The Sky which forms the firmament, and permeates the whole universe as space including the interstices in human and animal and vegetable anatomies, is a great God. The Air which fills the hollow between the sky and the earth, which rages as storm and blows as breeze, and which sustains the respiratory system in all that is alive, is also a great God. The Earth which bears all burdens, which bestows boundless bounties from beneath and above its surface, and which is the symbol of forgiveness and forbearance, is also a great Goddess.
The Water which is clustered in the clouds, which pours down as rain, which flows in rivers and springs, which gets stored up in tanks and lakes and seas and oceans, which showers itself as snow and gets settled as ice on mountain tops, is also a great God. The Fire which blazes in the sun, which heats up every hearth, and which is stored as energy in all fuels, is also a great God. The birds, the fishes, and the animals are the venerable vehicles of Gods and Goddesses, and are revered as much as their riders.
Nearer home, the mother is a Goddess and the father a God, to be obeyed while they are in their prime and served when they grow old. The Hindu psyche has always harboured a deep sense of sanctity towards all elements and forces of Mother Nature, in all their forms and transforms. What is more significant, this Hindu psyche intimates that as all that is without is also within, all that is within must also be without (yatha piNDe tatha brahmaNDe).
This power of the Hindu psyche persists till long after a Hindu gets converted to Christianity or Islam, and invites frowns and fierce lectures from the missionary and the mullah.
It would not do for Hindu society to fight shy of this pervasive Hindu psyche which is as old as the oldest Hindu shastras, the Vedas, and perhaps much older.
Western sociology is trying to explain this psyche as a hangover from a primitive past when human reason was not so developed and could not discriminate between fact and fancy, or, worse still, when a “puerile priestcraft” succeeded in deceiving people for its own private profit. Similarly, the Muslim mullah frowns on this Hindu psyche as shirk, that is, a mixing up of the divine with the mundane.
What is this other psyche which is suffused with such smug self-righteousness, and which finds such satanic satisfaction in hurting the deepest sentiments of people belonging to another faith?
Let us for the time being forget the Freudian analysis of Christianity and Islam, though that analysis provides an intimate peep into the psyche of these primitive creeds. The term Monotheism casts such a magic spell on certain minds that they stop at its literal meaning – the concept of one God as opposed to many gods. It is only man who is placed on a higher pedestal because the Almighty God blew His own breath into the handful of dust which He used in order to manufacture Adam, the male ancestor of the human race.
But it is an unpardonable folly and a cardinal sin for man to fancy that he shares even an iota of God’s divinity. As man is likely to be carried away by the freedom of will which has been bestowed on him, and forget his creator, God has been sending prophets from time to time to restrain him from worship of false gods and philosophical speculation, and to turn his thoughts towards a higher purpose – obedience to God’s will as revealed through the prophets.
The supreme purpose of man’s life is to worship this extra-cosmic God with whom man cannot communicate directly, lead a life of piety according to rules laid down in the final revelation which man cannot question, and seek the intercession of the only son or the last prophet whose claims man cannot scrutinize in terms of his natural reason or normal moral sense. Whether all this applies to woman as well has been a point of dispute among Christian and Muslim theologians.
An added duty of all true believers is to band together in a Church or an Ummah for propagating the only true religion, and to prop up the only son or the last prophet by all means including force and fraud. There is no limit to what these holy wars can legitimately do to the unbelievers except the limit imposed by power equations at any time. One may spend a lifetime searching this theology of Monotheism for a factual or rational proof of what it proclaims so pompously. History is witness that Christianity as well as Islam have always expanded by the power of the sword, and seldom by power of any truth contained in their scriptures. It is small wonder, therefore, that this politics of power masquerading as religion, cannot understand the language of spirituality which speaks in terms of a Divinity secret in everything, everywhere, and which enables human beings to dwell constantly in the company of Gods and Goddesses. Hindu society has not only to recover the source of its own psyche which speaks in the language of Gods and Goddesses, it has also to realize that the psyche of Christianity and Islam hides vulgar materialism and imperialist ambition under a welter of high-sounding verbiage. Let us seperate the spirit of the Vedic scriptures from what the followers wish to do in this world today. But harvesters come and trash talk our God and the same happens with the extenders of dawah.
And unless a person is very evolved, a Christian will look at another faith through the conditioning of the Bible and vice verse.
And on this whole West Asian premise of theism, the Vedic ethos are beyond them.The Vedas talk about the union of many forces into ONE and the ONE that manifests by many forces. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad has a whole chapter explaining the bi-directional premise of ONE manifestiing in myriad forms and the myriad forces rolling into ONE.
The author makes some more points, but since Judaism rejects both Jesus and Muhammad, they are irrelevant here.
Our online magazine was established with the vision of delivering accurate coverage of all subjects of interest to Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains and the wider Dharmic community.
I am really thankful to the holder of this site who has shared this wonderful article at here. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is needed to get setup?
If you had a bitter experience in you previous sexual encounters, you can lose interest in sexual activities.
Bless upOlufunlola on RELIGION VERSUS SPIRITUALITY Thanks for fleshing out the different elements of religion and spirituality with a fine tooth comb. Enter your email address to follow Embracing Spirituality and receive notifications of new posts by email. Maya calendar prepared by Calixta GabrielMuch has been speculated by foreign writers about the “end” of the Maya calendar, including that it is the end of the world. We perpetuated the end-of-the-world notion in the bibliographies of the papers (and others in books) that were written in the late 1970s. Meanwhile, the Mayas kept their 5,000+-year-old Cosmovision, which includes the calendar, much to themselves. CLICK HERE to connect with Guatemalan Businesses: Restaurants, Hotels, Services, Shopping, Health Services, Real Estate and more. With a readership of 20,000 per month, Revue is distributed free to tourists and residents throughout Guatemala. Supported by our advertisers, you can find all you need to know about Restaurants, Hotels, Shops & Services, Tours & Travel, and Real Estate in Guatemala. Some of these divinities are installed in temples as icons, and worshipped with well-defined rituals. The mountains which soar up till they become snow-capped are the abodes of Gods and Goddesses.
It manifests itself not only as heat but also as light which shines in the stars, which reveals itself in a riot of colours, which endows everything with form, and which lends vision to every eye. They are to be remembered with reverence, and their protection is to be sought after they pass away and become pitris.
Every family has a kula-devata, every community a jati-devata, every village a grama-devata, every city a nagara-devata, and every region a janapada-devata. It, therefore, invests everything outside with life, with consciousness, with thought and feeling, and also with will. This power of the Hindu psyche is illustrated by the story of a Hindu lady in Kerala who got converted to Christianity for some reason.
It would not do for Hindu society to disown this deep-seated Hindu psyche which sustains practically the whole of Hindu religion and culture. The Western “Science” of Comparative Religion, which is only another name for Christian theology, is trying to pooh-pooh this psyche as a vestige of primitive animism which was at best only a crude form of religious awakening. He pronounces that Hindu psyche has been heavily “polluted” by pantheism which sees a God or Goddess “in every bug that bites, and every cockroach that crawls”.
He sees no future for Hindus, either here or hereafter, unless they accept Allah as the only true god, and Muhammad as the last prophet of Allah. They are also crusaders and mujahids who believe that Hindus should either be converted to the “true faith”, or killed and consigned to eternal hell-fire. Hindu society will have to understand this other psyche if it wants to save itself from the inroads of Christianity and Islam, both of which are eating into its vitals with the aid of international allies and resources.
Let us have a look at the philosophy underlying their doctrines, and find out if they have any share in the spiritual seeking which is intrinsic to human beings and which stands systematized in Sanatana Dharma.
But they share a common view of what they invoke as the creator and controller of the cosmos, as well as of the cosmic process. But the literal meaning tells us little, almost nothing, about its theological inspiration or its practical implications. He created the cosmos out of Nothing in order to demonstrate his almightiness and, consequently, kept himself outside and above the Cosmos. Woman cannot share man’s status because Eve, the female ancestor of the human race, was carved out of Adam’s rib without the benefit of God’s breath being blown into it.
The only privilege which man enjoys as God’s best creation is to lord it over the lower creation which God has made for man’s use and benefit.
If man can thus bid good-bye to his critical faculty and conscience, “the seats of the Satan”, he can hope for an eternal heaven at the end of the only life God has granted to him.
Nevertheless, this much is clear that Islam at least assigns the same role to woman in heaven as she is expected to play on this earth – to serve man in servile obedience and to provide sexual pleasure to her male master. The fraternity thus formed is expected to invite all unbelievers to get converted to the only true creed, and to declare a crusade or jihad against all those who refuse to be persuaded peacefully for saving themselves from eternal perdition and for securing an eternal heaven. The least that the wars should do at the first available opportunity is to destroy the false gods of the unbelievers, and the unholy temples where those gods are worshipped. A time comes when God imparts his final revelation to the only son or the last prophet, and retires to a well-deserved rest after entrusting the fate of his world as well as of his creatures to the keeping of the son or the prophet. It was the muscle-power of the Muslim which came to your rescue).” The God of the Bible is in no better position. This politics is too busy amassing wealth and power and pleasures of a material world to care for things which belong to the realm of Spirit. The Chakra is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. I even saw Indian university students parroting it (like children) after their teacher said it in class. But, come to think of it, I’m not sure if Jesus would even qualify as an avatar in the minds of many Hindus.
One of the many things that the Vedic scriptures espouse,pertains to renunciation of fruit of results of action.
It is quite possible that there are entities within the Vedic fold that talk about the Vedic view of salvation being better than some other way to salvation. So there is a world of difference between Hindus spreading messages about thier faith as opposed to conversions and dawahs.

It is a bi-directional premise,which, the Arabs and colonial Europeans (based on their respective conditioning) could never understand.
Man has the responsibility of tending to the garden of God, and cannot indiscriminately eat whichever animal he wants (this being a matter of Jewish dietary law), and is also required to have regard for their lives ( Proverbs 12:10). In the end, let there be no misunderstanding of monotheism as a philosophy, just because adherents of Christianity and Islam have been aggressors.
I'll start off with 1) a shorter, "easier reading" narration of the Buddha's life, with a bit more emphasis on his enlightenment experience, that I've used for slide shows on the Buddha's story.
This website is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with a little originality!
Your article shed claLady T on LIFE IS A CYCLE-WE MUST BE ABLE TO BALANCE Family wah gwan!HAil up Obara wicked people are the balance in the wheel and you done know good people have fi hol on to Festus Adebanjo on L.W. According to Professor David Stuart (Mesoamerican Center at the University of Texas), much of this evolved out of the book Mexican Mystique (1975), which we all read in our classes at the university. The end of the world could happen in 2000, in the Maya world of 2102 and don’t forget Armageddon.
With 20 protectors, these include: aq’ab’al (bat), imox (crocodile), k’at (spider), iq’ (hummingbird), kej (deer), kan (snake), q’anil (rabbit), kame (owl), b’atz’ (monkey), toj (shark), aj (armadillo), tz’i’ (coyote), tz’ikin (eagle, quetzal), i’x (jaguar), ajmaq (bee, buzzard), e (wild cat), kawoq (turtle), no’j (woodpecker), ajpu (conch shell) and tijax (fish).
Promoting the "Best of Guatemala" through articles on Travel, Food, Culture, People, Business, Health, and Community Service. And it harbours in its vastnesses many other Gods such as the Sun and the Moon and the Stars, and Goddesses such as the Dawn and the Dusk. The wife who looks after the family welfare, who brings up the children, and who participates in all sacraments, is a Goddess. The Bharatamata who came to be worshipped as rashtra-devata in more recent times, and who inspired the national song, Vande Mataram, is a projection of the same Hindu psyche which sees a God or a Goddess in everything, everywhere. In fact, it sees the human body as a magnificent mansion in building which all these elements and forces of Mother Nature have participated, and feels grateful towards what it greets as great Gods and Goddesses. The inanimate thus becomes animate, the unconscious becomes conscious, the thoughtless becomes thoughtful, the insensitive becomes sensitive, and the inert becomes active.
The missionary who had presided over the conversion paid a visit to her home one day, and found her worshipping the old Hindu Gods and Goddesses of the family. In fact, Hindu society has to go back to the source of this psyche, reawaken to the spiritual centre which gave birth to this psyche, and reaffirm an abiding faith in its reaches and ramifications. He believes that Hindus can be “cured” of this “perverse” psyche only by being baptised in the Christian Church, and by accepting Jesus Christ as the one and only saviour. Destruction and defilement of the images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, demolition of Hindu temples and monasteries, desecration of Hindu places of pilgrimage, and burning of Hindu shastras are the fundamental tenets of their faiths.
In the language of theology, they describe their basic dogma as Monotheism as opposed to what they denounce as Polytheism and Pantheism. But if man wavers, or questions, or criticizes, or tries to understand, or judge these mysteries by using his own mind or moral sense, he becomes bound for an eternal hell from which there is no escape, and where the torment turns worse and worse with the ticking of every moment.
The only concession extended to woman after she enters heaven is to be spared the pains of maternity and old age. The Church is expected to secure the aid of its secular arm, and the Ummah is expected to convert itself into a theocratic state in order to carry forward the struggle. The holy warriors are under no obligation at all to prove that they are better human beings as compared to those they are expected to convert, or kill, or enslave, or subjugate. For, all the time it assumes what it wants to prove, and proves what it has already assumed. In due course, the son or the prophet also is dead and gone after bequeathing his monopoly over truth and virtue to the Church or the Ummah.
Kat kar rakh diye kuffar ke lashkar kisne (But who did draw their swords in defence of your name and fame? They encourage people to do their duty but expect them to evolve to a level, where they do not lay in antcipation of results.
If I were to cut through and park aside the various verses of NT (on miracles and many events in the life of Jesus Christ, his birth to virgin Mary etc) and objectively look at some of what Jesus Christ said in some places, I can easily integrate what Vedanta tells with what Jesus said. Monotheism, says the author, speaks of a god who is extra-cosmic and is above and outside of the universe. Although Hinduism and Judaism are two different philosophical systems, they share the goal of learning to know and experience the One God, and can coexist in mutual respect.
This is followed by 2) a longer, much more detailed account of the Buddha's life and 3) his teachings from several works in the Pali Canon.
Written by an author who is not an anthropologist, it was arguably one of the very few books with any reference, at that time, to the Maya calendar. With no religious freedom in Spain or England in the 16th century, the Spanish required that everyone attend the Catholic Church. Indeed, the Mayas considered the date of the beginning of the new Maya cycle in the calendar as a re-birth of their civilization. Hindu shastras, saints and sages have paid homage to many Gods and Goddesses in many sublime hymns.
These celestial Gods and Goddesses are worshipped in their own right, particularly the Sun and the Moon and the Dawn. Some creepers and plants and trees are veritable Gods and Goddesses, harkening us to pay our homage to them. It becomes the sap in all vegetables and fruits, and circulates as blood in all animals and humans. The Fire God is worshipped daily in the family hearth, is regarded as the ambassador of Gods in every sacrifice, and is a witness to the sanctity of all sacraments. The Guru who is the repository of wisdom and learning, is also a God to be propitiated with gifts as profuse as one can afford.
It is a belief common among Hindus that the Gods and Goddesses worshipped by them add up to thirty-three crores.
It is this basic dogma which needs a philosophical probe deeper than that to which it has been subjected so far. Man can eat every bird and fish and animal for God has created them specifically for man’s consumption. Their only qualification is that they believe in the only son or the last prophet, and follow the only true religion. At its best, it is a syllogism of which the major as well as the minor premise are arbitrary assertions. The Church or the Ummah, in turn, is dominated by a single man or a clique that can control and use a mighty military machine which has been built in the meanwhile.
Who was it that slaughtered the armies of the infidels for your sake?).” It is obvious that the Allah of Islam had to be thrust down people’s throats at the point of the sword.
The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of The Chakra and The Chakra News does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same. Be it the concept of trinity or when Jesus says – me and my Father are one, it touches the core of the Advaita philosphy of Vedanta, where,upon dissolution, the created goes back to where the entity got created from.
It is my preroagative to worship the sustaining aspect of the Supreme One or the ONE Supreme Being that integrates the triad of creation,dissolution and sustenance. And although the patriarchs Abraham and Jacob had concubines, these were servants of their wives, whom the wives themselves gave to their husbands. While Mayas were exempt from the Inquisition, the language, cultural and geographical barriers kept them isolated much from the Spanish descendants and “ladinos” (Spanish culture Guatemalan) over the centuries.
Lakes like the Manasarovara are specially sacred because Gods and Goddesses play their games in and around them.
The sky is empty space, and the Sun and the Moon and the Stars are only bright spots in that sky.
And man can marry and divorce and keep as his concubines any number of women, at any stage of his three score and ten years. What is the proof that what the son or the prophet pronounces as a divine revelation comes from God? In the final round, it all ends up as imperialist aggression against other people in which a veneer of religious verbiage is retained in order to sustain the self-righteousness of the aggressor. Infact, many Hindus look at Mother Mary to be the typical Mother Shakiti (feminine principle of Vedic Godhead) and have no qualms entering a Church. Also, the author had written ” What is this other psyche which is suffused with such smug self-righteousness, and whicy finds such satanic satisfaction in hurting the deepest sentiments of people belonging to another faith?” While he is right in asking this question, why do I feel that in the lines that followed, the same question can be asked of the author also? And as per Genesis 37:2, we see that the concubines had the same status as the wives of Jacob and their children were all treated alike. An exemplar of the highest freedom, and a wise counselor sharing exceedingly subtle psychological and spiritual truths, the Buddha also founded a large sangha or spiritual community for almsmen, almswomen and devout lay supportersa€”by which north Indian society and later all Asia were indelibly transformed. There are also now excellent online resources available for the study of different traditions of Buddhism. The King who protects us from evildoers and presides over the welfare of his praja is also a God. Matter is absolutely material, and animals and birds are mere brutes unless they are domesticated when they show some improvement. The idols of the conquered people are destroyed and their temples pillaged, not because their Gods have been found to be false but because an imperialist always aims at destroying the self-respect of a people upon whom he wants to secure a stranglehold.
The same can be said of the Jehovah of Christianity, though no Christian poet has had the honesty of Iqbal to come out with the naked truth in a frank and forthright manner. In essence, it is about someone giving it their best shot but then results are always not gonna match your expectations.It is important to accept the results may not always be the way you thought it wuld be.
And so on, it is an endless exercise in casuistry with no reference to human experience or human reason at any point. It is in the nature of imperialism to indulge in cultural genocide on the slightest pretext, or at the first favourable opportunity. While the author is right in saying that nothing in the universe can share in God’s divinity, the very notion of what is divine is different in the monotheistic religions. Widely revered as a€?the enlightened teacher of gods and men (satthA?devamanussA?), his ministry unfolded not just for humans but extended into subtle interdimensional realms. This is the oldest, simplest tradition, tracing itself right back to the words of the Buddha as recorded in the Tipitika (Triple Basket) Pali-language scriptural Canon of sutta-texts.
Times that by 13 cycles, you get 260 days for the sacred calendar (which is also the duration of pregnancy). He taught celestial devas stuck in the heavens, demonic asuras mad with power, haunted and haunting a€?hungry ghosta€? petas, and hapless dwellers of the hellish purgatories that their states are temporary, changeable, caused by deluded clinging to a separative self-sense with its sundry attachments and aversions. It mainly involves the ongoing meditation practice known as vipassanA?, or insightful a€?clear-seeinga€?a€”usually paying attention to breath sensations or other body sensations, and noticing how all arising experience is incessantly changing, not solid.
Two circles work together so the agricultural calendar is 365 days (20 x 18 days + 5 days for feasting).

Of course, modern physics has revealed the same thing about the worlda€”which is realized to be mere vibrations of mysterious energy fields. Yet all beings, he affirmed, can be released from the ignorant fiction of a€?myselfa€? into the final freedom of nibbA?na, the a€?blowing outa€? or a€?extinctiona€? of egotisma€™s terrible fire. Professor Stuart indicates that the Maya calculations go into octillion years (yes, that is a lot of zeros).
An authentic realization of this profound insight is called nibbA?na, better known in the later Buddhist Sanskrit language as nirvA?na. Out of this unconditioned Reality arise loving-kindness, sympathetic joy, compassion and equanimity for all beings within the cosmic dream of life.
21st, 2012 we are coming up to the 13 Baktun, which marks a BIG new cycle (much like a millennium x 5+).
The early Buddhists and the TheravA?da Buddhism that grew out of this earliest development don't like to speak about Spirit or God (unlike Hindus, Jews, Christians or Muslims), because this could and often does degenerate into mere conceptual knowledge. The earth, water, air and fire point to a God Who is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and of great lovingkindness and truth (Exodus 34:6).
More realistically, as scholars have shown, a settled form of Chan monasticism did not begin until the latter 600s CE and then spread more widely under the considerable influence of the illustrious sage Mazu (709-88) and his followers.
In the late 12th century and especially the 13th century, after flourishing in China along five major lineages, this Chan Buddhism came to Japan, where it is found in two main lineages or sects: Rinzai Zen and SA?tA? Zen. Rinzai Zen teachers try to boggle the mind so as to propel a person right back HERE to their True Nature as pure Awareness, utterly simple Is-ness, the Groundless Ground of Being which is completely formless yet, paradoxically, the very source and substance of all forms of experience.
Narain persuasively support the traditional scholarly date that the Buddha expired either in 486 or 483 BCE. SA?tA? usually invites one to simply demonstrate one's primordial Buddha-nature (Awareness) by serenely "just sitting" (shikantaza), walking (kinhin), eating, working, etc. Both Rinzai and SA?tA? Zen masters appreciate the need for authentically living the supreme, irreversible, perfect enlightenment, anuttara-samyak-sambodhi. But unlike the Rinzai Zen tradition, in SA?tA? there is no fervent striving for a great breakthrough "enlightenment experience" (kensho or, at a deeper level, satori). Instead, there is the assumption that when we act simply, naturally, and with clear awareness, we plainly demonstrate our original enlightened nature in a€?extraordinarily ordinarya€? fashion. The SA?tA? Zen tradition thus involves a calmer, less urgent attitude, though clearly there is a sense of deepening in one's expression of the Truth. Rinzai Zen has a greater sense of drama and theatrics to it, especially in the ferocious mondo exchanges between master and disciple over the demonstrating of "answers" to the kA?ans.
Note too that both of these Japanese Zen traditions were influenced by the martial samurai tradition, so a certain formality characterizes many (most) Zen centers in America, whereas the Chinese Cha€™an Buddhist centers, Korean Son Buddhist centers, and the vipassanA? tradition of the TheravA?dins are, generally speaking, usually rather less formal. Artisans of many cultures have given us a wealth of images of this poignant moment when the spirit of the Earth rose up to meet the touch of SiddhA?rtha's hand and announce that he was indeed the great Buddha to come who had spent untold lifetimes in service to others. MA?ra finally left.
Tantra involves chanting mantras (sacred syllables), and doing elaborate ceremonies and visualizations. SiddhA?rtha meditated through the long, lonely night, stilling his mind, exploring the great expanse of pure consciousness. Whereas there is an ancient Japanese tantric school, Shingon, founded by KA»kai "KA?bA? Daishi" (774-835), the main tantric tradition of Buddhism known to the West is the one centered in Tibet, known as VajrayA?na. Now, he suddenly awakened by dissolving altogether the knot of egotism through profoundly penetrating wisdom and release of all clinging. VajrayA?na is a very a€?colorfula€? Buddhist tradition, not only ornamentally rich with vibrant colors (red, blue, green, orange and white--in contrast to the Japanese Zen tradition, which involves muted colors and a lot of black and gray). VajrayA?na features not just majestically serene Buddhas and bodhisattvas, but also very a€?wilda€? forms of the deities, some of whom are depicted as quite fearsome-looking. Moreover, he saw that it was far too subtle a teaching for sentient beings to understand, so lost and caught are they in the six realms of existence, their deluded ego-sense reincarnating as demons, heaven-dwellers, frustrated ghosts, animals, hell-dwellers, and humans.
At one point he met a spiritual aspirant who was greatly impressed by the Buddha's shining countenance.
A remarkable change had come over SiddhA?rthaa€”he now shone with the light of absolute peace, total freedom from desires, fears, and selfish delusions. The Buddha came to Deer Park at SA?rnA?th (just north of Varanasi in north central India), and encountered his five ascetic companions of former days, overwhelming them with his enlightened radiance.
In his 35th year, realizing his practices had only put him on deatha€™s doorstep, he began to eat a decent daily meal, whereupon the five ascetics left him. Buddha then spoke to them and to the assembled celestial beings his first sermon, in which he enunciated the Middle Way between the imbalanced lifestyles of indulgence in pleasure on the one extreme and obsession with austerities on the other extreme. One momentous day, Siddhattha ate a tasty rice pudding dish brought by the village girl SujA?tA?. He also taught them what came to be known as the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, which basically point out that selfish craving makes life utterly dissatisfactory, and that the way out of selfish craving is through cultivating pure-hearted virtue, insightful meditation, and enlightening wisdom. His energy renewed, he sat down under a ficus tree near UruvelA? (in Bihar) and bravely resolved never to leave his seat until he had penetrated the cosmic dream and found authentic freedom from all manner of rebirth, high or low. Meditating through the night, Siddhattha, already adept at interdimensional knowing, recalled his past-lives and those of all beings in the cosmos. He equanimously withstood temptations and attacks from the archdemon MA?ra, who, like many celestials, try to distract humans from awakening. As the tale unfolds, at the pre-dawn light of the morning star, Siddhattha confronted and dissolved the last vestige of the egoic a€?architecta€? of his illusory personal edifice and woke up from the aeons-long trance of separate selfhood into the beatific freedom of nibbA?na. Fully, irreversibly enlightened, a Buddhaa€”the latest in a long line extending back aeons, he would say a€”Sakyamuni, the Sakyan sage, remained for 49 days under the Bodhi tree (the site later famous as Bodh GayA?). King BimbisA?ra and a few thousand locals joined the order as lay followers, upA?sakas, or as ordained bhikkhus. Here, six years later, Queen Khema heard the Blessed One and joined the order; she was later regarded as foremost among women disciples in wisdom.
SA?riputta and MoggallA?na, two young brA?hman ascetics, came to the Buddha, becoming his greatest male adepts of wisdom and paranormal psi power (iddhi), respectively. Young brA?hman Pippali was awakened on the spot when the Buddha saw him amidst a throng and gave him pithy teachings and an intense smiling gaze. He became the venerable MahA?-Kassapa, presiding over the first Buddhist Council after the Buddhaa€™s passing; he himself lived to age 120. He taught his father Suddhodana and ordained his own seven-year-old son RA?hula as the ordera€™s first novice. Other Sakyan kin, nobles and citizens joined the order, including half-brother Nanda and cousins A‚nanda, Bhaddiya (the Sakyansa€™ active ruler) and Devadatta, who became a revered adept but decades later led a schismatic group adhering to an austere forest lifestyle over settled monasticism (a later smear campaign depicted him as evil-doer thrice trying to kill the Buddha).
On many occasions he said that one mustna€™t view a Buddha or a liberated Arahant, now or hereafter, as a€?he is or he is not, nor both, nor neither.a€? This middle way is an impressively subtle, sophisticated view that neither reifies (a€?thing-ifiesa€?) phenomena as solid, permanent entities nor apathetically views them as vacuous nothings.
Siddhattha was a radical deconstructivist who exploded the dream of a€?thingsa€? (egos, objects, worlds) having any kind of permanent self-nature. But he would not be impressed by our own eraa€™s postmodernists who repeatedly verge towarda€”or fall headlong intoa€”a nihilist intellectualism that, for all its cleverness, is oblivious to real, profound spiritual freedom and the boundless compassion for all sentient beings that flows from a wide open, undefiled heart of empathetic love. The Buddhaa€™s perfect wisdom discovered that, fundamentally, there are no entities, while his great compassion was always ready to serve the awakening and release of sentient beings feeling caught within the dream of life.
Thus, it has been wisely suggested that his anattA? teaching isna€™t metaphysics, but rather a a€?not selfa€? strategy for disidentifying. Both traditions urge a return, via detachment and disidentification, to an original, absolute Truth or Reality that is unborn, undying, unstructured, unchanging, spaceless, timeless, infinite bliss, peace and freedoma€”Brahman or NibbA?na. Flux foaming out of and made of emptiness is the true nature of the conventional self and world. Whether one stands, walks, sits or lies down, as long as one is awake, one should develop this mindfulness. Therea€™s nothing in him that can lead to bewilderment; causes of ignorance are gone, there are none whatsoever. He is not a person who works because he wants something; if he gets nothing at all he remains unperturbeda€¦.
His mindfulness holds him poised in a constant even-mindedness where arrogance is impossiblea€¦ Because he understands the Way Things Are, he is free from dependency and therea€™s nothing he relies on. This is what I call a man who is calmed [in nibbana] a€¦ nothing to tie him down, gone beyond the pull of attachmenta€¦. A man with nothing in him that he grasps at as his and nothing in him that he rejects as not his. A man of discernment, without a flutter of desire, doesna€™t accumulatea€”he has no conditioninga€”he has stopped all effort of every kind; so everywhere he sees peace and happinessa€¦. He is wishless, he has wisdom, and you can recognize him because he is a man of nothing; he isna€™t hanging onto pleasure or to being.
When one perceives not-self one reaches the removal of the conceit a€?I am,a€™ which is called Nibbana here and now. But to one who sees, having extracted this thorn, [the idea] a€?I am doing,a€™ doesna€™t occur; a€?another is doing,a€™ doesna€™t occur. Speaking hurtfully because of their views they dona€™t go beyond transmigrationa€”the wandering on. There is, monks, an Unborn, Unbecome, Unmade, Unfabricated (ajatam abhutam akatam asankhatam). If there werena€™t this Unborn (etc.)a€¦, there would be no discernible deliverance here from that which is born, become, made, fabricated. So be devoted to wakefulness [and you realize] right here a self-awakening unsurpassed.a€? (47) For those with confidence in the supreme, supreme is the result. Covetousness and greed, ill will, anger, resentment, contempt, insolence, envy, deceit, fraud, obstinacy, rivalry, conceit, arrogance, vanity, negligencea€¦. A monk abandons thema€¦ and abides pervading all quarters with a mind of loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. We shall abide pervading them and the all-encompassing world with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility.a€™ (21.20) Are material form, feeling, perception, reactions and cognizing consciousness [the five aggregates of personality, all of them a€?impermanent, suffering, subject to changea€?] fit to be regarded as a€?This is mine, this I am, this is my selfa€™?
And the sage at peace isna€™t born, doesna€™t age, doesna€™t die, isna€™t shaken and isna€™t agitated. Avoid that by which unwholesome mental factors increase and follow that by which wholesome factors increase and unwholesome factors decrease. Impassioned with sensual possessions, greedy dazed by sensual pleasures, they dona€™t awaken to the fact that theya€™ve gone too fara€”like a deer into a trap laid out. One who practices the Dhamma [Truth or Spiritual Way] in thought, word, and deed, receives praise here on earth and after death rejoices in heaven [and finally comes to Supreme Release, Nibbana]. Mindfulness, investigation of qualities, persistence, rapture, serenity, concentration and poised equanimity.

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