesis is done by the man's thinking based on self -thought, so it is something of ignorance. Therefore, knowledge must not belong to the true self of the man, or to the true world. In the light of Dependent Origination, it leads men just to suffering; it really is not what human beings are expecting.
A system of education, which as almost all systems of education of today world only offers men knowledge's, will not bring happiness to them. It should be adjusted as early as possible.
In addition to the above clarification, the doctrine of Dependent Origination, to the author's knowledge, can suggest new regards to the problems of individuals, society and environment that will be studied next.
Dependent Origination And Individual Problems
The big problems of a modern society with which leaders, educators and thinkers are concerned are individuals, individuals and society, history and environment, because these things have a very close relationship to individual happiness and survival; they seem to exist as a part of human existence, therefore they deserve to be observed under the light of truth- Dependent Origination.
Individuals and Happiness:
It is very evident that everybody is born to be happy but not suffering, to serve his practical purpose of happiness but not any other purpose that does not relate intimately to it. It is also very evident that one is searching for truth of life because of his peace of mind in the here and now. So, the main object of education and culture must be individuals, and the root aim of education and culture must be happiness of individuals.
From the very old days, human beings gathered together in groups called tribes for their survival for the improvement of their life, and for the coping suitably with weather, environmental conditions and nature. It is these things which made up what is called society, culture and civilization. Since life stream was flowing from change to change, human beings' efforts to build up their happiness and society must have changed from generation to generation accordingly. Then individuals came to work for two inseparable purposes: one for individuals, one for their group or society. When these two purposes did not work, individual problems arose and needed solutions. However, people's regards to individuals, society and happiness are different from each other. This made the problems become more and more complicated, and the searching for solutions became the reason for religions and schools of thought to come into existence and to be developed. Let us follow the typical regards to them from great spheres of culture all over the world.
P.T. Raju, in the work titled "The concept of Man" edited by him and S.Radhakrishnan, gave the following comments:
For Greek thoughts:
"The pre - sophist philosophies did not say much about man's relation to society... The sophists were more individualistic, being mainly devoted to training leaders of men who would influence society and use it as means to their own ends... Each man was the measure of things for himself, not only of things cognized but also of good and evil in society. But Plato and Socrates were opposed to this radical individualism and relativism of the sophists. Man, the measure of things, is not to be the particular man, but the universal man. The structure of society and the structure of man's soul reflect each other, and are interdependent. The essence of man is reason and is found in a rationally ordered society. The modern idea that the individual cannot be studied apart from society and that the personality of man is formed by society and grows in society, is not strong in Greek thought...
Socrates and Platon showed that society is a projection of human nature on a vast canvas or is a much enlarged reflection, of human nature. Man cannot live without society and can have full life only within it.
...Aristotle, a rationalist accepted main principles of Platon. Man cannot be man without society (7)
For Chinese thoughts:
"In Chinese thought, man's concern for man is the strongest and is considered to be self - sufficient... and how to have the best kind of state and society in which man can be virtuous is an ever - recurring question in the history of Chinese philosophy.
" Study human relationships in order to organize the state well is Confucian advice... When Mencius says that the universe, which is the universe of human relationships, is to be found within mind, he meant that this universe can be found within man and is not to be derived from any reality outside man. Hsun Tzu different from Mencius and said that man is essentially selfish and evil and therefore needs education and culture in order to become good...
... Man is essentially a social creature and can live a virtuous life only in a society of men, whether God exists or not. (8)
For Indian thoughts, they seem to be the most interesting of the world as mentioned in (I.2.)
For Marxist thought, P.T. Raju estimated:
" Marxist philosophy proceeds from the thesis that the individual is a social creature... Marx and Engels considered that the individual and the social life of a person are not different things, even though they have different forms of expression... "Man can settle only in society", Marx wrote, "Only in society can his individuality be revealed in accordance with the social conditions". (9)
In the author's opinion, Greek thoughts belong to dualism supposing that every existing has its own nature, regardless of the point of view considering individual and society interdependent or not. So, they must belong to the operation of ignorance (avijja), which actually leads to suffering.
Chinese thoughts emphasize individuals as virtuous men living in the order of a society well - organized. They are but the production of self - thought, not of reality itself. These thoughts must bring troubles to individuals as people could see in the history of China: many tragic contradictions among human relationships happened.
Generally, to human beings' point of views, Lord Buddha Gotama gave the following estimate:
" When those ascetics and Brahmins who are speculators about the past (the future and present), having fixed views about the past (the future and present), put forward views in sixty two different ways, that is merely the feeling of those who do not know and see, the worry and vacillation of those immersed in craving". (10)
("Tatra, bhikkhave, ye te samanabràhmanà pubbantakappikà ca pubbantakappikà ca aparanta kappikà ca pubbantàparantà- parantànuditthino pubbantàparantam àrabbha aneka - vihitam adhivutti padàni abhivadanti dvà - satthiyà vatthùhi, tad api tesam bhavatam samana bràhmànanàm ajànatam apassatam vedayitam tanhà - gatànamparitasitavipphanditam eva".) (11)
With His perfection of wisdom, Lord Buddha did know and see the truth of this Universe, then explained the formation of this earth and human beings' society that may be summarized as below: (12)
- At the time of the contraction of this world, beings were mostly born in the Àbhassara Brahma world. There they dwell, mind - made, feeding on delight, self - luminous, moving through the air, glorious...
- At the time of the expansion of this world, the beings having passed away from Àbhassara Brahma world were mostly reborn in this world. Here they dwell, mind - made, feeding on delight, self - luminous, moving through the air, glorious...
- At that period expansion, there was just one mass of water; all was darkness...; night and day were not distinguished, beings being reckoned just as beings, no male and female were discriminated...
- Then earth appeared as a skin that forms over water with the color of fine ghee or butter and was very sweet like wild honey.
- Then some beings of greedy nature tasted earth, attached the flavor; craving began to arise in them. They became more greedy, and earth became stuffy; they became coarser and coarser.
- Among those beings, those with less greedy nature became more good - looking, others became ugly. The good - looking despised the ugly; this made the good flavor of earth disappear. Then, a fungus cropped up, in the manner of a mushroom with good color, smell and taste.
- Then, beings' craving increased more and more, earth became worse and worse, and beings became coarser and coarser.
- The rice appeared in open spaces, free from powder and from husks, fragrant and clean - grained. What beings had taken in the evening for supper had grown again and was ripe in the morning, and what they had taken in the morning for breakfast was ripe again by evening. At this time, beings became coarser; females developed female sex - organs, and males developed male - organs; passion was aroused and their bodies burnt with lust; then sexual intercourse appeared.
- At first times, beings cursed and swore at those who were making love, and threw dust and ashes at them; and did not allow them to live with others in villages, towns two months.
- Beings became more and more lazy and wanted to gather rice as much as possible and keep rice in their own places for personal use... then rice fields appeared... sexual life was openly acceptable. Beings started building houses to cover sexual activities.
- Then some beings stole rice of others: stealing and lying appeared.
- Then beings chose the best looking man and asked him to be the one as a lawyer or a referee to try the cases of stealing rice. This person received a share of rice from them; he did not have to work for rice. This was the start of the social class of Khattiya.
- Some beings kept away from a sexual life, lived in separate places in leaf - huts in forest, and practiced meditation. They were called Brahmins. Some of them could not meditate in lonely places and turned to towns or villages to compile books; they were also considered as Brahmins.
- Other beings adopted various trades and were called Vessas. Those who went to forests for hunting were named Suddas.
So, right after this Earth was formed, the first beings from Àbhassara heaven appeared without need for food. Then the sweet taste of earth and rice attracted them and made desire for things arise and grow up in them. After that, sex organs appeared together with desire for sexuality. When their desire grew up, social needs existed requiring social organization: human society was formed then, and social classes came into existence according to beings' conduct: society was for the response to the individuals' requirements only. This is the first and last role of society. This is the reason why Lord Buddha concerned only about suffering of individuals in this life, and their deeds for their happiness. He therefore taught:
" One does not become an outcast by birth, one does not become a Brahmin by birth. It is by deed that one becomes an outcast; it is by deed that one becomes a Brahmin. (13)
("Na jaccà vasalo hoti, na jaccà hoti bràhmano, Kammanà vasalo hoti, kammuna hoti bràhmano".) (14)
Society should do nothing but help individuals resolve their problems by their own deeds. Culture and tradition, which are belongings of a society, should do the same thing. This is the most traditional meaning of the role of society, culture or tradition. And the most original or traditional meaning of individuals' purpose of life may be, at least as it happened in the beginning of this world, a peaceful mind of self - delight.
The world of today appears as a whole society very great with so many problems to be resolved relating to languages, political systems, customs, ways of life, religions, beliefs, race, sex ... and environment. All these things, which put a lot of strong influences on men, are existing as a very rough ocean sinking a boat of individuals. In those conditions of life, individuals feel so strange to themselves that they are surprisingly asking about their origin while they actually are there, and the truth of life is there. Because of this, Lord Buddha, who did know and see the past and future of this universe, declared:
" Do not say that, Ánanda, do not say that! This dependent origination is profound and appears profound. It is through not understanding, not penetrating this doctrine that this generation has become like a tangled ball of string, covered as with a blight, tangled like coarse grass, unable to pass beyond states of woe, the ill destiny, ruin and the round of birth-and-death". (15)
("Mà h'evam, Ànanda, avaca, mà h'evam avaca. Gambhìro c'ayam, Ànanda, paticca samuppàdogambhìràvabhàso ca. Etassa, Ànanda, dhammassa ananubodhà appativedhà evam ayam pajà tantàkulaka - jàtà gulàgunthika - jàtà munjababbaja - bhuùtà apàyam duggatim vinipàtam samsàram nàtivattati".) (16)
Indeed, when this culture cannot help individuals be themselves and cannot bring them happiness, human beings will not have any choice other than accepting the fateful suffering as they are, if its course of operation is not changed. A phenomenon, as the evident result of the current culture, happening is the grave pollution of environment, which may cause disaster on Earth. There must be something wrong in men's course of thought and action that needs to be adjusted for the protection of environment from pollution. This is the subject of hot discussion of our time that the author is going to mention in (II.2.3.). In his opinion, without understanding the close relationship between man and nature, people cannot understand what a man really is; without protecting environment from pollution as protecting men's life from suffering, human beings will come to their ruin.
Individuals And Environment
What is environment? What is pollution of environment? Let us start examining it now.
Environment is a new term of nature. A new study branch on environment of the modern time is called ecology.
Some concepts of ecology:
Ecology is relatively a new science dealing with various principles which govern the relationships between organisms and their environment. American ecologist Frederick Clements (1916) considered ecology to be "the science of the community"; British ecologist Charles Elton (1927) defined ecology as "scientific natural history" concerned with the "sociology and economics of animals"; Woodbury (1954) treated ecology as "a science which investigates organisms in relation to their environment, and a philosophy in which the world of life is interpreted in terms of natural processes". Krebs (1972) defined it as "the scientific approach to the study of environmental interactions which control the welfare of living things, regulating their distribution, abundance, reproduction and evolution".
P.D. Sharma (F.N.I.E.) (Department of Botany, Univ. of Delhi) wrote in his book titled "Ecology and Environment" that:
" These days ecology has been contributing very much to socio- economic, political and other similar policies of the world. It is so common to find references of ecology in socio - economic writings, magazines, weekly and daily newspapers... Ecology indeed plays an important role in human welfare. This is primarily a field subject and modern ecology which is concerned with the functional interdependencies between living things and their environment". (17)
P.D. Sharma introduced many basic concepts of ecology, in this part the author only quotes some typical ones:
*"All living organisms and their environment are mutually reactive, affecting each other in various ways. Animal population, flora, and vegetation are interdependent through the environment and are mutually reactive". (18)
*"Environment, which is actually a complex of several inter-related factors and is much dynamic (i.e. varying with time and space), works as a sieve selecting organisms for growth from so many forms, as its one or the other factor becomes critical at critical stages of the life cycle of the species". (19)
*"It is not only environment which influences the life of organisms, but organisms too modify their environment as a result of their growth, dispersal, reproduction, death, decay etc. Thus, the environment is caused to change due to organisms' activities. The dynamic environment and organisms make ways for the development of different kinds of organisms through a process known as succession. The process continues till the development of a community, which is now able to keep itself adjusted in equilibrium with the environment. This final stage of community is called climax". (20)
The above three quotations prove that there is a live relationship between men and environment which is continuous, inseparabable and natural. This very close relationship says that violating environment means violating individuals' life as people could see from the current environmental crisis.
The current environmental crisis is environmental pollutions: air, water, earth pollutions. These pollutions as recorded in books, magazines, etc., are caused by atomic tests, chemical arms tests, by poisonous gas emitted from engineering factories, and by the fast increase of world population, etc.
The term pollution is defined by the Environmental Pollution Panel of the President's Science Advisory Committee in its report: "Restoring the Quality of Our Environment", held in November, 1965, as follows:
"Environmental pollution is the unfavorable alteration of our surroundings, wholly or largely as a by - product of man's actions, through direct or indirect effects of changes in energy patterns, radiation levels, chemical and physical constitution and abundances of organisms. These changes may affect man directly, or through his supplies of water and of agricultural and other biological products, his physical objects or possessions, or his opportunities for recreation and appreciation of nature". (21)
For air pollution produced in a year by human sources in the U.S.A., Edward J. Kormondy recorded (21 b)
(millions of tons per year)
* Natural dusts
* Forest fires
* Other minor sources
Mentioning the problem of "Nuclear energy - Salvation or Damnation?", E.F. Schumacher, in his book titled "Small is Beautiful" wrote:
" Of all the changes introduced by man into the household of nature, large - scale nuclear fission is undoubtedly the most dangerous and profound. As a result, ionizing radiation has become the most serious agent of pollution of the environment and the greatest threat to man's survival on earth. The attention of the layman, not surprisingly, has been captured by the atom bomb, although there is at least a chance that it may never be used again. The danger to humanity created by the so called peaceful uses of atomic energy may be much greater". (22)
For water and earth pollution, E.F. Schumacher added:
"No international agreement has yet been reached on waste disposal. The conference of the International Atomic Energy Organization at Monaca, in November 1959, ended in disagreement, mainly on account of the violent objections raised by the majority of countries against the American and British practice of disposal into the ocean. "High level" wastes continue to be dumped into the sea, while quantities of so - called "intermediate" and "low level" wastes are discharged into rivers or directly into the ground. An AEC report observes laconically that the liquid wastes work their way slowly into ground, water, leaving all or part (sic!) of their radioactivity held either chemically or physically in the soil". (23)
From the above quotations, it can be imagined how dangerous the current environmental pollution is, how threatened human beings life on earth is !
This pollution must be an evident result of the modern scientific civilization with its fast and uncontrolled development of industries and economics. This civilization, in its turn, is the result of a very high development of self- thought, way of thinking and enjoying pleasures of men. So, the main causes of the great environmental crisis, which is being warned, are ignorance (avijjà) and craving (tanhà) of men. Here, it may be asked whether Lord Buddha's teaching on the truth of Dependent Origination (Paticcasamuppàda) can give a solution to it?
As mentioned before, the element of Name - and - Form (Nàma - Ruùpa) of the Dependent Origination is considered as the five aggregates of human beings, which were defined by Lord Buddha Gotama as follows:
" And what, brethren, are the five factors? All body, brethren, be it past, future, or present, inward or outward, gross or subtle, low or lofty, far or near, that is called "the body factor".
Every feeling, every perception, all activities...every consciousness, be it past, future or present, inward or outward, etc, that is called the "Consciousness factor". (24)
("Yam kinci, bhikkhave, ruùpam atìtànàgatapaccuppannam ajjhattam và bahiddhà và olàrikam và sukhumam và hìnam và paniìtam và yam dure santike và ayam vuccati ruùpakkhandho // Yà kàci vedanà // yà kàci sannà // pe // ...ayam vuccati vinnànakkhandho //".) (25)
Twenty six centuries ago Lord Buddha did give human beings a very interesting and extremely surprising definition: the body aggregate of a man includes his physical body and this whole physical world. This definition affirms that environment or nature really is the body, or a big part of the body, of a man; without it he cannot come into existence and survive. If nature or environment is gravely polluted, his physical body or life will immediately come to its ruin. So, if everybody understands the truth of Dependent Origination, or if all means of communication of men introduce this doctrine, he will voluntarily protect environment from pollution as he can, because this is the meaning of protection of his happiness and survival in this life.
It may be said that the science of ecology and the danger of the environmental pollution are offering human beings a vision that there is no limit of the physical body of a man: it cannot be limited to the extent of his own body, of his country or of any continent: this is the real meaning of selflessness of his body. It is similar for his other aggregates. Does this truth say the Buddha's doctrine of selflessness or Dependent Origination is the solution for the environmental crisis? - In the author's opinion, Dependent Origination may be the solution for various problems of men. Let's continue examining it.
Individuals And Human Values
To men, living means living with knowledge's and values of life. As people could understand, the role of education is imparting to men knowledge's about spheres of learning, nature and human beings. These knowledge's, their values and the value itself, in fact, are created by men's thinking, which has been discussed about in philosophy as well as in education. What is men's thinking? What is the meaning of the current values of life? The answers to these questions are what the writer must reach in this part of his work. These are great philosophical problems.
Mentioning philosophy, P.T. Raju wrote:
" Philosophy, if it is true to itself, has to be a philosophy of life, not of one part of life but of the whole. This life is the life of man. He wants a theory of life as a guide. Other creatures do not care for any such theory; the drives themselves of their nature are enough for them. The aim of philosophy to be a guide to life is tacitly recognized by thinkers like Russel, who, speaking of logical analysis, says at the end of his book, "A History of Western Philosophy", that it also is meant to suggest and inspire a way of life" (26)
Chandradhar Sharma supposed:
" The etymological of the word "philosophy" is "love of learning" (or love of knowledge). It signifies a natural and a necessary urge in human beings to know themselves and the world in which they "live and move and have their being" It is impossible for man to live without a philosophy...
Western philosophy has remained more or less true to the etymological meaning of "philosophy", in being essentially an intellectual quest for truth. Indian has been, however, intensely spiritual and has always emphasized the need of practical realization of truth..." (27)
As the above expressions suggest, the author also thinks that the common meaning of philosophy to be concerned much about is serving human beings and their happiness in life, and that the western way of thinking is different from the Eastern way: the former emphasizes knowledge's about life, the latter concerns about the realization of the truth of life. This difference will be clarified if we examine men's way of thinking, in general, expressed by Aristotle, a Greek great philosopher, as the following:
For Aristotle, there are three basic principles for men's thinking:
1. Principle of identity: A thing called (A) must always be (A). If it changes from moment to moment, men's thinking cannot operate.
2. Principle of no-contradiction: A thing called (A) may be named (A) or(<>A), but not sometimes (A), sometimes ( <>A). If it is often changed, men's thinking cannot work.
3. Principle of excluded middle: A thing may be called (A) now, and (B) at another time, but not (A +B) - half is A and half is B-.
If it is (A + B), men's thinking can never function. (28)
Those principles presuppose that every existing thing has a fixed nature, while in life it changes from moment to moment. This is a big gap between men's knowledge's about life and life itself that can never be filled up.
It is the above way of thinking which puts value on all things. Having no root in reality, these values only make men confused in making any choice between conventional values and the real life, and only brings them tragedies.
Having seen this wrong view and thought, Lord Buddha taught the doctrine of Dependent Origination showing that men's thinking is Activities element (sankhárá), or Activities aggregate of the five aggregates of Name- and - Form element (Nàma - Rùpa), which is of the operation of Ignorance (avijja) leading to suffering. So the true values of things exist only in the operation of wisdom (vijjà or paññá) or men's regard of wisdom.
It is the above thinking which forces men to search for the first cause of life and the nature of man (or personality), which never exist in life as well as the conventional values.
In the author's opinion any search for personality or any search for the essence of things is but a utopia. This problem will be discussed much more in the next part.
(1) : "Discourse on Pàtika, Long Discourses, Translation by Maurice Walshe, Wisdom Publications, London, 1987, p.382.
(2) : "Pàtika-Sutta", Digha Nikáya, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1992, p. 34.
(3) : Dhammapada, Verse No. 1, Tr. by F. Max Muller, Sacred Books of the East, Reprinted by Motilal Banarsidass, 1992, p. 3.
(4) : Dhammapada, Verse No. 1, Devanàgari, Ist Edition, 1977, Department of Buddhist Studies, Delhi University.
(5) : Dhammapada, Verse No. 2, Translation by F. Max Muller,..., 1992, p.4.
(6) : Dhammapada, Verse No. 2, Devanàgari,..., Delhi University.
(7) : "The Concept of Man", edited by Radhakrishnan, P.T. Raju, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1992, p. 334.
(8) : Ibid., p. 335.
(9) : Ibid., pp. 511-512.
(10) : "Discourse on Brahmajàla", Long Discourses, Tr. by Maurice Walshe, Wisdom Publications, London, 1987, p. 88.
(11) : "Brahmajàla-Sutta", Digha Nikáya, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1975, p. 41.
(12) : "Discourse on Knowledge of Beginnings", Vol. I, PTS, London, 1975, p. 41.
(13) : "Discourse on Vasala", Suttanipàta, Minor Sayings, PTS, London, 1985, p. 14.
(14) : "Vasala Sutta", Suttanipàta, Khuddakanikàya, PTS, London, 1990, p. 24.
(15) : "Discourse on Dependent Origination", Long Discourses, tr. by Maurice Walshe,..., p. 223.
(16) : "Mahànidàna-Sutta", Digha Nikáya, Vol. II, PTS, London, 1982, p.55.
(17) : P.D. Sharma, "Ecology and Environment", Rastogi Publications, 6th edition, 1992, p.2.
(18) : Ibid., p. 14.
(19) : Ibid., p. 14.
(20) : Ibid., p. 14.
(21) : Edward J. Kormondy, "Concept of Ecology", Prenticehall of India, Private Limited, New Delhi-110001, 1991, p. 246.
(21b) : Ibid., p. 268.
(22) : E.F. Schumacher, "Small is Beautiful", An Abacus book, Printed in England by Clays Ltd. St. Ires plc, 1993, p. 112.
(23) : Ibid., p. 113.
(24) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1992, p. 41.
(25) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. III. PTS, London, 1975, p. 47.
(26) : P.T. Raju, "The Concept of Man",..., 1992, p.30.
(27) : Chandradhar Sharma, "A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy", Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, Pvt., Ltd, Delhi, 1991, p. 13.
(28) : Spaulding, "The New Rationalism", New York, Henry Holt and Company, 1918, pp. 106-107.
The Concept of Personality Revealed Through The Pancanikaya
Contemporary Personality Theories
As described in Part two, the truth of man and the world is Dependent Origination which says that a man, or the world, is conditioned, selfless, and belonging to nobody, it is but the operation of the five aggregates (Pancakkhandha). So what is called "Concept of personality" is just empty. The author's effort is not to search for any personality theory revealed through the Pancanikàya, but to observe individuals' mental, oral and bodily activities, which he calls the operation of "Name - and - Form" element or of the five aggregates, to find out the way of life leading to happiness for individuals in the here - and - now. However, he believes some of contemporary personality theories in education remain useful in helping man understand others' behaviors and some psychological aspects, he comes to take a review of them for their improvement before entering into the deep operation of the aggregates
Most of personality theories applied in modern schools were formed in the second part of nineteenth century A.D. and in the twentieth century A.D. All of them aiming at discovering what a man really is are relatively practical and useful. Here, the author only mentions the typical theories through three basic steps: concept of personality, features of personality and his reviews of them.
Concept Of Personality
Calvin S.Hall and Gardner Lindzey in their book titled, "Theories of Personality", wrote:
" ... Allport (1937) in an exhaustive survey of the literature extracted almost fifty different definitions that he classified into a number of broad categories. Here we will concern ourselves with only a few of these definitions.
It is important initially to distinguish between what Allport calls biosocial and biophysical definitions. The biosocial definition shows a close correspondence with the popular use of the term as it equates personality to the "social stimulus value" of the individual. It is the reaction of other individuals to the subject that defines the subject's personality. One may even assert that the individual possesses no personality but that provided by the response of others. Allport... suggests that a biophysical definition that the personality firmly in characteristics or qualities of the subject is much to be preferred. ...
Other definitions place primary emphasis upon the integrative or organizational function of personality... In other definitions, personality is equated to the unique or individual aspects of behavior...
Finally, some theorists have considered personality to represent the essence of the human condition... Allport's suggestion that "personality is what a man really is" illustrates this type of definition". (1)
All the above concepts of personality come from man's thinking of self - thought and from the sources of information given by the six sense - organs of man. Both man's thought and sense - organs are unbelievable agents as the author discussed before, so all conclusions about personality achieved must be reviewed in the light of Dependent Origination.
In real life, a man is the existence of mental and physical processes of becoming. All personality theorists' efforts to define what he is only means stopping those processes: This is not what he really is, and not a good way to understand a man himself, wherefore any research for personality as entity is always on the way. This point will be proved when one follows the features of personality theories and their reviews.
Features Of Personality
From what Larry A. Hjelle and Daniel J. Ziegler wrote about the features of personality in their book titled "Personality Theories" (2), the following common features may be mentioned:
1.Most definitions emphasize the importance of individuality or distinctiveness. Personality represents those distinct qualities that make one person stand out from others.
2.Personality is something abstract based on inferences derived from behavioral observation.
3. Personality represents an evolving process subject to a variety of internal and external influences, including genetic and biological propensities, social experiences, and changing environmental circumstances.
4. Personality definitions differ substantially from theorist to theorist. We should add that definitions of personality are not necessarily true or false, but are more or less useful to psychologists in pursuing research, in explaining regularities in human behavior...
Each definition of personality, or each personality theory, evolves a feature of personality. Sigmund Freud believed that human behavior is determined by irrational, unconscious factors. Maslow believed most of our actions result from reason and free choice. Carl Gustav Jung claimed that people have two types of personality: introvert and extrovert. For Carl Rogers, who supposed, differently from Freud, that it is our present interpretation of past experiences rather than their factual existence that influences our current behavior.
It may be said that psychologists, psychotherapists or personality theorists can discover many different features of human beings' personality according to their points of views, or their own professional experiences. This fact proves that the true nature of human beings, or true personality, really is selfless: because of the existence of selflessness, personality may appear in various factual aspects as it has been viewed. Therefore, the more features of personality are discovered, the more knowledge of human beings can be gained. There is only one thing to be noticed that is a man himself appears as a river flowing on and on, and the features of personality mentioned here are but the river watering places it passed through. This can be seen plainly in the contemporary personality theories themselves.
Review Of Typical Personality Theories
There are many personality theories used in the study of educational psychology of today. All of them belong to either behaviorism or humanism. The following are some of them considered as the typical by the writer.
Sigmund Freud's Theory (1856 - 1939)
In the middle of nineteenth century, in Germany, Psychology was understood as "the analysis of consciousness in the normal adult human being". Freud had a different point of view. For him, the mind appears as an iceberg in which the smaller part showing above the surface of the water symbolizes the region of the activities of consciousness, and the much larger part of iceberg below the water symbolizes the area of the existing unconsciousness, where the urges, the passions, the repressed feelings and ideas strongly influencing on the individual thoughts and deeds exist.
In Freud's opinion, the structure of personality includes three parts: id, ego and superego.
... The id cannot tolerate increases of energy that are experienced as uncomfortable states of tension. Consequently, when the tension level of the organism is raised, either as a result of external stimulation or of internally produced excitations, the id functions in such a manner as to discharge the tension immediately and return the organism to a comfortably constant and low energy level. This principle of tension reduction by which the id operates is called the pleasure principle..." (3)
" The ego comes into existence because the needs of the organism require appropriate transactions with the objective world of reality. The ego is said to obey the reality principle..
The reality principle suspends the pleasure temporarily although the pleasure principle is eventually served when the needed object is found and the tension is thereby reduced... it decides what instincts will be satisfied and in what manner..." (4)
The super ego
"It is the internal representative of the traditional values and ideals of society...
It represents the ideal rather than the real...
The main function of the super ego are:
(1) To inhibit the impulses of the id, particularly those of a sexual or aggressive nature, since these are the impulses whose expression is most highly condemned by society.
(2) To persuade the ego to substitute moralistic goals for realistic ones, and
(3) To strive for perfection." (5)
In concluding the introduction of the "id", "ego" and the "superego", Hall and Lindzey added: "... They work together as a team under the administrative leadership of the ego". (6)
In the author's opinion, the id Freud mentioned is the root and very important part of human personality. It exists only under the form of sexual instincts or sexual desires. So a man, for Freud, is but the existence of sexual activities: sexual desires and the response to their requirements. Such a man is nothing but a forever slave of the "id" and the "superego" and the contradictions happening between them, or he is but a slave of the inborn of the past and of conventional values created by speculations which is called the good or morality of society. If people do not want to accept such a destiny, they will never accept Freud's theory of personality. In reality, people are free to make every choice they want for their actual lives, they even can control or deal with sexual desires without pain or tension.
According to the truth of Dependent Origination, every thing cannot exist by itself, but it is conditioned, or it is the existence of temporary or immediate conditions. This shows that sexual instincts must be conditioned, so they cannot be regarded as the basis of what is called personality.
Moreover, with regard to the truth of life, when a thing exists, the opposite of it also exists. This supposes that mental states dealing with sexual instincts, which may be called non - sexual desires, comes into existence as well. This is what Sigmund Freud did not mention in his personality theory.
For Freud's principle of pleasure or the tension reduction principle, it is but the manifestation of making love repeatedly again and again in a man's life which will remove tensions or pains from him, and bring pleasures or happiness to him, but this result is doubted about, because in daily life people always are on the way to search for happiness: Searching for it says that it really does not exist; it still is out of the reach of men. So, how can people say the pleasure principle removes mental tensions? Again, people's experiences disclose that making love may cause tiresome of it or cause another tension stronger, how can people explain the meaning of reducing tensions of it?
In life, a man's tensions may come from other sources than sexual problems. In these cases, pleasure principle built up by Freud can bring tension reduction ?..
From the above questions, the writer comes to the following estimates:
* Sexual drive really is important to a man, but it is not all; it is not the factor determining what is called personality or the wholeness of him
* Making love or pleasure principle mentioned by Freud can bring pleasure to a man, but it can also bring un-satisfaction. The response to its requirement cannot resolve the problem of suffering and happiness of men.
* Freud's personality theory may be useful to modern schools, but a good course of education cannot be based on it.
* The discovery of unconsciousness of man by Freud may be accepted as the very important part of an individual to be concerned, but what a man really is, is another problem the writer will discuss about in (III.2.)
Carl Gustav Jung's theory: (1875 - 1961)
Carl Gustav Jung was a young psychiatrist in Zurich. In 1907, after his visit to Freud in Vienna, he was claimed by Freud to be Freud's successor. Three years later the relationship between Jung and Freud was completely broken, because Jung rejected Freud's pan-sexualism as Jung said, "The immediate reason was that Freud identified his method with his sex theory, which I see to be inadmissible" (7). Jung then proceeded to build his own theory of psychoanalysis and his own method of psychotherapy.
Calvin S.Hall and Gardner Lindzey wrote:
" ... For Freud, there is only the endless repetition of instinctual themes until death intervenes. For Jung, there is constant and often creative development, the search for wholeness and competition, and the yearning for rebirth". (8)
" The total personality of psyche, as it is called by Jung, consists of a number of differentiated but interacting systems. The principal ones are the ego, the personal unconscious and its complexes, the collective unconscious and its archetypes, the persona, the anima and animus, and the shadow. In addition to these interdependent systems there are the attitudes of introversion and extraversion, and the functions of thinking, feeling, sensing and intuiting. Finally, there is the self which is the center of the whole personality". (9)
For Jung, ego means conscious perceptions, memories, thoughts and feelings; the unconscious consists of experiences which were once conscious but have been repressed, suppressed, forgotten or ignored, and experiences too weak to make up conscious impression upon the person; collective unconscious means the storehouse of latent memory traces inherited from one's ancestral past...; the persona is a mask a person wears in response to the demands of social convention and tradition, and to his (or her) own inner archetypal needs; the anima and animus are terms showing a person as a bisexual animal (masculine and feminine characteristics are found in both sexes); the shadow archetype consists of the animal instincts that human beings inherited in their evolution from lower forms of their lives; and finally the self, according to Jung, means the total personality or the mid-point of personality, around which all of the other psychological elements of a person are constellated.
Jung's effort, the author feels, is to show the limit of Freud's theory of personality, but the personality theory built by him, as mentioned above, is also limited. It can only introduce to us the subjective and objective influences put on the human beings' mind, but cannot say what human personality really is. So it cannot be considered either as an ideal personality theory or a pattern of education.
Alfred Adler's theory (1870 - 1937)
Alfred Adler, born in Vienna in 1870 and died in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1937, was a psychiatrist, a member of the Vienna psychoanalytic Society and later its president. He followed Freudian Psychoanalysis then terminated his connection with it and formed his own group called Individual Psychology. He published over a hundred books, among them "The Practice and Theory of Individual Psychology" may be the best introduction to Adler's theory of personality.
Calvin S.Hall and Gardner Lindzey appraised that:
" In sharp contrast to Freud's major assumption that human behavior is motivated by inborn instincts, Jung's principal axiom that human conduct is governed by inborn archetypes, Adler assumed that human beings are motivated primarily by social urges. Human are, according to Adler, inherently social beings. They relate themselves to other people, engage in cooperative social activities, place social welfare above selfish interest, and acquire a style of life that is predominantly social in orientation...
Freud emphasized sex, Jung emphasized primordial thought pattern, and Adler stressed social interest.
Adler's second major contribution to personality theory is his concept of creative self...
A third feature of Adler's psychology that sets it apart from classical psychoanalysis is its emphasis upon the uniqueness of personality...
Finally, Adler considered consciousness to be the center of personality, which makes him a pioneer in the development of an ego- oriented psychology"... (10)
The most interesting discovery of Adler's theory of personality is the emphasis upon social interest, creative self and consciousness as the center of personality. This discovery can give a significant contribution to the sphere of personality theories. However, in the light of Dependent Origination as the truth of life, consciousness is but the result of the operation of Ignorance (avijja) and Activities (Sankhárá) elements, but not the center of personality. Somehow his theory needs to be adjusted as well as Freud's and Jung's.
Erich Fromn's theory (1900 - ...)
He was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1900. He got Ph.D. degree from the university of Heidenberg in 1922; then came to the United States of America in 1933 and taught at Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute as a lecturer. He also taught at a number of Universities in the U.S.A. and Mexico. His essential points of view, as Calvin S.Hall and Gardner Lindzey pointed out, are as follows:
-" Any form of society that humans have fashioned whether it be that of Feudalism, Capitalism, Fascism, Socialism or Communism represents an attempt to resolve the basic contradiction of humans. This contradiction consists of a person being both an animal and human being. As an animal, one has certain physiological needs that must be satisfied. As a human being, one possesses self - awareness, reason and imagination. Experiences that are uniquely human are feelings of tenderness, love and compassion, attitudes of interest, responsibility, identity, integrity, vulnerability, transcendence and freedom, and values and norms". (11)
-" One's personality develops in accordance with the opportunities that a particular society offers one". (12)
So, Erich Fromn's regard to men in a society is very practical and rather open. His theory just synthesizes the attitudes and ways of life of men that he believes they can exist in an individual. The first attitude and way of life to respond to physiological needs and desires requires food, water, physical comfort and sex and some other things relating to them, such as money, attention, affection and success (or good grades). The second attitude and way of life manifesting the qualities of a human being responds to mental requirements as the above quotation mentions. Those things belong to what is called Name - and - Form (Nàma - Ruøpa) following the operation of Ignorance (avijjaà) leading to sufferings and troubles only. Fromn cannot make any further steps in opening a way to true man and happiness in the here - and - now. As many other theorists, he really fell into troubles of individual and social problems.
Skinner's theory (1904 -...)
He really was a very well - known behaviorist who refused the existence of unconscious impulses, archetypes, traits as the presumed existence of internal factors determining a man's behavior, as he wrote:
" I defined theory as an effort to explain behavior in term of something going on in another universe, such as the mind or the nervous system. Theories of that sort I do not believe are essential or helpful. Besides, they are dangerous, they cause all kinds of trouble. But I look forward to an over all theory of human behavior which will bring together a lot of facts and express them in a more general way. That kind of theory I would be very much interested in promoting, and I consider myself to be a theoretician (Evans, 1968, p.88)". (13)
-"We do not need to try to discover what personalities, states of mind, feelings, traits of character, plans, purposes, intentions, or the other prerequisites of autonomous man really are in order to get on with a scientific analysis of behavior (Skinner, 1971, pp.12 - 13." (14)
-" In a behavioral analysis, a person is an organism... which has acquired a repertoire of behavior... [He] is not an originating agent; he is a locus, a point at which many genetic and environmental conditions come together in a joint effect (Skinner, 1974, pp. 167 - 168)". (15)
So, Skinner theory regards "personality" as nothing but a group of behavior patterns which are characteristics of an individual, and regards an individual behavior as a product of prior reinforcements: we do what we have been reinforced to do.
Such is a very practical contribution of Skinner to the branch of educational psychology in understanding human beings' behaviors and such is the limit of his theory in realizing what a man really is, because a man's behaviors are far different from a man himself.
As a behaviorist, B.F. Skinner cannot do any other better thing to help men recognize themselves, the real causes of troubles and the way to enter into mental peace and happiness in the here - and - now. All behaviorist theories are based on the philosophical point of view of Scientific Realism governed by self - thought and the limit of the six sense - organs of men, as what the writer can take out of the U.S. Educational Psychology. In this branch of study, on the other hand, all humanist theories of personality are based on the philosophical point of view of Existentialism and Phenomenology, which sounds much better, but they cannot either say the truth of man, life and the way to happiness. Let's continue examining the latter.
Maslow's theory (1908 -...)
Abraham Harold Maslow was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1908. His parents were uneducated Jewish who had emigrated from Russia with their seven children, Maslow is the eldest. Maslow wrote:
"With my childhood, it's a wonder I am not psychotic.
I was a little Jewish boy in the non - Jewish neighborhood.
It was a little like being the first Negro enrolled in the all-white school. I was isolated and unhappy. I grew up in libraries and among books, without friends" (Hall, 1968, p.37).
There was some bitterness and animosity in the relationship between Maslow and his mother, while his father was considered a man who "love whisky, women and fighting" (wilson, 1972, p.131)"
He studied psychology at Wisconsin University, obtained B.A. degree in 1930, his M.A. in 1931 and his Ph.D. in 1934. Maslow also worte:
" Life didn't really start for me until I got married and went to Wisconsin" (Hall, 1968, p.37)
In the book titled "Personality Theories", Larry A. Hjelle and Daniel J. Ziegler wrote about Maslow that:
" After receiving his Ph.D., Maslow returned to New York to work with the famous learning theorist E.L. Thorndike at Columbia University. He then moved to New York during this period... It was here that he personally encountered the cream of European intellectuals who were forced to flee from Hitler. Erich Fromn, Alfred Adler, Karen Horney, Ruth Benedict, Max Wertheimer, ... were a few of those whom Maslow sought out to enhance his understanding of Human behavior. The informal conversations and challenging experiences afforded by such distinguished scholars helped shape the intellectual foundations for Maslow's later humanistic views." (16)
In the world of educational psychology, if Skinner was known as one of the best - known behaviorist theorists of personality, Maslow was considered as one of the best known humanist theorists of personality whose point of view is based on the philosophical course of Existentialism and Phenomenology, as mentioned above, generally expressed as follows:
" ...Existentialists stress the idea that ultimately each of us is responsible for who we are and what we become. As Sartre put it, "Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself". Such is the first principle of Existentialism." (17)
" The most important concept that humanistic psychologists have extracted from Existentialism is that of becoming. A person is never static; he is always in the process of becoming a new person". (18)
" Humanistic psychologists recognize the quest for a meaningful and fulfilling life is not an easy one. This is especially true in an age of profound cultural change and conflict, where traditional beliefs and values no longer provide adequate guidelines for the good life or for finding meaning in human existence. Finally, existentialists assert that the only "reality" anyone ever knows is subjective or personal, not objective. This outlook may be designated in a shorthand way as the phenomenon - logical or "here - and - now" perspective". (19)
According to Hjelle's and Ziegler's regard to Maslow's point of view written in their book mentioned above (p.461), Maslow's belief is that a human being is fundamentally free and responsible in choosing a way of life to lead. His freedom helps him decide how and what to be. Maslow's view is therefore really optimistic, he did conclude that a self - actualizing person, who appears as a good pattern for education, manifests the following characteristics:
(1) More efficient perception of reality. ...
(2) Acceptance of self, others and nature. ...
(3) Spontaneity, simplicity and naturalness. ...
(4) Problem-centered. ...
(5) Detachment: need for privacy. ...
(6) Autonomy : independence of culture and environment.
(7) Continued freshness of appreciation. ...
(8) Peak or mystic experiences. ...
(9) Social interest.
(10) Profound interpersonal relations. ...
(11) Democratic character structure. ...
(12) Discrimination between means and ends....
(13) Philosophical sense humor. ...
(15) Resistance to enculturation. ... (20)
Human nature or personality, according to Maslow's point of view, seems to be very human, existential and positive, but in fact it is just a concept of what is compounded by a couple of characteristics as conditions of mental development. It is not a man himself. Maslow cannot show the subject creating the above characteristics and the root cause of man's troubles and sufferings, how can an individual train himself for those characteristics? How can he deal with troubles ? There seems to exist something like fog in his theory? In his thought?
Carl Ransom Rogers' theory (1902 - 1987)
Carl Ransom Rogers was born in Oak Park (a Chicago suburb), Illinois, in 1902. He was the fourth of six children of a family of financial success and happiness. In high school, he had no close friends outside his family and spent much of his time on reading books - any book he could find, even dictionary or encyclopedia. He received straight "A" grades in almost all his courses he attended. He obtained his B.A. degree in History in 1924, at Wisconsin University, then got married and found such happy life with his wife and lover, Helen Elliot Rogers wrote, "I made friends, found new ideas, and fell thoroughly in love with the whole experience" (1967, p.353)
Rogers followed educational psychology courses and got his M.A. degree in 1928, then Ph.D. in Clinical psychology in 1931. He accepted a position as staff psychologist at Child Study Department in Rochester, New York, then was offered a Faculty appointment with the rank of full professor in the Psychology Department at Ohio State University in 1939. He published his book entitled "The Clinical Treatment of the Problem Child" also in 1939, his "Counseling and Psychotherapy" in 1942; took a position as Professor of Psychology and Director of the University Counseling Center at the University of Chicago. Here, from 1945 to 1957, he completed his major work, "Client - Centered - Therapy: Its Current Practice, Implications and Theory". (1951).
In 1957, Rogers returned to the University of Wisconsin and worked there in the Department of Psychology and Psychiatry. In 1964, he worked in Western Behavioral Sciences Institute (WBSI) in Lajolla, California.
In 1969, he left WBSI for working in the Center of Studies of Person, in Lajolla, Calif. until he died in 1987 by a heart attack.
During his lifetime Rogers received many awards:
* In 1946, he was selected as the President of the American Psychological Association (APA) and was awarded the APA's First Distinguished Professional Contribution Award. In this occasion he gave an address, in which he said: "I expressed an idea whose time had come, as though a pebbe was dropped in water and spread ripples. The idea was that the individual has vast resources within himself for altering his life and these resources can be mobilized given the proper climate" (1937, p.4.)
Rogers published a couple of books.
* Psychotherapy and Personality Change (1954).
* On Becoming a Person (1961).
* Person to Person: The Problem of Being Human (1967).
* Freedom to Learn: A View of what Education Might Become (1969).
* Carl Rogers on Encounter Groups (1970).
* Carl Rogers on Personal Power (1977).
* A Way of Being (1980).
* Freedom to Learn For the 80s (1983).
As Hjelle and Ziegler (Ibid. pp. 488 - 489) appraised, Carl Ransom Rogers may be the best known Psychologist and Psychotherapist of the time from 1950 to 1983. Let's follow his thoughts on human nature or personality:
* "Each person construes reality in accordance with his private world of experience, and this experiential world can be completely known only to the person". (21)
*"This expression of Rogers reflects the philosophical point of view of Phenomenology which holds, "what is real to an individual is that which exists within that person's internal frame of reference, or subjective world, including everything in his awareness at any point of time. It follows that subjective perceptions and experiences not only constitute the person's private reality but also form the basis for his actions"". (22)
" For the most part, Rogers rejected Freud's position that historical aspects or derivatives of behavior are the primary factors underlying personality. Behavior is not determined by something that occurred in the past. Instead, Rogers emphasizes the need to understand the person's relationship to the environment as he now exists and perceives it.
It is our present interpretation of past experiences rather than their factual existence that influences our current behavior". (23)
The above quotations proves that for Rogers, a human being can perceive reality through the limit of what he is, and only that reality is real to him. It is his subjective perceptions and experiences constructing that reality and the basis of his actions. Such is the world (or experiential world) and such is personality!
His point of view, on the one hand, manifests the regard to things of Phenomenology and Humanism which sounds very human and very impressive, on the other hand, indirectly recognizes the limit of that regard which is governed by the wrongness of man's subjective perceptions and experiences. Rogers accepts those perceptions and experiences as truth of life, while in reality, under the light of Dependent Origination, they are false and only lead human beings to sufferings. This is a big gap of his theory of personality. However, in the meaning of helping individuals reduce troubles caused by their negative regards or attitudes of life, it remains rather interesting when Rogers suggested a pattern of "a fully functioning person" in 1980 which requires a person to follow the following factors: (24)
(1) Openness to experience: "To be open to experience is the polar opposite of defensiveness. People who are completely open to experience are able to listen to themselves... are acutely aware of their own deepest thoughts and feelings..."
(2) Existential living: "This is the tendency to live fully and richly in each moment of existence as it comes. By doing so, each experience in the person's life is perceived as fresh and unique..."
(3) Organismic trusting: "Organismic trusting thus signifies the person's ability to consult and abide by his (or her) inner feelings as the major basis for making choices".
(4) Existential freedom: "Existential freedom thus refers to the inner feeling that "I am solely responsible for my own actions and their consequences.""
(5) Creativity: "For Rogers, the person who is involved in "the good life" would be the type from whom creative products (ideas, projects, actions) and creative living would emerge. Creative people also tend to live constructively and adaptively in their culture while at the same time satisfying their own deepest needs. They would be able, creatively to flexibly adapt to changing environmental conditions."
For the first attitude of life, "openness to experience", to the author, means it always is open but not stops at or grasps anything. This attitude can expect an experience of emptiness of things that is the highest experience of thought and feeling. It needs only the right way to go, as the way Lord Buddha taught, that Rogers couldn't imagine.
For the second attitude of life, "Existential living", it can help a person get out of troubles caused by his thought of past and future, and concentrate his thought on the very present moment which is always new, fresh and unique. But his experience of this truth exists only when he can control completely his wrong thoughts and desires. Rogers couldn't show the way to do as Lord Buddha did introduce the Eightfold Noble Path or the Four Noble Truths to human beings.
For the third one, "Organismic trusting", it means a person should make a choice for his course of actions on the basic of what he feels right, but not on any external source of influence or any judgment of others. This is a good sense. But there are various thoughts, feelings and desires arising in him, at first he should make a choice among them before he could make a choice for the course of action. What is the standard for the rightness to follow? What is the subject of making a choice? - Rogers did not and could not mention these things, so his theory needs to be completed as well as possible.
For the fourth one, it means self - responsibility. This is necessary for any good way of life.
For the last factor, it sounds truly creative, wise and human. It works mainly for the deepest needs of a person. But which are the deepest needs leading to true happiness for a person in the here - and - now? Rogers' theory lacks this point, which will be clarified by Lord Buddha's teaching the writer will introduce in the Part Four of this work.
In short, Rogers' ideas on human nature, on his way of "client - centered therapy" and on a "fully - functioning person" are very interesting. They could help the people in education open a course of education for good educational spirit for the development of individuals. But the soul of that course of education must be looked for in the doctrine of Dependent Origination (Paticcasamuppàda) and the Five Aggregates (Pàncakkhandha).
(1): Calvin S. Hall and Gardner Lindzey, "Theories of Personality" Wiley Eastern Limited, New Delhi, 110002, 1991, pp. 8-9.
(2): Adapted from "Personality Theories", by Larry A. Jelle and Daniel J. Ziegler, Mc Graw - Hill, Inc., New York, 1992, p.5.
(3): Calvin S. Hall and Gardner Lindzey, Ibid., p.36.
(4): Ibid., pp. 37-38.
(5): Ibid., p.38.
(6): Ibid., p.39.
(7): Ibid., p.114.
(8): Ibid., p.116.
(9): Ibid., p. 118.
(10): Ibid., pp. 159-160.
(11): Ibid., p. 170.
(12): Ibid., p. 172.
(13): Ibid., p. 297.
(14): Ibid., p. 298.
(15): Ibid., p. 301.
(16): Ibid., p. 442.
(17): Ibid., p. 444.
(18): Ibid., p. 444.
(19): Ibid., p. 445.
(20): Ibid., pp. 477 - 478.
(21): Ibid., p. 496.
(22): Ibid., p. 496.
(23): Ibid., p. 497.
(24): Ibid., pp. 508 - 509
Man is Pancakkhandha
Name-and-Form element (Nàma-Rùpa) as discussed in "the operation of the twelve elements of Dependent Origination" are the five aggregates of man (Pancakkhandhà), therefore the operation of the twelve elements really is the operation of Pancakkhandhà, and realizing that operation means realizing what a man really is.
At the Deer Park (Migadàya), Isipatana at Bàrànasì, right after the first day of teaching the Four Noble Truths (Cattàri Ariyasaccàni), from the second day to the fifth, Lord Buddha explained the doctrine of Pancakkhandhà to Mahàthera Kondanna and his four Dhamma friends. It runs that:
"At Benares, in the Deer Park was the occasion (for this discourse) At that time the Exalted One thus addressed the band of five brethren: "Body, brethren, is not the self..., feeling is not the self... likewise perception, the activities and consciousness are not the self...
Moreover, by this teaching thus uttered the hearts of those five brethren were freed from the àsavas without grasping". (1)
("Bàrànasiyam nidànam Migadàye // Tatra kho, Bhagavà, pancavaggiye bhikkhuù àmantesi // la // etad avoca // Ruùpam bhikkhave, anattà // ... Vedanà anattà / ... Sannà anattà // ... Sankhàrà anattà // ... Vinnànam anattà // ... Idam avoca Bhagavà // ..imasmimca pana veyyàkaranasmim bhannamàne pancavaggiyànam bhikkhunam anupàdàya àsavehi cittàni vimuccimsu ti//"). (2)
Pancakkhandhà is the second discourse, which helped the first five disciples of Lord Buddha destroy completely their defilements to attain the Arahant-hood to see the truth of life and true happiness. Let's now examine Lord Buddha's teachings on it.
The Meaning Of Pancakkhandha
Lord Buddha defined:
" I will teach you, brethren, the five factors and the five factors that have to do with grasping. Do You listen to it. And what, brethren, are the five factors? All body, brethren, be it past, future or present, inward or outward, gross or subtle, low or lofty, far or near, that is called "the body - factor". Every feeling, perception, all the activities, every consciousness, be it past, future or present, inward or out ward, etc. That is called the "consciousness - factor".
These five, brethren, are called the five factors. And what, brethren, are the five factors that have to do with grasping? Every body, brethren, be it past, future or present..., be it far or near, is a co - aàsava, and has to do with grasping. That is called the five factors that have to do with grasping. Every perception... All the activities...; whatever consciousness..." (3)
("Panca, bhikkhave, khandhe desissàmi pancupàdànakkhandhe ca // tam sunàth// Katame ca, bhikkhave, pancakkhandhà // Yam kinci, bhikkhave, ruùpam atìtànàgatapaccuppannam ... // Yàkàci vedanà... // Ye Keci sankhàrà...
Yam kinci vinnànam atitànàpaccuppannam... // Ime vuccanti bhikkhave, pancakkhandhà // Katame ca, bhikkhave, pancupàdànakkhandhà // Yam kinci, bhikkhave, rupam ... upàdànìyam ayam vuccati rupupàdànakkhandho // Yà kàci vedanà // pe //
Ime vuccanti, bhikkhave, pancupàdànakkha-ndhàti //") (4)
The above quotation says that:
Aggregate of body (or form) is understood as a person's physical body, bodies of others and the material world. Aggregate of feeling includes feeling of suffering, of happiness and of indifference. It is known as feelings arising from eye - contact, ear - contact, nose - contact, tongue - contact, body - contact and mind - contact.
Aggregate of perception includes perception of body, perception of sound, perception of odor, perception of taste, perception of touch (or tangibles), and perception of mental objects (or phenomena).
Aggregate of activities (or volition) is all mental, oral and bodily activities. it also is understood as volitional acts occasioned by body, by sound, by odor, by taste, by touching or by ideas. Aggregate of consciousness includes eye - consciousness, ear - consciousness, nose - consciousness, tongue - consciousness, body - consciousness and mind - consciousness.
Such is a person! He is conditioned by this physical and mental world. He relates closely to others, to society, and to nature, but can never exist by himself. Therefore, he must be selfless, impermanent. Because of selflessness and impermanence, a person who always grasp selfness and permanence feels suffering in life, as Lord Buddha declared:
"Body, brethren, is impermanent. What is impermanent that is suffering. What is suffering, that is void of self. What is void of self that is not mine, I am not it, it is not myself. That is how it is to be regarded by perfect insight of what it really is.
Feeling is impermanent. Etc.
Perception is impermanent. ...
Activities are impermanent. ...
Conscious is impermanent. ..." (5)
(" Ruùpam, bhikkhave, aniccam // yad aniccam tam dukkham // yam dukkham tad anattà // yad anattà tam netam mama neso ham- asmi na meso attà ti // Evam etam yathàbhuøtam sammappannàya datthabbam // Vedanà aniccà ... // Sannà aniccà .... // Sankhàrà aniccà ... // Vinnànam aniccam...
Evam etam yathàbhuøtam sammappannàya datthabbam //") (6)
" Body, brethren, is void of the self. That which is the cause, that which is the condition of the arising of body, that also is void of self. How, brethren, can body, which is compounded of the selfless, come to be the self?
Feeling... Perception... The Activities... Consciousness is void of the self. That which is the cause, that which is... that also is void of the self. How can that consciousness, which is compounded of the selfless, come to be the self?" (7)
("Ruùpam, bhikkhave, ànattà // yo pi hetu yo pi paccayo ruùpassa uppàdàya so pi anattà //anattasambhutam, bhikkhave, ruùpam kuto attà bhavissati //
Vedanà anattà // ... Sannà anattà // ...
Sankhàrà anattà //... Vinnànam anattà // yo pi hetu yo pi paccayo vinnànassa uppàdàya so pi anattà // anattasambhuøtam, bhikkhave, vinnànam kuto attà bhavissati // //") (8)
The truth of a man is selfless: it is not his self, it is not his, and he is not it, while the contemporary personality theorists and educators tend to search for a self and consider that: it is his self, it is his and he is it, how can they come to solutions for individuals' problems? Here is the very crucial point from which the personality theorists and educators know what and how to educate individuals for a good society and environment they are living in, and for their happiness. Evidently, it is not easy to convince people to accept this truth of life, but the point is people should not keep themselves away from it. This demands education to find the way to do to help people see it as the following teaching shows:
" Just as if, brethren, this river Ganges should carry down a huge lump of foam, and a keen - sighted man should see it, observe it and look close into its nature. So seeing it, observing it and looking close into its nature, he would find it empty, he would find it unsubstantial, he would find it without essence. What essence, brethren, could there be in a lump of foam? Suppose, brethren, in autumn time, when the sky-god rains down big drops, a bubble rises on the water and straight way bursts, and a keen - sighted man should see it, observe it. look close into its nature. So seeing it, observing it, and looking close into its nature, he would find it empty, he would find it unsubstantial, he would find it without essence. What essence, brethren, could there be in a bubble on the water?
Even so, brethren, whatsoever feeling, be it past, future or present, be it far or near, a brother sees... he finds it without essence. What essence, brethren, could there be in feeling? ..." (9)
("Seyyathàpi, bhikkhave, ayam Gangà nadìmahantam phenapindam àvaheyya // tamenam Cakkhumà puriso passeyya nijjhàyeyya yoniso upaparikkheyya // Tassa tam passato nijjhàyato yoniso upaparikkhato rittakanneva khàyeyya tucchakanneva khàyeyya asàrakanneva khàyeyya // Kinhi siyà, bhikkhave, phenapinde sàro // Seyyathàpi, bhikkhave, saradasamaye thullaphusitake deve vassante udake bubbulam uppajjati ceva nirujjhati ca // tam evam cakkhumà puriso passeyya nijjhàyeyya yoniso upaparikkheyya // tassa tam passato nijjhàyato yoniso upaparikkhato rittakan-neva khàyeyya // tucchakanneva khàyeyya asàrakanneva khàyeyya // kinhi siyà, bhikkhave, udakabubbule sàro // Evam eva kho, bhikkhave, yà kàci vedanà atìtànàgatapaccuppannà // pe // ... kinhi siyà, bhikkhave, vedanàya sàro //") (10)
It is similar for a mirage seen in the dry season at high noontide compared with consciousness and other aggregates.
If a man sees that truth, he comes to feel disgust at aggregates; feeling disgust he is repelled; by repulsion he is set free and comes to the Insight that: he is free.
Now, following that regard to things, let us take a look deep into men's physical bodies, observe and analyze them, what can we realize?
That physical body comes from a fetus made up by the spermatozoon and semen. Theses spermatozoon and semen were created by the essence of food coming from many conditions in nature which includes the existence of the Sun about 150 million kilometers away from here.
That baby (child) has been brought up also by food, etc. It exists out of the intention of a person, and changes all the time...
How can that body regarded as his own self? Similarly, analyzing the aggregate of feeling will help a person see :
- Feeling aggregate is nothing but a mass of feelings coming from touching, which is, but the contact of the inward part and the outward part of the body aggregate. If body aggregate is seen as not the "I", the "mine" or the "my self" and as emptiness, so is feeling aggregate.
For perception aggregate, it is the perceptions of body, of sound, of smell, of taste, of touch and of phenomena. These things belonging to body aggregate are empty, as mentioned above, so those perceptions are also empty: they must not be considered as the "I", the "mine" or the "my self"
For Activities aggregate, they are known as the thought of body, of sound, of smell, of taste, of touch, and of mental objects, but body, sound... are empty and considered as not the "I", the "mine" the "my self" so Activities aggregate must be regarded similarly.
For consciousness aggregate, it is the cognition arising from eye - contact, ear - contact, nose - contact, tongue - contact, body contact and mind - contact. Eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind are empty and not the "I", the "mine" or the "my self"; so is consciousness.
What is called a man is a compound of the five aggregates which are empty, he must be selfless and not the "I", the "mine" or the "my self". This sounds rather strange but true.
Such a regard to the five aggregates is that of wisdom (paññá or vijja) which can help a person to come out of all troubles. It suggests a person to train himself for a regard of wisdom to things, but not for the search for a self or personality.
Here, an individual may ask: if "no-self" is the true self of a human being, then who acts? Who receives the result of his actions? - These questions implying the meaning of a "self" must belong to self - thought which is ignorance (avijja) and is of conception but not of reality. In fact, human beings are there, their actions are there, and the results of their actions they receive are there. No question on "who" or "why" exists in reality: it is what to live with, but not to talk about or to think of. There are only two things to be concerned in the fateful existence of a human being: his obsessing suffering and his requirement to find out the way to the cessation of that suffering. His main problem is how to have a right view on these two things as Lord Buddha taught His disciple, Kaccànagotta, that:
" From the very lips of the Exalted one, friend Channa, from his very lips as he taught brother Kaccànagotta, I heard this: "On two things, Kaccana, does this world generally base its view - on existence and on non - existence. Now he who with right insight sees the arising of the world as it really is, does not believe in the non - existence of the world. But, Kaccana, he who with right insight sees the ceasing of the world as it really is, does not believe in the existence of the world.
Grasping after systems, imprisoned by dogmas in this world, Kaccana, for the most part. And he who does not go after, does not grasp at, does not take his stand on this system - grasping, this dogma, this mental bias, - such an one does not say it is my soul. He who thinks, that which arises is but ill: that which ceases, it is ill such an one has no doubts; no perplexity. In this matter, knowledge not borrowed from others comes to him. Thus far, Kaccana goes right view."
"All exists", Kaccana, - that is one extreme.
"Naught exists" Kaccana, - that is the other extreme. Not approaching either extreme, Kaccana, the Tathágata teaches you a doctrine by the middle way: "Conditioned by ignorance come the activities, conditioned by activities comes consciousness, and so forth. Thus is the arising of this whole mass of ill. By the utter fading away and ceasing of ignorance comes the ceasing of the activities, and so forth. Thus is the ceasing of this entire mass of ill". (11)
("Sammukhà me tam, àvuso Channa, Bhagavato sutam sammukhà ca patiggahitam Kaccànagottam bhikkhum ovadantassa // Dvayanissito khvàyam Kaccàna loko, yebhuyyena atthi tanceva natthi tanca // Lokasamudayam, kho Kaccàna, yathàbhuùtam sammappannàya passato yà loke natthità sà na hoti // loka nirodham kho, Kaccàna, yathàbhuùtam sammappannàya passato yà loke atthità sà na hoti// Upàyupàdànàbhinivesavinilbandho khàyam, Kaccàna, loko yebhuyyena // tancàyam upàyupàdànam cetaso adhitthànàbhinivesànusayàna upeti na upàdiyati // nàdhitthàti Attà me ti // Dukkham eva uppajjamànam uppajjati dukkham niruddhamànam nirujjhatìti na kankhati na vicikicchati aparapaccayà nànam evassa ettha hoti // Ettàvatà kho, Kaccàna, sammàditthi hoti //
Sabbam attìti kho, Kaccàna, ayam eko anto // Sabbam natthìti ayam dutiyo anto // Ete te Kaccàna ubho ante anupagamma majjhena Tathàgato dhammam deseti // Avijjàpaccayà sankhàrà... pe... Evam etassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa nirodho hoti //") (12)
So the above-mentioned root problem of human beings was taught and emphasized by Lord Buddha. It was emphasized several times by Him as the central point of His teaching as recorded here and there in the Pancanikàya. He said:
" Both formerly and now also, it is just sorrow and the ceasing of sorrow that I proclaim" (13)
("Sàdhu sàdhu, Anuràdha, pubbe càham, Anuràdha, etarahi ca dukkhanceva pannàpemi dukkhassa ca nirodhanti //"). (14)
Lord Buddha, in addition to the above teaching, also emphasized what should be understood by an individual, and what is the understanding of it so clearly that:
" Brethren, I will show you things that are to be understood, likewise understanding. Do ye listen to it.
And what, brethren, are the things to be understood, Body, brethren, is a thing to be understood: feeling is a thing to be understood: perception, the activities and consciousness also. These, brethren, are the things that are to be understood.
And what, brethren, is understanding? The destruction of lust, the destruction of hatred, the destruction of illusion: that; brethren, is called "understanding". (15)
(" Parinànàeyye ca, bhikkhave, dhamme desisàmi Parinnanca // tam sunàtha//
Katame ca, bhikkhave, parinneyyà dhammà // Rupam, bhikkhave, parinneyyo dhammo // Vedanà parinneyyo dhammo // sannà... // sankhàrà ... // vinnànam... // Ime vuccanti, bhikkhave, parinneyyà dhammà // Katamà ca, bhikkhave, parinnà // Yo, bhikkhave, ràgakkhayo dosakkhayo mohakkhayo // ayam vuccati, bhikkhave, parinnàti //") (16)
In short, Lord Buddha's teachings recorded in Pancanikàya are basically concentrated on introducing the five aggregates and the way of dealing with men's desires for them which means introducing the arising of the five aggregates and the ceasing of them. This is a very practical and existential way of education that suggests to men the purpose of education - which is happiness or the cessation of suffering -, and the content of education - which is the understanding of the five aggregates and the way of extinguishing sufferings arising from them - That way also suggests that the course of modern education, in the name of human beings and their happiness in this very life, should be based on that purpose and content of education. The search for truth of man and universe now should turn to be the realization of the five aggregates, the operation of which will be mentioned next.
The Operation Of Pancakkhandha
As mentioned in (III.2.1.) the operation of the five aggregates is that of Name-and-Form (nàma - rupa) of Dependent Origination and so is the operation of Dependent Origination itself. And, the five aggregates co - exist; they cannot separate from each other. This is an important thing to be noticed before mentioning the operation of each aggregate.
The operation of Consciousness (Vinnana)
Consciousness is the cause of Name-and-Form element in Dependent Origination, and so it is understood as the cause of the five aggregates on the one hand, and on the other hand it is conditioned by the other eleven elements of Dependent Origination as it is implied in the following teaching:
" Were a man, brethren, to declare thus: "Apart from body, apart from feeling, apart from perception, apart from the activities, I will show forth the coming or the going or the decease or the rebirth of consciousness" - to do that were impossible.
If lust for body, brethren, is abandoned by a brother, by that abandonment of lust its foothold is cut off. Thereby there is no platform for consciousness. Likewise as regards feeling, perception, the activities.
So also, brethren, if lust for the consciousness element be abandoned by a brother, by that abandonment of lust, its foothold is cut off. Thereby there is no platform for consciousness. Without that platform, consciousness has no growth, it generates no action and is freed: by freedom it is steady: by its steadiness it is happy: owing to happiness it is not troubled. Being untroubled, of itself it becomes utterly well, so that it knows: "destroyed is rebirth, lived is the righteous; done is the task, for life in these conditions there is no hereafter".) (17)
("Yo bhikkhave evam vadeyya // Aham annatraruùpà annatra vedanàya annatra sannàya annatra sankhàrehi vinnànassa àgatim và gatim và cutim và upapattim và vuddhim và virulhim và vepullam và pannàpessàmìti netam thànam vijjati //
Rùpadhàtuyà ce, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno ràgo pahìno hoti // ràgassa pahànà vocchijjatàram - manam patitthà vinnànassa na hoti // Vedanàya dhàtuyà ce, bhikkhave // Sannàdhàtuyà ce bhikkhave // Sankhàra... Vinnàna...
Tad apatitthitam vinnànam aviruàlham anabhisankhàrànca vimuttam // vimuttattà thitam thitattà santusitam santusitattà na paritassati // aparitassam paccattanneva parinibbàyati // Khìnà jàti vusitam brahmacariyam katam karanìyam nàparam itthattàyàti pajànàtìti //") (18)
Lust for body, feeling, perception, the activities and consciousness is a mental activity which belongs to the Activities element (sankhárá) of Dependent Origination or Activities aggregates of the Five aggregates. Owing to this lust, consciousness arises, develops and matures. This lust for the five aggregates exists because of the existence of the satisfaction of the five aggregates. This satisfaction exists owing to the fact that one attaches to the selfness of things, which is called Ignorance (avijjà). If the attachment to things (or Ignorance) ceases to exist, the satisfaction of things cannot exist and one's lust for the satisfaction of things also ceases to exist. If one's lust for things ceases to exist, the cause of sufferings - which are grasping, becoming, birth, old-age - cannot appear; then one comes to extinguish all troubles and attain happiness of one's free mind. This also means the cessation of consciousness.
Another aspect of the operation of Consciousness may be regarded as the cause, the origin and the condition of Name-and-Form as mentioned in (II.1.2.) - "the meaning and operation of the twelve causes - but it is not an entity: it includes six groups: eye - consciousness exists when there exists the contact between eyes and forms, ear - consciousness exists when there exists the contact between ears and sounds... and mind -consciousness exists when there exists the contact between mind and mental objects. If the contact does not exist, consciousness cannot be present and cannot operate. So, consciousness is but the existence of a group of conditions, which must not be regarded as the "I", the "mine" or the "myself"
The operation of Activities aggregate (sankhárá)
Activities aggregate is the very Activities element of Dependent Origination. It is a compound of mental activities, oral activities and bodily activities. It is also regarded as one's will to live and defined by Lord Buddha as follows:
"And what, brethren, are the Activities? These six seats of will: the will that is in body, sound, odor, taste, touch, and in mental images. These, brethren, are called the Activities. From the arising of contact, comes the arising of the activities. From the ceasing of contact is the ceasing of activities." (19)
("Katame ca, bhikkhave, sankhàrà // chayime, bhikkhave, cetanàkàyà // ruùpasancetanà // pe / dhammasancetanà // ime vuccanti, bhikkhave, sankhàrà // Phassasamudayà sankhàrasamudayo // phassasamudayà sankharànirodho // ayam eva ariyo atthangiko maggo sankhàranirodhagàminì patipadà // seyyathìdam sammàditthi // pe // sammàsamàdhi //") (20)
The above quotation and what has been expressed in the Activities element of Dependent Origination in part (II.1.2.) shows that:
* All thoughts of and desires for body, sound, odor, smell, taste, and mental images of a person make up Activities aggregate (sankhárá khandha).
* If contact is not present, his feeling is absent; and his desire for things does not exist, his thought of thing does not come into existence either. This means Activities aggregate is an empty entity.
* All psychological activities of a person - such as wishes, vows, wholesome and unwholesome thoughts, hate, love, jealousy, self - pride, mental reactions to life... - that have created his life in the present and in the next existence are of Activities aggregate. These things make sense for life, without them life becomes meaningless. However, the operation of them is but the operation of an illusion of a self (or ignorance), which says the true meaning of all values of a human life, is very shadowy.
In a more positive expression of that operation, Lord Buddha taught His disciples that:
" And what, monks, is the undertaking of Dhamma that is suffering in the present and results in suffering in the future? In this case, monks, someone, even with suffering, even with grief, becomes one to make onslaught on creatures he experiences suffering and grief. Even with suffering, even with grief; he becomes one who takes what was not given..., he becomes one to behave wrongly in regard to sense pleasures..., he becomes a liar..., a slanderer..., a harsh speaker..., a frivolous talker..., he becomes covetous..., malevolent in thought... of wrong view, and because of his wrong view he experiences suffering and grief. He, at the breaking up of the body after dying up rises in a sorrowful state, a bad bourn, the abyss, Niraya Hell". (21)
("Katamanca, bhikkhave, dhammasamàdànam paccuppannadukkhanc'eva àyatinca dukkhavipàkam: Idha, bhikkhave, ekacco sahàpi dukkhena sahàpi domanassena pànàtipàtì hoti pànàtipàtàpacayà ca dukkham domanassam patisamvedeti, sahàpi dukkhena sahàpi domanassena adinnàdàyì hoti adinnàdànapaccayà ca dukkham domanassam patisamvedeti, sahàpi dukkhena sahàpi domanassena kàmesu micchàcàrìhoti kàmesu micchàcàrapaccayà cadukkham domanassam patisamvedeti, sahàpi dukkhena sahàpi domanassena musàvàdì hoti musàvàdapaccayà ca dukkham domanassam patisamvedeti, sahàpi dukkhena sahàpi domanassena pisunàvàco hoti pisunàvàcàpaccayà ca dukkham domanassam patisamvedeti,... pharusàvàco..., ... samphappalàpì..., ... abhijjhàlu..., ... byàpannacitto..., .. micchàditthi hoti micchàditthipaccayà ca dukkham domanassam patisamvedeti. So kàyassa bhedà param maranà apàyam duggatim vinipàtam nirayam upapajjati. Idam vuccati, bhikkhave, dhammasamàdànam paccuppan-nadukkhan- c'eva àyatinca dukkhavipàkam"). (22)
The above are ten common actions of an evil worldly man: three of them relate to body; four relate to speech; and three relate to mind.
In the next paragraphs of the discourse (suttam), Lord Buddha declared: with regard to those ten volitional actions, there are people who did them with pleasure and felt satisfied after having done in the present would receive sufferings as results in the future; there are people, who abstained from doing them with suffering and grief, and experienced suffering and grief in the present, would arise in a good, a heaven existence after dying; there are people who abstained from doing them with pleasure and happiness and experienced pleasure and happiness in the present, would arise in a good bourn, a heaven existence after dying.
Those ten volitional actions, either good or evil, are of the operation of Activities aggregate in the sphere of psychological conditions of the sensual world which is dominated by the five mental factors called five hindrances: sensual desire, ill - will, sloth and torpor, flurry and worry, and doubt, as Lord Buddha taught:
" ... The hindrance of sensual desire, of ill - will, of sloth and torpor, of flurry and worry, and the hindrance of doubt. "Tis a heap of bad things!" Monks, and in saying this of these five hindrances, one would speak rightly; for verily, monks, the whole is a heap of bad things, that is to say: these five hindrances". (23)
("Kàmacchandaniâvaranam,vyàpadaniâvaranam, thìnamiddhaniâvaranam,uddhaccakukkuccaniâvaranam vicikicchànìvaranam.
Akusalaràsì ti, bhikkhave, vadamàno ime panca niìvarane sammà vadamàno vadeyya. Kevalo h'ayam, bhikkhave, akusalaràsi yad idam ime panca nìvaranà ti.") (24)
Those hindrances overspread the heart of a person, and weaken his insight. To control and deal with them, the person should open a new course of operation for his Activities aggregate by cultivating two conditions of meditation: Calm (or samatha) and Insight (or vipassana) as Lord Buddha showed:
" Monks, for the full comprehension of lust, anger, delusion, hate, hypocrisy and spite, envy and grudging, deceit and treachery, obstinacy and impetuosity, pride and overweening pride, mental intoxication and negligence, for the utter destruction, abandoning, ending, decay, fading out, ending, giving up and renunciation thereof these two conditions must be cultivated. What two?
* Calm and Insight. These two must be cultivated." (25)
("Ràgassa dosassa mohassa kodhassa upanàhassa makkhassa palàsassa issàya macchariyassa màyàya sàtheyyassa thambhassa sàrambhassa mànassa atimànassa madassa pamàdassa, bhikkhave, abhinnàya parinnàya parikkhayàyapahànàya khayàya vayàya viràgàya nirodhàya càgàya patinissaggàya dve dhammà bhàvetabbà katame dve?
Samatho ca vipassanà ca... pe...Ime dve dhammà bhàvetabbà ti"). (26)
According to the Discourse on "The Applications of Mindfulness" (Satipatthàna Sutta),the Discourse on "The Uninterrupted" (Annupadasuttam) -Middle Length Sayings Vol. I. and Vol. III - and many other discourses in Middle Length Sayings, if a person lives with insight, or practices insight, aloof from sensual pleasures and unskilled states of mind he will enter on and abide in the first meditation which is accompanied by the five meditative factors: initial thought, sustained thought, rapture, joy, and one - pointed-ness of mind. These five factors come and remove the five hindrances; initial thought removes sloth and torpor, sustained thought removes doubt, rapture removes ill - will, joy removes flurry and worry, and one - pointed-ness of mind removes sensual desire.
If the person allays initial and sustained thought, he will enter on and abide in the second meditation, which is devoid of initial and sustained thought.
If he continues practicing and allaying the meditative mental factor of rapture, he will enter on and abide in the third meditation, which is accompanied with joy and one - pointed-ness of mind.
Again, if he gets rid of joy, anguish, he will enter on and abide in the fourth meditation being with equanimity and one - pointed-ness of mind
These four states of mind, from the first meditation to the fourth meditation, are psychological states of mind of the person who puts the operation of his Activities aggregate into meditation.
Again, if the person abides in the fourth meditation and cultivates insight (vipassana) he will come to gradually destroy the "Ten mental defilements" (dasa kilesas) to attain the Four Sainthoods (ariyamaggam and ariyaphalam) as follows:
(1) Through insight (vipassana), if he destroys the first three mental defilements: belief in personality (sakkàya-ditthi), doubt (vicikicchà) and attachment to rules and rituals (sìlabbataparàmàsa), he becomes a Stream-Enterer (Sotápanna)
(2) If he continues cultivating and weakening sensuous craving (Kàmaràga) and ill - will (vyàpàda), he becomes an Once-Returner (Sakadagami).
(3) If he destroys completely the above five mental defilements, he becomes a Never-Returner (Anagami)
(4) Lastly, if he continues destroying the last five mental defilements: craving for fine material existence, craving for formless existence, conceit, restlessness and ignorance (ruùparàga, aruùparàga, màna, uddhacca and avijjà), he becomes an Arahant who destroys completely all causes of sufferings.
During the period of time of practicing insight (vipassanà), the practician puts the operation of Activities aggregate under the control of insight, or wisdom (paññá); this means the operation of wisdom, but not of ignorance (avijjà), which leads him to liberation and happiness in the here - and - now.
Such is the operation of Activities aggregate!
Operation of Perception aggregate:
As discussed before, Perception aggregate is conditioned by the other four aggregates, so its operation must be the operation of Consciousness, or of Activities, or of the twelve elements of Dependent Origination. In Kindred Sayings, Vol. III, Lord Buddha defined:
"And what, brethren, is perception? It is these six seats of perception: perception of sights, perception of sounds, of smells, tastes, and mental images. This is called perception. From the arising of contact (phassa) is the arising of perception, by the ceasing of contact is the ceasing of perception; this is that Aryan Eightfold Path going to the ceasing of perception, to wit - right view, right understanding... and right concentration". (27)
("Katamà ca, bhikkhave, sannà // chayime, bhikkhave, sannàkàyà // ruùpasannà saddasannà gandhasannà rasasannà photthabbasannà dhammasannà ayam vuccati sannà // Phassasamudayà sannàsamudayo phassanirodhà sannànirodho // Ayam eva ariyo atthangiko maggo sannànirodhagàminìpatipadà//seyyathìdam sammàditthi // pe // sammàsamàdhi // la //vattam tesam natthi pannàpanàya//") (28)
From the above quotation, perception aggregate, as Consciousness aggregate, cannot arise without contact. With regard to the operation of Dependent Origination, it may be declared that: without ignorance, without activities, without consciousness, without Name-and-Form, without six - sense spheres, without feeling, without craving, without grasping, or without becoming, perception aggregate cannot arise. Inversely, without perception aggregate, the other aggregates or the twelve elements of Dependent Origination cannot arise. It is similar for the ceasing of perception and the ceasing of others. In other words, there are only conditions making up perception and others, which exist, but no perception considered as entity exists. In realizing this truth, a person may detach from all aggregates. From that detachment, meaning from the ceasing of attachment or grasping, the operation of perception leading to its ceasing and the ceasing of all troubles will come into existence: this is what is a way of life of experience, but not of reasons, about which people must not ask why, as they must not ask why a bird can fly or a fish can swim.
Seeing the above operation means "right view"; thinking of it means "right thought" (or right understanding); striving to abide in that vision means "right action", "right livelihood", and "right effort"; being mindful of it means "right mindfulness", concentrating one's thought on it means "right concentration". This is a way of cultivating the "Eightfold Paths" leading to the cessation of all sufferings.
Operation of Feeling aggregate:
Happiness or suffering is a feeling, which belongs to Feeling aggregate. So, any operation of any aggregate or element of Dependent Origination leading to the arising of suffering means the operation leading to the arising of Feeling aggregate; any operation leading to the ceasing of Feeling aggregate, any operation leading to the ceasing of suffering means the operation leading to the ceasing of Feeling aggregate.
Lord Buddha taught:
" And what, brethren, is feeling? It is these six seats of feeling: feeling that is born of contact with eye, feeling that is born of contact with ear, born of contact with nose, with tongue, with body, and with mind. That, brethren, is called feeling. Owing to the arising of contact there is arising of feeling - owing to the ceasing of contact, there is ceasing of feeling. This is that Eightfold Aryan Path going to the ceasing of feeling, to wit: right view, right understanding... right concentration." (29)
( "Katamà ca, bhikkhave, vedanà // Chayime, bhikkhave,vedanàkàyà//cakkhusamphassajà vedanà // sotasamphassajà vedanà // ghànasamphassajà // manosamphassajà ... // ayam vuccati bhikkhave, vedanà //
Phassasamudayà vedanàsamudayo phassanirodhà vedanànirodho // Ayam eva ariyo atthangiko maggo vedanànirodhagaminì patipàdà // seyyathìdam sammàditthi // pe // sammàsamàdhi //") (30)
It is quite evident that the satisfaction of feeling makes arise desire in a person's mind and the person follow after pleasures from things. Without feeling, his desire becomes groundless and ceases to exist. If desire ceases, grasping comes to cease and suffering is not present. This is the ceasing of ignorance, of activities, of consciousness, of Name-and-Form... and of becoming. So, the ceasing and arising of feeling are the very ceasing and arising of other aggregates or elements of Dependent Origination. In other words, the operation of feeling really is the operation of ignorance (avijjà), and the existence of feeling is but the existence of ignorance or of self - thought. If a person, through the practice of insight (vipassana) realizes this operation, he will surely search for wisdom instead of the satisfaction of feeling. If not, he will be drowned in his feelings. With that wisdom, he will be happy living with what he is and what he has in the here - and - now without worries, and will open a new course of operation of mind to the destruction of feeling aggregate
Operation of Body aggregate:
Body aggregate is physical or material. People often have a feeling that it is not difficult to understand it, but in fact, it really is, because they can understand it only when they understand the operation of the five aggregates or of the twelve elements of Dependent Origination.
Lord Buddha said:
" And what, brethren, is body? - It is the four great elements. That, brethren, is called body.
From the arising of food is the arising of body, from the ceasing of food is the ceasing of body. And the way going to the ceasing of body is this Aryan Eightfold Path, to wit: right view, right understanding... right concentration." (31)
(" Katamanca, bhikkhave, ruùpam // Cattàro ca mahàbhuùtà catunnam ca mahàbhuùtànam upàdàya ruùpam idam vuccati, bhikkhave, ruùpam // Àhàrasamudayà ruùpasamudayo // àhàranirodhà ruùpanirodho // Ayam eva ariyo atthangiko maggo ruùpanirodhagàminì patipadà // seyyathìdam sammàditthi // la // sammàsamàdhi //".) (32)
Body aggregate is a physical body of a person, which is a compound of the four great elements (water, fire, earth, and air). It is brought up by food. If food ceases, body ceases to exist. But food is not an entity, it is conditioned by the presence of the Earth, the Sun, etc. , this means by the whole physical world which says the existence of body is the existence of this whole world. According to Dependent Origination, this whole world is the meaning of becoming (bhava or tibhava) element, which is conditioned by the operation of ignorance, of activities, of consciousness, etc. So, the arising and the ceasing of body aggregate is the arising and the ceasing of each aggregate or each element of Dependent Origination. And, as mentioned in "operation of feeling aggregate" above, the way of life to the ceasing of body is Eightfold Noble Path, in which "right view" and "right thought" may be known as a person's regard of wisdom to things: for example, if the thirty two parts of body are observed, regarded closely again and again, as mentioned in (III.2.1.), they will be found empty. Because of that regard, the person comes to disgust at the body; owing to this disgust, he detaches from it. This is an operation of body controlled by wisdom, which leads to the destruction of troubles.
In short, from Lord Buddha's way of analyzing the five aggregates, as well as Dependent Origination, and from the operation of the five aggregates and ignorance element the author has described, emerges the central point of Lord Buddha's teaching which is the emphasis on showing the truth of human beings' suffering and the way to come out of it in introducing the truth of man and the world. This point is going to be separately mentioned.
The Five Aggregates And The Problem Of Suffering And Happiness
The first words Lord Buddha declared in His first Discourse at the Deer Park (Migadaya) are: "Life is nothing but suffering" and "The five aggregates are suffering". How important are they? These words were repeated several times by Him and His disciples during forty-five years of His preaching Dhamma. Once, at Savatthi, He said:
" I will teach you, brethren, pain and the root of pain. Do you listen to it. And what, brethren, is pain? Body, brethren, is pain: feeling is pain: perception... the activities... consciousness is pain. That, brethren, is the meaning of pain.
And what, brethren, is the root of pain? It is this craving that leads downward to rebirth, along with the lure and the lust, that lingers longingly now here now there: namely, the craving for sense, the craving for rebirth, the craving to have done with rebirth". (33)
("Aghan ca, bhikkhave, desissàmi aghamuølanca // tam sunàtha//. Katamanca, bhikkhave, agham // Ruùpam bhikkhave, agham // vedanà agham // sannà... // sankhàrà ... // vinnànam agham // Idam vuccati, bhikkhave, agham // Katamanca, bhikkhave, aghamuùlam // Yàyam tanhàponobbhavikà nandiràgasahagatà tatra tatràbhinandinì // seyyathìdam Kàmatanhà bhavatanhà vibhavatanhà // Idam vuccati, bhikkhave, aghamuùlan ti //"). (34)
The above teaching is Lord Buddha's typical words on the suffering of human beings, which is the result of the arising of Dependent Origination, also of the arising of the five aggregates discovered by Him. This is a great discovery having brought Him to the position of the World - Honored One. So, the true meaning of the search for truth of man is the very meaning of the search for the truth of suffering of life called the Noble truth of suffering. With regard to this truth, it is not the five aggregates - or human beings and the world - that cause suffering, but a person's craving for the five aggregates that causes suffering. Now, the root meaning of the search for truth of man and life turns to the meaning of examining human beings' craving for things. This is the meaning of the operation of craving element and of Activities aggregate the writer has discussed in (II.1.3.) and in (III.2.2.), and this is the very operation of Ignorance element (avijjà) of Dependent Origination.
Ignorance means a person's wrong view and thought supposing that every existing thing has its own self (or soul), as explained in (II.1.3.) and (II.2.4.); it also means self - thought of a man. Therefore, studying self - thought is the main task of studying suffering and happiness of men, and of the search for truth of man and the world.
It is self - thought which makes up the essence and value of things and causes grasping leading to troubles as Lord Buddha explained:
" And how, brethren, is there grasping and worry? Herein, brethren, the untaught many - folk, who discern not those who are Aryans, who are unskilled in the Aryan doctrine, untrained in the Aryan doctrine... these regard body as the self, the self as having body, body as being in the self, the self as being in the body. Of such an one the body alters and becomes other wise. Owing to the altering and other wise-ness of the body, his consciousness is busied with the altering body. From this being busied with the altering body, worried thoughts arise and persist, laying hold of the heart. From this laying hold of the heart he becomes troubled, and owing to vexation and clinging he is worried.
So also with perception, feeling, the activities and consciousness. Thus, brethren, comes grasping and worry". (35)
("Katham ca, bhikkhave, upàdà - paripassana hoti // Idha, bhikkhave, assutavà puthujjano ariyànam adassàvì ariyadhammassa akovido ariyadhamme avinìto sappurisànam adassàvi sapprisa - dhammassa akovido sappurisadhamme avinìto ruøpam attato sumanupassati // ruøpavantam và attànam // Tassa tam ruøpam ruøpasmim và attànam // Tassa tam ruøpam viparinamati annathà hoti // tassaruøpaviparinàmannathàbhàvà ruøpaviparinàm-ànuparivatti vinnathàbhàvà hoti // tassa ruøpaviparinàmànuparivattajà paritassanà dhammasamuppàdà cittam pariyàdàyà titthanti // cetaso pariyàdàna uttàsavà ca hoti vighàtavà ca apekhavà ca upàdàya ca paritassati // Vedanam attato samanussapati...
Sannam // pe // sankhàre // pe // Vinnànam... //
Evam kho, bhikkhave, upàdàparitassanà hoti //") (36)
The fountainhead of grasping and worry (or suffering) is therefore the regard of self-thought of a person. Grasping and suffering do not come from outside, but from the very regard to things of man, which may be completely controlled by an individual, and so happiness of man may also come from that regard. In the next paragraph of the Discourse quoted above, Lord Buddha affirmed: if a person regards no body, or no feeling, or no perception, or no activities as the self ..., when the five aggregates alter and become otherwise, worried thoughts do not arise in his heart, and he does not come to grasp or worry about anything. Without grasping and worrying, he feels free and happy in the here - and - now. Such is the true way to happiness, which really lies in oneself and in the very regard to things of a person. This regard is nothing other than "right view" factor of the Eightfold Noble Path, which is the most important factor of the Buddhist way to the Noble Truth and Bliss, Nibbána. It is the seeing things as selflessness. The regard which sees the impermanence and suffering of things will also bring men the same result of freedom and happiness as the following teaching shows:
"Body, brethren, is impermanent. Feeling... Perception, Activities... Consciousness...
So seeing, brethren, the well - taught Ariyan disciple to repelled by body, is repelled by feeling by perception; by the activities, by consciousness. Being repelled by it he lusts not for it: not lusting he is set free; in this freedom comes insight that it is a being free. Thus he realizes; "Rebirth is destroyed, lived is the righteous life, done is my task, for life in these conditions there is no here after". (37)
("Ruùpam, bhikkhave, aniccam // vedanà... // sanna... // sankhàrà... Vinnanam aniccam // Evam passam, bhikkhave, sutavà ariyasàvako rupasmim pi nibbindati // sankhàresu pi nibbindati // vinnanasmim pi nibbindati // nibbindam virajjati viràgà vimuccati vimuttasmim vimuttam iti nanam hoti // khinàjàti vusitam brahmacariyam katam karànìyam nàparam itthattàyàti pajànàtìti //") (38)
The above-mentioned regard seeing selflessness, impermanence and suffering of the five aggregates is called the regard seeing the "Three Marks of Existence". This is the source of true happiness that can be tested and experienced by a worldly man in this life as declared by Lord Buddha:
" All forms are selfless" he who knows and sees this truth becomes passive in pain; this is the way that leads to purity". (39) (Dhp. 279)
("Sabbe dhammà anattà" ti yadà pannàya passati, Atha nibbidanti dukkhe, esa maggo visuddhiyà") (40)
" All created things perish" he who knows and sees this truth becomes passive in pain; this is the way to purity". (41) (Dhp. 277)
("Sabbe sankhàrà aniccà" ti yadà pannàya passati, Atha nibbidanti dukkhe, esa maggo visuddhiyà") (42)
" All created things are grief and pain" he who knows and sees this becomes passive in pain: this is the way to purity". (43) (Dhp. 278)
("Sabbe sankhàrà dukkhà" ti yadà pannàya passati, Atha nibbidanti dukkhe, esa maggo visuddhiyà" ) (44)
Here, the truth of suffering and happiness and the problem of the Way to the Noble truth and happiness appear very simple, but human beings' way of thinking and feeling is too complicated to accept them, then comes to doubt about them. In the deep of a person's mind, there is a thought that without desires, especially sensual and sexual desires, his life becomes empty and meaningless. In the deep of a person's heart (or feeling), there exists a feeling considering his Self his desires: If his desires are destroyed, his self has no condition to survive. These two things hinder his mind from seeing and accepting the truth discussed above. These are the reasons why Lord Buddha hesitated before He turned "the Wheel of Dhamma", and are the reasons requiring modern systems of education to play wonderfully their role in educating men to make a choice between lasting suffering and true happiness, or between taking up the burden and laying down the burden as Lord Buddha taught:
"The burden is indeed the fivefold mass:
The seizer of the burden, man:
Taking it up is sorrow in this world:
The laying of it down is bliss.
If a man lay this heavy burden down,
And take not any other burden up:
If he draws out that craving, root of all,
No more an - hungered, he is free". (45)
("Bhàrà have pancakkhandhà //
bhàrahàro ca puggalo //
bhàràdànam dukkham loke //
bhàranikkhepanam sukham //
Nikkhipitvà garum bhàram //
annam bhàram ànàdìya //
samuùlam tanham abbhuyha //
nicchàto parinibbuto ti //"). (46)
People should lay down the burden, or deal with craving for the five aggregates, of course, because of these two reasons:
(1) Because of seeing the dangers caused by the desire for the satisfaction of the five aggregates, such as sorrow, grief; woe, lamentation and despair.
(2) Because of seeing the profit gained from the restraining of craving for the five aggregates, such as a peaceful mind coming from the absence of sorrow, grief, woe, lamentation and despair, regardless of the change of things.
This is a very practical, existential and wise choice to be made. Otherwise, human beings are but shadows staggering in life without hope for peace.
However, when people go on their ways of dealing with craving and grasping, they must surely face to difficulties arising from their sensual, sexual desire, desire for existence and desire for non - existence, then lots of doubts will arise in them and question: what will happen to them on a desire-less way of life so quiet? How can they leave their intimate desires for sensuality, sexuality, existence and non-existence for unknown states of mind that seem to be so tasteless to them? etc- These are very rough questions that have made people flinch in thinking of the way to come out of them. The author with his determination will come to search for their solutions in the next part with a belief that true values will be explored somehow.
(1) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III, PTS, Oxford, 1992, pp. 59-60. Also see Theragàthà, No. 69.
(2) : Samyutta - Nikáya, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1975, pp. 66-68.
(3) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III, PTS, London,..., pp. 41-42.
(4) : Samyutta - Nikáya, Vol. III,...,pp. 47-48.
(5) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III,...,pp. 21.
(6) : Samyutta - Nikáya, Vol. III,...,pp. 22.
(7) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III,..., p. 23.
(8) : Samyutta - Nikáya, Vol. III,..., p. 24.
(9) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III,..., pp. 119-120.
(10) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. III,..., pp. 140-141.
(11) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III,..., pp. 113-114.
(12) : Samyutta - Nikáya, Vol. III,..., pp. 134-135.
(13) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III,..., pp. 101.
(14) : Samyutta - Nikáya, Vol. III,... pp. 119.
(15) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III,..., p. 26.
(16) : Samyutta - Nikáya, Vol. III,... p. 26.
(17) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III,..., pp. 45-46.
(18) : Samyutta - Nikáya, Vol. III,... pp. 53-54.
(19) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III,..., p. 56.
(20) : Samyutta - Nikáya, Vol. III,... pp. 63-64.
(21) : "Greater Discourse on the Way of Undertaking Dhamma", Middle Length Sayings, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1987, p. 375.
(22) : Mahàdhammasamàdàna - Sutta", Majjhima Nikáya, PTS, London, 1979, p. 313.
(23) : Gradual Sayings, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1988, p. 53.
(24) : Anguttara - Nikáya, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1958, p. 65.
(25) : Gradual Sayings, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1989, p. 85.
(26) : Anguttara-Nikáya, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1961, p. 100.
(27) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1992, p. 52.
(28) : Samyutta- Nikáya, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1975,p. 60.
(29) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III,..., p. 52.
(30) : Samyutta - Nikáya, Vol. III,..., p. 59-60.
(31) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III,..., p. 51.
(32) : Samyutta - Nikáya, Vol. III,..., p. 59.
(33) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III,..., p. 31.
(34) : Samyutta - Nikáya, Vol. III,..., p. 32.
(35) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III,..., p. 16-17.
(36) : Samyutta - Nikáya, Vol. III,..., p. 16.
(37) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III,..., p. 20.
(38) : Samyutta - Nikáya, Vol. III,..., p. 21.
(39) : Dhammapada, Verse 279, tr. by F. Max Muller, Sacred Books of the East.
(40) : Dhammapada, Verse279, Devanàgari,.., 1977.
(41) : Dhammapada, Verse 277, tr. by F. Max Muller,..
(42) : Dhammapada, Verse 277, Devanàgari,...
(43) : Dhammapada, Verse 278,...
(44) : Dhammapada, Verse 278, Devanàgari,...
(45) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III,..., p. 25.
(46) : Samyutta - Nikáya, Vol. III,..., p. 26.
Pancakkhandhà and Individual Problems
Mentioning the doubts about the Existence of no-suffering and the desire-less way of life, a thought arises in the author's mind that: just as questions about the Earth and the estimates made by a fish sound very strange to a person, it is so for the questions and estimates made by a person who has not experienced the operation of wisdom and the desire-less way of life. That thought reminds him of the search for the truth of desire for things but not for the reasonable answers to those doubts
Lord Buddha's teaching regards only the truth of suffering (dukkha), the cause of suffering that is desire for sensuality, existence and non-existence (samudaya), the extinction of suffering (nirodha) and the way to the extinction of suffering (magga) as what He taught in His first discourse of "Turning the Wheel of Dhamma" at the Deer Park. In this part of the work, the second Noble Truth is discussed.
As introduced in (II.2.2.), in the beginning, the first people existed were those came into existence from the State of Abhassara Brahma. They were mind - made, feeding on delight, self-luminous, moving through the air, glorious.... No male and female were discriminated. Then, after a short period of time, the greediness of man appeared; then desire for sensuality arose in them. They became more and more greedy, owing to this, their body turned coarser and coarser; the best-looking human being was the one who desired for sensuality the least. After that, came the period of time when males developed male sex-organs, females developed female sex-organs, then their passions increased and their body burnt with lust: sexual intercourses appeared. The first intercourses were cursed by the masses; those who made love were thrown dust, ashes, and were not allowed to live together with the masses in villages for two months. When the phenomenon of sexual intercourse became more popular, sexual life were accepted openly by the masses. Human society were formed with its social organization from that time...
The above story about the formation of human society is recorded in the Discourse on "On Knowledge of Beginnings", Digha Nikáya, Sutta No 27. It is declared by Lord Buddha Himself through the vision of the Enlightened One. This is reality but not speculation. With regard to that story, sensual and sexual desire is not the basic instinct of human beings: it is but a degradation of human mind when the greediness (lobha) of man is strongly developed by the operation of ignorance (avijjà). Nowadays, sexual desire is being developed so strongly that it becomes a very important need of man, and sexual actions are being commercialized openly. This is a big problem to be discussed.
Sensual desire belongs to craving, which, as defined in (II.1.2.), includes craving for sense pleasures, for existence and for non-existence, or includes six groups called craving for things seen, for things heard, for odors, for tastes, for things tangible and for ideas. Except the sphere of ideas, the first five spheres are called sensual craving.
In the beginning men enjoyed self-delight, the delight arising in their mind. Sensual pleasures came afterwards and became their need, then their crucial need, then appeared as the meaning of human life which controlled men's mental activities. Since then, men's sensual desire turned to be the chief cause of a culture called culture of sensuality. This culture, in its turn, has put strong influences on men's thoughts and feelings and brought up men's sensual desire. In another aspect of life, being impermanent, sensual pleasures cannot fulfill men's strong desire. The more men feel unsatisfied with sensual pleasures and sexual pleasures, the more they thirst for them. Now, men's sensual and sexual desires together with their culture of sensuality make up a new operation of feeling and thinking and force them to regard sensuality and sexuality as basic instincts without seeing the way out. For this operation, Lord Buddha twenty-six centuries ago said:
" Monks, I know of no other single form by which a man's heart is so enslaved as it is by that of a woman. Monks, a woman's form obsesses a man's heart. Monks, I know of no other single sound by which a man's heart is so enslaved as it is by the voice of a woman. Monks, a woman's voice obsesses a man's heart. Monks, I know of no other single scent... savor... touch by which a man's heart is so enslaved as it is by the scent, savor, and touch of a woman. Monks, the scent, savor and touch of a woman obsess a man's heart.
Monks, I know of no other single form, sound, scent, savor and touch by which a woman's heart is so enslaved as it is by the form, sound, scent, savor and touch of a man. Monks, a woman's heart is obsessed by these things". (1)
("N'aham, bhikkhave, annam ekarupam pi samanupassàmi yam evam purisassa cittam pariyàdàya titthati yathayidam, bhikkhave, itthiruùpam.
Itthiruùpam, bhikkhave, purisassa cittam pariyàdàya titthatì ti.
N'aham, bhikkhave, annam ekasaddam pi ... ekagandham pi... ekarasam pi .. ekaphotthabbam pi .. samanupassàmi yam evam purisassa cittam pariyàdàya titthati yathayidam, bhikkhave, itthisaddo (itthigandho, itthiraso, itthiphotthabbam ).
N'aham, bhikkhave, annam ekaruùpam pi... ekasaddam pi ... ekagandham pi ... ekarasam pi ... ekaphotthabbam pi ... samanupassàmi yam evam itthiyà cittam pariyàdàya titthati yathayidam, bhikkhave, purisaruùpam(purisasaddo, purisagandho, purisaraso, purisaphotthabbam ). Purisaruùpam bhikkhave, itthiyà cittam pariyàdàya titthatìti"). (2)
So, females and males are the original causes of sensual and sexual desires of each other. These desires existing in the condition of impermanence cause their pleasures and sufferings in which nothing sacred or mysterious is present. Human beings from the state of life of no greediness, which is regarded as the wholesome way of life, came to greediness; then from greediness came to sensual and sexual desires which are considered as evil ones. Greediness, as discussed in the operation of Dependent Origination, is the result of the operation of wrong thought - which supposes that a human being has his own self or soul - leading to evil states of mind as Lord Buddha taught:
" Monks, I know not of any other single thing of such power to cause the arising of evil states not yet arisen or the waning of good states already arisen as greediness. In him who is greedy, evil states not yet arisen do arise and good states arisen do wane. Monks, I know not of any other single thing of such power to cause the arising of good states not yet arisen or the waning of evil states already arisen as good states of wanting little". (3)
("N'aham, bhikkhave, annam ekadhammam pi samanupassàmi yena anuppannà và akusalà dhammà uppajjanti uppannà và kusalà dhammà parihàyanti yathayidam, bhikkhave, mahicchatà.
Mahicchassa, bhikkhave, anuppannà c'eva akusalà dhammà uppajjanti uppannà ca kusalà dhammà parihàyantì ti.
N'aham, bhikkhave, annam ekadhammam pi samanupassàmi yena anuppannà và kusalà dhammà uppajjanti uppannà và akusalà dhammà parihàyanti yathayidam, bhikkhave, appicchatà.
Appicchassa, bhikkhave, anuppannà c'eva kusalà dhammà uppajjanti uppannà ca akusalà dhammà parihàyantì ti"). (4)
A person's thought that every existing thing has its own self means "I am", "I was", "I will be", "I should be", or "May I be", etc. This thought implies the meaning of "craving for existence" therefore Lord Buddha taught there are eighteen thoughts which are haunted by craving concerning the inner self, and eighteen thoughts which are haunted by craving concerning what is eternal to self as follows:
"And of what sort, monks, is craving that ensnares, that floats along, that is far - flung, that clings to one, by which this world is smothered, enveloped, tangled like a ball of thread, covered as with blight, twisted up like a grass - rope, so that it overpasses not the Constant Round (of birth), the Down-fall, the way of woe, the Ruin?
There are eighteen thoughts, which are haunted by craving concerning the inner self, and eighteen, which are haunted by craving concerning what, is external to self. Now of what sort are the former?
Monks, when there is the thought: I am, - there come the thoughts: I am in this world: I am thus: I am otherwise: I am not eternal: I am eternal. Should I be: should I be in this world: Should I be thus: Should I be otherwise. May I become: May I become in this world: May I become thus: May I become otherwise. I shall become. I shall become in this world, I shall become thus, I shall become otherwise.
And of what sort, monks are the eighteen thoughts, which are haunted by craving concerning what is external to self?
When there is thought; by this I am, there come the thoughts,
By this, I am in this world, ...
By this, I should be: ...
By this, May I become: ...
By this, I shall become: ..." (5)
("Tanham vo, bhikkhave, desessàmi jàlinimsaritamvisatam visattikam yàya ayam loko uddhasto pariyonadho tantàkulakajàto gulàgundikajàto munjababbajabhuto apàyamduggatim vinipatam samsàram nàtivattati, tam sunàtha sàdhukam manasikarotha bhàsissàmìti. ...
Katamà, ca, bhikkhave, tanhà jàlinì sarità visatà visattikà yàya ayam loko uddhasto pariyonaddhotantàkulakajàto gulàgundikajàto.. nàtivattati?
Atthàrasa kho pan' imàni, bhikkhave, tanhàvicaritàni ajjhatikassa upàdàya, attharasa tanhàvicaritàni bàhirassa upàdàya.
Katatamàni attharasa tanhàvicaritàni ajjhattikassa upàdàya.
Asmìti, bhikkhave, sati, itthasmìti hoti, evasmìti hoti, annathasmìti hoti, asasmìti hoti, satasmìti hoti, santi hoti..., api ha santi hoti, ... bhavissanti hoti, ...
Katamàni atthàrasa tanhàvicaritaàni bàhirassa upàdàya. Iminà asmìti, bhikkhave, sati, ... iminà santi hoti, ... iminà api ha santi hoti, ... iminà bhavissanti hoti, ...".) (6)
From the above teaching, a person's thought is but self thought which is haunted by craving, and is operating as craving. So he is regarded as craving from which sensual and sexual desires arise. On the one hand, the person considers his desire himself and is dipped in the desire and suffering, on the other hand, Lord Buddha shows that that desire is not He, is not his, and is not his self: he should leave it for peace of mind and happiness. The abandonment of desire may happen immediately and effectively, or happen through a process. In the case of abandonment process, the person should know which sensual desire to be responded to, and how much of its requirement to be responded. In doing thus, he can control his mind from being imbued with worries, and recognize clearly that the fulfillment of his sensual desire and his happiness are two separate things. With this attitude of life he enters into daily life and faces to the objects of sensual desire with a great care.
For things seen, such as forms, sights, cars, houses, clothes... and even money, he cannot keep desiring for, because they are so attractive and necessary to him. Facing those things is facing two aspects of their existence: One is their satisfaction, another is their danger caused by impermanence, which will lead him to suffering.
For things heard, such as music, the voice and sound of his opposite sex... they may allure him and make him lose his self - control to fall into troubles. These things also have two faces; one is their satisfaction, another is their danger caused by the change, which will bring him un-satisfaction
For good smells, good tastes and touches, they also are very attractive: They may give him their satisfaction that makes his mind burnt with thirst for pleasures: This is one side, the other side is their danger caused by their change and transience that will lead him to sorrows, pain, lamentation, grief and woes.
According to the teaching of Lord Buddha, understanding an existing thing means understanding its satisfaction, its danger and the way to come out of its bond. So, understanding sensual desire is understanding the satisfaction of form, sound, smell, taste, and touch of males and females, their danger, and the way to come out of one's attachment to them which is the Eightfold Noble Path led by "right view" and "right thought". It is not the problem to come to some definition of sensual desire or to fulfill one's sensual desire.
Among sensual desires, sexual desires are the strongest that need to be discussed separately.
With regard to the story on "On Knowledge of Beginnings" (Aggannasuttam) as mentioned, sexual desire is but human beings' greediness developed at its high level. This greediness influences strongly on men's mental, oral and bodily activities, which are called volitional actions (or Kamma). It is grasped by the intention (or volition) of a person, so it may be controlled or destroyed by that intention. For a Buddhist monk whose intention is to realize a Brahmacariya life sexual desire is being abandoned thoroughly. For a Buddhist layman or laywoman, whose intention is to live a family life in sexual pleasure, sexual desire is available, except sexual misconduct, as the following teaching says:
" What are the four defilements of action that are abandoned? Taking life is one, taking what is not given is one, sexual misconduct is one, lying speech is one. These are the four defilements of action that he abandons. Thus Lord Buddha spoke". (7)
(" Katam' assa cattàro kamma-kilesà pahìnà honti? Pànàtipàto kho, gahapati-putta, kamma-kileso, adinnàdànam kamma-kileso, kàmesu micchàcàro kamma-kileso, musàvàdo kamma-kileso. Imassa cattàro kamma- kilesà pahìnà hontì ti. Idamavoca Bhagavà".) (8)
Regardless of living a Brahmacariya life or a family life, a Buddhist should realize the truth of sexual desire to deal with it. It is a desire of a very sweet feeling caused by a touch of sex - organs, so it belongs to the operation of "ignorance" leading to suffering. In other words, to the regard of wisdom it is suffering. No mystery exists in it, except "ignorance". The change of life and of the sex itself is its aspect of danger, including some terrifying problems caused by it. The way to come out of its dangers is to come to the regard of wisdom and the operation of wisdom. Understanding sexual desire is such a regard of wisdom to be brought up. A person's regard to sexual problems and sexual desires is very important. From this regard his psychological reactions and his behaviors towards them arise: enjoying them? Controlling them? or abandoning them and how? - So, one's behaviors towards sexual problems are not the "I", the "Mine" or the "My self". They are not either any major part of what is called personality at all. They exist as a dream which is present when ignorance is present, and absent from man's life when ignorance is absent.
Desire For Existence
For those who are tired of desire for sensual pleasures, they come to the desire for existence called rupatanhà or bhavatanhà in Pali. This is a higher and more delicate level of desire, i.e., desire for a state of mind abiding in the First Meditation (Jhana), the Second Meditation, the Third or the Fourth Meditation. In the first meditation, their mind abides in initial thought (vitakka), sustained thought (vicàra), rapture (pìti), joy (sukha) and one - pointed-ness of mind (ekaggatà); In the second one, their mind abides in rapture, joy and one pointed-ness of mind; in the third one, in joy and one pointed-ness of mind, and in the fourth, in one-pointed-ness of mind.
When engaging in sensual pleasures, a person wishes that may the object causing his feeling of pleasure be permanent: this is a manifestation of "desire for existence".
Such is the arising or existing of "desire for existence"! Such is the satisfaction of "desire for existence!"
Impermanence is the aspect of suffering "desire for existence" and "right view", "right thought" which sees the truth of all above-mentioned things open the way to come out of their bonds. Meditative thoughts are only mental activities belonging to aggregate of activities which is suffering, therefore a number of human beings may leave "desire for existence" for "desire for non - existence".
Desire For Non-Existence
Those who are tired of sensual desire and desire for existence tend to come to desire for non - existence or annihilation, because for them if existence is suffering, non - existence, in their belief, will be happy. And, psychologically when a person is tired of existence, he automatically thirsts for non-existence or annihilation.
In reality, desire for anything is but a desire belonging to the aggregate of activities, and so it will lead a person to suffering of some state in the Round of Rebirth - That state of mind is appropriate to Aruàpa states.
The satisfaction, the danger and the "way out" of the activities aggregate are those of "desire for non - existence", of course.
In short, desire is the root cause of suffering, and it itself is suffering as Lord Buddha declared in the Discourse on "The Analysis of the Truths" (Saccavibhangasuttam) of the Middle Length Sayings:
" And what, your reverences, is the Aryan truth of the arising of anguish? Whatever craving is connected with again - becoming, accompanied by delight and attachment, finding delight in this and that, namely the craving for sense pleasures, the craving for becoming, the craving for annihilation - This, your reverences, is called the Aryan truth of the arising of anguish" (9)
("Katamanc'àvuso, dukkhasamudayam ariyasaccam? Yàyam tanhà ponobhavikà nandiràgasahagatà tatra tatràbhinandìni, seyyàthìdam : kàmatanhà, bhavatanhà vibhavatanhà idam vuccat' àvuso, dukkhasamudayam ariyasaccam".) (10)
Wherefore? - As the writer discussed in "the operation of Dependent Origination", no desire can exist by itself: its existence is but the existence of the twelve causes of Dependent Origination: This means suffering, sorrow, grief, lamentation, etc. already exist in it: or, suffering, sorrow, grief, lamentation, ..., and ignorance have made it up.
Moreover, "desire" always requires the presence of the subject and object of desire: the subject really is the five aggregates, and the object also is the five aggregates which mean suffering as discussed in "the operation of the five aggregates". If a person understands the operation of aggregates, he will at the same time understand the truth of "desire", regardless of desire for whatever. He may come to the following conclusion for himself; the subject of desire is something empty and impermanent; the object of desire also is something empty and impermanent, so desire for whatever thing means an emptiness desires for emptiness, or impermanence desires for impermanence: this has nothing to do with him at all. In realizing that thing, he really comprehends what desire is, and sees the way to come out of its bonds. This truth can be seen by practicing Insight (vipassana): in this case the practician sees with wisdom the selflessness or emptiness of the five aggregates; from this seeing, desire less thought arises in him together with thought of liberation. Through this experience, he realizes that desire does not exist in seeing the things with wisdom; it exists only in regards to things dominated by ignorance.
Such is desire.
Regard Of Wisdom
The grasping of the five aggregates arises from the regard of the perception of selfness. This regard is the original cause of psychological reactions of a man towards things. When a person regards good - looking forms, his craving for them arises; when he regards bad - looking forms, his discontent thought arises; when he regards normal forms, his illusion exists. All the above thought of craving, ill will and illusion are the causes of his immediate troubles.
Similarly, when a person thinks of things, his thinking is considered as his regard to things: this regard is done by his thought and influences strongly on his mind. Let us observe the fact that a person is given a blow at his face, he feels painful physically in a minute, but his thought of that blow causes him to feel much more painful mentally. In the case of a person's partner turned unfaithful to him, he will feel so painful emotionally. So, for him, controlling his regard to things will be much better than controlling his psychological reactions. This interesting experience was taught several times by Lord Buddha in different teachings, especially in the doctrine of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness (Satipatthána). This doctrine requires the practician to follow and just observe his breathing - in and breathing - out, his feelings, his thoughts and his mental objects (or the five aggregates, the five hindrances, the Seven Factors of Enlightenment).
For breathing - in and breathing - out, in observing and following them again and again, he will see directly what is called breathing - in or breathing - out is but the movement of his thought, his lung and a current of air. It is empty. And he also sees what is called a man is but mental processes and physical processes joining each other. There is no entity called the "I", the "Mine" or the "my Self", all is empty. Seeing this, the practician becomes free from craving for them and experiences the peaceful state of mind regardless of the conception of what a man really is.
For feelings, in observing and following them again and again, he will see similarly: What is called a feeling also is but mental and physical processes: it is selfless. Nothing called the "I", the "Mine", or the "my Self" exists. Seeing this, he becomes tired with feeling, and becomes free from it. His thought abides in rapture, joy and peace then, regardless of any question about what happiness is, and of any answer to it.
For thoughts, in observing and following them again and again, he will see plainly what is called thought appraising thing and creating values of things is but conditioned and empty. If breathing - in or breathing - out stops working by any reason, thoughts disappear, and a person's life and his cherished dreams of life turn senseless. Realizing this, he desires nothing: worries disappear and peace of mind appear, regardless of any point of view on life: nihilism or not nihilism.
For mental objects, the practician with his peaceful mind analyses them and sees their emptiness: they themselves show their truth of selflessness, impermanence and suffering. In seeing that with Insight, he becomes detached from things, and starts the steps of destroying ten fetters for deep vision.
The above practice of regard of wisdom is Called "vipassana", in Pali term, which means seeing things directly by intuition, or obtaining inward vision or spiritual insight (11).
That regard of insight may be trained in another way:
"Look upon the world as you would on a bubble,
Look upon it as you would on a mirage,
The King of death does not see him |
Who thus looks down upon the world" (12) Dhp. 170
"Evam lokam avekkhantam maccurajà na passati.
Yathà bubbuàlakam passe, yathà passe marìcikam" (13)
Or it is trained as the following teaching shows:
" He who knows that this body is like froth,
And has learnt that it is as unsubstantial as a mirage,
Will break the flower- pointed arrow of Màra,
And never see the King of death". (14) (Dhp. 46)
("Phenupamam kàyamimam viditvà
Chettvàna màrassa papupphakàni
Adassanam maccuràjassa gacche".) (15)
The above verses imply similar senses that:
- Regarding things as transience, impermanence, and selflessness will help the practician calm down his fire of desire until the moment it is extinguished completely.
- Regarding his own body in the same way, the practician will realize nothing called the "I", the "Mine" or the "my Self" exists and will desire for nothing.
The above regard going with wisdom will break the operation of ignorance leading to birth - and - death: This is the meaning of "the King of death does not see him." It must be cultivated day after day without a break as Lord Buddha said:
" ... Consider some person who abides seeing impermanence in all compounded things, conscious of it, aware of it at all times continually, without a break, marking it mentally, fathoming it by wisdom; and destroying the cankers, he enters and abides in the canker-less mind - emancipation... this, monks, is the first gift - worthy person.
Consider some person who abides seeing ill in all compounded things...seeing no - self in all things...seeing happiness in the cool, conscious of it, aware of it, at all times...this, monks, is the first gift - worthy person." (16)
(" Idha, bhikkhave, ekacco puggalo sabbasankhàresu aniccànupassì viharati aniccasannì anicca - patisamvedì satatam samitam abbokinnam cetasà adhimuccamàno pannàya pariyogàhamàno. So àsavànam khayà... pe... Ayam, bhikkhave, pathamo puggalo àhuneyyo pàhuneyyo dakkhineyyo anjalikaranìyo anuttaram punnakkhettamlokassa..... Idha, bhikkhave, ekacco puggalo sabbasankhàresu dukkhànupassì viharati... pe... sabbesu dhammesu anattànupassì viharati... nibbàne sukhànupassì viharati, sukhàsannì sukhapati samvedì satatam samitam... So àsavànam khàyà... pe... Ayam, bhikkhave, pathamo puggalo àhuneyyo... pe... anuttaram punnakkhettam lokassa".) (17)
Praising the person seeing suffering, impermanence and selflessness in all compounded things means praising his regard to things, which causes the destruction of all sufferings. That is his regard of wisdom seeing things as they really are.
In the here-and-now, everybody is completely free to be the master of his regard to things, to be the master of the train running to the station of peace and happiness. It is that regard of wisdom which is what human beings are expecting, because it shows the truth of the world, happiness of human beings, and brings to light all mysteries in life.
However, for worldly people, their regards are always hindered by the five hindrances (restlessness, torpor, desire, ill-will and doubt) and a lot of evil thoughts, such as self-pride, jealousy, anger, worry etc., which are governed by self-thought and self-perception. At this stage of mind, the practician needs to practice bare-attention with which he is just aware of what the things really are without any psychological intervention.
At a higher stage of mind, a worldly man's regard works together with his meditative thoughts and wisdom, so his regard then is called the regard of clear vision, clear insight or wisdom which can see the truth of man and life regardless of any conception of personality or reality.
So here emerges the problem of seeing existing things as they really are by the regard of wisdom instead of the search for any theory of personality or any conception of reality.
Together with the above regard to things, a number of Buddhist spirits of individualized education are necessary to be introduced in the next chapter.
(1) : Gradual Sayings, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1989, pp. 1-2.
(2) : Anguttara-Nikáya, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1961, p. 1.
(3) : Gradual Sayings, Vol. I... pp. 9-10.
(4) : Anguttara-Nikáya, Vol. I... p. 12.
(5) : Gradual Sayings, Vol. II, PTS, London, 1992, p. 225.
(6) : Anguttara-Nikáya, Vol. II, PTS, London, 1955, pp. 211-212.
(7) : "The Discourse on Singàlovàda", tr. by Maurice Walshe,..., p.462.
(8) : "Sinigàlovada-Sutta", Digh-Nikáya, Vol. III, PTS, London, p.181.
(9) : "Analysis of The Truths", Middle Length Sayings, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1990, p. 298.
(10) : "Saccavibhanga-Sutta", Majjhima-Nikáya, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1977, pp. 250-251.
(11) : "Pali-English Dictionary", T.W. Rhys Davids & William Stede, PTS, London, 1989, p. 627.
(12) : Dhammapada, tr. by F. Max Muller verse 170.
(13) : Dhammapada, Devanàgari, Delhi Uni.,..., verse 170
(14) : Dhammapada, tr. by F. Max Muller verse 46.
(15) : Dhammapada, Devanàgari, Delhi Uni.,..., verse 46.
(16) : Gradual Sayings, Vol. IV, PTS, London, 1989, p. 9.
(17) : Anguttara-Nikáya, Vol. IV, PTS, London, 1958, pp. 13-14.
The Five Aggregates and Individualized Education
As discussed in (IV. 1.5), training a man for his regard of wisdom requires various spirits of education very human, practical and realistic, although such a theory of personality as usual is not available here.
With regard to individual differences in the spheres of physics, psychology, spirituality, social class and capacity, individualized education is needed in schools of modern time. Lord Buddha was the one who taught people on the basis of spirits of individualized education in response to various temperaments of men: Precepts (or Síla) applied for lay people are different from those applied for monks and nuns. Speeches used to teach Dhamma to worldly persons are different from those used to teach the learned.
In Kindred Sayings, Vol. V, PTS, 1990, pp. 364-365, it is recorded that:
" Monks, the Aryan Truth of "This is Ill" has been pointed out by me. Therein are numberless shades and variations of meaning. Numberless are the way of illustrating this Aryan Truth of "This is Ill".
The Aryan Truth of "This is the arising of Ill" has been pointed out by me...
The Aryan Truth of "This is the ceasing of Ill" has been pointed out by me...
The Aryan Truth of "This is the Practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill" has been pointed out by me..." (1)
("Idam dukkham ariyacaccan ti, bhikkhave, mayà pannattam / tattha aparimànà vannà aparimànà vyanjanà aparimànà samkàsanà itipidam dukkham ariyasaccan ti //
Idam dukkhasamudayam // la /
Idam dukkhanirodham // la //
Idam dukkhanirodhagàminì patipadà ariyasaccanti, bhikkhave, mayà pannattam // tattha aparimànà vannà aparimànà vyanjanà aparimànà samkasanà itipidam dukkhani-rodhagàminì patipadà ariyasaccan ti") (2)
When introducing "passion" to peasants or worldly men, Lord Buddha used simple words spoken by them in daily life. He said:
_" As rain breaks through an ill-thatched house,
Passion will break through an unreflecting mind". (3) (Dhp. 13)
*("Yathà agàram ducchannam vutthi samativijjhati
Evam abhàvitam cittam ràgo samativijjhati).(4) (Dhp. 93)
_" As rain does not break through a well- thatched house,
Passion will not break through a well- reflecting mind." (5) (Dhp. 14)
*("Yathà agàram succhannam vutthi na samativijjhati,
Evam subhàvitam cittam ràgo na samativijjhati".) (6)
The picture of an ill-thatched and well-thatched house is very close to the peasants: it will be very easy for them to understand what Lord Buddha means.
For the learned lay people or monks, Lord Buddha used the language spoken by them, such as:
"The eye of a man, brethren, is the ocean. Its impulse is made of objects (or forms). Whoso endureth that object-made impulse, of him, brethren, it is said, "he hath crossed over that ocean of the eye, with its waves and whirlpools, its sharks and demons, the Brahmin hath crossed and gone beyond. He standeth on dry ground.
The tongue of a man, brethren, is the ocean... The ear... The nose... The mind... " (7)
("Cakkhu, bhikkhave, purisassa samuddo tassa ruùpamayo vego // yo tam ruùpamayam vegam sahati ayam vuccati, bhikkhave, atari cakkhusamuddasmim sàvattam sagàham sarakkhasam tinno pàragato thale titthati bràhmano // la // Jivhà, bkikkhave, purisassa... // ... // Mano, bhikkhave, purisassa samuddo... //") (8)
Or such as:
" Brethren, the all is on fire. What all, brethren, is on fire? The eye, brethren, is on fire, objects are on fire; eye-consciousness is on fire, eye contact... that also on fire. On fire with what? - On fire with the blaze of lust, the blaze of ill-will, of infatuation, birth, decay, death, sorrow, etc. So I declare? (9)
("Sabbam, bhikkhave, àdittam, // Kinca, bhikkhave sabbam àdittam // Cakkhum, bhikkhave, àdittam // ruùpà àdittà // cakkhu vinnànam àdittam // Cakkhusamphasso àditto // yam pidam cakkhusamphassapaccayà uppajjati vedayitam sukham và dukham và adukkhamasukham và // tam pi àdittam // Kena àdittam // Ràgagginà dosagginà mohagginà àdittam// Jàtiyà jaràya maranena sokehi paridevehi dukkhehi domanassehi upàyàsehi àdittanti vadàmi // pe //
Jivhà àdittà //...// rasà... // Jivhàvinnànam... //... Mano àditto dhammà àdittà manovinnànam àdittam...//") (10)
This language sounds very philosophical and thoughtful. It may keep a deep attention of the learned.
All the above examples imply the same doctrine of wisdom, although they are spoken in different languages. This is the meaning of the expression that: "Lord Buddha taught His wonderful Dhamma in different ways to different groups of listeners"
In Khuddakanikàya, the stories about Therà and Therì were recorded that: Lord Buddha did teach them in different ways to destroy their fetters. This says the meaning of individualized education: each person has his own Kamma, and so he needs a separate way to deal with that Kamma. In other words, each individual thinks with his own mind and goes with his own legs.
A system of individualized education demands educational spirits of self-responsibility, self-confidence, self-support, self-control. self-acceptance, self-awareness, etc... Without them, it cannot work.
For self-responsibility, Lord Buddha did ask people not to depend on Him or on any external power. He taught:
" Self is the lord of self, who else could be the lord? With self well subdued, a man finds a lord such as few can find" (11) (Dhp. 160)
("Attà hi attano nàtho ko hi nàtho paro siyà, Attano'va sudantena nàtham labhati dullabham.") (12)
" Make thyself an island, work hard, be wise! When thy impurities are blown away, and thou art free from guilt, thou wilt enter into the heavenly world of the Aryans" (13) (Dhp. 236)
("So karohi dìpamattano khippam vàyama pandito bhava,Niddhantamalo anangano dibbam ariyabhuùmimehisi") (14)
" All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage". (15) (Dhp. 1.)
("Manopubbangamà dhammà manosetthà manamayà, Manasà ce padutthena bhàsati và karoti và, Tato nam dukkhamanveti cakkam va vahato padam".) (16) (Dhp. .1)
Dhammapada, Verse No 2, says similarly: if a man acts or speaks with a pure thought, happiness follows him like his shadow that never leaves him.
All the above teachings imply the emphasis on the spirit of self-responsibility. Without it, the law of Kamma does not work, and Buddhism has nothing to do with human beings. Without it, no system of social law could be implemented, and human society immediately falls into disturbances. Without it, no system of education can be formed either. Self-responsibility is therefore one of the root spirits of Buddhist education as well as non - Buddhist education.
It should be noted here that: Lord Buddha taught the truth of selflessness of every existing thing on the one hand, and asked a person to regard things as not "he", not "his" and not "his self" so that he can abandon craving and grasping - the causes of his suffering, on the other hand. He taught the self-spirits of education so that the person himself can develop his capacities for his liberation and happiness. No contradiction exists therein. This is the only way for him to achieve his purpose of life: wisdom and happiness, and to achieve the truth of selflessness: the ultimate Noble Truth, because the other self-perception ways having been tested by human beings just cannot resolve their fateful suffering.
That spirit of self-responsibility therefore helps a person get out of the phenomenon of alienation and really proves that the non-self-perception way of life is extremely close to individuals and human society.
Besides self-responsibility, the practice of wisdom regard asks the practician to have self-confidence being sure that with his own effort he can realize truth and happiness in the here - and - now.
The meaning of taking refuge in oneself, as Lord Buddha taught above, is the meaning of self-confidence.
The fact Lord Buddha declared in the Assembly of Sangha the attainment of Arahantship of those who got it implies the encouragement of self-confidence and the awakening of self-confidence in those who had not attained the highest Sainthood. This will help them improve their self-control shaken by a lack of self-confidence. Lord Buddha said:
" If a man's faith is unsteady, if he does not know the true law, if his peace of mind is troubled, his knowledge will never be perfect." (17)
("Anavattathitacittassa, saddhammam avijànato, Pariplavapasàdassa pannà na paripurati." ) (18)
When the Kalama's wavered among various points of view of non-Buddhist masters, they came to Lord Buddha for advice, Lord Buddha spoke:
" Now look you, Kalama's. Be ye not misled by report or tradition or hearsay be not misled by proficiency in the collections, nor by mere logic or inference, nor after considering reasons, nor after reflection on and approval of some theory, nor because it fits becoming, nor out of respect for a recluse (who holds it). But, Kalama's, when you know for yourselves: these things are unprofitable, these things are blameworthy, these things are censured by the intelligent; these things, when performed and undertaken, conduce to loss and sorrow, then indeed do ye reject them, Kalama's." (19)
("Alam hi vo, Kàlàmà, kankhitum alam vicikicchitum. Kankhàniye va pana vo thàne vicikicchà uppannà.
Etha tumhe, Kàlàmà, mà anussavena mà paramparàya mà iti kiràya mà pitakasampadànena mà ditthinijjhànakkhantiyà mà bhavyaruùpatàya mà samano no garu ti, yadà tumhe, Kàlàmà, attanà va jàneyyàtha- ime dhammà akusalà ime dhammà sàvajjà ime dhammà vinnugarahità ime dhammà samattà samàdinnà ahitàya dukkhàya samvattantì ti atha tumhe, Kàlàma, pajaheyyàtha.") (20)
The above teaching is but a guidance suggesting the Kalama's to turn back to their true experience of life and to be confident in themselves.
Indeed, in daily life, a person can continue surviving without confidence in others, but without self-confidence he cannot survive; otherwise, he exists as a body without soul.
In a religious life, every task done for liberation, the release of suffering, requires the presence of right view, right thought and right effort, which never lack of self-confidence. A stream Enterer (sotagami), the first fruit (phala) of Sainthood, is defined as the one who has unshaken confidence in Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha and síla (precepts), so he must have confidence in himself and his effort.
The fact that Lord Buddha enlightened in this life through His own effort has a meaning of establishing self-confidence for human beings: with his own effort, a human being can attain what Lord Buddha attained under the Bodhi-tree. And, even the Noble Truth of Dependent Origination Lord Buddha realized gives individuals a confidence that a man's suffering and ignorance are conditioned: they are unreal and may be changed if he has right thoughts and actions.
The above statements all imply the meaning of establishing self- confidence.
With self-responsibility and self-confidence, a person starts practicing his regard of wisdom to extinguish his troubles. The regard asks him to be aware of existing things around him without attachment to them. So, from his observing and analyzing things his awareness is reinforced: this is the existence of self-awareness.
In the course of his practice of the mentioned regard, he will see the impermanence, ego-less-ness and suffering of the five aggregates. This seeing is meant his self-awareness, which helps him detach from his desire for impermanent things and his troubles. When this practice is cultivated again and again; his "self-awareness" will be at a level called wisdom (paññá). In other words, in worldly men, self-awareness really is "right view" and "right thought"; in meditations, it is called meditative vision; and in Saints, it is called wisdom or perfect wisdom.
On the basis of awareness, the practician develops his "self-control" of Activities aggregate (meaning controlling his mind, his speech and his body) and his task of the blowing off his impurities as Lord Buddha said:
" The wise who control their body, who control their tongue, the wise who control their mind, are indeed well controlled." (21) (Dhp. 234)
("Kàyena samvutà dhìrà atho vacàya samvutà,
Manasà samvutà dhìrà te ve suparisamvutà") (22)
" The disciples of Gotama are always well awake, and their mind day and night always delights in compassion." (23) (Dhp. 300)
("Suppabuddham pabujjhanti sadà Gotamasàvakà,
Yesam divà ca ratto ca ahimsàya rato mano.") (24) (Dhp. 300)
" The disciples of Gotama are always well awake, and their mind day and night always delights in meditation." (25) (Dhp. 301)
("Suppabuddham pabujjhanti sadà Gotamasàvakà,
Yesam divà ca ratto ca bhàvanàya rato mano.") (26)
Self-awareness is the soul of a person's regard of wisdom indeed: it is the start and also the destination of that regard. In other words, self-awareness is the first and last purpose of practicing Dhamma.
It is this, which is the object of the search for truth of man, but not any nature of personality.
In the case a person's awareness is not strong enough or is absent from his regard to things, especially his regard to the inside parts of his five aggregates, his wrong view and thought, as of his kamma, arise in his mind and lead him to wrong deeds and to troubles. This is the time when he becomes unsatisfied with himself: his body, his descent, knowledge or social position, etc. So, for preventing the arising of wrong thoughts and deeds in that case, the person should learn to accept what he is and what he has. This is the meaning of self-acceptance.
For his body, a person always wishes for a good-looking form with beautiful face, complexion, etc. If his body appears not good looking as what he wants, he feels so painful. For his descent, if he was born in a family of low caste, he feels terribly disappointed. For his knowledge and social position, if he does not have high knowledge and high rank to be admired or respected, he may feel so sad... In addition to those things, honors, praises, advantages may cause him shaking. Therefore, Lord Buddha declared:
"Monks, these eight worldly conditions obsess the world; the world revolves round these eight worldly conditions. What eights?- Gain and loss, fame and obscurity, blame and praise, contentment and pain. Monks, these eight worldly conditions obsess the world, the world revolves round these eight conditions..." (27)
("Atth'ime, bhikkhave, lokadhammà lokam anuparivattanti, loko ca attha lokadhamme anuparivattati Katame attha?
Làbho ca alàbho ca yaso ca ayaso ca nindà ca pasamsà ca sukhanca dukkhanca. Ime kho, bhikkhave, attha lokadhammà lokam anuparivattanti, loko ca ime attha lokadhamme anuparivattatì ti.") (28)
The above worldly conditions are impermanent. Even when a person gets "gain, fame, praise and contentment" his fear of change may cause his mind agitated and worried. So, to keep his mind in peace he must know how to accept what he is. Otherwise, the worldly conditions will happen to him as a strong wind blowing and striking at the root of his meditation tree and causing disaster in his mind.
Spirit of Practical-ness
A person's trouble may be caused by his wrong thought of things: he thinks of things that should not bethought of, or does not think of things to be thought of as the following teaching mentions:
" The past should not be followed after, the future not desired. What is past is got rid of and the future has not come. But whoever has vision now here, now there, of a present thing, knowing that it is immovable, unshakable, let him cultivate it. Swelter at the task this very day. Who knows whether he will die tomorrow?
There is no bargaining with the great hosts of Death. Thus abiding ardently, unwearied day and night, He indeed is "Auspicious" called, described as a sage at peace." (29)
(" Atìtam nànvàgameyya, nappatikankhe anàgatam Yad atìtam pahìnan tam, appattanca anàgatam. Paccupannan ca yo dhammam, tattha tattha vipassati, Asamhìram asamkuppam,tam vidvà manubruhaye. Ajj'eva kiccam àtappam; ko jannà maranam suve? Na hi no samgaran tena, mahàsenena maccunà. Evam vihàrim àtàpim, ahorattam atanditam Tam ve bhaddekaratto ti, santo àcikkhate munìti.") (30)
The discourse on "Bhaddekaratta" explained the meaning implied in the above teaching. With regard to this discourse, a person thinks of his material shape in the past, thinks of his feeling, his perception, his activities, his consciousness in the past, and delights therein: this is the meaning of following after the past that should not be done.
The person thinks of his future and a thought arises in his mind that: "may my body, my feeling, my perception, my activities, my consciousness be thus in the future" and he delights therein: this is the meaning of desiring future that should not be done.
As to the present things, he should regard his body, his feeling, his perception, his activities, his consciousness as not his self, or self not having them, or they are not in the self, or the self not in them: this is the meaning of having vision of present things he should practice day after day.
So, the above teaching really shows individuals the practical way to live in peace of mind: if a person practices it one day, he will be a sage at peace in one day; if he practices it day after day, he may become a true sage, who completely destroys the cause of all troubles and sufferings, and abides in happiness for good.
In the case of a worldly man who just can practice it partly, he may reduce his immediate troubles to the least, and save a lot of energy for use for his jobs.
In the author's opinion, following after the past or desiring the future is living with the image of reality, but not living in reality; this is an unrealistic and unpractical way of life. Living in the very present moment is living a true life which can help a man see things as they really are: this is a realistic and practical way to live: this also is the meaning of the spirit of practical-ness taught by Lord Buddha.
Spirit of middle way:
Another spirit of education taught by Lord Buddha to help individuals avoid two extremes of life for vision, knowledge and calm is the spirit of middle way. In His first discourse of Noble Truths He said:
"Monks, these two extremes should not be followed by one who has gone forth as a wanderer. What two?
Devotion to the pleasures of sense, a low practice of villagers, a practice unworthy, unprofitable, the way of the world (on the one hand), and (on the other) devotion to self - mortification, which is painful, unworthy and unprofitable.
By avoiding these two extremes the Tathágata has gained knowledge of that middle path which giveth vision, which giveth knowledge, which causeth calm, special knowledge, enlightenment, Nibbána.
And what, monks, is that middle path which giveth vision... Nibbána?
Verily it is this Aryan eightfold way, to wit; right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right living, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This, monks, is that middle path which giveth vision, which giveth knowledge, which causeth calm, special knowledge, enlightenment, Nibbána." (31)
("Dve me, bhikkhave, antà pabbajitena na sevittabbà // Katame dve // Yo càyam kàmesu kàmasukhallikànuyogo hìno gammo puthujjanìko anariyo anatthasamhito // yo càyam attakilamathànuyogo dukkho anariyo anatthasamhito // Ete te, bhikkhave, ubho ante anupagamma majjhimà patipadà Tathàgatena abhisambuddhà cakkhukaranì nànakaranì upasamàya abhinnaya sambodhàya nibbànàya samvattati //
Katamà ca, bhikkhave, majjhimà patipadà Tathàgatena abhisambuddhà cakkhukàranì... nibbànàya samvattati // Ayam eva ariyo atthangiko maggo // seyyathìdam // sammàditthi... sammàsamàdhi // Ayam kho sà, bhikkhave, majjhimà patipadà Tathàgatena abhisambuddhà cakkhukaranì nanakaranì upasamàya abhinnàya sambodhàya nibbànàya samvattati // ") (32)
Even to the practice of "right effort", which is the most important task in completing other tasks, the practician should do in time and in the spirit of middle-way. Otherwise, the practice will become unworthy and unprofitable, as Lord Buddha showed:
" At such time, monks, as the mind is sluggish, then is the season for cultivating the limb of wisdom that is norm - investigation... energy... zest. Why so? Because, monks, the sluggish mind is easily raised up by such conditions."
" At such time, monks, as the mind is elated, then is the wrong season for cultivating the limb of wisdom, that is norm - investigation... energy... zest. Why so? Because, monks, the elated mind is hard to be calmed by such conditions." (33)
("Yasmim ca kho, bhikkhave, samaye lìnam cittam hoti // kàlo tasmim samaye dhammavicayasamhojjhangassa bhàvanàya kàlo viriyasambojjhangassa bhàvanàya kàlo pìtisambojjhangassa bhàvanàya // Tam kissa hetu // lìnam, bhikkhave, cittam tam etehi dhammehi susamutthàpayam hoti // ...
Yasmim, bhikkhave, samaye uddhatam cittam hoti // akàlo tasmim samaye dhammavicayasambojjhangassa bhàvanàya // akàlo viriya... // akàlo pìti... //
Tam kissa hetu // uddhatam bhikkhave cittam tam etehi dhammehi duvupasamayam hoti //") (34)
The above teaching is excellent advice by Lord Buddha for individuals practicing Dhamma. It always requires wisdom (or right view and right thought) to follow a person's mind to know where it is to choose which path is appropriate for the immediate practice - knowing where one's mind also means self - understanding.
Spirit of analysis:
The middle way of practice is also lighted up by other interesting spirits such as analysis, criticism and creativeness.
It must be said that Lord Buddha's method of teaching Dhamma is analysis based on reality. This method is far different from those, which are based on pure reasons of soul - theories. The Four Noble Truths preached for the first time at Deer Park, Benares, started from reality: "life is suffering", then analyzed in four aspects: suffering which is birth, old-age, sickness, death, separating from what one likes, being with what one dislikes not getting what one wants, in short, five aggregates are suffering; the cause of suffering which is craving or the arising of Dependent Origination; the cessation of suffering which is Nibbána; and the way to the cessation of suffering which is the Eightfold Noble Path.
The doctrine of Dependent Origination, the truth of this world, and the five aggregates making up what is called a man were analyzed thoroughly by Lord Buddha.
Analyzing the understanding an existing thing, Lord Buddha showed that: a man should know its existence, the cause of its existence, its ceasing, and the way to its ceasing (in many discourses).
For the Dhammas, which can only be seen directly by perfect wisdom, Lord Buddha advised individuals not to think of them, such as:
" Monks, there are these four un-think-ables, not to be thought of, thinking of which one would be distraught and come to grief. What are the four?
Of Buddhas, monks, the range is unthinkable; world - speculation (Lokà - cintà)..." (35)
("Cattàr'imàni, bhikkhave, acinteyyàni na cintetabbàni yàni cintento ummàdassa vighàtassa bhàgì assa. Katamàni cattàri?
Buddhànam, bhikkhave, buddhavisayo acinteyyo na cintetabbo yam cintento ummàdassa vighàtassabhàgì assa; jhàyissa, bhikkhave, jhànavisayo..., kammavipàko..., lokacintà...") (36)
For states of mind, such as lust (lobha), malice (dosa) and illusion (moha), He analyzed and showed that one can understand them by seeing them with the eye of wisdom, but not with belief, argument or reflection on reasons... He taught:
"Herein, brethren, a brother beholding an object with the eye, either recognizes within him the existence of lust, malice and illusion, thus: "I have lust, malice and illusion, or recognizes the non-existence of these qualities within him, thus: "I have not lust, malice and illusion". Now as to that recognition of their existence and non - existence within him, are these conditions, I ask, to be understood by belief, or inclination, or hearsay, or argument as to method, or reflection on reasons, or delight in speculation?
"Surely not, Lord".
Are these states to be understood by seeing them with the eye of wisdom?
" Surely, Lord". (37)
("Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu cakkhunà ruùpam disvà santam và ajjhattam ràgadosamoham Atthi me ajjhattam ràgadosamohoti pajànàti //asantam và ajjhattam ràgadosamoham Natthi me ajjhattam ràgadosamohoti pajànàti // yantam, bhikkhave, bhikkhu cakkhunà ruùpam disvà santam và ajjhattam ràgadosamoham Atthi me... Natthi me... // api nu me, bhikkhave, dhammà saddhàya và veditabbà ruciyà và veditabbà anussavena và veditabbà àkàra - parivitakkena và veditabbà ditthinijjhà nakhantiyà và veditabbà ti // No hetam bhante //
Nanu me, bhikkhave, dhammà pannàya disvà veditabbà ti //Evam bhante //") (38)
It is similar for hearing a sound with the ear, smelling a scent with the nose, tasting a savor with the tongue, contacting a tangible with the body, and cognizing a mental state with the mind.
In Gradual Sayings (Vol I, PTS, 1989, pp. 178-179), Lord Buddha analyzed the conditions expressed by the one who is competent or incompetent to discuss, and advised His disciples to follow the following basic points:
- If a person is asked a question, and he can give a categorical reply to the question requiring it, a discriminating reply to the question requiring it, a counter - reply to the question requiring it, or he does not waive a question which should be waived, such a person is really competent to discuss. And inversely.
- If a person is asked a question, and he does not abide by conclusions, whether right or wrong, he does not abide by an assumption, does not abide by recognized arguments, does not abide by usual procedure, such a person really is incompetent to discuss. And inversely.
- If a person is asked a question, then he evades the question by another, or he turns it off the point, or he displays his vexation, malice or sulkiness, such a person is actually incompetent to discuss. And inversely.
- If a person is asked a question, then instead of giving reply he loads with abuse and beats down the questioner, laughs him to scorn and catches him up when he falters, such a person is actually incompetent to discuss.
- If he does not do anything of the above, he really is competent to discuss.
The above are typical cases of analysis among so many cases taught by Lord Buddha. All of them will bring men insight into things, but not knowledge coming from the experience of sense organs.
Spirit of criticism:
Together with the method of analysis, Lord Buddha taught a spirit of criticism. This spirit estimates the object analyzed whether it is right or wrong, wholesome or unwholesome, acceptable or unacceptable, suitable to Dhamma or not; etc. after process of analysis.
In the teaching for the Kalama's mentioned before, it runs that, "... Be ye not misled by report..." the Tathágata asked His disciples to criticize things on the basis of their observation, analysis and wisdom. He asked them, in "the discourse on Inquiring" (vìmamsakasuttam) (Middle Length Saying, Vol, No 47) to observe and check Him whether He is a Fully self - awakened One or not. He said:
"Monks, an inquiring monk, learning the range of another's mind, should make a study of the Tathágata so as to distinguish whether He is an Enlightened One or not...
Monks, should study the Tathágata in regard to two things: things cognizable through the eye and through the ear, thinking: "Do those impure states cognizable through the eye and ear exist in the Tathágata or not..."
Monks, Tathágata should Himself be further questioned hereon: "Do these impure states cognizable through the eye and ear exist in the Tathágata or not..."
Monks, if anyone in whom faith in the Teacher is established, rooted, supported by these methods, by these words, that faith is called reasoned, based on vision, strong... Thus, monks, does there come to be study of the Tathágata's Dhamma, and thus does the Tathágata come to be well studied in the proper manner." (39)
("Vìmamsakena, bhikkhave, bhikkhunà parassa cetoopariyàyam àjànantena dvìsu dhammesu Tathàgato samannesitabbo, cakkhusotavinneyyesu: ye sankilittha cakkhusotavinneyyà dhammà samvijjanti và te Tathàgatassa no va ti...
Tatra, bhikkhave, Tathàgato va uttarim patipucchitabbo: Ye sankilitthà cakkhusotavinneyyà dhammà samvijjanti và te Tathàgatassa no va ti...
Evam kho, bhikkhave, Tathàgate dhammasamannesanà hoti, Evanca pana Tathàgato dhammatà susamannittho hotì ti.") (40)
The above quotation proves Lord Buddha, on His way of educating men, concerned much about the spirit of criticism. This spirit will help His disciples improve their "self - awareness", "self - understanding", "self- confidence", their capacity of analysis, and their vision. This sounds very wise and human.
Spirit of creativeness:
Being with the wisdom regard, self - awareness, spirit of criticism,.., creativeness is another distinguished spirit of Buddhist education.
The wisdom regard to things existing in "self - awareness" always sees things as they really are in the very present moment. These things are flowing on and on without any pause: this means they always are new at each moment: the subject of the regard is new, and its object is also new. This is the condition of the seeing of creativeness.
Charles E. Skinner in his book titled "Educational Psychology'' wrote:
" Creative thinking means that the predictions and/or inferences for the individual are new, original, ingenious, unusual. The creative thinker is one who explores new areas and makes new observations, new predictions, new inferences") (41).
With regard to this definition of creative thinking, or creative thinker, the Buddhist way of life led by the wisdom regard; or by right view and right thought; really is a way of life of creativeness.
It may be said without doubt that the individual's characteristics of self-confidence, self-awareness, self-support, self-responsibility, criticism, analysis, actually are those of a creative thinker. When a person's task of cultivating his regard to things is done, the five hindrances (panca niìvaranàni) and the ten fetters (dasa kilesà) hindering his mind from the truth of things are gradually destroyed, and his mind becomes free: this free mental state really is a state of creativeness. When his mind abides in the third and fourth meditation, his regard can see in the depth of the existence of things and discover new areas of them: this is a regard of creativeness.
Such is the spirit of creativeness of the way of life taught by Lord Buddha.
Spirit of meditation:
The wisdom regard mentioned will be reinforced and the source of creativeness of mind will be awakened by the practice of meditation, which is the main task of the Buddhist Way (Magga) to liberation.
Meditation is understood as calming individual's desire and immediate troubles. It transforms the five hindrances (restlessness, torpor and sloth, sensuous desire, ill-will, skeptical doubt) into the five meditative mental factors (thought-conception, discursive thinking, rapture; joy, equanimity- happiness-one pointed-ness in the "first meditation; rapture; joy, equanimity-happiness- one-pointed-ness in the "second meditation"; joy, equanimity-happiness-one-pointed-ness in the "third meditation"; equanimity - happiness - one pointed-ness in the "fourth meditation"). And all evil thoughts arising from the five hindrances also are calmed or destroyed.
In the "fourth meditation", the wisdom regard or vipassana is developed fast and comfortably.
So, meditation responds to the following purposes of life:
- Calming immediate troubles of a person practicing it.
- Opening a source of creativeness which is a very important factor contributing to the construction of human culture and civilization.
- Developing the wisdom regard for ceasing the cause of suffering.
- Seeing the truth of the existence of men and things.
This is why Lord Buddha taught His disciples that:
" The Bhikkhu whose body and tongue and mind are quieted, who is collected, and has rejected the baits of the world, he is called quiet." (42) (Dhp. 378)
("Santakàyo santavàco santavà susamàhito,
Vantalokàmiso bhikkhu upasanto'ti vuccati"). (43)
" The Bhikkhu, full of delight, who is happy in the doctrine of Buddha will reach the quiet place (Nibbána), happiness consisting the cessation of natural inclinations.) (44) (Dhp. 381)
("Pàmojjabahulo bhikkhuâ pasanno buddha- sàsane, Adhigacche padam santam sankhàruùpa samam sukham. " (45) (Dhp. 381)
So, during the period of time of practicing meditation for wisdom regard, an individual lives in the fresh air of mind with happy feelings and gets rid of all troubles, worries withering the flowers of young generations
In addition to the above things, the practice of following breathing in - and breathing out may help worldly men improve their capacity of memory and observation which is very interesting to students in schools; the practice of following and observing their mind will help them see their mental problems as the result of a task of self - therapy.
In short, the way of Buddhist meditation, including Calm (samatha) and Insight (vipassana) is the way of seeing, developing and cultivating one's mind. Without it, a person cannot understand what he really is, and cannot resolve his psychological problems for peace and happiness in the here - and - now, as Lord Buddha affirmed:
" There is, monks, this only way to the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and distress, for the disappearance of pain and sadness, for the gaining of the right path, for the realization of Nibbána: that is to say the four foundations of mindfulness." (46)
("Ekàyàno ayam, bhikkhave, maggo sattànam visudhiyà sokapatiddavànam samatikkamàya dukkhadomassànam atthagamàya nàyassaadhigamàya nibbànassa sacchikiriyàya cattàro satipatthanà.") (47)
But being with the practice of it - meaning the practice of Four Foundations of Mindfulness, cattàro Satipatthána - is the real meaning of a significant life to live: it is the way of return to oneself for taking refuge in oneself but not in any other man or superpower; it is the way to be an island for oneself. During His last days before parinibbána, Lord Buddha solicitously taught Ánanda, his closest disciple, that:
"Therefore, Ánanda, you should live as islands unto yourselves, being your own refuge, with no one else as your refuge, with the Dhamma as an island, with the Dhamma as your refuge, with no other refuge? Here, Ánanda, a monk abides contemplating the body as body, earnestly, clearly aware, mindful and having put away all hankering and fretting for the world, and likewise with regard to feelings, mind and mind - objects. That, Ánanda, is how a monk lives as an island unto himself... with no other refuge. And those who now in my time or afterwards live thus, they will become the highest, if they are desirous of learning." (48)
("Idh' Ànanda, bhikkhu kàye kàyànupassì viharati àtàpì sampajàno satimà vineyya loke abhijjhà- domanassam, vedanàsu... pe... citte... pe..., dhammesu dhammànupassì viharati àtàpì sampajàno satimà vineyya loke abhjja- domanassam, evam kho, Ànanda, bhikkhuattadìpo viharati attasarano ananna -sarano, dhammadìpo dhammasarano anannasarano.") (49)
This is the only way for everybody: When this way is put into practice, many different results will come to different practicians because of their different temperaments, capacities, volitions, efforts, determinations, etc., called their old and new Kammas. So, Kamma is another subject to be examined for understanding a man's activities.
Verse No. 1 and verse No. 2 of Dhammapada as quoted in the part of "Spirit of Self- responsibility" of this work, imply the meaning of Kamma, which says:
* Man's thought put on an action of body; speech or mind is the root cause of his deed defining his deed is either good or evil. The result of it will be happy or painful accordingly.
* Man's kamma is called evil, if it is caused by craving, ill - will or illusion.
* Man's kamma is called good, if it is caused by desire-less-ness, compassion or wisdom.
* Unwholesome deed will actually lead the doer to woe - states of existence.
* Wholesome deed will lead the doer to happy states of existence.
* Between the cause of a deed and its result exists a short or long period of time, according to the kind of kamma.
* No external power gives reward or punishment to a man's deed.
* The doer of deeds also is the receiver of their results as Lord Buddha declared:
" I am the result of my own deeds; heir to deeds; deeds are matrix; deeds are kin; deeds are foundation; whatever deed I do, whether good or bad, I shall become heir to it - this ought to be often contemplated by woman and man, by house dweller and by one gone forth." (50)
("Kammassako'mhi kammadàyàdo kammayoni kammabandhu kammapatisarano, yam kammam karissàmi kalyànam và pàpakam và, tassa dàyàdo bhavissàmiti abhinham paccavekkhitabbam itthiyà và purisena và gahatthena và pabbajitena và. Kathan ca, bhikkhave, atthavasam paticca - jaràdhammo'mhi jaram anatìto ti abhinham paccavekkhitabbam itthiyà và purisena và gahatthena và pabbajitena và.") (51)
Some non-Buddhists claim that according to the Buddhist doctrine of Kamma this life is nothing but the result of kamma having been done in previous lives: it is predetermined or predestinate. But, in reality, it does not appear as simple as such. There are two kinds of kamma which are called old kamma and new kamma as the following teaching mentions:
" And what, brethren, is action that is old? - The eye, brethren, is to be viewed as action that is old, brought about and intentionally done, as a base for felling. And so with the tongue and mind. This, brethren, is called "action that is old"
And what is action that is new?
The action one performs now, brethren, by body, speech and mind, that is called "action that is new" And what, brethren, is the ceasing of action? That ceasing of action by body, speech and mind, by which one contacts freedom, that is called "the ceasing of action".
And what, brethren, is the way leading to the ceasing of action?
It is this Aryan Eightfold Path, to wit: right view,.., right concentration." (52)
("Katamam, bhikkhave, purànakammam // cakkhum, bhikkhave, purànakammam abhisankhatam abhisancetayitam vedaniyam datthabbam // pe // Jivhà... // la // Mano... // Idam vuccati, bhikkhave, purànakammam //
Katamanca, bhikkhave, navakammam // yam kho, bhikkhave, etarahi kammam karoti kàyena vàcàya manasà idam vuccati, bhikkhave, navakammam//
Katamo ca, bhikkhave, kammanirodho // yo kho,bhikkhave, àyakammavacìkammamanoka-mmassa nirodhà vimuttim phusati // ayam vuccati, bhikkhave, kammanirodho //
Katamà ca, bhikkhave, kammanirodhagàminì patipadà//Ayam eva ariyo atthangiko maggo .// Ayam vuccati, bhikkhave, kammanirodhagàminì patipadà // "). (53)
As the definition of old and new kamma quoted above, old kamma is what has made up this body of the five aggregates with its relation to the surroundings, such as: family, social class, country, etc., being born as a male, or female with good looking or bad looking body, with nice complexion or not, with graceful or ungraceful face, with a high I.Q. quotient or a low I.Q. quotient, receiving good education or not, etc. These things are out of a person's mind.
The new Kamma is defined as what a man has done, is doing and will do in this life through his body, speech and mind. The intention, effort, desire, will to live, determination, etc., of a person are mental agents of his new Kamma. These things can cause him suffering or happy according to his regard to things.
So, all causes of the circle of birth - and - death created in the past or in the present are what a man is facing in the here - and - now: they all exist only in the sphere of the five aggregates. This is the reason why Lord Buddha's disciples can attain Arahatship by destroying all defilements arising from aggregates only. And this is the meaning of considering the five aggregates as an immense ocean of suffering to be crossed.
The gravest result the old kamma has left for a human being in this life is his habit of thirsting for things, and of thinking of things as having a permanent self (or soul) which has created the current human culture full of troubles. If a person brings up his self - thought and desire, he will strengthen his old Kamma and go further in suffering. If he stops them, he will come to cease his old and new Kamma for freedom and happiness. In fact, he appears completely free in the very present moment to make any choice he wants between what he should do and what he should not. It is the present moment, which is when he copes with his desire arising from his thought caused by the attraction of things. This desire invades his mind. He should know the way to fight against it as it is taught by the following teaching:
" ... Anyone, monks, knowing and seeing eye as it really is (ear, nose, tongue, body, mind)... while he, observing the peril, is not attached, bound or infatuated, the five groups of grasping go on to future diminution... He experiences happiness of body and happiness of mind." (54)
("Cakkhunca kho, bhikkhave, jànam passam yathàbhuøtam, ruùpe jànam passam yathàbhuøtam, cakkhuvinnànam jànam passam yathàbhuøtam,.. Tassa asàrattassa asamyuttassa asammuølhassa àdìnavànupassino viharato àyatim pancupàdànakkhandhà apacayam gacchanti... So kàyasukham pi cetosukham pi patisam vedeti.") (55)
Here, the author recognizes that Lord Buddha's teaching on the doctrine of Kamma really emphasizes an individual's new Kamma, or mental, oral, bodily actions, leading to ceasing Kamma itself. His teaching is centered on seeing the truth of dependent origination of the five aggregates and detaching from them for true happiness, but not on the search for personality as an entity.
In daily life, people tend to assimilate themselves with conditioned aggregates; therefore they fall into suffering caused by change. If they see their wrong view they will come to the cultivation of the aggregates for the release of their suffering
Cultivation Of The Five Aggregates And Education
As discussed before, Kamma is volitional action. Volitional action is activities aggregate. The operation of activities aggregate is that of the five aggregates. So Kamma actually is the operation of those aggregates.
The Buddhist Way (magga) releasing the bondage of Kamma means releasing the bondage of the five aggregates. This suggests that the cultivation of aggregates is the task for liberation, which has two things to do:
- Controlling a person's habits of things as having a permanent self from which desire for things arises.
- Developing his regard to things as non - self from which desire-less thought arises.
This task is therefore for the cessation of his troubles and sufferings, which is the cherished dream of a man, and is the root purpose the branch of modern educational psychology aims at. All teachings of Lord Buddha recorded in Pali Sutta Pitaka are centered on this great point.
Once, Shariputra Mahàthera, the Chief disciple of Lord Buddha Gotama, explained:
"And what, your reverences, is right view? Whatever, your reverences, is knowledge of anguish, knowledge of the arising of anguish, knowledge of the stopping of anguish, knowledge of the course leading to the stopping of anguish: this, your reverences, is called right view.
And what reverences, is called right aspiration (or right thought)? Aspiration for renunciation, aspiration for non-malevolence, aspiration for harmlessness: this, your reverences, is called right aspiration." (56)
("Katamà c'àvuso, sammàditthi? - Yam kho, àvuso, dukkhe nànam dukkhasamudaye nànam dukkhanirodhe nànam dukkhanirodhàgàminiyà patipadàya nànam : ayam vuccat'àvuso, sammàditthi.
Katamo c'àvuso , sammàsamkappo? -Nekkhammasamkappo abyàpàdasamkappo avihimsà - samkappo: ayam vuccat'àvuso, sammàsamkappo.") (57)
The meaning of "right view" declared in the above quotation implies the meaning of right view used for counselors and psychotherapists in modern schools whose role is helping a client understand his troubles, the cause of his troubles, the cessation of his troubles and the way to the cessation of them.
The meaning of "right aspiration", or thought for renunciation, thought for non-malevolence, and thought for harmlessness, is the motive force in a person's deeds leading to peace of mind. This will open an operation of the five aggregates to mental peace.
Shariputra Mahàthero continues explaining:
" And what, your reverences, is right speech?
Refraining from lying speech, refraining from slanderous speech, refraining from harsh speech, refraining from gossip, this, your reverences, is called right speech.
And what, your reverences, is right action? Refraining from onslaught on creatures, refraining from taking what has not been given, refraining from going wrongly among the sense pleasures, this, your reverences, is called right action.
And what, your reverences, is right mode of livelihood? As to this, your reverences, a disciple of the Aryans, getting rid of a wrong mode of livelihood. This, your reverences, is called right mode of livelihood". (58)
("Katamà c'àvuso, sammàvàcà? Musàvàdà veramanì, pisunàya vàcàya veramanì, pharusàya vàcàya veramanì, samphappalàpà veramanì: ayam vuccat' àvuso, sammàvàcà. Katamo c'àvuso sammàkammanto? - Pànàtipàtà veramanì, adinnàdànà veramanì, kàmesu micchàcàrà veramanì: ayam vuccat' àvuso, sammàkammanto.
Katamo c'àvuso, sammà - àjiìvo? - Idh'àvuso, ariyasàvako micchà- àjìvam pahàya sammà - àjìvena jìvikam kappeti: ayam vuccat'àvuso, sammà - àjìvo".) (59)
The above actions called good deeds will help a person control a lot of troubles arising from his mind. Inversely, if a person does evil deeds he will receive bad results in this life and in the next existence, which are suffering. On the basis of doing good deeds he practices meditation and easily attains concentration by his right effort:
" And what, your reverences, is right endeavor? As to this, your reverences, a monk generates desire, endeavors, stirs up energy, exerts his mind and strives for the non - arising of evil unskilled states that have not arisen... for the getting rid of evil unskilled states that have arisen... for the arising of skilled states that have not arisen for the maintenance, preservation, increase, maturity, development and completion of skilled states that have arisen. This, your reverences, is called right endeavor". (60)
("Katamo c'àvuso, sammàvàyàmo? Idh'àvuso, bhikkhu, anuppannànam pàpakànam akusalànam dhammànam anuppàdàya chandam janeti vàyamati viriyam àrabhati cittam pagganhàti padahati; uppannànam pàpakànam akusalànam dhammànam pahànàya chandam janeti... padahati; anuppannànam kusalànam dhammànam uppàdàya chandam janeti... padahati; uppannànam kusalànam dhammànam thitiyà asammohàya bhiyyobhàvàya vepullàya bhàvanàya paripuriyà chandam janeti... padahati; ayam vuccat'àvuso, sammàvàyàmo".) (61)
Right endeavor, according to the above teaching, is a mental force to stop the cause of mental troubles, and to make arisen skilled thoughts. Without it, the task of meditation is difficult to be done, and the Way (Magga) is hard to be performed. Concentration is therefore necessary to be supported by "right effort" and the later is listed in the group of samádhi: right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.
With right effort, the practician comes to practice right mindfulness, or the Foundations of mindfulness discussed in (IV.2.1: Spirit of meditation), for bare attention, keen observation, calm and awareness. In concentrations, he can wipe out his evil thoughts. In the fourth meditation, sensual desires are ejected, and Insight (vipassana) is developed: he can know and see things as they really are, abide in a free state of mind and a feeling of happiness. Here, if Insight is well-developed, his regard of wisdom to aggregates may completely destroy his defilements for perfected Wisdom or Enlightenment.
In short, the above factors of the task of cultivation relate closely to each other, in which "right view" is the most important factor being considered as the starting point and destination of the practicing the Way. With regard to their relationship, Lord Buddha taught:
" As to this, monks, right view comes first. And how, monks, does right view come first? ... Right thought, monks, proceeds from right view; right speech proceeds from right thought, ... ; right concentration proceeds from right mindfulness; right knowledge proceeds from right concentration; right freedom proceeds from right knowledge. In this way, monks, the learner's course is possessed of eight components, the perfected one's, of ten components". (62)
("Tatra, bhikkhave, sammàditthi pubbangamà hoti. Kathan ca, bhikkhave, sammàditthi pubbangamà hoti? Sammàditthassa, bhikkhave, sammàsamkappo pahoti; sammàsamkappassa sammàvàcà pahoti; ... sammàsamàdhissa sammànànam pahoti; sammànànassa sammàvimutti pahoti. Iti kho, bhikkhave, atthan- gasamannàgato sekho patipado dasangasamannàgato arahà hoti". (63)
In short form, the above Eightfold Path may be expressed in three groups: Morals or Síla (right speech, right action and right livelihood), Meditation (right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration or Samádhi), and Wisdom or Paññá (right view and right thought), which are three basic steps of cultivation of one's mind. These steps are so important that Lord Buddha repeated them several times during His last days in life:
" This is morality, this is concentration, this is wisdom. Concentration, when imbued with morality, brings great fruit and profit. Wisdom, when imbued with concentration, brings great fruit and profit. The mind imbued with wisdom becomes completely free from the corruptions, that is from the corruption of sensuality, of becoming, of false views and of ignorance". (64)
("Iti sìlam iti samàdhi iti pannà, sìlaparibhàvito samàdhi mahapphalo hoti mahànisamso, samàdhi -paribhàvità pannà mahapphalà hoti mahànisamsà, panna - paribhàvitam cittam sammadeva àsavehi vimuccati seyyathìdam kàmàsavà bhavàsavà ditthàsavà avijjàsavà ti".) (65)
In principle, all teachings of Lord Buddha recorded in Pancanikaàya are aimed at releasing human beings' troubles in this life. They have a function of helping an individual see the way to make arise the skilful thought, to release the opposite evil thought controlling his mind: for example, the five meditative mental factors releasing the five hindrances; compassion or mettá (or adosa) releasing ill - will (dosa); detachment or greediless-ness (alobha) releasing greediness (lobha); wisdom or non- illusion (amoha) releasing illusion (moha); perception of selflessness, impermanence and suffering releasing conceit "I am" etc.. This task called the cultivation of the five aggregates or mind - development is done by the individual himself and by his effort itself in the present. The individual really is mentally free performing the task in the here - and - now. He just starts from his present conditions of life which depend on his body, health, knowledge, emotion, social position, etc., especially from his thirst for things: On the one hand, he continues going on his present way of life, on the other hand, should be aware of the dangers of his desire for things caused by impermanence, and should observe and analyze with his wisdom what is going on with his thoughts and feelings. In doing this, his thought of detachment from things observed will arise in his mind and bring him liberation of mind and of wisdom.
For a laywoman or a layman who has duties to do in daily life for herself // himself, for her // his family, company or religion, and country, Lord Buddha practically introduced many steps of the way of cultivation. The first and basic step for her // him is, according to the discourse on Sigàlaka (Digha Nikáya, Sutta No 31), to abandon four wrong deeds: not taking life, not taking what is not given, not doing sexual misconduct, and not lying speech; not doing what is caused by attachment, ill - will, folly or fear; not to waste his substance either by the six ways which are strong drink, haunting the streets at unfitting times, attending affairs, gambling, keeping bad company, and habitual idleness.
In addition to the above things, a laity should live in the six good relationships of his family and society: between parents and children, between husband and wife, between teacher and student, among relatives and neighbors, between monk and laity, and between employer and employee. These relationships are based on human love, loyalty, sincerity, gratitude, mutual acceptance, mutual understanding and mutual respect, which relate closely to individuals' happiness in the present.
On the basis of the task suggested above, a laity can improve his mind -development by practicing the Four Foundations of Mindfulness or practicing just mindfulness of body together with compassion as showed in the discourse of Compassion or Loving - Kindness (Mettá Sutta) in Sutta Nipata of the Khuddakanikàya, generally as follows:
* Practicing mindfulness of compassion when he is lying, standing, sitting or walking.
* Wishing all beings joy and happiness to make arise thought of loving - kindness in his mind.
* Wishing all beings not wishing each other ill or harm.
* Concerning about other's pain and protecting them from suffering as a mother's doing for her only child.
All the tasks mentioned above are very helpful for the development of the wholeness of man, and may have good contributions to the formation of a new course of human culture and education. On the side of a practician, he is strongly influenced by the qualities of the culture and education of the society he is living in. This is to be discussed more.
Education for the cultivation of the five aggregates:
What a child is after his mother gave a birth to him is the result of his old kamma, according to the teaching of Lord Buddha on "new and old Kamma" discussed before. What of education he has received from his family and society will put strong influences on his way of thought, attitude of life, desire, aspiration and deeds, which are of what is called new Kamma. It may be said that what a person does or will do by mind, speech or body is what culture and education of his society suggest him to. In this life, he appears as an "educational being" rather than "a reasonable animal" defined in the old days. On the other side, it is self - thought of individuals, which has shaped the course of education and culture of a society. This interrelationship says something different to the development of the five aggregates leading to happiness, which requires a non - self-way of thought and desire. To help individuals cultivate their mind on this way of life, all means of communication in the present society - such as books, magazines, newspapers, radio - broadcast, movies, etc.; - Which strengthen self - thought and sensual and sexual desire need to be adjusted or reduced to a considerable level; all means of communication awakening non - self thought and desire need to be maintained and developed. This requires education to do the same thing: there is no need to build up any theory of personality as a self, but new critical studies are needed, which are:
* Critical studies on physical body and health for a knowledge of troubles arising from it.
* Critical studies on sensuality and sexuality for a knowledge of dealing with them for a physio-psychological balance and peace of mind.
* Critical studies on perception, thought, knowledge for a realization the true value of all values in life.
* Critical studies on behaviors, psychology, psychiatry getting along the way of development of the five aggregates.
* Critical studies on sociology, ecology, anthropology, sciences, literature and education for a knowledge of conditions of life for happiness of man.
All those studies aim at the same purpose that is building up a good society for man to live in happiness, and therefore building up a new culture.
(1) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. V, PTS London, 1990, pp.364-365.
(2) : Samyutta Nikáya, Vol. V, PTS, London, p. 430.
(3) : Dhammapada, tr. by F. Max Muller...verse 13
(4) : Dhammapada, Devanàgari, 1st Edition, 1977, Department of Buddhist Studies, Delhi University, verse 13.
(5) : Dhammapada, tr. by F. Max Muller...verse 14.
(6) : Dhammapada, Devanàgari... verse 14.
(7) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. IV, PTS, London, 1980, pp 97-98.
(8) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. IV,... PTS, London, 1990, p. 156.
(9) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. IV,..., p. 10.
(10) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. IV,..., p. 19-20.
(11) : Dhammapada, tr. by F. Max Muller verse 190.
(12) : Dhammapada, Devanàgari,..., verse 190.
(13) : Dhammapada, tr. by F. Max Muller verse 236.
(14) : Dhammapada, Devanàgari,..., verse 236.
(15) : Dhammapada, tr. by F. Max Muller verse 1.
(16) : Dhammapada, Devanàgari,..., verse 1.
(17) : Dhammapada, tr. by F. Max Muller verse 38.
(18) : Dhammapada, Devanàgari,..., verse 38
(19) : Gradual Sayings, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1989, pp. 171-172.
(20) : Anguttara-Nikáya, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1961, p. 189.
(21) : Dhammapada, tr. by F. Max Muller verse 234.
(22) : Dhammapada, Devanàgari,..., verse 234.
(23) : Dhammapada, tr. by F. Max Muller verse 300.
(24) : Dhammapada, Devanàgari,..., verse 300.
(25) : Dhammapada, tr. by F. Max Muller verse 301.
(26) : Dhammapada, Devanàgari,..., verse 301.
(27) : Gradual Sayings, Vol. IV, PTS, London, 1989, p. 107.
(28) : Anguttara-Nikáya, Vol. IV, PTS, London, 1960, pp. 156-157.
(29) : Middle Length, Vol. III, PTS, London, p.1990, pp. 233.
(30) : Majjhima-Nikáya, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1977, p. 193.
(31) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. V, PTS, London, 1990, pp. 356-357.
(32) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. V, PTS, London, 1976, p. 421.
(33) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. V,..., p. 96.
(34) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. V, PTS, pp. 113-114.
(35) : Gradual Sayings, Vol. II, PTS, London, 1992, p. 89-90
(36) : Anguttara-Nikáya, Vol. II, PTS, London, 1955, p. 80.
(37) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. IV, PTS, London, 1980, pp. 88-89
(38) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. IV, PTS, London, 1990, p. 139.
(39) : Middle Length Sayings, Vol. I, PTS, London, pp. 381-382.
(40) : Majjhima-Nikáya, Vol. I, PTS, London, pp. 318-320.
(41) : Charles E. Skinner, "Educational Psychology", Ninth Printing in India, 1992, p. 529.
(42) : Dhammapada, tr. by F. Max Muller verse 378.
(43) : Dhammapada, Devanàgari,..., verse 378.
(44) : Dhammapada, tr. by F. Max Muller verse 381.
(45) : Dhammapada, Devanàgari,..., verse 381.
(46) : Long Discourses, tr. by Maurice Walshe,..., 1987, p. 335.
(47) : "Mahà-Satipatthàra Suttanta", Digha Nikáya, Vol. II, 1982, p. 290.
(48) : Long Discourses, tr. by Maurice Walshe,.., p. 245.
(49) : Digha Nikáya, Vol. II,..., p. 100.
(50) : Gradual Sayings, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1988, p. 59.
(51) : Anguttara-Nikáya, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1958, p. 72.
(52) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. IV,..., 1980, p. 85.
(53) : Samyutta-Nikáya, Vol. IV,.., 1990, pp. 182-183.
(54) : Middle Length Sayings, Vol. III,..., pp. 357.
(55) : Majjhima-Nikáya, Vol. III,..., pp. 288-289.
(56) : Middle Length Sayings, Vol. III,..., pp. 298.
(57) : Majjhima-Nikáya, Vol. III,..., p. 251.
(58) : Middle Length Sayings, Vol. III,..., pp. 298.
(59) : Majjhima-Nikáya, Vol. III,..., p. 251.
(60) : Middle Length Sayings, Vol. III,.., pp. 298-299.
(61) : Majjhima-Nikáya, Vol. III,..., p. 251-252.
(62) : Middle Length Sayings, Vol. III,..., pp. 119.
(63) : Majjhima-Nikáya, Vol. III,..., pp. 75-76.
(64) : Long Discourses, tr. by Maurice Walshe,..., 1987, p. 234.
(65) : Digha Nikáya, Vol. II,..., 1982, p. 98.
A New Course of Education and Culture
From Lord Buddha's teachings recorded in the five collections of Pali Sutta Pitaka, the author has discussed the doctrine of Dependent Origination and its operation, the five Aggregates and their operation, and Buddhist spirits of education for Individuals. He has introduced a human being as a conditioned being, and has not come to any personality theory in which a man is regarded as an entity having a permanent self. This is, to his best knowledge, a special feature very helpful to personality theorists and educators of the coming century in opening a new course of culture and education for human beings' peace and happiness
It is time for them to make a choice between these two things: one is considering self-thought way of thinking as the basis on which all values in life are based, and considering the fulfillment of one's desire as a means to one's happiness; the other is developing non-self way of thinking as the wisdom regard showing a way of life, and accepting the control of one's desire as a means to one's happiness in the here-and-now, regardless of all difficulties one may meet with in life. The former has brought to life a lot of troubles and crises; only the latter is a belief and a hope of releasing those social troubles and crises. This is the content mentioned in the fifth part of this work.
The truth of life, as discussed, says that:
A man must be a man of some education and culture, and an education or culture must be education or culture of man. They cannot be separated from each other.
Lord Buddha's teachings for human beings on what the world really is, what a man really is, on individuals' problems, their causes, their cessation, their way to their cessation, and on spirits of individualized education, really imply the meaning of a way of education which is going to be showed more clearly in the next lines.
New Course Of Education
Now, let us take a look into the following points of view on education suggested by some outstanding persons before coming to a discussion about the details of the educational problem.
Dr. E.F Schumacher, the well-known author of a very interesting book titled "Small is Beautiful" wrote:
" Education can help us only if it produces "whole men". The truly educated man is not a man who knows a bit of everything, not even the man who knows all the details of all subjects (if such a thing were possible). The "whole man", in fact, may have little detailed knowledge of facts and theories, he may treasure the Encyclopedia Britannica because "she knows and he needn't", but he will be truly in touch with the center. He will not be in doubt about his basic convictions, about his view on the meaning and purpose of his life. He may not be able to explain these matters in words, but the conduct of his life will show a certain sureness of touch which stems from his inner clarity". (1)
Dr. E.F. Schumacher defined the word "center" in the above quotation as follows:
" The center, obviously is the place where he has to create for himself an orderly system of ideas about himself and the world, which can regulate the direction of his various strivings." (2)
For him, the root purpose of education must be helping a man understand the truth of himself and the world he is living in, see his course of life, and be responsible for his deeds. Although he cannot say what that truth is, but his words sound very humanist and practical. His point of view on education deserves to be considered.
As a very well-known economist, journalist and progressive entrepreneur, an Economic Adviser to the National Coal Board from 1950 to 1970, in England, a Founder and Chairman of the Intermediate Technology Development Group Ltd., etc., his advice on problems of rural development praised by many overseas governments, his above mentioned book printed 34 times from 1963 to 1993, his ideas must be thoughtful, especially ideas on man, economy and environment. (3)
For Albert Einstein who is one of the greatest scientists of our modern age, he delivered some other special opinions on education, which runs as follows:
" The school has always been the most important means of transferring the wealth of tradition from one generation to the next..."
" Sometimes one sees in the school simply the instrument for transferring a certain maximum quantity knowledge to the growing generation. But that is not right. Knowledge is dead; the school, however, serves the living. It should develop in the young individuals those qualities and capabilities which are of value for the welfare of the commonwealth. But that does not mean that individuality should be destroyed and the individual become a mere tool of the community, like a bee or an ant. For a community of standardized individuals without personal originality and personal aims would be a poor community without possibilities for development. On the contrary, the aim must be the training of independently acting and thinking individuals, who, however, see in the service of the community their highest life problem..." (4)
And he added:
"It is not enough to teach man a specialty. Through it he may become a kind of useful machine but not a harmoniously developed personality. It is essential that the student acquires an understanding of a lively feeling for values... He must learn to understand the motives of human beings, their illusions, and their sufferings in order to acquire a proper relationship to individual fellow men and to the community. (5)
So, Einstein supposes education has a role of maintaining the wealth of tradition, but he doesn't emphasize the role of developing it, and choosing which of the traditions should be maintained, which of it should be reconsidered, because the root purpose of life is to live in happiness but not exactly to live with tradition.
He also supposes education has a role of educating men to be a man of power-or a social man with specialized knowledge's; and a man himself who must know the wholeness of himself, his illusion and suffering..., and his community. This sounds very interesting, although it cannot say what a man himself really is.
As a very outstanding scientist, Einstein's seeing things is so scientific and seeing human beings is so realistic that it should be brought into practice. His opinions on education, to the author, may suggest a good course of education.
For Bertrand Russel, a very well-known U.S writer and thinker of the second part of the twentieth century A.D., mentioning the problem of "Education and social order", he wrote:
"Three divergent theories of education all have their advocates in the present day. Of these the first considers that the sole purpose of education is to provide opportunities of growth and to remove hampering influences. The second holds that the purpose of education is to give culture to the individual and to develop his capacities to the utmost. The third holds that education is to be considered rather in relation to the community than in relation to the individual, and that its business is to train useful citizens..." (6)
Russel's speech reflects rather faithfully what education of today is. His view is "no one of the three is a adequate by itself", and a right system of education must apply all the above three theories. But all those three theories still lack of the most important thing which is the truth of a man and the true way to his happiness in the present. In principle, providing opportunities for the growth of individuals, and helping a man develop his capacities to the utmost are very necessary to every good course of education. For the problem of training useful citizens, it should be noticed that a citizen, or a social man, must come after a man himself; without a man himself, a citizen can never be trained. So, here emerges a significant realization that the truth of the world and of human beings Lord Buddha Gotama discovered twenty six centuries ago is an invaluable discovery for men's new education and culture if it is to be brought today into schools for use. It must be known as a way of life bringing peace and happiness for individuals as well as for their commonwealth, and must be regarded as a major subject of philosophy, psychology, and educational psychology. This new branch of education will offer people a new regard to values and attitude of life leading to the calm of desire and ill-will, and to the destruction of wrong perception and thought. This branch of education will help individuals analyze their own mind, behavior and trouble to find the right way to live: they will come to recognize that happiness does not ask them to do anything more than stopping their desires, and that the very present moment of the here-and-now is when they really are free from troubles, because it always is completely new. At that wonderful moment, no one, or no power, puts any trouble into their mind. However, to abide in that moment a person should know how to control his self-thought and desire by the insistent practice of wisdom regard and of the four foundations of mindfulness. Here he only needs guidance, advice, encouragement, and wakefulness from his teacher and others. This means a helping role of education is needed, but not command, force or power; school discipline is still maintained for providing appropriate atmosphere for learning and opportunities for the development of individuals' mind and capacities; and the content of teaching aims at transferring knowledge's for understanding and cultivating individuals' mind, and for the service society in response to the commonwealth-requirements of safety, peace and prosperity. Methods of teaching are also demanded for wakefulness rather than stuffing with senseless notions.
With regard to the above way of education, the appraisal of learning skill of a student, award, punishment, exams, etc., must be reconsidered according to the new course of education.
In the author's opinion, if the above things are adopted, a way of education for the wholeness of man, humanness and wisdom will come into existence and survive. Because the truth of life and man wears no label, so this way of education will wear no label either. Since it wears no label, it may be a way of education for all people of all time. Because a man is but the operation of the five aggregates, so no image of personality is created for any pattern of education to be followed: for individuals, the meaning of life is to live with what he is in the very present moment without attachment to it: in doing this they will realize peace and happiness in their mind and body; the meaning of life is not anything of thinking or wishing: thinking or wishing only creates an image of life which is dead. Since individuals are strongly influenced by their old kamma, or old habits, by environment and by culture, so education has another role of helping them see what influences are hindering their mind, obsessing them, from seeing the five aggregates as they really are, to get rid of them.
If the performance of all above requirements is done, that way of education is then regarded as education of humanness, reality, wisdom and creativeness. This is the meaning of a new course of education.
New Course Of Culture
From a new course of education, a new course of culture originates.
As quoted earlier, Albert Einstein, a creative scientist, thinks that Education plays a role of maintaining, transferring and developing culture from generation to generation. This culture is defined by The Random House College Dictionary as, "The sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings transmitted from one generation to another" In the author's mind, it may be understood as all aspects of life of a group of human beings made up by education and its creative works to cope suitably with nature and to be improved on. Regarding this meaning, a new course of culture is discussed.
As mentioned before, the current culture of human beings is dominated by self-thought which has created the meaning of goodness, badness, gain and loss, success and failure; superiority and inferiority, etc. These meanings appear in life as a strong worldly wind that makes men's life-boat rock in the ocean of suffering: it is those meanings which act upon men's mind and cause troubles to arise; these troubles, in their turn, hinder men's regard to things from truth, and pull off their mind from abiding in the very present moment, and so pull off men from true life - because true life only exists in the present.
That self-thought makes arise in one's mind perception of "I am", "I am this" "I am that", "I am not this", "I'm not that", "I was", "I was this", "I wasn't this", "I was that", "I wasn't that", "I will be". "I will be this", "I will be that"... "May I be", "May I be this", "May I be that", etc. These perceptions therefore are root causes of craving for sensual desire, craving for existence, craving for non-existence, hatred, anger, etc. They lead men to sorrow, lamentation, grief, suffering. Such is the operation of self-thought.
Regarding the doctrine of Dependent Origination, self-thought means ignorance (avijja), and its operation really is the operation of ignorance: this is the arising of Dependent Origination leading to suffering, and is the truth of this current culture. Self-thought, therefore, exists as what determines the fateful suffering of human beings. If all efforts of those who are searching for happiness are based on self-thought, happiness will always be out of their reach. Such is the current culture.
In fact, all efforts of human beings to build up a culture aim at true happiness as the final purpose of life. So, to achieve that intimate purpose, self-thought or ignorance must be replaced by the destruction of ignorance, or wisdom (vijja or paññá): all actions of human beings must be put into the operation of non-self thought as what Buddha taught. This operation will open a new culture or a new course of culture leading to the destruction of suffering. Here is happiness.
Non-self thought will function as an intelligent architect who ardently constructs new aspects of life, such as:
* The most important aspect of life, called the most important architectural work, is love for life: love for human kind, for a country, for parents, for husband or wife, for children, relatives, neighbors, etc. This love led by wisdom (right view and right thought) comes from one's seeing the truth of selflessness of existing things. It can extinguish a lot of causes of suffering in life.
* The next architectural work is giving the true sense to "loyalty" and "justice": morals group, or right speech, right action and right livelihood, is the giver of the sense. If a person practices right speech, right action and right livelihood, he must go on the way of "loyalty" and "justice" faithfully: right action implies the meaning of "justice" right speech means "loyalty" and so on.
* Morals group itself means morality and humanity.
* Non-self thought leading to happiness shows that: happiness of individuals, the commonwealth and the culture, tradition of a country are two separate things: in the case culture and tradition cannot bring happiness to individuals and the commonwealth, they must be revaluated and improved.
* Non-self thought helps people see the co-existence of human beings and environment so that they come to protect environment from pollution and human beings from war. Tragedies and sufferings.
* Non-self thought will open a way of thinking for men, creating new concepts of value for the beauty, architecture, painting, etc.; serving happiness of men.
* All the above new aspects of life will make up a new culture, or new course of culture, for peace and happiness.
* The world is in serious crises: social crisis and environmental crisis. If the course of culture is not changed, those crises cannot be resolved, and human beings will be drowned in that ocean of crises. It is time for the world to make a choice between the operation of self-thought and that of non-self thought. The writer's belief in the latter is clear. It will be shown next.
Solutions for Current Crises
Men's thought is the root cause of their actions. Their wrong thoughts condition wrong actions, which cause troubles and crises in individuals' mind and in human society, then series of troubles and crises arise and arise... The search for solutions for them become more and more complicated. However, with a great determination, the writer believes, human beings can resolve all by changing the direction of the operation of their thoughts.
Solution for "Thought Crisis"
The most basic crisis of individuals and society is the crisis of individual's thought itself.
From the old days men's thought has been regarded as the measure of existing things: It gives value to everything. It has been used as the crucial means for the search for truth and happiness. But, it is this, which creates an imaginative self for things, while they have in reality no self at all. From this, men's thought creates a world of imaginative values full of contradictions and troubles. The more human beings engage in this imaginative world, the more they sink in the darkness of thought and in a crisis called "thought crisis."
With self-thought, people see things as having a permanent self and grasp it. This seeing is called "inversion of view" which hinders their mind from reality itself. So, the way to resolve the above crisis is coming out of their "inversion of view" or coming into "right view" which sees the truth of Dependent Origination existing in everything. In seeing this, people come to realize that: self-thought is empty; desire is coming from self-thought; the phenomenal world of selfness is empty; and desire, ill-will or illusion relating to that world also is empty: they become free from the bondage of them. This is solution for "thought-crisis" people are expecting.
No mystery exists in men's desire, suffering or happiness, etc. except their self-thought. The extinction of self-thought is the extinction of "thought crisis" indeed.
Solution for "Desire Crisis"
Self-thought also causes another crisis: from it, desire for things arises and causes troubles in man's mind as the author discussed earlier in this work. A human being exits in life as a thirsty man in the open sea drinking salty water. The more he drinks, the more he becomes thirsty and wants to drink again. Drinking salty water is not the solution for the thirsty man. It is the same for a man in life: desiring for senses and things is not the solution for his suffering. This is called "desire crisis", or the "inversion of mind".
Falling into that "inversion", people often do not have any choice other than continuing desiring: their desire becomes so strong that it is understood as the real meaning of life, therefore they see no way out. The Buddhist doctrine of Dependent Origination (Paticcasamuppàda), of the five aggregates (Pancakkhandhà), and of the Four Noble Truths (Cattàri Aryasaccàni) say the same thing: "desire is the cause of suffering", and the way out is the way of ceasing men's desire as the author discussed in (IV.1.5) and (IV.2.1)
So, if self-thought ceases, "desire crisis" ceases; if non-self thought operates, "desire crisis" will come to destruction. This is the solution for "desire crisis".
In addition to the above crises, some other crises are present by the presence of self-thought as showed next.
Solution for "Heart Crisis"
Self-thought tends to give a permanent nature to every existing thing. To the love for parents, it gives a name called "filial piety", and defines it as duties done by a daughter or son toward her/his parents. If these duties are not performed by her/him, she/he does not deserve being a human being. Such is the meaning of "filial piety" suggested by Confucianists.
To the love for a country, it gives another name called "loyalty", and defines it as duties done by a citizen for her/his country or her/his King. If these duties are not realized by her/him, she/he is understood as "unfaithful citizen" who does not deserve being in life. Such is the sense of "loyalty" suggested by Confucianists.
To the love for a sweetheart, it gives a name called "Love," and defines it as an intimate relationship, which requires some duties done for each other. If either a husband or wife is unfaithful to the other by any reason, she or he is known as the evil one who does not deserve to exist in life. Such is the meaning given to "Love" by Confucianists.
However, life is very complicated, people sometimes meet with situations in which they can do their duty either for their parents, or for their country/king, or just for their husband/wife; in these cases they will be either "un-filial", or "unfaithful", or "un-loyal" and will be too suffering to make a choice, and too suffering to survive. These are tragic cases caused by the conception of "filiality" of "loyalty" and of "faithfulness" created by self-thought.
So, in those cases - many cases happened in the history of the Chinese and Vietnamese the story of "Le Cid" in French literature also is a typical one - people should follow the call of their beautiful heart, but not the call of imaginative conceptions. No choice deserves to be made here, because it actually is full of tears. This is called a "heart crisis" caused by self-thought.
With regard to non-self thought, "filiality", "loyalty" or "love" is conditioned and selfless; it must be redefined in an "open sense" how to be very human and very helpful to individuals and their happiness in the present.
In addition to the above cases, some customs, some social laws, or some disciplines in schools, which may bring tears to men should be revaluated too for happiness of individuals as human beings.
Solution for "Emotional Crisis"
"Heart crisis" mentioned above is caused by reasons outside of man. There exists another aspect of "heart crisis" caused by reasons inside of man, by sentimental habitude which is called "emotional crisis." This crisis operates in the following manner:
- The current culture created by self-thought strongly influences men's mind: thinking, sensing, feeling,... It becomes so intimate to men that it is regarded as reality: people cannot abandon it, or part of it, even when they do realize it is wrong, or it is suffering, and do realize that there is a better way of life led by non-self thought. This event is known as an "emotional inversion" or "emotional crisis".
- All values created by that culture also become very close to men although they may bring tears to them very often because of their inversive qualities. But people prefer being with them to being with the new.
- The old way of education is imperfect, but it's very difficult for people to think of a new way and to realize a new way. This happens owing to men's "emotional inversion" etc.
- In the case of a religious a non-Buddhist man, even when he realizes the truth of life, which is different from what he has believed in, he cannot leave his belief for that truth: this also means "emotional inversion".
The above "emotional crisis" seems simple but really is a dangerous hindrance of one's mind. The solution for it must be the practicing again and again one's regard of wisdom to have new emotion replacing the old.
Solution for "Morality Crisis"
Morality is also a value of life created by man's thinking or self-thought. It is understood as the "should do's'' and the "should not do's" for an individual, for his family, community and country which really are the production of man's thinking. So, when "thought crisis" appears, "morality crisis" comes into existence.
"Heart crisis" as mentioned is something of morality, something relating to morality; when "heart crisis" is present, "morality crisis" must exist.
In another aspect of human society, morality is known as the relationship among human beings in a society; when the sphere of economy is developed fast, that relationship must be changed out of one's mind. It is the same, when the policy, or the sphere of politics, in a society is changed, the relationship among men cannot remain as what it is. This causes a "morality crisis".
If people follow Lord Buddha's teachings on the Eightfold Noble Paths, and consider "morals group" (including right speech, right action and right livelihood) as morality on life, there will never be any "morality crisis" regardless of the change of life. This is a right solution for it.
Morals group is a way of life wearing no label. It does not have any meaning of any religion at all, so it may be applied in schools for students without any discrimination.
Is it right time for education to accept "morals group" as morality of modern schools?
Solution for "Environmental Crisis"
Environmental crisis is a hot problem people over the world are concerned much about.
As the author mentioned earlier, environmental crisis is environmental pollutions caused by ionizing radiation, nuclear fission, natural dusts, forest fires, transportation, incineration and other minor sources. This is the result of the fast industrial development, as said in the beginning of this work, which is very harmful; it also is the result of the lack of responsibility toward environment of people which may bring mass-destruction to human beings in a very near future. So the protection of environment should be done as early as possible. For protection, a philosophy and a way of education for environment are needed to arrange lots of things as follows:
Educating men to recognize the close relationship between human beings and nature by the doctrine of Dependent Origination or/and the five aggregates, so that they themselves may voluntarily protect environment.
Explaining to men the terrible dangers caused by pollutions.
Showing that men's desire for advantages and powers can cause suffering to people.
Suggesting what to do for environmental protection.
Such a philosophy and education, as the author has displayed through out this work, may be found from the doctrine of Dependent Origination and/or the five aggregates. This is solution for "environmental crisis" and for the safety of life on earth.
Solution for "Educational Crisis"
It is very evident that all the above crises are present because of the presence of a cause called "educational crisis".
If education is not based on a right concept of personality created by a regard of wisdom, it will lead to a wrong course of transferring empty knowledge's and unsuitable things of education to students, and will bring sufferings to life. Dominated by self-thought and self-perception, all standards of value in this education can only create an imaginative world for men to live, but not reality itself. What can people expect from this world if not a fateful loss of hope ? What can people expect from economy, politics, competition,..., together with desires, ill-will, illusion, hatred, etc. if not building up on Earth a colossal market for goods, weapons of mass destruction, etc. bringing harms and fears ?
If education is based on non-self thought regarding a man as a compounded thing of depend Origination or the five aggregates, but not an entity, education will find a right way for "what to educate" and "how to educate" men: the role of education then is helping persons see what they really are, what the world really is, and get rid of all causes of troubles and sufferings from them for happiness in the here-and-now. This is a positive solution for "educational crisis".
The above are current crises of human society and solutions for them
The history of human kind shows that self-thought of dualism has dominated human culture on Earth over thirty centuries, but the suffering of birth, sickness, old-age, and death caused by men's attachment and craving are still there, contradictions, fights, despairs, harms and fears of human beings more and more increase without solution. What can human beings expect from that way of culture?
Lord Buddha's teachings recorded in Pali pancanikàya suggest a new way of thought of non-self, which is different from the point of view of other religions and philosophies. This way of thought does not regard a human being or the world as an entity having a permanent substance, but as a conditioned and conditioning thing, it may bring human beings happiness in the present and interesting solutions if it is applied in actual life. These teachings may be used in modern schools and universities as a major subject of a study branch of philosophy; educational philosophy, educational psychology, educational psychotherapy, or personality theory. Why not? -This way of thought, or regard to things, will help education adjust personality theories which are unreal, adjust the educational spirit of competition which harms the spirit of co-operation; it will help students develop independent thought and creativeness, and effectively deal with their problems and troubles in daily life; lastly, it will suggest a standard of value based on happiness of individuals and the commonwealth but not on morality, based on wisdom but not on imaginative knowledge, based on human love and humanness but not on hatred or fighting; etc.
This is the reason why the author chose the topic entitled "Concept of personality revealed through Pancanikàya" as his Ph. D. thesis in Buddhist Studies. In choosing this topic, he realizes the difficulties in presenting Buddhist doctrine as a way of life and education for worldly people, and the difficulties in persuading others to accept that way. But, difficulty does not mean impossibility, so he comes to persuade himself to proceed with this research work by his belief in the condition of possibility. Let the work be tested, he thinks. What should come will come.
(1) : E. F. Schumacher, "Small is Beautiful" An Abacus book, Little Brown an Company (UK), Limited, London, 1993, p.77.
(2) : Ibid. p.78.
(3) : Introduction of "Small is Beautiful".. by the Publishing house.
(4) : Albert Einstein, "Ideas and Opinions" Crown Publishers Inc., 1954, 11th impression, 1993, p.60.
(5) : Ibid., p.66.
(6) : Bertrand Russell, "Education and the Social Order" Un-win-paper-backs, London, Sydney Wellington, Printed in Great Britain by Cox & Wyman Ltd, Reading, Reprinted 1988, p.21.