KNOWLEDGE (Janatho) AND EXPERIENTIAL KNOWLEDGE (Passatho)
Meevanapalane Siri Dhammalankara Maha Thero
Table of Contents
Sambuddhassa ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 71
ANCIENT BUDDHIST ATUVAS (ANALYTICAL COMPENDIUMS) AND THEIR HISTORY
Due to the immense Buddha Sasana cleanup undertaken by Arahanth Mahinda upon arrival at Lankapura (current Anurajhapura), colossal changes occurred in the ancient Uthurukurudeepa, a part of Helabima (ancient name of today’s Siri Lanka. where most people of the Yaksha tribe lived was governed by the Kings of Indian descent. Though these changes in society, literature, technology, culture, religion and morality (dharmika) have been significant, I intend to ponder and present an analytical discussion focused on changes that took place in the face of religion and Buddha Dhamma.
Various learned parties today accept the view that prior to the arrival of
Arahanth Mahinda, there was no culture of written documentation in the Anurajhapura area. However, the surfaced evidence from recent excavations show that there had been a culture of documentation at Anurajhapura prior to the era of King Vijaya. Even if there hasn’t been proof of a well-developed written culture or a form of organized alphabet or literature at Anurajhapura, there is ample evidence to prove that a very rich written documentation culture, system of alphabet and technologies existed in the East, Sabaragamuva, Ruhuna and Central Mountains of Deva Helaya which was known as Janbudveepa at the time.
Arahanth Mahinda brought Buddha’s Teachings (Buddha Dhamma) to
Lankapura (Anurajhapura) from Rajagahanuwara. It is clearly stated in the Mahavansa (Chronicals of Helabima) that Arahanth Mahinda and the group arrived in the Kingdom of Lankapura from Rajagahanuwara, the capital of Janbudveeepa. The ancient original narrative found in the Mahavansa is undoubtedly true. In ancient times the Deva Helaya which was known as Janbudveepa was a kingdom with several small states. The state of Magadha was one among them. The Capital of Magadha was Rajagahanuwara. Currently, this area is officially recognized as a large area around Rajagala Tenna in the district of Digamadulla. The ancient State of Magadha is comprised of today’s Badulla, Digamadulla and Monaragala districts. Out of these districts, Digamadulla becomes prominent since Rajagala, Samangala, Nuwaragala, Pulukunawa, Nilgala, Budddhangala, Najjangala, and Piyangala are in this district. A wide spread of temple ruins and archeological evidences are found in these areas demonstrating the existence of a glorious, well developed, rich Buddhist cultural heritage in the past.
For about 700 years after the Mahaparinibbana of Gothama, the Buddha, or until the beginning of the 1st century into the Christian era, Rajagahanuwara of the Magadha State remained the teaching center of Theravada Buddha Dhamma. The first and the second Dhamma Councils were held here at Rajagala and this fact is clearly stated in the Mahavansa. Anurajhapura Maha Vihara became the center for Theravada Teachings once the glamor and glory of Rajagahanuwara faded away. According to historic evidence, this destruction of the Eastern states of Helabima could have been a result of a natural catastrophe such as a longlasting drought, a tsunami, severe flooding or a large-scale land fire that transformed these states into desolate areas with thin inhabitation. Because of this destruction, it becomes obvious that the Theravada Buddhist Centre got relocated from Rajagahanuwara to Anurajhapura. Current excavations at Rajagala Tenna exhibit a multitude of ruins and extensive archeological finds as evidence of past Buddha Sravaka Centres, lecture halls of Pirivenas (Buddhist education centres for the ordained) and caves with kataram (a technology that prevented water from seeping into the cave). In and around Rajagala, Samangala, Nella and Pulukunawa, there are about three thousand caves with kataram.
Indian laity such as Prince Mahinda, Princesses Sanghamitta, Sumana and
Sunanda and other royalties came to Rajagahanuwara to learn unadulterated
Buddha’s Teachings and gain an in-depth understanding of the Buddha Dhamma from pirivenas and learning centres. After learning and comprehending the Dhamma in full, as clearly stated in the Mahavansa and Deepavansa, they were ordained and attained “Maga-pala” or enlightenment.
Rock edicts, inscriptions, the preserved remains and many other materials excavated and yet to be excavated, found in Rajagala provide ample evidence to prove that Arahanth Mahinda left for Anurajhapura from the Buddhist pirivena complex at Rajagala in Digamadulla. After completing his mission to Anurajhapura, Arahanth Mahinda returned to Rajagahanuwara (Rajagala), and undoubtedly spent the rest of his life there according to rock inscriptions found at Rajagala.
The archeological evidence spread over ten thousand acres in and around
Rajagala, Piyangala, Samangala, Nilgala, Nuwaragala, Pulukunawa, Budddhangala and Nella that appear to be part of a past era (Buddha Era) are proven to be older than the Anurajhapura era. All these archeological evidences demonstrate the fact that our true ancient history has been somehow repressed and subdued. Therefore, the young researchers who are currently in search of the true heritage of Helabima shall made a sincere effort to uncover
archeological sites and evidence with accurate facts and authentic information in Digamadulla, Monaragala, Kalthota, Budugala in the Eastern province and several places in the Badulla district. These areas, according to Mahavansa, are part of Janbudveepa, where Gothama the Buddha lived. It’s the State of Magadha and the city of Rajagahanuwara where Gothama, the Buddha, lived for 25 years after His enlightenment. Today, the old name is transformed as Rajagala.
A lot of so called learned pundits and even some Buddhist monks repeatedly state that there was no clear system of alphabet or rich culture prior to the arrival of Arahanth Mahinda at Anurajhapura. However, there is ample evidence to show that a highly developed language, alphabet and rich culture that compares to none, existed in Helabima. Its already a proven fact that prior to Arahanth Mahinda’s arrival in Anurajhapura, other areas of Helabima had a rich culture and language. It’s also proven undoubtedly that Arahanth Mahinda learnt and acquired the developed system of alphabet, dhamma and other related fields from pirivenas and learning centers at Rajagala – Rajagahanuwara and not in any manner from India. Despite these clear evidences, it is petty that the learned Buddhists, both lay and ordained, do not accept the truth. Perhaps it’s their karma.
The original author of the Mahavansa, which was written in Hela language, had chosen Great King Dutugamunu as his heroic figure. The father of King Dutugamunu who ruled Maha Nagapura, was born in Ruhuna. He was a member of the ancient Hela Naga tribe. King Dutugamunu’s mother was the daughter of King Kelanitissa, who was a member of the Royal Deva clan and ruled a state in the East which is part of the Deva Helaya (Janbudveepa). Prince Dutugamunu became the united administrator for both East and Ruhuna that were governed by the two above stated original royal clans of Helabima. King Dutugamunu left for Malaya rata (Central Mountains) and Uva Provinces and organized armies to fight Indian invaders (from Vijaya to Elara) who governed Uturukurudeepa from the Kingdom of Anurajhapura. He fought and defeated foreign invaders while uniting Helabima and re-establishing local administration.
Though King Dutugamunu could unit Helabima by defeating foreign forces, a few other factors severely influenced the future of Helabima as a whole. These factors are as follows:
- The capital city Rajagahanuwara in the State of Magadha (Janbudveepa) got relocated to Anurajhapura to a new administrative centre and the distant regional administration was passed down to Yuvaraja (tetrarchy).
- The ancient scripts written and preserved in the libraries of original universities and learning centres for Buddha Dhamma at Rajagahanuwara, Ritigala – Jetawana Aramaya, ola leaf scripts from libraries in other important cities, compendiums (atuva), religious scripts and explanations, history books and all other important scripts were moved and deposited in the newly built Lowa Maha Prasadaya (7 story Library).
- Most of the relics of the Buddha, especially from the East and Ruhuna, that people in those areas paid homage to were brought to Anurajhapura and deposited in a massive stupa while enabling people to pay homage to relics deposited in Atamastana (8 sacred places in Anurajhapura). This new arrangement rendered the true authentic Atamastana that are blended with Buddha Shakthi to fadeaway into the forgotten. Uttararamaya,
Kapilaramaya, Kusinaramaya, Isipathanaramaya, Veluvanaramaya,
Jetawanaramaya, Salumini Saya, and Samangira comprised the ancient Atamastana that were popular destinations for Buddhists until their relocation. Slowly they got pushed into oblivion as the new Atamastanaya in Anurajhapura received prominence as the main place of worship.
- The Buddhist University of Sivu Helaya at Rajagahanuwara, well known in the orient along with main Buddhist Viharas, pirivenas and Dhamma learning centres, got relocated to the newly constructed Maha Vihara, Lowa Maha Prasadaya, Ruwanveli Maha Saya and into many other new facilities in the new capital Anurajhapura.
The relocation of Buddhist Universities and Learning & Training Centres to Anurajhapura from Rajagala/Rajagahanuwara, which remained protected from foreign invasions and foreign cultures, lead to the exposure and opening of these institutions to external risks while endangering their security. The governance and state administration that was brought to Anurajhapura had to be shifted to Polonnaruwa after about 800 – 900 years. The Kingdom of Anurajhapura suffered and was constantly subjected to strong currents of foreign political, cultural and religious invasions throughout this lengthy period. The most painful destruction that occurred during this period was the transition of the pristine unadulterated Buddha Dhamma into a religion that is void of the path to Nibbana. For about 700 years, since the Mahaparinibbana, the Buddhist Universities and Learning Centres at Rajagahanuwara/Rajagala remained intact but overtime it endured a slow desertion for the last 1900 years. It is for this reason in the Buddhist world, the State of Magadha, the City of Rajagaha and all related information got metamorphosed into legendary archaic names. Meanwhile, British invaders assigned Janbudveepa, State of Magadha and
Rajagahanuwara unlawfully to India. British historians reconstructed a whole new Indian History by modifications and substitutions for pre-existing Indian historic names of places and persons.
Until the relocation of Buddhist universities and learning & training centres to Anurajhapura, i.e. around 685 B.E., all foreign and local scholars, monks, local citizenry and the dignitaries of Sivu Helaya received their Buddhist education from the education centres at Rajagahanuwara. In the past, prior to this move, there were no well-developed Buddhist educational centres in Anurajhapura, North Central, Western, North Western or in any other part of the Sivu Helaya. The Buddhist educational centres in Ajantha and Vellora came into existence in approximately 800 B.E. The above universities that took root in India never had or taught pristine Theravada Buddha Dhamma. Instead, these universities taught Jaina and Upanishad religions along with Mahayana Buddhism. Thus, it becomes obvious that in early epochs, the university that got established at Maha Vihara in Anurajhapura in 700 B.E steered a whole different mission for the Buddhist world compared to other universities of the day. However, since the demise of Rajagala – Rajagahanuwara Buddhist centres that lasted 700 years from the days of the Buddha, there had never been any such well-developed sophisticated Buddhist educational centres. Today, there are well developed advanced universities. However, it’s difficult to fathom that any of these presentday universities in Helabima/Siri Lanka teach pristine Buddhist philosophy, Buddhist culture, Buddhist history and Buddhist literature compared to pure teachings that existed at the universities and learning centres at Rajagahanuwara.
The ancient university in Anurajhapura, established with the patronage of Maha Vihara in its early years did not teach anything contrary to the pure dhamma or it’s discipline. Even during that time, the Theravadins rejected the ideas of Mahayana, and Vythullya theories that are fast spreading in India. However, over time, the monks of the Maha Vihara too got predisposed to the Indian and Mahayana ideologies while transitioning the pristine Buddha dhamma into popular crude, rustic, inferior, inept (Pruthagjana), undisciplined and distorted dhamma. As a result, distorted dhamma objectives got inserted into course outlines for teaching purposes. These objective inclusions supported by the Maha Vihara education centres later contributed to the suppression of pristine Buddha Dhamma while enabling and empowering a popular Buddhist religion to include devotions, prayers, offerings and worship aspects making it a popular belief system for the people of Helabima.
Around 915 B.E., Buddhagosa Thero arrived in Anurajhapura from the State of
Kalinga, and deceived the monks of the Maha Vihara for obtaining Hela Atuva (early dhamma compendiums written in ola leaves) and commenced with translating them into Pali language. Until this era, the path to attain Nibbana was still alive and available in Hela Atuva with clear analyses that helped Hela people to grasp pure dhamma. Simultaneously, there had been very subtle efforts underway not only to convince the monks at Maha Vihara of the transition but also to convert pure Buddha dhamma into a devotional religion. It becomes obvious that these changes made to the pristine Buddha Dhamma, stated in Hela Atuva, based on various Mahayana theories exerted an enormous influence on the aims, attitudes and the direction of education at Maha Vihara coercing it into a different path based on misleading translations of Hela Atuva. Moreover, according to the notes of Buddhagosa, it becomes clear when he translated Hela Atuva into Pali language, he intentionally changed translations to suite his thoughts, attitudes and ideology.
Several years prior to the arrival of Buddhagosa, an Indian Mahayana monk by the name Buddhadattha from Kaveri of the state of Chola came to Anurajhapura and made serious attempts to acquire Hela Atuva and proliferate Mahayana Buddhism in the Maha Vihara. But his undertaking was averted by the monks of Maha Vihara and he was banished back to Uragapura (Chola Desa) in India.
In Buddhagosa’s biography, it is stated clearly that prior to his arrival in Anurajhapura, he obtained all the necessary preparations and information about what happened to Buddhadatta in order to prevent any errors from repeating and to accomplish his mission in a very subtle way. These historic facts provide evidence to the credence that his undertaking was an intentional coup-d’état.
To protect pristine Buddha Dhamma, it becomes obvious that the monks at Maha Vihara had many methods, strategies and mechanisms in place. Buddhagosa, who arrived at Maha Vihara was not fully accepted or trusted by the sangha at Maha Vihara. In supporting this view, there are a few written documents, as available evidences, to show that the sangha at Maha Vihara tested Buddhagosa several times. Finally, Buddhagosa, who is a Brahmin well versed in Patanjali religion, Sinhala and Pali languages, Upanishad and Hindu religion, was able to convince the sangha at Maha Vihara while getting them to accede to his ideas. Accordingly, the most important Hela Atuva books that were kept under the vigil of Maha Vihara were acquired by Buddhagosa and he commenced to translate them into Pali language. Further, in agreement with the sangha at Maha Vihara, Buddhagosa wrote 17 books including Visuddhi Magga and Pali Atta Katha based on Maha Atta Katha (Mǔla Atta Katha). Today, the theravadins consider that these translations contain the most accurate Dhamma and hence choose them as their source and reference for Buddha Dhamma.
When the Buddha was alive, there was an active process at Rajagahanuwara to document the discourses elucidated by the Buddha in Hela language as Atta Katha for Hela people to experience, practice Dhamma knowledge, for scholarly use and training. This initiative was undertaken by a group of Arahants including Arahant Maha Kachchãyana who was commended by the Buddha as a great knower and a teacher (Maha Pragñayan Vahanse). Since that time, it was known that those who studied Buddha Dhamma at Rajagahanuwara universities and education centres utilized theses texts for about 700 years from the Buddha Parinibbana. For this reason, Hela Atuva are considered as part of Pariyapthi
Dhamma. It’s written in the Mahavansa, when Prince Mahinda arrived at the Buddhist university in Rajagahanuwara, he studied and referenced Hela Atuva written by the past Buddha Sravakas. According to Mahavansa, when Arahant Mahinda travelled from Rajagahanuwara to Anurajhapura, he took a few Hela Atuva books from the library at Rajagahanuwara, where they were preserved and deposited. These Atuva books carried by Arahant Mahinda to Anurajhapura, beyond doubt, were Hela Atuva books written in Hela language. Hela Atuva books were written and deposited at the Rajagahanuwara Buddhist university, which was in today’s Digamadulla area in the Eastern Helabima.
The past noble Arahants wrote Hela Atuva on pristine Buddha Dhamma as an inheritance for the people of Helabima. Within a few years of his arrival at the university of Rajagahanuwara from the State of Kalinga in India, Prince Mahinda perfected Magadhi language, Hela Atuva and comprehended the pristine Buddha Dhamma in full. He became an Arahant by following the path to Nibbana while living at the Vihara complex at Rajagaha, which is today’s Rajagala in the Digamadulla district.
Tripitaka Dhamma and the Buddha words were documented by Sinhala sangha in 456 B.E at the Alu-lena (ash chamber) of the Mathula Cave Complex (today’s Aththanagoda Cave temple in Kegalle). Until then, the Dhamma was carried forward from generation to generation by Sinhala Buddhist monks in Helabima through memorizing (Wanapoth) it as concise stanzas and in the form of word by mouth. After another 450 years, Buddhagosa translated Hela Atuva in 915 B.E. Hela Atuva and Sihala Atta Katha, which were written in Hela language and with Hela alphabet were undoubtedly written at Rajagahanuwara and not at the Maha Vihara or at Anurajhapura. If they were written in Anurajhapura or Maha Vihara, it would have been noted in the Mahavansa. Though there are a few notes on Hela Atuva in various places in the Mahavansa, there is no mention of who wrote them or where they were written. Its stated in the Mahavansa, that these books were stored in the library of the Maha Vihara and the number of books and ola leaf scripts are said to be equivalent to the weight of seven elephants. The clear majority of these, according to Mahavansa, had been Hela Atuva books.
Until Buddhagosa wrote 17 translated books including Visuddhi Magga in Pali language, there had been no evidence or mention to show that Hela Atuva were written in Pali language. However, the language used to write all the books and scripts based on Tripitaka was Magadhi language. Magadhi language has no written alphabet as it’s a tonal language. Hence, in the early periods, the Buddha desana, which were expounded in Magadhi language, were documented using Sinhala Hela alphabet. For a long period of 450 years, the Buddha Dhamma got carried forward through memorization (Wanapoth). To facilitate memorization, the Buddha discourses in Magadhi sounds were arranged into rows using Sinhala Hela alphabet giving rise to stanzas comprised of four memorable rows known as pela wahara. (Pela means (in Magadhi and Sinhala) row and Wahara means applied language). Pela wahara also was known as Pela Dahama. Pela wahara became Päeli wahara. Over time, the Magadhi pela wahara transitioned into Pãli wahara.
Though Pela Dahama got carried over through memorization and word by mouth for a period of 450 years, it never endured transformations or adulterations. There were reasons for not documenting the dhamma for such a long time. The
main reason was that Magadhi, being a tonal language, did not have a system of alphabet.
In an era, after the writing of Tripitaka in Hela language by Sinhala monks, it got transcribed using Sanskrit alphabet in India and Chinese alphabet in China and in other countries using their own alphabets. Yet, there were no translations. For this reason, the pristine Buddha dhamma was preserved.
For the first time, Buddhist scholars began writing analytical works such as Hela
Atuva based on Tripitaka Dhamma in Helabima. Subsequently, various Mahayana scholars in India wrote analytical atuvas and teekas while adopting various changes. In this process, a lot of atuvas were written in India using chandasvaisika (Sanskrit) language and these Mahayana atuvas helped Mahayana Buddhism to get established in India. In the early periods of Buddha Dhamma, all analytical works were written only in Hela language. Most of the Pali scripts and books belonging to Kuddhaka Nikaya were creations of learned and scholarly individuals after the Buddha parinibbana. Hela Atuva texts written in ola leaves in the early periods of Buddha Dhamma are considered originals. There are a few most important texts known as Hela Atuva and Sihala Atta Katha. They are as follows:
- Maha Atta Katha = Mǔla Atta Katha
- Maha Pachchariya Atta Katha = Budukali Atuva
- Kurundi Atta Katha
- Sankshepa Atta Katha
- Pourane Atta Katha
- Pubbachariya Atta Katha
According to the statements made by scholars of Pali and Buddhist university and other learned people and researchers, Hela Atta Katha and Sihala Atta Katha were written approximately in the 3rd or 4th or 5th century A.D. These opinions can be disproved and negated easily as Buddhagosa translated Hela Atuva into Pali also in 4th & 5th centuries A.D., during the reign of King Mahanama around 915 B.E.
Prior to the arrival of Buddhagosa in Helabima, many Indian and Chinese travelers around 4th Century A.D., had known about Hela Atuva.
Before Buddhagosa arrived in Helabima, he lived in a Patanjali -A Hindu monastery in the Indian State of Kalinga. He learned Hela Language and Hela Atuva along with Pali Language from those Buddhist monks who came to Patanjali temples from Abhayagiry Vihara in Helabima. This can be said beyond doubt because without having prior knowledge of Hela language and Sinhala, no foreigner parachuted, could have started translating Hela Atuva. Many individuals attempt to show that this undertaking as a miracle. However, there is no such thing based on facts. The fact is that Buddhagosa studied Hela language, Pali language and Hela Atuva several years prior according to the discussions he had with his teacher Patanjali.
The task of translating Hela Atuva into Pali language was assigned to Buddhagosa subsequent to a special training he received. Thus, it becomes clear that all these activities which took place over several years were the result of a chain of coupe d’états and not an unintentional random incidence.
Accordingly, even prior to the arrival of Arahant Mahinda in Anurajhapura, it was known that the Hela Atuva on pristine Buddha Dhamma with artha dhamma, nirutthi and patisambhidha (= meanings at mundane, supramundane, absolute, conventional, practical, dhamma, continuity, supportive and unsupportive of nibbana in all 4 indicated areas) dhamma= cause and effect of phenomena; nirutthi= definition or breakdown of the word to understand the context; patisambhidha=dismember the word into it’s component words and draw the collective meaning or its configuration) had been written at the Buddhist universities in Rajaghanuwara – Rajagala by enlightened Sinhala Arahanths who lived there.
In the Lowada Sangarawa (ancient Sinhala Journal for Good Worldly Deeds), the stanza “dahamata sarikota heluwen perakie – nivanata sapamini sangha satanamakie” communicates an important message. This stanza contains the message that “by following the Buddha dhamma, stated in Hela Atuva, sixty buddha sravakas attained enlightenment”. However, through the 17 books translated and written by Buddhagosa, there is no mention that even a single person has been able to attain Nibbana to this day. It can be said beyond doubt that even in the future these 17 erroneous books will never help anyone to attain Nibbana.
The reason for many errors in the written works of Buddhagosa is that when translating the pristine Buddha Dhamma stated in the noble Hela Atuva into Pali language, a multitude of changes have been made with the intention of transforming Buddha Dhamma into a religion. Though these newly written works of Buddhagosa catered to a better worldly life while enjoying the divine, brahma and royal prosperity, they did not support access to the path of Nibbana in terms of cutting off the roots of lobha, dvesha and moha. Even in the future these works will not help one to attain Nibbana.
There is a deep rooted erroneous belief among the Buddhist scholars and learned people that when Arahant Mahinda came to Anurajhapura, he brought the Tripitaka. However, it’s a known truth that the Tripitaka was documented in the era of King Walagamba in 456 B.E., which is about 180 years subsequent to Arahant Mahinda’s visit to Anurajhapura. When Arahant Mahinda arrived in Anurajhapura, the number of suttas expounded by him are confined to 15 discourses. However, limited the number may seem, the 15 suttas have been adequate to clarify Buddha Dhamma in full toward the attainment of Nibbana. Moreover, Arahant Mahinda not only learnt Buddha Dhamma at Rajagahanuwara
– Rajagala through Hela Atuva written by Great Arahants but also, he and his group brought some Hela Atuva as ola leaf books and introduced them to Anurajhapura. It follows then, that the Hela people of the Yaksha tribe who lived in Anurajhapura area (Uturukurudeepa), apparently were skillful in reading and understanding Hela language.
The above facts negate any possible theory that Arahant Mahinda and the group came to Anurajhapura from somewhere in India. In the era, when Arahant Mahinda arrived in Lankapura (Anurajhapura), there had never been any practice of pristine Buddha Dhamma anywhere in India. Though Mahayana theories and concepts crafted by Mahayana scholars had the capacity to spread in small scale in India, pristine Buddha Dhamma had never existed beyond Kaveri river in Northern India.
As stated in the Mahavansa, like Buddhagosa, Mahanama Thero who wrote or translated Mahavansa into Pali language came to Helabima from Kalinga or Chola State in India and he wrote the Mahavansa using the original Mahavansa written in Hela language. The first Pali Mahavansa (what is available today) came into existence around 5th century A.D.
It appears that Mahanama Thero translated the Mahavansa around the same time as Buddhagosa wrote the Pali versions of Hela Atuva. Mahavansa editor Mahanama Thero seemed to be aware of the mission of Buddhagosa. For
Mahanama Thero to appreciate and introduce compulsively Buddhagosa as a Maha Arahant, may feed into the belief that both came to Helabima for similar activities.
Subsequent to the era of translations and writings of Buddhagosa and Mahanama Thero in Anurajhapura, Indian and Hela scholars wrote and published atuva and teeka on various occasions. Those who wrote such atuva and teeka in Hela language or in Pali language appeared to have used popular original Hela Atuva books as their root source.
According to his own notes, when Buddhagosa translated Hela Atuva books written by Great Arahants at Rajagahanuwara – Rajagala, he used the abstracts and essence of Hela Atuva while coercing his knowledge, incorporating his own views and theories from Pathanjalie religion in his Pali atuvas.
Thus, it becomes obvious, according to his own notes, that he made many changes when he wrote the Pali Atuva books.
- Bashantharameva hithva – Change of language used in original Hela Atuva when writing his books in Pali language.
- Thang vajjaithva pamadang lekang – according to the knowledge of Buddhagosa, that which he assumed and thought to be incorrect, had been excluded and replaced with a new “what Buddhagosa thought and decided” as correct.
- Vittharamaggang cha sama-saithva – some details written in Hela Atuva had been unnecessarily excluded and replaced with abstracts.
(This is also an erroneous decision made by Buddhagosa)
- Vinichchayang sabbamasesaithva – Though compatible to the by gone era, Buddhagosa excluded decisions in Hela Atuva that were incompatible with the time of his writings and included newly accepted conventional decisions in his writings.
- Thanthikkamang kanchi Avokkamithva – Changed by revising grammar and language conventions to make it compatible with the time of writings.
According to his own notes and due to the gravity of the changes made, it is obvious that Buddhagosa used Hela Atuva as his root source to write his Pali Atuva books. He had altered the pristine Dhamma stated in the original Hela Atuva to make them compatible to the times and harmonizing the content in accordance with concepts and theories of the Pathanjalie religion. One should know that Hela Atuvas were written by Great Arahants of Helabima that were appropriate for the Sinhala (Hela) people who were well versed in Hela language and had studied them for about 800 years. The numerous changes made by Buddhagosa at his will, when writing his new Pali Atuvas, lead to a new religion for Hela people, but it totally sealed the doors and access to the path of Nibbana.
Many Pali Atuva books written by Buddhagosa became an attraction for the inept (pruthagjana) scholars of the ordained and lay community including the sangha at the Maha Vihara as they contained popular religious concepts. Accordingly, theravada Buddhism got transitioned into a religion that facilitates its followers to reach mundane divine and brahma prosperity and aspirations to become bodhisattva. As a fall out from this, Maha Vihara Buddhist Centre commenced also with teaching a variety of popular new subjects.
Hela Atuva that were popular among Hela people had been acknowledged beyond doubt by current Buddhist pundits, historians and scholars as a wealth of analytical works written based on pristine Buddha Dhamma. Yet, today we are left only with the names of these Hela Atuvas. It remains a challenge for today’s Buddhists scholars and pundits to determine who wrote these Hela Atuvas or where they were written. Today, it has become an enigmatic and baffling (ubathokotika) problem.
Mahavansa states that King Dutugamunu united the Sivu Helaya and moved from Maha Nagapura in Ruhuna to Anurajhapura around 350 B.E. and built a library in a 7-story palace (Lowa Maha Prasadaya). It states also that King Dutugamunu after uniting the country, moved the capital to Anurajhapura and brought collections of all the important Buddhist books in use at the time from Rajagala in the East, from Ruhuna, Kegalle, Jetawanaramaya at Ritigala and deposited them in the library at the Maha Vihara. Most books came from Jetawanaramaya at Ritigala and the Buddhist university in Rajagahanuwara.
Mahavansa, particularly the original Mahavansa that was written in Hela language contained accounts about Sivu Helaya and its people. It was restricted to historical events relevant to Helabima and its people. Accordingly, all names of people, villages, history, kings in it belonged to Sivu Helaya. During this era, there was no need for editors of the Mahavansa to write historic accounts of foreign countries such as India or any country external to Sivu Helaya. Certainly, it does not look like ancient Hela writers were anxious to document foreign names or foreign historic events as part of Hela history.
Mahavansa, Deepavansa, Hela Atuva and many other books were later translated into Pali by those who came from the South Indian States of Kalinga and Chola and some Sinhala and Pali scholars. Therefore, it’s obvious that before Anurajhapura got developed into the capital of Sivu Helaya or Maha Vihara became an International university, or Arahant Mahinda travelled to Anurajhapura, there had been a rich civilization characterized by sophisticated culture, proud history, the art of writing & literature and other skilled trades and technologies in the Eastern, central mountainous and Ruhuna areas of Sivu Helaya. Moreover, the International Buddhist university in Rajagahanuwara – Rajagala not only produced large numbers of Buddhist intellectuals but also stored and preserved an enormous number of books written in Hela language.
From Rajagahanuwara – Rajagala in Digamadulla, Arahant Mahinda brought pristine theravada Buddha Dhamma to Anurajhapura, the capital of Yaksha Helaya and relaunched Maha Vihara. Though there was no division in Buddha Dhamma into Theravada or Mahayana Nikayas at the time, the Buddhism that was shimmering in Anurajhapura area is contrary to what the school of theravada taught. This follows then that the mission of Arahant Mahinda was to impart pristine teachings of the Buddha to the Kingdom of Anurajhapura and its people. Then, the hypothesis that Arahant Mahinda brought Buddhism is an erroneous statement. Therefore, anyone who genuinely appreciates the noble mission of Arahant Mahinda must bear in mind to avoid statements such as “brought a religion” or “introduced a religion”. Such statements must be ditched.
Arahant Mahinda reintroduced the pristine behavioral path to Nibbana to the people of Helabima in an era when the dhamma instilled by the Buddha about 280 years prior to Hela people for the attainment of Nibbana had been dissipated and diminished in Yaksha Helaya. Therefore, considering this, it needs to be understood that Arahant Mahinda travelled to the capital of Uturukurudeepa for the noble task of re-establishing pristine Buddha Dhamma there.
BUDDHA DHAMMA IS A PATH TO TREAD AND NOT A RELIGION
As expounded by the Buddha, the Buddha Dhamma that discusses the noble path toward the attainment of Nibbana is known as Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma (pati – bond; ichcha – desire; sam – 3 fetters – lobha, dvesha & moha; uppãda – arise). To comprehend the four immovable truths (chatu ariya sachcha), the knowledge of the Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma is indispensable. Gaining of true penetrative wisdom, to grasp the reality of life (or existence) as it is (yathābhuta gñana), is possibleonly through full comprehension of the four immovable truths. This is not about gaining the full extent of theoretical knowledge or learning but rather, attaining a penetrative deep experience that exceeds the dimensions of conventional wisdom while transforming one’s attitudinal inner view on life/existence. This experience is known in Magadhi language as janatho passatho.
This experiential knowledge cannot be acquired or experienced through the practices of modern sciences, Upanishad philosophy or Jaina religion. Accordingly, Buddha dhamma is neither a religion that is faith based or a philosophy. Buddha Dhamma is the only practical cognitive behavioral path that must be practiced by oneself to experience Nibbana because it’s the only pathway to Nibbana. It follows then that it is the only path that must be followed in search of factors that bind one to continued existence (samsara) and recognize them as the means to eradicate the roots or unshackle one from the samsaric captivity. To engage in this process, its conditional that one listens to the unadulterated pure dhamma. Then, one must follow the technique innately and precisely to be unshackled from captivity.
Transitioning of pristine Buddha Dhamma into a religion and a philosophy contributed to the demise and destruction of the path to Nibbana and as a result Nibbana became unattainable. In conventional Buddhism practiced today, there is no visible path to attain Nibbana. To achieve divinity and maximum prosperity in mundane existence, Buddhism helps to a certain extent. However, conventional Buddhism or any other religion does not show the path to liberate from the samsaric captivity and experience supramundane Nibbana. The religion that borrowed a myriad of Magadhi Buddha words and phrases and had them reformed and analyzed for mundane purposes is conventional Buddhism. Whether Mahayana, Lama, Theravada or any other form of Buddhism, they do not practice the path or the patipada (Majjima Patipada) proclaimed by Gothama, the Buddha at His time. These religions are unaware of the pristine path shown by the Buddha. It seems that conventional Buddhism as a devotional religion has become the biggest stumbling block for humans when attempting to find the path to Nibbana. There are two strong, extreme, eternally active, opposing currents known as path of the dhamma and path of the adhamma. Activated by the energy of viñãna, formed by the energy of viñãna, animate (satva- pudgala) and inanimate objects including human beings become operational in this reality because of these two extreme and opposing phenomena. These two opposing phenomena dhamma and adhamma are charted by beings spearheaded by human beings.
All physical, verbal and mental activities undertaken by human beings in accordance with the path of the dhamma will cater to the purification of not only the natural environment but also to harness universal energy into favorable phenomena. All physical, verbal and mental activities of human beings and other beings that are adhamma based, turn into a force that taints and distorts natural environment into a reality with unfavorable outcomes while degrading universal energy. Accordingly, physical, verbal and mental activities that one initiates will return results that either bring unendurable consequences or pleasant outcomes. Engaging in accordance with the path of the dhamma (dhammanudhamma patipada) leads not only to the cleansing of universal phenomena but also will set one free from the captivity of samsara. Moreover, following the path of the dhamma, one will end mundane relationships based on sam (lobha, dvesha and moha) and be liberated from samsaric lends. This itself is Nibbana.
Functionality of the two opposing phenomena stated above contribute to the formation of a reality that is commonly known as the world. There is no possibility for just a single force/phenomenon, whether good or bad, to exist in the world. A Sammā Sambuddha after full comprehension of the true reality of this infinite dichotomy through experiential wisdom, will reveal Hethu-Pala dhamma (Phenomenon of Cause and Effect) to worldly beings. This revelation is otherwise elucidated as Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma in Magadhi language.
Avidya Mǔla Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma (Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma rooted in
Ignorance) explains extensively how lobha, dvesha and moha construct relationships (samuppada) or an association that contributes to a permeating continuation of existence. The approach of Kusala Mǔla Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma (Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma rooted in Wisdom) shows the process on how to unshackle from a mundane worldly existence. Cessation from the world of ignorance or darkness (loka) is the only way to freedom from existential afflictions(dukkha). The life and dukkha exist only within the world of ignorance. Since there is no world in Nibbana and there is no worldly existence in it, there is no dukkha in Nibbana. Then, it becomes obvious that the only method for humans to unshackle from dukkha is to attain supramundane Nibbana.
All religions including conventional Buddhism facilitate provisional mundane relief from vicissitudes in life. Buddhism and all other religions teach exclusively practices evading hellish realms (apaya) and how to achieve divinity and brahma prosperity, fulfil bodhisattva aspirations and enjoy bodhisattva privileges for a very very long time. As opposed to all other religions, Buddha Dhamma stipulates the only path/patipada that is easy to tread, must be completed or fulfilled during one’s present life as a human being. Accordingly, the Buddha revealed for us a path of behavior (Marga chariya). However, due to the spread of analytical works, extrapolations and scholarly inferences written in past eras transitioned Buddha Dhamma into a philosophy and a religion while shutting out the noble path to Nibbana.
Mahayana Buddhism is the outcome of the serious Indian undertaking to coalesce Upanishad philosophy, Jaina religion and Buddha Dhamma. Buddha dhamma is not in any way a philosophy. The Abidhamma Samuchchaya written in sanskrit by Asangachariya of India is purely an attempt to merge Upanishad philosophy with Buddha Dhamma. Later, the two books “Abhidhamma Atta Katha” and “Abhidhamartha Sangrahaya” written in Helabima appeared to have been influenced by the books written by Asangachariya and various Indian books on vytullya culture further clinging toward the perceiving, teaching and learning Buddha Dhamma as a philosophy. However, Buddha Dhamma is by no means a philosophy, but it prescribes an anthology for behavior with a practical path to tread and act while experiencing lasting relief. Subjects such as Buddhist philosophy and Buddhist culture that are being taught today as Buddha Dhamma at the Pali & Buddhist university and in all other universities do not represent pristine Buddha Dhamma that the Buddha presented. These subjects contain mundane analytical ideas as content that were later written by inept (pruthagjana) pundits using the same Magadhi phrases uttered by the Buddha. It appears that these analytical writings were formulated in Sanskrit language in India and in Pali language in Helabima. These analytical works that empower people to learn Buddha Dhamma as a philosophy and acquire university degrees and get deceived and entrapped in mundane worldly affairs, appears to be one of the main reasons for suppressing the path to Nibbana, which is clearly described in pristine Buddha Dhamma. Furthermore, Majjima Patipada, the moral path prescribed by the Buddha, which is a step by step process toward Nibbana, got reformed not only because Buddhism was convenient to follow as a religion with devotions, prayer and a belief system but also due to the prominence given to Buddhist philosophy by the universities and Buddhist learning centres as a subject of teaching. While the Buddhist philosophy and the Abidhamma help enhance and promote theoretical knowledge, it appears to be a significant hurdle in terms of realizing the path to Nibbana. The reason for this hurdle appears to be the deceitful presentation and introduction of mundane Upanishad philosophy discussed in “Abidhamma Samuchchaya” as Buddhist philosophy.
The sanskrit word “darshan” (philosophy) and Magadhi Buddha words “dassanena pahatabba” and “dassaneeyanang” mean different things and therefore cannot be used interchangeably. Sanskrit word “darshan” entails epistemological knowledge. However, the Magadhi Buddha words “dassanena or dassaneeyanang” entails seeing and knowing through own experience. The Magadhi words “Vipassana” and “Anupassana” stated in the Buddha desana later got exchanged with chandasvaisika sanskrit words “Vidarshana Bhavana” due to strong influence exerted by Upanishad philosophy. Due to the confusions created by erroneous substitutions and presentation of Upanishad philosophy along with sanskrit words, even today Buddhism and sinhala Buddhists use meaningless words and phrases such as “Vidarshana Bhavana” and “Vidarshana Bhavana Centers” that are incompatible with pristine Buddha Dhamma.
At present, serious attention of ordained or laymen, educated or uneducated, Buddhist or none Buddhist is drawn to Abidhamma introduced as Buddhist philosophy and a set of authentic values and beliefs such as offerings, prayers, worship, expectations and hopes. In this way the noble path to lasting relief from dukkha expounded in the pristine Buddha Dhamma as revealed by the Buddha dissipated and instead a Buddhist religion with scholarly philosophy and strong devotional aspects came into existence.
In the recent past, Venerable Polwatte Budddhadatta Maha Thero, Dr. E. W Adikaram, Veteran writer Martin Wickramasinghe and Venerable Prof. Dr. Walpola Rahula Maha Thero have courageously and bluntly depicted many specific errors and deficits in the Buddhist religion compared to pristine Buddha Dhamma with the aim of reopening the door to Nibbana for Hela Buddhists. However, these efforts had been distorted and crushed by religious forces of the conventional Buddhism. Therefore, all the deficits, errors and criticisms published remain restricted to books. Though the genuine deficits depicted by E. W Adikaram, Martin Wickramasinghe, Venerable Polwatte Buddhadatta and Venerable Walpola Rahula were a serious effort to reopen the path to Nibbana, it became unsuccessful for one major reason.
Though it is currently pointed out that the Buddhist philosophy and Buddhism as a devotional religion taught at the Buddhist universities and other educational institutions do not know how to support one to attain the status of a true Buddhist, there was no competent and enlightened person until now to correct the errors committed and to show the workings of the pristine path to Nibbana.
To show errors as errors, how continuation with an error leads to the closure of the doors to Nibbana, to correct the errors, reveal the correct path and demonstrate it practically by example are four vital steps to open the pristine path depicted in the Buddha Dhamma. Unless these four steps are fully completed, the pristine path will not be accessible. This is also like the comprehension of the four immovable truths.
- Error – Dukkha Ariya Sacca
- To continue with the error – Dukkha Samudaya Ariya Sacca
- Correct the error and disclose the correct path–Dukkha Niroda Ariya sacca
- Clarify the correct path and demonstrate it by example – Dukkha Niroda Gamini Patipada Ariya Sacca
Today the purpose of pursuing, learning or studying Buddhist philosophy is primarily to become an educated specialist or to become a learned personality. Moreover, it serves for mundane worldly greatness or to receive titles such as
Royal Pundit, Professorships at universities, or to be a well-recognized expert in
Tripitaka but not for comprehending the four immovable truths. Furthermore, those who call themselves Buddhists follow a devotional Buddhism, abide by religious values and traditions to avoid going into hellish realms and in the belief to receive divine, brahma and mundane royal prosperity at opulent levels in present and future lives. This is the summation of the context and the essence of the Buddhist religion taught today.
What the Buddha showed then as the pristine path to liberation or the paramatta dhamma got reformed and restricted to words and carried forward as a religion followed by Buddhists with unconditional devotion and dedication. It must be stated clearly that the modifications forced upon the pristine Buddha Dhamma are not easy to distinguish. The Atta Katha written in Helabima and India in the period followed by the Buddha Parinibbana gradually sealed the pathway to Nibbana enabling the formation of a religion and a philosophy that facilitated prospects for a prosperous mundane world.
Today, most lay and ordained learned individuals give prominence to the subject of Abidhamma also known as Buddhist philosophy. This approach helps to bury the pristine Buddha Dhamma further as it gets transformed into a philosophy.
The pathway that helped a clear majority of individuals to attain Nibbana got thrown out of practice due the changes that were brought upon Buddha Dhamma.
Learned and educated Buddhists both lay and ordained shouldered Buddhist philosophy and the rustic inept pruthagjana got engaged with devotional aspects such as offerings, prayers, beliefs in divine interventions etc. Consequently, the Hela people living today both ordained and laity turned into a population that does not know even the pure unaltered meaning of Magadhi words such as Buddha or Baǔddha.
Moreover, there are groups of ordained, laymen, theoreticians, learned individuals and those live by rules of ethic (Vinayavadeen) who live in forest monasteries while practicing extremes of Attakila Matha Anuyoga (adhearing to duutanga) and engaging in incorrect methodologies instead of treading the path to Nibbana recommended by the Buddha. In the present era, the purpose of studying Buddhist philosophy and Abidhamma is not to attain Nibbana but to obtain a university degree and become a learned educated Buddhist specialist with the aim of finding employment and further to achieve mundane goals such as to become a Professor at a university or to become a chief abbot (Mahanayaka) of a temple. Whatever they study or whatever they are taught, they will not attain Nibbana through this deceitful Buddhist philosophy and Abidhamma, for they contain no correct path toward the attainment of Nibbana. Attaining Nibbana means one must recognize and eradicate the three fetters within oneself by adhering to the path of behavior recommended by the Buddha. It cannot be achieved just by learning some stanzas or phrases stated in books. It must be experienced through one’s own penetrative wisdom.
When one adopts the view that samsara is fruitful and gratifying and feeds into the continued existence, one gives rise to new relationships (punnabbavo) based on sam (3 fetters) and get shackled to an endless cycle of existential afflictions.
Accordingly, the narrative of samsaric afflictions (samsara roga) discussed in the pristine Buddha discourse, known as sandesana, had beenassigned a wrong elucidation. The learned Buddhist experts, both ordained and laymen, well versed in sanskrit, a language that leans on poetry and beauty, did not lean toward spiritual life or attainment of Nibbana. Such learned individuals have forgotten the path to Nibbana.
Discourse on sam or sandesana, that contained four simple, elegant, and profound Magadhi terms that were made easy for Hela people to understand and identify as Buddha Insights (Buddha Gñana) got discarded by the so-called learned Buddhists who were necessarily inept pruthagjana people. The four Magadhi terms – sandessethi (comprehending sam from sandesana), sammādapethi (firmly consolidating the view that sam can be uprooted), sammuchchedethi (eradicating sam without traces by uprooting the 3 fetters), and sampahansethi (living ethical life or treading the path free of sam) used in Chula Hatthi Padaupama Sutta and in a few hundred other suttas to clarify and explain sandesana, had been tainted in content and meaning by assigning erroneous meanings to promote mundane life while quashing the path to Nibbana beyond recognition for Buddhists.
It must be pointed out that these four terms for Buddha Insights resurface in other suttas as santhittathi, sannisidiyathi, ekodhi bãvang and sammãdiyathi which essentially carry the same meaning as the previous four terms.
In all the Buddha discourses its clearly stipulated how the grasping of five aggregates (panchaskandha=rupa, vedana, sañna, sankhara & viññana) always lead to formations of new relationships that invigorate continued existence and get shackled to the infinite existence (samsara). They also depict the path to find relief or liberation from such relationships. One must follow the path if one is determined to terminate samudaya (termination of samudaya is niroda) arising through cycling (rodha) intentional thoughts (sanchethana). Samudaya means joining or forming a sam based connection or a relationship. Otherwise, it is the arising of sam or birth of a relationship or a connection arising from lobha, dvesha or moha. These connections or relationships can be disjointed (or axed) by forcing actions rooted on sam (sankhara) to turn into actions that are free of sam (visankhara) and forcing samudaya to cease through Nirodha, which means putting an end to sam based ruminating thoughts (sanchetana). The biggest hurdle to the cessation of cycling thoughts (niroda) commencing from samudaya is the learnedness and educatedness of the person.
Formation of a relationship or samudaya originates when one mentally grasps something deeply desirable, clashes with what is undesirable and compares between desirable and undesirable due to vanity or conceit. This process is depicted through the three terms raga (loba), dvesha and moha. According to Magadhi language and Buddha discourses, the term sam indicates a consolidation of the three fetters loba, dvesha and moha. These three tendencies arise and get activated in the mind simultaneously while defiling the mind. The framework for continued existence is designed only due to the arising of the tendencies of raga, dvesha and moha in the mind. Samudaya means a formation of a bond or a relationship for one’s continued existence in samsara. This process is clearly stipulated through Magadhi terms sambavan and sambuthan.
One can reach the level of Dhammo Sandittikho only when one is able to know and recognize experientially as sam emanates in one’s mind. Samudaya can be terminated (niroda), only when one has realistically experienced the stage of Dhammo Sandittikho. The Buddha uttering from the Dhammachakkapavaththana
“Yang kinchi samudaya dhamman, sabbanthan niroda dhamman”
can be comprehended fully only when one has practically achieved the state of dhammo sandittikho and knows convincingly that samudaya can be and must be terminated (niroda). Samudaya refers to newly emanating samsaric relationships based on lobha, dvesha and moha, that fuel continued samsaric existence.
For full comprehension of the four immovable truths, one must draw knowledge from all four terms of Buddha Insights (Buddha Gñana). Sandesana means Buddha desana. Trisikkha (three masteries) taught by the Buddha are sanvara (restraining sam), sansindeema (stilling sam) and sammā (eradicating sam). Trisikkha are also known as sila, samadhi and pañna. Accordingly, one can fully achieve the state of sanvara when one acts within one’s established code of four sam restraining conducts (satara sanvara sila). Sansideema is accomplished through the practice of samatha and vipassana bhavana. Sammā is realized by eradicating the roots of loba, dvesha and moha tendencies that are deep rooted in the mind and must be cleansed (uprooted) fully to end the formation of samudaya. The dhamma meaning of sammā referrers to the total freedom from all samsaric relationships through eradicating them completely.
The Vedic Upanishad philosophy was unmasked by the Buddha as an athma theory (athmavada) and rejected it outright. The Buddha not only excluded athma theory as one extreme but also the anathma theory (annathmavada) as the other extreme. Though today’s learned Buddhist and those with authority repeatedly stipulate the theory of athma, the Buddha Dhamma is not about any athmavada. The Buddha rejected both versions as indicated above but elucidated to the world the dhamma of Hetu- Pala or Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma as Budddha Dhamma. Accordingly, it must be said categorically that the Buddha or any Arahant never taught or elucidated any athma or anathma doctrines. However, in today’s Buddhism, the acceptance of the concept of athma is considered a doctrinal (delusional) frame of mind.
In medieval India, the theory of anathma, empowered and shouldered by the learned Mahayana pundits became a powerful weapon to fight the Brahmin religion there, but not in Helabima. This is a valid point to depict that the Buddha Dhamma is neither a doctrine nor a philosophy or a religion or a theory on athma or anathma, but it is a practical behavioral pathway to tread.
Its apparent that using Magadhi phrases found in Buddha Dhamma, Nagarjuna and Asangachariya attempted to construct an anathmavada and a Buddhist philosophy (as Abidhamma) in India. Though they used Buddhism to construct and organize their anathma doctrine in a logical manner to defeat Brahmin religion in India, it became a major reason for the fading and demise of the Vimukkthi Magga (path to liberation from 3 fetters). In this manner, sanskrit experts in India created a Buddhist philosophy as a subject that is attractive to potential scholars by promoting mundane objectives while discarding the supramundane path to Nibbana. At present, the Buddhist and Pali University and all other national and international universities teach a deceitful Buddhist philosophy founded on the Upanishad philosophy and the doctrine of anathma formulated by learned Mahayana experts but not the pristine behavioral path to Nibbana as taught by the Buddha.
It’s an appalling insult to the pristine Buddha Dhamma if one proclaims that the currently taught Buddhist philosophy is the true Buddha Dhamma or the path to Nibbana. This is because true Buddha Dhamma is about one’s own innate experiential knowledge to recognize mental impulses and act appropriately to avoid accumulation of sam (passatho & sampaja-na-akri hoti), a state of wisdom that exceeds mundane scholarly epistemological knowledge. This experiential knowledge must ascend from within. Gaining of wisdom/experiential knowledge is described in the Dhamma analysis as “janatho, passatho, arahatho and sammā sambuddhassa”.
Using some of the Buddha phrases stated in the Buddha desana along with own theoretical arguments, Nagarjuna attempted passionately to prove the doctrine of anathmavada while asserting that there is no such thing as satva-pudgala (I, me & mine concept), physical matter or an atom. Only through the understanding of trilakkhana – anichcha, dukkha & anaththa, one can clearly fathom that the noble pristine Buddha Dhamma is not about a doctrine of anathma.
Existence and nonexistence are two extremes. Have and have not are another two extremes. Buddha Dhamma clearly shows that extremes are illusions. The Buddha Dhamma promulgated the natural phenomenon of nichcha, sukha and attha of what is once grasped (upadana) with sam tendencies. (nichcha =desired objects are rooted in the mind as unchanging attitudes; sukha=feeling that the desired object always remains pleasurable; attha= the belief that the desired object can be brought under lasting control). This is the very reason that the
Buddha Dhamma proclaims
“sabbe sankhara anichchathi, sabbe sankhara dukkathi,
sabbe dhamma anaththathi”.
(sabbe – all; sankhara – intentional activities based on sam; anichchathi – inability to hold steadfastly to outcomes of 3 fetters; dukkathi – what is desirable inevitably turns in to a conflict; anaththathi – these outcomes are worth nothing or meaningless to bring under one’s ownership as everything transforms inevitably).
The above Buddha proclamation clearly explains that the Buddha Dhamma is neither about the argument of extremes “existence or none existence” nor about “permeance or an impermanence”, “endurable or unendurable” and “soulful or soulless”.
Ichcha born in a mind, which arises as a tendency of sam activates nichcha, sukha and attha setting the wheel of patichcha samuppada in motion. Engaging with a desirable object is known as patichcha. Because of patichcha, a relationship is born in the mind. This is known as the samuppada dhamma. All the following Magadhi terms “samudaya” = “samuppada” = “sambavan” = “sambuthan” explain how an existential relationship is formed. All the 4 above terms indicate an effect or a consequence. The cause for samudaya is grasping with strong desire (sam) or patichcha. When there is no patichcha samudaya will not be born. Patichcha, is a mental tendency that latches tothe objects encountered by the eye, sounds heard by the ear, odors sensed by the nose, tastes experienced by the tongue, touch detected by the body and mental phenomena (dhamma) pondered in the mind. The reason for patichcha is the undisciplined sensorium; Lack of sensory discipline. Sila or code of ethics is required to achieve a disciplined sensorium (sanvaraveema). Disciplining of all 6 sense organs eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind can be only done from within by own-self and there is nothing in the external world that can be disciplined.
Eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind of person cannot be disciplined by another person. Also no one else can discipline your sense organs on your behalf. One must understand this natural phenomenon. This process of discipline refers to trisikkha sanvara, sansindeema and sammā discussed earlier.
To realize the path taught by the Buddha, one must follow the code of Buddhist ethics known as satara sanvara sila. This means four types of ethical conduct namely code for sensory restraint (Indriya sanvara sila); disciplined consumption of what is offered (Prathya sanvara sila); if the moral code is broken by any chance, re-establish the code in breach in front of a pious senior Buddha Sravaka (Prathimokkha Sanvara Sila) and living a pure disciplined life free of sam (Ajeevaka
Parisuddha Sanvara Sila). Through the practice of four sanvara sila, one is gradually able to achieve samatha and vipassana and sammāpatthi. The completion of sammā attributes will reach fulfillment with gradual broadening of pañna.
The removal of the noble path to Nibbana taught by the Buddha on the one hand, and the insertion of Abidhamma, Buddhist philosophy, the doctrine of anathma, traditional prayers, offerings, beliefs and devotions that are taught today on the other hand, leave the conventional Buddhist perplexed.
The suttas expounded by the Buddha in Magadhi language and pariyapthi dhamma written by sinhala Arahants in Hela language as Hela Atuva got translated into Sanskrit and other Indian languages as time passed by. Many learned people who wrote analytical works later, translated Hela Atuva into sanskrit and Pali languages. These analytical works that were written in sanskrit and Pali returned to usage when they got translated again back to sinhala language. In this manner the Buddha words that got translated into Pali, sanskrit and sinhala back and forth also got translated into Chinese, Japanese, Tibet, Burmese, Thai and recently into Western languages such as English and German for study purposes. When the Buddha words got translated in various languages in various epochs by various learned individuals, they inserted their own analytical and personal ideas, world views, religious views and opinions into their works. These intrusions transmuted the pristine Buddha Dhamma into a philosophy. The history clearly depicts how the pristine Dhamma the Buddha taught for human and divine beings to liberate themselves from the shackles of samsaric existence got confined to only a set of words: and how the present day Abidhamma, Buddhist philosophy, the doctrine of anathma, Buddhism and
Buddhist culture adversely contributed to the gradual detachment from what the Buddha taught. Since the commencement of scholarly pursuits in these subject areas, the practice became limited to theoretical knowledge and memorization. This leaning into the theoretical expertise (granthadhuraya) lead to the demise of (vipassanadhuraya) vipassana expertise.
Similar to modern sciences, the so-called Buddhist philosophy and Abidhamma that are taught at present in educational institutions are also founded on relative truth and its logic. Nagarjuna’s attempt to secure the essence of Buddhism as a religion by introducing the doctrine of anathma and Buddhist philosophy, led to equipping Buddhists with a weapon called logic (thakkavachara). However, Nibbana, the absolute truth (paramattha sathya), is a phenomenon that cannot be comprehended through logic because it defies relative logic (athakkavchara) and can be achieved only through experiential knowledgeand athi-indriya gñana (4dimensional realization) explained in the Buddha Dhamma. For one to achieve sammā vimukthi (free from all sam), one must be skillful of knowing experientially all sam based defilements born in the mind and proficiently forcing sanchetana to cease through the practice of cessation of sankhara (sankhara niroda). It must be stated that sammā vimukthi cannot be experienced through memorizing Buddha words and phrases as this comprehensive knowledge requires athi-indriya gñana which is a status beyond the range of comprehension by inept human sense organs.
As time passed, the practice in which one must comprehend natural phenomena (dhamma) by treading the path recommended, had been discarded based on some erroneous ideas that its worthless. The four paths, the path of the stream winner (sotapathi magga), path of the once-returner (sakadagami magga), path of the none returner (anāgāmi magga) and the path to arahantship (arahant magga) can guide a person methodically and practically to end the defilements born in the mind and adopt behavior that can eradicate sam based defilements from their roots paving the way to achieve all four stages of maga pala leading to Nibbana. However, just learning these paths scholarly as a theory or as a philosophy does not lead one to experience any of the four stages of maga pala or tangible outcomes with regards to Nibbana. This means that simply by drawing knowledge from an external person or a source to enhance own knowledge base will not help one to realize Nibbana. For the attainment of Nibbana, one must necessarily fathom true comprehension of “yo patichcha samuppadan passathi”, which means one must be able to differentiate patichcha samuppada when arising from within and able to experience it by oneself. This comprehensive experience within oneself is known by the Magadhi term “Dhammo Sandittiko”. This essentially means, one’s skillfulness to weigh things by giving due consideration to cause and effect (hetupala dhamma) and to do what is wholesome and not to do what is unwholesome (naya-vinaya = karaneeya and akaraneeya) prior to any physical or mental activity and the accompanying fulfilment of sanvara, sansindeema, and sammā standards of ethic in adherence to all four Buddha Insights (Buddha Gñana).
With the commencement of teaching Abidhamma, Buddhist philosophy, doctrine of anathma including Buddhism as subjects at the universities and educational institutions, sandesana got overlooked and pushed into oblivion for its demise resulting in Nibbana becoming a distant dream. In this manner all Buddhists got transformed into an inept (pruthagjana) group of laymen satisfied with devotional requests and prayers to attain Nibbana.
At present, Buddhism is practiced not with the intention of achieving states of enlightenment (Maga pala). It’s also not about treading the path to liberate from the infinite samsaric existence by terminating upadana of panchaskandha. The Buddhist educational practice today is aimed at becoming an expert on Buddhism, to receive titles such as doctorates or professorships, for personal gains or for fame and glory. Thus, the emphasis today is to become a theoretician (granthadhuraya) and as a result vipassana expertise (vipassanadhuraya) declined and vanished. Many study Buddhist philosophy and Abidhamma and Buddhist culture for becoming educated or to acquire titles such as Royal pandit degrees. They are unaware that any such titles do not help realize Nibbana. They give prominence to public dhamma discourses to gain popularity, personal gains, fame and praise while ignoring ethics of the Buddhist way of life and none adherence to the expected behavior within the dhamma.
DHAMAANUDHAMMA PATIPADA PORTRAYED IN THE BUDDHA DHAMMA
Buddha dhamma is not a religion or a philosophy, rather, it provides a practical path to attain Nibbana. This path is prescribed primarily for the relief from continued samsaric afflictions, thereby attaining Nibbana. It is a practice for liberation through wisdom (vimukthi gñana dassana). The term Baûddha (bava + uddha) (bava = tendency & uddha = uprooting) became confusing with the attempt to categorize what the Buddha taught under the conventional term Buddhism. In addition, the comparison with other religions from East and West forced the path of Nibbana into a religion, all of which contributed to this confusion. For vimukthi gñana dassana to be realized, it is not only necessary to comprehend the four immovable truths (chatu ariya sacca) but also the path that leads to their comprehension. This path entails how one can uproot (uddha), the mental tendencies of raga, dvesha and moha bava. The conversion of Buddha dhamma into a religion resulted in opportunities for religious business and popularity. All these things suppressed the aims of pristine Buddha Dhamma, and Nibbana became a distant dream confined only to words.
With these changes, the Buddha became an object of divine worship and further the Buddha Dhamma became a conventional religion known as Buddhism with devotional aspects and a belief system. The concepts of Veda, Shiva, Upanishad, Jaina, Hindu, Brahmin and several more theistic ideologies representing conventional religions believing in the state of brahma, divinity, prayers, faith and devotion were allowed to crawl into Buddhism causing huge distortion and destruction of what the Buddha taught.
Today, in conventional Buddhism that is followed with devotion and faith, there is hardly any presence of the path to Nibbana (vimukthi magga) or the Majjima patipada that is essential to comprehend chatu ariya sacca. Majjima patipada, which in conventional Buddhism is erroneously translated as a middle path.
Presently, there is a practice in conventional Buddhism promoting meritorious deeds to evade realms of hell and to secure continued divine and human prosperity. However, it shall be known that evading realms of hell and securing divine prosperity not only prolong samsaric existence but also become preventive factors from attaining Nibbana. Sensual (Kāmalōka) and divine spheres (sugathiloka) are devoid of Nibbana. Though evading realms of hell is favorable, there is no Nibbana.
Nibbana is nothing other than achieving freedom from tendencies (gathi) of 3 fetters by totally eradicating the roots of raga, dvesha and moha before they take root in the mind (anuppada) as well as preventing their re-emergence. This according to Buddha desana is called “Kusalassa upasampada”.
Wherever or in whatever world, if there is existence, then there is no Nibbana.
There is no existence in Nibbana and in existence there is no Nibbana.
Modern science that was born in recent times in the Western hemisphere cannot be compared to the Buddha Dhamma. Modern science (naveena vidya) and the science (vidya) termed as vijja udapadi, vijja adhigatha, avijja vihatha in Buddha Dhamma differ significantly with completely different meanings. Buddha dhamma is about real truth (paramattha dhamma). Here the term vijja refersto the penetrative knowledge, vijja udapadi (udapadi= create and clarify), vijja adhigatha (adhigatha= exceeding the confines of conventional wisdom or achieving supra mundane knowledge) about one’s existence and ability to gain understanding through own yatha butha gñana dassana (= realistic comprehension of things as they are through penetrative wisdom) to fully comprehend chatu ariya sacca. The quality of yathavadi thatakari is a noble conduct (yathavadi thatakari = to see things as they are with penetrative wisdom).
At least now, all Buddhists must bear in mind that a long time after the Buddha Parinibbana, a new religion known as Buddhism was created by incorporating worship, prayers, offerings and most other elements of conventional religions which existed at the time. Buddha was neither an author of a religion nor was he a founder of a religion. The Buddha is a uniquely noble person who placed the dhamma in the teacher’s seat and kept the dhamma at the centre of His teaching.
MOTHER TONGUE AND HISTORY OF THE HELA NATION
For the transformation of youth of any nation as lucid eloquent independent thinkers, i.e. to drive their attention toward dhammanudhamma patipada and enable them to see things as they are, its paramount to make them cognizant about their mother tongue and correct history of their nation from childhood onward. For this, they must be trained to think independently.
The country in which we live is “Sivu Helaya”. Later it got transformed as
“Sinhalaya”. The original language of the ancestors in this country exercised Magadhi and Hela language. It is important to know the history of this land in detail. In the distant past (at the time of the Buddha) Janbudveepa, Uturukurudeepa, Apara Goyana & Pûrva Videha were collectively known as Sivu Helaya. Mahavansa,
Deepavansa, Uttaravansa & all other chronicles (Vansakatha) were written in this Sivu Helaya. They relate only the history and heritage of Sivu Helaya. All such chronicles were written and published in Hela language. Later these chronicles that were written in Hela language got translated into Pali language. Over time the original Magadhi and Hela languages that were spoken by Hela ancestors got intermingled with borrowed words from sanskrit and other languages resulting in severe corruption of the two. This corruption did not occur over night but it’s a transition that has been ongoing since the days of King Walagamba or even prior.
The acclaimed editorial board of the Tripitaka that was formed in 1954 became experts in the field by replacing the pure Magadhi and Hela terms with sanskrit words. An independent analysis of the language used to translate the Tripitaka by these experts clearly show that a myriad of words got replaced with borrowed sanskrit words. Their word replacement distorted not only Hela language but also the pristine Buddha Dhamma. Anyone who reads the translated versions of the sinhala Tripitaka will undoubtedly recognize that the simple and pure (sugama) Magadhi and Hela words had been replaced with borrowed foreign sanskrit words that are poetic, complex and fancy. It does not appear that the usage of corrupt sanskrit words replaced in translated versions were intended to help sinhala children and youth but rather to demonstrate how much expertise the translators possessed as well-educated individuals who had expertise in six different languages (shadbasha parameswara). Because of these translations, for a novice reader of the sinhala Tripitaka, sinhala language and the pure Buddha Dhamma have become a bitter pill. Its time at least now, for the Maha Theros of Amarapura Nikaya that represent the committee recognized as Tripitaka Editorial Board to recognize that transforming Tripitaka through the insertion of unpalatable, incomprehensible jargon without much sense is a long lasting severe evil deed (papa-karma). One must recognize the fact that these translations and replacements of Hela words and phrases with sanskrit words and phrases have become one of the major reasons that the sinhala language and Buddha
Dhamma turned into a bitter pill for sinhala children. In this manner, it must be agreed that the names of people, villages and places included in Mahavansa, Deepavansa, Uttaravansa and Hela Atuva and other chronicles written in Helabima in Hela language and by Hela experts are places in Sivu Helaya and by no means were they included as a part of history of any foreign country. The Magadhi Tripitaka written in Helabima by enlightened Hela monks in Hela alphabet is part of the Hela nation’s history. Janbudveepa was the land where the Buddha was born and it was part of Helabima. It was the Hela Bhikkhus of Helabima who wrote and documented the pristine Buddha Dhamma which they managed to carry forward by memorizing them as Pela Dahama and word of mouth (Wanapoth) for 450 years.
For this reason, it is vital to bear in mind that the information written and documented in Mahavansa, Deepavansa and Tripitaka were actual names of people, places and villages used in ancient Helabima and certainly not those of some foreign country.
Now and then alike, it was Brahmins and ordained people with misleading world views that fought against Buddha Dhamma, the Buddha and Helabima, had made efforts to assign our Hela heritage to foreign lands and suppress it completely. Today, we must realize that this same group of Brahmins and ordained reborn in Helabima are still making efforts to assign our heritage and Hela history to foreign lands while distorting Buddha Dhamma through an array of activities. Nation’s youth, lay and ordained, learned and politicians must recognize this absolute truth (parama sathya) and act accordingly.
The English and local authors and their local henchman who worshiped foreign ideas and ideologies between 1850 – 1900 brought forward theories and arguments to show that Mahavansa, Tripitaka and other chronicles written in Sivu Helaya contained historic information of a foreign land and attempted to endow our Helaheritage to India. This is an irreparable damage instituted by them on the Hela nation. The result of these ruthless distortions to Hela history and Hela language contributed to the downfall of the Hela nation as corrupt and dependent on external sources.
Prior to the arrival of Prince Vijaya, this nation had a vastly developed art of documentation, culture, a multitude of various technologies and methods and a system of irrigation. The temple ruins and archeological remains that can be seen in today’s Rajagala Tenna (Rajagahanuwara), Ritigala (Savath-nuwara), Budugala (Kusinara-nuwara) etc., are all constructions that were built by ancient Hela people prior to the arrival of Vijaya and not a single thing there was built thereafter.
Though at the time of arrival of Vijaya from India, the developments in Uturukurudeepa were not as progressive in the art of documentation, trades and technologies, compared to the vastly developed cultures and kingdoms in many areas in Helabima East and Ruhuna (Janbudveepa). Two such prominent kingdoms were Magadha Kingdom at Rajagala (Rajagahanuwara) and the Kingdom of Kosala known today as Ritigala. Also, rich and developed cultures existed elsewhere in central mountains (Malaya rata) and Sabaragamuva and these are all parts of Janbudveepa. Gothama, the Buddha walked 45 years through the villages and lands of Helabima to pass the message of the dhamma to the people of Helabima.
Capacity and skillfulness of Hela people to write Hela Atuva books, Hela chronicles (Vansakatha) using a well-organized system of documentation along with a very sophisticated art of communication and expression as evidenced by the writings of Tripitaka with a sophisticated system of alphabet had been ignored willfully by todays so called learned experts. Thus, it must be stated clearly, this erroneous conventional history has been a major contributor in the production of a generation of Hela youth whose thoughts and actions are blunted by ignorance.
It is vital to provide guidance to children, young university students, and particularly school teachers of Helabima for the study of own mother tongue and error free authentic history of Helabima. It is time to correct and rewrite our nation’s history that was distorted and forced upon us by Europeans and their local henchmen. Thus, I wish to reiterate the fact that it is time for those who acquired degrees and titles of professors, archeologists, historians and as experts of Buddhist philosophy from the West to rethink the errors committed and correct the transgressions they made to our nation’s history. As Hela people from across Helabima, we shall not be fixated on various conventional religious concepts but shall act to learn and experience pristine Buddha Dhamma and progress on the path to human goodness and humility.
It is important, at least from now on, to teach commencing from lower grades, the fact that there is a distinct difference between Buddhism and the pristine Buddha Dhamma. This must be understood by the educated, the rulers and the administrators who must set priority and act to elevate the Buddha Dhamma in Helabima.
It is the foreigners who transformed the noble Buddha Dhamma into a religion and changed the code of conduct (magga chariya= Dhammanudhamma patipada) into a Buddhist philosophy. Our Hela people did accept the changes made by these foreign entities and willingly excluded pristine Buddha Dhamma and tossed the code of conduct out of practice.
I do not suggest even for a moment that it is wrong to read books written in sanskrit by Mahayana experts in India. However, when reading those books, one must study the Tripitaka scripts written in Helabima and focus attention on to how the Dhammanudhamma patipada got extricated from the pristine Buddha Dhamma and Buddha dhamma got transformed into a devotional religion that is comprised of prayer, offerings and hymns etc. It must be clearly understood that all the books written in India were significantly influenced by Upanishad philosophy, Jaina religion, Vedas, and ancient Indian texts. The history of suppression of pristine Buddha Dhamma in Helabima through the influence of theosophical religions and how it got converted into another conventional religion must be brought to light in order to make our future generations aware.
At Sunday dhamma schools or at Pirivenas in today’s Helabima, children are taught a wrong history, a wrong religion and a wrong language. The one and the only important aspect missing in Buddhism, Buddhist philosophy, Buddhist culture etc., being taught in Hela schools and educational institutions today is pristine Buddha dhamma. Currently, children are taught many irrational wrong things that are either borrowed from the West or from India. Though borrowed from the West, what is wrong is wrong and what is correct is correct. To search what is moral and what is immoral, one must apply the dhamma of cause and effect (hetu-pala dhamma).
For a just, healthy society and for a citizenry that is honest and follows the code of moral conduct, it is necessary to abide by the dhamma of cause and effect (hetu-pala). It is the essence of Buddha Dhamma. If one assesses the matter at hand for cause and effect (hetu-pala dhamma) and understands whether there is harm to self, others and environment (for naya-vinaya) before taking any action, one lives in accordance with a code of moral conduct without being indebted to anyone in the infinite samsara. This means one treads Dhammanudhamma patipada.
It’s the responsibility and duty of all Hela citizenry to stop teaching a wrong history to our children and start teaching the correct authentic history and the correct Buddha Dhamma toward the development of a dutiful responsible citizenry.
ABIDHAMMA AND MAGGA CHARIYA (DHAMMANUDHAMMA PATIPADA OR CODE OF MORAL CONDUCT)
Within the Buddha Dhamma that was taught by the Buddha, there was only a code of conduct or magga chariya and never taught any Abidhamma as currently presented or separately taught. To tread the path according to the sutta, one must assess the mental object for cause and effect (hetu-pala dhamma) and understand whether there is harm to self, others and to the nature (verify nayavinaya) before taking any mental, physical or verbal action while experiencing the accompanying discipline of the sensorium (sanvara), mental stillness (sansindeema) and freedom from all sam (samma) rendering Abidhamma unnecessary. This Abidhamma which is said to be a deep dhamma that only divine beings can comprehend and assumed to be expounded only to the divine beings is a recent addition to Tripitaka. In the original pristine Buddha Dhamma, there is no separation of anything called Abidhamma.
Abidhamma begins with the book “Abidhamma Samuchchya” written in India by Mahayana expert Asangacharya in the 3rd century A.D. in sanskrit language. The content of this book had been rewritten in Helabima as “Abhidhamartha Sangrahaya” and added it to Buddhist philosophy.
It must be clearly stated that when writing the above two books, they used the same phrases from the Magadhi Tripitaka and mingled them with some theories of Upanishad philosophy. In Buddhist institutions today, this subject area is formatted for teaching as Buddhist philosophy and Abidhamma. This knowledge and education acquired from formatted Abidhamma has helped in maintaining theoretical expertise (granthadhuraya) and logical arguments but it became an obstacle to tread the code of conduct or Dhammanudhamma patipada (vipassanadhuraya) as shown in the pristine Buddha Dhamma.
It is this subject of Abidhamma that is borrowed from Mahayana Buddhism which became the major reason for Hela Buddhist to detach themselves from the path of Nibbana and to restrict Nibbana to an aspiring distant reality. Nowa-days the full attention of ordained, laity and educated is drawn toward the Buddhist philosophy that was formulated and presented by Mahayana Buddhism rather than the Dhammanudhamma patipada depicted in the pristine Buddha Dhamma.
Also, the rural conventional Buddhists have their attention and dedication geared toward worship, offers, prayers, wishes and aspirations. They worship the Buddha as if He were a God. Accordingly, most less educated rural Buddhists, worship, pray and request Nibbana from Buddha statues and Bodhi trees similar to the requests made by followers of theological religions.
Many of the Buddhist educated groups that have subscribed to Buddhist philosophy, Abidhamma and the Doctrine of Anathma have adopted their beliefs, thoughts and behaviors accordingly and are adrift in a world of their own.
The noble Buddha Dhamma that has shown the magga chariya or Dhammanudhamma patipada became transformed into a pathway for a better mundane worldly life instead of retaining it as a path to secure Vimukkthi magga. In this manner, the Buddha Dhamma got coerced into a formatted traditional religion making the goal of Nibbana a distant reality. Further, aspirations to be a future Buddha or to attain Nibbana by seeing a future Buddha got habituated.
Accordingly, Majjima patipada elucidated by the Buddha was transformed into a middle path or a middle policy. In pristine Buddha Dhamma, Majjima Patipada means; Majji is sensory inebriation; ma – be free by complete eradication; patipada – the policy or the pathway). Majjima patipada in conventional Buddhism is erroneously translated as a middle path and turned it into misleading and irrelevant statement.
Samudaya is born only in the mind. The main reason for samudaya to arise is due to actions rooted in 3 fetters/defilements of raga, dvesha and moha. To stop samudaya, one must reflect on anichcha, dukkha and anatta and prevent inebriation of the mind caused by the former. This approach will lead to renunciation (nibbidā), none affinity or freedom from raga (viragā), no wheeling ofthoughts based on sam (niroda) and freedom from all upadana (patinissaggā). This is the dhammanudhamma patipada recommended by the Buddha.
AMISA PUJA OR DEVOTIONAL WORSHIP AND RELIGION
Thehuman mind is quick to find temporary relief from emotional upheavals and feel good though learned mundane skills in literature, creating crafts, arts, music and anything that provides solace to the mind. Momentary and temporary gratification of sensorium brings reasonable satisfaction and this approach is deeply preferred by inept (pruthagjana) people. Many religions use a myriad of such techniques to help find mental relief for its devotees. Inept (pruthagjana) worldly people utilize food, houses, beds & bed linen, tables & chairs, bath & living rooms etc., for emotional coziness and satisfaction. All such things will become part of the culture later. Use of knives and forks for dining is a tradition in the West. To sleep on a mat made of grass stalks or on the parapet wall of the verandah is a sinhala tradition. Though these traditions are no part of a religion it is difficult to separate such cultural traditions from a religion. Eating on a plate using fork and knife is an inappropriate cultural aspect for a Buddhist monk. But it neither leads to evil (akusala) nor moral (kusala) deeds. However, according to accepted convention, a Buddhist monk must eat in a bowl using fingers. This bowl eating tradition (pāthra vatha), had been stipulated by the Buddha in the Mahā Brahmāu Sutta. Whether such activities are appropriate or inappropriate for monks are decided by inept worldly pruthagjana people who assess these things through their cultural norms and own yard sticks measured with their own personal values and appreciation (mana). If a monk eats his offered dana with a fork and a knife at a Sri Lankan home, it’s a repugnant ignoble act in the mind of a devotional sinhala Buddhist. But, I have witnessed that sinhala Buddhist monks eat dana with forks and knives when they are in a Western country. For this reason, eating from a bowl is an appropriate recommendation.
It follows then that religion and cultural aspects go hand in hand and flow in a similar direction. However, Buddha Dhamma (Dhammanudhamma patipada) is decided according to the principle of cause and effect (hetu-pala dhamma). If patichcha occurs, sam arises. If patichcha does not occur, sam does not arise. If sam arises and samudaya is born, its adhamma. If samudaya ceases (niroda) and patichcha does not occur, then Dhammanudhamma Patipada or magga chariya is in full practice. The reflection of anichcha, dukkha and anaththa is essential to break free of from patichcha.
Sabbe sankhāra anichcha – all sam based activities end up as anichcha
Sabbe sankhāra dukkha – all sam based activities end up in dukkha
Sabbe dhamma anatta – all phenomena are anatta
(sabbe – all; sankhāra – intentional activities based on sam; anichcha – inability to maintain the nature of what was grasped as ichcha i.e. desirability (loba=raga=1st guise)); undesirability (dvesha=2nd guise); comparability between the two (moha= 3rd guise); dukkha – result of desirable turns inevitably into unendurable afflictions; anatta – these outcomes are unworthy or meaningless to bring under one’s control since everything transforms inevitably).
One must reflect on the above to break free from patichcha.
BUDDHA DHAMMA AND MODERN SCIENCES
Buddha dhamma is neither a religion nor a philosophy but it is a magga chariya or Dhammanudhamma Patipada. Noble Buddha dhamma showed us this magga chariya to realize the path of liberation from samsara; to enable human beings to attain penetrative wisdom or Vimukkthi Gñana Dassana.
Vimukkthi Gñana Dassana means clear comprehension of chatu ariya sacca. Overtime, the dhammanudhamma patipada that must be followed to achieve the stage of full comprehension not only got transitioned into a conventional religion known as Buddhism but also gave rise to a series of errors. The efforts made to compare Buddha Dhamma to other Eastern and Western conventional religions led to many significant conflicts. The forceful nature of this conflict not only suppressed the pristine Buddha dhamma viz magga chariya taught by the Buddha but also converted it into a faith based conventional religion. Worse than introducing Buddha Dhamma as Buddhism, the biggest destruction was brought about through gradual insertion of theosophical opinions, theories, and concepts from faith based popularly accepted religions at the time such as Veda, Shiva, Jaina and Upanishadphilosophy.
Traditionally accepted, popular at the time, practices of Eastern religions such as prayers, wishes, aspirations, worship, and offerings found access to Buddhism and these practices forced Dhammanudhamma patipada into a distant reality confined to its concept.
Today in conventional Buddhism, there is no place for either Dhammanudhamma patipada elucidated by the Buddhaor any meaningful narrative on Majjima patipada which isessential for the full comprehension of the four immovable truths or chatu ariya sacca. The Majjima patipada portrayedin conventional Buddhism means a middle path or a middle way, which is a hollow translation and a totally different concept to what the Buddha imparted.It is a whole different version.
The conventional Buddhism today teaches a magga patipada that is beneficial to continued existence in an infinite samsara while avoiding hell realms and achieving future divine and brahma prosperity. The aim of the pristine Buddha dhamma does not cater to the above stated agenda of Buddhism. Continued performance of meritorious deeds aspiring to become a future Buddha is an attitude drawn from Mahayana Buddhism. This too is a strategy designed to secure continued existence in the infinite samsara.
There is no Nibbana in a methodology that caters to repeated future bewilderment in kāmaloka and sugathi-loka. Where there is royal, divine and brahma prosperity, there is no Nibbana. All such states inevitably end up in dukkha or afflictions. Though the aspiration for divinity and states of brahma are consistent with Buddhism, they contravene the essence of Buddha Dhamma. If there is any activity to promote continued existence, then in such a place there is no Nibbana. Nibbana does not have an existence and an existence does not have Nibbana.
The modern science that was born in recent times in the Western hemisphere now known as science and the science represented by the Buddha terms vijja udapadi and vijja adhigatha can hardly be compared. Accordingly, any attempt to compareBuddha Dhamma and modern sciences is an inept pruthagjana mundane exercise. Anyone can compare Buddha dhamma to modern sciences. Many learned, both in the East and West in ancient times as well as modern-day educated individuals have made efforts to compare and written many publications. However, none of those learned individuals have been capable of accurately comprehending the Dhammanudhamma patipada elucidated in the Buddha Dhamma. If there is anyone who experienced clear comprehension of Dhammanudhamma patipada, that individual must necessarily be a noble one who has attained Nibbana. It follows then that any publication written by inept pruthagjana individuals based on their scholarly pursuits of Buddhism, Buddhist philosophy, Buddhist culture is unable to help one to achieve Nibbana. Such works can be powerful tools to exhibit one’s level of knowledge, achieve a higher level of egotism, develop an enhanced self-concept that promote one’s bewilderment in the continued existence of infinite samsara. Nibbana means sailing across all 3 worlds (raga, dvesha and moha worlds).
THE NOBLEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD IS SIRI LANKA
There is an old song that perhaps you may have heard “Loken utum rata Siri Lankavai” (=world’s noblest land is Siri Lanka). When listening to this song, have you ever analytically envisioned its noble, deeply embedded message and the gravity of its phrases? There is one special reason why Siri Lanka is at the pinnacle of nobility compared to hundreds of countries on this planet that are known for economic prosperity, development and power. The reason is that this is the only land on the planet where the Buddha energy (Buddha shakthi) exists. [Buddha=Bu+uddha; Bu=bava=tendency; uddha= uprooting; shakthi=energy]. Buddha shakthi is the energy or the strength of the Buddha Dhamma. It’s the strength required to uproot bava (= loba, dvesha and moha bava).
It is said that Buddha Dhamma was born in this land and this is the land where Buddha was born. In the past, present and in the future, the Buddha Dhamma resurfaces only in this land which is the Madhya mandala or the centre circle. This is the Hela Deepa = Helabima where the Buddha was born. It is clearly stated in all our chronicles and state boundary books that Janbudveepa was one island of Sivu Helaya. (Please read Janbudveepa Kadaim Potha = Janbudveepa State Boundary text). This Helabima is Pathirupa Desa, which means the land where all conditions for enlightenment exist (=Madya mandala). It is in this land known as Helabima, where people with previously acquired colossal corpus of merit or pubbecha katha puññatha energy, those who have fulfilled their aspirations to attain enlightenment and those who have already attained the state of stream winner in a previous birth or Jatha Sothapanna are born. It is in this land of Helabima, today recognized as Siri Lanka, where the pristine Buddha Dhamma was born, documented and maintained until now and will also be securely protected and preserved for future generations.
In the past many countries of the world embraced Buddhism. Today also there are many countries that carry a Buddhist label. In all such countries there exists Buddhism but not Buddha Dhamma. There has been no evidence to suggest that pristine Buddha Dhamma, with Dhammanudhamma patipada existed elsewhere. Though conventional Buddhism exists as a religion in Myanmar, Thailand, China, Korea, Tibet, Vietnam, Japan and a few other countries, there had been no Buddha Dhamma with magga chariya practically existed or existent in any of these countries. In no other country except in Helabima, individuals are born with a unique intellectual capacity that enables them to distinguish the differences in absolute meanings (paramattha) between Buddhism and Buddha Dhamma. For this tiny land to become the world’s noblest country is a natural reward bestowed upon it not only due to all the above reasons but also due to its natural location and the existence of Buddha shakthi at its central circle (Madya mandala). For this reason, anyone who follows another religion will receive the blessings of the Buddha Dhamma without any obstruction.
At the time when Gothama, the Buddha reached enlightenment, there was not a single Buddhist on this land of Helabima. However, as stated in the Brahmajala Sutta, there had been over sixty theological Brahmin religions deeply rooted and practiced in this land. Those who attained Nibbana at the time of the Buddha previously followed a different religion. It follows then that believing in another religion becomes no hindrance to tread the Dhammanudhamma patipada.
HELA LANGUAGE, HELA HISTORY AND BUDDHA DHAMMA
If a nation wants its children and youth to develop as righteous and independent thinkers, it becomes a paramount national priority for that country to teach them the mother tongue and correct authentic history of the nation. The original local languages of this Hela land were Magadhi and Hela languages. The original history of this land, as stated in the Mahavansa, was the history of Janbudveepa where the Buddha, who was a descendent of Maha Samatha Royal Dynasty, was born. It’s the history of Sivu Helaya. Thus, it’s an absolute falsehood to assert that the founder of the sinhala Nation was King Vijaya.
Magadhi and Hela languages used by ancient Hela people got corrupted gradually while losing their originality not only through a myriad of borrowed sanskrit words from its neighboring country but also from borrowed words from a multitude of other foreign languages.
In 1954 the Government of Ceylon appointed a Tripitaka Editorial Board to translate the Tripitaka that was carried in Magadhi language into Sinhala language. This editorial board was comprised of mainly the Maha Theros of Amarapura Nikaya. Those learned and scholarly monks substituted 60% of original Magadhi words with borrowed chandasvaisika or sanskrit words in sinhala translations. This new language with a mixture of sanskrit words used in sinhala Tripitaka is inept to stipulate noble pristine Buddha Dhamma accurately. The inclusion of sanskrit words into Tripitaka appears as if the editors attempted to portray themselves as shadbasha-parameswara instead of harmonizing simple and pure Magadhi terms with sinhala language for better understanding of Buddha Dhamma by Hela children. There are adequate simple and pure Hela words that could have been used in the translations instead of complex sanskrit words. Thus, the direct accusation, that the translation was intended to demonstrate the editors’ proficiency in sanskrit can be justified. A novice who reads the sinhala translation of the Tripitaka may find that it is a difficult to understand meaningless jargon. In this manner the translation of Buddha words superficially (pada parama= word to word meaning) into sinhala language forced the Buddha Dhamma (dhammanudhamma patipada) into oblivion.
It is an inferior disgusting act to present illogical arguments about names and places of ancient Helabima and hand over pure Hela history written by our own learned Hela experts in Mahavansa, Deepavansa, and other Hela chronicles as information belonging to the history of India. This state of confusion was created through the writings of our Hela history by English & other foreign subjects and archeologists between 1850 & 1900 A.D. George Turner, James Princes, Codrington, Cunningham, Wilhelm Geiger, Rhys Davis, H.C.P Bell and their local henchman in Helabima who followed them blindly must take responsibility for this historic criminal falsification. This is a major historic devastation forced upon our nation’s future generations.
All kings and emperors since Maha Sammatha Royal Dynasty until King Suddhodhana, according to Mahavansa, Deepavansa and all other Hela chronicles, ruled Helabima or Sivu Helaya. The names of people, places and locations were written in original ancient Hela chronicles by Hela authors. It is only the foreign writers who misread and misunderstood that all these names in Hela history books belong to a foreign country. Prior to the arrival of Vijaya, there existed a rich culture, advanced art of written documentations, trades and technologies and very long history in Helabima. This was not the case in Anurajhapura. But, they existed in Eastern Helabima, Central Mountains, Sabaragamuva and Ruhuna. Ancient Sivu Helaya was comprised of Janbudveepa, Uturukurudeepa, Apara Goyana and Pûrva Videha.
It has been forgotten by many learned ordained and lay people that the Hela Atuvas were written prior to the documentation of Tripitaka and the Tripitaka was documented in Helabima. Magadhi was the base language which was a tonal language without an alphabet. As a result, for 450 years, it was Hela monks who memorized pristine Buddha Dhamma as Wanapoth from generation to generation until it was documented by Hela sinhala monks. The Buddha dhamma was documented in sinhala alphabet. The art of writing on ola leaves (palm leaves) with sharp pointed metal pens (panhinda) was a technique used by Hela people and certainly not a technique that was imported from India or trained by them.
All names places, kingdoms, cities, rivers, lakes, forest groves, kings, queens, counts along with all the examples and related stories written in Tripitaka were part and parcel of ancient Sivu Helaya though over time the ancient names had gone through transitions (but still some with recognizable name changes). However, all of this tells the history of Sivu Helaya. This true history cannot be changed or altered by anyone or at any time.
Accordingly, it becomes imperative for young school children and in particular university students, both ordained and laity, to study correct authentic information about our nation and country and comprehend our mother tongue well. Those foreign educated experts at Hela institutions who acquired degrees from countries with writers who distorted our Hela history and followed blindly their erroneous and misleading teachings must now at least recognize these mistakes and do the right teaching with correct Hela history and language. Those many scholars at the archeological department in Siri Lanka knowingly engaged in a continued battle to confirm false and incorrect information on ancient archeological finds from ancient Helabima just as a strategy to secure their degrees. Though Indian and European authors attempted from time to time to present theories that fit their fantasy and imagination of Hela history, all such theories and narratives have been refuted as erroneous based on the new archeological findings through recent excavations in our land.
Within this frame work, Hela youth must research this information and learn how Buddhism differs from Buddha Dhamma in terms of substance. It must be understood with full comprehension. The Dammanudhamma patipada stipulated to the wise people born in Helabima with pubbecha katha puññatha energy had been transitioned into a faith based devotional religion by foreigners. The appropriation of theological concepts from Mahayana, Tantrayana and Vythullya Vada into Buddhism further contributed to this conversion.
It is important to read and try to understand Mahayana books written in sanskrit, now and then, in India. All Mahayana works written in India after Buddha Parinibbana have been influenced by Jaina and Upanishad philosophies. Our youth must be skillful to recognize the damage caused to Buddha Dhamma by these inferences from Jaina, Upanishad ancient texts and other theological religions. Breaking away from these religious inferences requires independent thinking and open-mindedness. It must be understood how popular theological ideologies and concepts from India caused the conversion of Buddha Dhamma to a devotional religion. This must be studied.
Not only in regular schools, dhamma schools, pirivenas but also in the Pali Buddhist Universities and other higher educational institutions, learners are taught incorrect Buddhism. The subjects of Buddhist philosophy, Buddhist culture, Buddhist history and Buddhism do not contain noble Buddha Dhamma. They contain wrong history, wrong language and wrong religion. What they teach includes everything, except Budddha Dhamma. Today, children are taught incorrect content borrowed from India and later from the West. Many have acknowledged that children are taught currently a Buddhist history that is unrealistic, outlandish and mystic. When such fabrications are taught the minds of these children become distorted and corrupted.
The Order of the Bhikkhus, which must have been a role model for the nation and its society, has plunged into a demoralizing tailspin because the devotional Buddhism has attained the status of a business. Today many join the Buddhist order to find employment, a livelihood, to join an overseas mission or to become a prelate (Mahanayaka) of a temple with entitlement. In recent times, many became bhikkhus to engage in politics, secure government employment, titles and power. Today, Buddhist monks are divided into confrontational groups representing organizations in the name of religion to achieve narrow nationalistic religious and political objectives.
For a pure and a just society along with high moral conduct, citizenry must abide by the Dhammanudhamma patipada. For this to happen, people must understand and live up to Dhammanudhamma patipada. Therefore, children must be shown the correct path from childhood onward and help provided to them to avoid wrong paradigms.
In this process, first and foremost, the educational authorities who write syllabi, course outlines and instruction manuals for teaching Buddha Dhamma, Hela History, Hela language etc., must be made aware of this. Unless they understand the intrinsic difference between Buddhism and Buddha Dhamma, its impossible to help transform this society into a just society. All politicians in this land must be coerced to abandon their narrow political and personal objectives and take on honest realistic national goals for common good.
PHILOSOPHY, ABIDHAMMA & BUDDHISM
Following is a statement found in the book, “Lanka Sasana Vansaya” written by late Dr. E. W. Adikaram.
“Overpowering of Dhammanudhamma patipada into obscurity and giving prominence to theoretical aspects (granthadhuraya) gave rise to the teaching of Buddhism, Buddhist philosophy and Abidhamma as new subjects”.
Critical analyses of the recommended courses of Buddhist philosophy, Buddhist culture, and Abidhamma that are being taught and studied today becomes paramount in realizing whether studying them alone is adequately helpful or becomes hindrances toward the completion of the Dhammanudhamma patipada. Currently, Buddhist philosophy and Abidhamma are taught at the Buddhist & Pali university, pirivenasand other institutions as two subjects.
The Buddha never stipulated a subject called Abidhamma as it is interpreted at present. A very complex Abidhamma, that can be comprehended only by the divine beings, and stipulated only for the divine beings according some learned pruthagjanas had never been part of any Buddha desanacomprised of Dhammanudhamma patipada.
After 700 years from Buddha parinibbana, “Abidhamma Samuchchya”, a sanskrit book written by Mahayana expert Asangachariya from India, presented the subject of Abidhamma for the first time. In association with “Abidhamma Samuchchya”, the sinhala book “Abhidhamartha Katha” was written later. A Pali version of Abhidhamartha Katha was also written as atuva in Helabima later.
The amalgamation of all three books contributed to the present-day subject of Abidhamma that is taught in all educational institutions. These books and a few more Pali Atta Katha books (Visuddhi Magga and a few atuva books) serve as sources for Buddhist philosophy taught today.
Hela Buddhists over time accepted the Buddhist philosophy, Abidhamma and
Buddhist culture borrowed from Mahayana along the path of deviation from Dhammanudhamma patipada. This stance was the reason for the depreciation of the Dhammanudhamma patipada and getting it confined to a phrase. Its very clear that teaching Mahayana components is quite helpful in obtaining a university degree, but it also becomes the hurdle to tread Dhammanudhamma patipada and liberate from samsaric captivity.
Today, all educated Buddhist ordained or lay consider that teaching, learning, analysis and theorizing (granthadhuraya) of Buddhist philosophy, Abidhamma and Buddhist culture in a class room make one a Buddhist. They have placed a multitude of efforts to shape one’s thinking, behavior, characters, customs and traditions according to Buddhist philosophy and Buddhist culture. Due to such practices, the noble Dhammanudhamma patipada depicted in Buddha’s teachings, that is to be treaded practically and experienced through penetrative wisdom faded away. Moreover, this lead to the employment of hope, faith and beliefs, fulfilling Bodhisatva aspirations or to evolve into a future Buddha for the attainment of Nibbana.
Majjima Patipada has been elucidated as a “middle path”, which is erroneous. Many traditional Buddhists who are in search of a never existing middle path, due to their inability to comprehend the meaning of the 3 Magadhiterms (Majji + Ma + patipada), have gone adrift in an infinite samsara.
MAJJIMA PATIPADA IS NOT A MIDDLE PATH
Conventional explanation or teaching of 8 samma phases (ariya attangiko magga) as a middle path or a middle way in Buddhism is indecorous. In pristine Buddha dhamma Majjima patipada is deciphered purely as the path to break free from sensory inebriation (Majji – sensory impairment; ma – complete eradication; patipada – the pathway). Though the patipada to break free from raga inebriation, dvesha inebriation and moha inebriation is clearly defined in Buddha desana as Majjima patipada, Buddhism has gone adrift through conventional attempts to find a middle path that is none existent.
The meaning of the Magadhi term, “ma” is breaking completely free from raga, dvesha, moha defilements (niroda) or complete freedom from mental defilements by rendering the 3 fetters powerless to reoccur in the mind. The nature of inebriation with 1st, 2nd and 3rd guise (raga, dvesha and moha) is represented by the term Majji.
Only when one sees and comprehends realistically that the unendurable infinite samsara is one’s own creation through mental inebriation with raga, dvesha and moha, one can liberate oneself fully from this disability and achieve the mental state uppekkha.
In Majjima Nikaya (see index of Buddha Jayanthi edition of Tripitaka texts) there are 152 suttas assigned as “Majjima” Gama sutta. The first sutta in the Majjima Nikaya is about the term “ma”. This sutta is named as the Mǔla Pariyaya Sutta in Buddha Dhamma. Accordingly, the process (pariyaya) that transforms the sentiments of “I, me and mine” by facilitating (maññȃtha tathvaya) breaking away from I, me and mine sentiment (ma maññȃthi) and then be totally free of this sentiment (na maññȃthi) is detailed in Mǔla Pariyaya Sutta. All suttas in the Majjima Nikaya are arranged and presented as Majjima Gama Dhamma to achieve the above outcome. Put it in another way, majjima is explained as freedom from mental defilements (kilesa). Kilesa or defilements arise only through mental inebriations or impurities. This inebriation or impurification is termed in sinhala as “mada”. Getting attracted to what one likes occurs due to sensory inebriation (raga). Getting into conflict (dvesha) with what one does not like also occurs due to sensory inebriation. Going adrift due to comparison (moha) between neither wholesome nor unwholesome mental states (adhukkama asuka) also occurs due to sensory inebriation. Therefore, getting entangled in infinite samsara through existential relationships (samudaya) occurs mainly due to the nature of these mental inebriations. Due to inebriation, what is appreciated through senses gets glued to the mind; Leans on it; A new association gets established. This process is described in Magadhi as “Tanha”. Repeated arising of new associations or existential relationships (yayang tanha pono bhavika) occurs due to this tanha that arise in the mind successively.
The desire to grasp an object occurs due to tanha, that results from feeling (vædana) which is the outcome of mental inebriation further giving rise to the grasping of the five aggregates or nama-rupa (panchaskandha).
Avidya Mǔla Paticca Samuppada analysis explains how a being gets glued or connected to the process of infinite existence (samsara). Such helotry occurs only due to mental inebriation. Buddha Dhamma elucidates the Dhammanudhamma patipada for one to free from mental inebriations and find complete liberation from such helotry. Majjima Gama Sutta stipulate the necessary Dhammanudhamma patipada to achieve this outcome. This is Majjima patipada. In other words, Majjima patipada is the pathway for total and complete eradication of raga, dvesha and moha inebriations that are born in the mind. (lobakkhaya, dveshakhaya, and mohakhaya).
When Buddhagosa wrote his books, he classified Majjima Gama Sutta as middle length discourses and this downgraded superficial interpretation of Buddha Dhamma got accepted blindly and whole heartedly by learned Buddhists. Accordingly, these Buddhists became a group of devotional individuals who set aside the true Majjima patipada and embraced a mystifying, none existent middle path.
Today, there are presenters who teach Buddhists with superficial interpretation that inebriation occurs only through alcohol. Surameraya majjipama dashtana veramanie (abstinence from taking intoxicants) is a phrase that explains one gets inebriated from all sensory inputs causing impairment in the mind repeatedly. Due to repeated inebriation, Nibbana gets distanced. The term raha-mera (or intoxicants) represents an analytical interpretation to depict all physical and mental excitements caused by sensory inebriations and is not limited only to explain the provisional excitement caused by alcohol or substance abuse. One gets mentally and physically intoxicated by alcohol and other drugs. Buddha Dhamma stipulates clearly the causes for the origin of all inebriations (raha-mera) such as raga madaya, (raga=loba= desire; madaya = inebriation); dvesha (=distaste=clash) madaya, moha(=comparison) madaya, mana (=egotism) madaya, rupa (=image) madaya, dhana(=wealth) madaya, bala(=power) madaya, nila(=position) madaya, yobbana (=youth) madaya, niroga (=health) madaya, kula (=cast) madaya born in the mind. The patipada that can liberate the mind from all these inebriations is termed in Buddha language as Majjima patipada. Only in Buddhism, this patipada is recognized as a middle path. In pristine Buddha Dhamma, this patipada refers to breaking away from inebriation. It must be noted that changing the phonetics of the Magadhi word (mada to mæda), turned this simple and attainable patipada into an unattainable mysterious concept that shuts the doors to Nibbana. Therefore, its paramount at least now to remove these erroneous terms such as middle path, middle patipada from usage.
In the Dhammachakka Pavathana Sutta, Majjima patipada is elucidated as eight samma phases. Magadhi term “ma” in Majjima patipada means to be liberated or break away from inebriation. The term sam represents collectively the three tendencies (defilements) of raga madaya, dvesha madaya and moha madaya that keep one fastened to the infinite samsara. It follows then that the term samma means breaking free from the captivity in the infinite samsara.
When Buddha announced “aneka jathi samsaran”, He deliberated how inept (pruthagjana) people, in a myriad of ways, get fastened to samsara as they grasp sam (=raga=loba, dvesha and moha) + (sara= gratifying) as a gratifying state. Until one comprehends with wisdom that sam is miserable, woeful and bleak, one assembles one’s own samsara based on the three mental inebriations.
Thus, according to pristine Buddha Dhamma, it becomes obvious that the terms Majjima patipada or Majjima Gama Sutta represent the path or the patipada for the breaking away from 3 mental inebriations that bind one to infinite samsara.
The eight samma phases also portray the patipada to break free from mental inebriations that keep one captive in infinite samsara. In Buddhism today, the term samma represents meritorious, benevolent and harmonious activities. Though this narrative suits a religion, in pristine Buddha dhamma all meritorious, benevolent or harmonious actions lead to grasping with raga, dvesha and moha (upadana) and thus, it must be understood that samma means deliverance from all relationships that bind one to endless samsara.
The devotees of Buddhism have long forgotten the Dhammanudhamma patipada.
This patipada got confined only to a phrase and a distant dream. Abidhamma and Buddhist philosophy became educational ladders only to secure degrees and knowledge. All this resulted in a population of Buddhists with a mentality encompassing development aims that are purely rooted in loba, dvesha and moha.
RELIGION AND CULTURE
A culture is born with a religion in any country. The reasons for cultural and religious development are when people learn, perform and gain expertise in a myriad of mundane activities in literature, arts and crafts, music and similar subjects for calming the mind, finding relief and relishing worldly pleasure in day to day life. Inept (pruthagjana) people become blindsided by these worldly pleasures and adapt their thinking, actions, customs and traditions according to religions. Such adaptations are collectively called as cultural attributes.
Now it is observed that peraheras/processions, vesak pandoles, religious festivals, katina pujas and building Buddha Royal Palaces have become part of Buddhism. Further, in the name of Buddhism, auctions, drama, comedies, music festivals and poetic discourses (kavi bana) are conducted in villages. These activities have become quite popular among common rural laity. They all are conducted in the name of Buddhism, the religion. Though such activities have some cultural value, it is unfortunate that they have turned into commercial ventures.
In the name of meritorious deeds or offerings to the Bodhi Tree (bodhi pujas), collection of money at the temples, which is quite rampant, are actions that hoodwink the ignorant rural Buddhist laity. Presenting a meritorious deed or a dhamma talk as the vehicle to build a wall around the Bodhi tree or a stupa or any other building has become the accepted conventional norm today. But the purpose of the Dhamma talk at the temple shall be to emphasize the Dhammanudhamma patipada and help people comprehend the four immovable truths (chatu ariya sacca). In any of the traditional temples at present, no one elucidates Dhamma with the indicated purpose above. Wide spread is the practice that mundane activities of constructing a building or a statue are given priority in the Dhamma talk and Dhammanudhamma patipada is given a back seat. Other than probing who gets hoodwinked by this, there is nothing that an ordinary person can do to change it.
This disdainful approach must be changed swiftly by conducting dhamma talks in an exemplary manner to elucidate the pristine Dhammanudhamma patipada to help people fully comprehend chatu ariya sacca without any anticipation for external benefit or monitory gains.
Telecasting and broadcasting Dhamma talks to the rest of the world by wellknown and well-educated monks through electronic media such as television or radio has become a very popular affair. For such broadcasts or televised sessions, media must be paid large sums of money. Because such broadcasts are dedicated to transfer merits to the departed relative or to announce own names for publicity purposes, it is important to consider whether a presenter can impart true dhamma knowledge within a period of forty-five minutes or less to the listener. Such activities are entwined with raga, dvesha and moha and are thus, termed as sannivedana (san = raga, dvesha & moha + nivedana= announcements). All these are strategies to raise funds as part of a business masqueraded as a religion.
CONVENTIONAL TRUTH AND ABSOLUTE TRUTH
To realize Nibbana, it is important to recognize that there exist two distinctly different truths in this world; a conventional truth that can be distinguished only by human beings, and an absolute truth which helps one to attain Nibbana. Though inept (pruthagjana) people can appreciate conventional truth, they are quite incapable of even thinking that there exists an absolute truth. When one abides by conventional truth, one can lead a gratifying worldly life, but one loses the ability to comprehend the illusive nature of mundane life.
In the past, Buddha Dhamma got distorted because Buddhist educated lay and ordained experts wrote Atta Katha where they misinterpreted the conventional truth and the absolute truth elucidated in the pristine Buddha Dhamma. The Buddha never declared that living in this world is appalling. However, Buddhist authors who later wrote Atta Katha for Buddha Dhamma, avowed and exaggerated that this world is a trap of suffering or full of suffering only. The reason for this is that such inept authors had no wisdom to understand reality as it is (yatha butha gñana dassana) or to comprehend the reality of absolute truth and supramundane contentment (niramisa suvaya = contentment that results without comparison between wholesome and unwholesome).
Only an individual who had comprehended patichcha samuppada analysis correctly understands that there exist the duality of wholesomeness and unwholesomeness in this world. It can be both mundane (armisa suvaya= sam object is grasped through ichcha, which evolves as patichcha and continue with sanchetana while enjoying the sam object repeatedly) & supramundane (niramisa suvaya = uppekkha). One must understand that one’s own wholesome and unwholesome mental states are constructed in the mind through actions and thoughts experienced. Merely, Nibbana entails gaining adroitness to deal with eight pairs of mundane dualities (atalo-dahama) with sankhāra uppekkha gñana and remain invulnerable through uppekkha mental states comprised of non-clinging (alobha= opposite of lobha), non-clashing (advesha= opposite of dvesha) and non-judging (amoha = opposite of moha) to understand the absolute truth. Afflictions and contentment are the inheritance of anticipation. What is anticipated does not occur as anticipated, unable to retain its existence as anticipated and is unable to stop changes to the anticipated result in the afflictions felt in the mind. The more intense the anticipation becomes, the more niccha, sukha and attha attitudes get deep rooted in the mind and the more afflictions become inherent. If one experiences the absolute truth anichcha, dukkha and anatta no afflictions are inherited. None inheritance of afflictions is the result of not grasping of panchaskandha characterized by anichcha, dukkha and anatta.
It follows then that the below Magadhi stanza:
“Sabbe sankhāra anichchathi – Sabbe sankhāra dukkathi Sabbe dhamma anaththathi – Yada paññaya passathi
Attha nibbindathi dukkhe – Esa maggo visuddhiya”
represents comprehension through penetrative experiential wisdom. Accordingly, absolute truth is something that must be experienced through wisdom gained as knowledge (Janatho) and experiential penetrative knowledge (Passatho). For one to penetrate absolute truth, to understand it with penetrative knowledge, one must develop power within own mind. This is called Vimukkthi Gñana Dassana.
Convention does not always fit to everywhere or to everyone equally. There are many instances where the convention must be broken as indicated in a variety of suttas such as Kālāma sutta, Satara Mahāpadesa sutta, Chanki sutta and several others. The biggest hindrance to penetrative comprehension of absolute truth are the deep-rooted desirable attitudes to stick with (niccha sañña) conventional truth. The conventional truth is viewed as an unchanging entity that can be maintained and worthy of keeping it under one’s own control. When one permeates mental energy that can turn intentional activities (sankhāra) into activities free of defilements (visankhāra), relationships (sandhi) to be freed from roping (visandhi), free from samsaric existential relationships (to become samma) and transform one’s worlds comprised of raga, dvesha and moha (sanvatta) into a world free of these 3 fetters (vivatta), it becomes an effective wholesome effort to attain Nibbana. Accordingly, attainment of Nibbanaor comprehending the absolute truth can be achieved by completely exiting the conventional truth. This is Vimukkthi Gñana Dassana.
Conventions are beneficial to manage a harmonious life in the mundane world of day to day life and help sustain it. Today, it seems that the priority is given to faith based religious and various activities that contribute to a harmonious physical mundane life. Therefore, as members of a society, it is important to follow and respect conventions that have been accepted as social norms. However, following such conventions must be closely scrutinized if they hinder the comprehension of absolute truth.
Conventions change from country to country, person to person, time to time, ruler to ruler and era to era. This is the reason why conventional truth is not an eternal absolute truth. It differs from absolute truth, because it is not also universally fair. However, absolute truth never changes for any reason. The absolute truth elucidated by the Buddha as patichcha samuppada dhamma is applicable to any person, everywhere, any country, any era, any opportunity, any phenomena and to all devotees irrespective of religion. Therefore, Buddha Dhamma is not a religion. Through any existing religion, patichcha samuppada dhamma is not revealed. The phenomenon of cause and effect(hetu-pala dhamma) elucidated through patichcha samuppada dhamma, which is authentic, is unfeasible for any kings, religious founders or even gods, or simply anyone to change a syllable or a sound bite (alapilla = phonetic in Hela language) for relabeling and presenting it differently.
EXISTENTIAL AFFLICTION (SAMSARA DUKKA) AND VIMUKTHI MAGGA
Knowledge about Buddha Dhamma conveyed to educated Westerners and Easterners alike can be declared as flawed. In Buddhism today, its taught that life in this world and living altogether is appalling. Certainly, this is not what the Buddha taught, but rather, it is an erroneous statement created later by learned pundits. The Buddha taught “sabbe me piyehi manāpehi nānābavo vinābavo” and “Samsaro mahabbayā”. These learned pundits misinterpreted the meaning of these two above phrases and distorted the entire Buddha Dhamma.
[The correct meaning is as follows: “sabbe me piyehi manapehi nanabavo vinabavo”- sabbe= all; me= I; piyehi= dear; manapehi= prefer; nana=various; bavo= tendencies; vina=perish;
“Samsaro mahabbaya” – Sam= raga, dvesha & moha; saro=taking sam as gratifying; maha= colossal; baya=fear].
The term sam collectively represents raga, dvesha and moha tendencies (defilements) in the mind. These mental impurities when cherished and mentally grasped as worthy, beneficial, precious, preferred and fruitful, the three defilements get consolidated in the mind. When one’s actions arise out of these defilements, one certainly experiences deep fears, afflictions and destructions in one’s existence. For an individual who has fully uprooted raga, dvesha and moha, there is no risk of experiencing deep fears, afflictions and destructions. There is nothing to ponder as niccha, sukha and attha or any thing to bring under one’s own control. There is nothing to consider as this is me, or this is mine, or this is my soul. There exists “I” or “me” in conventional truth. However, in terms of absolute truth there exists no sentiments as “me or I” which is characterized by niccha, sukha and attha.
Inept (pruthagjana) people cling to panchaskandha and enjoy (assādo) worldly pleasures and luxury because they failed to comprehend the true nature of panchaskandha which is anichcha, dukkha and anatta. Clinging to panchaskandha occurs when an inept pruthagjana appreciates panchaskandha as pleasant, sweet, gratifying, rewarding and fruitful. One perceives panchaskandha in the above manner according to one’s appreciation based on own worldly norms, notions, predisposition and egotism. One’s worldly appreciation is grounded on one’s desirability (priya bava) and undesirability (apriya bava) that arise in the mind. The tendencies of desirability and undesirability that arise in the mind result in clinging to what is desirable and rejection of what is undesirable. But, this attachment gives rise not only to gloomy dark mental attitudes, but also bewilderment between desirable and undesirable caused by mental inebriation. Bewildered mind is fully roused by moha. It follows then, that clinging to what is desirable, rejection of what is undesirable and bewilderment between clinging and rejection can be described as the nascent stages of patichcha. Samudaya is born because of patichcha. The relationship that emanates from samudaya is existential. An inept pruthagjana who is unaware of this phenomenon constructs all three ties and gets glued to samsara. At the time of creating these ties, it is gratifying, but once glued to samsara, it becomes an affliction. Considering this, it is quite clear that all our existential afflictions are nothing but a willingly created colossal corpus of misery. Accordingly, its paramount to comprehend that this corpus of misery is one’s own perpetration and liberation from self-perpetrated misery can be achieved by enduring Dhammanudhamma patipada.
Through realistic comprehension of absolute truth and by knowing reasons for misery, leaving lay life behind to become ordained is one thing. It’s a journey to realize absolute truth. However, if one entertains a narrow view of becoming an ordained as running away from challenges in lay life or being in a forest and hiding from social life or reflecting on how to find liberation from misery while sitting under a tree or in a burial ground or in a forest monastery, one may not find the precise answer. If one entered the forest, seated under a tree with an unsettled scattered mind, one may be able to subdue such thoughts provisionally. However, by clinging (upadana) to the temple or to the forest monastery, one’s Nibbana might be prevented or get shielded. Raga, dvesha and moha tendencies that are born in one’s own mind must be comprehended with experiential knowledge (Yatha Butha Gñana Dassana) for one to liberate oneself from such tendencies. This is known as Vimukkthi magga.
LOKA (THE WORLD OF IGNORANCE), NIBBANA AND PAÑNA
According to the writings of learned and educated individuals, Nibbana is about “seeing the world as it is with wisdom”. They lecture about it. However, the below stated 3 terms in this book must be understood as absolute.
Loka is another Magadhi term for darkness/gloominess. The antonym of loka is aloka. Expelling gloominess means aloka. The loka or gloominess arises in the mind and radiance returns when gloominess is expelled. These things occur in one’s own mind. Loka – gloominess sets in the mind due to raga, dvesha and moha. It turns aloka when the mind turns viraga by eradicating raga gloominess, turn advesha by uprooting dvesha gloominess and turning amoha by liberating from moha gloominess and reach the pure status of Namo (Asankatha= none conceptual phenomenon beyond mundane experience = Nibbana). The necessary steps are recommended in the Buddha dhamma.
One way to achieve Namo is Chakkukaranie, Gñanakaranie, Upasamaya, Abhiñaya, Sambodhaya, Nibbanaya, Sanvathanthi.
Another way to achieve the above is Chakkun udapadi, Gñanan udapadi, Pañna udapadi, Vijja Udapadi, Aloko Udapadi.
Both statements are found in the Dhammachakka Pavathana Sutta, which is the maiden Dhamma talk given by the Buddha. This path is comprised of steps that must be completed in the recommended order (anupuraka) and gradually (anupubbangama). Udapadi means creating and clarifying.
First and foremost, one must liberate oneself from worldly gloom in one’s mind and facilitate dhamma chakkun udapadi to ensue.
The second step, Gñanan udapadi means one must kindle pañna to distinguish what one must be doing (karaneeya) and shun what one must not be doing
The third step is Pañna udapadi. This means one clearly identifies defilements (raga, dvesha and moha) born in the mind and engages practically in cleansing the mental sphere by destroying the 3 fetters – (raga to viraga; dvesha to advesha and moha to amoha).
The fourth stepis Vijja Udapadi (virajan veethamalan= removal of mental rust in 6 sensory spheres) and itmeans comprehending absolute truth- chatu ariya sacca- byeradicating defilements and understanding loka – mental gloominess with penetrative wisdom. Here, one becomes equipped with yatha butha gñana dassana and able to see the world (loka) with penetrative wisdom.
Th fifth step is Aloko Udapadi and it means one has freed oneself from worldly mental gloominess and fully comprehended the absolute truth.Never again will such a mind be tainted with kilesa or defilements due to the strength of lucidity that stems from gñanaloka and pañnaaloka.
When the mind is equipped with athi-indriya gñana (3rd eye), one can comprehend, in absolute terms, beyond the conventional gloominess and the brightness that are perceived in the physical world through the sensorium. This mental transformation is aloko udapadi. Such a mind will never be tainted with raga gloominess, dvesha gloominess or moha gloominess due to the strength of radiance when mind is fine-tuned to aloko udapadi.
Nibbana means freed from existential captivity or having existential relationships extinguished. The antonym is samsaric captivity. One who is captive in the circle of raga, dvesha and moha creates own existential relationships for survival and goes adrift. All three binds of captivity are like strings woven together (bāna) causing samsaric existence to continue. Nibbana is the outcome of eradication or uprooting of all three strings of the bāna.
Panchakāma nivarana dhamma (pancha= five; kāma=gratifying mental and physical stimulations in corporeality; nivarana – tendencies that conceal Nibbana) are mental phenomena that arise in one’s mind and shuts the door to Nibbana, fastened to samsara while concealing Nibbana. Pañnais a weapon. By sharpening and galvanizing pañna one must cut off all three strings of the bāna at once and to find freedom from existential captivity. The weapon of pañna gets dull due to the layers of raga rust, dvesha rust and moha rust. Yet pañna, the weapon that can eradicate rust layers is hidden in one’s own mind. Usually, it is in a dormant state. With sharpened and galvanized pañna one can cut off the 3 strings of kilesa or defilements and attain Nibbana.
Until now, viñãna energy had been in the driver seat deciding that sam is worthy and prompting the grasping of panchaskandha for continued wheeling in an infinite samsaric journey (riya gamana). Viñãna energy arises always when intentional activities emanate from raga, dvesha and moha bases for survival in the samsara. For this reason, this energy is named as viñãna (vi = corrupted; gñana= lucidity) because it conceals gñana and blunts pañna energy.
Viñãna energy, arising in the mind,causes the birth of samudaya compelling one to become captive in samsaric relationships. Accordingly, samudaya is born if kilesa or defiling tendencies exist in the mind. Viñãna is born simultaneously with samudaya. Viñãna energy fuels the continuation of samsaric journey (=riya gamana).
A mind that is driven by viñãna harbours sankhāra. When one ponders performing sankhāra as worthy, good, desirable and preferable, samudaya is always born in the mind; gets fastened to the samsaric journey; all three strings of kilesa or defilements are formed.
Based on the above analysis, its incorrect to rationalize patichcha samuppada dhamma as a doctrine of hetu-pala vāda. It is also deceitful to call it a doctrinal or a philosophical theory. Within the context of hetu-pala analysis or in the patichcha samuppada dhamma or in the absolute truth portrayed by patichcha samuppada dhamma, there is nothing that are associated with any extreme doctrines (drushti) or theories. Elucidation of pristine patichcha samuppada dhamma does not entail any doctrinal/theoretical frameworks compared to extremely opinionated doctrines of Sraswatha, Uccheda, Athma, Anathma, Sankatha, Asankatha, Ishwara, or Theological Vadayas. This dhamma is impartial and applicable always, to all mankind and to everywhere. In the absence of patichcha, samudaya will not be born. To grasp with desire (patichcha) or not to grasp with desire (na-patichcha) and be free from defilements is a choice that one can make. The emotional ease that accompany patichcha is neither permanent nor can it be brought and maintained under one’s control. Those inept pruthagjana people that fail to understand this phenomenon, are subject to the guidance of viñãna for emotional relief while constructing their own sankhāra leading to samsaric afflictions (dukkha).
Those who later wrote atuvas on patichcha samuppada dhamma and educated Mahayana writers of the middle ages along with recent physical theoreticians never understood the pristine patichcha samuppada dhamma accurately. They could never envisage that patichcha samuppada dhamma elucidated by the Buddha is comprised of tiparivatta (= description of all phenomena that operate at 3 dimensions or 3 circles). Reading and understanding only the analysis of akusala mǔla patichcha samuppada dhamma takes one to nowhere. For comprehensive understanding of patichcha samuppada dhamma, one must realistically experience (passatho) all 3 dimensions (tiparivatta).
“yo patichcha samuppadan passathi, so dhamman passathi Yo dhamman passathi, so mang passathi”
If one fully comprehends tiparivatta of patichcha samuppada phenomenon (passatho), then one sees the Dhamma. If one fully comprehends the Dhamma, then one sees the Buddha (path to uproot raga=1st guise, dvesha=2nd guise and moha= 3rd guise) and becomes Buddha (one who uprooted all 3 guises) is the meaning of the above Magadhi phrase.
For approximately 1800 years or more, since Buddhagosa wrote Visuddhi Magga and Pali Atta Katha, a multitude of Eastern and Western leaned writers who wrote patichcha samuppada analysis, Atuvas, Teekas and Tippanies and Eastern and Western Mahayana Buddhist experts who wrote various analyses to Abidhamma as well as contemporary modern physicist writers who looked at Buddha dhamma could not comprehend the pristine noble message in the dhamma as taught by the Buddha. The main reason for this has been that they could not fathom the tiparivatta of the patichcha samuppada dhamma.
Avijja Mǔla Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma analysis presents how mental (kilesa) defilements are born in the mind preventing the attainment of Nibbana. “Sam bavang” means the birth of samudaya. The presentation of phases such as Avijja paccaya sankhāra, sankhāra paccaya viñãna, viñãna paccaya nama-rupa…., upadana paccaya sambavan is a depiction of how roots or mental defilements (bava) are formed based on the roots of ignorance (avijja mǔla= avijja=ignorance; mǔla=root or source). In Kusala Mula Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma, Gothama the Buddha extrapolated the process of how to eradicate kilesa born in the mind and terminate (niroda) samudaya, bava and jathi (current and future births) to end samsara. Accordingly, a major reason for not ensuing the path to Nibbana for a very long time by those ordained or lay experts is because only by learning or memorizing Avijja Mǔla Patichcha Samuppada phrases stated in its analysis or writing voluminous analytical texts on Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma, one cannot attainNibbana. Those ordained or lay experts had no authentic experience of magga chariya. Therefor, they were not only unable to comprehend but also to document the essence of what the Buddha taught as a practical method to eradicate roots of kilesa for the benefit of and exclusive use by others.
Meanwhile, commencing from Buddhagosa,all educated writers both ordained and lay who like disoriented individuals in a great ocean with no knowledge of the shores, wrote various analytical texts exclusively on patichcha samuppada dhamma as Buddha dhamma and paved the way for the rest of the mankind to sail adrift in the endless ocean of samsara.
Though his works “Knowledge & Experiential Knowledge (Denuma ha Dekma),
Buddhist Philosophy & the Path (Bauddha darshanaya & Margaya), Evolution of Bava-Karma (Bava-karma Vikashanaya) and Preparatory Steps (Sakaskada)”, late veteran writer Martin Wickramasinghe had shown in detail that the “Patichcha Samuppada Vivaranaya” (=comments) comprised of patichcha samuppada comments and analysis authored by Rerukane Chandawimala Nayaka Thero as an erroneous incomplete ideology, Martin Wickramasinghe himself was unaware of the existence or availability of Kusala Mǔla Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma. Moreover, those who followed and guided by Visuddhi Magga written by Buddhagosa wrote atuva and teeka in Helabima and in foreign lands had no idea of Kusala Mǔla Patichcha Samuppada and were unable to analyze or to elucidate it. As a result, the path to Nibbana faced near extinction.
After about 1800 years, I intend to write detailed analysis and elucidate Avijja
Mǔla Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma, Avijja Mǔla Nirodaya and Kusala Mǔla Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma to reopen the authentic Dhammanudhamma patipada for those wayfarers who were adrift in the darkness of samsara. The Buddha elucidated a pristine complete noble path to Nibbana = Dhammanudhamma patipada. This is also documented in the Tripitaka. Even today, Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma can be recognized in “Vibhanga-Prakaranaya”
(vibhanga=divided into smaller parts; prakaranaya= detailed analysis) as “Paccaya Uddesa” (paccaya=because of; uddesa= to discard), Niddesa (to keep or recommended), Patiniddesa (strongly recommended). Also, in the Maha Vagga Pali, Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma is portrayed in the context of tiparivatta. It must be pointed out clearly that the failure to analyze and present Dhammanudhamma patipada error free to the public led to the downfall of magga chariya while the adoption of theoretical proficiency (granthadhuraya) became the most important aspect of Buddhism.
Despite being highly qualified with university degrees and titles such as Pandit
Degrees or Professorships, unless one fully comprehends both Avijja Mǔla Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma and Kusala Mǔla Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma through “yatha butha gñana”, one is inept to comprehend “chatu ariya sacca”. In the absence of this, one trails far from attaining enlightenment or Nibbana.
Both Rerukane Chandawimala Nayaka Thero and late veteran writer Martin Wickramasinghe appeared to have studied, understood and strongly envisioned only the Avijja Mǔla Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma. Many do not even know that there exists a Kusala Mǔla Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma in Buddha desana. Even today, there are hardly any known professors that have heard or understood it correctly.
During the past 1800 years, institutions, maha pirivenas, universities or professors, lecturers, presenters and learned experts, who taught Buddhist philosophy and Abidhamma, but could not fathom the essence of the Dhamma or Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma with tiparivatta, were unable to shed light on the correct analysis or elucidate pristine Dhamma to the public. This situation led to the demise of the path to Nibbana. Memorization of Magadhi phrases or chanting them as stanzas or pirith got adopted as the religion of Buddhism emerged.
Without comprehending chatu ariya sacca, the existing deep-seated roots of kilesa or 3 defilements (raga mula, dvesha mula and moha mula; mula=root) cannot be uprooted from the mind. The process for eradication of the 3 defilements (kilesa) are depicted in the Kusala Mǔla Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma. Its paramount for one to know that it is possible to end samudaya (samudaya niroda) through listening to desana (Janatho) and then embark practically on ending samudaya. In a similar manner, cessation of samudaya (samudaya niroda) and to stop sam before arising (anuppada niroda) can be realized only through experiential comprehension (passatho) of Buddha Dhamma.
The term niroda does not mean “reduced to nothing” at all. Niroda means that the ending of wheeling thoughts (sanchetana) of defilements arisen from sankhara. Sanchetana will cease (niroda) when sankhara uppekkha gñana is born in the mind. When one can practically cognize sankhara born in the mind and patiently observe them with equanimity (uppekkha) while avoiding clinging (aliema), clashing (gatiema) or going adrift (mulava) with them, it can be said that one operates with sankhara upekkha gñana. It is also the comprehension of anichcha, dukkha and anaththa.
PRUTHAGJANA INDIVIDUAL (inept-person) AND ARIYA SRAVAKA
(ariya= wheeling of sanchetana ended, Sravaka= follower with knowledge)
All individuals and all beings ground themselves in the state of pruthagjana as they entertain the entire sensorium in anticipation for emotional ease and to find infinite gratification. Based on this anticipation, they firmly grasp the world of panchaskandha. Magadhi phrase “uno loko athiththo tanha dasayo” describes how a pruthagjana feeds fully and enjoys entire sensorium of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind and yet, how ungratified a pruthagjana becomes. There is no humility (alpechcha-thavaya) or satisfaction with what has been received. The short lived emotional ease (armisa suvaya) resulting from grasping the entire world of 5 aggregates (panchaskandha upadana) as perpetual (nichcha), wholesome (suva) and heartening (suba) as well as awaiting to bring under own control (attha) is not only a wrong view but also a wrong doctrine.
In the Dhamma, an ignoble inept (asruthavath pruthagjana) individual is described as one who is unable to fathom that one is uninterruptedly fastened to the existential continuum (samsara riya gamana) due to strong desire (patichcha) for repeated grasping (upadana) of a panchaskandha world while not knowing that this is an unwholesome tendency born in the mind. An individual who has fully comprehended chatu ariya sacca is one who has recognized that the world view carried until present had been wrong and found lasting relief through experiential understanding of the absolute truth anichcha, dukkha and anatta. Though people generally assume that all things are bountiful and keep grasping them, nothing exists permanently or can be retained as such in this reality of existence. Magadhi phrase “yada nichchan – tan dukkhan; yan dukkhan – tadanaththa” means any anticipation to keep what has been grasped (upadana) in lasting originality, cannot be upheld due to the phenomenon of transformation (viparinama). The anticipated wholesomeness (sukha) arisen through grasping, transforms into to a 2nd guise (dvesha) or dukkha (affliction) as depicted in the dhamma. Solace was anticipated, but inherited was affliction (dukkha). Shall there be a natural phenomenon that any or all anticipations bring unwholesome outcomes and coerce unwholesome inheritance upon oneself, then there exists only despair and dejection. Then, there exists only pessimism. Therefore, the Dhamma clarifies this through the Magadhiphrase “asarattene anatta”. Though wholesomeness is anticipated, unwholesomeness becomes the inheritance, then, it is a condition that can be characterized by despair, dejection and pessimism. Accordingly, profound grasping of panchaskandha as niccha, sukha, suva, suba and attha is an erroneous view that is pondered by an inept ignoble pruthagjana individual. One, who has experientially comprehended the correct condition, views the world of panchaskandha as anichcha, dukkha and anatta. This view is the only accurate view that guides one experientially to comprehend the path to freedom from existential afflictions.
It must be pointed out that the Magadhi terms anichcha, dukkha and anatta have been translated into sinhala as impermanence (anithya), suffering (dukkha) and soullessness (anathma) respectively and are applied erroneously by conventional Buddhists. Because of the misleading sinhala translation, the meaning of trilakkhana got completely distorted.
Substitution of impermanence, sufferingand anathma for Magadhi terms anichcha, dukkha and anatta in traditional Buddhism is utterly incorrect. This substitution has distorted not only the meaning of the words but also forced an
incorrect application of the context of trilakkhana as three characteristics (sanskrit word= thrilakshana). Trilakkhana means one becomes aware of the three unwholesome tendencies born in the mind and their removal by cutting them off. The Magadhi terms “khana, khaya, and kienā” depict ragakhaya, dveshakhaya and mohakhaya. Khaya means total eradication or obliteration of kilesa from the mind. Accordingly, “khana sampaththi” means the separation of raga, dvesha and moha tendencies (bava), obliterate them and cleanse the mind from sam. Kienā means already completely eradicated. “Kienāsrȃvȃyan Vahanse” is another name for an enlightened Arahant. Anywhere the Magadhi terms kienā-jathi, kienanpurānan appear, they mean all 3 defilements (raga, dvesha and moha) have been totally eradicated from the mind.
During the Tripitaka translation into sinhala, substitution of Magadhi terms with sanskrit terms distorted the essence of the pristine Budddha Dhamma. Its time that people must understand how these distortions have shut the door to Nibbana.
According to the phenomenon of dhamma when one clings to desires (patichcha) born in the mind and attempts to maintain such desires perpetually, such objects (=arammana) will be deep seated in the mind leading to lasting robust attitudes (nichcha sañña), afflictions (dukkha) and despair. “Anaththathi” or “anatta” means despair or bewilderment and not anathma by any means. Buddha desana had never been about any athma or anathma doctrine.
Magadhi phrase “asarattene anatta” explains how one who considers what has been grasped with raga, dvesha and moha as wholesome (samsara) tumbles in despair and continues with birth after birth in an infinite existence while undergoing unwholesome conditions. Here, anatta means one goes adrift (anāthaveema) like a disoriented person without knowing the correct pathway.
Accordingly, a person who engages in anichcha, dukkha, anatta trilakkhana bhavana by eradicating nichcha sañña about panchaskandha through anichcha anupassana; suva, sukha, and suba sañña through dukkha anupassana; attha sañña born in the mind through anaththa anupassana, becomes a competent candidate to uproot all kilesa and attain enlightenment.
In this way, if one has realistically comprehended trilakkhana, that means free from strong clinging to desires (patichcha), achieving the mental states of detaching oneself from (nibbida) and desires ceased (viraga), then one is adequately equipped for stopping samudaya (samudaya niroda) from arising and to be liberated from profound grasping of panchaskandha. This achievement is depicted as “sabbupadi patinissaggo”. In other words, this denotes the completion of “Niroda Gamini Patipada”. It’s only samudaya (clinging to desires) arising in own mind that must be completely immobilized (niroda) and nothing else externally.
- Nibbidanupassie viharathi, abhinandin pajahathi – nibbidanupassana means one must scrutinize all desires born in the mind (nandi) and terminate tendencies that anticipate deep satisfaction from desires (abinandana) and extinguish the corrupt nature of deep seated mental tendencies irreversibly.
- Viraganupassie viharathi, ragan pajahathi – viraganupassana means one must scrutinize raga (1st guise) born in the mind and terminate the tendencies of upadana resulting from tanha and extinguish this corrupt nature of deep seated mental tendencies irreversibly.
- Nirodanupassie viharathi, samudayan pajahathi – nirodanupassana means one must scrutinize samudaya born in the mind which leads to corrupt sanchetana (or connections) that must be terminated and extinguish this corrupt nature of deep seated mental tendencies irreversibly.
- Patinissaganupassie viharathi, sabbupadi pajahathi– patinissaganupassana means one must prevent patichcha from occurring and prevent upadana of panchaskandha that was taken for granted until now.
This is the way Buddanussathi progresses. It is about uprooting raga bava, dvesha bava and moha bava from the mind. This is Buddha Bhavana that helps one to attain Nibbana.
Until now, one made decisions on clinging to panchaskandha as wholesome, worthy, pleasing, and enjoyable, based on an erroneous world view. This erroneous view is known as sakkayaditti and vichikichchatavaya (conditioned corrupt desires arising from viñãna). Accordingly, one must realize that when patichcha occurs in the mind, samudaya is born further prompting upadana of panchaskandha to run its course. Inheritance of all afflictions (dukkha) are the result of clinging to panchaskandha. This is in other words depicted as sankitthænaæna panchupādanaskandā dukkhā.
Only when one comprehends this reality, one can be free from panchaskandha upādāna (sabbupadi patinissaggo). Through the knowledge of Kusala Mǔla Patichcha Samuppada process, one can practically cut off all three kilesa roots of raga, dvesha and moha. This is known as Kusala Mǔla Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma. One must necessarily experience the peeling of the three kilesa roots from own mind. Once all kilesa are peeled off, the mind is set free of defilements, how serene the mind has become and encountered mental freedom from captivity, one becomes skillfully aware of whether one has reached Nibbana.
Just by memorizing the phrases sated in the analysis of patichcha samuppada by misinterpreting the phrases and twisting its meaning, one cannot be enlightened or attain Nibbana.
I wish to reiterate it by repeating all three steps as a reminder.
- The process depicted by Avijja Mǔla Patichcha Samuppada dhamma must be realistically comprehended. It must be known that all the factors that pose hurdles toward the attainment of Nibbana have been described in detail. It must also be known that because of samudaya, existential relationships are formed and they in turn fuel one’s repetitive continuation in infinite Samsara.
- One must experientially comprehend that samudaya can be ended, must realistically recognize the correct steps to samudaya niroda, and samudaya that is born in own mind must be severed in the moment as and when they arise, and avoid formation of existential relationships.
- One must abide realistically by the process depicted in Kusala Mǔla Patichcha Samuppada analysis to uproot all the roots of kilesa arising in the mind and prevent kilesa from being born again (anuppada niroda). One must comprehend that all three steps can be achieved absolutely through the application of chaturarakkha bhavana method and by engaging practically in Satara Satipattana Bhavana. I have rediscovered Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma and elucidated it again like Gothama the Buddha who presented it as pubbe ananussuthesu dhammesu or as a dhamma “never before heard” and reopened the path to Nibbana for the world. It’s the duty and responsibility of all Buddhas and Buddha Sravakas.
Followed by a very lengthy era, pure as it can get, correct as it can be, as a patipada that can be followed by gifted Saddassa Kulaputtassa, and enabling one to experience it in this life (dittadhamma vedaneeya), I have elucidated and documented the pristine Dhammanudhamma patipada for clarity. It is presented for achieving inner purity through renunciation (nissarana ādyasaya). This pure dhamma is clearly and absolutely written to re-open the magga chariya for those, who are born and will be born in future as gifted kulaputtassa, divinity and mankind, to attain Nibbana. Asking for the path, understanding it correctly and practicing it accordingly and experiencing Nibbana is not only the onus of wise men but also its their moral obligation and responsibility.
SAN DESANA ELUCIDATED AGAIN
All Buddhas who became enlightened or reached Buddhahood repeatedly expounded sam desana (sam=san). San desana means the four Buddha Insights or Buddha Gñana. Chula Hastie Padaupama Sutta clearly defines and elucidates these four Buddha gñana terms as sandessethi, sammadapethi, sammuchchedethi, and sampahansethi.
- Sandessethi entails how beings and individuals are connected to samsara; arising of samudaya; how beings become captive in the infinite samsara due to samudaya; analysis of sankhara, sañña, sandhi, samsara, sanchetana, sankilittena, sanganika including reasons for continued journey in samsara.
- Sammadapethi entails showing the correct path to free oneself from sam andexpound the path. It also clearly explains in a different manner how disciplined sensorium (sanvaraveema), by stilling sam (sansindeema) and treading the eight-fold samma stages or ariya attangiko maggo one can free oneself from samsara and its afflictions. In various suttas this same samma path is explained using different terms such as santhittathi, sannisidathi, ekodibāvan and sammãdiyathi. Samma means be free from raga, dvesha and moha through complete eradication. Sammāpatthi refers to the state in which one has freed oneself from raga, dvesha and moha. Sammadapethi means showing the magga chariya clearly and adequately for one to attainNibbana.
- Sammuchchedethi: This term is comprised of two words sam + uchchedanaya. Uchchedanaya means cutting off roots of sam without leaving any chances for future proliferation. In this manner, raga, dvesha and moha will be completely uprooted and removed. Here, one must focus and enact to prevent repeated assembly of the three types defilements (kilesa) in the mind through samuchcheda prahanaya (= termination).
- Sampahansethi explains resulting mental states of mental lightness (pahanveema), quietude (niveema) and the attainment of Nibbana once all kilesa are eradicated by uprooting sam
These four Buddha gñana collectively present chatu ariya sacca. Accordingly, if no one comprehends these four Buddha gñana terms clearly explained in the Chula Hastie Padaupama Sutta, then, the pristine Buddha Dhamma is deemed to extinguish. Currently, one can see this distorted transformation practically. In the sinhala translation of Buddha Jayanthi edition of Tripitaka, these four Buddha gñana terms are translated word to word superficially (pada parama) using meaningless words such as enforcing (balaganwathi), glorifying (tedaganvathi), shows the path (maga pæn va dethi) and encouraging (odaganvathi) respectively. For this reason, san desana was frozen. The Magadhi term sam is explained by learned and educated Buddhists as a grammatical conjunction or “a word linking other word” and portray sam as “sannipātha” (also as a disease like typhoid=unasannipātha). One must understand not only the magnitude of the forcefulness of these translations and erroneous analytical works that distorted Buddha dhamma but also the distortion of pristine Dhammanudhamma patipada that resulted in shutting the doors to Nibbana. By listening to entire Sandesana in full, one will comprehend the four Buddha Gñana terms that explain clearly the path to Nibbana, which is nothing but an understanding of the four immovable truths with penetrative wisdom.
Noble Arahant Mahinda when arrived in Lankapura (present Anurajhapura) in
Uturukurudeepa, expounded fifteen Suttas to the citizenry and among them Chula Hastie Padaupama Sutta, which was elucidated as the first sutta representing sandesana.
Today unfortunately, sandesana is pushed into oblivion and the pristine
Dhammanudhamma patipada is shut down ending the path to Nibbana while Buddha Dhamma got converted into a religion. However, as of now, sandesana is elucidated again, analyzing and exposing the three disciplines of sanvaraveema, sansindeema, samma and by distinguishing the four Buddha gñana for reopening the magga chariya for the gifted saddassa kulaputtassa. Without listening to sandesana, without understanding the term sam, it is quite impossible to fathom samsaric journey or existential continuum described in Buddha Dhamma. If one intends to be free from existential afflictions, one must comprehend all four Buddha gñana terms in artha (meaning) and dhamma (cause and effect) and must complete the magga chariya. Magga chariya patipada was described in terms of sanvara sila, sansindeema viasamatha,vipassana and samma through ariya attangiko maggo.
Conducting Dhamma Council means explaining the four Buddha Gñana terms with full stipulations and complete sandesana. The entire Samyuktha Nikaya had been utilized to deliberate all four sam terms (Buddha gñana). All 37 attributes for uprooting sam (bodhi-pakshika dhamma) will be fulfilled when one realistically comprehends the three disciplines sanvaraveema, sansindeema and samma. Sandesana, which helps to turn sankhara to visankhara and niroda to end samudaya was stipulated by all Buddhas for mankind and divinity to help achieve Nibbana, vimukthi, and benevolence (yahapatha). Like in the past, present and in future, a noble Ariya Sravaka who is well equipped with Dhamma gñana will elucidate sandesana and expose Patichcha Samuppada Dhamma to the world for reopening the path to Nibbana. Accordingly, in the past 1800 years or so sandesana got depleted and came close to extinction and as a result many gifted men and divinity could not realize the path to Nibbana. After a very lengthy period, sandesana has been analyzed and elucidated for the gifted men and divinity to help attain Nibbana by reopening magga chariya and for this, all required preconditions are now fulfilled. Sandesana has been expounded and shown the way.
NAMOTASSA BAGAVATHO ARAHATHO SAMMA SAMBUDDHASSA
This phrase in the title at present is being conventionally applied as a worship statement. Traditionally, most Buddhists commence with any good work with this phrase. Prior to observing pancha sila this phrase is being uttered three times. All editions in the Tripitaka series included this phrase at the beginning.
This Magadhi phrase published in sinhala Tripitaka editions is a word to word superficial translation that affirms the following; “I worship the blessed, arahant samma sambuddha” (sinhala version: æ bhagyawath, arahath, samma, sambuddhurajanan vahanseta mage namaskaraya weva). This erroneous interpretation, which is a superficial word to word translation, is taught to the followers of conventional Buddhism. Presently this is the only interpretation that is accepted, honored and respected by all learned, educated experts and professors.
There is a variety of interpretations, analyses and formulated stanzas presented by experts who wrote atuvas about this phrase. Though we do not intend to criticize the interpretations that were written by past atuva authors, we seek to deliberate the dhamma meaning of this Magadhi phrase. The main intent of this presentation is to provide helpful insights to attain Nibbana through the completion of magga chariya and dissect the phrase in the title in terms of artha, dharma, nirutthi and patisambhidha. Please read this vigilantly for better understanding.
There are two parts in the phrase “Namo-tassa Bagavatho Arahatho Samma Sambuddhassa”.
- The word Namo is the first part.
- The words Bagavatho, Arahatho, Samma, Sambuddhassa comprise the 2nd part.
The two parts are joined by the word tassa. The word tassa denotes a connection between a cause and an effect (hetu-pala). Toward the end of Jhajakka Sutta the word tassa is used to express the meaning “because of this cause, this effect arises” and by “eradicating these causes, these effects do not arise”. In Magadhi language, it must be pointed out that the term tassa is used to illustrate the connection between cause and effect (hetu-pala).
The word Namo is comprised of two words. The word “mo” has two-fold meanings – moha (3rd guise) and “entering a womb”. “na” means a negation in Magadhi language or termination of moha (3rd guise) or stopping (namo). Accordingly, namo means both eradication of moha and severance from all causes that results in entering a mother’s womb again. The phrase “Nahi jathu gabba sæyan punerethithi” also indicates the same meaning as “namo”. “Mo” is another Magadhi term for mother. A being enters a mother’s womb repetitively because of moha causing grasping (upadana) of panchaskandha. By complete eradication of moha from the mind, there remains no cause for one to enter a mother’s womb again. This is the context in which the word namo is used in this phrase.
The term “namo” got misinterpreted later to mean worship due to the influence of the sanskrit term “namaste”, which got transplanted into Buddhism as a word to word substitution. In Magadhi Buddha language, the context of worship or namaskaraya are represented by the term vandami. In Atanatiya Sutta the term vandami had been used in a variety of ways to symbolize vandana of the seven Buddhas (sathbudu vandana). In the early era of Buddha language, the two words “na-mo” were applied only to denote complete eradication of moha or complete severance from moha but never was it used to pay namaskaraya or worship. The essence of Buddha dhamma or the magga chariya is aimed at eradication of moha born in the mind. One attains full-fledged vimukthi only when one has fully eradicated moha. It must be recognized that currently the term namo with such a deep exalted dhamma meaning is used as superficial meaningless phrase. A religion is characterized by worship, offerings, hopes, prayers based on devotional activities. It is obvious that the accurate dhamma meaning of the term namo had been suppressed as an adaptation to suit worship and devotion. One must become aware that Nibbana can be attained only by eradicating moha and not through namaskaraya, offerings or worship.
Part 2 of the phrase is comprised of four major qualities namely Bagavatho, Arahatho, Samma and Sambuddhassa. These four qualities are elucidated in detail as their accomplishment result in total eradication of moha. Fulfilling these four qualities are fundamental in total severance of moha born in one’s mind.
Bagavatho means examining by breaking down (bhaga) corporeality (vatha) into smaller aggregates. The entire Vibhanga-Prakaranaya presents various ways by which the splitting of vatha for close examination can occur. The term vatha represents corporeality (nama-rupa). It is important to learn how to breakdown a being, object or form into smaller aggregates and observe aggregates as separate entities. The corporeality (skanda) when separated in to 5 aggregates, one will realize that rupa, vedanā, sañña, sankhāra and viñãna are different configurations. This comprehension will trigger one’s perception of solidity or firmness (gana sañña=firm attitudes & beliefs) and fluidity or plasticity (drava sañña=malleability or pliability) to crumble. By contemplating corporeality (=skanda) as chakku, sotha, ghana, jivha, kāya and mano, the gana sañña can becrushed. Also, routing gana sañña can be prompted by contemplating skanda as elementary constituents – apo, thejo, vayo, patavi, akasa and viñãna. Another way to help breakdown, not only gana sañña and satva-pudgala sañña (perception of nama-rupa as one solid being)but also to attain freedom from moha, to abolish and be free from erroneous perceptions of niccha, sukha, and attha mental states,is to segregate and examine five aggregates as 32 bodily parts. Accordingly, the entire Vibhanga Prakaranaya presents an analysis of how to breakdown (bhaga) corporeality (vatha) and examine ways to disband gana sañña. Another aspect included in the Vibhanga Prakaranaya is to help figure out breaking down of this fathomlong body (vatha) in a variety of ways for one to comprehend its true nature. Therefore, in early periods, Buddha Dhamma was known as Vibajjavadaya. This dhamma has been explained and analyzed in Sacca Vibhanga Sutta as archikkana desana, pattapana, paññapana, vibajana, vivarana and uttanikammanta. The fathom long body that was broken down into various parts was nothing but the body and mind that is presented as a being or satva or an individual. Therefore, this breakdown is quite useful in eradicating moha.
Inept pruthagjana people grasp panchaskandha for extracting various preferences by assimilating the world through sensorium. When the eye sees an image, the image will be assimilated, gets imbibed by the mind and experience pleasure (assādo). When the ear hears a sound,the sound will be assimilated, gets imbibed by the mind and experience pleasure (assādo). In a similar manner, through the nose, tongue and body impulses of odour or smell, taste and touch will be assimilated, gets imbibed by the mind and experience pleasure (assādo). Due to assādo, viñãna energy gets generated and constructed. Because of assādo, the three worlds continue to exist as “I, me and mine”. Upadana of panchaskandha originates due to assādo. Pruthagjana people become captive in samsara, because of their affinity for assādo, which means clinging to what is desirable based on raga, clashing with what is undesirable due to dvesha and erroneous comparisons between raga and dvesha due to moha through their addictions to imbibe various sensory preferences.
If one can comprehend this condition and end the sensory imbibition through the sensorium, one is able to free one-self from the three worlds (loka). Because of this sensory imbibition the pruthagjana individual goes adrift within the three worlds of kamavachara, rupavachara and arupavachara. Buddha dhamma teaches how to impede sensory imbibition through the panchaskandha world of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind through equanimity (uppekkha). Toward this end, one must stop patichcha, sensory imbibition, stop assādo and comprehend the nature of reality characterized by anichcha, dukkha and anatta. Moha can be eradicated fully by complete elimination of sensory imbibition while practicing sankhara uppekkha gñana. This state of the mind is portrayed with the terms arahan and arahanth. The terms arahan and arahanth have been translated into sinhala with erroneous terms rahath and rahathan that are in current practice. Magadhi Tripitaka carries only the terms arahanth and arahan. This means arahant is a noble individual who has ended sensory imbibition of panchaskandha loka and loka imbibition. Moha can be eradicated fully, only when sensory imbibition is ended completely and by terminating panchaskandha upadana. Accordingly, when sensory imbibition is totally ceased, one will be liberated and reach the arahant state. This is the meaning of the term arahant.
The Magadhi word samma is comprised of two words – sam + ma. Sam means in Magadhi, the culmination of raga, dvesha and moha as kilesa. Sam includes the three tendencies that make one captive in samsara. Samudaya is the term that represents new relationships/connections born out of sam tendencies in the mind. Samsara means a (sam= raga, dvesha and moha; sara= worthy or beneficial) decision and defines sam as worthy, desirable and preferable. There are no other reasons than these three tendencies collectively known as kilesa that bind an individual or a being tenaciously to samsara.
In Magadhi language, samma is referred to as complete deliverance from all three sam tendencies. “Ma” means complete liberation from something. This has been discussed in an earlier chapter as well as in association with the analysis of Mǔla Pariyaya Sutta. One will reach the state of samma, only after one attains sanvaraveema and sansindeema. Therefore, samma means unshackled from raga. Unshackled from dvesha. Unshackled from moha. Attaining samma is a necessary condition for the attainment of “namo”.
The word Sambuddhassa is made of Sam+bu+uddhassa and they constitute three words. The meaning of the word Buddha (bu+uddha –bu=bava; uddha=uprooting) is uprooting bava. This means hetun patichcha sambuthan. Sambavan represents three roots of kilesa namely raga bava, dvesha bava and moha bava. These three that are seated deep in the mind, born in the mind again and again constructing samsaric afflictions are the very reason for the erroneous immoral (adhamma) behavior. Until the roots of raga, dvesha and moha are cut off and eradicated from the mind an infinite samsaric journey will continue in any one of the three plains of kāma bava, rupa bava or arupa bava. Eradication of moha for good without allowing it to be born again in the mind happens only by uprooting the tendencies of kilesa. All three sam-bava must be severed in a never to arise again manner for total eradication of moha. This is the meaning of sambuddhassa where bava is uprooted and stops samudaya from being born in the mind.
Accordingly, the stanza Namo tassa Bagavatho, Arahatho Samma Sambuddhassa contains a profound meaning. All Samma Sambuddhas, Pascheka Buddhas and Arahant Buddhas have totally eradicated moha from the mind in a manner that it will never arise in the mind again and the mind will remain unfettered by it. They arrived at this state by breaking down vatha and achieving yatha butha gñana dassana, letting go of sensory imbibition, freeing from all three tendencies raga, dvesha and moha and uprooting all three of them from arising in the mind again. This is a realistic description of a Noble Arahant with unfettered kilesa free (nickkleshi) state of mind. It must be understood further that this stanza, which is practiced in a pada-parama (superficial meaning) way, is not intended to worship, or be dedicated to a special person. With the transformation of Buddha Dhamma into a devotional religion later, this stanza had been used as a namaskaraya and a worship statement. All this occurred just after Buddha dhamma got converted into a religion.
Accordingly, all those virtues people who attempt to comprehend Buddha Dhamma correctly must understand that this stanza describes four factors that are essential not only for total eradication of moha but also to foster pañna vimukthi state in the mind.
PINA AND KUSALAYA (A DESANA)
Sabba papassa akaranan – kusalassa upasampada
Sachitta pariyo dapanan – ætan Buddhanusasanan
Blessed audience, today you settle in, to seek calmness and clarity in the mind through a Dhamma desana that the Buddha at his time expounded to individuals for calming the mind and to find vimukthi from afflictions. Getting rid of kilesa – raga, dvesha and moha that are born in the mind by executing niroda and achieving viraga. You are gifted to be born in this life as a human being and as someone who listens to dhamma: you do a lot of meritorious deeds (pina). Others do kusala deeds. Today, many people have distorted the meaning of these two words, merits (pina) and kusala. Pina is one thing and kusala is another thing. What I quoted at the beginning is a stanza that was uttered by the Buddha.
I will repeat the stanza:
Sabba pāpassa akaranan – kusalassa upasampadā
Sachitta pariyo dapanan – ætan Buddhānusāsanan
A clear and pure path to Nibbana is prescribed through this stanza. Before Prince Siddhartha Gothama became the Buddha, people had been familiar with meritorious deeds. At the time of the Buddha, people practiced about 64 oriental religions such as Jaina, Upanishad, Veda, Shiva etc., as stated in the Brahmajala Sutta expounded by the Buddha. In each of those religions, conventionally, there was an accepted tradition of engaging in meritorious deeds. Meritorious deeds are in place during Buddha eras as well as non-Buddha eras. However, a Buddha appears in this world not to teach people only to engage in meritorious deeds but to help people comprehend the condition of “kusalassa upasampada” and achieve the purity of mind by uprooting all kilesa and forsaking them. Therefore, pina and kusalassa upasampada are two distinctly different activities. They are not the same. The dhamma, expounded by a Buddha after reaching the Buddhahood, never recommended shunning away from meritorious deeds. In Nanda sutta, Buddha states “Madame Nanda, one must do meritorious deeds”.
Buddha never rejected meritorious deeds. Neither did HE exclude it, nor did HE drop it or remove it. However, the Buddha clearly and explicitly stated that one will not be able to attain Nibbana or achieve 37 attributes (bodhi-pakshika dhamma) required to uproot sam only through meritorious deeds. Today, there is another new version added to this context. That is, there is no necessity to do meritorious deeds, but only by practicing meditation, one can attain Nibbana. This position stems out due to lack of understanding they have with the meaning of the Magadhi term bhavana. Therefore, one must contemplate how pina, kusala, sila, samadhi, pañna and bhavana are prescribed into a patipada to help attain Nibbana and how to complete the patipada. The patipada that helps one to complete Trisikkha – sila, samadhi and pañna is comprised of three attributes sanvara, sansindeema and samma or satara sanvara sila, samatha & vipassana bhavana along with ariya attangiko maggo. All these attributes are necessary for the attainment of Nibbana, andall four maga pala, to trigger and tune up asavak-khya gñana and to eradicate all kilesa totally, shed them through the practice of anuppada niroda and stopping kilesa from taking root in the mind again. Therefore, the Buddha, during his time, did not throw away any good or beneficial attributes practiced by other religions. All such beneficial practices have been adopted by the Buddha as helpful tools by reintroducing them with new artha, dhamma and nirutthi based on the theory of “never before heard” (pubbe ananussuthesu dhammesu). If we examine such practices closely, offering flowers is a practice of the Jainareligion. Offering flowers, lightings, burning incense and incense sticks were a common practice of all theological and Shiva religions. Giving alms and donations had also been practiced. The majority of Kings offered alms and donations to ordained Brahmins, thierthakas, nigantas, and paribrajikes prior to the Buddha and the establishment of the Order of the Maha Sangha. Therefore, dana is not something that the Buddha invented. Similarly, Queen Maha Maya observed sil prior to the birth of the Bodhisatva Prince Siddartha Gothama. Therefore, pansil, atasil or dasasil and any other forms of sil or their observations cannot be attributed to the Buddha. Prior to the Buddha attaining Buddhahood, all religions had upheld some form of sil, observation of sil and got established in sil. Similarly, bhavana existed in the past. Yet, no one knew about vipassana bhavana. Known practices were a form of samatha bhavana as pranayama ana-pana bhavana and it was practiced in Jaina, Veda and Shiva religions. Similarly, there existed eight features that carried the label “eight samma attributes”. But these eight features had been distinctly different to what the Buddha discovered newly and elucidated as “eight samma attributes”. Most features that carried the samma label in other religions belong to the category of merits. The Buddha elucidated to the mankind, a “never before heard dhamma”, of which people had no idea prior to the enlightenment of the Buddha. This never before heard dhamma was kusalassa upasampada. It means, in other words, dedicated to total removal of roots of defilements by cutting off sam through separating, shedding and eradication (upasampajja viharathi). Therefore, to experience kilesa as kilesa, realistically comprehending kilesa roots born in the mind, comprehending akusala as akusala, and kusala as kusala comprise the essence of the dhamma elucidated by the Buddha.
Kusalan pajanathi – Kusala mǔlan pajanathi
Akusalan pajanathi – Akusala mǔlan pajanathi.
These are the four steps that the Buddha elucidated as a guide to attain Nibbana. However, HE did not discard or reject meritorious deeds. HE never said not to do such activities. HE only articulated the fact that meritorious deeds alone will not help one to attain Nibbana. You gifted folks, beings with a mind, do a lot of meritorious deeds. Prior to the Buddha era, people were engaged in such activities in return for gains. As clearly portrayed in the Brahmajala Sutta elucidated by the Buddha, people do merits in anticipation of reaching the state of brahma, divinity or to achieve rich royal or mundane prosperity in this life (dittadhamma vedaneeya) or in future births. This had been the sole aim of all theological religions. All religions believe in a permanent state of brahma, divinity or heaven. According to Buddha desana there is no permanency in any existences of brahma, divinity or heaven. The Buddha recommended to people to engage in meritorious deeds just as a meaningful vehicle to attain Nibbana by purifying the mind through uprooting tendencies of kilesa. Without meritorious deeds, pleasure (prasada) does not arise in the mind. One cannot experience pleasure, rejoice (pramoda) and rapture (adimokka) in the mind in the absence of meritorious deeds. Thus, the Buddha had recommended doing such deeds. However, HE recommended something that goes beyond such activities. The Buddha provided a guide for how to convert a completed meritorious deed or a puññya karma into a kusala dhamma. At present, more devotees of Mahayana Buddhism and the so-called Theravada Buddhism in Helabima do meritorious deeds more than ever with ambitious prayers and expectations to achieve divinehuman prosperity, to encounter “The Buddha Maître”, to become attractive, prosperous and rich like Visaka, Nanda, Mallika, Sumana and Sunanda”. Making such a statement after a good deed has become a tradition. When devotees complete a meritorious deed at home and the monk did not make a statement in the above context, the devotees believe that this meritorious deed has no meaning. This is the position that people are in at present. However, you blessed folks, a meritorious deed must be done with a pure mind (a mind free of raga, dvesha and moha) for flushing our hearts with pleasure (prasada) and to extend (pin pathurava), dedicate (pin pihituva) and bestow (pin anumodana) puññya energy (puññya=merits) generated through such activity to those in need. Therefore, each one of us must think of paying all past dues to all those who in this infinite samsaric existence until present, had helped us, had any relationship with, had supported us in any way by extending, dedicating and bestowing puññya energy and liberating them and self from such existential relationships. To get the maximum benefit of being born in the human realm, it is important to think that whenever a meritorious deed is done, it must be converted into a meaningful kusala. This is a fact that all humans must pay attention to, listen and comprehend. Its known that at the time of elucidating pure dhamma or when giving a dana or similar meritorious deed, uncountable number of non-human beings, (amanussa) attend in anticipation of receiving puññya energy.
This is also something that must be clarified. Who can receive puññya energy? Who cannot receive it? Who comes to receive it? Who do not come to receive it? Many of our relatives from previous existences – mothers, fathers, siblings, teachers, grandfathers, grandmothers, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, grandchildren, neighbors, employers and employees have died. It is paramount to think of them and support them. Mothers, fathers, teachers, elders, husbands and wives all will die one day. They died in the past as well. Therefore, whenever we are born as human beings, we do require a mother and a father. Similarly, those samsaric relatives such as siblings, husbands and wives who passed away without realizing Nibbana, will be born in any one of the thirty-one plains according to a specific attitude (gathi) out of 31 possible cultivated mental attitudes. Only human beings born in the human realm become aware of these 31 realms. Only human beings can do meritorious deeds, generate puññya energy out of moral actions, extend, dedicate and bestow puññya energy. Any beings other than humans cannot generate puññya energy out of moral actions, extend, dedicate and bestow it on others. Therefore, most departed relatives remain vigilant on their relatives who were born as humans. The departed relatives may have been reborn as humans or else born in various other realms such as for example in hellish realm. Relatives who had committed evil deeds may have been born in animal, butha, pætha and hell realms. There are four hellish realms namely butha, pætha, apaya=niraya and animal realms. Similarly, they could have been born in any of the six divine realms as divine beings. They could have been born as tree devata (vruksha devata), land devata (bumatu devata), or in any one of the 6 divine realms. Similarly, they could have been born in any of the several brahma realms. Only some brahmas can receive puññya energy and not all those who were born in the brahma realm. Brahmas who were born in the four suddavasa and four arupa brahma realms are unable to receive puññya energy. Only the none returners (anāgāmi) are born in the 4 suddavasa brahma realms. Though they became brahma, they have attained the 3rd magga pala anāgāmi. Therefore, they do not come to receive puññya energy as they do not need it. In fact, the abassara brahma plain is quite different. Those beings who are born in the abassara plain, will return only at the destruction of the worlds. This means, they also are unable to receive puññya energy.
However, when we complete meritorious deeds and generate puññya energy, there is a myriad of none human (amanussa) categories that can receive it. Accordingly, among those who were born in four Hell realms, butha and pætha can receive puññya energy. Similarly, those divine beings that were born in 6 divine realms and some rupie brahmas can receive puññya energy. All the others do not have any way or ability to receive puññya energy. If a human being died and is reborn in hell (apaya), animal hell, human realm, four arupa brahma plains, four suddavasa or abassara brahma plains, they are unable to receive puññya energy from humans. However, when bestowing puññya energy after a meritorious deed, we shall not separate non-humans into categories such as those who can receive and those who cannot receive puññya energy. Such separations are unwarranted. It is important to extend, dedicate and bestow puññya energy to all beings within the 31 existential plains. This is what needs to be understood. As wayfarers in this infinite samsara, we are indebted to those who helped us at anytime, anywhere and in any form. Until all dues are paid back in full no one becomes debt free or eligible to realize Nibbana. Therefore, the foremost aim of doing meritorious deeds with a mind free of kilesa (nickkleshi) is to flush our hearts with pleasure and then to extend, dedicate and bestow puññya energy generated through such activity without discrimination and without any deficit to those who helped/supported us in this infinite samsara. It is important to bestow puññya energy equally to all irrespective of whether they are receptive or not. This means we do meritorious deeds purely for paying our past existential debts to all those that we must repay and be liberated from such debts. When one does a meritorious deed, though we inform debtors or not, they will be there zealously and impatiently to receive puññya energy. The Buddha exclusively stated in the Thirokudda Sutta, the realms of butha, pætha and divine beings are eligible and receptive to puññya energy. In the above sutta, it is explained clearly that these beings that are totally dependent on what is given to them for their existence (paradattupa jeeveen), do not work, do not cultivate land, or are not herdsman looking after cattle. In this sutta, it is also stated that all departed relatives, go after their samsaric human relatives who do meritorious deeds in high anticipation of receiving puññya energy. Especially, the ones who were born in butha and pætha plains are apprehensively waiting for puññya energy like panhandlers who are holding a bag or a cup in anticipation of receiving something. Divine beings too are enthusiastically waiting to receive puññya energy. For this reason, its paramount that when we do a meritorious deed with a nickkleshi mind based on the noble intention, we must extend, dedicate and bestow the generated puññya energy. To whom? To all those who are waiting in anticipation to receive puññya energy as stated below.
Sabbe pānā – sabbe buthā;
Sabbe devā – sabbe satthā
As pruthagjana people you cannot see those who came to receive puññya energy. You do not know where to look for them. They remain invisible to you. However, when you do a meritorious deed they come to such a place in hundreds, thousand or tens of thousands and more to receive puññya energy. Yet, if we did not perform with a mind free of loba, dvesha and moha, did not extend in an appropriate manner, did not dedicate it for them to receive and did not bestow it wholeheartedly, they will not be able to receive puññya energy. Therefore, when we bestow merits after a meritorious deed, we need to recognize that a multitude of departed relatives and others (paradattupa beings) are waiting in anticipation of receiving puññya energy. Thus, we need to extend, dedicate and bestow merits to all beings whether they are present on location or not, without exception. It must be communicated and bestowed to all equally. If it is not bestowed equally to all some may not receive it. Therefore, by doing meritorious deeds in accordance with the above process, the deed can be translated into kusala dhamma. When doing meritorious deeds without the above process, it can get translated into akusala karma. Indeed it can also become a menace and that’s the reason that some in Siri Lanka currently insist not to do meritorious deeds at home; not to extend, dedicate or bestow puññya energy to butha and pætha at homes because they think that non-human relatives will occupy their homes. Indeed, it did happen, and it can happen because transferring puññya energy is performed inappropriately in Buddhist religion. Thus, its paramount that whenever puññya energy is bestowed on the departed relatives and others, it must be performed to their satisfaction, to flush their hearts with happiness and joy and to liberate them from their misery. The process of how to do it right is clearly stated in the Thirokudda Sutta. In all of this, there is something that one must carefully consider. When we offer dana to sangha (sanghika or bhikkhu), we anticipate always to extend, dedicate and to bestow merits only to the departed relative in seven days, three months or in one year. This is a wrong practice. When we offer merits after a dana or a pious activity, it is vital to have a mind free of kilesa with good intentions to extend, dedicate and bestow to all those who came to receive puññya energy equally without any discrimination.
Here, a mind free of kilesa means, to establish a frame of mind free of raga, dvesha and moha at least for about 5 minutes, whenever you are extending, dedicating and bestowing puññya energy. If the frame of mind is full of raga, dvesha and moha at the time of extending, dedicating and bestowing merits, such a mind is defiled and therefore, transferring merits is impossible. It follows then that one must be determined to establish a frame of mind free of three fetters if one is sincere about extending, dedicating and bestowing puññya energy to all those who come to receive it. Only then bestowing merits lead to the satisfaction of those recipients and their hearts will be flooded with puññya energy. Bestowing puññya energy can be done in a manner that this energy will not only help free those who receive it from their current state of misery, but also the one who is doing such a pious deed can also be freed from past existential relationships. Therefore, if we do this activity half-heartedly without knowledge and awareness, it will not produce the desired results, nor will it produce any kusala dhamma or will not be beneficial to others.
There are a few erroneous activities in traditional Buddhism that must be pointed out. For the benefit of many, it must be pointed out. If it remains out of discussion, butha, pætha and many non-human beings will occupy homes and become a menace to those who live in them. In conventional Buddhism, the first incorrect thing is that when one does a meritorious deed, puññya energy will be bestowed to those who did the pious act as a return for the act through a statement of merit (pin vakkya). “You people have done a meritorious deed. You did it with a very good intention. We pray that all those who participated and contributed to this activity will achieve divine-human prosperity, to become attractive, prosperous and rich like Visaka, Nanda, Mallika, Sumana and Sunanda” and to attain Nibbana by encountering “The Buddha Maître” in future. This has become the traditional practice in every temple. This is wrong. Clearly and purely this must be corrected because the reason for such a pious activity is to generate puññya energy and bestow it on those departed relatives and friends who come to receive it or in anticipation to receive it. But, what had been accomplished? Thirokudda Sutta provides an example. The conventional practice is like as if one cooked a tasty meal for invited guests, but it was served to own self and eaten instead of serving guests. Therefore, when performing such activities, returns from it shall not be bestowed to own-self and contributing partners. This is a practice that got transplanted from Jaina and Mahayana religions. According to those religions, one must reach brahma-hood or bodhisatva and thus one must generate a lot of merits, fulfil all bodhisatva attributes and at the end of all such states one will attain Nibbana. This practice was not in the original pristine Buddha Dhamma. These erroneous practices came from Mahayana Buddhism. This influence which came from Myanmar, Thailand, and India and a few other countries has become quite forceful in Helabima today. This is the reason for introducing a pin vakkya into todays practice. Many hope to meet The Buddha Maître, bodhisatvassuch asAlakeshwaraandAmithabayaand to attainNibbana in any one of those future Buddha Sasana. This practice is totally against Buddha desana. Thus, one must keep in mind that bestowing or transferring merits is a necessary attribute topay past existential dues and to free oneself from such samsaric debts in this life itself. The puññya energy generated must be awarded to our past departed relatives in such a way to satisfy them to some extent and with the help of this, they will be able to free themselves from any misery and be liberated from such fretfulness. Therefore, one’s virtuous activities shall not be aimed at gaining benefits or grasping (upadana) a lot of merits in expectation of returns in terms of prosperity.
Though there is no prayer or a wish, when one does a virtuous deed and transfers puññya energy, there are always benefits. In case one does not attain Nibbana in this life, the generated puññya energy will come to fruition. If one anticipates any gains, it gets translated into deep rooted good karmas (puññya abisankhara) and certainly attaining Nibbana will be very much delayed. One must understand clearly, if one is determined instead of aspiring, the generated puññya energy to be bestowed upon others in need will be translated into kusala dhamma, which helps one to get rid of kilesa and turns into an activity that propels one toward Nibbana.
Therefore, one must comprehend clearly that one needs to establish a defilement free mind and be determined when performing a virtuous activity with the aim of transferring merits to departed relatives and friends, without any discrimination and a deficit when extending, dedicating and bestowing puññya energy.
The second fact is that at present people do virtuous acts for publicity, propaganda and for competition. In many households, television and radio channels, a competition for meritorious deeds become apparent. To perform meritorious deeds in a competitive manner is not part of Buddha Dhamma. Turning meritorious deeds into competitions is simply wrong. But also transfer of merits only to one or two to include only one’s closest departed relatives is also wrong. These are fundamental mistakes in current practice. Now, it must be comprehended clearly. For example, a mother who died 3 months ago may be in a state of butha, pætha or divinity. One may omit others and mention only the name of the mother in the present life when transferring merits. This practice prevents all other mothers, fathers, siblings, grand fathers and grandmothers, daughters and sons etc., from infinite previous births that are present on occasion whether invited or uninvited, from receiving any puññya energy. Why? The merits were not extended, dedicated or bestowed to any others. Therefore, just mentioning one name and bestowing merits is a wrong practice. Often, pruthagjana people during meritorious deeds think that merits must be bestowed only to their departed relatives of this birth. Here is a way to resolve this situation. Firstly, all the departed ancestry that helped one in infinite existential births must be remembered with good intentions and by extending, dedicating and bestowing boundless pure puññya energy to them. Then, secondly one can extend, dedicate and bestow puññya energy onto departed parents and relatives of the present birth. There is no deficit in this practice. However, it is erroneous to extend, dedicate and bestow merits to departed relatives of this current birth and then secondly, to all other departed existential relatives of the past births. There is a deficit in this practice. The reason for this is that butha, pætha, and divine beings who have come to receive merits have very subtle physical bodies.
They arrive instantly or momentarily and anxiously waiting with devotional anticipation to receive merits. When only one person’s name is mentioned during the process, they become very unhappy and conclude that “I was not given any merits and they will never give me any thing and so on”. They get upset and leave the site. This prevents them from receiving any merits. They get angry about this situation. Thus, we must understand this quite well. Therefore, when we transfer or bestow merits firstly it must be:
Sabbe pānā –Sabbe devā
Sabbe buthā – Sabbe satthā
an extension, dedication and bestowing of puññya energy in general to all departed recipients indiscriminately. Otherwise, there may be a group that did not receive merits. Those who did not receive particularly, butha and pætha groups may develop anger and hatred and can create trouble. This must be well understood.
The third fact is that when one performs a pious activity generating merits, one must think about not only one’s own relatives, but also departed relatives of other people as they all will attend such performances. For this reason, the following stanza initially calls for:
“Idan mæ gñathi nan hothu” twice and then calls in the end for “Idan vo gñathi nan hothu”.
“Idan mæ gñathi nan hothu” means all my departed relatives and “Idan ho gñathi nan hothu” refers to all those who are related to others. Its paramount to bestow puññya energy to all those irrespective of whether they are one’s relatives or not. Then no one is left out. Currently, in traditional Buddhism, these phrases are recited without much sense. Often, they call three times for “Idan mæ gñathi nan hothu”. This phrase is recited conventionally three timesbut if it is done appropriately the phrase “Idan mæ gñathi nan hothu” to be recited twice and “Idan vo gñathi nan hothu” must be recitedat least once clearly with the right intention. Then all those who are in need will be able to gain puññya energy without any deficit.
There is another visible deficit. This is a serous one which is traditionally performed incorrectly. When bestowing puññya energy, closest relatives are asked to take a cup and a jug full of water. They pour water from the jug into the cup while monks who participated in the dana chant the following stanza.
Unna mæ udakan vattan – yatha nininan pavathathin
Æva mæva itho dinnan – petānan upakappathi
Yatha vari vahapura – paripurenthi sagaran
Æva mæva itho dinnan – petānan upakappathi
However, this stanza is recited like an imitation without knowing its real meaning. Humans are blessed with a mind capable of cognizance. When bestowing puññya energy, one must establish a mind free of defilements. It is an example quoted to represent a natural phenomenon. The action of pouring water from the jug has a deeper meaning. When water gets poured down into the cup, all relatives performing this act, participating monks and audience pay attention to see when the cup would be full and begin to overflow. This means no one participating in this activity has a mind free of defilements, which is a necessary requirement for transferring or bestowing puññya energy. On the other hand, without establishing a mind free of defilements, no puññya energy can be communicated or bestowed.
Unna mæ udakan vattan – yatha nininan pavathathin
Æva mæva itho dinnan – petānan upakappathi
These above two lines of the stanza mean, puññya energy must be transferred to those butha, pætha and deva that are waiting, like those who are holding cups in anticipation of receiving it by extension, dedication and bestowing. For this to happen, we must establish a mind free of defilements and transmit white radiation generated in the mind. However, at present, the example has survived but the deeper meaning (paramatta) of the example has been ignored. Thus, it must be clearly understood. The reproducing the example is acceptable. However, one must pay attention to the meaning of the stanza in artha, dhamma and nirutthi, when they are recited instead of focusing attention to pouring water from the jug to the cup and focus on bestowing merits to the departed relatives in need. Though we perform meritorious activities to bestow puññya energy conventionally, those who anticipated it may not necessarily receive it. This happens because of several erroneous activities performed in traditional Buddhist religion. Thus, it is vital for the participating monks to pay attention to these points. The priority of meritorious deeds is to pay all samsaric debts and be free. Bestowed puññya energy must be a help to all our departed relatives and friends who had a relationship. Puññya energy generated is not for us to hold on to in anticipation of future human-divine prosperity or to become a bodhisatva or even to attain Nibbana in the presence of The Buddha Maître. Thus, everyone must comprehend the true meaning of “Sabba papassa akaranan and kusalassa upasampada”. Moreover, one should know that the puññya energy generated must be transferred onto past departed relatives and others with dedication as indicated in paramatta dhamma and get rid of all the kilesa in one’s mind in accordance with “chago patinissaggo muththi analayo” (chago= giving away as a gift; patinissaggo=totally detached; muththi= to be free; analayo=completely detached) and follow the path to Nibbana. It is important for one to reach this state. By accomplishing such an activity, one must remain mentally detached from it and be free. One should let go of both generated merits and demerits (puññya pāpa pahienassa). At present, all devotees (upasaka and upasika) in Siri Lanka who represent Buddhism, pray through bodhi puja and giving alms in anticipation of divine -human prosperity and to escape hell realms. They must realize that whenever they anticipate the above stated future prosperity, they get committed to incorrect actions that prolong own infinite samsaric afflictions. Therefore, it is against Buddha desana. The Buddha words “appamadena sampadethabba” (appamadena=ending new relationships born by sensory inebriation, sampadethabba= identify sam emanating and eradicate them) means without delay we must remove sam that is born in the mind when it arises. Sam means raga, dvesha and moha. One must be free from relationships based on raga, dvesha and moha born in the mind by transferring generated puññya energy to the departed relatives. Bestow it with dedication. Thus, everyone must understand that its meaningless to do meritorious deeds and prayers for publicity, to gain something in return, as an honor or forsustenance.
There are no devoted Buddhists offering alms and performing meritorious deeds in any other country in the world than in this country Siri Lanka. Its apparent from the so-called Buddhist radio and television media that to large extent Buddhist devotees are both ignorant and imprudent as evidenced by their anticipation for divine-human prosperity. However, when we do a meritorious deed, we must establish a mind free of defilements. For example, no matter who thinks what, if one builds a ward in a hospital or constructs a building for a school or else contributes to a Buddhist temple, it becomes a meritorious deed because it was built by spending one’s own money. One will inherit its effects and there is no question about it. If one wishes or anticipates some returns on this generated merit, one will receive it as well. Politicians do meritorious deeds to gain votes. This too is a meritorious action. Bur it remains an aspiration. It prevents Nibbana and delay attaining Nibbana. Likewise, if one performs meritorious deeds in helping others in the pretext of publicity of name and lineage, puññya energy gets generated but, there will be no kusala due to egotism (māna). Thus, it becomes a meritorious deed without possibility of translating it to kusala. One must hence understand that accumulated puññya energy will make one go adrift between kāmaloka and sugathiloka. Many others do meritorious deeds not to channel votes or for publicity for the lineage but with the sole purpose of writing it in a book of merits (pin potha) to secure divine -human prosperity, royal prosperity, crop resources and wealth for future births. This too is a wrong approach. Since this results in a pleasurable mental state, what is anticipated could be eventually received. Each time when this kind of meritorious deeds are performed, it delays Nibbana not only because one gets shackled to infinite samsara but also causes a prolongation of samsara. Therefore, in such cases puññya energy will not be translated into kusala and there is no “kusalassa upasampada”.
It must be noted that any actions that cause prolongation of samsaric journey constitute akusala karma. In a similar manner, when one with a mind free of kilesa performs a meritorious deed with the intention of detachment (nissarana) along with mental purification (adyasaya) or helping others through transferring merits within the framework of “chago patinissaggo muththi analayo”, generated puññya energy can be effectively transferred as intended and such an action translates into kusala dhamma. It will be helpful and propel one toward the attainment of Nibbana. These things must be contemplated by every person. Thus, it is quite immoral to execute meritorious deeds for publicity, gains, competition, and fashion. At present, people perform competitive katina ceremonies and its wrong and immoral. Thus, they constitute not only akusala karma, but they ultimately turn into immoral deeds. Therefore, if one wants to perform meritorious deeds, one must establish a mind free of 3 fetters and then radiate puññya energy with determination (satyak-kriya) to extend, dedicate and bestow it on all the departed relatives and non-relatives alike and equally. It follows then that without performing conventional meritorious deeds or spending a lot of money, one can transfer merits with a mind free of raga, dvesha and moha and turn this action into kusala dhamma; achieve the intended state of “Sabba papassa akaranan – kusalassa upasampada” by uprooting all kilesa.
Thus, it is important for all of you to understand that you are compelled to do these erroneous orthodox and customary practices, because the nation and Theravada Buddhism embraced them due to the influence of Jaina religion and Mahayana Buddhism. Therefore, they remain as puññya karma but devoid of kusala dhamma. Then such activities are not helpful means to attain Nibbana. If one understands this, one can perform a meritorious deed in support of uprooting all kilesa from the mind and utilize the generated puññya energy or mental energy to attain Nibbana. It follows then that you must do meritorious deeds in future. However, it must be performed in a manner to fulfil the condition “Sabba papassa akaranan – kusalassa upasampada” and complete kusala dhamma. If you execute meritorious deeds with the above knowledge, your action will get translated into a kusala dhamma and if not, it will get translated into akusala karma that prolongs your samsaric journey infinitely.
THIROKUDDA SUTTA DESANA
The Buddha stipulated Thirokudda Sutta to impart knowledge on meritorious deeds performed through a mind detached from raga, dvesha and moha with the intention of transferring puññya energy to all departed relatives, none relatives, participants and the self alike and its benefits and gains. They are:
- Transferring or bestowing merits is a duty to fulfil. It’s a model and an example for others.
- This process lends a helping hand to free all past samsaric relatives who are born into non-human forms of butha and pætha from their current state of misery.
- When offering dana tomaha sangha, who are in search of Nibbana and dependent of four groups of sustenance items, one acquires puññya energy entailing five great benefits of long life (āyu), prosperity (sæpa), power (bala), attractiveness (varna) and pañna.
- Performing kusala dhamma will make one free from samsaric debts, avoid hell realms, reach divinity and lead to a mind free of all defilements.
Dear devotees, today you are determined, dedicated and prepared to offer this special dana with the intention of fulfilling a meritorious act. To listen to a dhamma desana that meets the above requirement; To listen to an analysis stipulated in the Thirokudda Sutta and fulfil the duty of transferring merits to all those butha, pætha and similar none-humans that are gathered here in anticipation of receiving it as well as to extend, dedicate and bestow puññya energy to all those who had been our relatives in past births in samsara in a manner for them to feel gratified and flush their hearts with joy.
Thirokudda Sutta was elucidated by the Buddha to King Bimbisara. In the early days, when the Buddha was dwelling in Rajagahanuwara, King Bimbisara offered a dana to the Buddha including maha sangha in his royal palace. After the dana, there arose quite unusual problems that had never existed in the palace. A multitude of non-human, butha and pætha beings started to haunt the palace. They made loud noises. Meanwhile, King Bimbisara dreamed of unusual nightmares while at sleep. Following this situation, King Bimbisara met the Buddha and reported his experience. The Buddha pointed out that it happened because of an insufficiency or a delay that occurred at the alms giving. This means that the Buddha saw that the puññya energy had been extended, dedicated and bestowed only to those departed relatives in this life and blessed in anticipation of prosperity for participants. But, at the time, it was noticed that countless numbers of past non-human relatives dwelling in the palace were unable to receive puññya energy and had become quite unhappy and angry. Those nonhumans who were once the King’s relatives anticipated that their King would extend, dedicate and bestow puññya energy to them. Due to an insufficiency, it did not happen as anticipated by past samsaric relatives and friends. The Buddha pointed out that these non-humans, butha and pætha beings made it known through such noises that they did not receive puññya energy as anticipated. The Buddha also reiterated that all those beings were his relatives in the past.
Accordingly, the Buddha advised to repeat the dana and extend, dedicate and bestow puññya energy to all those past samsaric relatives born as butha and pætha enabling them to flush their hearts and minds with joy and happiness.
When Arahant Mahinda visited Lankapura, He elucidated as a reminder to the sinhala kings who ruled from Anurajhapura, how to transfer merits to departed butha and pætha relatives of the past in a similar manner with Vimana Vasthu, Pætha Vasthu Sutta and Thirokudda Sutta. Therefore, as a tradition, even today transferring merits to the departed relatives of the past takes place in Buddhist homes of Helabima.
Therefore, the dhamma desana today intends to touch and discuss only how to perform meritorious deeds and how to extend, dedicate and bestow puññya energy. All those who participate in this activity today can take these proceedings as an example. It must be understood that whenever one performs a meritorious deed, one will be able to acquire maximum benefits out of it as well as extend, dedicate and bestow puññya energy to those who anticipate receiving it. When offering a dana or doing any other meritorious deed, one must establish a mind full of pleasure (prasada) and joy which generates a suitable mental environment to extend, dedicate and bestow puññya energy leading to a mind free of defilements. At present, many Buddhists perform such activities just to follow suit, others comply without any knowledge of the benefits or why one must perform such an activity. Some engage in such activities for competition, publicity and show off purposes. Some offer dana after a death of a family member just as a family tradition or because others do it or for publicity without any understanding or a pure intention. In some funeral homes and in dana homes, people serve intoxicants to visitors and who participate in the funeral and consume it in anticipation of an illusory relief, solace and gratification at the dana location. It is questionable, how anyone can create a mental environment rich in puññya energy through such low mentality? The most destructive result of this is that a majority who participate in this activity, but disapprove such immoral actions, will be unable to establish a purpose bound suitable unified mental state for the occasion. All this is wrong. With a corrupt mind puññya energy cannot be extended, dedicated or bestowed on others. Therefore, any meritorious deed must be performed in the correct manner with pure intentions. It is a duty that one is bound by. This means puññya energy must be extended, dedicated and bestowed in a manner that satisfy all recipient minds enabling them to be free them from butha, pætha states of existence.
- Thirokuddhesu titta nathi sandhisinghata kesuchȃ
Dvarabhasu titta nathi āganthva sakaran garan
- Pahuthe atta pānamahi bajjȃ bhojje upȃtithæ Na thesan kochi sarati sattakan kamma pachchaya
- Evan dadanti gñāthinan ye honti anukampaka Suchi panithan kalena kapapiyan pana bhijanan
Idan vo gñāthinan hotu sukitha honthi gñāthayo
- The cha tatta samāganthva gñāthipeta samāgathā
Pahythe annapānamahi, sakkachan anumodare
- Chiran jeevanthu nogñāthi yesan hetu lābȃmase
Amhakañnacha katha puja dayakacha athipala
- Nahi tatta kasi atthi kasi attha gorakekaththa na vijjathi Vanijjā thādisi naththi hiranæñna kayakkayan
itho dinethna yapenthi pætha kalakatha thahin
- Unna mæ udakan vattan, yatha ninan pavaththatin
Eva mæva itho dinnan pætha nan upakappathi
- Yatha vari vahapura paripurenthi sagaran Eva mæva itho dinnan pætha nan upakappathi
- Adāsi mæ akāsi mæ gñāthimittā sakāchȃmæ Pætha nan dakkinan dajajja pubbe kathamanussaran
- Nahi rǔnnan chȃ soko vāya chañña paridevanā
Nathan pethānamattaya evan tittanathi gñātahayo
- Ayañcha ko dakkinā dinnā, sanghamahi suppatititā
Deegaratthan hithāyassa tānaso upakappathi
- So gñāthidhammo cha ayan nidassitho
Pethānan pujācha kathā ulāra
Balancha bikkhu namanuppadittan
Thummehi puññyan pasuthan anappaka natthi
Thirokudda Sutta is comprised of 12 stanzas. The first stanza denotes that many in one’s lineage who departed before in samsaric journey, had not performed adequate meritorious deeds to be born in divine or human realms or to attain magga pala or Nibbana and as a result they are born in butha and pætha realms. These beings, in invisible forms, find residence in places such as door frames, on top of the walls, at the closest junction to the house and in similar places belonging to their relatives. There are two kinds of such beings and only some of the butha and pætha beings occasionally have the power to enter the bodies of relatives and exert influence. Pætha means a realm of beings that are dedicated to demand something for sustenance. These being, that are non-human, can generate some energy to give birth.
Therefore, when one is born as a human being in this life, where one can gain the momentum to terminate (khana sampaththi) kilesa, must explore own terminable deficits that exist within oneself. While one is born as a human being, one must perform meritorious deeds that are adequate to be reborn in human or divine realms though it may not be adequate to attain Nibbana. For the attainment of Nibbana, one shall not rely on any external sources for puññya energy but must fulfil “kusalassa upasampada” by own initiative. Similarly, if one performs meritorious deeds with the anticipation to be reborn in a heavenly realm, then one does not need to ask others for such merit. In the same manner, if people commit immoral and evil deeds as human beings, their forceful weighty karma (garuka karma) comes to fruition early on, preventing them from attaining Nibbana or being born in a heavenly realm and no one can prevent them from being born in a hellish realm. Butha and pætha realms represent two of the four hellish realms. The other two are animal realm and hell (niraya). The hell and animal realms differ from butha and pætha realms because the latter two never come after relatives in search of puññya energy.
Therefore, one must realize that if one did not accomplish adequate kusala or meritorious deeds during one’s life time, and performed immoral and evil deeds, such individuals will be born in future in butha and pætha realms where they depend on merits transferred by others. They are the two realms that are contingent totally on puññya energy extended by others. The meaning of the word “yapenthi” is “dependent on others”.
Those who are alive can enjoy various foods with many different tastes have weddings, dinner parties and offer alms. But those butha and pætha beings cannot enjoy anything as they do not possess the needed karma energy. They have a huge burden of karma that prevents them from enjoying such. Therefore, puññya energy must be bestowed upon them with dedication (kappathi) and otherwise, they are unable to receive it. This sutta elucidates clearly that in such situations these non-human beings are sadly watching how their sons and daughters or relatives in past lives consume and enjoy tasty food.
Therefore, as human beings, it shall be recognized that there are groups of beings waiting with anticipation to receive merits. Daily they must be bestowed puññya energy with dedication. There is need to free them from their misery. Then, the samsaric debt problem can be resolved.
Further, this sutta states that whenever one performs a meritorious deed, one must extend, dedicate and bestow puññya energy equally and without discrimination to all samsaric relatives who had helped one in infinite number of births and rebirths. If one transfers merits specially to a person who passed away, it will cause problems. This is because butha and pætha groups that were born as humans in the previous 91 kalpas (births with varying life expectancies) go after their relatives or those who had some relationship in anticipation of receiving puññya energy. When these relatives perform a meritorious deed generating puññya energy with an abundance of heartfelt pleasure, these non-human past relatives wait from wherever they are like a row of pan handlers who are holding pails to receive something. This sutta notes further that groups of numerous relatives from past lives do attend such places where puññya energy is generated through meritorious activities.
Therefore, when someone passes away, it is wrong to dedicate and bestow puññya energy only to this dead relative. First and foremost, we must extend, dedicate and bestow puññya energy to all those past relatives from infinite samsara and then secondly, transfer merits to the departed relative in this life. For example, assume that one’s mother has passed away. But now the departed mother may be in a place where she is unable to receive puññya energy or in a place where she does not need any puññya energy. However, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons or any others who has a relationship with past dues in previous births, are waiting to receive puññya energy. These beings who are waiting have not received puññya energy, because it is dedicated to someone else. This is a significant flaw. Thirokudda sutta clearly indicates that extending, dedicating and bestowing of puññya energy must be done without discrimination and no one shall experience any deficit.
Another fact stated in this sutta is that one must be prepared to transfer merits to non- relatives who somewhere, someday had helped with a word at least and to those who have not helped in any manner but are born as butha and pætha do come with others to receive puññya energy. Therefore, one must remember this and bless all relatives with merits to relieve them from their misery.
There are two ways to free butha and pætha from their non-human existence. One is through performing meritorious deeds while extending, dedicating and bestowing generated puññya energy and liberate them into a wholesome state. The second approach is to pay samsaric dues to others and terminate the relationship when all dues are paid off and become free.
Dear devotees, you have certainly seen how the water pouring (pan vædeema) portion of the Buddhist funeral service is being conducted. In the past, this activity of pouring water from a jug to the cup at a funeral was done symbolically for those who had difficulties in understanding dhamma. It was carried out as a demonstration for easy understanding. The water poured from top was intended to symbolize a meritorious deed with a mind free of defilements and a pure intention. Like the cup that gets filled with water and overflow or like the river that flows and joins the ocean, all puññya energy generated shall be received in full by all butha, pætha and divine beings. Then, it will fill their hearts and minds with puññya energy enabling them to escape from current state of existence and reborn into a better realm of existence. Otherwise, they become happy and leave the current place of stay. Both butha and pætha beings can be released and freed from their current misery by bestowing dedicated puññya energy upon them.
Then, there is a very significant matter stated in this sutta. This is the paramount aspect of this sutta in my view and the dhamma phenomenon that is vital for everyone. When transferring merits to the departed relative, surviving relatives shall not cry, lament, feel miserable, be sad or be angry creating a high level of anxiety in the mind. One must maintain calmness and purity of mind during transfer of merits. Otherwise, if one offers dana to a hundred monks and spends one hundred thousand rupees for the memorial service, if the mind is restless and impure, there will be no meaningful outcome. It means, when transferring merits, one’s mind must be free of defilements.
One shall not think that if this person were alive now, how much help this person would have rendered or how much one lost due to the death and so on. One shall not create a milieu of raga, dvesha and moha in the mind through such thinking as indicated above. This feels like burnout (paridahaya). It must be understood that without a settled and a pure mind, no puññya energy can be transferred; nor can it be received; nor can it be dedicated and bestowed.
As human beings we cultivate lands, grow crops and supply self with various foods for sustenance. But, butha and pætha beings are powerless (hauharanyak næ). If they do not ask for puññya energy from their human relatives performing meritorious deeds, there is no way that they can receive food, drink merits or any benefit. They are truly helpless. Therefore, doing meritorious deeds or any other charitable activity to generate puññya energy will enable one to transfer merits and to satisfy their hunger. Therefore, as human beings, who earn and produce grain and crops legitimately and do meritorious deeds, we must always transfer merits to the departed. All such activities facilitate not only quenching their thirst and hunger but also the liberation of beings from butha and pætha existence and freeing them from hellish realms. They will be relieved from misery. Accordingly, their aspirations are met.
Lastly, Thirokudda Sutta states that any meritorious deed accomplished by one with pure intentions for extending, dedicating and bestowing puññya energy will neither be born in future in butha and pætha realms where beings must beg puññya energy from others nor dependent on others. The Buddha elucidated very clearly that such a mind will never land in any hellish realm and will only utilize generated puññya energy for the liberation from samsara and translate it into “kusalassa upasampada”.
When we offer Buddha puja, perform an almsgiving and transferring merit, we recite a stanza “etthāvathācha amhehi….”. Firstly, we recite sabbe deva (all divine beings), secondly sabbe butha (all butha and nine humans) and thirdly sabbe satta (all beings) and recite three times. One should not be reciting all 3 as one stanza by combining all 3 steps. One must know the reasons as to why it must be recited in the recommended sequence. During the first recital, only devas can receive merits. In the second recital, butha group can receive merits. If any deva was unable to receive merits in the first recital, they will be able to receive it in the second recital. The most important is the third recital “sabbe satta” which includes all beings in butha, pætha, deva, animal and human realms except enlightened beings (arahants). If any being missed receiving merits in the first, second recitals or did not understand, or not heard properly, all of them can receive puññya energy during the third recital. Similarly, “sambhathan puññya sampadan” must be understood correctly and recited appropriately. Now, I hope you understand that if transferring puññya energy is performed incorrectly without a mind free of defilements some section of these realms will lose the opportunity to receive merits.
In a similar manner, when bestowing puññya energy to departed relatives, the stanza must be recited three times. The stanza “Idan mæ gñathi nan hothu” must be recited twice and “Idan vo gñathi nan hothu” be recited once. “Idan mæ refers to the group of departed relatives that are related to oneself, indebted to oneself and waiting to receive puññya energy from oneself. “Idan vo gñathi” refers to beings who are not one’s relatives but a relative of another who anticipates puññya energy from the act.
Thus, we must understand, that we can free our departed relatives and nonrelatives who had this connection due to indebtedness by establishing a mind free of kilesa along with pure intentions when transferring puññya energy to them. This does not cost any money and with this approach one will be free of indebtedness. This is an activity that one must accomplish to be free from all past samsaric dues.
The purer the intention becomes the greater the fruition of puññya energy generated and becomes established. By inviting the most relatives, one can to perform a meritorious deed will help generate a colossal amount of puññya energy and radiate it with united mental power to strengthen and speed up such energy. It is not the number of participants that matters but it’s their pure intentions that lend the biggest impact. This relates to the meaning of “chetanahan bikkave kamman vadami”
May all beings rest by attaining Nibbana….
PRISTINE DHAMMA (SADAHAM) THOUGHTS
Preserve like your own life the right for all living beings to live. The lesser the desire for things you crave, the lesser the accompanying consequences
Avoid examining others but examine yourself and correct what is incorrect Learn to live a simple life without making it complicated by unnecessary acquisitions
Though errors are committed in secrecy and no matter how minor they are, consequences will follow
Do not resent success or prosperity of others
Do not be excited when receiving property, titles, money or wealth
Harmonious thoughts, words, and deeds bring contentment and success
Family unity is the foundation for happiness and success
Don’t harbour misdeeds of others in mind, forgive mistakes
Do as you say and say as you do and be truthful
Association of evil friends is your downfall
By being honest things will come to fruition
For a successful, healthy life wake up early and start working
Drinking, gambling and prostitution destruct wealth
Accept harmonious advice from parents and elders
Help patients and helpless within your capacity
Before speaking think of consequences
Explore your thoughts arising in the mind
For any reason do not hurt feelings of others
Shame and fear are worldly phenomena that reign the world
Apply mind, body and words for the benefit of others
Craft your success by not being lazy and in accordance with positive dhamma thoughts
Keep in mind obsessive desire for money, power or objects bring misery and discontent
Do not regret past mistakes or worry about future but be happy with what you have
Live in the moment mindfully and in accordance with dhamma
Be mindful that the higher the degree of loba, dvesha and moha, the higher the degree of misery and the lower the degree of the former, the lower the degree of misery
Associate with ordained and laity who speak true Dhamma sooner
Perpetually listen to Pristine Buddha Dhamma
Analyze wisely and follow the dhamma you have heard
Keep in mind that birth, sickness, ageing, death, departing from beloved, association of evil and unfulfilled aspirations are natural phenomena that bring misery common to all mankind
Do not limit Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha to worship only, but attain fortified sraddha by comprehending the dhamma meaning of them. Keep in mind that Nibbana is the absolute deliverance
Keep in mind that the only way to attain absolute deliverance is ariya attangiko maggo.
Explore today the dukkha itself, reasons for dukkha, ending of dukkha and the
path to ending dukkha through pristine Buddha Dhamma Utilize the raft of Dhamma to cross the ocean of Samsara Treat all humans equal irrespective of ethnicity, religion, cast or party Lead a successful life with guidance of Dhamma.
May this read help you to attain magga gñana for the realization of absolute truth
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CONVENTIONAL TRUTH AND ABSOLUTE TRUTH
August 16th 2018