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Applied Buddhism - The Foundation of Our True Understanding

Applied Buddhism - The Foundation of Our True Understanding

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Published by ANKUR BARUA
This book studies the relationship between the concept of emptiness or sunyata with dependent origination, modern science and mathematics.
This book studies the relationship between the concept of emptiness or sunyata with dependent origination, modern science and mathematics.

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Published by: ANKUR BARUA on Oct 26, 2009
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APPLIED BUDDHISM: THE FOUNDATION OF OUR TRUE UNDERSTANDING

ANKUR BARUA, N. TESTERMAN, M.A. BASILIO

Hong Kong, 2009

Background: Dr. Ankur Barua had graduated with distinction from the University of Hong Kong (MBuddStud, 2009). He had also completed two other Master Degrees, one from Sikkim Manipal University (MBAIT, 2007) while the other from Manipal University (MBBS-2000, MD in Community Medicine - 2003) and presently working in professional field. Mr. N. Testerman had graduated with distinction from the University of Hong Kong (MBuddStud, 2009) and is currently pursuing his PhD in Philosophical studies in California, US. Ms. M.A. Basilio is a nursing professional who has also a keen passion for conducting research on religion and science.

First Publication on 26th October 2009 Buddhist Door, Tung Lin Kok Yuen, Hong Kong

Copyright © Ankur Barua, N. Testerman and M.A.Basilio

Communication Address of Corresponding Author: Dr. ANKUR BARUA Block – EE, No.-80, Flat No.-2A, Salt Lake City, Sector-2, Kolkata - 700091, West Bengal, INDIA. Email: ankurbarua26@yahoo.com

Mobile: +91-9434485543 (India), +852-96195078 (Hong Kong)

Applied Buddhism: The Foundation of Our True Understanding

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Contents

Items

Page No.

Acknowledgements Preface The Concept of Applied Buddhism Relationship between Emptiness (Śūnyatā ) and Dependent Origination The Concept of Emptiness of Matter in Modern Science The Concept of Emptiness (Śūnyatā ) in Modern Mathematics Concluding Remarks

04 05 06 10 19 24 42

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to extend their sincere thanks to Ven. Dr. Jing Yin, Professor of Buddhist Studies and Director of the Centre of Buddhist Studies in the University of Hong Kong for his kind support, inspiration, encouragement and timely advice during the compilation of this book.

The authors would like to express their sincere gratitude and indebtedness to Prof. Y. Karunadasa and Ven. Dr. Guang Xing, the eminent professors at the Centre of Buddhist Studies in the University of Hong Kong for their constant encouragement, constructive criticism, personal attention and valuable guidance throughout this work.

The authors would also like to acknowledge gratefully Dr. Dipak Kumar Barua, who was the earlier Dean of the Faculty Council for Postgraduate Studies in Education, Journalism & Library Science in the University of Calcutta (1987-1991) and the Director of Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, Nalanda (1996-1999) for his technical guidance and valuable advice on various aspects of this project.

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Preface

“Applied Buddhism” is the foundation of our true understanding of all the events occurring in nature. The term “Applied Buddhism” explains how every person can relate Buddhist ideas in his or her daily life and in profession. This book is a humble endeavour to motivate the new learners and provide them firsthand guidance on the vastness of the Philosophical approach of Buddhism. This book is a simplified version and provides guidance on how to apply the principles of the Doctrine of the Buddha in our day to day life in an effective manner.

In recent times, some of the new concepts that have evolved in Buddhism are Engaged Buddhism, Social Buddhism, Socially Engaged Buddhism and Green Buddhism. “Applied Buddhism” is an effort to integrate all these scattered aspects of Buddhism under one single and unified concept. Through this Applied Buddhism, one should be able to follow Buddhism without being a Buddhist.

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THE CONCEPT OF APPLIED BUDDHISM

Introduction “Applied Buddhism” is the application of Buddhist teachings in our daily life. It is a broad umbrella under which all the essential aspects of life such as physical, mental, social and spiritual wellbeing as well as philosophical, bioethical, financial and modern scientific aspects could be incorporated. This includes the Buddhist ideas practiced by the three major schools of Buddhist thoughts in modern era, namely the Theravada, Mahāyāna and Vajrayana / Tantrayana (Tibetan) traditions. Apart from the commonly discussed philosophical and psychological aspects, more emphasis is given here on the traditional culture and social aspects of Buddhism.1

“Applied Buddhism” also shares valuable information on Buddhist contributions to modern science, health and wellbeing. As our concept of wellbeing is directly related to our mental and spiritual health, Buddhist Meditational practices are given the prime importance for prevention of mental illnesses and recommended for incorporation in the regimen of regular psychotherapy and in primary and secondary school curriculum as a part of primordial prevention.1

Importance of Applied Buddhism Without disrespecting the significance of religious rituals, the myths and beliefs and traditional local ceremonial practices related to Buddhism are however, carefully extracted and excluded from this domain of “Applied Buddhism”.

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This is intentionally done in order to make the Buddhist ideas more acceptable to people belonging other religious realms and cultural backgrounds. The idea behind this is to enable people practice Buddhism without being converted into a Buddhist. One should understand that Buddhism is not just a religion, but a way of life.1

In order to incorporate Buddhist ideas in daily life, one need not give up his or her own religion. Just that one can remain spiritual without being religious, in the same way; one can practice Buddhist teachings without formally being a Buddhist.1

Applied Aspect of Buddhism: Integration of Buddhist Philosophy with Activities in Daily Life1,2 Thus, the term “Applied Buddhism” explains how every person can relate Buddhist ideas in his or her daily life and in profession. The main focus of this new concept is to diffuse the teachings of the Buddha in every nook and corner of the society, so that all sentient beings, irrespective of their religion, culture and creed can benefit from it. In recent times, some of the new concepts that have evolved in Buddhism are Engaged Buddhism, Social Buddhism, Socially Engaged Buddhism and Green Buddhism. Like the “String Theory” of quantum physics, “Applied Buddhism” is an effort to integrate all these scattered aspects of Buddhism under one single and unified concept in order to make it more appealing to the global community. Through this Applied Buddhism, one should be able to follow Buddhism without being a Buddhist.

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Evolution of the Concept of Applied Buddhism1,2 The term “Applied Buddhism” was first coined by an eminent Buddhist Scholar from India, Dr. Dipak Kumar Barua. He was the elected Dean of the Faculty Council for Postgraduate Studies in Education, Journalism & Library Science in the University of Calcutta, West Bengal, India (1987-1991) and the Director of Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, Nalanda (a Deemed University) in Nalanda, Bihar, India (19961999). He had discussed at length about this new concept of “Applied Buddhism” in his Book entitled, “Applied Buddhism: Studies in the Gospel of Buddha from Modern Perspectives”. This book was first published during the year 2005 by the Centre of Buddhist Studies, under the aegis of the Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies of the Banaras Hindu University in India. However, due to limited publications and restricted circulation of this book within the country, the new concept of “Applied Buddhism” could not be popularized outside India for quite some time. However, during the later years, this new concept was widely appreciated by the renowned scholars in various intellectual forums throughout the world. The common people from varied religious background also found comfort in easy understanding of the principle teachings of the Buddha.

Conclusion This new concept of the applied aspect of Buddhism is destined to bridge the gap of understanding that exists due to misinterpretation of the teachings of the Buddha by people belonging to diverse religious backgrounds. Once popularized and accepted, it would pave the way in promoting peace and harmony in the society. Applied Buddhism is also a noble endeavor to integrate the Buddhist philosophy with modern science and technology. This applied philosophy is an integral part of our daily life and is expected to be accepted by everyone without any discrimination.

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References 1. Barua, A., Basilio, M.A. 2009. Applied Buddhism in Modern Science: Episode 1. Hong Kong: Buddhist Door, Tung Lin Kok Yuen & Unibook Publications.

2. Barua, D.K. 2005. Environment & Human Resources: Buddhist Approaches. Applied Buddhism: Studies in the Gospel of Buddha from Modern Perspectives. . Varanasi, India: Centre for Buddhist Studies, Department of Pali & Buddhist Studies, Benaras Hindu University: 90-6.

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Concluding Remarks

“Applied Buddhism” is the foundation of our true understanding of all the phenomena occurring in nature. “Applied Buddhism” is also an effort to integrate all the practical aspects of Buddhism in order to make it more appealing and easily conceivable by the global community. Through this Applied Buddhism, one should be able to practically apply the teachings of the Buddha in his day to day life, without taking up Buddhism as a religion. Thus, Buddhism would live forever and passed on from generation to generation through the innovative interpretations of the Doctrines of the Buddha.

The End

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