Oddsบเล็andอย) Ends (เก็ กผสมน้

Ven. Phrakhru Siddhiyanvidesh [Phramaha Somboon Siddhiyano]
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‘Odds and Ends’

copyright© 2009 By Ven.Phrakhru Siddhiyanavidesh
Author : Ven.Phrakhru Siddhiyanvidesh [Phramaha Somboon Siddhiyano] Editorial Board: ï Ven.PhrakhruPanyasudhamwithet (Dr.PM.Laow Panyasiri) ï Phramaha Phasakorn Piyobhaso ï Phramaha Pranom Dhammaviriyo ï Phra S. M. Sujano Competer Graphic Concepts: ïPhramaha Aphidech Yanasiri ïPhra S. M. Sujano

Wolverhampton Buddha Vihara Upper Zoar Street, Pennfields, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, WV3 0JH First Published : 25th October 2009 Printed in England : By Liquid Print Birmingham
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Congratulation �
It brings me a great sense of achievement to witness the compilation of this book, which represents my life-span work. I would like to express my thanks to Phra S. M. Sujano for collecting and compiling these articles to produce this book. Previously, these articles were unnoticed and scattered in many different places. I hope that readers will benefit from this book. Phavatu sabba mangalam ! Phrakru Siddhiyanavidesh
21 October 2009

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Preface Biography of Luang Phor Massage from Ajahn Laow Massage from DAMC Centre
Chapter 1. Chapter 2. Chapter 3. Chapter 4. Chapter 5. Chapter 6. Chapter 7. Chapter 8. Chapter 9. Chapter 10. Chapter 11. A Short story of the Buddha Introduction of Buddhism Manussa Dhamma : Five precepts The Buddhist Celebration Introduction to Kathina The Consecration of Sima Introduction to Meditation Introduction to Insight meditation


v i xiv xxv
1 8 21 30 33 41 55 61 71

Buddhism in Thailand and its past and present 10

Dhammacakka Mudra or Dhammacakka Posture 52

Conventional truth and Ultimate truth

Chapter 12. Insight meditation and three signs of being
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Chapter 13. Hindrances and Absolute Freedom Chapter 14. Ego and Vipassana Meditation Chapter 15. Where is real happiness Chapter 16. Merit Making : Gratitude Chapter 17. Looking into the True Nature of life Chapter 18. Eyes on World Chapter 19. The Significance of giving Dana Chapter 20. Who ate goat’s dung ? Chapter 21. Welcoming Speech Chapter 22. Luang Por’s 77th Birthday Celebration Chapter 23. New Year Message to all Chapter 25. The Foundation Stone at Panjab Chapter 26. Opening Speech on Dr.Ambedkar Chapter 27, He donated his life’s saving Chapter 28. Good to Know

82 89 96 101 107 112 116 121 124 125 128 133 135 138 140

Chapter 24. The Foundation Stone of Buddha Vihara 132

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feel great privilege to write an introduction for this book ‘Odds and Ends’ - article collection of Most Venerable Phrakru Siddinyanvithet or known as Venerable Phramaha Somboon, the most senior Theravada monks in the UK and generally known as Luang Por. Luang Por – aged 85 - is a Thai Buddhist missionary monk, who send to the United Kingdom by the Department of Religious Affairs of Thailand in 1968 as a Dhammaduta monk immediately after his completion of degree from Mahamakut Buddhist University in Thailand. He lived in the Buddhapadipa Temple, London for several years and also used to be acting abbot of the temple for few years. Later, he voluntarily accepted invitation from Indian Buddhists, Wolverhampton in the sangha meeting at the Buddhapadipa Temple for certain months, but that certain months last until present day and respectively all Indian Buddhists called him as bhante Somboon. Luang Por is a well verse in Buddhist teachings and disciplines - calm, gentle, compassionate and generous Buddhist monk. He is well respected among Buddhist and nonBuddhist locally and internationally. Apart from being spiritual leader in different organizations, he also supports and provides scholarships for needy pupils. He is tirelessly helping - dedicated
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and sacrificed most of his life - for the upliftment and creating Buddhist awareness among the Ambedkarit Buddhists and as well as supports their all activities. This year 2009 at the request of the Luang Por, I was chosen from the Buddhavihara Temple Kings Bromley by Venerable Phrakru Pannyasudhammawithet or Dr. Ajahn Laow to observe the rainy retreat with him in Wolverhampton Buddha Vihara for three months. It was my privilege and honour. It is also a meritorious opportunity to provide basic hospitality to Luang Por. Although it was uncomfortable change, initially, and cultural differences I came up with the plan to collect and publish Luang Por’s work, which you are holding in your hands now, to make myself fit into new culture. At the beginning, Luang Por was slightly hesitant but later became convinced and then kindly assisted with the project. Over the past years since his arrival in the UK in 1968, a number of articles have been written as a preparation or draft for different occasions. Among them few articles have been published and three quarters of it have been disregarded and overlooked. Further, Luang Por has written several articles in French, which have been excluded from the book due lack of linguistic knowledge. Some of the main articles describes in this book are the short history of the Buddha, the first article of this book, in which, Luang Por precisely presented life of the Buddha until
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enlightenment. An article ‘A History of Buddhism in Thailand’ is of equal interest to read in order to understand Thai Sangha community and its governance in Thailand. Out of the ordinary articles, understanding the five aggregates –pancakhanda- by realizing three characteristics; impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and non-self is the main purpose of the Buddhist meditation, which Luang Por explains clearly with simple examples in his few articles. ‘Detachment’ further article explains ‘is initial achievement from insight meditation’. Every little gifts or generosities are highly considered and praised by the Buddha so does by Luang Por as he explained in his article. He respects generosity and treats them highly regardless of donation. Therefore, with his special request the news of generous donation also has been added at the end of this book. Further, some of the articles are excluded due similar to the articles which have been included. Some of the articles have been edited but preserved its nature. Its contents and main concepts are remained the same, just a slightest changes have been made to make it clear. Of course, all friends are positively supportive and without them it is far difficult to complete. Financial support, I would say, is vital important, without it, it would not have been possible published. Therefore, I would like to thank and appreciate everyone for your generous financial support. Equally, I also would like to thank everyone for providing articles and valuable advice.
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Likewise, I am thankful to the members of Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Committee of Great Britain for providing necessary needs while I was assisting Luang Por in Wolverhampton. I also express my humble thankfulness to Phrakru Panyasudhammawithet, the abbot of the Buddhavihara Temple, Kings Bromley for providing necessary advice and guidance towards the successful publication of this book. I also would like to thank Phramaha Aphidech Netwila for his graphic work on this book. Among all, certainly without the kind support and assistance of Luang Por, it would have been impossible to bring these words of wisdom. Ultimately, with the help of all directions this book is with you today.

Ven. S. M. Sujano


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The short Biography of Ven. Phrakhru Siddhiyanvidesh
[ Phramaha Somboon Siddhiyano]


y mother’s name was Mrs. Bang Prasarkok and Father’s name was Mr. Chand Prasarkok. My Father passed away on the nineteenth of April 2506 (1963 C.E.) whereas my mother on Twenty-fourth April 2527 (1984 C.E.). I was born on 2468 B.E./1925 C.E. in Kabinburi District, Prachinburi Province, Thailand and was brought up in the Eastern part of Thailand. I got 3 brothers including myself and 5 Sisters, one of them died, when I was about 4 years old. With regard to Thai tradition when the family gets boys they must be ordained as novices or monks for respecting or reciprocating their benefactors. I ordained as a novice for reciprocating my grandmother when she was cremated. My teacher was preceptor and Governor of Kabinburi District and he passed away too. I gave up the novice-hood after a week and I continued learning at a local primary school in Nadee village, I passed an examination of the fourth form of school. In 2488 BE/1945 C.E. I ordained as a monk in the form of high ordination at Wat Phansee Temple under the preceptorship of Phrakhru Banhankabintharakhet, announcer-preceptor
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was Phra Ajahn Kud and assistant announcer-preceptor was Phrapalad Lieam. After the ordination I went to reside at Wat Phraneewong Temple for a year. After the Second World War ended, I moved into Bangkok for Buddhist studies and lived in Wat Tasnarunsuntarikaram Temple. I went to Buddhist school (Nak dhamma studies) and school of Pali study. After the completion of third grade of Buddhist school (Nak dhamma) and the fifth grade of Pali studies, I joined Mahamakut Buddhist University for further education on Buddhist philosophy. Later, I enrolled for a special six months intensive degree up as a Dhammaduta monk at the Training Institute for Dhammaduta Bhikkhu going abroad immediately after completion of Bachelor in Buddhist philosophy. In 2511 B.E. / 1968 C.E. I was selected as a Dhammaduta monk for the West by Department of Religious affairs of Thailand to run the Wat Buddhapadipa Temple in London and then later I was appointed as Deputy of the Temple. On the thirteenth of October 2518 B.E./1975 C.E. I was invited to co-operate to set up the Buddhist Union of Europe in Paris by unanimous agreement of our representatives from 8 countries, namely the West Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, England, France, Belgium and Italy. Later, in 2522 B.E./1980 B.E. I was appointed as a spiritual adviser for the Buddhist union of Europe. In 2529 B.E./1983 C.E. I was invited to stay and look
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after the Wolverhampton Buddha Vihara in Wolverhampton. I am teaching Buddhist teachings and Buddhist meditation here and helping the temple committee to develop the Temple since its present time. In 2520 B.E./1977 C.E. I translated French story ‘La Fuite’ into Thai language from the French Book entitled ‘Pronons la parole’, which has been published twice. In 2525 B.E./1982 C.E. I compiled the chanting book entitled; Romanization of Pali chanting book to mark on the Ratanakosindra Bicentennial celebration and Consecration of Sima erected in the suburb of London by committee of London Buddhist Temple Foundation chaired by Thai Prime Minister, General Kriansakdi Chamanandana of Thailand and in 2538 B.E./1995 C.E., which was published by Wat Sanghathan (presently Wat Santiwonsaram), Birmingham. Second book ‘Romanization of the Peak of Tipitaka and Gathachinabanchorn’ was published by The Buddhavihara Temple, Aston Birmingham in 1995 for people who are interested in Buddhist chanting, which help them chant easily by themselves I have visited the following countries; In Asian countries: Laos, Cambodia, Burma, India, Singapore, China thrice; In the Scandinavia; Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway; in the Europe countries: Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, Switzerland, Iceland, France, Italy, Spain, and United States of America.
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PM Somboon and His Missionary Work in the UK
By Venerable Dr Laow Panyasiri1


uddhism has been part of the history of Great Britain for some time now. Thai Buddhist Dhammaduta monks have also been present for some time, letting British people see the impact of Buddhism on their lives. The Most Ven Prarasithimuniy from Wat Mahathat, Bangkok was the first Thai Buddhist missionary approved and sent in 1966 by the Sangha Authority and Thai Government to the Buddhapadipa Temple, London, which at the time was situated at 99 Christchurch Road, East Sheen. It was there for a while before moving to its present location in Calonne Road, Wimbledon. The temple had belonged to a retired army general. It became, and remains to this day, a residence for monks and a place for Thai people to celebrate the Thai festivals and enjoy cultural performances. In 1968 the Most Venerable Somboon came as a monk from Wat Tapan (Tassanrunsuntarikaram). He had obtained his BA from Mahamakut Buddhist University.
1 Also known as Phrakru Panyasudhammawithet , The Abbot of The Buddhavihara Temple Kings Bromley Staffordshire

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Phramaha Somboon has told me that over many years there have been many new teams who came for a while. Some monks disrobed, some went back to Thailand for good and some died as a monk or after disrobed. He notes that he alone has stayed until now he is 84 years old. Monks from many different countries who were friends have gone now, monks like the Ven Dr. Saddatissa, Ven. Dr Vajirayana, and Ven. Dr Revata dhamma. Meeting with each other and learning from each other they did work of great significance and importance for Buddhism in the UK. The work of the Venerable Phramaha Somboon has also been highly remarkable and important for the history of Buddhism in Britain. I would like to say before all the Indian devotees who are present at the ceremony at the temple that the Venerable Phramaha Somboon has dedicated his whole life to Buddhism, and Indian people in Wolverhampton and in the Punjab are those who have benefited most from his service. Let us look back briefly at the history of the Buddhapadipa Temple in Wimbledon. The Venerable Sophon Dhammasudi had been a very popular head monk when he was teaching the Dhamma in East Sheen. When he left the temple Phramaha Somboon took over as Acting Abbot for many years until the Venerable Phra Medidhammacharaya was appointed Abbot. Phra Medidhammacharaya came from Wat Mahathat, Bangkok and we should note that it was Wat Mahathat which, along with the Thai
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Government, had founded the Buddhapadipa Temple, so it seemed that a tradition was emerging that the Abbot of Buddhapadipa Temple should be sent from Wat Mahathat to continue their missionary work. There seemed to be an understanding in the Sangha in Thailand that this tradition should be respected when it was being decided who should be appointed head monk. At this time Phramaha Somboon applied to enroll on an MA course at Lancaster University. He had already been there for two terms when he learnt that he would not be getting support from the authorities in Thailand to enable him to continue his studies. A policy had been adopted that Dhammatuda monks should not be allowed to take time off to study. If they wished to study they had to stop being a Dhammatuda monk and become a student monk instead. Phramaha Somboon understood only too well that, without this financial support, he would not be able to complete his MA course. He had to leave the University. The number of Dhammaduta monks was very limited, and the influence of the Education Section of of the Sangha Authority in Thailand was very strong at that time. They felt the two roles of missionary and student could not be combined. If we read between the lines, I think we can see it was very hard for Phramaha Somboon, but he agreed to accept this view and to continue his work. If we look at the work he has done since then, we will understand him. In 1982, the member of Dr. Ambedkar Memorial
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Buddhist Committee in GB approached to the Buddhapadipa Temple for a Buddhist monk. Ven. Somboon was chosen as a representative of the temple and accepted the invitation to stay at Wolverhampton Buddha Vihara. At the time, the temple was in a semi-detached house in Lea Road. He helped the Indian community to put down Buddhist roots in English soil. There were not many Indian Buddhists at that time and those who really wanted to learn about Buddhism and to follow its teaching were young and enthusiastic. Phramaha Somboon had to build up Indian Buddhism from scratch. When I ask him how he came to be conducting his missionary work in the West Midlands, he replied that he had been asked to come to Wolverhampton to serve Indian Buddhism for one year. After that he returned to London, but after only one week those he had been teaching came to fetch him back again, and he has been here ever since from 1983, for over 30 years. I understand his situation very well because my own experience in Birmingham was very similar. I went to teach the Indian Buddhists in Birmingham for only one year but finally spent 11 years with them before moving to Staffordshire. The link between Indian and Thai people is close. We have many things in common in our way of life and culture in Buddhism. It is perhaps harder, but we have to seek understanding of the British way of life too, which can seem very different..
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Phramaha Somboon has great patience and there is no doubt he has made many sacrifices for Buddhism and the Indian community. I admire his ambition and his missionary work and don’t think we will find anybody else who can put their strength and energy so single-mindedly into working like him for the Indian community. I say this because I know that Thai monks who live and work in India often spend most of their time helping Thai people visiting that country for a short time instead of helping Indian people. I have not yet met anybody else like Phramaha Somboon. It may be that there are some Thai monks equally dedicated, and if there are, I shall of course admire them in the same way as I do the Venerable Phramaha Somboon. His ambition is an ambition to serve Buddhism, and it is something to be greatly admired that he works for Buddhism rather than for Thailand or India. It so happens that his work has been among Indian people and it must be said that there are not many Thai people who have as deep and good an understanding of Indian culture as has Phramaha Somboon. I enjoy the company of Indian people and have lived among them for many years. Phramaha Somboon, with his calm and kind nature towards all people, has had a strong influence on the Indian community, and indeed on everyone who has come to know him. Phramaha Somboon is an example of a Thai monk who
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has been very successful in teaching the Buddha’s Dhamma to the Indian community. His work is a real example of a Buddhist missionary reaching out and showing the practice of the Dhamma through his patience and kindness to all. Sometimes Phramaha Somboon seemed to have very little time for himself. He was getting old and other Thai monks were concerned about his health. We provided monks to come and stay with him in Wolverhampton to look after him, but instead it was the old monk who looked after the monks we had sent. I once wrote a story about Phramaha Somboon and he was quite happy for me to tell it without mentioning his name. I am doing it now because I know he has an open heart and mind and listens to what others have to say about him. Many year ago when we first met in Wimbledon and before I had yet got to know him, I found we both had very strong opinions about working as a missionary monk in the UK. He expressed his frustration at the way the Dhammaduta monks worked and I knew from my own experience that when someone has been away from their original Temple they might look back and think that the monks at their old temple worked harder than those around them. We can easily think we are working harder than anybody else at the same task. Once we had a long discussion, until one o’clock in the morning, and came very close to arguing. I was sorry that I had caused him to show some of
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his frustration over his work at the Wolverhampton Temple. After that late-night debate I got to know him better and gained the confidence to approach him. I realised he was kind towards me and we have always been able to joke about life in general and what had happened in the past. We could talk very straightforwardly about serious matters by looking at the world and recognising that some things are very bad and some are very good. That night we talked about monks who came from Thailand, and he argued that they should go out and spend their time among people wherever they were needed, and not just stay in London all the time. London seemed just to be too comfortable. At that time I disagreed with him because I was in Wimbledon and working hard, but having been away from London for over 16 years I find that now I fully agree with him. It turns out that, in spite of all the arguing, we were on the same side without knowing it. Despite our argument, when it seemed to me that what I was doing was very much in demand and of value to the public, we both agreed that the monks working abroad seemed to be overlooked by the Sangha Authority back in Thailand. Monks in the UK were working hard, but their work seemed to go unrecognised.
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We have come now to a point where everyone recognises that Phramaha Somboon has a great fund of kindness for all Buddhists, whether Thai, Indian or British. There is no doubt that Phramaha Somboon’s work with the Indian community has been made the temple in Wolverhampton a remarkable site of Indian Buddhism in the UK. It is a place where Buddhists can come to visit and where all Buddhist activities can be practised. The Wolverhampton Buddhavihara Temple is a centre for all Indian Buddhists, who also honour the work of Dr Ambedkar who started the temple and centre. They believe in Buddhism because Dr Ambedkar believed in Buddhism, and they hold Dr Ambedkar in very high respect as a great man. They cannot imagine how they would live their lives if Dr Ambedkar had not become interested in Buddhism If it had not been for Buddhism, Dr Ambedkar would not have been able to free himself from the caste system, and now they believe that whether you are good or bad is not because of the caste you were born into but depends on your actions. Bad actions will bring bad effects, and good actions will bring good results and happiness in life. Buddhism meant so much to Dr Ambedkar, and he greatly benefited from its teaching. He is one of the most important figures in the returning of Buddhism to India, the land where it was born. It is no surprise that all Indian Buddhists have such
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respect for Dr Ambedkar and his work for the Indian nation as a whole. Thai Theravada Buddhism also has this way of appreciating and admiring a Master or great teacher, and sometimes he becomes so great a priority that the pupils ignore the Buddha himself. But with time they come to combine respect for their master and to recognise that the Buddha is much higher than him in spite of all their Master’s goodness. Dr Ambedkar is so popular and well known to all Indian people because he converted to Buddhism, and only the Buddha was accepting of those of all castes. Dr Ambedkar himself came from the caste of the Untouchables. In the end, Phramaha Somboon’s work among the Indian Community in the UK came to be of great interest to the Thai Sangha when they heard about it. Before he came to the UK, and then when he was in Wimbledon, he had a very high reputation and many people knew him. People knew he was working as a Dhammaduta monk in the UK but they did not have any contact with him. Eventually, when Thai monks came to visit him in the UK they recognised that his mission had been a wonderful success. In 2005 he was promoted to a high rank by the King of Thailand, and received the title of Phrakhru Siddhinayanavithet.
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When I talked to him about his work and his age we realised that he was the most senior of all the Theravada monks in the UK. Something needs to be said about the sad fact that, despite all he has achieved over the past 40 years for Buddhism in UK, in London and Wolverhampton, not many people seem to know and fully appreciate his work. It is only recently that it has been found that to have been an example for monks working as missionaries abroad. I have been to India two times, and in particular to the Punjab where Phramaha Somboon has strong links. India is a huge country with a huge population. When I had the opportunity to see the results of his work introduced into the local Indian community over there I felt such admiration for all he had done both in the UK and in India. When I saw the great temple the Indian Buddhists have built there and Phramaha Somboon’s name among the temple names, I could see how much the Indian people respect and credit his work in India. He has not been a major sponsor in financial terms, but his moral support has made this temple possible and it is a blessing for all of them. This is something that Thai and British people in the UK do not know about, and it is not known even to Thai people in Thailand, including the monks in the Thai Sangha Authority. It is time now for us to tell them and alert them to the great work Most
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Venerable Phramaha Somboon has done for the advancement of Buddhism as a whole. In conclusion I would like to make the important point that in the life of each of us we have a chance to do something to benefit the people. Phramaha Somboon has done such a good job with his missionary work and I personally have the greatest respect for him and for his work and dedication to Buddhism. I have never met anyone else who has so sacrificed themselves to work for Buddhism in a foreign land, and succeeded also in helping to return Buddhism to its birthplace in India.

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Massage from Ajahn Loaw

Message from Raj Paul
General Secretary of Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Committee GB


hante Somboon is a unique Buddhist Monk and has a very long relationship with the Wolverhampton Buddha Vihara. He was born in 1925 in Thailand and ordained as a Buddhist monk in 1945 soon after the Second World War ended at Wat Phansee Temple. He came to the United Kingdom in 1968 sent by the Department of Religious affairs of Thailand to run the Wat Buddhapadipa temple in London and was appointed deputy of the Temple and 14 years later he came to Wolverhampton Buddha vihara on the invitation of Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Committee of Great which was founded a year in 1969. The main aim of this organization was to propagate the mission of Dr. Ambedkar by means of publishing the books written by and on Dr. Ambedkar and distribute the same to the India general public both in the UK and Punjab so that people would come to know the great contribution Dr. Ambedkar had made to liberate the downtrodden people from centuries of suppression due to the caste system and untouchability that existed and still is in India. Before he died on 6th December 1959, he embraced

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Buddhism along with half million of his followers on 14th October 1956 and brought the Buddha to the place of his birth. As result of this historical deed carryout by Dr. Ambedkar has brought awareness and opened the hearts and mind of the downtrodden people of India to unite under the banner of Buddhism. The effect of distribution of large amount of literature based on Dr. Ambedkar’s life members and supporters began to learn great deal about Dr. Ambedkar’s ultimate dream. It urged it followers to convert to Buddhism and establish Buddha vihara to follow Buddhism, the path of liberation for the salvation of the downtrodden people of India. In reach of this direction Dr. Ambedkar Memorial committee brought a house at 146 Lea Road, Wolverhampton and converted to a Buddha vihara in 1976. This was the first India Buddha vihara, where every Sunday Dhamma class was held and other activities regarding the mission of Dr. Ambedkar. Of course, in those days it was very difficult to got hold of Buddhist monks who could teach Buddhism. The committee had some Indian Buddhist monks invited from India for the period of six months at a time. But the committee wanted permanent Buddhist monks who would take care of religious duties in the Buddha vihara. However, in 1983, the wish of the committee was fulfilled, when we were informed that we should approach Buddhapadipa temple in London and request them to provide a Buddhist monk
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Message from Raj Paul

for our temple. Three members from our committee, including myself went to the Buddhapadipa temple. We met the head of the temple and bhante Somboon was introduced to us. We explained our position and bhante Somboon agreed to our request and said ‘No Buddha Vihara should be left empty’. Ever since then from 1983 to the present time, bhante has served the Buddhavihara Over the 26 years of Bhante Somboon staying at the Wolverhampton Buddha vihara he has taught Buddhism to all who attended the Buddha especially the followers of Dr. Ambedkar’s mission. What is extraordinary about bhante Somboon is that he never complained or discourages the committee in any ways? But always tried his best to help the committee and continue to do so undertaking all the religious duties to the present time. Under his guidance and blessing the committee has progressed so much which are worth mentioning. The committee constructed opened the new Buddha vihara at Upper Zoar Steet, Wolverhampton to mark the birth centenary of Dr. Ambedkar on 14th April 1991 and Bhante Somboon was given the honour of laying the foundation stone and opening the Buddha vihara. This Buddha has now become a world famous where monks from all over the world visited stayed. And again, bhante Somboon laid the foundation of the Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Community Centre built adjacent to the Buddha vihara and opened officially on 14th October 2000 by Bhahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati and now the chief
Message from Raj Paul
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Minister of UP. The other outstanding achievement of the Dr. Ambedkar Memorial committee of Great Britain in which bhante Somboon has been involved from the start was the Punjab project. It was the dream of the committee members to do something constructive that would further the mission of Dr. Ambedkar in Punjab. The state from where most the members of the committee have roots. In making this dream realized, it decided to build a multi purpose centre named as ‘Dr. Ambedkar Buddhist Resource Centre Punjab on a one acre of land donated by Mr. and Mrs. Amar Chand Sandi a family of member of the committee based at Mahalpur Road, Nawan Shahr. And again, bhante Somboon was honoured to lay the foundation stone on the 14th October 2004. After exactly two years, the phase one, the Buddha Vihara, named after Bhante ‘Maha Somboon Buddha Vihara’ was opened on 14th October 2006 by the All India Bhikkhu Sangha ven. Anand Dev Mahathero to mark the Golden Jubilee of Dr. Ambedkar’s conversion of Buddhism. The reason we honoured bhante Somboon naming the Buddha vihara for all he has done for the Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Committee of Great Britain. Bhante Somboon was very happy and travelled to Punjab with me for the official opening of the Dr. Ambedkar Buddhist Resource Centre, including the second phase known as ‘D. R. Jassal Community Centre’ which took place on the 19th October
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Message from Raj Paul

2008. The centre was opened by the grandson of Dr. Ambedkar respected Mr. Prakash Ambedkar. D.R. Jassal Community Centre was named of a member of the committee who was the first President of the committee and donated all his life saving the amount of one crocre rupees (£125,000.00) towards the construction of the centre. I must also mention here that his colleague Mr. Diwan Singha who also donate £ 10,300.00 to the centre and he was honoured by naming the ‘Diwan Singh Library’ at the centre. The last phase a school will start within the complex in the near future. On the same day of the opening, bhante Somboon was further honoured. His portrait was installed in the Shrine Hall of the Buddha Vihara. Bhante Somboon is a Thai Buddhist Monk who ordained at the age of twenty. His stay in the Wolverhampton Buddha Vihara for the past twenty-six years as Spiritual Head has been praise worthy. Under his guidance and grace the Dr. Ambedkar Memorial committee of Great Britain has flourished both in spreading the mission of Dr. Ambedkar and Buddhism. I do not believe we will find any other Buddhist monk with the qualities and goodness and loving kindness he possesses. We are greatly indebted to him. At the age of 84 years his devotion to Buddhism Philosophy is unlimited Thank you

Message from Raj Paul

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Chapter 1
A short story of the Buddha

1. The lord Buddha was conceived in the womb of his mother. This was calculated to be Thursday, on the full moon day of Asalha Lunar month, in the year of cock. 2. The day of his birth was calculated to be Friday, on the Full moon day of Visakha Lunar month, in the year of dog. The time was late in the morning, eighty years before Buddhist Era started. 3. The lord Buddha ascended to the throne [as crown prince] in the year of cow. 4. He denounced the world [at the age of 29] in the year of Rabbit. 5. His Enlightenment [at the age of 35] was calculated to be Wednesday, on the full moon day of Visakha Lunar month, in the year of Cock. 6. He passed away [at the age of 80] on Tuesday, in Full moon day of Visakha Lunar month, in the year of a small snake.
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 1

What did the Buddha do after his enlightenment? 1. After his enlightenment [at the age of 35] the Buddha seated himself in contemplative ecstasy for seven days under the shade of Bodhi tree, the place where he was enlightened. During the period he considered the Law of Dependent Origination (paticcasamuppãda), which he had realized, in both its normal and its reverse order. 2. After seven days he left the place and proceeded to Banyan tree named Ajapãlanigrodha, the place of the goat-shepherds, on the east of Bodhi tree. Here he once again passed the next seven days in ecstatic contemplation of his emancipation. At that time there was a Brahmin approaching him. He was in a habit of bawling out other persons with the interjection, ‘HU! HU’. Putting on the Buddha questions about the dhamma that could make a brahmin of a person, he said, ‘what are the causes that transform a person into a Brahmin? What dhamma can make a Brahmin of a person? In reply the Buddha said, ‘whoever has all evils floated away, having no defilements to bawl out other persons with the rude words ‘HU!, HU!, without defilements to colour, mind like a dye colouring a piece of cloth, being self-controlled, having arrived at the end of Veda and perfected the chaste life, that man, who has no other defilements to make his mind
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 2 A short story of the Buddha

rise and fall can be called a Brahmin by Dhammas.

3. After seven days the Buddha left the Banyan tree and proceeded to another tree called Chik or Muccalinda, on the southeast of Bodhi tree, and sat in ecstatic contemplation on his emancipation for another seven days and he made the following utterances: ‘Solitude is blissful for those who have realized the dhamma, taking delight in such a place and knowing things as they really are. Blissful is non-violence, being self-restraint in dealing with other being. Blissful is dispassion, transcendence in all aspects of sensual delight. Blissful is abandonment of pride or egoism’. During this period there was continuous drizzle accompanied with a cold and spell. A serpent king by the name of Muccalinda seeing this offered the Buddha his protection. He coiled himself, making it something like a cone with seven tiers and spreading his hood over the Buddha. This was to protect the Buddha from both the wind and the rain. Thereafter he transformed himself into a youth and stood paying homage to the Buddha and took leave of him. 4. After seven days the Buddha went further to another tree called Rãjãyatana, on the south of Bodhi tree. He spent seven days here. At that time there were two merchants named ‘Tapussa
A short story of the Buddha ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 3

and Bhallika’ traveling from the town of Ukkala to that place where the Buddha was residing. Having seen the Buddha they approached him and sit there next to him. They were impressed of having seen the Buddha. They offered him their Sattu rice, both in the form of powder and in the form of balls, and stood at a respectful distance on one side. The Buddha accepted it and ate it. The two merchants after having enlightening discussion with the Buddha then declared themselves as Upasaka –male lay disciples and then departed on their ways. [They were the first disciples who have taken two refuse (Dvevãcikupasaka); the Buddha and the dhamma. There had not any sangha members at that time.] 5. Furthermore, the another points were extracted from vinaya pitaka [book of code of conducts], more accounts inserted in the Commentary, describing the incidents while the Buddha was staying at the Bodhi tree and Banyan tree as follows; The Buddha went some distance northeast of the Bodhi tree, then turned himself back and stood looking Bodhi Tree without closing his eyes for seven days. This place was called Animissacetiya. After that he walked back but stopped halfway between Bodhi Tree and Banyan Tree and created out of his psychic powers a pathway for Cankamana or walking meditation, whereon he entered into Ratana Cankamacetiya. In the following week, that is, the fourth week a crystal pavilion was created by the celestial beings in the west or northwest of Bodhi tree. Here
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 4 A short story of the Buddha

the Buddha seated himself meditating upon Abhidhamma for seven days. This place was called Ratanagharacetiya. It was after this fourth week that he proceeded further to Ajapãlanigrodha Banyana Tree. From this record, another three places connected with Bodhi tree were inserted, being thereby called Bodhi mandala. Thus three more weeks were added, increasing the time spent to seven weeks for seven places, one week for each. The calculation of Buddhist Era (B.E.) was calculated by India, Burma and Sri Lanka, in the same year of Buddha’s passing away, whereas in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia calculate Buddhist era in one year after the Buddha’s passing away. So, Buddhist era for India, Burma and Sri Lanka at the moment is 2538 and for Thailand, Laos and Cambodia is 2537. An extract from the Mahãparinibbana sutta concerning his last year before enter Mahãparinibbana. 1. One day, lady Ambapali heard that the Buddha had come to her mango grove, so she went to him and invited him and his disciples for a meal on the following day. It so happens that the Licchavi nobles had also invited him for a meal, but the Buddha preferred to accept lady Ambapali’s invitation first. So, the Licchavi nobles offered lady Ambapali a large sum of money to make her give up her chance of giving the Buddha a meal. She, however, politely refused. So the Buddha came and had his meal at Lady Ambapali’s
A short story of the Buddha ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 5

house. After the meal, Lady Ambapali, who was on the way to becoming an Arahant, very generously offered her large mongo grove to the Buddha. 2. It was not the rainy season, so the Buddha advised his disciples to spend the rains retreat in Vesali. He himself decided to spend this retreat –which was to be his last one – at a nearby village called Beluva. This was just three months before his death. He was eighty years old and very seriously ill. However, he thought it was not right to die without telling his disciples about his illness. So, with great courage and strength of mind, he managed to make himself slightly better. One day, soon after this he was sitting in the shade outside his temple when Ananda came up to him and said; ‘Lord, I looked after you in your illness and I became worried, but I was held by one thought. I knew that you would not die until you had given us instructions about the Sangha.’ 3. Then the Buddha, full of loving-kindness, spoke gently to Ananda: ‘Ananda, what does the Sangha expect from me? I have taught the same dhamma to all people. if there is anyone who thinks he should lead the Sangha, then he is the one who should give the instructions. I have no such idea myself. Why, then, should I leave instructions about the Sangha? I am an old now, Ananda, eighty years old. Like a worn-out cart that has to be kept going by repairs, my body also has to be kept going by
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 6 A short story of the Buddha

repairs. So, Ananda, be like an island, make yourself your own refuge. Make the dhamma your island, make the dhamma your refuge, and make nothing else your refuse.’ 4. ‘Lord’, said Ananda, ‘in the past bhikkhus came from many places to see you, and we could meet them, and pay respect to them. But when you are gone we will not be able to do so any more’. 5. ‘Ananda’, the Buddha replied, ‘there are four places where a faithful followers can get help. One is where I was born; one is where I was enlightenment; one is where I started the wheel of the law turning; and one is where I finally reached Nibbana. Faithful bhikkhus and bhikkhunis; and lay followers will come and say ‘Here a perfect one was born; here a perfect one was enlightened; here a perfect one started the wheel of the law turning; and here a perfect one finally reached Nibbana. p.s. Buddhist era is 543 years before Christian era

A short story of the Buddha

‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 7

Chapter 2
Introduction of Buddhism


uddhism is one of the oldest world religions which began in 2,600 years ago in Indian continent. The Buddha -the founder of Buddhism- was born in Lumbini present day Nepal in the year 563 B.C. and lived most of his life in present day India. His teachings spread all over the world after the King Ashoka the great of India. The foundation of Buddhism depends on the Buddhist scriptures, which are of three scriptures: 1.Vinaya Scripture –concerns disciplines and etiquette for monks and laity. 2. Suttanta Scripture – the discourse, Buddhist cannon dealing with time, space, persons, situations, doctrinal principles, sometimes it is in the form of personification and sometimes in the abstract one. 3. Abhidhamma scripture is composed of ‘the great dhamma’ or the pure dhamma or ‘the Buddhist metaphysics’, which is a kind of abstract doctrine. Yet there are four companies of Buddhists: 1. Buddhist monks or bhikkhus 2. Buddhist nuns or bhikkhunis 3. Buddhist male-lay disciples or upasakas
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 8

4. Buddhist female-lay disciples or upasikas These people study and practice the teachings of the Lord Buddha from the scriptures and then put them into practice and able to resolve the difficult problems taking place by themselves and show the means of their practicing the Buddhist way of life. They do not like the conflict, incitement and antagonism. Buddhists live very happily and safely; so as in this country United Kingdom. Again, we would like to suggest the twin Buddhist verses for understanding the importance of the mind function. Manopubbangamã dhammã manosetthã manomayã Manasã ce padutthena bhãsati vã karoti vã tato namฺ dukkhamanveti cakkamฺ va vahato padamฺ All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts and made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, suffering follows him, as the wheel follows the hoof of the beast that draws the wagon. Manopubbangamã dhammã manosetthã manomayã Manasã ce pasannena bhãsati vã karoti vã tato namฺ sukkhamanveti, chãyãva anupãyini All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts and made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a good thoughts, happiness follows him like a shadow that never leaves him. * This article was prepared for one of the school presentations
Introduction of Buddhism ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 9

Chapter 3
Buddhism in Thailand; its present 1


ccording to the census taken in 1960 the population of Thailand numbers 25,519,965 out of this number 94 percents are Buddhists (the rest are mostly Muslims and Christians). This fact itself demonstrates more than anything else how influential Buddhism is in Thailand. In their long history of existence the Thais seem to have been predominantly Buddhists, at least ever since they came into contact with the tenets of Buddhism. All the Thai kings in the recorded history of present-day Thailand have been adherents of Buddhism. The country’s constitution specifies that the king of Thailand must be a Buddhist and the upholder of Buddhism. The term ‘The land of yellow Robes’ has not been inappropriately applied to Thailand for two things strike most foreigners as soon as they set foot in that country. Firstly, the Buddhist temple with its characteristic architectures, and the other one is the sight of yellow-clad Buddhist monks and novices who are to be seen everywhere, especially in the early hours of dawn when they go out in great numbers for alms.
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 10

The two sights inevitably remind the foreigners that here is a country where Buddhism is a dominant force in the people’s life. Indeed, to the Thai nation as a whole, Buddhism has been the main spring from which flow its culture and philosophy, its art and literature, its ethics and morality and many of its folkways and festivals. For clarity and convenience we shall divide the study of the present state of Buddhism in Thailand into two parts, namely the Buddha sangha or the holy order, and the laity. The bhikkhu sangha or the Holy Order of Buddhist monks have been in existence in Thailand ever since Buddhism was introduced there. According to 1958 census there are in the whole kingdom of Thailand 159,648 monks, 73,311 novices and 20,944 monasteries or temples. These are scattered throughout the country, particularly more numerous in the thickly populated areas. The bhikkhu sangha of Thailand, is being of Theravada or Southern School, observes the same set of discipline (vinaya) as the bhikkhu Sangha in order Theravada Countries such as Ceylon, Burma, Laos and Cambodia. In spite of the fact that the government allots a yearly budget for the maintenance and repair of important temples and as stipends for high ranking monks, the almost entire burden for the support of the sangha and the upkeep of the temples rests with the public. In 1962, the administration of the bhikkhu sangha act of 1947 was abolished; a new one was enacted instead. By virtue
Buddhism in Thailand; its present ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 11

of the new act, the posts of Sangha Nayaka, sangha Mantris and Sangha Sabha were abolished. In place of these there is Mahathera Samagama (council of the Elders) headed by the Sangharaja (supreme patriarch) himself and consisting of not less than four and not more than eight senior monks (Mahatheras). Mahatheras Samagama, in collaboration with the Department of Religious Affairs, directly governs the entire Sangha.

Education of Monks
As is well-known, the original idea of men’s entering monkhood during the Buddha’s time or shortly later, was to attain liberation from worldly existence in accordance with the teaching of the Master. Such idea, of course, springs from man’s feeling of aversion to the mundane. In order words, in those faroff days, men entered monkhood with the sole intention of riding themselves of life’s miseries and of abstaining spiritual freedom or Nirvana. Instances of such self-renunciation are found in the holy books of the practices of the early followers of the Buddha underwent modifications. Today, over 2527 years of the passing away of the Buddha, though the ideal of becoming a bhikkhu still remains very lofty among Buddhists of all lands, yet in practices it must be admitted that there have been many deviations from the Master’s original admonitions with regard to the whys and wherefores of man’s entering monkhood. Generalization of any
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 12 Buddhism in Thailand; its present

subject matter is often dangerous but it will not be far from truth to say that today, in Thailand as in other Buddhist countries, the practice of Buddhist males entering monkhood is to a considerable extent prompted rather by the dictation of custom, the wish for education and other external considerations than by the desire to attain emancipation. Yet there are also many who join the Sangha through genuine love for a religious life and religious studies, or out of the wish to be of service to Buddhism and their country. Finally, in the Thai Sangha also those are not entirely lacking whose life is vigorously devoted to the aim of ultimate emancipation and to the guidance of others towards that goal. There have been, and still are, saintly and able meditation masters in Thailand, with a fair number of devoted disciples in Sangha and laity. There are also still monks the so called Thudong bhikkhus who follow the ancient way of austere living embodied in the ‘strict observances’ or Dhutangs. In view of the above facts, there are two categories of Buddhist monks in Thailand. One comprises those who become monks for long periods, sometimes for life, and the other those who enter the order temporarily. To serve in the monkhood even for a short period is considered a great merit-earning attainment by the Thai Buddhists. Even royal follow this age-old custom. For instance the present ruler, H.M. Kings Bhumibol Adulyadej, also observed leave with full pay for a period of half a month some
Buddhism in Thailand; its present ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 13

time ago. Government officials are allowed to leave with full pay for a period of four months in order to serve in monkhood. The idea is to enable young men to gain knowledge of Buddhism and thereby to become good citizens. Monk life gives them practical experience of how an ideal Buddhist life should be. In rural districts the general tendency is still to give more deference to those who have already served in monkhood. Such people are supposed to be more ‘mature’ than those who have not undergone monk life. Moreover, in Thailand wats (monasteries and temples) used to be and are still regarded as seats of learning where all men, irrespective of life’s position, could go and avail themselves of education benefits. This is especially so in the case of economically handicapped males of the country-side. Instances are not lacking in which people have climbed high up on life’s status ladder after obtaining education while in monkhood. There are neither religious restrictions nor social disapproval against monks’ returning to lay life if and when they find themselves unable to discharge their duties as monks. Cases exist in which, for some reason or the other, men have entered monkhood more than at from this viewpoint, the institution of entering monkhood in Thailand, apart from being a way of gaining moral and spiritual enlightenment, is a social uplift method by which those not so fortunately placed in life could benefit. Judged from the ideal of adopting a monk’s life is enunciated by the Buddha, whether or not such practice
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 14 Buddhism in Thailand; its present

is commendable, is a different story. The fact is that even today when modernism has penetrated deep into Thailand; about one half of the primary schools of the country is still situated in wats. With sex and crimes on the increase in the country, the cry for living a better Buddhist life is being heard more and more distinctly in Thailand today. The traditional education of monks and novices in Thailand centres mainly on the studies of the Buddhist doctrine (Dhamma) and Pali, the language in which the Theravada scriptures are written. Of the former, the study of the doctrine, there are three grades with examinations open to both monks and laymen. Those passing such examinations are termed ‘Nak dhamma’, literally meaning one who knows the dhamma. The latter, i.e. the studies of Pali, has nine grades, starting with third and ending with the ninth grade. Students passing Pali examinations are called ‘Parian’ (Pali: Parinna-penetrative knowledge); in Thai language the word ‘Parinna’ is used to mean academic degree. For example, monks and novices passing the first Pali examination are entitled to write ‘P.3’ after their names. Generally the dhamma and the Pali studies go hand in hand and take at least seven years to complete. The stiffness of the two courses, especially that of the Pali language can be guessed from the fact that very few students are able to pass the highest grade, the Parian 9 in any annual examination. In the good old days when living was less competitive than now, passing of even lower Dhamma and
Buddhism in Thailand; its present ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 15

Pali examinations used to be of much value in securing good government posts. But now things are quite different; even those successful in the highest Pali examination, the 9th Grade, find it difficult to get suitable employment. Of late there has developed a new outlook in the education of monks in Thailand. With the rapid progress of science and with the shrinking of the world, Buddhist leaders of Thailand, monks as well as laymen, are awakened to the necessity of imparting broader education to members of the Sangha, if the Sangha is to serve the cause of Buddhism well, ‘for the gain of the many, for the welfare of the many’. As a result of the new outlook there now function in Bangkok two higher institutes of learning exclusively for monks and novices. One is the Mahachulalongkorn University, and the other is the Mahamakut University. Both are organized on a modern university footing and both seem to be making satisfactory progress towards that direction. Inclusion in the curriculum of some secular subjects not incompatible with monks’ discipline (vinaya) is among the notable features of these two institutes; the aim is to give an all-round education to monks in order to enable them to be of better service to the cause of Buddhism amidst modern conditions. So much for the education of ‘long-term’ monks, as for those who enter the order temporarily, mostly for a period of three rainy months during the vassa or Buddhist lent, the education is brief
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 16 Buddhism in Thailand; its present

and devoted to the main tenets and features of Buddhism only. As pointed out above, such people enter monkhood either by their own genuine desire for knowledge of the dhamma, by the dictum of custom or, as generally is the case, by the two reasons combined. Monks of this category return to lay life again as soon as the lent is over. This is the reason why accommodations in monasteries (wats) are usually full during the Lenten period.

Religious freedom
Buddhism, especially Theravada Buddhism, is the state religion and the great majority of the Thai people are Buddhists. However, the Thai Government of every period has bestowed upon people freedom to profess any faith they like, and has been pleased to welcome any missionary of any faith to preach its tenets anywhere in Thailand. Since the revolution of 1932 every constitution of Thailand has recognized religious freedom. It has provided that a person shall have complete freedom to profess any religion, denomination or doctrine, and shall have freedom to practice any religious rites in accordance with his belief except in so far as they are inconsistent with his duties as a citizen or incompatible with public order and good morals. Besides, the constitution affirms that the state shall not deprive a person of any right or benefit to which he is entitled by reason of the fact that he professes
Buddhism in Thailand; its present ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 17

or practices a religion different from that of others. In practice, the Thai Government has accorded people not only religious freedom but also full support to their faiths. The state deems the patronage of religion one of its affairs. Moreover, under the constitution the King is obliged to be a Buddhist and the upholder of religion.

Religion in Thailand
As equal opportunities to practice or preach any faith are open to people in Thailand, several religions and doctrines have been introduced into the country. Their centres of worship have been established throughout the Kingdom. These religions and doctrines are: Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism (Brahminism), Sikkhism; Doctrines: Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism, Animism and others.
Law and regulations relating to various religious communities

The laws and ministerial regulations have been enforced in order to maintain order and to give promotion and support to religions. They are: a. For Buddhist communities: a. The Sangha Act, 1962 b. The Ministerial regulations issued by the ministry of
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 18 Buddhism in Thailand; its present

Education relating to the construction of Buddhism Monasteries, 1964 b. For Muslim Communities: a. The Royal Decree on religious Patronage of the religion of Islam, 1945. b. The Act relating to the application of Islamic Laws in the Provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala and Satun, 1955. c. The Act relating to Mosques, 1947. c. For Christian communities: a. The Legal status of the Roman Catholic Church in Thailand Act, 1909. b. The Legal Status of the Roman Catholic Church in Thailand (Amendment) Act, 1913. c. The Royal Grant of Land to the Roman Catholic Mission in Thailand Act, 1914, 1914 and so on.

The Government’s Support
The Department of Religious Affairs offers support to all religions in Thailand. Furthermore, it promotes all faiths and extends its protection to all members of religious orders so that they can equally perform their religious rites. In addition, it renders assistance to every government department in the field
Buddhism in Thailand; its present ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 19

of religious affairs. Further reading: Karuna Kusalasaya, Buddhism in Thailand; its past and its present.(the Wheel Publication No 85/86)


It was prepared on 20-21/11/1984

‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 20

Buddhism in Thailand; its present

Chapter 4
Manussa dhamma; Five precepts


ow, we all have already been here and decided to celebrate Dr.Ambedkar’s conversion day into Buddhism, which happened at Nagpur, on 14th October 1956. Usually we used to celebrate it on 14th October of every year, but this year we could not do it because the Birmingham Ambedkar Buddhist Society celebrated it on that day. If we were to celebrate it on the same day we could not go to join them. We have to thank them to give us a chance to attend Ambedkar Programme last week, in Birmingham. So we have to postpone to today, the twenty-first of October. I think in this time, it doesn’t matter because it is the same purpose, the same celebration, cooperative hands. The important thing is what should be talked about for honouring Dr. Ambedkar on this occasion. Should be talk about Warsaw Pact, Nato-the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, Newclear Disarmament, Helsinki Agreement, I.R.A. Irish Republican Army, SEATO- south East Asia Treaty Organisation or about the Dhamma –the Buddha’s teachings.
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 21

For my idea it is a safe way to talk about the Dhamma –the Buddha’s teachings. This is because the dhamma talk does not produce suffering, enmity and on the contrary it causes to harmonies among the people and also it is honourable way for Dr. Ambedkar. So for honouring him I would like to talk about Manussa-dhamma. What does the word ‘Manussa dhamma’ mean? It means the five precepts and the Five Ennobling virtues which are shown in both their negative and positive aspects. These are a. Not to kill, but to practise loving-kindness and compassion to all b. Not to take which is not given, but to practise patience in the right means of livelihood. c. Not to misuse the senses, but to practise contentment in marriage life. d. Not to tell a lie, but to practise truthfulness e. Not to take any intoxicating drinks, but to practise watchfulness or mindfulness. Of these, the first one, the one concerns with not to kill, but to practice loving-kindness and compassion will be explained in details.

To refrain from killing
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 22

The object of killing here includes animals as well as
Manussa dhamma; Not to kill or harm

human beings. Such living beings, irrespective of age sex and size, from the time of their conception, are included under the first precept. The purpose of this precept is to extend the virtue of compassion towards all kinds of beings. It is true that even animals there can also be found this compassionate feeling. But it is motivated merely by instinct and is limited to its own family or group, as it necessary for its survival. It is only in human beings that this feeling can be deliberately extended to other person outside one’s own family or group, or even to animals. This depends on the will of trained mind, which can scatter more seeds of happiness as it grows in insight. The act of killing, like all other actions, can have different degree as its result. This is based on the three factors of judgment applicable also to other acts, namely object, purpose and efforts. The first basis by which to judge an act of killing is its object, which can be broadly divided into two categories, human beings and animals. Killing human beings is generally thought to be a capital crime from the points of view of the state and the law of the country has to mate out a capital punishment or mitigate this to life imprisonment. The second element by which to determine the resultant degree of killing is purpose or motive. It is of two kinds, the intentional or premeditated one and the unintentional or one
Manussa dhamma; Not to kill or harm ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 23

committed through the impulse of the moment. The first one or the former one implies a murder in cold blood, which, even with the absence of anger or hatred in some cases, is still motivated by a strong passion of greed. This may be seen in the case of a gang of robbers that take to plundering and killing premeditative. An instance of killing based on hatred without greed may be seen when a person seeks to revenge himself on the death of his enemy without any desire for the latter’s possessions. The third factor for consideration is the efforts involved, which are of two kinds, direct effort and indirect effort. Direct effort signifies the killing done by the killer himself. Whereas indirect effort to one done through ordering or hiring another person to do so. This killing whether done by weapon or any other kinds of trick or plan, is completed through the efforts of a person or persons concerned. Both parties, therefore, are subject to the various grades of punishment by the state and religious laws.


Animals are generally regarded as objects of a less serious crime when they are intentionally killed. With regard to the law of country it is wrong only when the animal killed does not belong to the killer or when it is some species protected by the Government. From the moral or karmic point of view, however, the inner results affecting a person’s character cannot be offset
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 24 Manussa dhamma; Not to kill or harm

by such formalities or the standards of law. All the animals, those that have owners as mentioned earlier, are the objects of a more serious crime than the ownerless ones. In the former case it is obvious that the killer has committed a double crime; the actual killing, which is naturally against the first precept, and a offense against a person’s property, which is correlated with an act of stealing – an offense against the second precept.

Bodily harm

The term ‘bodily harm’ is limited to an offense against another human being. The same act done against an animal will be discussed under the heading ‘Torturing’. This follows the general feeling of most people. This act, although not depriving a person of his life, inflicts painful suffering on the victim and is subject to punishment by both the law of the country and the monastic code. With regard to the former, punishment is meted out in accordance with the weapon used and the degree of suffering inflicted upon the victim, which may be classified as injury, disfiguration and crippling. The first is the trouble that temporarily affects a person’s pursuit of work or enjoyment; the second implies permanent spoiling of the shape or appearance of any part of the body or organ which causes shame for the victim; and the third means deprivation of the senses or loss of any organ.
Manussa dhamma; Not to kill or harm ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 25


This implies the act of harming done against animals, since, according to the general feeling; a human being is not object of torturing (although in some places and on some occasion, especially in the past, there was really the practice of putting a human being to torture). As before, this connotes and underlying evil i.e. a sadistic intention, for this reason, to keep a bird in a cage as a pet or to put an animal to work within decent limits is not included herein. In all cases it is to be known by the expression of cruelty or lack of mercy. From this stand-point an act which is usually not one of torturing may in some cases have to be so called. The following examples will clarify this fact. To put an ox or a buffalo to the plough is normally not an act of cruelty or torturing. These are working animals and beasts of burden and are the living property of man. This is recognized both legally and morally. But at the same time the owner has a moral duty to look after their health and treat them with mercy. This means giving them enough food and rest, allowing time for their pleasure and relaxation, preventing them from contracting diseases and providing them with proper medical care. He was has done so fulfilled his moral duty towards them and is praiseworthy on all occasions. On the other hand, the owner who disregards his moral obligations is guilty of the act of cruelty. This includes starving them or overloading them with work, neglecting to give them enough rest
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 26 Manussa dhamma; Not to kill or harm

or medical care and treating them brutally, such as by beating or lashing them. These are examples of cruelty in work.


It is in fact morally permissible to keep a bird in a cage or to tether an animal when it is necessary to do so, but the animal needs food and rest and, what is more important here, enough room to move about freely. The owner who fails to provide a confined animal with enough comfort must be said to have performed an act of cruelty in this aspect.


There are several other expressions of cruelty to animal, each of which is wrong against the spirit of the First Precept. The one chosen as an illustration here is the crocodile trap, for this involves a double offense, -killing two animals for one purpose. A person who wishes to lay a trap for a crocodile has to fasten a live living monkey in a snare which is close to the water. Then he cuts off some of the monkey’s fingers, causing it to bleed freely. Now the monkey, frightened of its own blood, instinctively dips its hand into the water, thereby unknowingly spreading the blood-smell throughout the area. Tracing the smell, the crocodile soon dashes to the decoy monkey and makes a meal of it without more ado. The spring of the trap then locks in the crocodile’s throat, killing both animals at the same time. This
Manussa dhamma; Not to kill or harm ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 27

is an outstanding example of the brutal killing of animals.

To practice loving-kindness and compassion

This practice is also extended to animals. A person with a compassionate nature often buys off the animals that are going to be killed. This method of life-saving is usually followed in addition to charity and many people prefer to release those bought-off victims such as fish, pigs, ducks or hens in the compound of monasteries so that they can enjoy security had happiness for the rest of their lives. In ancient times there was sometimes a tradition that the king declared a certain place to be a sanctuary for a certain kind of animal. A parallel of this may be seen today in the law prohibiting the killing of elephants or fishing during a certain period of the year. This practice of giving is protection to animals. It has been recognized that to minister to the wants of the needy, especially a deserving case, is the mark of greatness of character. Stories were often told as illustrations of such a practice of chivalrous compassion. A king named Abhayarajakumara, for instance, was said to have one day come across a new-born baby abandoned by the wayside. He took pity of it, brought it to the palace and took care of it himself. At school-age the child was sent to study medicine under the great teacher of Takkasila, the highest educational institute of that time. This child later became the famous doctor in the royal court and was known as Jivaka Komarabhacca,
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 28 Manussa dhamma; Not to kill or harm

who was also the bhikkhus’ as well as the Buddha’s personal physician and who has been regarded to this day as father of the science of medicine. Another story was told of a king who often travelled in cognition in his kingdom to see for himself how his people lived and worked. He was one day stopped by a childbeggar who asked him for money to pay to the doctor with the money and went to see the boy’s mother himself. Having stayed with the patient for a time, he left a message together with more money in the house and departed. It was when the doctor and the boy came to the house later that the man who was kind to them was revealed to be none other than their own king. These are illustrations of how real greatness cannot be divorced from kindness.

Manussa dhamma; Not to kill or harm

‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 29

Chapter 5 The Buddhist celebrations: Vesakha Celebration


here are four important Buddhist celebrations in the Buddhist tradition: Vesakha Cerebration, Atthami celebration, Magha celebration and Asalha celebration The Buddhist people all over the world have to celebrate these four kinds of celebration once a year in every year when these celebrations come to them. Today I am speaking of the vesakha celebration and I shall leave out of the three kinds of celebration mentioned earlier. The vesakha is a name of the month, vesakhamasa. The vesakhapuja celebration takes place during the full moon day of vesakhamasa. This is usually the sixth month, but occasionally the seventh month and falls in April or May, but usually in May. Why do the Buddhist people have to celebrate the Vesakhamasa? Because the lord Buddha was born, attained Enlightenment, and passed away on the full moon day of Vesakhamasa. These events take place on the same day that is on the full moon day of Vesakhamasa. So these are very marvelous and wonderful indeed in the Buddhist circle.
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 30

There have never been such events in other religions. We, Buddhists are here in this place and celebrate Vesakha puja and after that – after you have been converted into Buddhism. You should listen to the talk on the dhamma. There will be a different dhamma talk, different speakers. I myself will give you a talk on the two kinds of dhamma- dhamma concerning with worshipping. There are two kinds of worshipping: Amissa puja – Material worshipping, Patipatta puja—Practical worshipping. Material worshipping means to worship the triple Gem, the Buddha, the dhamma and the sangha with the flowers, incense sticks or other offerings …whereas the practical worshipping means to follow the Buddha’s teachings sincerely and earnestly. Of two kinds of worshipping, the practical worshipping is recommended as the best, highest and the indispensable. But, of cause, the Material worshipping mentioned earlier is not discouraged or prohibited, but it must always be remembered that Buddhists should not rest satisfied merely with the outward forms, for without a sincere and earnest practice of the Buddha’s teaching, there cannot be any real development or progress for Buddhism or Buddhists themselves in the real sense of the term. Therefore, the Lord Buddha addressed the venerable Ananda and other bhikkhus just before he passed away as follows: ‘The twin sala trees are all one mass of flowers out of season and these drop and sprinkle on the body of the Tathagata.
The Buddhist celebrations: Vesakha Celebration ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 31

But, Ananda it is not thus that the Tathagate is rightly honoured and revered. Any bhikkhu or bhikkhuni or any lay disciple, man or woman, who perform his or her duties properly, conscientiously and wisely is said to have rightly honored, venerated, worshipped, and respected the Tathagata with the highest kind of worship.’

‘there are four places where a faithful followers ... will come and say ‘Here a perfect one was born (Lumbini); here a perfect one was enlightened (Buddhagaya); here a perfect one started the wheel of the law turning (Saranath); and here a perfect one finally reached Nibbana (Kusinagara).’ - Mahaparinibbana Sutta

‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 32

The Buddhist celebrations: Vesakha Celebration

Chapter 6 Introduction to Kathina


he word Kathina literally means ‘difficult’ but in its extended sense it signifies a wooden frame, the frame on which a civara (robe) is spread and cut or sewed along its line. When the season for making yellow robes is over the component parts of the frame will be taken apart and kept for next year’s use. In ancient days bhikkhus used the wooden frame on which to sew and cut their robes and also their Kathina-robe-making was to have been finished in one day. But nowadays there is no need to use it because there are people who are skillful in making the robes for the monks without using the wooden frame as mentioned above. The origin of Kathina : at the time of the awakened one, the Lord was staying at Savatthi City, in Jeta’s Grove in Anathapindika’s monastery. Now, at that time there were thirty monks2 of Patheyya province, all forest-dwellers, all almsmen, all wearers of rag-robes, all wearers of the three robes, going to Savatthi so as to see the Lord. when the beginning of the rainsresidence (vassupanayika) was approaching, they were unable
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 33

to reach Savatthi for the beginning of the rains-residence. They entered upon the rains on the way, at Saketa City. They spent the rains in a state of longing, thinking the lord is staying close to us, six yojanas3 from here, but we are not getting a chance to see the lord’. Then these monks, after the lapse of three months of the rainy season, kept the rains, after the admonition had been carried out, while it was still raining, while waters were gathering, while swamps were still forming, with drenched robes and in a state of weariness approached Savatthi, the Jeta Grove, Anathapindika’s monastery. Having approached and greeted the lord they sat down at a respectful distance. Then the lord exchanged friendly greetings with the incoming monks and spoke thus to these monks; ‘I hope, monks, that things went well with you, I hope you had enough to support life, I hope that, in unity, being on friendly terms and harmonious, you spent a complete rainy season and did not go short of almsfood? ‘Things went well with us, lord, we had enough to support life, and unity we, lord, being on friendly terms and harmonious, spent the rainy season did not go short of alms-food. Here are we, lord, as many as thirty monks of Patheyya Province, coming to savatthi so as to see the lord, but when the beginning of the rains-residence was approaching, we were unable to reach savatthi for the beginning of the reins-residence; we entered on
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 34 Introduction to Kathina

the rains on the way at Saketa city. We spent the rains, lord, in a state of longing for you, thinking: ‘the Lord is staying close to us, six yojonas from here, but we are not getting a chance to see the lord. Then we lord, having after the lapse of three months of the rainy season, kept the rains, and after the admonition had been carried out, while it was still raining, while waters were gathering, while swamps were forming, with drenched robes and in a state of weariness came along on journey. Then the lord, on this occasion, having given the dhammatalk, addressed the monks, saying: ‘I allow you, monks, to make up Kathina-cloth. Therefore, the Kathina-festival has been performed since then. A bhikkhu who lives throughout the rains-residence until he makes pavarana-admonition can obtain the benefits of the rains-residence from the patipada day (the first day of the waning moon of the eleventh month) onwards for one month: 1. If he wishes to go wandering or travelling, there is no need to take leave as laid down in the sixth training-rule in the Accelaka-vagga of the pacittiya chapter. 2. When he goes wandering or travelling, he need not take the complete set of robes. 3. He may eat in the way of Ganabhojana and Paramparabhojana4 4. He may keep as many Atireka-civara as he pleases. 5. The civaras5 which occur to him at that place (where
Introduction to Kathina ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 35

he has spent the rains) and possessions which can be taken away. If he has the chance to accept the Kathina offering the five benefits are extended for a further four months throughout the cold season. The rains-residence starts from the first day of the waning moon of Asalha month (June-July) up to the full moon day of Patthapada month (September-October) and Kathina season commences from the first day of the waning moon of Patthapada month up to the full moon day of Kattika month (OctoberNovember), the period there of is one month altogether. From the first day of the waning moon of Asalha month to the full day of Kattika month it is reckoned as the rainy season and also the period of Kathina offering. The lord Buddha allowed the monks to accept the Kathina offering, an annual robe after they had stayed for three full months of the rainy season as mentioned before, without any interruption, in one particular monastery. The Kathina offering is considered the sangha dana, that is, it is an offering to the community of the monks and not to any particular monk; it is called Kala dana timely donation because it can be made only within the month after the rains-residence and it also known as vinaya dana because its offering concerns with the disciplinary rules. It grants merit to the donors and the recipient monks are freed from observing certain rules which have been imposed during the first three months of the rainy
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 36 Introduction to Kathina

season. That is why the Kathina Offering is held to be a special dana, as it has to be performed within a particular background and framework.

Code of practices for the Sangha on the Kathina day
1. Preliminary consultation of Sangha Kathina offering this year is in the form of Kathinasamaggi – jointly offering headed and offered by Mr. Tarsem Kaul & Mrs Gurdev Kaur family and his relatives along side with Buddhist people and devotes of the temple. This Kathina is a pure material and pure cloth. It likes floating into the sky and dropping down among the Sangha, the community of the monks. It does not belong to any particular monks. It belongs to the Sangha and group of venerable monks. The Sangha only can consider and scrutinize “Who is qualified to wear it? 2. Consideration and scrutiny of the Sangha May the Sangha listen to me: by means of this offering KathinaRobe, it should be understood that Kathina-robe does not belong to any particular monk, it belongs to the Sangha. The Sangha must consider “who should receive this Kathina-robe and wear it?” With regards to the discipline of Buddhism, the Lord Buddha has allowed the Sangha to offer Kathina –robe to the monk who
Introduction to Kathina ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 37

is well-versed in the doctrine and discipline, who is able to perform Kathina ceremony properly. I have considered as seeing that the Venerable Phramaha Somboon Siddhinano has qualifications as mentioned earlier. So, the Sangha should offer this Kathina-robe to him for spreading Kathina according to the basic discipline of Buddhism. If any monk among the Sangha who has not agreed with my words can say “No”, … If that has agreed with you all, May the Sangha now make this resolution, we now offer this Kathina-robe to the Venerable Phramaha Somboon Siddhinano by unshakeable and well-founded motion and two announcements. And then may the Sangha utter the word Sadhu together… Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu 3. Changing new robe a. Paccudhãrana –relinquishing from use the corresponding old robe and then determines the new one for use: Imamฺ sanghãtimฺ paccuddhãrãmi (3 times) Imamฺ uttarãsanghamฺ paccudhãrãmi (3 times) Imamฺ antaravãsakamฺ paccudhãrãmi (3 times) b. Bindukappa – Marking all the robes Imamฺ bindukappamฺ karomi (3 times) c. Adhitthãna – determining for use Imam sanghãtim adhitthãmi (3 times)
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 38 Introduction to Kathina

Imamฺ uttarãsangham adhitthãmi (3 times) Imam antaravasakam adhitthãmi (3 times) d. Determination for Kathina Robes: Imãya sanghãtiya kathinamฺ attharãmi (3 times) Imãya uttarasanghena kathinamฺ attharãmi (3 times) Imaya antaravasakena kathinamฺ attharãmi (3 times) e. The appointed bhikkhu follows Pali passage for acknowledgement on the part of the assembled bhikkhu Atthatamฺ bhante sanghassa kathinamฺ dhammiko kathinatthãro anumodatha (3 times) A short meaning of Pha-pa The term ‘pha-pa’ is called by Thai people, which is a Buddhist tradition that must be offered after Kathina offering has been already finished. Pha-pa is a combination of two words (Pha + Pa). Pha means material such as cloth to make clothes, making robes for the monks, a set of robes for Buddhist ritual like a set of robes for ordination, a set of robes for Kathina ceremony and so on, this is a short meaning of ‘Pha’. The word ‘Pa’ generally mean forest but here it refers to dense forest, in particularly a large forest, where there live different animals such as gibbons, monkeys, birds, lions, elephants,
Introduction to Kathina ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 39

snakes, and deer and so on. A person who wants to offers Pha-pa to the monks or to the Temple. They have to set up the Pha-pa or money tree and makes up of gibbon with the towels or handkerchief, and pictures the gibbon’s eyes with the black colour and hangs gibbon to the branches of the tree and takes to the temple and offers it. The gibbon is a symbol of the forest. Pha-pa is timeless to offer. Anybody anyone is able to offer as they wish without limitation of period. Whereas Kathina offering can be offer one times a year after rains-residence not before or after this period. And the temple can receive Kathina offering from the donors only once a year. This is a short explanation of Pha-pa.

2 Meaning 30 bhaddavaggi bhikkhus given ordination by the Lord Buddha in the cotton plantation 3 Yojana=15 Kilometers (see vinayamukha Vol. 1. Pp. 235) 4 See vinayamukkha vol. 1.pp. 148-151 5 See vinayamukkha vol.1, p. 83.
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 40 Introduction to Kathina

Chapter 7
The Consecration of Sima6


onsecration of Sima is one of the important subjects that have to be understood properly. Therefore, these two questions are ought to be considered and understood before enter the subject. What is the Sanghakamma? What does the term ‘Sima’ mean and how many? A group of minimum of four monks is called the Sangha and all official acts which require a group of monks called the sanghakamma. The monks of all the monasteries with their abilities, intelligence and knowledge must perform the duties; all purely monastic rites and official acts. The monks’ duties in brief are of two kinds –to people and to the monks themselves. The part dealing with people is the instruction and dissemination of Dhamma, or the doctrine; whereas the part related to the monks themselves is the Sanghakamma. Sanghakamma literally means the monastic rituals, which the Sangha (at least four monks) must assemble, consider and perform, and which most people recognize well and are familiar with particularly the Ordination of people, recitation of Patimokkha, Kathina celebration and so on.
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 41

All the Sanghakamma are based on the harmony and unification of the Sangha and each of them must be performed by the prescribed number of monks, for example, the performance of Upasampada, or Ordination, in remote places where monks are difficult to find. Only five monks are required to accomplish Upasampada, Ordination. If, in the same Sima (Abaddhasima), there are more than the prescribed number of monks, and the other do not go and participate in the meeting and have no intention to give their consent to the Sangha and they disapprove of the meeting, the assembly, though complete, cannot perform the ordination because of the lack of harmony and unification of the Sangha. If the upasampada or Ordination is granted to a man, he is not regarded as a monk because Sima becomes ‘Vipatti’, -defect of precinct. So, the Sima is said to be very important in relation to the diverse sanghakamma which is a background to perpetuate the Buddhasasana.

Purport and type of Sima

The Sima purports boundary, precinct or a limited area with an established boundary in which the meeting of Sanghakamma takes place. This limited area is a limitation of the harmony and unification of the Sangha. The vinaya or discipline has laid down two regular forms of the limited area, thus; 1. Sima limited by villagers, citizens and Government It means that Sima follows the example of a limitation of a village,
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 42 The Consecration of Sima6

sub-district, district and province, in other words, a boundary of town and city. These are called ‘Abaddhasima’ because they are not limited by the Sangha. The Sangha only points out to the monks the limitation of sima and considers which are convenient for performing the sanghakamma limitation of a village, subdistrict, or district. Then they are decided. Furthermore, the area that can be marked as Sima covers forest, rivers, sea and Lakeland. The Sima which is bounded by these natural areas has been much mentioned in the Vinaya Pitaka – the Basket of Discipline. There is no need to use these things as Sima at the moment and no need to explain about them here. All the sanghakamma such as ordination of people, Recitation of Patimokkha and so on can be performed in this type of sima, ‘Abaddhasima’ and also in the Sima limited by the Sangha, ‘Baddhasima’. One inconvience of performing the Sanghakamma in an ‘Abaddhasima’, is very difficult to control the assembly because the area designed as a Sima is very wide and vast. Monks, who live in the same Sima-abaddhasima, must all attend the assembly. If they have a reason such as an ailment, for not being able to go and attend the meeting, they have to give the Sangha their consent. Should any monk not go and attend the meeting and yet pass within the limits of the Sima during the performance of the Sagnhakamma, the Sanghakamma would be invalid. On the other hand a ‘Baddhasima’, which has
The Consecration of Sima6 ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 43

been consecrated by the Sangha in the proper area such as around the Uposatha is convenient for the Sanghakamma. So, the Baddhasima has more recently flourished. 2. Sima limited by the Sangha – Baddhasima When there are many monks and monasteries the regulation of establishment of the Sima must be encouraged. It is very difficult to summon monks from all over the District and twon to come and attend the Sanghakamma such as uposathakamma –Patimokkha recitation, which must be recited on the fourteenth and fifteenth day twice a lunar month. The monks, even though in the same Sub-district, are not easily brought together. So, in order to resolve the problem of the Sanghakamma, the Sangha should consecrate the Sima according to proper standards both in breadth and length as laid down in the vinaya pitaka; the Sima area must not be so small that it cannot hold at least twenty one monks, because at least twenty monks are necessary to handle certain judicial cases as Abbhanakamma –the reinstatement of a monk who has undergone penance for a expiable offence) and it must not be bigger than 3 yojana which is too large to look after properly. a. Sima and Uposatha It has been stated that the Sima area is designed for the Sanghakamma, or monks’ activities. If the Sima is not waterproof, nor rainproof, the Sangha cannot hold the meeting and perform the Sanghakamma. Therefore, the words ‘Assembly
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 44 The Consecration of Sima6

hall’ are introduced and following the Lord Buddha’s advice, in one monastery or assembly hall is allowed to be erected for meetings and performance of the Sanghakamma such as recitation of Patimokkha, which is believed to be the foundation of monasticism. The ‘uposatha’ is a designation of the Buddhist Holy Day- Uposatha Day. The Pali term for the Assembly Hall is ‘Uposathagara’ but the Thai pronounce it in a very short way ‘Bosth’ or ‘Bot’. In the Discipline it is stated that the Sangha is not allowed to have more than one Bosth in the same monastery. If the Sangha wants to build a new one, the old one must be demolished. To establish the Bosth, it must be built inside the Sima and must not be bigger than the Sima area which has been officially granted. This is because there could be a misunderstanding in the course of the performance of the Sanghakamma, and at present there are no problems about the construction of the Bosth because it had already been erected before the Visungamasima was granted. The Double-floor-Bosth – with basement, The establishment of ‘Resolution of the council of Elders in accordance with the double floor bosth with basement is very useful because the basement can be used for many purpose such as a library, a lecture hall and so on. But there is a problem about the consecration of the Sima. The Sangha does not understand how the Sima can be consecrated on it. The consecration has been
The Consecration of Sima6 ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 45

put forward; the council of Elders has discussed it and passed a resolution, thus Dak Nimitta, -ask about the symbol downstairs first and then chant Sammatisamanasamvasa upstairs afterwards. The Department of Religious Affairs has already informed and handed this resolution to the Town Ecclesiastical Governors throughout the country. The establishment of the Bosth with a basement is gradually flourishing in foreign countries, particularly in Europe and the United States because it is in line with the physical features, topography and finances. b. Token for Sima The Pali term for the word token is Nimitta. In the vinaya pitaka there are eight: mountain, stone, forest, tree, anthill, road, river and water. The commentator has explained clearly about the 8 tokens of which some are obsolete at the present moment. So, there is no need to mention them here. Nowadays, the stone is more popular than other materials. The size of the stone is about the size of the head of a cow or water buffalo, not bigger than the size of an elephant because the size of an elephant is said to be equal to that of a mountain. A single stone is said to be one Nimitta stone. Three Nimitta stones or more than three can be used, never two. Stones are believed to be solid. When they have been planted or buried in the ground it is difficult to move them away. In former times the
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 46 The Consecration of Sima6

way to plant nimitta stones was to place them uncovered, to mark the sites, but nowadays nobody can see the Nimitta stones which have been planted or buried in the ground because they are covered by slabs of stone, concrete or pillars of brick to mark the sites: “Herein is Nimitta”. c. Cancellation of Old Sima In former ages that particular spot of ground might have been consecrated before and must therefore be rendered neutral before it can be consecrated again. If this is not done, the one which has been previously consecrated will be mixed up with the former on (‘Simasankra’, to suad thon Ticivaravippavasa, or chant to render invalid the place, not without the Three Robes.’ And Samanasamavasa, or ‘chant to invalidate the boundary of the association-of-equals.’) this can be done in advance or during the consecration of the Sima. d. Visungamasima A place set apart from house Visunghama Sima (visunghama+sima). It means apart from houses, Sima means boundary, precinct, a limited area as mentioned earlier). It is in fact an area of the Sangha conferred by the King. The commentator has given an example, “in the same area the King declared, may this area be apart from houses.” Then he bestows it to someone. Such an area which has been conferred is termed
The Consecration of Sima6 ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 47

‘Visunghamasima’ area, -being a special place devoted to the Sangha, wherein the Bosth is erected for the Sanghakamma. In former times it was free of tax. A person who was granted a Visunghamasima area had various prerogative. Henceforth the sage has regarded it as a mine or forest which has been conceded. In Thailand the abbot of the monastery or the head of the Sangha has to submit a letter to the King and ask him to grant a small area of land within the monastery precinct to be especially consecrated and marked out with boundary stones called Sima. When that area has been officially granted, the officials concerned take the documents to the monastery and hand it to the Abbot, at the same time they have to mark the area which has been officially granted. Thereafter that area will bnecaome visunghamasima at once, and it in its monks can be ordained an all the Sanghakamma or purely monastic rites and official acts can take place. When the area mentioned earlier has been ruined, is empty or deserted, nobody can hold on to it or occupy it at all, unless the Government issues an act of legislation and take it back. Such an area should be consecrated by the Sangha. Visungamasima is similar to Abaddhasima and its importance in relation to the Law and Discipline is: a. To make Ecclesiastical Abodes a monastery with Visungamasima, awaiting further consecration of Sima. b. When Visungamasima has been officially granted all the
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 48 The Consecration of Sima6

Sanghakamma can be performed. The resolution of the Council of Elders does not allow the monasteries to plant or bury Nimitta stones, to consecrate Sima nor to ask the King to come and cut Nimitta before visungamasima is officially granted. The Department of Religious Affairs has circulated a letter dated 22/02/16/73 to the division ecclesiastical Governors saying, ‘Resolutions of the Council of Elders prohibits Abbots all over the country to perform or prepare a celebration of consecration of Sima before Visungamasima is officially granted or recognized.’ A monastery which is in a foreign country and which is in a piece of land controlled by the Thai Government must conform to this regulation as well. e. Nimitta plantation ceremony and consecration of Sima These are said to be inseparable, interrelated. But if we use materials, mountains or trees as a Nimitta, there is no difficult problem about Nimitta plantation and consecration of Sima because these things are natural in themselves, immovable, and can easily be used as a token or symbol of Sima. But for Baddhasima, Nimitta tend to be planted or buried within the Uposatha or Bosth precinct. Therefore, we have to go and seek for the 8 rocks, bringing them and making them a Nimitta. These rocks must be properly decorated and then planted or buried in the ground at the four cardinal points and four intermediate points of
The Consecration of Sima6 ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 49

the compass. A ninth one, the most important one is embedded in the centre of the consecrated soil under the floor of the Uposath or Bosth. There are prescribed numbers of the Sangha who must assemble and suad thon Ticivaravippavasa, Samanasamvasa, Suad dak Nimitta and suad Sammaticivaravippavasa and Sammatisamanasamvasa which means respectively, -‘chant to render invalidate the boundaries of association-of-equals, ask about the symbol and chant to consecrate the place where there is association-of-equals, and to consecrate the place, not without the Three Robes.’ This is to proclaim, ‘Rocks planted or buried in here are a token or symbolism of Sima’. The greatest ceremony is said to be a Nimitta plantation, Consecration of Sima. This is because it can take place only after the erection of Uposath or Bosth has been completed. The establishment of Uposath must take time because it depends on financial standing, people’s confidence and abilities, sometimes Yokchawpha (the elevation of the elongated and elaborately carved apex of the gable of a Buddhist church) tends to be done while consecration the sima. This is a celebration of success in the construction of a Uposatha or Bosth. Many people and monks attend the ceremony as they bear in their minds that when the Uposatha has been erected and completed, that they must converge and plant Nimitta and consecrate the Sima, which is said to be a background of Buddhism the monastery and consecration
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 50 The Consecration of Sima6

of Sima produce great benefit, and in these the Sangha can perform all the Sanghakamma and live for the dissemination of Dhamma, the doctrine, which will perpetuate Phra Buddhasana, Buddhism

6 The Friendly way, a Journal of the Buddhapadipa Temple, Special Edition in commemoration of Inaguration of the Uposatha Hall 29-31 October 1982. The Buddhapadipa Temple, London, pp. 20-22

The Consecration of Sima6

‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 51

Chapter 8
Dhammacakka Mudra OR Dhammacakka posture


itting in the cross-legged, elevated the right hand near the heart in the form of the segment of the fingers and then put the left hand on the lap. This is the attitude of proclaiming the First Sermon at Saranath. After Prince Siddhattha left his palace in search of Enlightenment, he approached the Hermits Alarakalama and Uddaka Ramaputta respectively, both of whom were supposed to have attained the highest knowledge of reality. They welcomed him and taught him whatever they knew. Later, they praised him as their equal and invited him to stay helping teaching at the centre. Having realizing that they were not able to lead him to Enlightenment he had been seeking after, he left both teachers and went forth into the state of Magadha until he reached the district of Uruvela Senanigama. The place was a delightful verdant forest with its smooth land and Crystal River flowing past by. The landing places were also peaceful and the villages for alms begging were around close by. Seeing this he concluded that the sylvan
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 52

serenity of Uruvela was really suitable for making efforts towards enlightenment. The Prince Siddhattha stopped there and started the severe practices of Self-Mortification. Meanwhile, the five ascetics by name of Kondanna, Vappa, Bhaddiya, Mahanama and Assaji assisted him. Those were Brahmins who having seen or heard that the Prince-monk was endowed with the thirtytwo characteristics of the great man followed him in adopting homeless life. Concluding that his renunciation was sure to benefit others they regularly attended upon him in the hope that he would also lead them to the same destination. After long practice of self mortification prince monk found that it was not way leading to end of samsara but may put him into death. Now, the prince-monk had given up Self-mortification and resorted to partaking of food once again. They all arrived at a conclusion that he had been defeated and h ad reverted to delight in sensual pleasures. Disgusted, they departed, going to the deer park of Isipatana in the town of Benares with the thought that there would no longer be any hope towards Enlightenment by princemonk. With some solid food, prince-monk was refreshed and strengthened and put forth his efforts for spiritual exertion. It was not until six years after his renunciation that he was enlightened, equipped with the insight that carried him to the point of finality, enabling him to say to himself ‘I have known’. That was in the
Chapter 8 ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 53

night of the Full moon day of Visakha lunar month, under the shade of a Bodhi Tree, forty five years before the Buddhist Era started. After his Enlightenment he is known as the ‘Buddha’ and thought of the persons to whom he would first make known his discovery. The two former teachers Alarakama and Uddakaramaputta came into his clairvoyant view. He knew that they both were highly developed and would realize immediately what he had achieved. But sadly, he came to know that they had both passed away. Then the next he thought of the five ascetics who attended upon him during his Self-mortification practices and decided to preach his doctrine to them first. So, he set out to Benares, the capital of the state of Kasi where the five ascetics were residing. On the fourteenth day of waxing moon of Asalha lunar month he reached the deer park of Isipatana, in the town of Benares, late in the afternoon of that day. After having friendly conversation the Buddha delivered the First Sermon called ‘Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta’ to the five ascetics on the full moon day of Asalha lunar month. Later, in Sri Lanka called this day ‘Dhammacakka Day’ Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta means the discourse on the turning the wheel of the dhamma. This discourse is the foundation of the Buddhist teachings. Later, this is the cause of making up the Buddha image in the form of Dhammacakka Mudra or Dhammacakra Posture.
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 54 Chapter 8

Chapter 9
Introduction to meditation7


oday I would like to speak about Insight meditation and the three signs of being and later I show you how insight meditation is so closely connected with the Three Signs of being. First of all, I would like to speak of insight meditation because it is an excellent way to realization of the truth. What does insight meditation mean? It means wisely seeing the three signs of being very clearly. What are the three signs of being? They are impermanence, suffering, and Non-self. If one gain insight knowledge by means of meditation practice one can see the three signs of being as they really are. Now we are going to speak of the three signs of being. But before going into details let me speak of the five aggregates because they are subject to the three signs of being. What are the five aggregates? They are Name and Rupa. Rupa means from, the material substance which consist of the Four Primary Elements, namely, the element of softness and hardness, the element of cohesion, the elements, namely, the element of softness and hardness, the element of cohesion, the element of heat or kinetic energy and the material qualities derived from
Chapter 9 ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 55

them and the element of motion. These are elements of which the body consists. This is meaning of the word Rupa, the form, whereas the meaning of the word Nama refers to the mental phenomena which are sensation, perception, volitional activity, and consciousness. The five aggregates are subject to the three signs of being. That is: they are impermanence, suffering and NO-self. What is it that is impermanent? The five aggregates themselves are impermanent. Why are they impermanent? In answering this question let me resort to the answer given in the visuddhimagga, the path of purity that they are impermanent because of the following factors; 1. Impermanent because of these four conditions: arising and disappearing, changing, being a temporary thing like something which is lent and in opposition to permanence. 2. Suffering because of these four conditions: frequently making one suffer, difficult to maintain, the source of which suffering is born and in opposition to happiness. 3. No-self because of these four conditions: absence of self, cannot be conquered, cannot be forced to be this or that, in opposition to self. Out of the three signs of being, these one, the one concerning no-self is very difficult to understand. So, let me repeat it and make it clear, where as the first and the second one will be left out because they are very easy to understand.
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 56 Chapter 9

Of one concerned with no-self, it can be said that no-self is derived from the Pali term from Anatta. This may be very difficult to discuss and in fact this idea of Anatta tends very often to frighten people because normally they have a strong feeling of self, but the doctrine of Anatta refuses the self. This is why people are afraid of the teaching of Anatta. Usually people have to feel they are somebody and they have been familiar with the idea of self throughout their lives. So it is very hard to teach people the Anatta-doctrine by means of theory. But, however, one ought to know about it. When one has understood it one will not heap sufferings upon himself. In order to make have clear understand the teachings of Anatta. We must refer back to the Five Aggregates and show you how the five aggregates functions. The five aggregates are: form, sensation, perception, volitional activity and consciousness. Do you see which of them is self? Form? Sensation? Perception? Volitional activities? Or consciousness? You may say ‘Form’ because you see it but you do not see sensation, perception, volitional activities and consciousness and then you say ‘Noself’. Even the word ‘Form’ that have mentioned before is not self itself. All of the five aggregates are not self. They are NOself. Why these are no-self? Because if they are self they can be taught and forced to be this or to be that and cannot prevent them from experiencing old age, decay and death. You may ask who can ? Answer would be nobody can. The unity of all these
Chapter 9 ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 57

five factors is called the human beings. There is not a single entity which we can say as self. Every factor is changing all the time and fall in a three characteristic called impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and non-self. Here in this article, it will explain how the three signs of beings are related. Meditators have to learn that the three signs of beings, that is to say Impermanence, Suffering and No-self, are the ‘point’ which is considered very important for insight meditation or Vipassanana practice. So, they should continue to practise if they desire to take advantage of their practice. In reference of the three signs of being, is it easy for the meditators to see them? It is not easy, nor difficult to see them, because it depends on many factors such as understanding, tendencies accumulated in a previous life, effort and practice of meditatiors themselves. What prevents the meditators from seeing Impermanence, suffering and no-self? The answer from the Visuddhimagga, the path of purity is ‘Continuity=santati, Postures and Density or Ghana’. Impermanence is hidden by continuity and through its continuation it makes one see the impermanent as the permanent. Take for an example one experiences oneself from baby to youth, from youth to teenager, from teenager to adult, from adult to old age, decay, all of which rise and fall and which are impermanence. Because of continuity, even in this case one cannot see a sign
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 58 Chapter 9

of impermanence. But when the rising and falling are grasped and continuity is broken impermanence appears at once in the form of properties peculiar to it. Suffering is hidden by the postures, namely, postures in standing, walking sitting, falling asleep, eating, drinking, working, speaking, thinking, and so forth. These postures prevent one from seeing a sign of suffering. But when one attends to repeats oppression and removes the postures the characteristic of suffering appears as it is. NO-self is hidden by density. The word density here means the Five Aggregates which comprise the elements and form, sensation, perception, volitional activity and consciousness as mentioned earlier. One is attached to the five aggregates and tends to hold on to them as self. Therefore, as long as the five aggregates cannot be yet grasped by means of vipassana practice, the characteristic of NO-self will not appear. But when they are realized the characteristic of non-self will appear as it really is. With regard to realization of the three signs of being it should be noticed that the sight of Impermanence, suffering and NO-self may not arise at the same time. Sometimes, impermanence appears in the meditators and then they see it very clearly. In this case they are said to gain Nibbana which is called ‘Sunnatavimokkha’. Nibbana is characterized by the condition of Emptiness. Sometimes suffering appears and arises very clearly
Chapter 9 ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 59

to the meditators. They see it in meditation and by this way they achieve Nibbana which is called “Animittavimokkha’. This refers to Nibbana which is characterized by the condition of having no sign. And sometimes during practice NO-self appears very quickly and clearly to the meditators and through their seeing it they are said to realize nibbana which is called ‘Appanihitavimokkha’ that means Nibbana which is characterized by the condition of having no foundation. In the course of meditation practice, again, if the three signs of being, that is to say, Impermanence, Suffering and NOself, appear together at the same time in this case the meditators are said to realize the three Nibbans, namely, ‘Sunnatavimokkha’, ‘Animittavimokkha’ and ‘ Appanihitavimokkha’. The term vimokkha, like vimutta, refers to the condition of Emancipation or Deliverance or Nibbana and this word is used in a limited sense, implying only the highest stage of emancipation or deliverance, and not the lower ones. According to the commentary, it is explained that deliverance is endowed with the condition of emptiness because it is empty of greed, hatred and delusion. It is said to have no sign whatever in that there is in it no trace of those three passions. It is again said to have no foundation because it likewise contains no foundation or support for these three to exist.
7 This talk was given at the Buddhavihara Temple, October 1974
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 60 Chapter 9

Chapter 10
Introduction to Insight meditation8


his is based on the Pancakkhandas and the method of meditation practice. Pancakkhanddha is concerned direct with insight meditation practice. The meditators should understand it in both classification and separation, what they are and how they function, this is very important for the progress in meditation practice. The word ‘Pancakkhandhas’ is a Pali word means the ‘Five Aggregates’. They can be divided into two groups; Rupa – material phenomena and Nama – mental phenomena. The Rupa literally mean matter, form, the material substance which is endowed with the four primary Elements, that is to say, the element of softness and hardness, the element of Cohesion, the Element of heat or Kinetic energy and material qualities derived from them, and the Element of Motion. These are the elements of which the body consists. The Nama literally mean the mental phenomenon, which can be sub-divided into four factors and that is feeling, perception, volitional activity and consciousness. However, in general, we tend to speak of the Five Aggregates in the sense of form, feeling, perception, volitional activity and consciousness.
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 61

In the Anattalakkhana sutta, the Lord Buddha said thus: the five Aggregates are impermanent, Suffering and Non-self. They change all the time; they do not depend on ourselves; they are not conducive to what we desire to what we desire and want; they are unable to prevent us from experiencing Old age, Decay and Death! In order to understand the five Aggregates clearly, I would like to give you and a simple example. Suppose, we shall speak of Mr. A, we tend to mean the whole of his body. We do not speak of one part of his body like his eyes, ears, nose, and tongue as Mr. A. The eyes, ears, nose, tongue is not called Mr. A, but Mr. A refers to the whole of his body, not only one thing, eyes, ears and so forth. So, the combination of all different part of the body called a Mr. A. The word which is called ‘Mr. A’ is only conventional truth. It is not absolute Truth; there is no real self existing in him. He is so-called for the sake of remembering him as Mr. A. The other persons are referred to in the same way in different names. In consequence of the conventional truth, we can understand the names of everything in the world correctly, such as ‘this is a giraffe, this is a cat, this is Mr. and Mrs. Robinson, and this is a pen and a pencil’ and so on. Nevertheless, without conventional truth we cannot recognize the names of anything that is present yet these things mentioned are impermanent, suffering and non-self in the Absolute Truth. They are endlessly changing substance.
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 62 Chapter 10

Having learnt and understood the five aggregates as the substance of change, one does not cling to them and is able to relinquish wrong understanding like Eternity Belief and Annihilation View. Thus, during meditation time we are taught not to think about and brood over the past and future. This is to direct our minds to what we desire and that is the breathing in and the breathing out via the nostrils and then our minds will go deeper and deeper until the Three Signs of Being, that is to say, Impermanence, Suffering and Soullessness, are clarified. With reference to the Three Signs of Being, there is nothing either divine or human, either animate or inanimate, either organic or inorganic, which is permanent or stable, unchanging or everlasting. So the meditators should scrutinize all compounded things, both animate and inanimate, as impermanent, suffering and non-self, as they really are. If they do not yet see the Three Signs of Being as they truly are they still see themselves as selves, they see the Five Aggregates which are impermanent, suffering and non-self as permanent, satisfactory and self, and so they will be unable to progress in Insight meditation. Vipassana or Insight meditation gets rid of the concept of self and leads the meditators to the Absolute Truth which is beyond the mundane level. When the meditators practice step by step, the level of their minds will become higher and higher and in the end they can see for themselves that everything, including themselves, is impermanent, suffering and non-self. So, all compounded things,
Chapter 10 ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 63

both animate and inanimate change all the time and should not be clung to. While practicing meditation, if we see something in front of us, we say mentally ‘seeing, seeing, seeing’ until it vanishes or while practicing meditation and hearing sounds, we say mentally ‘hearing, hearing, hearing’ until it ceases and then our minds will return to the main object which is the breathing in and the breathing out as already mentioned. As already expounded, the Five Aggregates are impermanent, suffering and soulless. In them there is also consciousness which is considered as impermanent, suffering and soulless. The meditators may have doubts about it. If consciousness is nonself, who will receive the result of the actions, who will receive the fruition of practice, who will enter Nibbana or Summumbonum and after their death who will go to Hell and Heaven. In reference to the questions, we must learn very carefully otherwise we are going to misunderstand the meaning of consciousness in the sense of Self. In the Buddhist scriptures, especially in Abhidhammic Scripture, it will be seen that Buddhism does not accept the permanence of consciousness but accepts the continuity of consciousness in the belief that one’s mind or consciousness in manifested in the form of continuity and is not perpetuated in a permanent form. It has a current which is called ‘mind-current’. It is similar to that of electric light. The frequency of mind-current cannot be seen but exists in itself. This point of view is different from other religions. The Lord Buddha
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 64 Chapter 10

emphasized this point saying thus: “Faring far, wandering alone, bodiless, living in a cave, is the mind. Those who subdue it are freed from the bonds of Mara.” This mind is the forerunner of all conditions, it is a chief in itself; it does not function only when one lives in the present, but also keeps on endlessly after one’s death. No beginning or ending can be discovered. It cannot be proved by means of scientific method and logic. When the meditators practice meditation more and more, their minds become higher and higher until they go beyond the conventional truth and afterwards they see for themselves the truth and by themselves they are able to answer the questions: who will receive the result of the actions, who will receive the fruition of practice, who will enter Nibbana, and after their death who will go to Hell or Heaven. In order to simplify meditation practice we take into consideration the three following practical methods of meditation: 1. Sitting Meditation 2. Walking Meditation 3. Lying down Meditation 1. Sitting Meditation: Those who desire to practice sitting meditation should find a suitable place and then sit on the chair, on the cushion, on the bed or on the floor as they like. Their hands can be placed in the lap. The eyes should be closed. Their bodies must be
Chapter 10 ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 65

in a balanced upright position so as to remain steady but not tense or stiff and then the breathing in and the breathing out through the nostrils has to be observed very carefully, as already explained. 2. Walking Meditation: This can be sub-divided into six exercises: 1. Right goes thus, left goes thus 2. Lifting and treading 3. Lifting, moving and treading 4. Heel up, lifting, moving and treading. 5. Heel up, lifting, moving, dropping and treading. 6. Heel up, lifting, moving, dropping, touching and pressing. Exercise 1 consists of three phases – i.e. ‘Right or Left’ that is the lifting or the corresponding foot; secondly, ‘goes’ which is the moving forward of it and thirdly ‘thus’, the dropping and replacing of the foot on the ground. The distance for each step should be one foot in length. The acknowledgement should be done mentally throughout the exercises, this one and the following ones, and it should be made simultaneously with the corresponding movement. In this manner we walk, mentally concentrating upon the movements of the walking process and the phases of each step until we reach the end of our allotted walking space. We halt then, having brought both our feet together in the standing posture. We acknowledge again this
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 66 Chapter 10

posture, say in the mind, ‘standing, standing, standing,’ three times. Now we return. We may return to the left or to the right. The turning movement consists of gyrating the right foot on its heel if we turn towards the right; gyrating the heel means we turn the foot, leaving the heel on the spot. After each turning of one foot on its heel we draw the other foot parallel to it by lifting it and replaying it down again beside the foot we turned round. Each movement, i.e. the turning on the heel of the one foot and the lifting and replacing on the ground of the other foot, we acknowledge by saying mentally, ‘turning.’ When we have completely turned we halt again and acknowledge the standing posture with ‘Standing, standing, standing.’ Subsequently, we begin to walk again, ‘right goes thus, left goes thus,’ until we reach the end of our walking distance where we stand, turn, stand and walk again. We should keep in mind that the exercise should be done as slowly and as mindfully as possible so that the whole process of standing, walking, standing and turning, standing, walking and so on comes gradually to be more and more conscious. The time for exercise 1 should be about 10 minutes or more. For exercise 2 the walking consists of two phases, lifting and treading’. When we lift the foot until it reaches its highest point, we acknowledge mentally ‘lifting’ and when we lower the foot until we tread on the ground; we acknowledge mentally ‘treading.’ The distance between each step should now be three
Chapter 10 ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 67

quarters of a foot. Otherwise, the instructions and the practice of acknowledging the intention as given in exercise 1. The time for exercise 2 should be about 20 minutes. For exercise 3 the walking consists of three phases – ‘lifting, moving and treading’. These three words are used for the same phases as outlined in exercise 1. When we lift the foot we acknowledge ‘treading.’ The only difference to exercise 1 is that a different wording is used for the acknowledgement of the movements and that the length of the step is now reduced to half a foot. The same instructions as given in exercise 1 and 2 apply here too. The time for exercise 3 should be extended to 30 minutes. For exercise 4 the walking comprises of four successive phases –‘heel up, lifting, moving and treading’. The walking begins with the lifting up of the heel, the ball of the foot with the toes still remaining on the floor. This movement we acknowledge mentally saying ‘heel up’ then we lift the entire foot; this we acknowledge in the mind as ‘lifting.’ After having lifted the foot we push it forward and acknowledge ‘moving’, then we lower the foot and replace it on the ground, acknowledging ‘treading’. The length of the step is half a foot. Otherwise, we should practice as already stated. The time for exercise 4 should be about 40 minutes. For exercise 5 the walking comprises of five phases – ‘heel up, lifting, moving, dropping, and treading.’ At first we lift the
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 68 Chapter 10

help up as in the foregoing exercise and acknowledge mentally ‘heel up,’ then we lift the whole foot and acknowledge ‘lifting’, we push it forward and acknowledge ‘dropping.’ When we tread on the ground we acknowledge ‘treading’. The length of the step remains the same as in the preceding exercises. The duration for the walking exercise 5 should be extended to 50 minutes. For exercise 6 the walking comprises of six phase –‘heel up, lifting, moving, dropping, touching and pressing’. The new movements introduced are two, namely ‘touching and pressing.’ The other movements and the length of the steps remain the same as in the foregoing exercise. In the forgoing exercise we see that we lift the heel up acknowledging ‘heel up.’ Lift the whole foot acknowledging ‘lifting,’ move it forward acknowledging ‘moving’ then we lower it and acknowledge ‘dropping’. The next new movement is the touching of the foot on the ground with the toes and ball of the foot. This we acknowledge mentally saying ‘touching’. The last movement is pressing the whole foot on the ground and acknowledging this with the word ‘pressing.’ The exercise should be practiced as for the former ones with intention. The time for this exercise is an hour altogether. 3. Lying Down Meditation It is mostly for a sick person, particularly for the person who is mentally sick or for the person who goes to bed and
Chapter 10 ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 69

then must practice the lying down meditation before going to sleep. The practical method is to observe the breathing in and out through the nostrils as given in the sitting meditation.

8 This article originally published ‘The Friendly way, Vol. 6/ No. 1, the Buddhapadipa Temple Journal, May 2514/1971

‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 70

Chapter 11

Conventional truth and Ultimate truth


eeting with you this time, I have got a feeling that there is a bar between us, preventing us from getting to one another; that is, I, the speaker, trying to convey to you my thought and understanding through a foreign tongue. You on the other hand, listeners are paying an admirable attention to catch what I am going to say. This is the problem of language itself. If, however, we talk about conventional things in general, we understand without difficulty. But there is another kind of language which is spoken by people who know reality, quite opposite to that of ordinary people. You may call it ‘Dharma language’ the Inner language. So when the dharma is taught only the dharma language is used; and you should put aside the conventional meaning of the words and try to understand it in the ultimate sense. Those who have realized the ultimate truth speak only the Inner language. Sometimes of finger is pointed and an eyebrow raised and the ultimate meaning of reality is understood. No sound at all is made. One can talk in silence. One can conveys
Chapter 11
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 71

to one another the truth through reminding silence. It is said that once the Buddha was sitting among a great number of monks, He picked up a lotus flower and held it a while above this head without saying a word. All the monks, except Maha Kassapa, became astonished and did not know what was meant by the Master. Maha Kassapa then smiled as if saying; ‘It has been well understood, Lord’. This is the inner language through which the nature of the ultimate reality is discussed and understood. But that is too much for worldly people like us and seems incredibly impossible. If however, we sincerely want to understand the dharma, we should study and examine it in the ultimate sense, forgetting its conventional usage and meaning. Now I should like to give a short talk on the doctrine of Sunnata which is considered the whole embracing spirit of Buddhism. The word is a Pali term. It is generally rendered as emptiness, voidness. According to Buddhism, everything is in a constant flux, ever changing, having no permanent entity. What we call ‘individual’ or ‘man’ is nothing but a false idea arising on account of mind and body made up of the six elements (Dhatuvibhanga sutta). If we dissect it through our penetrative wisdom, we find nothing but emptiness, voidness. It is only because we do not know things as they truly are that we differentiate one thing from another. Take water for example, one may think that there are many kinds of water. He will view these various kinds of water as if
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 72

Chapter 11

they have nothing in common. He sees rain water, well water, underground water, water in canals, water in rivers etc. this average common man will insist that these waters are completely different. No a person with some degree of knowledge however knows that no matter what kind of water it is, in it pure water can be found or be distilled. A person who thinks in this way knows that all those different kinds of water are the same as far as water is concerned. For these elements which make it impure and look different is not water. If you look through the polluting elements you can see water in its essential nature, which is in every case the same. To sum up, however many kinds of water they may be all in the same as far as the essential nature of water is concerned. If you take that pure water and examine it further, you will come to conclusion that there is, in reality, no water at all –only hydrogen and oxygen. The substance which we call water has now disappeared – only voidness remains. If you look at things from this point of view, you can see even that all religions are the same. They appear different because we are making judgments on the basis of external forms. There is only a kind of nature you can call whatever you like; you can call it ‘Truth’, ‘Dhamma’ or ‘Nirvana’ [or God] anything at all. But that kind of things should not be particularized as belonging to any religions. For whatever it is, it is. You cannot confine it by labeling or naming. It is that and there. ‘THAT’ does not necessarily mean ‘a thing’, and ‘there’ is not necessarily a ‘Place’
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‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 73

or a ‘State’. The Buddha taught us to understand and to be able to see that there is no person, no individual, in ultimate reality. There are only natural phenomena. Therefore, we should not hold the belief that there is this and that religion. The label ‘Buddhism’ was attached only afterwards, and it is the same with Christianity and any other as world religion. None of the great religious teachers ever gave a name to their teachings; they just went on teachings throughout their lives about how we should live in peace and mutual understanding. Although we claim ourselves as Buddhists, we mostly have not yet attained the truth. We are attached too much to the word ‘Buddhism’ and are aware of only tidy aspect of Buddhism, its outer covering which makes us think it is different from this or that other religions. Outsiders are not part of our fellowship; they are wrong, only we are right, and so on and so forth. This kind of view is not only with Buddhists but with all followers of major religion in the world. This shows how stupid and foolish we are! We are just like little babies who know only their own belief. When you tell a small child to go and take a bath and to wash with soap to get all the dirt off, he will scrub only his belly; he does not know how to wash all over. He will never think of washing behind his ears or between his toes or anywhere like that. He only scrubs and polishes his stomach vigorously. In just the same way, most of the so-called religious person knows only a few things such as intending to get and intending to take.
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 74

Chapter 11

In this case it will be more accurate to say that those people know nothing at all, for they are acquainted only with how to get and how to take. That is not religion. If anything at all, it is the religion of getting, the religion of taking. If they cannot get or cannot take something, they are frustrated and suffer. Real religion is to know how to get without getting, and take without taking so that there is no frustration and no suffering at all. This must be spoken about very often to acquaint you with the heart of religion. In Buddhism it calls non-attachment –not to try to grasp or cling to anything, not even to the teaching itself, until finally it is seen that there is no Buddhism. That means, if we speak straight, that there is no Buddha, no dharma, no Sangha! However, it is expressed in this way, nobody will understand it. They will be shocked and frightened instead. If people understood in ultimate sense, they would see that the Buddha, the dharma and the Sangha are the same. They would see them as being real nature or something like that. They would not grasp or hang on to it as that particular thing or this particular idea; it is, but is not individualized. As a matter of fact, most people think that there is happiness and suffering. However, if it is expressed in the ultimate sense, there is nothing, nothing to get, nothing to have, nothing to be –no happiness, no suffering, nothing at all, and this is called ‘being void’. Everything still exists, but all awareness of them in terms of ‘I’ or ‘Mine’ is voided. For this reason we say ‘void’.
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‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 75

To see everything as void is to see it as not being an aspect of oneself, or in any way possessed by one self. The word ‘void’ in the common language of people means nothing exists, but in the language of the Buddha, the Enlightened One, means everything exists, but there nothing to be thought of as ‘I’ and nothing to fell attached to as ‘Mine’, where can suffering take place? Suffering must happen to an ‘I’ –so you see, possessing ‘I and ‘mine’ is the real cause of suffering. Pull out the root; that is the real cure; do not just be engaged in a futile search for bits and pieces of happiness to smooth it over and cover it. As for happiness, as soon as you cling to it and have attachment for it, it becomes unhappiness, one more way to suffer. Most people always have attachment in one form or another to everything that is or is not. As a result, desirable things are all converted into causes of suffering. Good is also transformed into suffering. Praise, fame, honour and the like are all turned into forms of suffering as soon as you try to seize and hang on to them. All becomes unsatisfactory because of grasping and clinging. When you are wise enough to be detached from any forms of dualism, then you will no longer have to suffer because of those things. To many people detachment appears to be a negative state, but in fact it is attachment that is negative. Why? Because when you are attached to something, the mind is really in a negative state of not wanting to understand reality. It wishes to hold on to possessions or qualities. This is not creative, but when you
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Chapter 11

are detached, especially from pleasant or unpleasant feelings and from all active states of mind, you are truly creative because you understand what to do and how to do it. This is clarity of understanding. A detached mind, born of understanding reality in which there is full capacity to do, is a creative mind. It is free and can work correctly. The attached mind brings trouble to yourself as well as to others, and is a harmful thing, whereas detachment can harm on one –the mind is liberated and free from all conditions. The Buddha said; ‘of all conditioned a non-conditioned things ‘DETACHMENT’ is the best. Try to do things with a detached, free mind and you will see whether you are creative or not. To work with the acquisitive mind is very different from working with the detached mind. If you do not get what you want you need not lose your mental balance. You need not become a victim of what you want to get. You can remain calm, peaceful and steady. This inner equilibrium is the most positive state and through it we can live happily. Do not worry about achieving things. If you have detachment – liberation within – everything can be achieved. It is not a state of laziness, in which nothing can be done, but a profoundly creative state in which everything can be done. So try to be detached, and work with a detached mind, you will finally come to the real state of awakening.

Chapter 11

‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 77

chapter 12
Insight meditation and three signs of being


n meditation practice it can be seen that insight meditation is so closely connected with the three signs being, Impermanence, suffering and non-self. Meditator who wants to practice insight has to learn Form, Feeling, Perception, Volitional Activity and Consciousness which are collectively called ‘Five Aggregates (Pancakkhandha)’ and Nama-Rupa which are derived from five aggregates (Five aggregates are divided into Nama-Rupa). Nama means Feeling, Perception, Volitional Activity and consciousness which know things as they really are whereas Rupa refers to Form, the material substance which is not ability to know anything at all and it comprises the Four Primary Elements, namely, the element of earth, element of water, of air and fire. These are elements of which the body (form) is formed. Nama-Rupa is impermanence, suffering and non-self because it arises, stabilizes and passes away without ceasing – (Udaya, Thiti, Bhanga). So this is very important for meditators who practice insight meditation. They must understand the arising, stabilizing and passing away of Nama-rupa as they are for the
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sake of their practice. In the Visuddhimagga, the Path of Purity, it has been stated that Nama rupa is in the form of Impermanence, suffering and non-self because of the following conditions: 1. Impermanence because of four conditions: i. Udayavayanto – arising and disappearing. ii. Viparinamato – changing iii. Tavakalikato – being temporary things like something which is lent. iv. Niccapatipakkhato – in opposition to permanence. 2. Suffering because of four conditions: i. Abhinhasanpilato – frequently making one suffer. ii. Dukkhakhamato –difficult to maintain. iii. Dukkhavatthuto – the source of which suffering is born. iv. Sukhapatipakkhato –in opposition to happiness. 3. Non-self because of four conditions: i. Sunnato – absence of self. ii. Asamikato – cannot be conquered. iii. Akamakariyato –cannot be forced to be this or that. iv. Attapatipakkhato – in opposition to self. As I have said before, insight meditation is so closely connected with the three signs of being. The meditators who practice meditation have to practise it regularly until they can
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see Impermanence, suffering and Non-self of Nama-rupa with wisdom. But to see Impermanence of Nama-Rupa is very difficult because it is hidden by Santati, the continuity of life. For example one experiences the growth of physical body from bodyhood to childhood, from childhood to adolescence, from adolescence to adult, from adult to old age and decay. Such a process is manifested in the form of continuation and changing. But nevertheless when the arising, stabilizing and passing away of Nama-Rupa are grasped and realized by vipassana panna, wisdom. The Impermanence will spontaneously appear to be seen at once. Suffering is hidden by Iriyapatha –the posture, namely, posture of standing, walking, sitting, sleeping, eating, drinking, walking, speaking, thinking and so on. These postures prevent one from seeing the sign of suffering. But when one attends to the repeated oppression and removes the postures and then suffering appears as it is. Non-self is hidden by Ghana. The word Ghana means massiveness, Ghanasanna, the idea of massiveness of the five aggregates which consist of the form, sensation, perception, volitional activity and consciousness as mentioned before. One is attached to the five aggregates and tends to hold on to them as self. Therefore as long as the five aggregates cannot be grasped and broken by means of Vipassana practice. The characteristic of non-self will not appear, but when the five aggregates are
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grasped and realized by Vipassana panna, wisdom being born of Vipassana practice, then the characteristic of Non-self appears as it really is. During the course of meditation practice, if the three signs of being, Impermanence, Suffering and Non-self appear to the meditators simultaneously, they are said to realize the three Nibbanas, namely Sunnatavimokkha, ‘Animittavimokkha’ and ‘Appanihitavimokkha’ respectively. The term vimokkha, like Vimutti, refers to the condition of imptiness, deliverance or Nibbana. So, sunnatavimokkha signifies Nibbana which is characterized by the condition of Emptiness, Animittavimokkha by the condition or having no sign and appanihitavimokkha by the condition of having no sign and appanihitavimokkha by having no foundation. According to the commentary it is explained that Deliverance is endowed with the condition of Emptiness because it is empty of Greed, Hatred and Delusion, it has no sign because there is no trace of those three passions and no foundation because it does not contain the foundation or support for such those three passion to exist.

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chapter 13
Hindrances and Absolute Freedom9


o understand hindrances and absolute freedom is very important because both are dhammas which should be clarified. We can reach absolute freedom through getting rid of hindrances, as these are considered to be the obstacles to any progress, especially spiritual progress, which is the path to absolute freedom. What are the main obstacles to absolute freedom? This is a problem to be spoken of further. By reading mindfully and very carefully one particular section of the Satipatthana Sutta, the section on mental objects, you can find in that section what the Buddha mentioned. The Buddha pointed out the five hindrances, the five aggregates10 , the six sense-bases11 , the seven factors of Enlightenment12 , and the Four Noble Truths13 . As for the five aggregates, the six Sense-bases, and so on, I shall not explain in detail what these are because they have been described in several places: if one desires to read about them in detail, one can find out about them in pamphlets or other books on Buddhist meditations. But here I would like only to give you detail about five hindrances.
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Now let us return to the question given earlier, and that is: What are the main obstacles to absolute Freedom’? It is very important for us to know about this. In the Satipatthana Sutta the section on Mental Objects stated that the obstacles to absolute freedom are the five hindrences, or the five nivaranas. What are the five hindrances? Five hindrances are: 1. Lustful desire 2. Ill-will, hatred or anger 3. orpor and languor 4. Restlessness, worry or scruples 5. Skeptical doubts In fact, there are many defilement that are obstacle to absolute freedom, but these are mostly included in the term ‘Five Hindrances’. The first hindrance to absolute freedom is lustful desire. This means the searching for gratification, happiness or enjoyment through imagination, thinking, or by being concerned with. Any state of satisfaction or pleasure received from lustful desires or cravings plays a very active role in life. You can see this when you start to meditate. The mind seeks for satisfaction, happiness, pleasure, peace, loving, affection, enjoyment, and so on. The nature of mind ruled by the first hindrance (lustful desires) is never satisfied with anything. It wants to be this or that; when it has had this then it desires to have that, and when it has got the first things then it desires to have new one. There
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is no stopping need unless you can remove the craving for it. The way to remove craving is to look at it and to observe it very carefully. The very moment you do so it will stop and disappear; you can see ‘nothing’. The mind arises and deceives you. So, you must look very closely at the arising and disappearing of the mind and then dullness vanishes; clarity or illumination will replace it. The second hindrance to absolute freedom is ill-will, hatred or anger. It is in the form of harmful and violent consciousness. Sometimes we do something stupidly and violently, and sometimes we have memories of people doing something unpleasant to us. We cannot forgive these persons. We want revenge. This is because there is hatred or violence within us. This violent state within arises and forces us all the time until we become the slave of hatred, violence and anger, and in the end our mind becomes confused. These states are obstacles to spiritual progress, the path to absolute freedom, and we should find the way to get rid of or to remove them. The best way to remove them is to increase or to cultivate mindfulness and through mindfulness, maintained from meditation practice. We can avoid the arising of hatred, anger and violence. The violent state within will not appear if we have constant mindfulness, but when we lack mindfulness or awareness then the state of violence, anger or hatred will arise at once. So, ill-will, hatred or anger arises in the form of harmful and violent consciousness, and is the second
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hindrance to absolute freedom. The third hindrance is torpor and languor. Both are manifested in the forms of sleepiness and tiredness; they also are barriers to absolute freedom. As usual, they tend to arise in us when we want to start to meditate or when we are taking meditation, particularly intensive meditation, for spiritual progress or when we have to do something for our progress in life. Sloth, sleepiness and tiredness will arise and intervene, preventing us from making any progress, especially from spiritual progress, the way to absolute freedom. When I was at the Buddhist Temple in Cannes in the south of France last year [in 1973], one lady, after my talk about Buddhist meditation, came to me; she told me that she felt very tired and slothful when she practiced meditation. She could not solve the problems about it. That meant that she had been overwhelmed by torpor and languor, the third hindrance of the five hindrances to absolute freedom. At the time of the Buddha, Ven. Moggallana, the famous disciple of the Buddha, seven days after his ordination, went to a village known as Kallavalamutta in Magadha City to practice meditation. He was overwhelmed by torpor and langur, the third stage of the five hindrances. So, he found that he could hardly concentrate and could not practice meditation in that village. The Buddha heard of him and went to the village with instructions on the way to get rid of hindrances by saying: ‘Moggallana, when you are in a state of laziness and
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sleepiness you should ponder the teachings that you have learned; if you do so and sloth and tiredness still exist, you should take walking meditation or walking exercise, and then they will disappear.’ When venerable Moggallana followed what the Buddha advised him, he could finally destroy his laziness, tiredness and sleepiness. After that he could continue to practice meditation and enter Arahantship in the end. The restlessness and worry is forth stage of the five hindrances. Why do you worry and why are you restless? And what is it that forces you to be worried and to be restless? It is necessary for us to find the answers otherwise we cannot understand what their causes are. In order to make it clear I am going back to the questions asked earlier [in this article]; ‘why do you worry and are restless?’ The answer is you worry because of your fears; fear of loosing, fading; fear of sons and daughters being debauched into depraved habits, fear of losing your position in society, and so on. You are restless because of attachment that you are attached to some things and accumulate them in your mind. Within the mind is an absence of peace and it becomes contaminated by impurities, becomes disturbed, restless. In fact, the intrinsic nature of mind is glorious, radiant, and luminous: as the Buddha said in the dhammapada that; ‘Pabhassaramidam bhikkhave cittam’
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which means Oh! Bhikkhus, this mind is radiant, luminous. But it becomes dirty because of defilements, namely: hatred and delusion. These unwholesome states of mind are included in the five hindrances and they are obstacles to absolute freedom, and disturbances within meditation. Many things which have been accumulated in life rise up but we do not like to observe and notice them: we try to escape from them. That is not good, nor is it the right way to remove the barriers and disturbances within. The best way is to observe and to look at them very closely, and then all the barriers and disturbances will disappear: the mind will be in a state of peace, and afterwards we shall have a feeling of happiness, serenity and calmness. The last hindrance to absolute freedom is skeptical doubt. Doubt may arise because of two reasons; the first one arises because of not seeing things as they really are. Second doubt arises because of a confused mind. For example, if your friend tells you he has a gem hidden in the folded palm of his hand, the question of doubt arises because you do not see it for yourself; but if he unclenches his fist and shows you the gem then you see it for yourself and the question of doubts does not arise. Sometimes we cannot remember what we have done because the mind is confused; we are in a state of perplexity and doubt. It is an undeniable is possible. It is also equally undeniable that there must be doubt so long as one does not understand and see clearly. In order to progress further it is absolutely necessary to
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get rid of doubts. To get rid of doubts one must understand and see creation, doubt, attachment and the confused mind, and then doubt will disappear. The five hindrances that mentioned are: - lustful desires, - Ill-will , hatred or anger - Torpor and languor - Restlessness and worry or scruple - Skeptical doubt These are the main obstacles to achieve absolute freedom. The term ‘absolute freedom’ here means absolute truth, ultimate reality, summum bonum, or Nibbana (extinction of suffering –rebirth).

9 This article was prepared for regular talk in January 1974 and later Published in Journal of the Buddhapadipa Temple, The Friendly way, Vol. 9, No. 1, May 2517/1974. Pp. 7-9 10 Five Aggregates: Rupa=Matter, Vedana=Feeling, Sanna= Perception, Sankhara= Volitional actions or Karma formation and Vinnana = consciousness. 11 Six Senses: Eye, Ear, Nose, Tongue, Body and Mind 12 Sever factors of Enlightenment: Sati=Mindfulness, Dhammavicaya=truthinvestigation, Viriya=effort, Piti=zest, joyfulness, Passaddhi= tranquility, Calmness, Samadhi=concentration and Upekkha =equanimity 13 Four Noble Truth: Dukkha=un-satisfactoriness, Samudaya= Cause, Nirodha=cessation and Magga= middle path ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 88 chapter 13

chapter 14
Ego and Vipassana Meditation14


would like to speak about the subject on ‘Ego and Vipassana Meditation’, because it is very important. When you have understood it, you wrong ideas concerning the self will be reduced and gradually disappear. The intrinsic nature of your life will be revealed as it really is and then you feel more able to practice meditation without believing in yourself as a self. The search for the source of the self is very important. Having discovered and tested it very carefully, we will find out that what we believe to be self is really compounded things which are separated into two parts, namely Nama-Rupa. In the Abhidhamma sense, there are three such compounds : form, consciousness, and mental formation; but in the sutta sense there are five, that is , the aggregate of form, of feeling, of perception, of mental formation and consciousness, all of which disappear without ceasing. The aggregate of form is form. The aggregate of feeling, perception, and mental formation, are mental states whereas the aggregate of consciousness is mind. Form is visible objects whereas feeling, perception, mental formation and consciousness are invisible objects. The mental states are fifty‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 89

two; one of them is feeling another is perception. The remaining fifty are collectively called mental formations. Mental states mean the functions of the mind and they arise together with the mind. In the five aggregates there are different characters as follows; form is ‘objective consciousness’ whereas the mind or consciousness is called ‘subjective consciousness’. Feeling determines whether the objects are pleasant, unpleasant or indifferent, which are impressed on the mind or consciousness. The duty of mind is to accumulate the objects. The mental formation constitutes the mind to be this or that. Mental formations are classified into many kinds, which I cannot explain in a short time but I can give some examples. Sati (mindfulness) and Metta (loving kindness) are said to be the wholesome mental formations because they constitute the mind to be good. Ahira (shamelessness of sin) and Anottapa (fearlessness of sin) are the unwholesome mental formations because they constitute the mind to be bad. Viriya (effort), however, is both a wholesome and unwholesome mental formation because it can be associated with both. In order to make the five aggregates clear, let me give an example of them arising through the door of the ears: the sound coming into contact with the ears is regarded as the form. The experience in the sound, pleasant, unpleasant or neutral, is considered feeling, recognizing the sound is perception.
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What constitutes the thoughts in the sound is regarded as the ear-consciousness, and the acknowledgement of the sound is considered mind-consciousness. The five aggregates, form, feeling, perception, mental formation and consciousness arise together at the rise of the sound and disappear together at the absence of the sound and then new ones arise again. They arise and disappear ceaselessly. There is nothing to be called a self or ego, living entity or person. These five aggregates, if they are attributed to the noble ones, are ordinarily called Khanda; but if they belong to a common man they are considered to be upadanakhanda, which comprise impurity, attachment and idea of self and which are the cause of selfishness. Whatever a common man does belongs to the idea of self in his subconscious mind and is selfishness. The action, whether it is good or bad, is considered kamma. If it is good, it is called a wholesome action; but if it is bad, it is regarded as an unwholesome action. It is so called because he firmly believes, ‘it is I who eats, I work, I act, I sit, I sleep, I do good, I do bad, I am rich, I am poor,’ and so on. But what should not be forgotten is that the actions of the Noble ones is not called Kamma since it does not comprise the idea of self in their subconscious mind and there is not the slightest trace of egotism or selfishness. Therefore the good actions the Noble Ones do are only Kiriya. It is not like the good and bad actions the common man does. So the Noble Ones’ Khanda is absolutely pure. The action is whether
chapter 14
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 91

good or bad brings about its result. The result of action is called Vipaka. To every action there must always be a consequence; all the consequences are results of past actions, as Assaji the disciple of the Buddha explained to Saripautta; ‘Whatever is of the nature of arising is of the nature of cessation.’ This is the most fundamental teaching of Buddhism, which is the law of Causality. Action arises because of defilements, ignorance, craving, and attachment. Tanha, craving, is of three kinds, Kamatanha, bhavatanha, and Vibhavatanha. Kamatanha means craving for the satisfaction of the senses, such as a desire to see a beautiful things, to hear a melodious sound, to smell a fragrance, to taste delicious food, and to touch a good thing in order to cause pleasant feeling. Bhavatanha applies to craving for living, for survival and for existence as Professor Darwin called ‘Struggle for living’ and Wallace called ‘Struggle for existence’. Vibhavatanha can be related to Ucchedaditthi. Nihilism,” that the physical life of man and animal exists only once, and is therefore final after death. Such an idea causes selfishness and is very dangerous because one believes that when one dies one is absolutely annihilated, that there is nothing to be reborn. Such a person, unafraid of hell and bad action, does not believe in actions and their results; he thinks he can do whatever he likes. The three cravings mentioned above are conducive to ignorance, that is to say, ignorance of the intrinsic take the wrong path and
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prevents them from realizing the four Noble Truths, the Law of Dependent Origination and the continuous rotary process of the working of the Machinery of the illusion of self, which the Noble Ones know. Kamma or action is of three kinds: Kayakamma (bodily action), Vacikamma (Verbal action) and Manokamma (mental action). This mental action is grouped in the aggregate of the mental formations because it is the constitution of the mind and it is divided into three aspects. They are Punnabhisankhara, Apunnabhisankhara and Anenjabhisankhara. Punnabhisankhara means the constitution of wholesome states; Apunnabhisankhara means the constitution of unwholesome states and Anenjabhisankhara means constitution of the formless absorption. The three actions or constitutions bring about the results; the old nama-rupa disappears, the new one arises. This new nama-rupa is the aggregate of Vipakaresult of the action. Where does the Kamma come from? It comes from craving and attachment because if there is no craving and attachment, all the action is Kiriya. It is not regarded as Kamma. This kiriya is not a constitution of the kamma. Where does craving and attachment come from? It comes from ignorance because ignorance is the root of all defilements. What is ignorance? Ignorance is unconsciousness and the ignorance of the process of the working of the machinery of the illusion of self. When the
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‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 93

action works with nama-rupa, the process of changing arises. So the action bears another nama, sankhara –the state of constitutor. But here it does not mean the constitution of one’s face. It is absolute constitution, that is, it annihilates the former nama-rupa and reconstitutes the new one immediately. When the new action is born, the old one disappears. In it there is still ignorance, craving, attachment, which constitutes again. Thus the former replaces the latter and the latter replaces the former. It is a ceaseless interaction. Vipassana meditation aims at letting the meditators know the self clearly as it truly is because people who are without training and knowledge of vipassana meditation tend to believe that in the case of seeing, it is the eye which actually sees: they think that seeing and the eye are one and the same things. They also think, ‘seeing is I: I see things; eye, seeing, and I are one and the same person.’ In actual fact, that is not so. Eye is one thing, seeing is another, and there is no separate entity such as ‘I’ or ego. There is only the fact of seeing coming into being depending on eye. To quote and example, it is like case of a person who sits in a house. House and person nor is person the house. Similarly, it is so at the time of seeing. Eye and seeing are two separate things: eye is not seeing nor is seeing the eye. To quote another example, it is just like the case of a person in a room who sees many things when he opens the
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chapter 14

window and looks through it. If it be asked: what is it that sees? Is it window or a person that actually sees? The answer to this question is: the window has no ability to see. It is only the person who sees. If it be asked again, ‘will the person be able to see things on the outside without the window?’ Then the answer will be: it will not be possible to see things through the wall without a window. One can only see things through the window. Similarly in the case of seeing, there are separate things of eye and seeing: eye is not seeing, nor is seeing the eye. It is now evident that in the body there are only two distinctive elements of matter and mind. Eye is rupa and seeing is nama. As long as one is not free from the attachment to the idea of self, one cannot expect to escape from the risk of falling into miserable existences, animal or peta. Though he may be leading a happy life in the human or deva world by virtue of his merits, yet he is liable to fall back into the state of miserable life at any time when his demerits operate. For this reason the Lord Buddha pointed out that it was essential to work for the total removal of self.

14 From a talk given at Kosmos, Prins Hendrikkade 142, Amsterdam, the Netherlands on 26 Feb 1979 chapter 14
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 95

chapter 15
Where is real happiness15


human being is composed of two essential elements; thy are physical body and mind. He does not want suffering. He and all men pursue happiness, the supreme goal. Man is like a bird caught in a snare. He has to be freed; he cannot free himself.
There are two kinds of happiness –physical and mental – and there are two causes of happiness. Samisa sukha, material happiness, comes from having good fortune or rank an authority. Material happiness can also result from form, sound, smell, taste or tangible objects which are known as the Pancakammagunas. However, happiness gained through these factors is false; it is not real. Niramissukha, non-material happiness, stems not from material sources but from the practice of the dhamma, which is based on the cultivation of the mind. This type of happiness is mental happiness. It is real, not false. The search for the four requisites – food, shelter, clothing and medicine, is necessary for human beings who are born in the present. These are necessary to their survival, to the decrease of physical suffering, and to the increase of physical happiness. They

are not
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the cause of real happiness. Human beings attempt to seek happiness by looking at beautiful things, listening to melodious sounds, smelling fragrant scents, tasting delicious flavour and touching shapely forms. All of these are desirable, lovable and conducive to a temporary pleasure, but they produce suffering and dis-satisfaction because they are not intrinsic happiness. They are said to produce a false happiness, which one desires evermore. In the life of a human being there is one essential element; that is mind. People tend to overlook it. They are not interested in this essence. The mind is Namadhamma but with memory and thought. The mind perceives objects –Arammana and experiences objects, both pleasant and unpleasant. The sage says, ‘The mind is master; the body is its servant’. People seek material happiness through adornment, food and an attractive and comfortable dwelling, thereby hoping to serve and support the body. They are not interested in the quest for moral principles, which are food, ornament, foundation and medicine for the mind. The wise man perceives the essential element of mind. He searches for moral principles to strengthen, refresh, purify and calm the mind. He tries to fill it will rapture. He lives with love, loving-kindness, benevolence, compassion and with freedom from jealousies and hostilities. He is generous to his fellow man and gives him the necessities of life. This generosity is called Dana.
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He has the desire to refrain from bad actions (physical and verbal). This is called Sila –morality. He cultivates his mind by freeing it from defilements and purifies it with wisdom. This is bhavana, mind development. Intrinsic happiness is not dependant on the physical body but on a pure mind, tranquil, glorious luminous with mindfulness, concentration and wisdom. This real happiness does not occur of itself, nor is it engendered by an external element. Man must work for it and develop it in himself. It is like food. When we eat, each of us knows for ourselves when we are satisfied. No one can take responsibility for our actions. Good action yields good results both in the present and in the future. Bad actions yield bad results, bringing suffering in the present and in the future. The Buddha, ‘As you now, so you reap. Those who do good receive good result; those who do bad receive bad result’. If you want authentic happiness and not a false one which immerses you in the aggregation of suffering, namely birth, old age, decay, grief and lamentation, you should learn and practice the dhamma. The dhamma is the Buddha’s teaching, which he discovered six years after his renunciation. He realized the Noble Truth, the true nature of life. His mind had transcended dualism, suffering and happiness. He realized the purest happiness, which is real. He did not return to the world after his passing away. The Buddha’s teaching exceeds eighty thousand units or Dhammakhanda, which can be divided into two aspects –suffering
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chapter 15

and the extinction of suffering. Lord Buddha taught the Noble Truth of suffering and the extinction of suffering. Those who absolutely realize suffering, can extinguish it. But if they do not possess a true understanding of it, they will be unable to find the way to put an end to it. Such persons will not touch intrinsic happiness because such happiness arises only through the extinction of suffering. When heat is reduced, coolness replaces it at once. To permeate the mind with morality, concentration and wisdom, to calm the mind and to purify it from defilements is not very easy. Over a long period of time man has accumulated defilements and actions, so man must be patient and make an effort to put and end to suffering. Thus according to his practice, he will gain happiness. He may acquire temporary happiness, if he extinguishes suffering temporarily. But if eliminates suffering for a long time he can attain a longer lasting happiness. If he absolutely extinguishes suffering, he can attain eternal happiness. The Buddha said, ‘Natthi Santi Param Sukkham’ which means there is no other happiness than peace’. The study and practice of Buddhadhamma is based on four moral principles. 1.Association with Buddhist teachers 2.Attention to their instruction 3.Examination of their teachings 4.Practice of their teaching If you have the tendency towards the good accumulated in a
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previous life and you practice the moral principles mentioned earlier, you can gain the result of your practice. Real happiness will be yours in the end. ‘Where there is a will, there is a way’. One can go beyond suffering through perseverance. Suffering or happiness is born of the mind. If one is attached to the mind, suffering arises, but if one is detached from the mind, happiness arises. So, one should travel on the road to the empty mind.

15 Originally written in Thai by Phra Maha Boonrod Pannavaro, The abbot of Wat
Kiriwong, Pakhnampo, Nakhorn Sawan, Thailand and Luang Por translated later into English.

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chapter 16
Merit Making : Gratitude16

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato Samasambuddhassa Rupam jirati maccanam namagottam na jirati The body dies, but not honour and fame.


would like to tell you about some aspects of Buddhism, especially the aspects of the Buddhist teachings concerning the memorial service for the dead. But before going into details, I would like to tell you something about the life of Princess Elisabeth Chakrabongse. The Prince died recently at her home near Bodmin. She earned a unique place in the affections of the people of Cornwall where she had lived for over 30 years. Princess Elisabeth Chakrabongse was a daughter of Edward Hunter, the Founder and Chaiman of the Sun Engraving Company, born on the 29th of November 1915, educated at Prior’s School, Godalming, Surrey; Florence in Italy, and Byan Shaw school of art in London. She married Prince Chula Chakrabongse of Thailand on the 30th of September 1938, had one daughter, Mom Rajawongse narisa Chakrabongse, born on the
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2nd of August 1938, had one daughter, Mom Rajawongse Naria Chakrabongse, born on the 2nd of August 1956. Prince Elisabeth Chakrabongse was an accomplished Artist mainly in water-colours and a lover of music. The Princess’s maind interest in Cornwall was the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade, of which she had been a member for thirty years, and country superintendent for the past seventeen years. She was made a Dame Commander of the Order of St. John in 1964. She also had an immense interest and took an active part in every aspect of nursing, social welfare, care of children, hospitals, education and all local organizationsparticularly those connected with the arts. She had a great love of the countryside, and was actively concerned with its preservation. She also practiced these same interests in Thailand, co-operated with, and helped the Red Cross there, gave English lessons at the Rajinee School and, through the Chula Chakrabongse Foundation, donated large sums of money to deserving causes. Her delightful personality, nature dignity, genuine, and sincere concern for others, earned her the love of everyone contact with her. Let us return to talk about Buddhism, concerning the memorial service for the departed. What does Buddhism teach about the death and where they go after death? It teaches that birth and death are natural and common to all beings. In the Dhatuvibhanga Sutta, it has been stated that man is composed of six elements, namely the elements of earth, water, fire, wind, space and consciousness. The first five are non‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 102 chapter 16

conscious elements, while the last one is a conscious element. Both non-conscious and conscious element, are formed into man. From this sutta, it will be seen that our body is made up of these six elements, and in the Dhammacakkappavattana sutta, which means the Four Noble Truths, our body is called ‘Pancakkhandas’ or the Five Aggregates which are form, feeling, perception, volitional activity and consciousness and in the Anattalakkhana Sutta or Anatta doctrine it was further expounded that form, feeling, perception, volitional activity and consciousness are impermanent, suffering and soulless. They change all the time; they are not conducive to what we desire or want; they are unable to prevent us from experiencing old age, decay and death. Absolutely speaking there is nothing permanent in our body except good deeds and bad deeds. Good deeds and bad deeds or wholesome states and unwholesome states are not changeable themselves. They are in a absolute reality, everlasting, permanent, immortal. So, wisemen, abserving, scrutinizing the five aggregates of our bodies deeply, understand them as they really are. They do not cling to them. They are not grievous, and they do not lament when their parents, children, relatives and friends die. They try to do good actions and to cultivate virtues in themselves. Princess Elisabeth Chakrabongse was a good person, respectable and honourable. She had done a great many good actions as mentioned before. Goodness, honour and fame never die. The Buddha said:
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Rupan jirat maccanam namagottam na jirati The body dies but not honour and fame. A further point I would like to talk to you about is the path along which the dead go when they die. Where do they go? In Buddhism it is believed that there are five paths for the dead to go to the Hereafter: 1.The path to be born in the Hell 2.The path to be born in the Human form 3.The path to be born in the Heaven 4.The path to be born in the Brahmaloka 5.The path to Nibbana Those who have wrong understanding do bad actions such as killing their own fathers and mothers. They are against or break down the moral code and after death they must be born in the Hell. On the other hand, those who have right understanding, and practise the five precepts and the Ten kinds of meritorious actions, will be born in the Human Form. Those who practice the eight precepts, fear of the results of sin, giving donations, listening to sermon, erecting chapels, churches, temples, monasteries, hospitals and schools, will be born in the Heaven after death. Those who put into practice the four divine states of mind composed of Loving-Kindness, compassion, Sympathy and Equanimity and then Samadhas- calming down Meditation, that is to say, meditation on the Ten kinds of Impurity of the body, on the four elements, on the Loathsomness of Nutriment, and on the four formless
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 104 chapter 16

attainments, will be born in the Brahmaloka after death and those who practice Vipassana or Insight meditation will reach Nibbana at the dissolution of the Body. These are some aspects of the Buddhist teachings concerning the memorial service for the dead and in which the majority of Thai people believe. Calming down meditation and Insight meditation are very important and time should be found to learn these because they can bring about peace of mind. The merit-making and memorial service dedicated to the dead are considered very important. This is because it is believed that the dead person who has gone to Paraloka –the Hereafter, has no food to eat, no cloths to put on, because in the Hereafter there is no farming, no trading. The dead people receive part of the merit from what they have done in the present life and from what their parents, children, relatives and friends dedicated or devote to them. In the sigalovada Sutta, Lord Buddha said ‘there are duties between parents and children; children and parents; teachers and pupils; pupils and teachings; Husbands and wives; wives and husbands; persons and friends; friends and persons; masters and servents; servants and masters; laymen and monks; monks and laymen. Of these duties only duties between parents and children; children and parents will be explained in detail. Parents minister to their children, bring them up, show their love for them in these five ways: They prevent them from evil; Directing them towards good
chapter 16 ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 105

Train them to a profession, Arrange suitable marriages for them and In due time, hand over the inheritance to them. Children should help their parents in these five ways; once they were supported by the parents, now they will be their support; perform duties they have to perform; maintain the lineage and tradition of their families; look after their inheritance and give alms on behalf of their parents when they are dead. Today his Exellency, prof. Konthi Subhamongkhon, the Thai Ambassador, and Mom Rajawongse Narisa Chakrabongse, Princess Elisabeth’s daughter, have invited you all to come to attend the memorial service for her who has gone to paraloka the hereafter. This is a good example of the Buddhists and there is a Buddhist proverb that has been said; Nimittam sadhurupanam katannukatavedita Gratitude or mindfulness of the benefit done is a character of the virtuous


Sermon by the Ven. Phra Maha Somboon Siddhinano, Assist. To chief of Dhammaduta bhikkhus and senior Incumbent, on the occasion of the memorial service for the late Princess Elisabeth Chakrabongse, on

‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 106

chapter 16

chapter 17
Looking into the true nature of life17


oday I would like to talk about the true nature of life. It is a matter that should be understood and this matter is concerned with meditation practice. One mostly tends to overlook the true nature of life or look at it superficially, not looking into it deeply and attentively. So, one cannot see the true nature of life which is an alternate endless process of change and because of its changing we sometimes have feelings of happiness and feelings of suffering. Happiness arises in us and then changes into suffering. In our life we can notice that sometimes we enjoy happiness, sometimes suffering or sometimes we experience more suffering than happiness: we have a temporary happiness and then it is changed into a state of suffering. We shall never know eternal happiness in our lives. This is because we cannot go beyond it. We are enclosed in and trapped by dualism. Dualism is inherent in every religion. It manifests as whole
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 107

as wholesome states, unwholesome states, suffering, happiness, it include the theory of heaven and hell. Heaven promises a good existence for human beings and hell threatens a bad existence to human beings. It is believed that heaven is in the sky and hell below. So, the theory of heaven and hell together contribute to the dualistic element because when one is spoken of the other must also be mentioned but both of them cannot be seen in the physical world. In Buddhism the Buddha said in the Lokadhamma Sutta that the dhammas can overwhelm beings who live under their influence and those who are liable to be swayed by them are called Lokadhamma –worldly dhamma. There are eight Worldly Dhamms: 1. Labha – to have good fortune 2. Alabha – not to have good fortune 3. Yasa – to have rank and authority 4. Ayasa – not to have rank and authority 5. Ninda – blame 6. Pasamsa – praise 7. Dukkha – Suffering 8. Sukha - happiness From the Buddhist point of view it can be said that the Lokadhammas- the Worldly Dhammas mentioned above, by their very nature are dualistic and impermanent. They arise and then disappear. So, when any of these eight Lokadhammas arises one
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 108 chapter 17

should scrutinize them thus: ‘This condition has arisen in me, but it is unstable and it is dukha –suffering, its nature is changeable and impermanent, and it should be looked at as it truly is and not allowed to overwhelm the mind.’ In other words one should neither react positively nor negatively to those states which are desirable or undesirable. To make this clear let me go back over them once more and explain some of them. One knows good fortune and then loses it. One has had rank and authority and then it is taken away. One is blamed. One is praised. One has feeling of happiness and one knows suffering. There is nothing permanent in itself. And then again, some people have got a great deal of property and many possessions, or they have been appointed to high position in society. They are praised and very happy in their property, rank and happiness. They are blamed and face chaos in their lives. This is due to the fact that they are overwhelmed with the Lokadhammas and live under their influence. Lokadhammas are dualistic as I have said earlier but nevertheless they are the true nature of life which nobody can escape from, with the exception of those who can go beyond them. How can one go beyond the lokadhamma? One could go beyond them if one were not attached to Sammutisacca or conventional truth. But most people tend to be attached to conventional truth or relative reality: they are attached
chapter 17 ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 109

to everything whether they are animate or inanimate. They are attached to society, names and forms, persons, fame, honour, tradition, religions, ceremonies and so forth and because of their attachment they are unable to go beyond the Lokadhammas as mentioned before and cannot see things as they are. They become slaves of the conditioned things and are immersed in the samsara, the cycle of rebirth. But no the people who try to root out ignorance: who try to be detached from conditioned things and relative reality. These people attain full concentration gained by meditation practice. They have full wisdom and see Paramatthasacca or absolute truth as it is. They cannot be swayed by the Lokadhammas –the worldly dhammas. They are not reborn after death. They go into a state of peace. Before the end of my short talk about looking into the true nature of life, let me reiterate the two pali words: Sammautisacca’ and Paramatthasacca’. Both of them are very important for the study of Philosophy and religion. You, the meditation students should understand them otherwise you will doubt them and then you will become confused when you listen to someone talking about the truths in a religious and philosophical field. Sammutisacca is the conventional truth or relative reality. It includes conditioned things such as people, tables, places, animals and so on, all of which are assumed and conditioned by anything or anyone and through assuming them you cannot refuse accepting them. You must accept them as conventional truth. That is a glass:
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 110 chapter 17

this is a person; this is a cat and so forth. But if you see that this is not a glass, not people, not a cat and so on, it means that you speak in absolute truth instead of conventional truth but in the sense of Paramatthasacca or absolute truth there is nothing to be assumed. Paramatthasacca refers to absolute truth; it means the truth in itself and it is very easy to say that Paramatthasacca or absolute truth does not depend on conditioned things but on itself.

17 This article published in ‘the friendly way’ the Journal of the Buddhapadipa temple. November 2517/1974, Vol. 9/No. 3; pp.45-46

chapter 17

‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 111

chapter 18
Eyes on world


ow the world is on the brink of destruction because it is overcome by the fire of lust, the fire of hate and fire of delusion-ragaggi, dosaggi and mohaggi. These fires are established in the hearts of people. People who are a slave of these fires became narrow-minded, hard-hearted and a hard-liner. They do not need to follow the human rights and build up dignity, equality and fraternity among their friends. This matter happened recently in the Indian sub-continent: the V.P. Singh Government wanted to uphold Indian society and offer the fellow countrymen a social level which is only way to be united and superpower like the united states and Chine because India is the biggest country, the second to china. But this objective cannot be achieved because people who are dominated by the fire of lust, the fire of hate and the fire of delusion demonstrated, interrupted against the government and of cause some of them burned themselves alive for their own sake, but not for the sake of the dignity, equality and fraternity of the
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 112

nation as a whole. So, the voice of Asian Community, No. 56, Wednesday, November 21 1990, published in London, put forward, ‘Momentous changes sweeping Europe are having their ripple effect on the Indian sub-continent. The ending of the cold war, the crashing down of Iron Curtain and the unification of two Germanies--- Blocs and barriers, fences and differences, divisions and dissensions are being blown away by the hurricane of change --- while the politicians in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh play petty games of power, a feeling is gathering steam among the intelligentsia of the three nations that should be one again. These nations have a rich common heritage. The languages their people speak, their customs and manners and similar. India has more Muslims than Pakistan and if its 100 million Muslims can live under a secular umbrella, why not reunited and become a single power! It can possibly be right if the people are devoid of greed, hatred and delusion. The fire of lust, the fire of hate and the fire of delusion as mentioned before cannot be extinguished by the extinguisher but can be done only by the means of the religious practice, that is, people have to practice morality, concentration, wisdom and follow Majjhima Patipada –the middle path of practice which comprises the right understanding, right motive, right speech, right action, right means of livelihood, right afford, right mindfulness and right concentration and then apply this means to solve the problems. The problems are solved by this means will bring about success,
chapter 18 ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 113

friendship, dignity, equality, fraternity and peace. The doctrine of some religion is not based on the Middle way of practice, but based on the extremity. It is intolerant, does not like any kind of Faith to propagate or participate in their fields. David Sharrock in Jeddah wrote the article on the band playing on for foreign workers and printed in the Guardian, on Monday November 19, 1990, ‘Somewhere off the Medina Road, down two dark alleyways and past a tough little lookout man who warily eyes the blackness as he allows you entrance, 200 of Saudi Arabia’s foreign workers and doing something illegal --- praying to Jesus. This clandestine evangelist church --- three rooms unkindly lit by fluorescent tubes, the walls clad in the egg boxes to muffle the congregation’s joyful singing --- is taking a big risk. Mecca is only 45 miles away, the heart of an Islamic Kingdom which forbids all other religious practices’. Jack Pizzey interviewed the Thai Diplomat, Mr Romyanond at Tamnakthai Restaurant in Bangkok, under the headline, ‘Slow Boat from Surabaya’, televised on B.B.C., August 7, 1990, ‘How did the Thai people manage to preserve the independence? Mr Romyanond replied, ‘Buddhism teaches the Middle path and people follow it. It is a very short answer but covers the overall questions. The changes of the Eastern Europe as mentioned in the second paragraph, we do not forget to honour the President Gorbachev of Russia and Mr. Leck Walesa of Poland who are behind the changes. Now the relationship between the East and the West is
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 114 chapter 18

a very high degree and rich. The Eastern and Western people live under the same umbrella, the umbrella of the Human Rights. Dr. Ambedkar studied and practiced Buddhism and then he certainly realized that in the past Buddhism was legacy of Indian nation. The Indian people adopted Buddhism and worshiped it. There was no caste system for them. They preserved their own traditions, customs and cultures. They lived happily and richly under a single umbrella, the umbrella of Buddhism. Buddhism was a good way for people to practice and then it could be able to bring out happiness. Benefit, dignity, equality and fraternity to the Indian nation. Dr. Ambedkar gave a lecture tour and persuaded people to follow and joined him. People who listened to his talks and wanted to be free from the downtrodden respected him and joined him. Buddha Vihara as in presence of your own eyes marks the Birth Centenary of Dr Ambedkar and it can eternally remind us of him, ‘Here a Temple he was dedicated to; Here a Shrine room people can come and see, worship and chant, meditate and talk, make merit and perform service; here a peacefulness and enlightenment can be attained; here a holy place monks can come and stay for the benefit and happiness of people; here a good relationship and friendship between man and man, society and society, country and country can be met; here Ambedkar library can be found.’ May all beings be happy
18 1st published in 1991, Souvenir, the opening of the New Buddha Vihara and Ambedkar’s chapter 18
Birth Centenary Celebration. P. 19

‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 115

chapter 19
The Significance of giving Dana19

Venerable sirs, and friends in the dhamma, oday is a seminar day (4th Seminar on Buddhist meditation), a seminar on Buddhist meditation. All of us have been following the programme up to now and now we must go on until the end of time mentioned in our programme and in this is included my talk on the significance of giving Dana or Charity. Now in order not to waste time I would like to go into Dana and its significance. But before going into details we should understand what should be offered. In the Mangala sutta (the discourse on highest blessings) it has been stated that what should be offered is often. What are the ten? They are: 1. Rice, 2. Water, 3. Cloth, 4.transport, 5.flowers, 6. Perfumes, 7. Ointments, 8. Sleeping place, 9. Shelter and 10. Light such as lamps and candles. When we offer or donate something to someone we are said to be ‘offerers’ or ‘Donors’. To whom should we offer? And who should


‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 116

be the receivers? According to the Buddhist teachings, it have been explained that persons who should be offered are bhikkhus, novices, nuns, blind persons, deaf persons and so on. We should offer or support these people who are said to be ‘receivers’ and who should be offered and respect. In is unsuitable for us to offer and support lazy people because when we offer and support them they will forget to look after themselves. They will be parasites of society and then they themselves and society will deteriorate because of their laziness. And beside these, one should dedicate properties and possessions to churches, hospitals, schools and so forth for promoting them as they can. So far we have understood the things to be offered and persons who should be offered. Now we should learn the factors of offering. How are we offering when deciding to offer? In the Patimokkha, bhojanavagga, the section on food, has been said: ‘Yo pana bhikkhu adinnam mukhadvaram aharam ahareyya annattra udakadantapona pacittiyam’ ‘If a bhikkhu puts food into his mouth which has been not formally offered to him (or to any other bhikkhu) by a lay person, and he swallows it, it is a pacitti. An exception is made in the case of pure water and toothsticks.’ Ahara in other place means yavakalika but here since there is the exception of pure water and tooth-sticks, it refers to general eatable things. Water should be understood as ordinary water and
chapter 19 ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 117

does not refer to soups, sugarcane-juice and so on. Tooth-sticks should be understood as non-edible. The term ‘adinnam’ means, it was not offered into a bhikkhu’s hands. From bhojanavagga, the section on food mentioned, the five factors of offering have been formulated. What are the five? They are: 1. The things to be offered are not so big and heavy that a man of middling stature cannot lift them/ 2. the offerer comes within a forearm’s length; 3. He has a humble manner when offering; 4. the manner of offering can be done through direct bodily contact, through objects in contact with the body, or giving by throwing; 5. a bhikkhu receives it through direct bodily contact or through objects in contact with his body. Giving and receiving mentioned above, except by throwing, are done through mutual respect and polite behavior. But as regards giving by throwing, I do not know the ‘vibhanga’s meaning. Perhaps I may have been the manner of giving many small things to a crowd and may be it was not regarded as impolite. With reference to the significance of giving Dana let me speak of the previous life of Prince Siddhattha and then we can see how very important dana is! The Prince siddhattha before being the Buddha, cultivated the ten spiritual perfections: 1. Dana - Charity
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 118 chapter 19

2. Sila - Morality 3. Nekkhamma - renunciation 4. Panna - wisdom 5. Viriya - effort 6. Khanti - patience 7. Sacca - truthfulness 8. Adhitthana - decisiveness 9. Metta - loving –kindness 10. Upekkha - equanimity From the ten spiritual perfections, it will be seen that dana is one thing that the Buddha cultivated in the former life. When the Buddha was born vessantara, one life before being the Buddha, he offered a white elephant, the holy elephant of the country to King Kalingarath. The citizens were very upset and then they went to meet his father to request him to expel his son because he offered the holy elephant to another country. So, vessantara was exiled from his country to the jungle and with his wife, one son and one daughter, lived in it. Vessantara, even when living in such a jungle, continued to give dana. This was because he needed perfecting of dana towards his being a future Buddha. Once there was a beggar who heard that vessantara was exiled from his country to the jungle and was staying there with his wife and children. He went into the jungle to meet him and begged of him the two children. Vessantara gave him them at
chapter 19 ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 119

once. And then sakka, the king of Devas from their Heaven, decided to test once more Vessantara’s charity. He disguised himself as an old man and then went to vessantara to beg of him his wife. Vessantara was very excited because he wanted to offer his wife to the old man but he gave her back to him and then disappeared. The dana, vessantara had done is called ‘great dana-mahadana –dana becoming of the Buddha. This is not very easy for the ordinary person to do. What is the purpose of giving dana? •It is to help other people •To promote societies •To get rid of unwholesomeness •To cultivate wholesomeness •To purify the mind Dana will be great benefit depending on three compositions: 1. Donors, before offering, have a pure mind; 2. Donors, during offering, have a pure mind and 3. Donors, after offering, have a pure mind.

19 This article first prepared for a regular talk at buddhapadipa temple, 30th September

1973 and later published in ‘the friendly way’ the Journal of the buddhapadipa temple. November 2517/1974, Vol. 9/No. 3; pp. 13-15 ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 120 chapter 19

chapter 20
Who ate goat’s dung ?


ne upon a time in India there was a dwarf, very short man indeed. He was very clean at arts in flicking grit into different things as he liked. He went to a paddy field. In the paddy field, there was a big banyan tree and under the banyan tree he sat flicking a grit to pierce the banyan tree into animals such as bird, rabbit, dog, cat squirrel, and elephant and so on. When, sun shone through the leaves of tree to the ground. The shadow of the animals appeared at once. At the same time, the king of Baranasi had a religious adviser. When he talked he talked too much. The king talked one word. He talked five words. The king was very upset and disturbed very much because he could not follow him. One day, the king and his colleagues went to survey and arrived at one the paddy field. The king saw from a far the big banyan tree, very big tree. They approached it and went inside and

‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 121

sat under the banyan tree for their rest and suddenly they saw bird, dog, rabbit, cat, squirrel and elephant on the ground and on their own body. They were very surprised. The king himself saw the same and he looked round on the right and on the left. He saw a dwarf man, very short man, who sat flicking a grit to pierce the leaves of banyan trees into animals and suddenly he told his colleagues to go and fetch him to him immediately. And then the king put him question, ‘Did you make the leaves of banyan tree become animals? ‘Yes sir, My Majesty’, the dwarf answered respectfully. I have one adviser, when he talked, talked too much. I talked one word, he talked five words. I was very upset, annoyed and disturbed very much. Could you stop his talking by your way? Yes, Majesty, I could but you have to tell your colleagues to set up the tent and made the hole on the canvas of the tent and then bring the goat’s dung to me. When you talked to him and he talked back to you I would flick the goat’s dung through hole of the canvas into his mouth while he was opening his mouth to talk to you. The King agreed and prepared all requirements as the dwarf requested. Having completed preparation the king and his adviser got in and sat inside the tent whereas the dwarf sat opposite near the hole, being able to see the mouth of the king’s adviser very clearly. At the moment, the king’s adviser began to open the mouth to talk to the king. The dwarf very quickly flicked the goat’s dung through the hole into his mouth until his mouth was full of the
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 122 chapter 20

goat’s dung and, above all, he was no longer to speak to the king at all. The king understood very well and asked his colleagues to take the tent out. They did accordingly. When, people saw the mouth of the king’s adviser full of the goat’s dung. They applauded a long time and hailed ‘bravo, bravo, bravo’. Some of them laughed too much to stop their tears. This story concludes with a verse that; Sãdhu kho sippakamฺ nãmã api yadisikidisamฺ Passa ajapฺpaharena ladฺdhã gãme catudฺdisã

Any kinds of whether be dancer, be singer, be sculpture, be carver and so on can bring about a complete success to skilled like the King Baranasi granted the four villages to the Dwarf in the four directions. Pali-English translation Pithasappi – dwarf Sakkhara – grits Khipitva – flick Purohito – kings advisor Ajalankikam – goat’s dung Saniya – curtain 17/08/01

chapter 20

‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 123

chapter 21
Welcoming Speech: Honorable Kumari Mayawati MP


e have a great pleasure to welcome Chief Guest honorable Kumari Mayawati Ji M.P. Vice-president of Bahajan Party and the former chief Minister of U.P. India. We are all concerned with Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Community Centre and we do hope that when you have officially inaugurated Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Community Centre, this Centre will be consecrated, holy, go right and bring about benefit, happiness, satisfaction, prosperity, and wealth to users afterwards. On behalf of the temple, I wish you well by the lord Buddha’s holy words: Hotu sabฺbamฺ sumangalamฺ Rakkhanฺtu sabฺbadevatã Sabbabuddhãnubhãvena, Sabbadhammãnubhãvena Sabbasanghãnubhãvena sothi hontu nirantaramฺ May all good blessings be may all the devas guard you well, by the power of all the buddhas, by the power of all the dhammas, by the power of all the Sanghas may you be safe forever and ever. Thanks you 13/10/00
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 124

chapter 22
Luang Por’s 77th birthday Celebration
Siddhinanamahatherassa Sakkaro “ Ratanatฺtayatejena amฺhamฺ kalyãna cetasã Siddhinฺãno mahãthero Buddhaviharassa nãyako Dighãyu sukhito hotu anigho nirupaddhavo Buddhasasãnacakkamhi dhajo hotu divakaro ”

May the power of triple Gem and with our good wishes, May most venerable Siddhinano the abbot of Buddhavihara be blessed with longevity, happiness and be saved from all enimity and misfortunes. May you carry the flag of Buddhism and illuminate the way for many more years to come. by Dr. Anilman Dhammasakiyo (Secretary of H.H. Sangharaja of Thailand)

‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 125

Venerable monks The president of Dr Ambedkar Memorial Committee of Great Britain, Ven. Phramaha Laow Pannasiri, the Abbot of the Buddhavihara Temple Aston, Birmingham, and all devotees, Indians and Thais communities, who organize my 77th birthday today. First of all, I would like to say ‘thank you to all of you to organize to celebration of my birthday. It is quite difficult and hard work for your preparation. I told committees that I didn’t really want them to spend much for this purpose but they have decided to do so. I am appreciated what they are doing for me today and impressed by seeing many people joining this ceremony. I have been England for 33 years. I came to Wimbledon in London first, and worked with a group of Dhammaduta monks for 15 years until 1982. I was invited to teach Buddhism among Indian Community, here in Wolverhampton. When I first came to Wolverhampton the member of Temple was very small group until in 1991 the community put the stone foundation into this place and mad proper temple. Community also put up the Dr Ambedkar project and completed the building this year. Wolverhampton Indian Community has been working hard and today is result of harmony among the member of community. Buddhism is from India; Buddha was born in Indian region and his teaching spreads all over the world.
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 126 chapter 22

As a good Buddhist we should work hard and harder to support people who practice Buddhism and to bring peace to the world. What the Indian Community here has done is one of the best quality works for Buddhism as a whole. It benefits Indian community directly and for the name of Buddhism indirectly. Since I came here I have seen the progress of community here and members have more knowledge about being Buddhists years by years. We should spread the Buddha’s teachings everywhere for the sake of real happiness to people in any regions. You are holding my birthday for me today I would like to thank all of you again for arrange this day. I am pleased to see many monks and members of the community. At the end of my Sombothaniyakatha, my friendly talks I would like to bless all of you by the holy words of the lord Buddha. Hotu sabbam sumam galam Sabbabuddhanubhavena Sabbasanghanubhavena rakkhantu sabbadevata sabbadhammanubhavena sothi hontu nirantaram

May all good blessing be, may all the deva guard you well By the power of the buddhas, by the power of the dhammas By the power of the sanghas, may you be happy and safe forever and ever. Thank you
chapter 22 ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 127

chapter 23
New Year message to all


t is very essential at this time to remember all that we have done during 1990. Now it has ended and New Year, the year of 1991 has already come. That is, the former one ended and the latter one has come to replace the former. This is accord with the cosmic law, lunar and solar calendar system. The days, the weeks, the months and the years pass by and in that time many things arise and pass away everything including human beings who are constantly being born and dying in the Manussaloka –the world of human beings. There is no gap for them between birth and death. It is a process which, according to the Buddhist philosophy is called ‘Tivatta’ the three cycles, Kilesavatta-the cycle of passion, Kammavatta –the cycle of action and Vipakavatta –the cycle of effect. These three cycles are interrelated and intertwined, each being both the cause and the effect of each other, the rising of passion constitutes a person to
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 128

perform action, the effect of action causes once again the arising of passion of one kind or another. This process goes on endlessly unless and until it is cut off by following the path of the enlightened one. The celebration of the passing year and welcoming the New Year is very important because it is a good opportunity for us to examine what we have done in the past year and what we will do in the New Year. In the passing year all things we have done ought to be considered. That we have done in the past year is bad we have to put it aside. That is, we will not carry on the actions of the past year, but we will continue to ‘store’ only good actions that we have done in the past year and add them to the activities which will be done in the New Year. In this way we are said to decrease a bad thing and increase a good thing for the benefits, happiness and well-being of society. That is a very good opportunity for all of us, isn’t it? But, must people ware careless and unaware of what they do. They think simply that the good and the bad they do will not affect them. But in fact it does. Let us take into account the dhammapada –the way of the dhamma which has been said: ‘mavamannetha papassa na mattam agamissati Udabindunipatena udakumbhopi purati Purati balo papassa thokem Thokampi acinam [121] Do not think lightly of evil, by saying that it will not come to touch me. Even a water-pot is filled by the drips of water;
chapter 23 ‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 129

likewise the fool becomes full of evil even if he gathers it little by little. And then, ‘mãvamannetha punñãssa na mattamฺ ãgamissati Udabindunipãtena udakumฺbhopi purati Purati dhiro puñnãssa thokamฺ Thokamฺpi acinamฺ [122] Do not think lightly of good, by saying that it will not come to touch me. Even a water-pot is filled by the drips of water; likewise the wise man becomes full of goodness even if he gathers it little by little. In reference to the dhammapada mentioned above it is firmly asserted that that meritorious and demeritorious deed which has been done does not disappear from the world. It impresses itself on the good-doers and the evil-doers’ mind. It cannot be rubbed out or removed out from the mind. It is really indelible. People all over the world whether they are reared in the Communist Bloc or in the Free States celebrate their new year for the sake of happiness and prosperity as mentioned before, but their ceremonies are a manifestation of their particular society, religion, culture, tradition and faith. Now in Thailand, particularly in the nation’s capital, Bangkok, the outstanding feature of the national holiday marks on the New Year; the time is from about 45 minutes to midnight of December 31 until 10 minutes past one on January 1 monks have to chant and broadcast their chanting through the
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national television stations. The Supreme Patriarch gives a sermon to the Sangha and people all over the country and so also do Prime Minister. The monks in monasteries throughout the country chant simultaneously Jayaparitta – the victory protection and ring the bells when the long hand of the clock moves from midnight of December 31 to January 1 and then monks are fed on New Year’s morning. At dawn hundreds of monks with their iron bowls proceed to certain large parks and there receive food offered by thousands of householders intent on starting the new year by making merit. On the preceding day the King and Queen including members of Royal Family and senior officials present food to the monks at the Grand Palace. Later there is New Year ceremonies in the Royal Chapel which include reverence paid to the deceased members of the Chakri Dynasty. In the evening the King gives a New Year’s messages to the nation. Furthermore, for the sake of world peace, let us consider the following Pali passages: ‘nãññatarã bojjhangha tapasã ‘nãññatara indriyasamฺvara ‘nãññatara sabbanissagga Sotthimฺ passami pãninamฺ I [the Tathagata] cannot see welfare of human beings except through wisdom, perseverance, restraints and altruism.

chapter 23

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chapter 24
The Foundation Stone of Buddha Vihara laid at Wolverhampton


India Weekly, 11 May 1990


he foundation stone of the new Buddha vihara and the Ambedkar Community Centre was laid at a special ceremony at Upper Zoar Street, Wolverhampton, by the Venerable Phramaha Somboon Siddhinyano under the auspices of the Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Committee of Great Britain. The foundation stone was carried to the site in a procession led by a group of Buddhist monks from the Buddha Vihara, Lea Road. After the ceremony the birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was celebrated at Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton. The president of the committee, Mr. Sant Ram, Mr Chanan Chahal, Chairman of the Ambedkar Centenary celebration committee, UK Mr. Gautam Chakraborty, Secretary, Ambedkar Centenary Celebration Committee, UK, welcomed the guests. These included Ven. Somboon Siddhinyano, Ven. Nagasena, Ven. Piyatissa, Mr. Bhagwan Das, Mr. Dennis Turner MP, Mr. Norman Davies Chairman Wolverhampton Labour Pary, and Mr. Harblas Birdee, President Ambedkarite & Buddhist Organizations, UK.
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chapter 25
The foundation stone at Punjab, India

1. I have been invited to come here for laying down the Foundation stone for the construction of Dr. Ambedkar Buddhist Centre in the Buddha-land the land of the Lord Buddha who passed away some 2547 years ago. 2. In India after prince Siddhattha left his family to seek for Enlightenment and with his effort he entered Enlightenment at the end and after that he went from places to places to proclaim his doctrine. People enjoyed listening, following, understanding, practiced and gained consequences of their practice and someone like Anathapindika and Visakha Upasika lady, both of them were very sincere Buddhists and accordingly Visakha lady erected the Bubbaram Temple and endowed it to the Lord Buddha and his disciples whereas Anathapindika constructed the Jetavana Temple and donated to the Lord Buddha and his disciples for their residence as well.
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3. In Europe and the United States of America many Buddhist temples have been built for the world peace and recently Thai Sangha and Thai people laid down the Foundation stone for the construction of Uposatha in the precinct of Wat Mongolratanaram at Temple, Florida State in USA. 4. So, Dr Ambedkar Memorial Committee of Great Britain and their people have decided to construct or build Dr. Ambedkar Buddhist Centre for all the people, are said to be the most highest objective and the great-merit making and for being remark of Dr Ambedkar Diksha Divas – Conversion Day to Buddhism which took place on 14 October 1956 at Nagpur, India. 5. Today, I am very happy to come to this site to lay the Foundation stone for the construction of Dr. Ambedkar Buddhist Centre. Now, it is an auspicious occasion and reasonable time. Let all of us draw attention to it and I will lay it down. May sangha chant Jayaparitta the Victory protection Please Venerable sirs.

‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 134

chapter 25

chapter 26
Opening speech on Dr. Ambedkar Buddhist Resource Centre
At Mahalpur Road, Village Katarian Nawan Shar, Punjab, India


amo Buddhaya, Sawasdee, Namastee

Dear Venerable Sangha, president, secretary general, distinguished guests and friends in the dhamma It affords me the greatest pleasure to be here today to inaugurate the Buddha Vihara which is one department of the three major facilities as mentions in ‘Appeal document for construction of Dr. Ambedkar Buddhist Resource Centre’ the two remaining of major facilities, that is, Ambedkar community centre and school for children will be continued to complete afterwards. When the construction of Buddha vihara, Dr. Ambedkar Community Centre and School for children have been completed, it would be constructive, useful and helpful for the people who are interested in Buddhism, who desire to study the life of Dr. Ambedkar, his works and also who want to join being a member of community and who need to learn and improve quality of their life can come to this centre and take advantage of this centre to

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fulfill their multi purposes. Again, this Dr. Ambedkar Buddhist Resource Centre has been constructed in your mother land – the land is not far from JALANDHAR District on the North of Indian country. It is bahut bahut abundant district and name of its capital is Chandigarh. In the past Jalandhar used to be the place where the fourth Sabbatthika Sanghayana –Sanghayana was held together with the two group of the Sangha –Theravada and Mahayana under the sponsorship of the King Kanishaka as recorded in the Buddhist history.20 All of you, Punjabi people who were born in Punjab state or Punjabi –overseas having been seen, told and understood, you must be pride and proud of this centre. Beside this yet you are said to be gratitude to the Lord Buddha, his disciple such as Venerable Sariputta and Moggallana and his lay disciple like Anathapindika Upasaka who built the Jetavana Temple and Visakha Mahaupasika who erected the Pubbarama temple for residence of the Lord Buddha and his disciples. This year 2550 Buddhist year and Jubilee year of Baba Saheb Dr. Ambedkar who fought for the freedom and upliftment of Dalits of India embraced Buddhism in 14th October 1956. To remark this Jubilee year of conversion you all are gathering here today, the day of 14th October to celebrate by inaugurating Buddha vihara in this site. You are also said to be gratitude to your beloved leader Baba Sahab Dr. Ambedkar and your ancestors, posterities and at the end to your generation. With regard to your determination
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you are all said to respect and reciprocate your pubbakari –your benefactors. On this special occasion of inauguration may I think Dr. Ambedkar memorial committee of Great Britain and its members for their generosity and contribution to return –back Buddhism to its country of origin. Further, Mr. Darshan Ram Jassal who bought a car and gave away to the temple and bahut bahut monies to support, Mr. Gurdial Chand who offered the land to erect this Dr. Ambedkar Buddhist Resource Centre. Further, all engineers, workers and people concern, who strongly strived this noble project to take place and to be successful in this part of India and able to open on the day of 14th October, May the protective power of the Triple Gem: the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha bless you all have successful life and attain highest blessings of Nibbana in very near. It is now time, I would like to invite you all too officially inaugurate this noble project for the benefit of many. May I invite venerable Bhikkhu Sangha to chant parittas for the successful, happiness and benefit of many. Thank you Bhavatu Sabba Mangalam With metta and blessing 14th October 2006
20 Sujiv Punnanuphab, ‘Pratraipidok for people (tran: Tipitaka for general people)’, Bangkok: Mahamakut Buddhist University, Thailand, 2526 B.E. / 1983 C.E.

chapter 26

‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 137

chapter 27
He donated his life’s saving
The times of India, New Delhi Chandigarh, Wednesday, October 18,2006 By I P Singh (TNN)


alandhar: brought up in a poor dalit family of abdpura locality in Jalandhar, he is an ordinary factory worker in England who at the age of 64, Works for 12 hours a day. But his philanthropy has become extraordinary. Darshan Raj Jassal, who worked in a forging unit in England for four decades, donated the hard earned saving of his entire life, to the tune of Rs 1 crore, for raising Dr Ambedkar Buddhist Resource Centre near village Soondh, Nawanshahr. Jassal told TOI that while he was living in Jalandhar, he was impressed by the ideology of Dr Ambedkar. He went to England in 1961, but the zeal for the accomplishment of the ‘mission’ kept simmering inside him. This finally took shape in the form of Dr Ambedkar Memorial committee Great Britain in year 1970, of which he was the founder-president.
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 138

A few years back, the idea of establishing Dr Ambedkar Buddhist Resource Centre started taking shape and its foundation stone was laid on October 14, 2004, for which an NRI and an Ambedkar follower Gurdial Chand Soondh donated one acre land. On April 17, 2005 while celebrating the 114th birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar, he announced to donate Rs 1 crore for the centre. Major chunk of this money was paid to him as redundancy fund by the company in which he was working. The committee purchased 3.5 acres extra land for the centre, and the community centre in it would be named after him. Jassal informed that he still works for 12 hours a day in another company, and would donate his house in England to the Committee. Raj Kumar Paul, president of the Committee said such a huge donation by a single person to the mission of Dr Ambedkar had never been made.

chapter 27

‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 139

chapter 28
Good to Know


he story of Pagodas The following terms: Pagoda, Thupa, Prang, and Cetiya are symbols of Buddhism and they are the same meanings. They have been built up for commemoration of Buddhism and recollection of the Buddha Categorization of Cetiya is of four types; 1. Uddesika cetiya – referring to the Buddha image 2. Dhatu cetiya –for enshrining the Buddha’s relics 3. Dhamma cetiya – for containing the scrolls or sheets of metal on which were recorded the Buddha’s teachings 4. Paribhoga cetiya – for housing other things such as the robes, the bowl, the umbrella and so on connected with the Buddha.

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Dhammaduta to be trained They should train themselves to be endowed with the qualities of a dhamma messengers such as possessed by the venerable Sariputta who was thus praised by the Lord Buddha. It is reported in the Atthanipata of the Anguttaranikaya that the venerable Sariputta was worthy go to as a dhamma messenger since he was endowed with eight qualities, namely; 1. Sota: he was listener, i.e. he was quick grasp the essential paints 2. Saveta : he was a speaker, i.e. he was capable of expression himself. 3. Uggaketa: he was a learner, i.e. studious 4. Dhareta: he had a good memory 5. Vinnata: he was a knower i.e. he capable of knowing quickly, clearly and exactly 6. Vinnapeta : he was an expounder, i.e. he was capable to make others know quickly, clearly and exactly 7. Kusalo sahitasahitassa : he knew what was profitable and what was unprofitable 8. No Kalahakarako : he was not given to quarrelling, bhikkhu who are entrusted as dhammaduta should also be endowed with these eight qualities.

chapter 28

‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 141

Venerable Phramaha Somboon Siddhiyano: The Spiritual Head Adviser of Ambedkar Buddhist Centre Wolverhampton


orn in Thailand venerable Phramaha Somboon Siddhiyano Mahathera ordained as a monk in 1945, holding a certificate in Pali studies, B.A. in Philosophy from Mahamakut Buddhist University and a special certificate from the Training Institute for Dhammaduta Bhikkhus going abroad. In 1946 he was sent to the west by the department of religious affairs to run the Buddhapadipa Temple in London and then later he was appointed Deputy Abbot of the temple. In the same year, he was appointed as spiritual advisor for the Buddhist union of Europe. In 1983, Ven Somboon came to Wolverhampton Buddha Vihara to a position of Spiritual leader of Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Committee of Great Braitain. Ven. Somboon came to Wolverhampton when the vihara was in a small converted house, not far from the present location. Ven. Somboon was an inspiration from the first moment and can be said to have been the fundamental reason for the life and success of Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Committee and the Indian Buddhist devotees and the community in increasing the Buddhist faith and practice. With his untiring efforts and hard work in spreading the
‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 142

Dhamma among the Indian community, he has helped them to establish one the largest Buddhist centre in the UK and helped the committee to its present status. It is with his blessing that all this has been achieved. He has been a teacher not only by preaching the Dhamma but also by his living practice of the Buddhist way. To his example we owe the excellent spirit of love, Karuna, Metta, Loving-kindness and cooperation in daily work with the lay devotes. May we all approach Buddhahood through his example. By Mrs. Kamla Chumber Gen. Sec 2006 �����

(Souvenir: A memorial to the greatest Peaceful revolutionary of modern times Dr. B.R. Ambedkar p.35)

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1. Phrakru Panyasudhamwithet 2. Phramaha Boonchauy Pannawajiro 3. Phramaha Pranom Dhammaviriyo 4. Phra Sujan Maharajan 5. Phramaha Bhasakorn Piyobhaso 6. Phra Varaphong Dhammavomso 7. Phramaha Udon Uttamawangso 8. Phramaha Wattana Yashwatthano 9. Phramaha A. Yanasiri 10. Huddersfields Thai Group 11. Mrs.ratanaporn Eaton & Family 12. Mrs.Jansiri Muangmani 13. Miss Panisara Pavapanyakul 14.Wolverhampton Thai Group 15.Miss Vanida Ratanakevin 16.Mrs.Siriporn Crichton 17.Mrs.Pratuang Sinduphan 18.Mr.&Mrs. Jaga R. Chumber 19.Mrs.Pajaree Newlove 20.Mrs.O. Sylvester (Nid) 21.Mr.Kamal Sheel & Namta Kaul 22.Mr.Tarsem Kaul & Gurdev Kaur 23.Mr. & Mrs. Hans Raj Bains & Family 24.Mr. & Mrs. R. P. Jakhu 25.Mrs.Wongchan Techo 26.Mrs.Chayanan Lijka 27.Ms.Sombatt Keawvilai 28.Mr. & Mrs.Satya & Gyan Chand Rattu 29.Unreleased name 30. Dr Ambedkar Memorial Committe GB 31. Wolverhampton Buddhavihara Ladies Group 32. Mrs.Areerut Hollis £ 200 £ 20 £ 100 £ 100 £ 50 £ 20 £ 50 £ 50 £ 30 £ 190 £ 100 £ 100 £100 £ 55 £ 50 £ 50 £ 50 £ 50 £ 50 £ 30 £ 25 £ 25 £ 25 £ 25 £ 20 £ 20 £ 20 £ 10 £ 10 £100 £ 200 £ 20

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‘Odds and Ends’ ~ 145

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