BASIC BUDDHISM FOR BEGINNER

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BASIC BUDDHISM FOR BEGINNER

BASIC BUDDHISM FOR BEGINNERS
PHAT LINH TEMPLE
 

Buddhist calendar: 2560 - Solar calendar: 2016
 
 Contents
  I – Introduction
  1. A brief history of Buddha
  2. Ten chief disciples
  3. 33 Zen patriarches.
  4. Tripitaka.
  5. Sutras Assembly Committee
II – Basic Buddhism
III – Conclusion
 
 I – INTRODUCTION:
        The Buddha gave teaching to the monks, the nuns and lay peoples in 49 years. The Buddha Dharma is so much. So we summarize shortly for beginner in basic Buddhism.
This short article can be imperfect and flawed. We are looking forward all The most Hight Venerables to commend and to teach us more.
We would like this merit to be dedicated to all living being having peaceful and happiness in the mind and we wish that everyone practise the Buddha Dharma for becoming a Buddha in the future.
 
Namo Shakya Mauni Buddha!
 At Ravenburg, Germany on 10/29/2015
 
Bikkhu Thich Hanh Dinh
 
  A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BUDDHA!
 
More than 2500 years ago in the Kapilavastu kingdom (in Nepal), there was a King named Suddhodana and his queen named Maya. Kapilavastu located between the border of  Nepal and India now. The historical relics of the Buddha were unearthed and recognized by the UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage organization.
As the story had been told, one day, the Queen dream of a white elephant with six tusks crept into her right hip. She told all the prophesies about her dream. They guessed that it was auspicious. Soon, she was pregnant. According to Indian tradition, the wife must give a birth in her mother home. Therefore, when the time come, the queen went to her motherland. On the way back to mother home, the Queen passed by the great Lumbini forest where the Asoka flower bloom. In the Indian legend, this flower blossomed once, every 1,000 years. Thus, The Queen has stopped there to look at the flowers. She raised her hand to pick a flower. Suddenly, she immediately transferred her belly to give birth.
The Prince was born in Lumbini Park on the 15th 04 lunar kalendar, year 624 BC.
Lumbini garden
The Father King named him Siddhartha. Seven days after the prince’s birth, the Queen passed away and reborn to Tavatimsa heaven. Therefore, her sister Maha Pajapati, made herself as an aunt-mother to nourish the child.
According to legend, the Prince was born with seven steps walking on earth and the right hand pointing to the sky and the left hand pointing to the ground.
He walked seven steps symbolized that there were seven Buddhas born on this earth and He is the seventh Buddha.
The seven ancient Buddhas are : 1. Vipasyin Buddha; 2. Sikhin Buddha; 3. Visvabhù Buddha; 4. Krakucchanda Buddha;  5. Kanakamuni Buddha; 6. Kasyapa Buddha; 7. Sakya Muni Buddha.
With his right finger pointing to the sky, left finger pointing to the ground, the Buddha said: "On all the heaven and on the earth, only the Buddha nature was the most precious.
The Prince grew up learning smoothly. He was talented by nature and learned all the diferent subjects of nature, especially the Prince loves so much all people and animals. As a child, Prince often prefer to sit quietly alone. When grown at age 16 in year 608 BC, the prince married Princess Yasodhara. The couple had a son named Rahura.
One day the Prince asked his father to visit outside of the castle. When he arrived at the first gate, the Prince suddenly saw an old man with a cane going very miserable and the Prince asked the servant: "Why is this man so old?". The servant replied: "Dear Prince! Whoever was born and then they also will be old age. No one escaped at all. "  At the second gate, the Prince saw a sick person lying there. He asked the servant, "Why is this man so sick?". The servant replied: "Dear Prince! The disease does not spare any one. Even the kids will also be sick. No one escapes the disease at all. " Next to the third gate, the prince witnessed a dead person. Prince asked the servant: "Why was this man dead?". The servant replied: "Dear Prince! Everyone have been born, they must be older and they must be sick. Illness is the cause of death. Death is the end of human life. You can not escape this death, too.”  Finally, reaching the fourth gate, the Prince met a monk. The Prince ask to monks: "What do you practice meditation for?". The monk replied: "Dear Prince! meditating can help us escape from the suffering of birth, aging, illness and death, and help us escape rebirth (samsara) ". After listening to the monk`s teaching about the path of liberation from impermanence, aging, sickness. The Prince enlightened the truth of temporarily life. Because when the body dies, all life career are gone. Only good and evil karmas continued following all human beings. Thereby, it was found that the body is temporary, so life is temporary too.  For that reason, the Prince decided to return to the royal court. He asked his father King to leave home for to seek the zen master; but the father did not agree, because the king had only one son as crown prince to the throne.
Eventually, the prince escaped from the Kapilavastu kingdom for to seek zen master. At that time, he was 19 years old, on the 8th february of the lunar calendar in the year 605 BC. He learned and practised sammatha meditation with two Zen masters Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta for five years. He attained all samadhi states in the heavenly realms of rupaloka and the heavenly realms of arupaloka . Then, he practiced vipassana meditation for 6 years with 5 dharma friends as Kondanna, Bhaddiya, Vappa, Mahanama Kulika and Assaji at the Uruvela village, Gaya city, Bihar state. He meditated all the time. Thus, the Prince forgot to eat, to sleep and finally come to exhaustion. Fortunately, there was a girl named Suyata. She offered milk to the Prince, while the Prince had been exhausting. Suyata was the first donor to the Buddha.
On 8th december Lunar calenda in the year 594 BC, at the age 30, the Prince meditated under the Bodhi tree and became Buddha with dharma-named Sakyamuni at Bodhgaya, Gaya city, Patna capital, Bihar state, India ( Magadha Kingdom before ).
The enlightenment stupa 33 meter high in Bodhgaya
The Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya
After his enlightenment, he went to Deer Park at Sarnath, Varanasi city and He taught the first lecture "Four Noble Truths" for the five dharma friends Kondanna. After listening the four Noble truths, They enlightened the truth of the life and the truth of the mind. They attained Arahat. The Four Noble Truths is the first dharma lecture.
         Next he went to Rajagriha, Magadha kingdom ( Rajgir city, Bihar state ) the reign of King Bimbisala and Queen Vihara. The Buddha gave the refuging in the triple Jems for King Bimbisala. This was the first king who took refuge in the Triple Gems by the Buddha. After that, the king donated  land to the Buddha for to build up a Venuvana Vihara . This is the first Buddhist monastery.
The Chaukhandi stupa where the Buddha met his five Dharma brother at Sarnath
The Dhamekh stupa at Sarnath where Buddha preached the first dharma lecture.
The Nirvana stupa at Kushinagar
The Buddha status inside the stupa
The Rambha stupa where the Buddha was burn in Kushinagar
He Anathapindika was very rich, very holiness help to those suffering and loneliness. He lived in Sravasti by King Pasenadi reigned at the time. He made offerings to the Buddha the Jetavana Vihara at Sravasti. This is the second Vihara that the Buddha established for the Sangha study.
Mrs Maha Pajapati is a form of Buddha's aunt. She was ordained in Vajshali, along with 500 court concubines. She was the first Nun who the Buddha ordained. She established the Nun Sangha here.
         After enlightenment, the Buddha preached the dharma to the kings and to every class in society during 49 years. He established the Triple Jems ( The Buddha, Dharma and Sangha ) and completed perfection of the buddhist propaganda. He went to Kushinagar, capital Pava, Malla Parish. He entered the great samadhi and settled Nirvana under the Sala tree. He entered Nirvana at the age of 80, on the 15th february Lunar calenda in the year 544 BC. The buddhist calendar is calculated from this year. Ex : the western calendar year 2016,  544 + 2016 = Buddhist calendar year 2060. 
Maha Kassapa was the first disciple who is transmitted by the Buddha `s robe and bowl. He led the Sangha and continued the buddhist circuit. After the Buddha entered the Nirvana for 100 days, He chaired the organization in dynamic Sutras aggregation at Saptaparna, on the Vaibhara mountain, in Rajagriha, Magadha Kingdom. This is the first Sutras aggregation.
Ananda is the attendant of the Buddha. He helped Venerable Maha Kassapa repeating all the Buddha `s teaching in time of the first buddhist Sutras aggregation. He is the second disciple to be transmitted the Buddha `s robe and Bowl from Venerable Kassapa in the Zen lineage Tradition. The zen patriarch continued transmitting  “Robe and bowl ceremoney” together until  Hui Neng. He was the 33rd patriarch in the Zen Buddhism.
The buddhist Monks later established the Nalanda buddhist university at Nalanda, Rajagriha, Magadha Kingdom ( Rajgir city, Bihar state ). This is the first international Buddhist university in India.
In the years 263 BC, the Indian Buddhism was transmitted  across other countries by thanks to Ashoka king. This is the first King who propagated Buddhism abroad.
 
+ The ten chief disciples of the Sakyamuni Buddha:
1) Sariputra who was the most wisdom.
2) Moggallana who had the most kabbalahs.
3) Maha Kassapa who was the leader of the Buddhist Sangha.
4) Subhuti who explained the best about the emptiness topic.
5) Purna Mantaniputta who preached the best about the Buddha Dharma.
6) Maha Kaccayana who taught the best about the buddhist philosophy.
7) Anuruddha who had the most deva-vision.
8) Upali who taught the best about the Viyana and Silas.
9) Rahula who had the most esoteric.
10) Ananda who memorised the best all the lord Buddha `s teaching.
 
+ 33 Zen patriarches:
After the Buddha entered Nirvana. He transmitted his robe and bowl to Maha Kassapa who is the presentative leadership of the buddhist Sangha. The zen Patriarchs passed the lord Buddha’s rope and bowl together until  Hui Neng who was the 33rd Patriarch. All the zen Patriarchs achieved the Arahathooh. They all entered Nirvana as the lord Buddha. The Arahats had liberated samsara, so They could live or entered Nirvana depending on their wish. 
Hui Neng entered to Nirvana and remained a indestructible body until now at Nanhua Temple, Chaozhou, Guangdong Province, in China. The zen master Ham Son, also has his ongoing. At Mount Jiuhua mountain , there were Kim Kyo-gak, meditators. . . In Vietnam, there were Dao Tam and Dao Chan zen master who left their flesh body at the Dau Pagoda, Gia Phuc village, Thuong Tin district, Ha Noi, Vietnam.
 + 28 Indian zen patriarches:
1- Maha Kassapa (Year 625 – 520 BC); 2- Ananda (Year 605 – 485 BC); 3 – Sanavasin (Year 550 – 470 BC); 4 – Upagupta ( 5 Year 00 – 430 BC);  5 – Dhitaka (Year 460 – 380 BC); 6 – Michaka (Year 440 – 360 BC); 7 – Vasumitra (Year 420 – 330 BC); 8 – Buddhanandi (Year 370 – 300 BC);  9 –Buddhamitra (Year 360 – 290 BC); 10 – Parsva (Year 360 – 270 BC); 11 - Puṇyayasa (Year 300 – 230 BC); 12 – Asvaghosa (Year 270 – 190 BC); 13 – Kapimala (Year 250 – 180 BC); 14) Nagarjuna (Year 240 – 130 BC); 15 – Kanadeva (Year 170 – 90 BC); 16 – Rahulata (Year 150 – 60 BC); 17 – Sanghanandi (Year 100 – 20 BC); 18 –Sanghayasas (Year -50 BC - +20 ); 19 – Kumarata (Year -10 BC - +60 ); 20 – Jayata (Year +30 – 100 );  21 – Vasubandhu (Year 70 – 160 ); 22 – Madura (Year 120 – 190 ); 23 – Haklenayasas (Year 150 – 230 ); 24 – Simha Bhiksu (Year 200 – 280 ); 25 – Vasasuta (Year 240 – 325 )  26 – Punyamitra (Year 300 – 388 ), 27 – Prajnatara (Year 360 – 460 ); 28 – Bodhidharma (Year 440 – 529 ).
 
+ 6 Chinese zen Patriaches:
The Bodhidharma Patriache was the 28th in India. He went to China transmitting the Buddha `s robe and bowl to Hue Kha Patriache and the transmitting continued until Hui Neng- the 33rd Zen Buddhist patriarch  . For China, Master Hui Neng is the 6th Patriarch, is the last in the “robe and bowl”  lineage, because He Hui Neng terminated this lineage.
1. The organization's profile Bodhidharma Patriache,
2. Hui Kha (Year 487 – 593 ); 3. The Seng Tsan (Year 517 – 606 ); 4. The Tao Sin (Year 580 – 651 ); 5. The Houng Jenn (Year 602 – 675 ); 6. The Hui Neng ( Year 638 – 713 ). 
Zen Master Dang Dien - Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng - Zen Master Ham Son
The sixth Patriarch Hui Neng was born in 638, died in 713 at Nanhua Temple, Chaozhou, Guangdong Province, China
Zen Master Tao Chan - Zen Master Tam Dao At the Dau Pagoda, Gia Phuc village, Thuong Tin District, Ha Noi (Ha Tay province), Vietnam.
 
+ Tripitaka:
         The Tripitaka is the lord Buddha `s teaching. It consist of 3 sets 1) Viyana Pitaka, 2) Sutra Pitaka, 3) Abhidhamma Pitaka.
 
+ The sixth Sutras Aggregation:
1. The first Sutras Recital happened in the year 544 BC, under King Ajatasattu at Saptaparna on the Vaibhara mountain in Rajagriha, Magadha Kingdom, presided by Maha Kassapa.
2. The second Sutras Aggregation happened in the year 444 BC, reigned
Kalasoka king, at Vajshali, Magadha Kingdom.
+ Buddhism splet into two sets:
a - Theravadin - Theravada Buddhism led by Senior Yassa.
b – Mahayana : Northern Mass transport- Developed Buddhism - by group Sangha (Vajjiputta).
3. The third Sutras Aggregation happened in the year 244 BC, during the reign of King Asoka at Pataliputta, Magadha Kingdom ( At Patna, Bihar state now ),  presided over by Moggaliputta Tissa.
4. The fourth Sutras Aggregation:
A - Southern: happened in the year 200 BC, during the reign of King Vatta Gamani Abhaya at Aluvihara in Sri Lanka, translated in Pali.
B - Northern: happened in the year 200 BC, during the reign of King Kaniska  at Kudalavana, Kasmira Kingdom, led by Asvaghosa, organized by the 12th Zen Patriarch, translated in Sanscrit language translation.
5. The fifth Sutras Aggregation happened in the year 1871 during the reign of King Mindon at Mandalay, Burma (Mynanmar).
6. The sixth Sutras Aggregation happened in 1954 on the occasion of the lord Buddha's birthday celebration at Rangoon, Burma (Mynanmar).
    
II – BASIC BUDDHISM:
The Shakyamuni Buddha was the founder of the Buddhism.
 1)  Who is the Buddha?
* The summery of the Buddha `s life:
- The prince Siddhattha was born in Lumbini garden (now in Nepal) on 15/04 lunar calendar 624 year before western calendar.
- The prince was the son of the Suddhodana king and Maha Maya queen whom lived in the Kapilavastu kingdom - Nepal.
- He got married with princess Yasodhara and had one son Rahula.
- He saw that everyone got old age, sickness and died. He understood that life was temporary. He left home at 19 years old on 08/02 lunar calendar, year 605 before the western calendar. He studied and practised meditation for 11 years.
- At 30 years old, He meditated under the Bodhi tree and attained full-enlightenment ( It meant that He understood the truth of the life and the truth of the mind ). He got dharma name Shakyamauni Buddha, on 08/12 lunar calendar 594 years before the western calendar at Bodhgaya, Gaya city, Patna capital, Bihar state, India.
- Buddha gave 49 years of teaching. At the age of 80, He meditated and entered Nirvana under Sala tree at Kushinagar, in Uttar Pradesh state, on 15/02 lunar calendar 544 before the western calendar.
*The Buddha means an enlightened one. Everyone can become a Buddha. If they achieve full-enlightenment of the truth.     
I - The Buddha is a person who enlightened  the truth of life and the truth of the mind.
a)      The truth of life:
The Buddha taught that the sufferings of life have two kinds. The suffering of the body and the suffering of the mind.
•       The suffering of the mind: 1) do not succeed ones desires; 2) to apart from relatives; 3) to be closed with enemies.
•       The suffering of the body: Birth, getting old age, sickness and death.
b)     The truth of the true mind: The true mind is emptiness, silence in the mind. . . we can call Nirvana.
c)      The Buddha taught about the cause and effect law, the impermanent law.etc. These are common principles of life and the universe.
II - The Buddha is a person who is liberated from reincarnation. Because he attained Nirvana (no rebirth).
III - The Buddha is a person who is pure, peaceful in the mind and he had many kabbalahs, because he kept precepts and did meditation.
IV - The Buddha is a compassion, lovely kindness person. Because he vowed to rescue all sentient beings.
V - The Buddha is a wise person, because he taught us how to remove greed, hatred, ignorance; how to end sufferings.
 
2) Why do you trust the Buddha?
         We trust the Buddha, because there are 3 points.
I - The Buddha was a real human being with real history.
II - He had real cultivation as means to become a Buddha.
*For example: He practiced to keep precepts, meditation and wisdom.
III - He had ability to teach everyone to become a Saint, to become a Bodhisattva and to become a Buddha by Tripitaka (The Buddha `s teaching )
          That is a reason why we trust the Buddha.
 
3) What is Buddhism?
Buddhism teach us how to become a Buddha. Because the Buddha said that all living being have Buddha nature. So, the Buddha said that I had become a Buddha already; everyone will become a Buddha in the future, if everyone practice the Buddha `s teaching.
 
4) What is the Buddha `s teaching?
The Buddha teaches us 3 points:
I - Do not do any evil.
II - Do all good things.
III - How to purify the mind and keep the mind silence.
         These are the Buddha `s teaching.
*Explanation:
I - Do not do any evil by keeping 5 precepts.
For example:
1)     No killing.
Those that commit killing, the police will put them in prison. The prison is the hell being. So, the Buddha give precepts not only for the Buddhists, but also for everyone
2)     No stealing.
This precept is the same above
3) No sexual misconduct.
         You can get married with one only to have a happy family.
4)No telling lies.
No one trust you, if you lie to others. Unless you benefit other peoples, then you can lie. For example: the thief asks you: “where is your money? In this case, you can lie to him.
5) No drinking alcohol and drugs.
-       If you are drunk, you can not control what you talk; what you do; what you think.
-       Being drunk can reduce the memory, damage the brain.
-       Being drunk can not be aware and can not develop wisdom.
II - Do all good things to have a good karma:
For example:
1)Eat vegetarian, befree all living beings.
- Eating vegetarian to reduce killing.
- Befree all living being is to perform your love and compassion.
2) Practice giving and benefit others peoples.
         Practice giving and benefit others peoples. This is to create merits and good karma.
III - How to purify the mind and to keep the mind silence?
- If the mind is peaceful, you can live happily. It means that the Buddha teach you how to live with happiness.
-  If the mind is peaceful, clean and pure, it means that the Buddha teach you how to become a Arahat, how to become a Bodhisattva and how to become a Buddha.
*For example: through practice of meditation.
 
5) Do the buddhists worship idols?
Buddhists worship the statue of the Buddha on the altar. Most of the statues were made by bronze, wood, cement, stone, etc. the buddhists sometimes pay respect to images of the Buddha, not in worship, nor to ask for favors. A statue of the Buddha with hands rested gently in its lap and a compassionate smile reminds us to strive to develop peace and love within ourselves. Bowing to the Buddha is an expression of gratitude for the teaching.
 
6) Why are there so many Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in Buddhism?
         Why are there so many doctors? Because there are many students whom study medical education. So many students become many doctors.
         The Buddha taught everybody how to become a Arahat, how to become a Boddhisattva and how to become a Buddha through meditation. Therefore, there are so many Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
 
7) What do the Buddhists offer to the Lord Buddha?
         The buddhists used to offer flowers, fruits, waters, incense, candles to the Buddha for asking favors and for decoration of the Buddha `s altar.
 
8) Do Buddhists give donation to the temple?
          The buddhists give donation such as money and materials for to maintain the temple and to offer foods to the monks´s life.
 
9) What is the meaning of prostrating to the Buddha?
         Prostrate is to perform respect to the Buddha and an expression of gratitude for his teaching.
 
10) What is the meaning of repentance?
         Repentance is to contrite the mistakes and to vow not to do it again. We repent our mistakes from this life and from the past lives. A man who repents mistakes is a good practitioner. Repentance is to purify the mind better.
         We all have done somethings wrongs, have said somethings wrongs, have thought somethings wrong. We can repent them and we wow not to do them again. Even thought, we do repentance, but our bad karma can not avoid the cause and effect law. We must accept it.
 
11) What is the meaning of generating the bodhicitta – of compassion?
         To generate the bodhicitta is to wow becoming a Buddha to rescue all living beings in the ten directions of the universe. In the past, the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas all generated the bodhicitta and great compassion to rescue all the living beings in the ten directions of the universe. So, the Buddhas `s mind was so immense. We can say that Buddhism is a great compassion.
         We have great compassion in our mind. But we do not know to develop and open it. It is not far away. It lies in our minds. It costs nothing to open our compassions. Why do we not open our mind? What are we waiting for? The great compassion is really our mind. Today, we should open our compassion by generating the bodhicitta (generating of compassion) above. If we achieve the great compassion in the mind, we become a Buddha.
*How to vow:
- I wow that i want to be a Buddha for to rescue all living beings in the ten directions of the universe.
 
12) What is the meaning of eating vegetarian?
         Eating vegetarian is to avoid killing, to show respect to life and to develope loving kindness and compassion. Why?
         Because human beings and animals both have life, love, feeling of suffering and happiness, etc.
         Eating vegetarian is to avoid meat of human being and animals. We can eat tofu, cheeses, butter, milks, vegetables, etc.
 
13) What is the benefit of the practice of giving?
         The practice of giving is able to create a lot of merits. How to practice giving? You can donate: 1) Money; 2) Materials; 3) Helping other peoples; 4) Giving the Buddha Dharma. All success in the life depend on the merits. So the Buddha taught: “You benefit others, it means that you benefit yourselves”.
 
14) What is the benefit to befree animals?
         We befree the animals to respect life, to perform our loving kindness to the animals and to develop our compassion.
 
15) What is the meaning of reading Sutra?
         The Buddha `s teaching consists of Sutra, Viyana and Abhidhamma. Reading Sutra is to study the meanings of the Buddha `s teaching.
 
16) What is the meaning of chanting sutra?
         Chanting is to read loud in a Buddhist ceremony. Chanting is to let the living and the death peoples hearing the Sutra. Such as they can be enlighted. The benefit of chanting is:
1)     To understand the Sutra.
2)     To pray and make peace for both the living and the death being.
3)     To concentrate the chanting is to have good mindfulness.
 
17) What is the meaning of chanting Mantra?
         The mantras are the magical voice of the  Buddha. Chanting Mantra is to have good mindfulness.
 
18) What is the meaning of reciting the Buddha `s name?
         Reciting the Buddha `s name is to remind to the Buddha and we pray the Buddha blessing and rescue us from the suffering of the life cycle (reincarnation).
         Reciting the Buddha `s name is to have good mindfulness and a peaceful mind.
 
19) What is the benefit of precepts (Sila)?
         The precepts help us to realize what is wrong; what is good. So, we keep the precepts to stop doing any evils. The precepts are the basic morality for all the human beings.
 
20) What is the benefits of meditation?
-       Reduce thinking
-       Reduce worry
-       Reduce tension
-       Reduce stress
-       Balance the body and the mind (good health )
-       Improve memory
-       Good concentration
-       Good mindfulness
-       Have a Peaceful mind and happiness
-       Being enlightened
-       Being clean, pure in the mind
-       Develop compassion
-       Develop wisdom
 
22) Do the monks make death prayer for everybody?
         The buddhist monks used to do death prayer for everybody. Because the Buddhas vowed to rescue all the living beings; They dwell in the great samadhi state and therefore, They had 6 Kabbalahs. They could see what we do; They could hear what we talk; They could know what we think; They could know our past and future life. They are able to guide all the living beings changing the mind.
         If somebody dies, the buddhist monks make the funeral ceremony. After that, they make death prayer every 7 days. It lasts during 49 days. In the case, they have free time, they can also do chanting everyday during 49 days. At the same time, they make prayer for death anniversary each year.
 
23) What is the meaning of dedication?
         Dedication is to dedicate all our good doings, merits and all our cultivations to all the living beings to become a Buddha.
          Practicing the dedication is to open our mind and to develop our compassion.
 
24) What is the impermanent law?
         The impermanent law is the changing of all the phenomenas and all the things.
 For example:
-       The earth had alway been moving.
-       The weather changes from spring to summer, autumn and winter. So the weather could be windy, rainning, sunny, .ect.
-       The environment always changes from time to time.
-       The body gets older, gets sickness and pass away.
-       The mind is sometime greedy, angry, loving, hating, happy, sad .ect.
So, all things had alway been changing.
         As we know that all things, all phenomenas had alway been changing. We call it the impermanent law.
 
25) What is the Kabbalah?
         The Kabbalah is the energy source of the mind or the power of the mind. That comes from practicing meditation.
 
26) What is karma?
         Karma is from Sancrit language in India. Karma means to be the actions of the body, the mouth and the mind. What you do, what you say, and what you think are all called karma.
Example:
-       We do something bad. It means that we make a bad karma.
-       We do something good. It means that we make a good karma.
So, Karma can be bad and good, it depends on what you do.
 
27) What is cause and effect law?
         In the society, we can see the big different between the rich and the poor peoples; the long life and short life; the beautiful one and the ugly one; the good health one and the handicap one; the intelligent one and the stupid one, .etc. It all depends on the cause and effect law. Who create it? Noone create it. The cause and effect law is a common principle of life and the universe.
For example:
-       If we create a bad cause; then we get a bad effect.
-       If we create a good cause; then we get a good effect.
The Buddha said that nobody can escape from the cause and effect law, if they do bad things. Therefor, the Buddha taught us to make a good karma. Good karma is a good cause. Good cause can lead to good effect.
 
28) What is reincarnation (life cycle – Samsara)?
The ending of life is death. After death, the human being cycle life from life. Because of a combination of ignorance, desires and the purposeful karma, or ethical and unethical actions.
The living being cycle through 4 ways: Birth from womb, Birth from egg, Birth from moisture, Birth from transformation. 
The human being cycle in six desire realms: 1) Gods, 2) Demi – Gods (half god), 3) Human beings, 4) Hell beings, 5) Hungry ghosts, 6) Animals.
•       What does it mean with desire realm?
Desire realm is a place with male and female. Because the most of them require sexual desire.
•       The six desire realms:
1)     God: God is a being who live in the heaven. The human beings keep ten precepts and practise giving. After death, they will be born in the heaven.
-       Ten precepts are 1) no killing, 2) no stealing, 3) no sexual misconduct, 4) not to lie, 5) no slandering, 6) no harsh speech 7) no vain talk 8) no greedy and cheating, 9) no anger, 10) no ignorance.
-       The desire heaven - The Celestial realms has six kinds such as: 1) Catummaharajika heaven (The realm of the four kings), 2) Tavatimsa heaven (The realm of the thirty three gods), 3) Yama heaven (The realm of the Yama gods), 4) Tusita heaven (The delightful realm), 5) Nimmanarati heaven (The realm of gods who rejoice in their own creation), 6) Paranimmitavasavatti heaven (The realm of the gods who lord over the creation of other).
2)     Demi – god ( half god ): The human being also practice giving, but they like fighting.
3)     Human being: The human beings keep five precepts such as 1) no killing, 2) no stealing, 3) no sexual misconduct, 4) not to lie, 5) no drinking alcohol. After death, they can be a real human being.
4)     Hell being: The human beings are so anger, hatred and make crucial karmas After death, they can be punished in the hell being.
5)     Hungry ghost: The human beings are so greedy, slipping and make crucial karmas. After death, they can be hungry ghosts.
6)     Animal: The human beings are so ignorance and make crucial karmas. After death, they can be animals.
 
29) How to become a buddhist?
         Everyone can become a Buddhist. A Buddhist still get married and have family. A Buddhist is a person who take refuge in the triple gems (Take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha). At the same time, they vow to receive 5 precepts such as: 1) No killing, 2) No stealing, 3) No sexual misconduct, 4) No telling lie, 5) No drinking alcohol, drugs.
         The Buddhists have the responsibility to support the Temples and the sangha `s life.
 
30) What is the Triple Gems?
         The Triple Gems consist of the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha (In Indian sansrit language).
•       The Buddha is a the enlightened one.
•       The Dharma is the Buddha `s teaching.
•       The Sangha are a group of at least 4 monks whom study and practise the Buddha `s teaching.
 
31) Who is a monk?
         A monk is a practictioner who study morality and pratice to purify himself. It means that he is not perpect yet.
 
32) How to become a buddhist monk?
         Everyone can become a buddhist monk. The buddhist monk do not get married, only study the Buddha `s teaching and practice meditation. The buddhist monk have responsibility to give teaching to the Buddhists.
 
33) How long can you be a buddhist monk?
         A buddhist monk can study and practise meditation until you attain Nirvana.
         A buddhist monk can give up, if he do not want to follow the monk `s life.
 
34) Why do the buddhist monk wear robe and to shave the head?
         The buddhist monk shave the head and wear the robe. This formality is to differ from the ordinary peoples.
 
34) Why do the buddhist monks walk for alms?
         The buddhist monks walk for alms. Because they let everyone practice giving to create merits and to associate with the Sangha. At the same time, the buddhist monks pray for the giver before eating.
 
35) How to be a good human being?
         The Buddha taught that who can keep 5 precepts. Then they are good human being. After death, they do not cycle in the hell being, hungry ghost and animal realm. Next life, they will be reborn good human beings again.
         5 precepts consist of 1) no killing; 2) no stealing; 3) no sexual misconduct; 4) no telling lie; 5) no drinking alcohol.
 
36) How to be reborn as a god?
The Buddha taught that who can keep 10 precepts and practise giving. After death, they will be gods and will be reborn in the desire heaven.
10 precepts consist of:
•       The body has 3 precepts: 1) no killing; 2) no stealing; 3) no sexual misconduct;
•       The mouth has 4 precepts: 1) not to lie; 2) no slandering, 3) no harsh speech, 4) no vain talk.
•       The mind has 3 precepts: 8) no greedy; 9) no angry; 10) no ignorant.
 
37) What is Nirvana?
         Nirvana is from Indian sancrit language. It means no reincarnation (no rebirth - samsara), the peaceful and silence state of the mind. This also is a result that the Arahat achieve it.
 
38) How to be a Arahat?
a) Who is a Arahat?
* The Arahat do not commit killing, stealing, not to fall in love with others, do not have sex with others, not to lie, do not drink alcohol, do not commit any gorvement laws.etc. .
* The Arahat do not have any disturbing, suffering.
* The Arahat is not greedy, anger, hatred, selfish, jealousy, slipping, cheating .etc.
* The Arahat is a complete purely mind.
* The Arahat is a person who understand the truth of life and the truth of true mind.
* The Arahat is no rebirth. Because he did meditation and attain the Nirvana. He wants to live or to die, it is up to his decision.
b) How many stages to become the Arahat?
         There are four stages: 1) Sotapanna Saint ( Stream enterer ); 2) Sakadagami Saint ( Once returner ); Anagami Saint (Non returner ) and Arahat ( No rebirth ).
c) What is the cause leading to be a Arahat?
         There are three points: 1) To keep precepts (Sila); 2) To practise meditation; 3) To practise wisdom.
1)     To keep Precepts: Precepts help our body stopping to do any evils.
2)     To practice meditation: Meditation is to purify the mind.
3)     To practise wisdom: Wisdom is to remove the suffering of the greedy, anger, inorgrance, jealousy, selfish .etc.
All Arahat have 6 kabbalahs – Abhinna: 1) Eye divine ( Ability to see all form ); 2) Ear divine ( Ability to hear any sound, anywhere); 3) Mental telepathy ( Ability to thoughts of others ); 4) Psychic Travel ( Ability to be anywhere and to do anything at will; 5) Knowledge of past and future lives of self and others; 6) Ability to end contamination.
 
39) How to become a Bodhisattva?
a) How is the Bodhisattva:
The Bodhisattva and Arahat are the same enlightened one. The Arahat do not want to cycle again. But the Bodhisattva vow to cycle again to rescue all living beings.
b) How many the stages of the Bodhisattvas are there?
         The Bodhisattvas vow to practise rescue the all living being until they attain a Buddha. They have to undergo 52 stages to become a Buddha.
•       Why are there so many levels of the Bodhisattvas?
Because They have big different concentration, kabbalad and wisdom.
c) What is the cause leading to be a Bodhisattva?
*The Bodhisattva practise 3 points.
1) The Bodhisattva generates the bodhicitta vow.
* What is the bodhicitta vow?
The bodhicitta vow means to vow becoming a Buddha for to rescue all the living being.
2) The Bodhisattvas practise 6 methols:
* To practise giving: To practise giving is to clear greedy and to benefit other peoples.
* To keep the precepts: To keep the precepts is to stop doing any evil.
* To be tolerant: Being tolerant is to clear anger, hatred and to develope compassion.
* To be diligent: Being diligent refrain to be lazy and to effort the practice.
* To practise meditation: Practising meditation is to purify the mind.
* To practice wisdom: Practising wisdom is to remove the suffering of lust, anger and ignorance .etc.
3) The Bodhisattva practise the bodhisattva way.
         The Bodhisattva practice the bodhisattva way. It means that They enter the life cycle (Samsara) to rescue all the living beings until they become a Buddha.
 
40) How to become a Buddha?
          The Boddhisattva enlightened to his fullness. He becomes a Buddha.
 
III – CONCLUSION:
In the life, there are many funs and pleasures which can make people feel cheerful and happy. Therefore, man are forever chasing enthusiasticaly to achieve all the happy talking above, until people feel the body no longer work anymore, so then to stop. Therefore to say, "Life is a delusion". When the body dissolves, then the feelings of happiness, sadness, pleasure, joy, happiness, etc., will all disappear. Then the desire heart arises attachment, regret the happiness mentioned above, and suffering will arise from there. Oh! Happiness is only temporary, but suffering is really constant!
Happiness does not come naturally to everyone. Therefore, everyone is in search of happiness. Happiness comes from outside through somebody, certain material, or through certain sense, etc. But it does not exist forever. Therefore, the happiness, we feel happiest, when it lost, the very happy that makes us suffer the most and it would kill us die someday. 
The Buddha pointed us to seek the true happiness, it does not depend on anyone, or depend on external circumstances. That happiness is not far away; that's in us. Although, true happiness is available in us, but it’s not that we want it to come, but we have to create it, or in other words we have to practice. 
Buddha taught that 1) do not do evil, 2) doing good and 3) purify your mind. When the mind is pure, there is no sorrow, no suffering anymore. Such this happiness will last forever. 
"If you live peacefully, you will die peacefully".
 
Namo Sakyamauni Buddha!
Chùa Phật Linh ngày 01/09/2015
Thích Hạnh Định
 
 

 
 


 
  
 

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