“Of supreme serenity, with extensive wisdom, A man of great wisdom, devoid of all greed; He is the Tathagata, he is the Sublime One, The person unrivalled, the one without equal, He is intrepid, proficient in all: The Blessed One is he, and I am his disciple.” ~ (Upali Sutta – Majjhima Nikaya)
It marks the Birth, Enlightenment and Great Passing Away of the great son who were born in Maha Bharath (Great India) on full moon day of the month of May, today.
Today is the 2565th anniversary of the celebration of the life of the great master the Gautama Buddha.
In order to pay my homage and respect to the Blessed One, I thought to elaborate and inscribe some profound characteristics of the great Master, the Buddha in brief on this special day.
Twenty-six centuries ago, the Birth of prince Siddhartha, an unprecedented and extraordinary age was dawn in the history of mankind which multitude of people still respectfully commemorate and celebrate, not blindly but realistically. Later, at the age of 35, by becoming a Buddha he pragmatically accomplished his spiritual aspiration and the fact of the matter that relevant to life of the living being.
Present day global atmosphere is inconceivable and unprecedented which the whole human society is drastically changed by COVID-19 deadly virus. An amazing fact and unique peculiar veracity have been proven, even in this digital age what the Buddha precisely emphasised and gave prominence to the essence of his teaching.
This is the precise time to reflect upon the inner qualities of the Buddha and what he compassionately encouraged us to do.
The Uniqueness of the Buddha is beyond comparison. A paragon of virtue, model of perfection, an embodiment of morality, a paradigm of impeccable personality, and incomparable immaculate spiritual leader who compassionately taught, guided and encouraged humanity towards innermost peace and happiness, not merely by words but by examples.
His gentle and pleasant smile has blossomed into vast libraries of scriptures, treatises, and expositions attempting and endeavouring to fathom his profound wisdom.
“The excellent one, knower of excellent,
Giver of excellent, bringer of the excellent,
The unsurpassed one taught the excellent Dhamma.
This too is the sublime gem in the Buddha.” ~ (Ratana Sutta)
Once the Buddha was asked thus by Dandapani the Sakyan thus:
“What does the recluse assert, what does he proclaim?
Then, the Blessed One explicitly and precisely elucidated thus:
“Friend, I assert and proclaim such a teaching that one does not dispute with anyone in the world with its gods, its Maras, its Brahmas, in this generation with its recluses and brahmins, its princes and its people; such a teaching that perceptions no more underlie that brahmin who abides detached from sensual pleasures, without perplexity, shorn of worry, free from craving for any kind of being.” (Madhupindika Sutta)
Inconceivable challenges and ineffable difficulties were enormous and excessively inundated in his life, but he patiently overcame and assiduously conquered them with courage and perseverance. With his unique dedication and paramount persistency, he conquered the battle of defilements and impurities by treading the Noble Eightfold Path or Path of Purification which he finally recognised, and ultimately, he attained in his spiritual accomplishment, the bliss of Nibbana.
After an extensive and amicable discussion with the Buddha one of the eminent and dedicated devotees of Nigantanataputta called Upali impressively extolled and glorified the Buddha in front of his devoted teacher thus:
He is the wise one who has cast off delusion.
Abandoned the heart’s wilderness,
Victor in battle, he knows no anguish, is perfectly even-minded,
Mature in virtue, of excellent wisdom,
Beyond all temptations, he is without stain,
The Blessed One is he, and I am his disciple.
The first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, in his book The Discovery of India has mentioned about the Gautama Buddha thus:
“The ages roll by and the Buddha seems not so far away after all; his voice whispers in our ears and tells us not to run away from the struggle but, calm-eyed, to face it, and to see in life ever greater opportunities for growth and advancement. Personality counts today as ever, and a person who had impressed himself on the thought of mankind as the Buddha has, so that even today there is something living and vibrant about the thought of him, must have been a wonderful man – a man who was, as Barth says, ‘the finished model of calm and sweet majesty, of infinite tenderness for all breathes and compassion for all that suffers, of perfect moral freedom and exemption from every prejudice.’ ”
“His message old and yet very new and original for those immersed in metaphysical subtleties, captured the imagination of the intellectuals; it went deep down into the hearts of the people.”
Even though a man is intoxicated with the advancement of Modern Technology and development of Information Technology, there is no remedy or therapy for mental agonies, and psychological afflictions. Nano technology and Digital Revolution along with Proliferation of Digital devices have created highly perplexing entanglements in our human society today.
The whole global society has been traumatized by the present pandemic, COVID–19. Nearly three and half millions of lives of people perished and still the numbers are unpredictable. People are in fear and struggle to survive. During his Forty-Five years of Mission, he compassionately advised and encouraged multitudes of people, how to manage one’s earning and income. In Sigalovada Sutta, young student was advised how to allocate funds in three aspects and facets by the Buddha.
If political leaders, professionals and authorities, and ordinary individuals are truly and pragmatically mindful of Buddhist Economic management strategies and policies, no one meet challenges which currently everyone experience. All are Buddhists in words and in slogans but in practice and in operation, all are failed.
The profound words of the Buddha are always fresh and updated. The true words never change.
“This Dhamma that I have discovered is deep, hard to see, hard to understand, peaceful and sublime, not within the sphere of reasoning, subtle, to be experienced by the wise. But this generation delights in adhesion, takes delight in adhesion, and rejoices in adhesion. For such a generation this state is hard to see, that is, specific conditionality, dependent origination. And this state too is hard to see, that is, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, Nibbana.”
“Surveying the world with the eye of a Buddha, the Blessed one saw beings with little dust in their eyes and with much dust in their eyes, with keen faculties and with dull faculties, with good qualities and with bad qualities, easy to teach and hard to teach, and a few who dwelt seeing blame and fear in the other world”
Above mentioned profound words of the Buddha which stated twenty-six centuries ago explicitly reveal and bring to light the authenticity and the purity of the Buddha-Dhamma. These words are more than enough to understand the essence of what the Buddha realised and compassionately encouraged us to practice.
For Buddhism, numerous interpretations and expositions have been given by foremost scholars and prominent intellectuals who have immensely studied Buddhism in the globe.
However, twenty-six centuries ago, DHAMMA-VINAYA is the exclusive and peculiar word the great Master, the Gotama Buddha has pronounced and proclaimed for the reality or the truth he founded.
Some scholars have characterised and distinguished the teachings of the Buddha as the way of life and philosophy. It is beyond modern philosophy and psychology.
It is the Path of Purification and Path of Freedom. Freedom from bondage to liberation. Freedom from cruelty to compassion. Freedom from misery to happiness. This is the essence and principle of Buddhism.
It is impossible to define and describe what Buddha said in few words. As a Buddha he has delivered innumerable discourses in his 45 years incumbency.
DHAMMA – the truth – is what he realised and pointed out as advice for all who want to get rid of suffering.
VINAYA- discipline- is what the Blessed One compassionately constituted as disciplinary codes and standards of behaviour for those of his followers who go forth from home life to take up the quest for release in greater resolution and enthusiasm.
In the present, so called Buddhist countries and born Buddhists wherever they live, even in abroad, they have added their own cultural aspects and practices with Buddhism.
Some cultural values and ethnic practices are acceptable and admirable. Some of them are controversial and inconsistent with what the Buddha said.
We are in the climax of the development of science and advancement of technology now. We call it is the New Millennium and Digital Age.
Specially, we are in a global village now. Whatever it happens in any part of the world will swiftly fly and spread all over the world in a nanosecond.
Our young generation is well equipped with the knowledge of modern science and well advanced in nano technology. When they curiously question and challenge us to find what exactly the great master the Buddha said. Now outdated rites and rituals are critically questioned and severely challenged by youth. If it is not compatible and agreeable with the true words of the Buddha, we are lost for words.
As a matter of regret and sadly, now Buddhism has been politicized and modified by some hypocritical politicians and monks who support corrupted politicians to make innocent citizens fool and mislead. It is completely contrary to what the Buddha said.
Unfortunately, most born Buddhists think and accept what these hypocrites do, but in Buddha-Dhamma there is no room at all for these blind faiths and beliefs.
Be wise to understand what the Buddha said and be honest to be pragmatic disciple of the Buddha.
Currently innocent people tremendously suffer and live at the verge of death.
Immensely corrupted politicians and so-called Buddhist monks terribly misguided multitude of citizens for their own sake of power and exploitation of public wealth. Most Buddhist monks are utterly responsible for this catastrophic tragedy which innocent people gravely experience today. Nowadays they are silent and have become speechless and wordless.
Some psychopaths and psychoneurotic people blindly claim that Gautama Buddha was born and lived in Sri Lanka. They wanted to have a Sinhalese Buddha rather THE BUDDHA.
Most are racists and pseudo followers, but few true and legitimate disciples of the Buddha silently and peacefully practice and lead their lives according to what the Gautama Buddha who was born in India said.
Various cults and cults of personalities, along with their ulterior motives are abundant in the name of Buddhism. Unfortunately, many people blindly follow them and misguide the youth. This is the dangerous and horrendous disaster. Our future generation will be in a very catastrophic situation. No one is mindful of this danger. Responsible authorities are blind and deaf because they are serious mindful of their political power.
Hope that our wise scholars and professionals who truly respect and practice what the Buddha said, will take necessary actions to eradicate these toxins from our society.