Tuesday, January 22, 2008

How to dye a cloth pure in color?"


"Monks, suppose a cloth were stained and dirty, and a dyer dipped it in some dye or other, whether blue or yellow or red or pink, it would take the dye badly and be impure in color. And why is that? Because the cloth was not clean. So too, monks, when the mind is defiled*, an unhappy destination [in a future existence] may be expected."

"Monks, suppose a cloth were clean and bright, and a dyer dipped it in some dye or other, whether blue or yellow or red or pink, it would take the dye well and be pure in color. And why is that? Because the cloth was clean. So too, monks, when the mind is undefiled, a happy destination [in a future existence] may be expected."


*Defilements of the mind (1) Covetousness and unrighteous greed (2) ill will (3) anger (4) hostility (5) denigration(6) domineering (7) envy (8) miserly(9) hypocrisy(10) fraud (11) obstinacy (12) presumption (13) conceit (14) arrogance (15) vanity (16) negligence

Vatthupama Sutta -The Simile of the Cloth

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The basic Buddhist tenet that freedom from desire relieves a person from suffering is difficult for Western thinkers to understand. It is based on the philosophy that a person's reality is held within the mind and releasing the mind of desire leads to enlightenment (the ultimate expression of true reality).

I think that the three major religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) have difficulty understanding that Buddhist believe the world is generated within one's mind and not externally by God as these other religions require.

This is a fundamental schism.

Is it possible to explain Buddhism in terms that other religions can understand?

Sincerely,
James Goel

Piyal Walpola, MD, PhD said...

Hi James
This is an excellent question. I will first start the answer with a quotation form Dali lama.

“The motivation of all religious practice is similar. The basic goal is the benefit of human kind, each type of system seeking in its own unique ways to improve human beings”- Dali Lama

The idea of a religion to most people in the Western world is associated with a God. As you have correctly mentioned the Buddhists are trained to look for contentment within oneself rather than looking for help externally. The basic moral principle in Buddhism is “whatever you do (mind, body or speech) it should not harm you or any other living being.” As far as I know this principle applies or should apply to all the major religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) as this is one of the basic moral principles in life that all human beings should follow.

One way you can reconcile all these religions or philosophies is to train people of all religions to examine your own heart (mind) and find the truth or if you want to call the “God” within yourself. There is only one truth in this world, and if you are honest to yourself and ask a lot of questions you will find it. It is important us to think like a scientist and investigate ourselves, using our minds as the lab without having a bias on what you have seen, read, or heard previously. I believe this investigative approach will lead to the right path that will lead to the ultimate happiness which we are all seeking for, irrespective of our religious beliefs.
With Metta (Loving kindness),
Piyal

Anonymous said...

Hi james & Piyal

Please read the article named Contemplation of Thoughts at the READ DHAMMA page in the blog http://sanyojana.wordpress.com. Ven. Waturugama Nandasiri thero has properly explained in very simple way how the world is created when the MIND and the BODY attache together.

I copy a part of the article for your easy ref..............


"Most of the people believe that the solar system including the planets, or universe as the world. This belief covers only 1/5th of what we mean by the term of “the world”. Only matter exists in the so called world. The balance is explained in this sermon. The true nature of the so called world has no liveliness, feeling or knowledge. Blessed one taught us that the world means the combination of “the body” and the “thoughts”. The world is in this fathom long physique and where origin of the world, cessation of the world and the path leading to cessation and realise the final solution is exist. To understand this first we have to have a perfect awareness of what we call the body, because all the craving and the attachments are firstly reaching to the body through mind.

The body is only a matter. It is made up of the combination of solidity, liquidity, heat and motion, which are the natural basic elements. So the matter originate when solidity, liquidity, heat and motion attach together at different ratios and gaining a very high speed. This very fact makes them transient and quickly changeable. It also exists and becomes extinct unendingly and therefore the matter becomes impermanent. It is devoid of life, feeling or knowledge. There is an active process also in the world. The active process is the thought which exists within the body. The body has no energy unless thought is within. The body cannot even raise a finger without the thought and when the thought leaves the body it becomes a mere corpse and would collapse as a dead log. There for the thought can be considered as the active agent of this world."
A friend in dhamma from Sri Lanka
SDM

Anonymous said...

Hi james & Piyal

Please read the article named Contemplation of Thoughts at the READ DHAMMA page in the blog http://sanyojana.wordpress.com. Ven. Waturugama Nandasiri thero has properly explained in very simple way how the world is created when the MIND and the BODY attache together.

I copy a part of the article for your easy ref..............


"Most of the people believe that the solar system including the planets, or universe as the world. This belief covers only 1/5th of what we mean by the term of “the world”. Only matter exists in the so called world. The balance is explained in this sermon. The true nature of the so called world has no liveliness, feeling or knowledge. Blessed one taught us that the world means the combination of “the body” and the “thoughts”. The world is in this fathom long physique and where origin of the world, cessation of the world and the path leading to cessation and realise the final solution is exist. To understand this first we have to have a perfect awareness of what we call the body, because all the craving and the attachments are firstly reaching to the body through mind.

The body is only a matter. It is made up of the combination of solidity, liquidity, heat and motion, which are the natural basic elements. So the matter originate when solidity, liquidity, heat and motion attach together at different ratios and gaining a very high speed. This very fact makes them transient and quickly changeable. It also exists and becomes extinct unendingly and therefore the matter becomes impermanent. It is devoid of life, feeling or knowledge. There is an active process also in the world. The active process is the thought which exists within the body. The body has no energy unless thought is within. The body cannot even raise a finger without the thought and when the thought leaves the body it becomes a mere corpse and would collapse as a dead log. There for the thought can be considered as the active agent of this world."
A friend in dhamma from Sri Lanka
SDM