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Friday, March 21, 2008

Advent of Maithree Buddha Sasanaya

Advent of Maithree Buddha Sasanaya

Part one of a discussion series on Self in Buddhism

By U. Sapukotana

- Daily Mirror

Homage to the Master who helped us to distinguish the hardwood from the bark and to see the essence of the ‘Tathagata Darshanaya.’


( This note is written with the full realization of the limitation of the ‘word’ and language to communicate the Truth which is beyond words or language).

The less known sculpture in the Islamabad museum where in the same statue, Gautama Buddha is shown and the other side shows Maithree Bodhisatta, conveys a strong message. The message is that Maithree Buddha Sasana is the continuation of the Sasana of the Gautama Buddha in its pure form.

In the greatest intellectual dialogue recorded in human history between the Buddha and Arahant Subhuti in the Maha Pragna Paramita Sutra, Buddha explicitly states as follows: Towards the end of the Sasana ( (dispensation)when the original Buddha message is corrupted by other teachings and also by misinterpretations which naturally come with passage of time, the original pure Dhamma will be unfolded. (Chap. 3.4)

It is with conviction and a strong sense of responsibility that we announce to the world that Maithree Buddha Sasana is already established originating in Sri Lanka and is steadily spreading to other parts of the world. It may not be a coincidence that, for the first time in history, a statue of Buddha Maithree (not the Maithree Bodhisatta) has been built in a temple in Matugama which is a replica of the 500 foot statue of the Maithree Buddha, now being constructed in Kusinara.

We have often wondered why this beautiful message so logical, fully in consonance with the Truth as revealed by Buddha Gautama does not reach the ears of many. Two references made by the Buddha gave the answer this question. In the Samiddhi Sutta, prince Jayasena inquires from a young monk Samiddhi what Buddha’s teaching is. The monk succinctly explains the teachings as he understood. Prince Jayasena scoffs at him, ridicules him and goes his way. The monk was frustrated and relates the episode to the Budha, Buddha’s reaction was very revealing. “How possibly can the ordinary person, enjoying the senses, reveling in the senses, lost in the senses comprehend a Truth which is beyond the senses, so profound, so subtle.

Elsewhere, Buddha says ‘This Dhamma, -moving upstream (in the direction of the original source), skilled, deep and subtle is not easily comprehended by those lost in attachment( (Raga) and aversion ( Dosa)and shrouded by the thick veil of illusion “Raga dosa Paretehi nayam Dhammo susambuddho, Patisota gamin nipunam gambiram duddasm anum – Ragaratta na dakkhinti Mohakkhandena Avuna”

We know how much the concept of the ‘person’ the ‘I ‘ is ingrained in us, penetrated to our bone and marrow, through millions of years of conditioning. Hence a teaching which rejects the ‘ego’ and the ‘I’ will not be very palatable to many. Notwithstanding there are people spread out in the four corners of the world, whose innate potential ( Parami) has reached maturity. Few as they are, for their benefit this Dhamma is shared in the true spirit of Bodhisattas.

A brief review of the salient features of the maitri buddha sasanaya ( dispensation)

All Buddhas reveal to the world the same truth, ’the things as they are” ( bhuta tatha tata). some of the key teachings, buried in the sands of time and sometimes distorted with mischievous intent get surfaced as the maitri buddha sasana unfolds itself. some such areas are given below: ( few of them are elaborated in the main note)

  • The total emphasis of the Maithriee Buddha Sasanaya (MBS) is on the escape from birth and death. All that happens between birth and death is sickness and decay. It happens so fast that the naked eye cannot capture this process. Enlightened Vision or Darshanaya which puts an end to the cycle of births and deaths, can be can be reached during this very life. It gives relatively low priority to whatever deed, word or thought that perpetuates life , even in seemingly comfortable circumstances as they are ephemeral. . Every effort should be made to escape from birth and death in this very life given the opportunity of being born as an intelligent human being. To postpone it t to a future birth is absolute folly (stupidity) in view of the longevity of Sansara and the uncertainty as to how we will manifest ourselves in the future .
  • The foundation of the teachings of MBS is the absence of the ‘ego’ entity.
  • ‘Darshanaya’ or ‘seeing’ takes predominance over ‘thinking’ ’intellectualizing’ Ehi passiko Bhagavata Dhammo – come and see for yourself. A problem created by the mind cannot be solved by mind. As Albert Einstein sums up, “ A problem cannot be resolved by the same thinking that created it”
  • The essence of Buddhadhamma is “Uppada vaya”.- “Anicca Vata Sankhra Uppadavayadhammino” ceasing inherent in arising and not Uppada, tithi, bhanga –arising, continuation and ceasing. ( a mischievous interpolation?)
  • Whereas Vedic teachings talk about the ‘cultivation’ of the mind, Buddha revealed a Truth which is beyond the ‘Mind’. Cetovimutti- emancipation from the mind. In the Ratana Sutta’ Buddha speaks of Arahants who have acquired the light by literally ‘burning’ the mind ( Ye suppa yutta manasa dalhena)
  • Understanding the Tiparivatta – the three turning circles referred to in ‘Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta’-is a prerequisite for seeing the Truth of Life. What are the three Vattas we are talking about? They are ‘Kamma vatta’ (deep sleep), ‘Vipaka vatta’ (Light sleep were we see dreams) and “Kilesa vatta’ (the so called awake state dominated by the five senses).The Vattas keep on turning endlessly ‘ad infinitum’ independent of each other. From one Vatta we cannot see the other two. Eg. We cannot see the awake state when we are in ‘deep sleep’ and similarly when we are in deep sleep we cannot see the light sleep or the awake state.
  • Only ‘looking within’ will lead us to the Truth. ‘looking’ within’ ( in effect means observing the process that incessantly goes on in our five senses)-by retracing the steps back to the source- the origin or going ‘upstream’. We go back as far as the point that we cannot penetrate with ‘thinking’ –eg. Deep Sleep. The ‘world’ as the Buddha saw is in this fathom long body. ‘Buddha Nature’ too is within us.- “Samano natthi Bahire.”
  • The most salient feature in the ‘MBS’ is the exploration of DEEP SLEEP. It should be the object of reflection and focus (call it “Kammatthana” in meditation parlance) “Deep Sleep” where ‘I’ nor a ‘person’ nor the ‘world’ exists. Ascetic Siddhatrta’s hypothesis that the ego does not exist was proved when he explored Deep Sleep. There is a state within our own life where the ‘ego’ does not exist. Eg. Deep Sleep. . This bold exploration into the dark recesses of Deep Sleep helped ascetic Siddhartha to attain Enlightened Vision ( This aspect is discussed in detail in the main note.)
  • These Vattas are separated from each other by TIME. Time is a concept hitherto unexplained by even most eminent scientists The message of the MBS is that TIME does not exist in reality as a measurable phenomenon. It stands like a screen or a barrier between the Vattas. This TIME barrier does not exist in the minds of Buddhas or Arahanths. Therefore all three Vattas become one and gets extinguished into nothingness. Buddha sums up his total follows: “Kala Vimutto, Nissaranam, Nibbanam”- Whoever escapes from the clutches TIME, or conquers TIME, is no more attached and attains Nibbana” MBS does not recognize the past, future nor the present moment.
  • MBS recognizes only two states of existences. The human world and the animal world. In ’ Saccha Vibhanga Sutta’, Buddha explains ‘birth’ as follows: ‘Arising of a mass and the acquisition of ayatanas . “ Khandanam Patubhavo, Ayatananam patilabho”. Then what about the imaginary beings like Devas, Brahmas, Bhutas etc. Why did Buddha speak of Devas Brahmas etc. in the Dhammacakkapavattana sutta and elsewhere? Buddha knows that they are creations of the mind. However he had to use the conventional parlance to describe the Truth that he saw. What he says in effect is the following: ‘I have seen the Truth hitherto not seen by ‘your’ Devas, Bhahmas etc.’
  • The texts speaks of the thirty one states of existence including four lower states, six heavenly states, the state of a human being, sixteen Brahma worlds and four Arupa Dhyana states, which goes to make thirty one states. Elsewhere we hear of the thirty two great signs of the Buddha’s body thirty two “Maha Purusha lakshanas” It gives the impression that these lucky ( mangala) signs are sort of ‘tattooed’ in Buddha’s body. This is a gross misunderstanding of the symbolic significance of the signs of a Buddha. It simply means that he has gone beyond the thirty one states of the mind where ordinary people revel in.
  • MBS recognizes that ‘Buddha Nature’ is present within all of us in embryonic form. We do not allow it to blossom because it is covered with a thick veil created by our dense senses.
  • MBS recognizes the world we see with the senses as an illusion. ( Maya). When we take the impressions (Arammanas) from the five senses they seep into the second layer of Rupa , Vedana sanna, sankhara, and vinnana. The end product is the work of the magician – an illusion. It creates a mountain of shadows (Nippanca Rupa) which eventually becomes the force driving us and guiding us to the wilderness of Sansara The senses create a perfect illusion of a ‘ person’ that did not exist in Deep Sleep’ when we get up from deep sleep. The parallel is the Alchemist giving the appearance of ‘gold’ to ordinary metals using a lapis. The raw materials in this case are the four elements. But when filtered through the lapis, ie five senses, it gives the perfect illusion of a ‘person’ whereas there is no ‘person in reality .( The process is discussed in the main note)
  • The world of the senses recognize six truths based on sense experiences. The MBS recognizes only one Truth, the state beyond duality, Yamakaya
  • “Punarutpatti” rebirth as we understand is a Vedic concept. It recognizes ‘Time’ What Buddha taught was “Punarbhava” - “Akuppa me Ceto Vimuiti, Ayamanti ma Jati natthi dani Punabbhavo”. The latter in effect means the continued perpetuation of life through the nourishment it gets from the sense doors.

1 comment:

Chandrashanth said...

"MBS recognizes only two states of existences. The human world and the animal world", koheda mehema kiyala thiyenne ?

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