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Buddhism - the science of spirituality

Spirituality: Science has developed physical comfort and Spirituality or religion is for developing mental comfort. spirituality is the other name for Moral Science and without the base of Moral Science any Science may lead to disaster and destruction of mankind itself.

Destruction is caused not only by natural calamities but also through despotic rulers, hegemonic powers and religious zealots. Our progress in the fields of science and technology has been breathtaking.

The kinds of lethal weapons we have manufactured have given us a sense of invincibility. But it is only when we are faced with the natural disaster that we realise the powerlessness of man in the universe.

It is all very well to conquer the moon and other planets. But our priority should be to first save our own planet and people from the savagery of human beings and ravages of nature.

The educated elite and those who are at the helm of affairs should stop prostituting their intelligence to support the vested interest of their class, caste, region and religion but work for the welfare of the whole of humanity.

Science is rational in approach and so should be spirituality. The only difference being that Science approaches through analysis and development of matter.

Spirituality approaches through analysis and development of mind and in the final analysis one should give mind the top priority because mind is the forerunner of all things and mind is foremost. Having thought with the mind we speak and act. As we think so we become is the common saying.

This spirituality one finds in one’s religion or religious teachings which is the real guide to human peace and happiness. And every religion has some morals to teach.

thus we can say that religion is a Moral Science. In general every religion teaches morals for peace and unity of mankind. Because “without morals there are bound to be quarrels” Albert Einstein has rightly said” The religion in the future will be a cosmic religion.

It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogma and theology covering both the natural and the spiritual; it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity.”

So what could be the tests based on which we can have a cosmic religion?

Tests of religion

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar the architect of Indian constitution enumerating the four tests a religion must pass says: “(i) That society must have either the sanction of law or the sanction of morality to hold it together. Without either, society is sure to go pieces. In all societies law plays a very small part.

It is intended to keep the minority within the range of social discipline. The majority is left and has to be left to sustain its social life by the postulates and sanction of morality. Religion in the sense of morality, must therefore, remain the governing principle in every society.

(ii) That religion as defined in the first proposition must be in accord with science. Religion is bound to lose its respect and therefore become the subject of ridicule and thereby not merely lose its force as a governing principle of life but might in course of time disintegrate and lapse if it is not in accord with science. In other words, religion if it is to function must be in accord with reason which is merely another name for science.

(iii) That religion as a code of social morality, must recognise the fundamental tenets of liberty, equality and fraternity. Unless a religion recognises these three fundamental principles of social life religion will be doomed.

(iv) That religion must not sanctify or ennoble poverty. Renunciation of riches by those who have it may be a blessed state. But poverty can never be. To declare poverty to be a blessed state is to pervert religion, to perpetuate vice crime, to consent to make earth a living hell.”

[Buddha and future of his religion]

In this world what is reflected on the outer is merely a mirror of what is on the inner. Trying to change the world without working to change mind is like trying to change the image in a mirror without changing the object that is being reflected. The physical environment and circumstances we experience are merely a reflection of our mind. Our mind is created by our thoughts.

Once a deity questioned Buddha as follows:

The inner tangle and the outer tangle
This generation is entangled in a tangle
And so I ask of Gotama this question:

Who succeeds in disentangling this tangle?

To which the Buddha replies as follows:

When a wise man,
established well in Virtue,
Develops Consciousness and Understanding
Then as a Bhikkhu ardent and sagacious
He succeeds in disentangling this tangle.

Now here one can become virtuous by practising morality, higher consciousness is developed through meditation or so called mental training and understanding comes by developing wisdom.

Thus it has been said that the Buddha the guide to humanity taught Dharma to experience Reality. He said not to be obsessed with Materiality But to practice the path of Spirituality And this path He said is non other than the path of Wisdom, meditation and morality.

Through morality one can attain peace in the external world, through meditation one can attain peace in mind-the internal world and through wisdom one can attain the final peace by transcending both the internal and external world and attain the final peace called Nibbana or Nirvana.

This very wisdom is developed through the practice of Upekkha or equanimity. Venerable P.A. Payutto, a leading Thai scholar-monk, explains upekkha as follows: “Seeing things as they are with a mind that is even, steady, firm and fair like a pair of scales; understanding that all beings experience good and evil in accordance with the causes they have created; [and the readiness] to judge, position oneself, and act in accordance with principle, reason and equity.”

The one who has upekkha is fully aware of what is going on but without being blinded by attachment. This does not mean hermetic isolation, apathy or insensitivity though. It is a mindful detachment that allows the development of wisdom.

Wisdom is what really allows us to help others with compassion and understanding. Carl Jung and Edgar Cayce, both spiritually gifted psychologists and healers stated that peace cannot happen unless every human being becomes involved in the peace process. Peace will not happen by itself. Peace will not happen by accident.

It had to be brought by offering training to enable human beings to raise their level of consciousness and to establish peace within themselves. Peace can only happen if people obtain a higher level of consciousness.

The spiritual training will enable individuals to love and have compassion for others. In time it will bring peace in the world. Here religion or spirituality plays a major role.

Now here it is important to see how Buddhism as a religion plays its role.

Buddhism - A scientific experimental path

Albert Einstein the father of modern science said: Religion without science is blind. Science without religion is lame” and if there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs it would be BUDDHISM.

The humans who are considered to be the supreme beings on this planet earth have entered into the twenty first century with many astonishing inventions and discoveries to their credit and yet they seem to find no solution to eradicate dukkha (suffering or Un-satisfactoriness).

All the time we humans have been trying to eliminate or rather suppress the sufferings by engaging ourselves in some or the other pleasure seeking ventures and finally landing in greater problems.

Having passed through this futile experiments for finding solutions to the ills of the world, now it is time to conduct the same age old and most effective experiment as conducted and taught by Buddha himself as follows:

Experiment for enlightenment

A) Aim: To end suffering and attain final Enlightenment called Nibbana.

B) Instruments: Mind and Body (Nama-rupa).

C) Procedure: Follow the Noble eight-fold path.

Noble eight fold path:

1) Right View- To understand wholesome deeds, unwholesome deeds and comprehend the law of Kamma. (Action and its moral retribution).

2) Right Intention- The intention of non-greed, non-hatred and non-delusion.

3) Right Speech- Abstaining from false speech, malicious speech, harsh speech and idle chatter.

4) Right Action- Abstaining from killing, stealing and sexual misconduct.

5) Right Livelihood- Abstaining from wrong and corrupt means of livelihood.

6) Right Effort- Awakening zeal for abandoning of unwholesome states of mind and arising and sustaining of wholesome states of mind.

7) Right Mindfulness- The four foundations of mindfulness (satipattana) namely contemplation on body, contemplation on feelings, contemplation on mind and contemplation on mind-objects.

8) Right Concentration- Abandoning of five hindrances namely lust, ill-will sloth-torpor, worry-agitation and doubt through Dyanas. The above experiment is the need for the attainment of final liberation called Nibbana. Now it is left to the wisdom and scientific temperament of modern humans to make use of the tool and technique given by Buddha to eliminate the sufferings and attain to the final liberation called Nibbana (Nirvana)

Without the practice of charitywithout being established in morality there is no any guarantee that one can attain clarity (right view).

Moralisation is the best immunization From the dangerous of immoral civilization.

Make a move towards spiritualization For a healthy & peaceful humanization.

The path to this is mental purification Through the practice of Morality & Meditation.

Thus Spirituality is not just Hinduism or Buddhism Spirituality is not just Islam or Christianity Spirituality is Morality (moral science) in deeds;

Spirituality is contentment and peace.

May all be well and happy.


Pilgrims flock to India for Buddhist ‘dragon’ celebration

Pilgrims from as far afield as Malaysia and Mexico have flocked to India’s isolated region of Ladakh this week for celebrations to mark 800 years of the “dragon” sect of Tibetan Buddhism.

The events have included hours of chants and prayers around the 44-year-old Gyalwang Drukpa, the head of


Buddhist nuns blow ceremonial trumpets as they perform a rarely performed religious dance called Nga Chham, outside The Naro Photang Puspahari temple in Shey, Some 15 kilometers south of Leh, on Thuresday. Monks and nuns from monasteries across the Himalayas have gathered in India’s far northern region of Ladakh to celebrate 800 years of Drukpa, or “dragon” sect of Tibetan Buddhism.. AFP

 the Dragon lineage, plus a more contemporary song contest inspired by his motto, “Live to Love.”

“It was like love at first sight,” said pilgrim Trent Williamson, who embraced the faith after meeting the Gyalwang Drukpa in Williamson’s native Australia.

“Mentally I stopped killing. Even if there was a mosquito on me I didn’t kill it,” said the Australian, who took the Tibetan name Jigme Kunga Shonu or “Fearless Youth Loved by All.”

Williamson, who works as a music producer in Sydney, won the song contest with a cheerful tune entitled: “In this world of great despair, the dragon man is here.”

The Drukpa or ‘dragon’ sect was founded in the 13th century and is a part of the Kagyupa tradition, one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

The Gelukpa line, headed by exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, established its presence in mountainous Ladakh first. But the Drukpa order gained favour under Ladakh’s Namgyal royal dynasty in the 17th century.

Cristina Pandal, 61, who travelled to the scorching, high-altitude lunar landscape of Ladakh from Mexico City, said she had embraced Buddhism after tiring of the more organised Christian churches.

“Jesus had the same teachings but I don’t believe much in the church and its rules and the way the teachings get manipulated — there’s too much guilt,” said Pandal. The Drukpa leader has about 10,000 foreign followers outside of South Asia, according to Drukpa Trust volunteer Lynne Chiang, who is Malaysian.

Many Malaysians made the journey to the Naro Photang Puspahari temple in Shey, 15 kilometres (9 miles) from Ladakh’s main town of Leh, for this week’s celebrations.

Among them was a man introduced Thursday as “a godfather of Asian pop” — record producer Chow Kam Leong, who also took part in the song contest.

But in spite of their evident reverence for the Gyalwang Drukpa, not all are completely open about their beliefs in their home countries.

Williamson said that he preferred not to tell too many in Australia — outside of close friends — that he follows a Buddhist master.

“Australians are very afraid of things that they don’t know,” he said. “They judge you. I’d rather not have the trouble.”

Pandal said fellow Mexicans did find her Buddhist path strange but she didn’t let it bother her.

“I respect everybody’s choices in life,” she shrugged.

“But I have found my way.”


The Buddha’s sacred hair relics presented to Sri Lanka

At a historical ceremony, held recently in Chitagong in Bangladesh, strands of the sacred Hair Relics of the Buddha were gifted by the Government of Bangladesh, to a high-level delegation from Sri Lanka.

Among the Sri Lankan dignitaries who represented Sri Lanka at this sacred event, were the Chief Prelate of the Asgiriya chapter of the Siamese sect, Foreign Minister Rohita Bogollagama and several other Cabinet Ministers. Ven. Kirinde Assaji Thera, of Gangaramaya, Hunpitiya, delivered a sermon at this historic occasion.

These strands of sacred hair, had been kept under high security at a Buddhist Monastery in Chitagong. Ajit Ranjan Bama, president Bangladesh Buddhist Association, was actively associated with the initiative to gift these sacred hair relics of the Buddha to Sri Lanka.

Historically these Hair-Relics were gifted originally by the Buddha to the two merchant brothers Tapassu and Bhalluka, immediately after the Buddha attained Enlightenment.

It was from these two merchant brothers, that the Buddha received His first meal, after He emerged from seven weeks of bliss, contemplating the Enlightenment He achieved. The sacred Hair Relics were gifted to them in gratitude.

These sacred relics which were brought to Sri Lanka are placed at Gangaramaya, Hunupitiya for public exhibition enabling the devotees to worship and make offerings.

Later on the sacred Hair Relics will be taken to Senanayake Arama, Madampe, on the way to Chilaw, which will be permanent abode of these sacred relics.

This monastery situated in a calm and tranquil environment possess a unique feature. The stupa at this Monastery is the only structure of this category built entirely in granite.

The custodian of this monastery is Keerthi Senanayaka. The initiative of Sammodha Caldera, went a long way towards Sri Lanka receiving these Hair Relics from Bangladesh.

 

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