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Sunday, February 6, 2011

he crux of Buddha’s teachings

he Dhammachakkapavattana Sutta:

The crux of Buddha’s teachings

The Buddha, the Blessed One, once said “Ananda, there are four sacred places, a pious Buddhist should visit during his life-time and look upon them with veneration. They are Lumbini - the birth place of Siddhartha Gautama. Buddhagaya - where Prince Siddhartha attained the bliss of Enlightenment by eradicating impure thoughts and defilements; Isipatana Migadaya, where the Great Teacher, Mahapurisa delivered His first Sermon Dhammachakkapavattana Sutta to Panchavaggiya Bhikkhus - namely Vappa, Bhaddhiya, Mahanama, Assaji and Kondanna.

This place was called Isipatana, where holy men who had been practising meditation in the snow - clad Himalayan Ranges. Kusinara is the other place of importance, where Gautama Buddha passed away. Perhaps, this is the only place where devotees feel sad and find it difficult to hide their tears upon entering the shrine, where the Buddha’s statue is kept in a reclining position.

After attaining Enlightenment the Buddha visited the Panchavaggiya ascetics. At first they decided not to accept Him. When the Buddha came closer they arranged a suitable seat and offered water to drink and even washed his feet.

There are 18 stanzas in the Dhammachakkapavattana Sutta. Following the “Dutiyaka bhanovara,” this Sutta is found in “Atirekani Sutta Suttani” and it is excerpted from “Samyutta Nikaya”. The discourse set motion the Wheel of righteousness .

Evam me sutam: Thus, it has been heard by me: Ekam Samayam Bhagava Baranasiyam Viharati Isipatane Migadaye.

Once upon a time the Buddha was sojourning in Baranasi at Isipatane in the deer park.

The bedrock of Buddhism lies in this Sutta, the first of its kind. It provides an indepth study of the Buddhist philosophy. The Sutta, includes the four noble truths, the core of the Buddha’s Teachings.

He analysed the human mind.

The Buddha explained to the five ascetics, that enjoying sensual pleasures, Kamasukallikanu Yoga, and self mortification - Attakilamatanu Yoga, should not be resorted to. Dve me bhikkave anta pabbajitena na sevitabba, yo cayam kamesu kama sukkhalikanuyogo, hino, gammo, pothujjaniko, anariyo, anatthasamitito oh monks! There are these two extremes, which should not be resorted to by a recluse; There is the attachment to worldly enjoyment in respect of sensual pleasures. They are low, common, belonging to the average man - Ignoble, connected with misery. There is this attachment to self-motification full of suffering, ignoble, connected with misery, and unhappiness.

Buddhism or Buddhist philosophy is meant for the wise. The deep philosophy embodied in Dhammachakkapavattana Sutta proves this beyond doubt. In the second stanza the Buddha stated: Etete, Bhikkave, Ubhoante Anupagamma, majjimapatipadha, Thathagathena Abisambuddha Chakku Karani - Nanakarani .... And oh monks! The Middle path, has been reclused by the Thathagatha as producing insight and knowledge, which leads to serenity, special knowledge, hasten enlightment - Nibbana.

In the third stanza of the Dhammachakkapavattana Sutta the Buddha stressed the importance of the noble eight-fold path. Right vision, right intention, right word, right occupation, right livelihood, right effort, right mind fullness and right concentration.

It is followed in the fourth stanza regarding the noble truth of suffering - birth, old age, illness, death, association with unpleasant people and disassociation from the beloved is suffering - Jathi - Jara - Viyadhi, Marana. ...... “This is true life which we face even now.

Another noteworthy feature of the Dhammachakkapavattana Sutta is in the stanza or verses 8 - 11, The Buddha states that in realising the noble truth of suffering, with reference to the doctrines unheard of before, His inward eye arose - Chakku Udapadi - cognition arose Nanam Udapadi - wisdom arose - Panna udapadi Knowledge arose - Vijja Udapadi - light arose Aloko Udapadi - with the thought.

This line is repeated 12 times. It shows clearly that Buddhism is for the intelligent, and the wise. There is no blind faith. Mind is the forerunner.

The Majjimapatipada and the eight stanza of eight-fold path referred to above, lead to physical and mental uplift for true happiness - Nibbana - the greatest bliss that one could achieve.

In the 12th stanza of the Dhammachakkapavattana Sutta, Yava kivanca me Bhikkave imesu Chatusu Ariyasaccha Evam tiparivattam Dvadesakaram .....

The Gautama Buddha stated in the Dhammachakkapavattana Sutta that this was his last birth. Ayamantimi - Natthidanni - Punnabbavoti - The Buddha said that the greatest Bliss is Nibbana the state of absolute happiness. He interpreted the world and showed the path to change it for the better. The Devas (gods) of the Earth, transmitted the message to the heavenly abode, Chatturmaharajika. From there, it was transmitted to the Tusitha, Yama, Nirmanarati Paranimmitavasavatti, Brahamaparrisajja, Brahamapurohita, Mahabrahama, Paritiabba, Appamanasubha, Subhakinnaka, Vetappola, Aviha, Atappa, Sudassa, Suddasi and Akanthika.

This is clearly shown in the stanzas verses 12 - 16 in the Dhammachakkapavattana Sutta. Another, notable feature in this Sutta was that tens and thousands were joyous.

The rays of light shone, where knowledge based Buddhist philosophy spread throughout India at that time. Today, Buddhism is practised by over 600 million people in the world. At the end of the Dhammachakkapavattana Sutta, ascetic Kondanna gained knowledge. He was the first to realise the truth and was known as Annasi Kondanna.Of the 30 important Suttas in the Pirith Pothvahanse - Book of the Stanzas of protection which ends with the Atanatiya Sutta,

The Dhammachakapavattana Sutta is very important and Theravada Buddhists mostly recite that Sutta, as it embodied the Buddhist philosophy.

Sabbe Satta Bhavantu Sukhitatta - May all living beings be well and happy.

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