Sakyamuni Buddha, Part 3

pohtiongho By pohtiongho, 29th Jul 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
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Sakyamuni Buddha, Part 3

The Buddha never claimed there was a royal road to Nibbana. However, He did teach that if a person should develop sincerely (The Noble Eightfold Path ) in the way He described, for seven days, he or she would attain full Enlightenment or the state of non-returner. The Buddha said: “ ehi-passiko” which means come and see. He did not demand blind faith, and also He never condemn the teaching of His opponents as sacrilege or heretics.
During the past 2500 years, Buddhism, like other religions, accumulated variety of beliefs, rituals, ceremonies and practices, because of cultural trappings, e.g. clothes, hats, incense, gongs, bells etc. Buddhism is about seeing, not believing. You don’t have to believe, you can see it. The Buddhists actually don’t believe anything. They investigate and see for themselves. There is nothing to cover up, and no need to reinterpret the facts introduced 2500 years ago. Buddhists don’t promise to be good, pretend to be virtuous, curry favour in order to claim a reward at some later date, at a place called heaven which one must die before she or he can drop in there. The Buddhists are not dogmatic, arrogant or intolerant. Buddhism is like a buffet where sizzling foods are provided. All you need to do is to eat and satisfy your hunger. Who else can do that for you?
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It is impossible to become a Sotapanna simply by appreciating what the Buddha teaches. You need to practice Samatha or Vipassana meditation,( also known as Mindfulness Meditation). The beauty of religious practice is that, at the least, a person is not afraid during the time of death, and remains mindful and self-possessed. Even if one fails to attain Nibbana upon the dissolution of the body, one is bound for a happy destiny.

Vipassana Meditation is for attaining the cessation of suffering through rightly understanding bodily and mental processes and their true nature. By constant and uninterrupted mindfulness of body-mind processes, the required concentration will be attained.

As confirmed by the Buddha, seven benefits can be derived from practicing Vipassana Meditation:
1) Purification of a being from all defilements
2) Overcoming of sorrow
3) Overcoming of lamentation
4) Overcoming of physical suffering or bodily pain
5) Overcoming of mental suffering or mental pain
6) Attainment of Path and Fruition Knowledge
7) Attainment of Nibbana
Vipassana meditation was taught by the Buddha in Satipatthana Sutta.
Preparing for Nibbana
To sacrifice a precious life struggling for a few pieces of paper money, is it worthwhile? No doubt, we need to use a portion of our time to earn a living. But why not we also spend some time preparing for the real happiness of attaining Nibbana? Even if we do not attain it during this life time, we may succeed in our future rebirths, or at least for the future rebirths to take place in a more congenial place.

The spiritual happiness is hard to reach because we the mortals have been immersed in the deep ocean of passions for countless existences since the inconceivable past.
Anyone wishing to experience the bliss of Nibbana has to fulfill three conditions:
1) Find a teacher who can give the proper instruction in the technique of meditation and to associate only with men of integrity and wisdom.
2) Need to gain an intellectual understanding of the teaching,
3) Need to practice what one has been taught.
A meditator intending to gain freedom from all kinds of suffering must first find a teacher who can give the proper instruction on the technique of meditation. He needs to be guided step by step. So it is best done face to face. An intellectual understanding of the teaching is also needed. The meditator has to practice what he or she has been taught. By studying and listening to discourses one gains the proper framework to understand what one experiences in meditation. The purpose is to release the mind from hindrance after hindrance, and to render it more and more suitable and worthy to acquire the superhuman qualities which are required to attain Arahanthood.

One of Buddha’s disciples was an elderly monk called Pottila, who was bright and was reputed of being an expert at expanding in details whatever teachings the Buddha had given in brief. Despite his popularity and reputation, the Buddha called him “empty Pottila”, and the truth dawned on him that he had no wisdom because he did not practice the Dhamma.
Pottila looked for a quiet place to meditate and realized he had to find a well-qualified teacher. He went to a forest where there were thirty monks, all of them were Arahants. He approached the senior monk and asked him for instruction. This monk politely declined fearing that his simple technique would not be accepted by Pottila. Pottila went to look for the other twenty-nine monks and asked for the same thing. All of them refused, except the young monk who was still doubtful of Pottila’s sincerity. He asked Pottila to cross a small stream. Pottila did so. This young monk was then convinced that Pottila would follow his advice. He went on: “Here is an anthill with six holes and under it lives a lizard. Someone would have to close five of the holes and leave just one of them open and then he would be able to capture the lizard easily.”
Pottila respectfully saluted the young monk and said: “What a great teacher you are; I fully understood, you need teach me nothing further.”
The young monk asked what it was that he had understood. Pottila said: “Great teacher, I understand that there are six sense doors; I have to close five of them, and open only the mind door. This is how you want me to practice.”
Pottila found a solitary place, meditated for three days and attained Arahanthood.
The Buddha was not an eternalist, nor was He an annihilationist, (a person who denies the survival of the personality in any form after death). According to Him, there were only events which arise because of previous conditions. But when asked if the person who was reborn was the same as the previous one who died, the Buddha said it was neither the same nor another person. The self, which other religions named as soul, jiva, atma or purusa is not constant, everlasting or eternal. It is subject to change, and will not endure as long as eternity.

The Buddha did not say Anatta meant voidness of the self or nothingness. According to Him the self consisted of the physical and mental factors constituting the so called five aggregates. They are there but there is nothing which is permanent, whether you call it self or soul. He did not doubt the fact of an individualized existence, with a relative identification within the continuous change of bodily and mental process. Our understanding of existence is in a limited and one-sided way. The five aggregates are: body, feeling, ideation, volitional activities and consciousness, which are also the same as: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body consciousness.
According to Buddhism, it is wrong to say: I have no self, (which is the annihilationist theory). It is also wrong to say that I have a self, (the eternalist theory). In the Alayaddupama Sutta, the Buddha says: “O bhikku, when neither self nor anything pertaining to self can truly and really be found, the speculative view : The universe is that Atman (Soul); I shall be that after death, permanent, abiding, ever-lasting, unchanging, and I shall exist as such for eternity,” is it not wholly and completely foolish?”
The self is most difficult for us to part with. Upon death, when we leave the physical body, we still cling to the self. This self leads us to rebirth in various spheres. The thing that we call self is a convention of the world, like you say the sun rises from the east.

There are 31 planes of existence, and our human world is the fifth one. This is the only plane where, we the humans can see the things around us with our naked eyes. From level 6 to level 31 are all heavenly realms. From level 1 to 4 are the realms of the ghosts. The ghosts are only able to frighten the humans but are not able to physically hurt us. Otherwise, many people would have been dead, taking into consideration that the ghosts can see us but we cannot see them. The access to those 26 heavenly realms are within the reach of humans who are performing good deeds on this earth. No god holds the keys to those heavens and no god decides who goes there and who goes to hells. The highest level the deities or devas can reach is level 11. Level 12 to 31 are the Brahma worlds.

The human world is the best realm to practice Dhamma because the presence of suffering is very obvious. The beings in the Brahma and Deva realms are simply too busy with their pleasures to be bothered with the Dhamma. The Brahmas only have the minds left, without physical bodies. They still harbor hatred, greed and delusion. They are still resentful and greedy just as can be seen from the following statement: “For I your almighty god, am a jealous god. You shall have no other gods before me”.


Almighty, Anti-Asian, Arahant, Buddhism, Church, Dogmatic, Enlightenment, God, God-Fearing, Meditation, Monopolistic, Nibbana, Nirvana, Ritual, Sangha

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author avatar pohtiongho
I have been writing short stories, poems and articles during the past 20 years.
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author avatar pohtiongho
30th Jul 2014 (#)

If you wish to view some Buddhist Website photos, please hit :

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
30th Jul 2014 (#)

Awesome and interesting post, well written mate!

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author avatar pohtiongho
4th Aug 2014 (#)

Fern: thanks for the compliment

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