BUDDHA DHARMA CONVERSATION

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  BUDDHA DHARMA CONVERSATION
PHAT LINH TEMPLE
 
BUDDHA DHARMA CONVERSATION
 

 
 
 
BUDDHA CALENDAR 2565
SOLAR CALENDAR 2021
 
 

FOREWORD

 Namo Shakyamuni Buddha!
People are born, grow up, and get married. At the same time, people have to find a way to make a living. However, human life is only temporary for a certain period of time, because everyone has to die one day. Therefore, people also need to learn about the sake of life or spiritual life. This question is asked by everyone, but no one knows who to learn from. Therefore, people are insecure in life, especially concerning after death.
Shakyamuni Buddha was born to guide human beings to learn about themselves. That is Buddha-nature. And He explained and guided people about social life, spiritual life and He taught people how to practice to live peacefully in reality, as well as when leaving.
Now, we should also take some time to learn through the questions below. Through this, we will attain some satisfaction in life.
Namo Amitabha Buddha!
 
 
CONTENTS
 
Charter I: The source of human beings and religions. (3 TOPICS)
TOPIC 1: Where did the human beings come from? and Who created the earth?
TOPIC 2: The religions derived from the concept of human belief?
TOPIC 3: How to know religions properly?
Charter II: Introduction about Buddhism (5 TOPICS)
TOPIC 4: How to know about Buddhism?
TOPIC 5: What is Buddhism?
TOPIC 6: What are Lord Budda`s teachings?
TOPIC 7: Three period times of Indian Buddhism.
TOPIC 8: Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism
Charter III: Some questions about beliefs and Right Views in Buddhism. (9 TOPICS)
TOPIC 9: Why did you believe in Lord Buddha?
TOPIC 10: Buddhism has freedom of belief, hasn’t it?
TOPIC 11: Believing in Lord Buddha is rescued into paradise or not?
TOPIC 12: Did the Buddha bear the sins of sentient beings?
TOPIC 13: Belief and praying can make one become a Saint or not?
TOPIC 14: Buddha is a divine being 
TOPIC 15: How to know the right way to enlightenment?
TOPIC 16: How to know my faith is true?
TOPIC 17: Is conversion a sin?

CHARTER I
THE SOURCE OF HUMAN BEING AND RELIGION (3 Topics)
 
TOPIC 1
WHERE DID THE HUMAN BEINGS COME FROM?
WHO CREATED THIS EARTH?

 
INTRODUCTION
For thousands of years, many people wanted to know who created human beings, everyone had been very curious about this question!
Someone said: “Human beings come from monkeys”.
Someone said: “Human beings come from the Creator God”. They explained that He had the power to do that. They worshiped him and prayed for favor. Particularly, they believed that He could rescue them to paradise after death.
+ Most of the Western religious researchers asked:
What is the Creator God`s history? Where did he live? Who was his parent?
+ Someone replied:
He had no history and no parents.
+ The researchers asked:
How can you believe a person who did not has a history? It means that he was not true. He had no history; Noone could see him; Noone knew him; then you had no evidence to prove that he created human beings. Someone said that he came from your dreams or from your imagination. As you knew that he had no history. Who gave birth to him? And where did he come from?
+ Someone replied:
He came from nature.
+ The researchers asked:
You said that he had no history, no parent; He came from nature. This answer did not suit science. Who saw that? How could you know that?
+ Someone replied:
I thought so.
+ The researchers asked:
What you thought without any piece of evidence is only from your imagination. It meant that you had cheated yourself in this way. If you trusted that the Creator God had the power to make this earth and everything, can you ask him to change this earth to paradise?
+ Someone replied:
No, I do not know.
+ The researchers asked:
The storms, the earthquakes, the tornados, etc.. had killed many peoples. Why did he create these phenomena?
+ Someone replied:
I don`t know. Perhaps, He would like to punish them.
+ The researchers asked:
Since human beings were born in this world, they had started fighting each other until now. But the Creator God made them; why did He not help them become good people or stop their fighting?
+ Someone replied:
No, He can`t do that. Human beings want to fight.
+ The researchers asked:
All human beings were born on this world, and all of them pass away one at a time. It meant that all of them lived temporarily. This was great suffering! For what did He create human beings? why did He not send all of them directly to paradise?
+ Someone replied:
No, I did not reply to those.
Most people had many curious questions. Who were the first people on this earth? Who created human beings? These were reasons why someone set up a person as a creator god. He satisfied all curious answers of human beings. But in fact, the researchers did not find out his history. He had no parents, no human being body. Then, nobody saw him; nobody knew how he looked; was He a good or bad person? How were his practice and study? As you knew that he had no human body; then how could he give teachings to others? Could he teach others by feelings or through dreams? Surely, he could not. So the researchers concluded that he had no human body, and he also had no teachings. Someone wrote the teachings through the concepts of human belief. Day by day, they developed theories as well.
 
I – WHERE DID HUMAN BEINGS COME FROM?
a) Human beings:
+ Ask:
          I would like to learn about Buddhist conceptions. Where did human beings come from and who created this earth in Buddhism?
+ Reply:
Buddha did not aim to reply to all curious questions. Why? Life is very short. So at first, Buddha focused to guide human beings on how to qualify their personal moral ethics by practicing precepts; The second, He guided human beings on how to remove the sufferings from lust, hatred, and ignorance; In other words, He guided how to live happily by practicing Samatha meditation; The third, He guided human beings on how to liberate Samsara – rebirth by practicing Vipassana meditation. These were important purposes for human lives.
          As I know in Buddhism. Buddha taught:
“All things had been formed by cause and conditions,
All things will be vanished by cause and conditions.”
It means that all human beings, animals, plants, and the Earth had formed by cause and conditions. And all human beings, animals, plants, and the Earth will be vanished by cause and conditions. This was a natural principle in the universe.
          Oh! I thought that exactly. I ask you. Who gave birth to you?
+ Ask:
          That was my Mum.
+ Reply:
          Without your father, could she do that?
+ Ask:
          No, she could not.
+ Reply:
          As you know, your mother could not give birth to you by herself. Your father and your mother cooperated with each other; then she got pregnant and gave birth to you. So we can say that your mother is one cause; your father is one cause, and you are another cause; three causes have good conditions; then you got a human body. All human beings came here like you.
The human body consists of four elements such as earth, water, wind, and fire (temperature). These four substances have good conditions to form a human body. It will undergo old age, sickness, and death. So this body will be vanished by cause and conditions. We have to realize that our bodies are temporary.
+ Ask:
          But I actually would like to know the first one who created human beings?
+ Reply:
          As you replied that your parents gave birth to you. They were your historical source. They gave food to you; they took care of you; they gave education to you; they were really your creator god. You have to respect and pay gratitude to them. You have to worship them. For what did you look for the first one?
+ Ask:
          When did human beings come here?
+ Reply:
          Buddha taught: “There were living beings from beginningless until endless.” It means that before forming this earth, the living beings had lived in other worlds. And after this earth would be ended; they will move to other worlds. When the living being dies; it means that their bodies do not work, but their souls still continue to live in other forms.
b) The animals:
The animals give birth like human beings. The males and the females cooperate with each other; then they give birth to the new one. The animals have some things similar to human beings. The animal and human beings have the same lives, moving, feeling, love, etc. Only human beings are able to study and realize things better.
All living beings have been born in four ways. There are 1. Birth from the womb, 2. Birth from the egg, 3. Birth from moisture, 4. Birth from transformation.
* Birth from the womb: Such as humans, pigs, cows, dogs, etc.
* Birth from the egg: Such as the chicken, the birds, the snakes, etc.
* Birth from moisture: Such as the insects, etc.
* Birth from transformation: Such as the mosquitos, the bees, etc., and the god beings.
c) The plants:
The plants have been grown by cause and conditions.
For example, a mango seed has good soil, water, wind, and temperature condition, then it is able to grow into a mango tree. One day, you can get a mango fruit. In this case, the mango seed has only air. It has not enough conditions to grow up a mango tree. So we can say that the plants grow up by cause and conditions and the plants will be vanished by cause and conditions one day. Most Scientists also researched so.
         
II - WHO CREATED THIS EARTH AND UNIVERSE?
+ Ask:
So who created this earth and universe?
+ Reply:
Buddha taught that there were a lot of the worlds in the universe like sands in the Ganga river. In other words, we can say there are a lot of solar systems in the universe. Our solar system consists of the sun and 8 planets such as 1. Mercury planet, 2. Venus planet, 3. Our earth, 4. Mars planet, 5. Saturn planet, 6. Jupiter planet, 7. Uranus planet, 8. Neptune planet.
Our earth had formed by the earth, water, wind, fire (Temperature). So earth, water, wind, and fire were causes; They got good condition to gather each other; They formed the earth. It will exist one period of time; And then it will vanish one day. Therefore, we can say that the earth formed by causes and conditions; The earth will be vanished by causes and conditions.
Western scientists had launched many satellites in space. They had researched and proved that there were uncountable planets and solar systems in the universe. They guessed that there were living beings in other worlds. Maybe, they had lived as human bodies or they had lived in different forms. Especially, they discovered that many worlds had been formed by a lot of meteorites and dust. And many worlds had exploded already, or they are going to explode. So when it explodes; we can see a lot of meteorites that fly everywhere in space. A few meteorites had already fallen down on our earth. Thereby, almost all of the space scientists had proved that worlds had formed and existed a period of time; After that, they would be exploded and would be vanished by cause and conditions. Space science's research is suitable to Lord Buddha`s teachings.
         
Tại Chùa Đôn Hậu – Trondheim - Norway 24/08/2019
ĐĐ Thích Hạnh Định

   

TOPIC 2
THE RELIGIONS DERIVED FROM
THE CONCEPT OF HUMAN BELIEF
 
INTRODUCTION
If you want to get good knowledge about other religions, about your beliefs, about your spiritual lives, etc. Then you are able to learn it from religious researchers. They would guide you on the ways to research religions more properly. This is your decision. Everyone would like to have one religion for worship and to pray favors. So if you research and have good knowledge about religions, then you will select one ideal religion for yourself.
 
SUMMARY
I - Definition about religion.
II - Religions derive from the human being`s belief.
1) The object of belief had no history.
2) They had no teachings.
3) They were not the founder of religions.
4) They did not have any religious cultivation.
 
I – DEFINITION ABOUT RELIGIONS:
* What is religion?
          Religion worships the creator god who created the earth, human beings, and everything, .etc. Therefore, someone worships and prays him for favors. Especially, He will rescue them to paradise after death.
 
II – THE RELIGIONS DERIVED FROM THE CONCEPT OF HUMAN BELIEF:
Ask:
Namo Shakyamuni Buddha!
Dear Master! We know there are many religions. So, Master! Where did religion come from and who founded it?
Namo Amitabha Buddha!
Reply:
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen!
          Western religious researchers said that religion derived from the concept of human belief. Why?
          Because they researched the belief object of religions had no of historical source and background. Who is the object of belief?
+ The object of belief:
The object of belief is a person who the followers and devotees can believe and worship.
For example, the object of belief can be the holy person, the celestial one, the saints, the creator god, and Buddha, etc.
+ The propagator:
A propagator is a person who propagates theory, teachings to other peoples about the object of belief. They are also representatives and leaders of religions. But they are not the belief object of religions but also not founders of religion.
+ The believers:
The believers are devotees or followers of religion. They are not founders of religions.
          The researchers told that thousand years ago, human beings had undergone a lot of sufferings, such as the suffering of storms, earthquakes, tsunami; the suffering of the wars, suffering of the injustice in society; suffering from starvation; suffering from sickness and death .ect. . So they need some holy persons whom could help and rescue them. Therefore, they prayed to God blessing them luck and happiness. These were reasons why the human beings established the religions and they named all those the holy persons and the creator Gods .etc. After that, they wrote about theory through the concept of human belief. At the same time, they made religious rules for the followers. How can we know that?
          The religious researchers said that there were 4 reasons: 1) The object of belief had no history; 2) They had no teachings; 3) They were not the founder of religions; 4) They did not have any religious cultivation.
 
1 – The Object of belief had no history:
          The researcher question: “If you trust anyone absolutely, but they did not have history. Are they true or not? You surely answer: “not true”, because they did not have histories. No one knew where they lived and how they were.
If they did not have parents, then they did not have bodies. They did not have bodies. What can you base on to know they are good or bad; they are human beings or saints and about their practices.
If they did not have bodies, how did they give teaching to others? In this case, they did not have bodies. Can they give teachings to others people by feeling or by dreams? Surely, it is not. Therefore, they had no bodies and had also no teachings. So, who did not have history, it means that he came from in your dreams and imaginations.
          That is why we must research the history, biography of the object of belief, is it true or not? In this case, the object of belief did not have history. Then, all followers would be superstitious. Because they trusted a person absolutely not true.
Most western researchers looked for histories of the belief object of religions. They did not discover their histories. They almost came from imagination. In the end, the researchers concluded that the belief object of religions had no history.
 
2 – The object of belief had no teaching:
          The researchers made questions:
1 - To whom did the object of the belief give teachings?
2 – Where did He give teachings?
3 – When did He give teachings?
The researchers discovered that the belief objects had no history. So, they did not have human being bodies, then how did they give teachings to others? In this way, nobody knew to whom He gave teachings; nobody saw where He gave teachings; Nobody discovered when He gave teachings. The researchers confirmed that they did not have teachings.
The religious theory had been written by human beings. Human beings wrote religious theories through the concept of human belief and at the same time, they also made religious rules for the devotees. In fact, the object of belief did not give any teachings.
3 – The object of belief was not the founder of religions:
          The researchers said that the object of beliefs had no histories and no human bodies. Then how could they be founders of religions? So, they were not founders of religions. The religions had been established by human beings.
Example:
          Mr. Bill Gates discovered and created Microsoft. Then, we can say that he was a founder of computers.
4 – The object of belief had no religious cultivations:
At first, we confirmed him as a saint, a holy person, a Buddha, or a god. If He was a Saint, Then, we find out about his study and practice.
          The researcher question: “Are there anyone who became a doctor, a dentist without study and practice?” You surely answer no.
The researcher question: “Are there anyone who became a saint, a god without study and practice?” You surely answer no. If the object of belief is a Saint or a holy person, then, we find out their study and practice. In this case, he did not have any study and had no practice to become a saint. Then, we conclude that this saint is the only name; He is a fake saint.
          If the object of belief of religions had no history, they had no religious study and practices. How can we know that they were good or bad, negative or positive; we can not recognize them as a human being, a saint and the holy persons. In the end, the researchers concluded that the religions derived from the concept of human belief.
If you do not trust the western researcher, then you yourself can research the history of the belief object through the four reasons above.
+ Ask:
So, did Buddhism originate from human beliefs?
+ Reply:
Namo Buddha Shakyamuni Buddha!
Ladies and gentlemen!
Western religious people did not say that Buddhism originated from human beliefs. Why? Because
1 – Buddha was a real historical person.
2 – The Buddha was the one who realized the truth and was the founder of Buddhism.

3 – The Buddha had teachings through the Tripitaka (Suttas, Laws, Commentaries)

.4 – The Buddha had a spiritual practice such as learning, cultivating, and propagating through his history.

Thank you for your listening!

 

The western religious researchers

 
 
TOPIC 3
HOW TO RESEARCH RELIGIONS PROPERLY?
 
 
INTRODUCTION
Someone said: “All religions had almost a common teaching is to do good deeds.”        
There had been a lot of religions and human beliefs in the world. Everybody almost has one or two religions, including human beliefs. Someone has no religion. All of us follow religions or human beliefs due to tradition, culture, and particularly, we follow the parent`s religions (Familysreligion). This was almost obligatory. You were not free to choose on religion for yourself. It had been very seldom that someone researched and selected one religion for themselves. The reasons are not easy to know how to research about religions and human beliefs. Therefore, many peoples follow religions without researching. If you researched and understood religions clearly, then you select for yourself an ideal and proper religion. This religion will benefit your spiritual life. This depends on your decision.
Western scholars and researchers said that you want to study or to research any religion clearly. You should open your mind; you have to use your wisdom and knowledge; you must be objective. Then you realize all matters positives or negatives exactly. If you love to trust anyone; you would like to develop your belief absolutely and you realize religions by your subjective opinions. Then you can not understand religions' right view and exactly. You are not able to be a researcher for the public. So, if you wish to be a researcher. Then you should be objective.  Then your belief will be right view and have ideal.
          For thousands of years ago, human beings had undergone a lot of suffering. Sufferings of storms, earthquakes; Sufferings of wars; Sufferings of starvation; Sufferings of injustice in society; Sufferings of unhappiness family; Sufferings of old age, sickness, and death; Sufferings of samsara, etc. Those were reasons why human beings needed a holy person who could liberate their sufferings. Particularly, He could rescue them after death. These are the most happiness for them. From those beliefs, human beings established religions and the names of the object of belief. At the same time, they wrote theory through experiences of human beliefs and human morality. How could we say that? because the object of belief did not have history. So no one could know them; no one could see them, absolutely not true. The creator god came from dreams and imagination.
          So, how can we research and realize religions properly? The western religious researchers said: “If you want to know about religions clearly, then you are able to research about the object of belief”. They guided us to research the following basic items:
1) History of religion; 2) History of the object of belief; 3) Theory.
 
SUMMARY
I – History of religion
1) History of religion
2) Who was the founder of religion?
3) Who was the belief object?
II – History of the belief object of religion.
1) History of the Belief object.
2) The Belief object`s practice.
3) The Belief object`s ability
III – Theory
1 - To whom did he give teachings?
2 - Where did he give teachings?
3 - when did he give teachings? 
                                                                                                                                                                          
I – History of religions:
* Definition: What is religion?
          Firstly, we define what religion is. The researcher said that religion worships the creator god. He created the earth, human beings, and everything. Therefore, human beings worship him and pray for favors, etc. They hope that He rescues them to paradise after death. Without Him, they will be born in hell being. Each religion had a different name of the creator god.
1) When did religion establish?
          If you want to know the history of religion, then you have to make questions:
a) When did this religion establish?
For example, it was established in the third century BC.
b) Where did this religion come from?
For example, it came from India.
2) Who was the founder of this religion?
          You ought to find out the history of the founder.
a) Who was the founder of this religion?
          If there was no founder, then this religion derived from human belief.
b) Was there a history of the founder or not?
You can learn the history of the founder. And what were the reasons that he established this religion? As you know that there were no religions that came from nature.
3) Who was the belief object of this religion?
          All religions had the belief object of religions to worship and to pray favors. So, you can find out who was the object of belief; what was his name and his pictures?. Then next, you research his history.
 
II –History of the object of belief:
          What is a superstitious person?
If you have believed and worshiped one person absolutely, but he had no history, then he was not true. It means that you were a superstitious person. In this case, you believed and worshiped a person as a holy person. But he actually was not a holy person. Then, you were also a superstitious person. These are reasons why you should research the object of belief before you worship and trust him absolutely. Before we find out the history of the object of belief, then we should know what the definition of the belief object is.
* The object of belief:
The object of belief is worshiped by believers, followers.
Example: Someone worship a Saint, a God, a Creator God, a holy person, etc.
* The Priest: The priest who introduces history and theory of the object of belief. They are also representatives of religions. But they are not founders of religions.
* The follower: The follower who worships and studies the theory of the object of belief.
          The religious researchers guided us in researching the history of the belief object as following 3 points: 1) History; 2) Practice; 3) Theory
1) History of the object of belief:
          Someone asks: “If you trust anyone absolutely, but they did not have history. Are they true or not? You surely reply: “not true”, because they did not have history. No one knew where they lived and how they were.
If they did not have parents, then they did not have bodies. They did not have bodies. What can you base on to know they are good or bad; They are human beings or saints? and how about their practices?.
If they did not have bodies, then how they gave teachings to others. In this case, they did not have bodies. Can they give teachings to others people by feeling or by dreams? Surely, it is not. Therefore, they had no bodies and had also no teachings. So, who did not have history, it means that he came from in your dreams and imaginations.
          That is why we must research the history, biography of the object of belief true or not? In this case, the object of belief did not have history. Then, all followers would be superstitious. Because they trusted a person absolutely not true. Thereby, we research their histories.
2) The practice of the belief object:
We should confirm him as a saint, a holy person, a Buddha, or a god. If he was a saint, then, we find out about his study and practice.
          The researcher asks: “Are there anyone who becomes a doctor, a dentist without study and practice?” You surely reply no.
          The researcher asks: “Are there anyone who becomes a saint, a Buddha, a god without study and practice?“. You surely reply no. If the object of belief was a saint or a holy person, then, we find out their study and practice. In this case, he did not have any study and had not to practice to become a saint. Then, we conclude that this saint is the only name; He is a fake saint.
3) The belief object`s ability:
          If the object of belief had been recognized as a saint, a god, then we find out that he had the ability to guide everyone to become a saint, a god or not?        
If someone gave you medical knowledge and guided you to become a doctor, then, we confirm that he was a doctor.
          So, the object of belief was a saint, a god. Then you should know that he had the ability to guide you to becoming a saint, a god or not? If he had no ability for that, he was not a real saint. He was a fake Saint. Saint is only a name.
 
III –Theory - Teachings:
          Now you make questions like the following:
1 - To whom did he give teachings?
2 - Where did he give teachings?   
If you did not discover these three questions above. Then you can confirm these teachings, not from the belief object of religion. This theory was written by human beings. In this case, the theory belongs to the belief object. So, how can we realize what are negatives and positives? You can base on the following items:
1 – No god taught you to disrespect to parents. His teaching can guide you to pay gratitude to parents.
2 - No god taught you to do any evils. For examples killing,   stealing, telling lies, etc. because no God get punishing for your crimes. Those who committed crimes will be punished. That is justice. If you caused crimes; Police will put you in prison. Then, no god can rescue you from the prison. But the gods are able to advise you to change your mind and guide you on how to create better karmas.
3 - The teachings benefit you and others. But if teaching benefit you and on the contrary that harms others. These teachings did not suit moral ethics.
4 - Theory must be logic for human morality.
Example: No killing, no stealing, no sexual misconduct, no telling lie, no use of alcohol, etc.
5 - Does theory suit cause and effect law or not?
Example: Someone tells you: “Mr. Peter is a saint”. Saint is an effect. Then you ask: “How did he become a saint?” If they did not know or reply that he came from nature. Do you believe that? You surely reply no. This case do not suit cause and effect law.
6 - Theory suits the truth and science.
Example: He said that he came from nature. He had a human body like you. How could he come from nature? It did not suit Science and reality. So, we must check it.
7 - If the theory is holy teaching. So, can holy teachings guide other peoples to be holy persons? If impossible, then it was not holy teachings.
          These are basic items for us to realize positives and negatives.
          You trust anyone absolutely, you can not be a good human being. Unless, you must think positive, talk positive, and do positive. Maybe, you will be a good human being. It means that you change your mind; then you change your life.
 

 

CHARTER II

GENERAL INTRODUCTION ABOUT BUDDHISM (5 TOPICS)
 
TOPIC 4
HOW TO KNOW ABOUT BUDDHISM

 
 
INTRODUCTION
If we want to know about Buddhism, we should realize that we are religious researchers who are always objective and open-minded. So, they must realize all positive or negative matters exactly. In other words, they must understand any problems in the right view.
          Buddhism guided everyone to qualify personal morality and how to live peacefully. Particularly, Buddha taught everyone how to be an Arahan, a Bodhisattva, and a Buddha in order to liberate Samsara (Rebirth). Buddha said: “I already became a Buddha. All living beings will be Buddha in the future because all living beings had Buddha natures. Therefore, if they study and practice Buddha`s teachings, then they will be enlightened in the future.
If you want to research religions in general or Buddhism in particular, You can research them through 3 items as following: I) History of Buddhism; II) History of the belief-object in Buddhism; III) Buddha Dharma (Buddha`s teachings).
 
SUMMARY
I – History of Buddhism
1) History of Buddhism; 2) History of the founder; 3) Who was the belief object?
II – History of the belief object in Buddhism
1) Buddha`s history; 2) Buddha`s practice; 3) Buddha`s ability
III – Buddha Dhamma – Buddha`s teachings:
1) About the truth; 2) About cause and effect law; 3) About Samsara - Rebirth; 4) To pay gratitude of parent; 5) To qualify personal moral ethic; 6) How to create good karma; 7) How to live peacefully; 8) How to liberate Samsara; 9) How to be an Arahan, a Bodhisattva, and a Buddha.
I –History of Buddhism:
1) When was Buddhism established?
According to Mahayana Buddhism History, Buddhism was established on 08/12 Lunar calendar (Chinese calendar) 594 BC at Bodhgaya village, Gaya city, Patna capital, Bihar state, India.
2) Who was the founder of Buddhism?
Buddhism was established by Prince Siddhattha. He practiced Samatha and Vipassana meditation and became a full-enlightened one – a Buddha. He got a Dharma name as Sakyamuni Buddha.
Prince Siddhattha was born in the seventh century BC, date 15/04 Lunar calendar, 624 BC, in Kapilavastu kingdom (Now in Nepal). His father was Suddhodana; Queen was Maha Maya; His wife was Princess Yasodhara; The son was named Rahula. At age 19, He did enlighten that life was temporary. Because, no one could escape the suffering of old age, sickness, and death. Therefore, He left the kingdom and looked for zen masters. He did meditation for 11 years. In the end, He enlightened the truth of life and the truth of the mind under Bodhi tree in the sixth century BC, on 08/12 Lunar calendar 594 BC at Bodhgaya village, Gaya city, Patna capital, Bihar state, India. From that date, He established Buddhism.
3) Who was the object of Buddhism?
The belief object of Buddhism was also Prince Siddhattha. He did meditation and became a Buddha. He got Dhammaname as Sakyamauni Buddha. He not only was a founder of Buddhism, but also Buddhist followers worshiped him as a Dharma Master. The Buddhists considered him as a holy one who they could pray for favors. Who is a Buddha?
I - Buddha was the enlightened one:
Buddha was the enlightened one. He was enlightened to the truth of life and the truth of mind (Buddha-nature).
1) Secular truth (the truth of life):
Buddha taught that life is misery. Man has 2 sufferings as mental sufferings and physical sufferings.
a) The suffering of mind - Mental sufferings: 1. Do not satisfy as wishing is suffering; 2. Separation from a loved one is suffering; 3. Being close to the enemy is suffering.
b) The suffering of the body - Physical sufferings: 1. The suffering of birth; 2. The suffering of old age; 3. The suffering of sickness; 4. The suffering of death.
2) Truth of true mind – Buddha-nature:
True mind is no defilement, no suffering, no greed, no hatred, no delusion; True mind is peaceful, purity, stillness also known as Nirvana.
Buddha taught about the law of cause and effect and the law of impermanence. These are the general principles of the human universe. These principles are the truth of life.
II - Buddha was a liberated one:
The Buddha practiced meditation and attained Nirvana. He could liberate samsara. The liberated one who wants to live or to die as wishing.
III - Buddha was a peaceful one:
Buddha was a peaceful one because He practiced meditation and entered Samadhi (High concentration).
IV - Buddha is a great wisdom one:
Buddha taught human beings how to remove sufferings from greed, hatred, and ignorant. He guided human beings on how to become an Arahan, a Bodhisattva, and a Buddha.
V - Buddha is a great compassionate and kind one:
He vowed to save all living beings. He did not punish anyone or He sent anyone to hell. On the contrary, He vows to go to hell to save all living beings.
 
II – History of Buddha:
1) History of belief object – Buddha in Buddhism:
 
A BRIEF HISTORY OF BUDDHA!
 
More than 2500 years ago in the Kapilavastu kingdom, India had a king named Suddhodana and Queen named Maya. Kapilavastu is located between the border of present-day Nepal and India. The Buddha's historical relics have been unearthed and recognized by UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
One day, the Queen was dreaming and saw a six-tusk white elephant creeping into her right hip. She brought the omen and told the court priests. Everyone guessed that this was a good omen. After that, she got pregnant with a crown prince. According to traditional Indian custom, when a wife gives birth, she goes to her mother's house. Therefore, when the date of birth is coming, the Queen goes to her motherland to give birth. On the way back to her motherland, the Queen passed through the Lumbini forest where there was a garden of Sorrowless flowers. According to Indian legend, this flower blooms once every 1000 years. Therefore, the Queen stopped here to enjoy the flowers. She raised her hand to pick flowers. Suddenly, she gave birth to a Crown Prince. Prince was born under the Sorrowless trees in the Lumbini garden on April 15 Lunar Calendar, 624 BC.
 
                Lumbini garden               
The Father King was named Prince Siddhartha. Seven days after the prince’s borning, the Queen passed away and was born to Tavatimsa heaven. Therefore, her sister Maha Pajapati, made herself an aunt-mother to nourish the Prince.
The Prince grew up learning smoothly. He talented in subjects in all aspects. Especially, the Prince loves so much all people and animals. As a child, Prince often prefers to sit quietly alone. When grown at age 16 in the year 608 BC, the prince married Princess Yasodhara. The couple had a son named Rahula.
          One day, the Prince asked his father to visit outside of the gate. 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 have to suffer so old age, no one escaped that 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! No one can escape the disease. Even the kids will also be sick. 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 has been born. They must get older and they must be sick. Illness is the cause of death. Death is the end of human life. Even you can not escape this death, too.”  Finally, reaching the fourth gate, the Prince met a monk. The Prince asks the monks: "For what do you practice meditation?" The monk replied: "Dear Prince! Meditation can help us escape from the suffering of birth, old age, illness, and death, and it helps us liberating rebirth (samsara) ". After listening to the monk`s teaching, the Prince enlightened that life is temporary. For that reason, the Prince decided to return to the royal court. He asked his father, King, to leave home 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 to seek a 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 practiced Samatha 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. After that, He practiced vipassana meditation for 6 years with 5 dharma brothers 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, He exhausted. Fortunately, there was a girl named Sujata. She offered milk to the Crown Prince, while the Prince had been exhausting. Miss Sujata was the first donor to Buddha.
On the 8th December Lunar calendar in the year 594 BC, at the age of 30, the Prince meditated under the Bodhi tree and became Buddha with dharma-named Sakyamuni Buddha at Bodhgaya village, Gaya city, Patna capital, Bihar state, India (the Magadha Kingdom before ).             
                                     Enlightened Stupa                                                        Bodhi tree
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 brothers Kondanna. After listening to the four Noble truths, They enlightened the truth of life and the truth of the mind. They attained Arahanship. The Four Noble Truths was the first Dharma lecture.
     
    
                   Chawkhandi stupa                                          Sarnath garden
Next, He went to Rajagriha, Magadha kingdom (Rajgir city, Bihar state) the reign of King Bimbisara and Queen Vihara. Buddha gave 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 Bimbisara king donated land to Lord Buddha to build up a Venuvana monastery. This is the first Buddhist monastery.
Anathapindika was a rich man, very holy help to the misery and loneliness peoples. He lived in Sravasti by King Pasenadi reigned at the time. He made offerings to the Buddha at the Jetavana monastery at Sravasti. This was the second monastery where Buddha established for Sangha study.
Mrs. Maha Pajapati is a form of Buddha's aunt. She was ordained in Vaishali, along with 500 followers. She was the first Nun. She established Nun Sangha here.
After enlightenment, Buddha preached Dharma to the kings and to every class in society for 49 years. He established the Triple Jems (Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha) and completed the perfection of the Buddhist propaganda. He went to Kushinagar, capital Pava, Malla Parish. He entered great samadhi and settled Nirvana under the Sala tree. He entered Nirvana at the age of 80, on the 15th February Lunar calendar in the year 544 BC. The Buddhist calendar is calculated from this year. Example: The western calendar year 2021 + 544 BC = Buddhist calendar 2565.
 
       
                           Nirvana stupa                                             Lying Buddha status
 
      
                     Burning stupa
 
Maha Kassapa was the first disciple who is transmitted by Buddha`s robe and bowl. He was a Sangha leader. After Lord Buddha entered Nirvana for 100 days, He chaired the organization of Sutra aggregation at Saptaparna, on the Vaibhara Mountain, in Rajagriha, Magadha Kingdom. This is the first Sutra aggregation.
Ananda is the attendant of Buddha. He helped Venerable Maha Kassapa to review all Buddha`s teaching at the time of the first Buddhist Sutras aggregation. He was the second disciple to be transmitted the lord Buddha`s robe and Bowl from Venerable Kassapa in the Zen lineage tradition. The zen patriarch continued transmitting “The robe and bowl ceremony” together until  Hui Neng. He was the 33rd patriarch in Zen Buddhism.
The Buddhist Monks later established the Nalanda Buddhist University at Nalanda, Rajagriha, Magadha Kingdom (Rajgir city, Bihar state). This was the first international Buddhist University in India.
 
Nalanda University
In the third century BC, Indian Buddhism was transmitted across other countries by the Ashoka king. This is the first King who propagated Buddhism abroad.
2) - Buddha`s practice:
          Buddha practiced 3 points. These were a) To practice Sila – Precepts; 2) To practice Samatha meditation; 3) To practice Vipassana meditation.
a) – To practice Sila:
Practicing Sila is to stop our bodies from creating bad karma.
Example: No killing
          Anyone do killing, then polices will put them in prison. If Anyone keeps sila, then they are free for that. So Buddha`s Sila guided everyone to avoid doing any evil.
b) – To practice Samatha meditation:
          Practicing Sammatha meditation can get peaceful and high concentration - Samadhi
c) – To practice Vipassana meditation:
          Practicing Vipassana meditation can get wisdom and can become a Buddha.
3) – Buddha`s ability:
          Buddha had the ability to guide human beings becoming an Arahan, a Boddhisattva, and a Buddha by the practice of meditation. Because He said that everyone also had Buddha-nature.
III – Buddha Dhamma - Buddha`s teaching:
Lord Buddha taught human being 1) About the truth; 2) about cause and effect law; 3) about Samsara - Rebirth; 4) To pay gratitude of parent; 5) To qualify personal moral ethic; 6) How to create good karma; 7) How to live peacefully; 8) How to liberate Samsara; 9|) He aim to be an Arahan, a Bodhisattva and a Buddha.
1) Buddhism of the truth:
          Lord Buddha enlightened two truths. 1) The truth of life; 2) The truth of the true mind.
Example:
a) The truth of life: Since Lord Buddha was a prince; He did enlighten that life was temporary. Because no one avoids the sufferings of birth, old age, sickness, and death. This is the truth of life.
b) The truth of true mind: Lord Buddha did meditation and got Samadhi (High concentration) and wisdom. Then He enlightened that the mind was no rebirth, pure, peaceful, stillness, named as Nirvana. This is the truth of the true mind.
2) To know about Cause and effect law:
          Lord Buddha taught: “You create a bad cause; you will get a bad effect. You create a good cause; then you will get a good effect”. Human beings create a lot of negative and positive causes; therefore there are big differences between people to other people.
          You commit a killing crime; then the police put you in the prison. Even though, you trust any God absolute. He could not remove you from the prison. He could not replace you sitting in the prison. Because that is justice and that is cause and effect law. The holy person did not commit crimes. How can He be punished in the prison? You created crimes; then you must get punished.
3) To know about Rebirth (Reincarnation):
          Lord Buddha taught: “After death, human beings will be rebirth again in the six realms. These are God realm, Human being realm, Halv God realm – Demi-God, Hell being realm, Hungry ghost realm, and animal realm”. You will be rebirth after death because you had created a lot of negative and positive karmas. All those karmas had come from your mind.
4) To pay gratitude to parents:
You had been born by your parent; you had been taken care of your parent; you had been educated and supported by your parent. So the parent was your historical source. So you have to respect and pay gratitude forward to your parent. If you did not do that, Who do you wish to worship?
You have to take care of your parent and you make them happy. These are to pay gratitude toward your parent. Buddha said: “This is a foundation of human morality.
5) Do not do any evils to qualify personal moral ethic:
If you want to qualify your personality, then you should not do any evil. How to do that? You have to keep 5 precepts.
* 5 precepts are as following:
1) no killing; 2) no stealing; 3) no sexual misconduct; 4) Not to lie; 5) No use of alcohol.
          Lord Buddha taught human beings to keep 5 precepts is to qualify their personal moral ethic.
6) Do good doing in order to create good karma:
1. To perform compassion to all living beings such as to be free-living beings and do not eat them.
2. To perform compassion to human beings by practicing giving and benefit others.
Lord Buddha taught human beings to practice giving is to create good karma.
7) How to live happily and peacefully:
          Lord Buddha taught everyone how to live happily and peacefully. If you have a lot of thinkings and worries; then how can you be happy? Most of the sufferings came from greed, hatred, and ignorance, etc. Those are reasons that you have to remove them all. Then you will be happy, peaceful, and pure. Being pure is without sufferings, greedy, hatred, and ignorance.
          Example: To practice Samatha meditation is to attain Samadhi – High concentration. Then you will have happiness, peace, and purity in your mind.
8) To liberate Samsara:
          Lord Buddha taught that life had both happiness and suffering. But both two were temporary because the end of life was death. So human beings would be rebirth forever. The Samsara was great suffering. In this case, anyone would like to liberate samsara. Then you can learn and practice Lord Buddha`s teaching.
9) How to be an Arahan, a Boddhisattva, and a Buddha:
          If you would like to liberate the sufferings of Samsara, you have to be an Arahan, a Bodhisattva, and a Buddha.
a) Arahan is a person who enlightened the truth of life and the truth of the true mind, And He also attained Nirvana; He could liberate the suffering of samsara. Nirvana is no rebirth. Nirvana is peaceful, a silent state of the mind. He practiced Sila - precepts, samadhi – high concentration and wisdom.
b) Bodhisattva and Arahan are the same enlightened ones. But Bodhisattva vows to enter samsara in order to rescue all living beings.
c) Bodhisattva practiced to become a fully enlightened one and wisdom; then He becomes a Buddha.
* Summary:
We all could not escape the sufferings of greed, hatred, and ignorance, the sufferings of birth, old age, sickness and death, the suffering of samsara. How can we be happy forever? We would like to have true happiness and peace. Then we must remove all sufferings in our minds. All sufferings are gone. Nirvana will appear in our minds.
Lord Buddha said: “I was a Buddha already; all living beings can be Buddha in the future because all living beings have already Buddha-nature. If they study and practice meditation. Then they will be future Buddhas”. Lord Buddha had the ability to guide everyone to become a Buddha.
To be ignorant is a living being; to be enlightened one is a Buddha.
 
Namo Sakyamauni Buddha!

 

TOPIC 5

WHAT IS BUDDHISM?
 
Buddhism teaches us to become Buddhas. Because the Buddha taught that we all have Buddha-nature. Therefore, the Buddha said: "I am the Buddha who has become, sentient beings are the Buddha will become. If all sentient beings could learn and practice according to the Buddha's teachings, they would become Buddhas in the future."
• What does Buddha mean?
Buddha means a person who enlightened the truth of life and the truth of the true mind. The enlightened one is Buddha; the deluded people are sentient beings.
If sentient beings are a stone, an iron, or a log, the Buddha cannot teach living beings. But because the Buddha knew that all sentient beings have Buddha-nature, enlightenment, and understanding, He wanted to teach sentient beings to advance on the path of abandoning evil and doing good, turning ignorance into enlightenment and turning ordinary people into Saint, become a Bodhisattva and become a Buddha.
 
Namo Buddha Shakyamuni Buddha!

 

TOPIC 6

WHAT ARE BUDDHA `S TEACHINGS?
  
Buddha taught 3 things:
I- Do not do evil deeds; II - Do good deeds; III - Purify the mind and keep the mind pure.
I - Do not do evil:
The Buddha taught human beings to keep the 5 precepts. The precepts help human beings to stop evil in order to qualify personal morality. So these were the foundation of the human moral ethic.
1) no killing; 2) no stealing; 3) no sexual misconduct; 4) Do not lie; 5) Do not drink alcohol.
The Buddha taught sentient beings to keep these precepts as virtuous.
II - Do good deeds:
1. Show compassion for living beings, by not eating living beings, and freeing them.
2. Show compassion to others, by giving alms, helping people.
3. Show love to family, by loyalty.
4. Show faithful, with honest words.
5. Eat, drink pure, and awake.
The Buddha taught human beings to practice these good things to cultivate good karma.
 
III - Purify the mind and keep it pure:
The third thing is that the Buddha taught us to cultivate the mind. Our body and speech doing good and evil are caused by the mind. Therefore, we must cultivate the mind. A pure mind helps us to get rid of afflictions and suffering and to destroy greed, anger, delusion, etc. We are free from defilements and delusions; That means the Buddha taught us to live happily and peacefully. A pure mind is the mind of Arahants, Bodhisattvas, and Buddhas. So, the Buddha taught us to purify our minds so that we can turn the ordinary mind into the Buddha mind.
For example: Practising meditation.
 
  
 
TOPIC 7
THREE PERIOD TIMES OF INDIAN BUDDHISM

 
THE FLOURISHING PERIOD (594 BCE – 185 BCE)
THE DECLINE PERIOD (185 BCE – 1526 AD)
THE RESTORATION PERIOD (1858 CE – 2013 CE)
 
I – THE FLOURISHING PERIOD OF BUDDHISM (594 BCE – 185 BCE)
A) The flourishing of Buddhism in the Buddha's time:

Before the Buddha was born, there were many religions in India such as Hinduism, Jainism, and human beliefs, etc.. Since the Buddha was born, cultivated to attain enlightenment and He propagated the Dharma until He entered Nirvana. Buddhism appeared in the world. Based on the traditional history of Mahayana Buddhism as follows:
- In the 7th century BCE on April 15 Lunar day, 624, the Buddha was born in Lumbini garden, present-day Nepal.
- On February 8 Lunar day, 605 BCE, the Buddha left home at the age of 19.
- In the 6th century on December 8 Lunar day, 594 BCE, the Buddha attained enlightenment at the age of 30.
- In the 6th century on February 15 Lunar day, 544 BCE, the Buddha entered Nirvana at the age of 80.
* From 594 to 544 BCE, He preached in different places for about 49 years. During this time, the kings supported His propagation such as Bimbisara King in the Rajgir kingdom; King Pasenadu in the Sravasti kingdom. During this time, Buddhism began to spread everywhere.
B) The flourishing of Buddhism in the reign of King Ashoka (268 - 232 BCE):
In the 3rd century from 268 BCE to 232 BCE, Buddhism was widely spread in the country and abroad through the reign of King Ashoka.
Ashoka king was born in 304 BC in  Pataliputta kingdom (Present-day Patna capital, Bihar state). His father was Bindusara Maurya; The queen is Devi Dharma. Devi Dharma Queen (also known as Subhadrangi or Janapadkalyani) is the daughter of a Brahmin monk (Hindu monk) in the city of Champa. King Bindusara Maurya is the son of King Chandragupta Maurya. King Chandragupta Maurya was the grandfather of Ashoka king, the first founder of the Maurya dynasty. He also renounced the throne to become a Jain monk.
From 268 to 232 BCE, Ashoka king was crowned emperor, the third generation of the Maurya dynasty. As emperor, Ashoka king extended his empire from Assam in the east to Balochistan in the west; from the Pamir Knot region in Afghanistan in the north to the Peninsula in the south. Because of expanding his dominion, Asoka king killed many people. Many people say that he was an evil king.
       
  Map of India under Ashoka king`s dynasty
Ashoka king and the relics of the Buddha
In 263 BC, King Ashoka became a Buddhist. He knew that Buddhism was a moral foundation, beneficial to humanity, animals, and the world. The king has contributed to the development of Buddhism such as:
1 - The king helped build many monasteries for monks and nuns.
2 - According to Buddhist history, the relics of the Buddha were divided into 8 countries. King Ashoka collected all the relics and built 84,000 stupas to worship the relics of the Buddha throughout India.
3 – The king allowed the history of the Buddha to be engraved on the sandstone pillars at the relics. Thanks to that, the British and Indian archaeologists discovered the historical relics of the Buddha later.
4 – The king supported the third collection of the Tripitaka at Pataliputta (present-day Patna capital, Bihar state), chaired by Master. Moggaliputta-Tissa in 244 BC.
5 - He allowed Crown Prince Mahinda and Princess Sanghamitta to become a Buddhist monk and a Buddist nun. They spread Buddhism to Sri-lanka. Sister Sanghamitta cut a branch of the Bodhi tree from the Bodhi tree where the Buddha attained enlightenment and planted it in Sri Lanka. In particular, the nun was the first one to establish the Sila ordination ceremony for the Buddhist nuns in Ceylon.
6 - The king created conditions for monks to spread the Dharma all over the country. In particular, the King sent monks to propagate the Dharma to foreign countries such as Burma, Ceylon, and Southeast Asian countries. Ashoka king was the first king who brought Buddhist monks to Burma and Southeast Asian countries via the Silk Road.
       
 
In 232 BCE, Ashoka king died. The Maurya dynasty had 9 generations, lasting from 322 to 180 BC.
1 – The first generation of King Chandragupta from 322 to 297 BC.
2 - Second generation King Bindisara from 297 to 268 BC.
3 - The third generation of King Ashoka from 268 to 232 BC.
4 - The fourth generation of King Dasharatha from 232 to 224 BC
5 - The fifth generation of King Samprati from 224 to 215 BC.
6 - The sixth generation of King Shalishuka from 215 to 202 BC.
7 - The seventh generation of King Devavarman from 202 to 195 BC.
8 - The eighth generation of King Shatadhanvan from 195 to 187 BC.
9 - Ninth king Brihadratha from 187 to 180 BC.
From the 3rd century 268 BCE, King Ashoka unified four countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India becoming one country. It lasted from the 3rd century 268 BCE until the 20th century in 1947 CE, a total of nearly 23 centuries. After the British gave India its independence in the 20th century in 1947, India was divided into 4 countries. That was Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India now.
1 - Please refer to the website of the history of King Ashoka for details. If you want to read Vietnamese, click the translate button:
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashoka
 
2 – You refer to the Indian Buddhist home page
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Buddhism
 
+ Summary:
From the 6th century, 594 BCE was the year when the Buddha attained enlightenment and Buddhism began to spread. It lasted until the 2nd century, 185 BCE, a total of 4 centuries. During this time, Buddhism was very prosperous, peaceful and was supported by kings and people.
  
II - THE DECLINE PERIOD OF BUDDHISM (185 BCE – 1526 AD)
1) From the 2nd century 185 BCE to the early 13th century 1206 CE, this was the era of the Hindu king – Brahma king reign:
We know that after the 16th century, Indian Buddhism was wiped out by the forces of other religions.
1 - All Buddhist monks were beheaded and killed.
2 - All monasteries were destroyed.
3 - All the Scriptures were burned up.
4 - All Buddhists were persecuted and banned.
Based in the history of India, in the 2nd century 185, Pushyamitra Shunga was a Hindu general of the Maurya dynasty. He assassinated the last king of the Maurya dynasty, King Brahadratha Maurya. Then he ascended the throne, proclaimed himself king Pushyamitra Shunga and he founded the Shunga dynasty. The Shunga dynasty lasted 50 years, from 185 to 73 BC. He was hostile to Buddhism and Buddhist followers. He persecuted the faith of Buddhists. He ordered the destruction of hundreds of monasteries, killing hundreds of thousands of Buddhist monks. 840,000, Buddhist stupas were all demolished, etc. He awarded 100 gold coins to the person who cut off a Buddhist monk's head.
King Pushyamitra Shunga was the first king who set out to destroy Indian Buddhism.
          You refer to these below:
1 – History of India:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_India
 
2 – History of the reign of the Hindu king Pushyamitra Shunga:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Buddhism#Shunga_dynasty_(2nd%E2%80%931st_century_BCE)
 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pushyamitra_Shunga
 
3 - Indian film Teesri Azadi tells the story of a Hindu king who orders the destruction of Buddhism
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM98m3mkS1w
 
2) From the beginning of the 13th century in 1206 to the 16th century in 1526, this was the era of the Turkish sultan – Turkic Muslim:
In Indian history, there is a story in the early 13th century in 1206, a Muslim general named Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji. He led the Turkish army to invade the northwestern Indian subcontinent such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Delhi capital now, etc. In particular, they destroyed Buddhism, the Nalanda Buddhist University in Bihar state, etc. The following is an excerpt from the website of the religious historian.
+ Reference home page:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Buddhism
 
The last empire to support Buddhism, the Pala dynasty, fell in the 12th century, and Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji, a general of the First Delhi Sultanate, destroyed monasteries and monuments and spread Islam in Bengal. [79] According to Randall Collins, Buddhism declined in India before the 12th century, but with the plunder of Muslim invaders, it nearly became extinct in India by the 1200s. [89] In the 13th century, in the state of Craig Lockard, Buddhist monks in India escaped to Tibet to avoid Muslim persecution; [90]while monks in western India, the state of Peter Harvey, escaped persecution by moving to the southern Indian Hindu kingdoms that were resistant to Muslim power. [91]
So, from the 2nd century 185 CE to the 16th century 1526 CE a total of 18 centuries; Buddhism in India was persecuted, destroyed, and perished by Hinduism and Islam. Therefore, Buddhism was completely absent all over India.
 
+ COMMENTS SECTION:
It is said that the Muslim army invaded India in the early 13th century in 1206; Since then, Islam wiped out Buddhism.
+ Answer:
• Islam occupies only a few subcontinents of India, they could not destroy Buddhism nationwide. After all, we already know that Buddhism was present throughout India and abroad during the reign of King Ashoka (268-232 BC).
• If Islam completely destroyed Buddhism, why not also destroy Hinduism and other religions? Why did they only target Buddhism? Whereas Hinduism is now 79% of the Indian population; Islam has about 17%.
• In the national museums in the capital Delhi, Sarnath exhibits the destruction of Islam, but most of them are more Hindu than Buddhist. Therefore, researchers believe that Buddhism was largely destroyed before the invasion of Islam.
• Especially in the history of India shows the Hindu kings ordered the destruction of Buddhism gradually through the dynasties of the Hindu kings.
Throughout history, religious researchers have proved that Hinduism and Islam had destroyed Buddhism.
 
 III - THE RESTORATION PERIOD OF BUDDHISM (1858  – 2013):
In the 19th century 1858 – 20th century 1947, India was a British colony; A total of 89 years. During this era, Buddhism began to recover gradually through foreign Buddhist monks and 4 Buddhists such as 1) Mr. Alexander Cunningham, 2) Mr. Anagarika Dhammapala, 3) Mr. Ambekar, 4) Mr. Goenka.
A – The restoration of Buddhism through the four Buddhists:
  1. Archaeologist Alexander Cunningham (1814 - 1893):
 
Mr. Alexander Cunningham
• Introduction:
Archaeologist Alexander Cunningham was actually a British Army Major General. He was born on January 23, 1814, in London, England; He died on 28 November 1893. He was also a British Army engineer with the Bengal Engineering Group. He later became interested in the history and archeology of India. In 1861, he was appointed to the new position, establishing an archaeological surveyor for the government of India; and he founded the Archaeological Survey of India.
An excerpt from the home page is below. You can refer.
•        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Cunningham
 
Britain colonized India in the 19th century in 1858. Three years later, in 1861, Mr. Alexander Cunningham founded the Archaeological Survey of India, abbreviated as ASI, based in 24 Tilak Marg, New Delhi, India, 110001. He is also the direct executive director of this Archaeological Survey. The Archaeological Survey has rediscovered historical sites in India. Thanks to that, the historical relics of the Buddha were excavated. He has made great contributions to Buddhism and Buddhist followers around the world. Today, Buddhists all over the world can visit the relics of the Buddha, Thanks to Mr. Alexander Cunningham. We must pay gratitude to archaeologist Alexander Cunningham.
• You can refer to the website below for more information:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeological_Survey_of_India
 
2) MR ANAGARIKA DHAMMA (1864 – 1933):
 
Mr. Anagarika Dhammapala
• Introduction:
Anagarika Dharmapala was born September 17, 1864 – April 29, 1933, aged 69, in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), was revered by the most Buddhist followers of the 20th century. With the help of Henry Steel Olcott and Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, he became a major reformer and renaissance of Sri Lankan Buddhism and a very important figure in Western Buddhist transmission. He spoke at the Congress of World Religions in 1893. After the Buddhist monuments were excavated, the Hindu monks took over and built more Hindu temples in the relics. Therefore, he filed a lawsuit to save the Buddhist relics. He founded the Maha Bodhi Society in India on May 31, 1891. He managed and restored sacred Buddhist temples to this day such as the enlightenment Stupa in Bodhgaya village, Dhamma wheel stupa in Sarnath, Nirvana stupa in Kushinagar.
His association did not only conducts religious activities, but also took care of education, and social charity. He was a great contributor to the revival of Indian Buddhism.
+ Excerpt from the home page below:
 https://theosophy.wiki/en/Anagarika_Dharmapala
 
On May 31, 1891, the Budh-Gaya Mahabodhi Society was established. The High Priest of Ceylon H. Sumangala is the President, Colonel Olcott is the Director and Chief Counsel, and Dharmapala is the General Secretary. The new Society has solicited donations to maintain staff at the site of Buddha Gaya. The Society convened an international Buddhist conference at Buddha Gaya in October 1891. Its headquarters was established in Calcutta (now Kolkata). A journal, The Maha Bodhi began publication in 1892, with Dharmapala serving as the editor for many years.
  
3) Mr. Ambekar (1891 - 1956 AD):
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar April 14, 1891 – December 6, 1956, aged 64, also known as Babasaheb Ambedkar, was an Indian lawyer, economist, politician, and social reformer, who inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement and campaigned against social discrimination against the untouchables (Dalits). He was the first Minister of Justice and Justice of India and the chief architect of the Constitution of India.
Ambedkar was a prolific student, earning a doctorate in economics from both Columbia University and the London School of Economics, and was renowned as a scholar for the study of law, economics, and political science. [15] In his early career, he was an economist, professor, and lawyer. His later life was marked by his political activities; He participated in the campaign and negotiations for Indian independence, published magazines, advocated for political rights and social freedoms for the Dalits, and contributed significantly to the establishment of the Indian state. In 1956, he converted to Buddhism, initiating the mass conversion of Dalits.
Throughout history, we see him as a constitutional contributor to India when it was newly independent in 1947. In particular, on October 14, 1956, he became a Buddhist and he guided 500,000, who took refuge in the Three Jewels in Nagpur city, Maharashtra state. After 2 months, he passed away on December 6, 1956. Now, Buddhists in India all worship him as the second founder of Buddhism. So, he is a person with great merit in propagating the Dharma and taking refuge in the Three Jewels for Buddhists. This is a great contribution to the revival of Buddhism in India.
       
+ Excerpt from the home page below. If you want more details, click on the home page.
 4)- Mr. Goenka (1924 – 2013 AD):
Mr. Goenka
 
Please read the excerpt below and refer to the homepage below:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S._N._Goenka
 
Mr. Goenka was born on January 29, 1924, in Mandalay capital, Burma (now Myanmar), died on September 29, 2013, at the age of 89 years old in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. His parent was Indian of the Marwari ethnic group. Goenka grew up in a conservative Hindu Sanatan family. [1] He was a successful businessman. When, in 1955, he began experiencing severe, debilitating migraines. [2][3] Medical relief could not be found, and at the suggestion of a friend, he met Vipassana teacher Sayagyi U Ba Khin. Though reluctant at first, Ba Khin took him in as a student. [4] [5] [6] Goenka then trained for 14 years. [4] [7] In 1969, Goenka was commissioned to teach by Sayagyi U Ba Khin, who died in 1971. He left his business and moved to India, where he started the first Vipassana meditation center at Kusum Nagar in Hyderabad. Seven years later, in 1976, he opened his first meditation center, Dhamma Giri, in Igatpuri near Nashik, Maharashtra. He taught himself meditation until 1982 and then began training as an assistant teacher. He founded the Vipassana Research Institute at Dhamma Giri in 1985. [4] [7] From the beginning, he taught intensive meditation courses lasting 10 days and by 1988 had taught many people, including several thousand Westerners. [8] Today, Vipassana courses, in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin, are held at 341 sites in 94 countries, including about 202 permanent Vipassana meditation centers. [9] There are such centers in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia Ancient, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States and 78 centers in India. [4] [7] [10] In 2000, Goenka laid the foundations of the 325 ft high global Vipassana temple, near Gorai beach, in Mumbai, which opened in 2009, and houses Buddha's relics and a meditation hall. [4] It was built as a tribute to his teacher, who wanted to repay his debt to India, the land of origin of Vipassana. However, unlike his protégé, U Ba Khin was unable to obtain a passport and therefore was unable to personally travel to India. [first]
Through his preaching, we can see that he had great merit in spreading the Dharma to revive Buddhism in India in the 20th and 21st centuries.  He was a great contributor to Buddhist recovery in India
 

B—The Restoration of Buddhism through foreign monks:

The researcher believes that Indian Buddhism propagated to China, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asian countries, etc. Now, foreign Buddhist countries have recovered Indian Buddhism through the Northeast and South India.

+ Burmese Buddhism spread to India from the Northeast:

In the 19th century, under British times, there were some Burmese monks who came to Northeast of India such as Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, etc. They gave Dhamma talk to the Chakma ethnic peoples. So the most of the Chakma people worshiped Buddha. Some of them got ordination as Buddhist monks. From there, Chakma monks propagated Buddhism somewhere in India.

+ Sri Lanka Buddhism spread to India from South India:

On May 31, 1891, Mr. Dhammapala founded the Mahabodhi Society to manage Buddhist relics. At the same time, he brought Sri Lankan monks to India to directly run the association's facilities. Therefore, the Sri Lankan monks propagated the Dharma and accepted Indian Buddhists as Buddhist monks. Now, we see monks in the relics.

We must also admire and appreciate the contribution of Burmese and Sri Lankan monks to the restoration of Indian Buddhism during the period from the 19th to the 21st century.

According to statistics of Indian religion, Buddhism is only 0.7% of the population of India. We pray that the wheel of enlightenment will always turn for the benefit of human beings.

 

Namo Shakyamuni Buddha!

Phat Linh Temple on September 22, 2020

Master Thich Hanh Dinh

 

 

 TOPIC 8

THE DIFFERENT BETWEEN

THERAVADA AND MAHAYANA BUDDHISM

Ask:

Namo Buddha Shakyamuni Buddha!

Dear Master! What is the difference between Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism?

Reply:

Namo Buddha Shakyamuni Buddha!

Dear Buddhists!

Actually, they have a little bit different. Now I would like to introduce those.

I - Similarity:

Buddhism was taught by the Buddha. So Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism are the same Buddha`s teachings.

II - Difference:

The Buddha did not establish Theravada and Mahayana sects. These two sects were divided by the Sangha at the time of the second collection of the sutras, presided over by the Yassa master, in 444 BCE, in Vaishali state. Therefore, there were two sects and a few different forms as followings:

Example: 1) Name; 2) Clothing; 3) Lifestyles; 4) Language; 5) Dharma practice.

1) Name:

Theravada Buddhism had spread to the south of India, such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia, etc.

Mahayana Buddhism had spread to the north of India, such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tibet, Bhutan, China, Mongolia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Viet Nam, etc.

2) Costumes:

          Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia, Sri Lanka had the same cultural traditions of clothing such as wearing a sarong. The Buddha used these traditional robes for Buddhist monks. Theravada monks kept this traditional robe style until now.

China, Mongolia, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Viet Nam had the same clothing styles as the western people. So Their robes were changed a little bit different from traditional robes.

3) Life form:

Theravada monks still keep the Buddhist tradition of going for alms.

Mahayana monks go for alms very seldom. They make foods in monasteries, they eat mostly vegetarians.

4) Language:

In Buddha`s time, India had two main languages. There were Sanscrit in northern and Pali in Southern. All Theravada monks did chanting sutras in Pali. This is the original language. However, the Theravada countries had also translated the Pali Tripitaka into their own languages.

All Mahayana monks did chanting sutras in their own languages. Almost Mahayana Buddhist countries translated the Sanskrit Tripitaka into their national languages. The reasons were to study and to understand easier.

5) Dharma practice:

          The Theravada monks almost practiced the same meditation as known Samatha and Vipassana meditation.

          The Mahayana monks practiced many different meditations, all meditation aims to attain Samadhi and Wisdom.

In summary: Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism have different forms of life, names, ceremonies, and practices, but they all followed the Buddha`s teachings.

          Buddhism is for all human beings to qualify their personality. If you followed the Buddha`s teachings, then you become a Buddhist. On the contrary, If you did not follow His teachings, then you are not a Buddhist.

 

Namo Amitabha Buddha!

 

 

CHARTER III

RIGHT VIEW IN BUDDHISM
TOPIC 9
WHY DID YOU BELIEVE IN BUDDHA?
 
Ask:
Why did you believe in Buddha?
Reply:
You can believe in Buddha through the following 3 factors:
I - You can believe the Buddha through history.
II - You can believe in the Buddha because He had practiced becoming a Buddha.
III - You can believe in the Buddha because He had the ability to guide sentient beings to become Buddhas.
 
I - You can believe the Buddha through history:
Someone asks if you believe someone who did not have a real history. Were they real? Surely you answered no. Because people had no historical background, no one knows where they were born. Where did they live? Who are their parents? And how did they study and practice?
If they did not have parents, then they did not have a human body either. In the case, they did not have human bodies, then how can we know them? They were good or bad people. 
If they did not have a human body, how could they give you the teachings? Do you think that they could give you teachings through feelings or dreams? certainly not. So they have no teachings either. Therefore, you believed in someone absolutely, but they had no history. It means that they came from your dream and imagination and so on.
You believe in Buddha because Buddha had a real historical origin. He was a real human being.
 
II - You can believe in the Buddha because He had practiced becoming a Buddha:
Someone asks you: "Is there anyone who doesn't study or practice but becomes a doctor, dentist, doctorate, and master, etc.?" surely you answer no immediately.
Someone asked you: "Is there anyone who doesn't study or practice and become a Saint or a supreme and a powerful person?" surely you answer no immediately. Because there is no one who becomes a saint without studying or practicing. In this case, you recognized someone as a Saint, a holy person. Did you know how they became a Saint, a holy person? If you did not know, it means that you had created yourself.
You believe in Buddha, because, Buddha is the one who realizes the truth of life and the truth of the true mind. These were the truth. Second, the Buddha had cultivations to become a Buddha. His practices were precepts, Samadhi, and wisdom.
These are reasons, you can believe in Buddha.
III - You can believe in the Buddha because He had the ability to guide human beings to become Buddhas:
If you considered someone as a Saint, a holy person, a Buddha, a God, etc. then you should know that they had abilities to guide you a Saint or not. In this case, they had no ability to do that. It means that they were not only names but they also fake saints.
You believe in Buddha because the Buddha had abilities to guide you how to become an Arahant, a Bodhisattva, and a Buddha through practices of meditation and the Tripitaka.
Conclusion:
If you believe in someone as known a saint, a holy person, a god, etc. but they had no histories, no cultivations, no abilities to guide you to become a Saint, it means that you are superstitious.
The Buddha had the above three factors. That's why you believe in Buddha.
 
 
  
TOPIC 10
IS BUDDHISM FREEDOM OF BELIEF?
 
+ Ask:
Buddhism has freedom of belief, right?
+ Reply:
According to western religious researchers said: “Buddhism is justice, equality, and freedom of belief.
I accept that they realized Buddhism very exactly.
 

I – Buddhism is justice:

The Buddha did not say: “If you believe me, I will send you to heaven”. Why? If you committed the killing, the police will put you in the prison. The Buddha can`t rescue you from the prison. Even though you believe in any Gods or in any Saints, but they also can not remove you from the prison, because, you did commit crimes.
          So the Buddha taught us to believe the cause and effect law. It means:
-        If we created a bad cause, then we get a bad effect.
-        If we created a good cause, then we get a good effect.
-        If we studied medical education, then we can be doctors.
-        If we studied and practiced God`s teachings, then we can become Gods.
-        If we studied and practiced the Buddha`s teachings, then we can become Buddhas.
          The Buddha taught that the cause-and-effect law is justice for everyone. You should have responsibility for your actions.
 

II – Buddhism is equality:

          The male and the female both are human beings. The Buddha said that both two could study and practice the Buddha`s teaching and both of them could become Buddhas. Because The Buddha said: “All the living beings also have Buddha nature. So the Buddha said that He was already a Buddha; all living beings will be Buddhas in the future. If they study his teachings and practice meditation”.
As we know even human beings and animals all have lives, love, feelings, souls, and Buddha natures so that we all should respect each other.
Summary: the male and the females both are equal.
 

III – Buddhism is freedom of belief:

          Buddhism guides you on how to live happily by practicing meditation.
          Buddhism guides you on how to qualify your personality by keeping the precepts. The precepts help you stop committing crimes.
          Buddhism guides you on how to become a Buddha by practices of meditation.
          Every one has the right to freedom of belief in Buddhism.
 
Namo Sakyamauni Buddha!



TOPIC 11

BELIEVE IN BUDDHA, WILL BUDDHA TAKE YOU TO PARADISE?

 
 Ask:
Dear Master! Someone in the West asked me: "You believe in Buddha, did the Buddha take you to paradise? Please, explain it.
Reply:
Namo Sakyamauni Buddha!
Ladies and gentlemen!
The Buddha did not say to anyone: “Belief in me, I take you to paradise" Why? Because you believe in Buddha and you kill people, then the police will take you to the court. The judge will sentence you and send you to prison. Prison is hell being on earth. Even if they believed in anyone absolute, they could not rescue them from the prison. Thereby, we see that the police and the judge do not respect any divine beings. Why? because they follow the law of cause and effect. Therefore, the Buddha taught us to believe in the law of cause and effect or, in other words, to understand the law of cause and effect. If we understand the law of cause and effect, then we believe that cause and effect are correct and justice.
What is the law of cause and effect?
You sow evil seeds; you get evil fruits.
You sow kindness; you get good results.
Who created this law of cause and effect? Nobody created the law of cause and effect. This is a general rule in life. This principle is the truth, which the Buddha realized. No one can escape the law of cause and effect.
Example: If someone introduces you to a saint. The saint is the fruit. You have to find out his spiritual practice. If he had no study and practice causes so that he was not a true Saint.
          If you wish to be a God, then you should study and practice God`s teachings.
          If you wish to be a Buddha, then you should study and practice Buddha`s teachings.
          If you wish to go to paradise, then you should make good karma.
 
Wishing you well!
 
Namo Amitabha Buddha!
 

 

 

TOPIC 12

CAN THE BUDDHA ATONE FOR ANYONE?

 

Ask:

May I ask the Buddha can atone for anyone?

Reply:

The Buddha did not promise that He could atone for anyone. Why?

For example:

The father said to the judge, "Can I atone for my son?" So, does the judge agree? Certainly not. Because his son committed a crime, he will be sentenced. On the contrary, the son said to the judge: "Can I go to prison instead of my father?" Certainly, He does not agree.

If the father said to the judge "May I die to atone for my son's sins?" Certainly not. If the father killed himself, it is a personal matter, but the judge must comply with the national law. If the father killed himself, then the King of the hell would accuse the father of murder.

          Those who commit a crime will get punishments. So the Buddha, the God can not replace you or anyone to get punishments, because they did not commit any crimes. So no one sentences them. If you continue to create sins all the time, no one is able to atone for you forever.

The Buddha taught you how to atone for yourself. He taught human beings to stop doing any evil and to create good karmas.

For example, No killing human beings and animals; No stealing, No sexual misconduct, not to lie, No use of alcohol, etc. If you can do these deeds, then no police look for you. In this way, your sins will be ended.

          In short, the Buddha taught people to stop doing sin. So He instructed them how they made atonement for themselves.

 

Namo Amitabha Buddha!

 

 

TOPIC 13

DO FAITH AND PRAYER MAKE YOU

A SAINT?

Ask:

Do faith and prayer make us a Saint?

Reply:

The above question is very good and practical. I would like to answer two parts: one is believing, the other is prayer.

I – Belief:

The belief is freedom. Everyone often has many beliefs such as 1 - Grandparent belief, 2 - Human belief, 3 - Religious belief.

1 - Grandparent belief:

Your parents gave birth to you. They raise you up. They gave you education. Parents are the source of your history. These are the reasons that people repay gratefully and worship their grandparents.

2 - Human belief:

Human beliefs had no organization, undertakings, doctrine, or dogma. Therefore, human faith belongs to the nation, it's okay to believe it or not. Every country has different human beliefs.

For example, they worship gods and celestial bodies in the temple, etc.

3 - Religious belief:

Religious belief is an organization, has undertakings, has a doctrine, a dogma, Because, organized religion, doctrine, etc. religion is capable of spreading religion from one country to another.

For example Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, etc.

Ask:

So what is religion?

Reply:

Every religion worships a divine being. Although the divine beings have different names, the divine beings all have one thing in common: the creation of the world and man, especially the salvation of man. That's why people believe and pray for favor.

II - Prayer:

In life, people often pray for others and for themselves.

+ Praying for others:

We used to pray for good weather and peace for the world, country, and people, etc.

+ Prayer for individuals:

We often pray peacefully for family, children, or good health, good business and luck in all aspects, etc.

The above prayers are not intended to harm anyone, merely wishing good luck for themself. The most practical prayer is to do yourself a favor for others. To benefit others is to benefit yourself. However, faith and praying do not make you become a good one. Why? because you want to be good people you have to improve your personal morality.

For example, the mouth does not lie, does not speak harsh words, does not speak ill to others, does not double-tongued, etc.; the body does not kill people and animals, the body does not steal, etc.; the mind is not greed, hatred, delusion, etc. Therefore, believing and praying cannot make you a good person, let alone a Saint. Is there anyone who develops faith and do prayers in order to become a doctor, a dentist, etc.? It is impossible. If you want to become a saint, you must study and practice the Saint`s teachings.

 

Mano Amitabha Buddha!

 

 

TOPIC 14

IS BUDDHA A DIVINE BEING?

 

Ask:

Namo Buddha Shakyamuni Buddha!

Dear Master!

Many people say that the Buddha is a divine being. So, what do I base on to explain exactly?

Reply:

Namo Shakyamuni Buddha!

Dear Buddhists!

At first, we define a conception of the divine being.

* The Divine being:

          The Divine Being is a person who vows to save all living beings. That is a reason, everyone prays Him.

How can we know a real divine being? Western researchers guide you to learn some of the following factors:

1        - If you considered Him as a savior, then you ought to find out his vows. Did he vow to save you or not?

2        – Had he history? If he had no history. How could you know him?

3        – You worshiped him as a divine being. How can you know that he became a divine being?

4        – Where did he give teachings? To whom did he give teachings? When did he give teachings? Are his teachings able to guide you to any cultivations in order to become a divine being?

 

As I knew that the Buddha never said: “I am a divine being“. He just guided peoples on how to live happily, how to qualify morality, and how to liberate samsara, particularly to become an enlightened one. But people almost worship Him as a divine being. Why?

1 – He vowed to save all living beings and He also taught peoples to vow to rescue all sentient beings as well. In the ways, man can improve your compassion and perform your compassion to the other.

2 – You can get to know him through history.

3 - Through history, you may know that He practiced meditation to become an enlightened being, as known a Buddha.

4        - His teachings are about the truth of life and the truth of the true mind. These are the truths, specifically aimed at practicing meditation to become a Buddha.

5        - He meditated only to attain great concentration, so he was full of magical powers such as 1. He could see far, 2. He could hear far, 3. He could know other people's minds, 4. he can know the past and future of others, 5. he has supernatural powers of transformation, 6. he has full wisdom to teach sentient beings.

Maybe, these are the reasons why people believe that He is a divine being with the power to save sentient beings.

 

Namo Amitabha Buddha!

 

 

 

TOPIC 15

HOW TO KNOW THE RIGHT WAY?

 

Ask:

Namo Shakyamuni Buddha!

Dear Master!

I have heard people say this is right and that is wrong. For example, some people say that cultivation must have long hair and long beard, or wear black robes or a scarf on the head, etc. So, how do you know it's the right way?

Reply:

Namo Shakyamuni Buddha!

Dear, Sister!

Those who are deluded by the false are sentient beings.

The one who understands and realizes the truth is the enlightened one.

If we want to know what is right and wrong, we have to find out with an objective view.

What is the right way?

1) Tao means morality. So, who says what is in line with human morality? That is the righteous way.

Example: If any Divine taught you to kill people and animals; theft, adultery, and lying, etc. This is incompatible with human morality. This is not the Divine.

2) Tao is the way. If anyone says anything in accordance with the path leading to the truth. That is the righteous way.

Example: If the holy book does not teach you to see the truth of life or the truth of the human universe; or not teach you the way to Saints. So, that's not the holy book then.

3) If a Buddhist wants to know what is right and what is wrong, he must base on his 5 precepts, then he will know what is right and what is wrong. 5 precepts are 1) no killing, 2) No stealing, 3) Sexual misconduct, 4) Not to lie, 5) No drinking alcohol.

Next, you should find out if what people say is beneficial for themselves and others.

• If this benefits oneself but harms others, it is not in accordance with the right way.

• If this benefits oneself without harming others, it is the right way.

• If this is harmful to oneself and others, it is not right.

• If this is beneficial for oneself and others, it is the right way.

4) The Buddha taught that if the person is not the Buddha, but he or she says the teachings are in accordance with human morality and in accordance with the truth, then we can learn and apply.

Ask:

Dear Master!

Some people say that being a follower must let long hair and a long beard, or wear a long black robe or wear a scarf on his head, and so on. So, what is the benefit of these things? and is it the right way or not?

Reply:

I ask you? Some people have long hair, long beards, long black robes, and scarves on their heads. Do you think these forms make them good people?

Ask:

No, Surely these forms are not beneficial and do not make them good people. Why are they following those forms?

Reply:

So you already know. If you want to cultivate virtue, then you must keep the precepts such as not killing, not stealing, not engaging in sexual misconduct, not lying, etc. In addition, you must also benefit others. These are good karmas

Perhaps it is the conceptual difference and the formal difference of religion in general. These forms can bind believers to religion or manage believers who do not apostate.

Ask:

So what about the form of Buddhism?

Reply:

Buddhism is important to cultivate morality. So for Buddhists, there is no special form, but for Buddhist monks, there is a special form. For example, shave your head and wear a long robe. Why? Buddhism teaches the practice of liberation from samsara. Therefore, if anyone wants to follow the Buddha's life, they must shave their heads and wear robes. This is a form of making a distinction between laypeople and cultivators.

The Buddha taught:

"Rely on the right way, not rely on people".

It means that we rely on the teachings of the right way. Do not depend on the speaker. Because the speaker can be a good person or a bad person regardless.

Namo Amitabha Buddha!




TOPIC 16

IS CONVERSION A SIN?

         

Ask:

Dear Master! Some people say that if you follow a religion, it is a betrayal to give up your religion. Conversion is sinful. After Death, they will go to Hell. Sir, is it correct?

Reply:

Ladies and gentlemen!

* First, we would like to define what sin means?

Sin means that what you do to harm you is a sin or you harm people and animals are sins. If you do nothing to harm yourself and others, there is no crime. If you didn't do anything to hurt yourself and others, who will send you to hell.

* Second, what does Tao mean?

Tao means morality. Religion is teaching people to live ethically.

For example, you must respect and be filial to their parents; you should not kill, steal, lie, etc. This is the foundation of human morality. If you are unfilial to your parents, murder, steal, etc. So you do contrary to human morality or in other words, you are anti-religious.

Religion is teaching people morality. You have the right to learn all the good things of religions and you have the right to choose a religion in which you live peacefully, happily, suitable for your life, which is not contrary to the religion, human morality.

Ask:

Someone says: "Giving up religion is apostasy and sinful". What do you think?

Reply:

Anti-religious mean going against human morality.

For example: Being unfilial to your parents or stealing, killing people, etc. You apostate means you do not follow this religion or in other words, do not follow this religion anymore. But do you do anything that goes against human morality? If not, what are you guilty of?

This statement is to scare and bind the believer from apostasy. If you follow a religion, but it has no roots, no practical moral foundation, contrary to human morality, and you deliberately keep and follow it, will you feel sorry for yourself? And are you deceiving yourself?

Ask:

Dear Master! If I follow a different religion, but my parents reject me, will I be guilty? What should I do?

Reply:

As mentioned above, you are not filial to your parent or kill people, etc. you are not guilty. There is no religion that teaches parents to reject their children, even if the child is not filial. What's more, you didn't do anything to harm anyone or be unfilial to your parents. But if your parents reject you, because you follow a different religion, they are not very knowledgeable about religion.

People have different understandings and religious ideals. Therefore, parents do not yet understand your ideals, and understanding, it is your responsibility to explain to parents. If your parents have a clear understanding of your religion, then they are ready to open their hearts to their children. If you can't explain it to your parents and let them get away from you, then this is missing.

 

“Enlightenment is happiness, stubbornness is suffering".

 

Namo Amitabha Buddha!

 

 

 
TOPIC 17
HOW TO KNOW THAT PERSON IS A SAINT?
 
 
• Ask:
Dear Master!
Someone asked me: "How to know that person is a Saint?”. How do I answer?
• Reply:
Namo Buddha Shakyamuni Buddha!
Dear Buddhists!
We don't know who the Saint is. Only Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Arahats are able to know they are Saints. Only They can canonize those saints. Likewise, only medical professors can award a doctor's degree to medical students.
As we know Bodhisattvas and Arahats never say: “I was a Saint or a supreme”. So we can not at all say who is a Saint. Only the Buddha knew that he was an Arahant and a Bodhisattva. Only the Buddha can certify that they are Saints.
Ordinary people dare to recognize someone as Saint or supreme, for which they have nothing to prove. So this man lied. Ordinary people dare to canonize someone as a saint that is even more wrong.
In Buddhism, we consider a Saint and an Arahat are similar. So that, the Buddha taught how to know a Saint, an Arahat, a holy one as following:
 
I - History:

We must investigate whether this man has a history or not? If they didn't have a history, this person isn't real. Why? Because, a person without history is a person who has no parents, nobody, no one knows where he is. If they don't have a human body, no one can see, no one knows how good or bad that person is. If they don't have a human body, how can they teach the teachings to others? So, one without history is without body and teachings. They are not real people.
 
II – What is a Saint?
If this person has a real history, then we should find out what the moral character of a Saint is.
1 – The Saint or the Divine does not kill people and things.
2 - Saint do not steal.
3 - Saints do not covet love, do not engage in sexual intercourse with anyone.
4 - Saint does not lie, does not speak harshly, does not speak with a double tongue.
5 – Saint does not drink alcohol, use intoxicants, and gamble.
6 – Saint do not violate national laws.
7 - A saint is a person who has no affliction, no suffering.
8 - A saint is someone who is not greedy, does not hate, is not delusional, does not love, does not hate, is not selfish, is not jealous, is not deceitful, is not stingy, is not arrogant, etc.
9 - A saint is someone who is enlightened to the truth. Truth is the truth of life and the truth of the true mind.
10 - A saint is someone whose mind is completely pure and silences because they practice meditation and they always live in samadhi.
11 - A saint is a liberated one, no rebirth. No rebirth means that they are not reborn in samsara. They want to live or die as they please.
12 – Saints are wise. They have the ability to destroy afflictions, suffering, greed, anger, delusion, etc. in their mind. In general the destruction of ignorance.
13 - A saint is someone who has attained Arahantship, who has attained Nirvana (Nirvana is the pure state of the true mind).
14 - Practitioners who have attained Sainthood have six magical powers such as 1. He could see far, 2. He could hear far, 3. He could know other people's minds, 4. He could know the past and future of others, 5. He has supernatural powers of transformation, 6. He had full wisdom to teach sentient beings.
 
III - What is Saint`s cultivation?
The Buddha taught us to believe in the law of cause and effect. It means:
“Sow evil; suffer evil.
Sow charity; get good results.
Sow pure seed; achieve purity.
Purity is a holy fruit”.
If someone introduces you to this person as a Saint or a Divine One, then you can ask: “How could you know he became a Saint?; What do they practice? Thereby, we know that there is no one who does not study or practice but becomes a doctor, dentist, or master. What's more, there is no one who doesn't study or practice, but they naturally become Saints. If someone had no cultivation, they could naturally become a saint. So, that Saint was the false Saint. Those saints were sanctified by believers. But they had no practices. They were not really Saints.
Almost of The Saints practice three deeds: Cultivating precepts, cultivating concentration, and cultivating wisdom.
1) Cultivation precepts: is the elimination of all evil, the cessation of the karma of samsara.
2) Meditation practice: is to purify the mind.
3) Cultivating wisdom: is the eradication of ignorance, afflictions, suffering, greed, hatred, delusion, etc.
 
IV - Ability:
If that person is a Saint, then can he guide you to become a Saint? If not. So, this Saint is not really capable. He just has a name. They are false saints.
All Saints are those who have attained Arahantship. They all have the ability to teach people to cultivate to become an Arahat. So, they are truly capable people, true saints.
  
VII – Theory:
We have to find out if they have a doctrine or not. His teachings are in accordance with the truth and the right way.
In short, you would like to recognize someone as a Saint, so you have to research the Saint by 5 elements: 1) History; 2) the moral character of a Saint; 3) Cultivation; 4) Ability; 5) Theory.
Thank you for your question!
Namo Amitabha Buddha
 

CONCLUSION

Some people like to enjoy material life; some people like to learn about spiritual life and religion. Because, they think that human life is only temporary for a while, so the enjoyment of material life is also temporary because humans will also die one day. That is why they are curious and research about spiritual life and also religion.

We would like to share and answer the above questions that we have heard from Western researchers and Buddhist philosophies. The answers are right or wrong depend on the understanding and enlightenment of each person. The ultimate purpose of our life is how to live happily and share our happiness with everyone. Only then does our life have value!

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