Sunday, May 11, 2014


Sukhamani bhutani – yo danena vihimsati
Attano sukhamesano – pecca so na labhate sukham.
Dhammapada (Verse 131&132)

“Whoever harms with force those desiring happiness, as seeker after happiness one gains no future joy.”

While residing at the Jetavana Monastry, the Buddha spoke this verse, with reference to a number of youths.
Once the Buddha was out on an alms-round at Savatthi when he came across a number of youths beating a snake with stickers. When questioned, the youths answered that they were beating the snake because they were afraid that the snake might bite them. To them the Buddha said, “If you do not want to be harmed, you should also not harm others: if you harm others, you will not find happiness in your next existence.”

People who like to be happy and are in search of pleasure hurt others through various acts of violence for their own happiness.These victims too want to be happy as much as those who inflict pain on them. Those who inflict pain do not achieve happiness even in their next birth.

“Yo attanosukha kamani bhutani
Dandena na himsati, so pecca sukhm labhate.”

“If people who like happiness for themselves and are in search of pleasure for themselves, do not hurt or torture others or give pain to others, such people achieve happiness in the next life too.”
Buddhism teaches us not to hurt or kill any being 
intentionally. It encourages to love and respect all beings. The Buddha says “one who loves oneself should injure none.” Treat others as you would like 
to be treated. This golden rule is endorsed by all religious teachers, yet people have often disregarded the fact that life is precious to every living being. 

The most basic wish of all people is to live happily. The Buddha was interested in the happiness of all beings. To Buddha happiness was not possible without leading a virtuous life based on moral and spiritual principles. But he knew that leading such a life was hard in unfavourable material and social conditions. In order to influence people to lead a virtuous life, and to promote living in harmony with existing living beings, the Buddha introduced a moral code in the foam of precepts to be practised by the laity. 

Compassion: (Karuna)

Rising early before daybreak Buddha enters into the Ecstasy of Great  Compassion and surveys the world to see where there was any one to whom he could be of service. There would invariably be someone calling for Buddha’s sympathy.

Compassion is the feeling of empathy for others. Compassion is the emotion that we feel in response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help. One should cultivate qualities such as; share, respect, tolerance, kindness, sympathy, care, love and compassion towards oneself and others. We can really understand others when we really understand ourselves. We will know what's best for others when we know what's best for ourselves. We can feel for others when we feel for ourselves. Then gradually one's own spiritual development blossoms quite naturally into concern for the welfare of others. The Buddha's life illustrates this very well. He spent six years struggling for his own welfare, in order to realise the truth, after which, he was able to be of benefit to all sentient beings.

 (“What Buddha Taught” -  Ven. Dr. Walpola Rahula Maha Thero)

“Buddhism teaches that for a person to perfect, there are two qualities that one should develop equally such as: compassion (karuna) on one side, and wisdom (panna) on the other. Here the compassion represents love, charity, kindness, tolerance and such noble qualities on the emotional side, or qualities of the heart, while wisdom would stand for the intellectual side or qualities of the mind. If one neglects the emotional neglecting the intellectual, one may become a good hearted fool; while to develop only the intellectual  side neglecting the emotional may turn one into a hard hearted intellect without feeling for others. There for to be perfect or to lead a virtues balanced life one has to develop both equally. That is the aim of the Buddhist way of life. In it wisdom and compassion are inseparably linked together.

The three factors of Right speech, Right action and Right Livelihood of the Eightfold path aims at promoting a happy and harmonious life both for the individual and for the society. This moral conduct is considered as the foundation for all higher spiritual attainments. No spiritual development is possible without this moral basis.

     (“What Buddha Taught” -  Ven. Dr. Walpola Rahula Maha Thero)

“Ethical conduct based on love and compassion, are included three factors of the Noble Eightfold Path: namely Right Speech, Right Action and Right Livelihood (Nos 3, 4 &5 in the list).

Right Speech means abstention (1) from telling lies, (2) from backbiting and slander and talk that may bring about hatred, enmity, disunity and disharmony among individuals or groups of people, (3) from harsh, rude, impolite, malicious and abusive language, and (4) from idle, useless and foolish babble and gossip. When one abstains from these forms of wrong and harmful speech one naturally has to speak the truth, has to use words that are friendly and benevolent, pleasant and gentle, meaningful and useful. One should not speak carelessly: speech should be at the right time and place. If one cannot say something useful, one should keep ‘noble silence.’ 
Right Action aims at promoting moral,
honourable and peaceful conduct. It admonishes us that we should abstain from destroying life, from stealing; from dishonest dealings, from illegitimate sexual intercourse, and that we should also help others to lead a peaceful and honourable life in the right way.

Right Livelihood means that one should abstain from making one’s living through a profession that brings harm to others, such a treading in arms and lethal weapons, intoxicating drinks, poisons, killing animals, cheating, etc., and should live by a profession which is honourable, blameless and innocent of harm to others. One can clearly see here that Buddhism is strongly opposed to any kind of war, when it lays down that trade in arms and ethical weapons is an evil and unjust means of livelihood.

These three factors (Right Speech, Right Action and Right Livelihood) of the Eightfold Path constitute Ethical conduct. It should be realised that the Buddhist ethical and moral conduct aims at promoting a happy and harmonious life both for the individual and society. This moral conduct is considered as the indispensable foundation for all higher spiritual attainments. No spiritual development is possible without this moral basis.  

Next comes the Mental Discipline, in which are included three other factors of the Eightfold Path: namely, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.”
(Cited from,“What Buddha Taught” By Ven. Dr. Walpola Rahula Maha Thero).

Dalai Lama Advocates Compassion for Animals

“The Dalai Lama advocates compassion for animals and frequently urges people to try vegetarianism or at least reduce their consumption of meat. In Tibet, where historically meat was the most common food, most monks historically have been omnivores, including the Dalai Lamas. The Fourteenth Dalai Lama was raised in a meat-eating family but converted to vegetarianism after arriving in India, where vegetables are much more easily available. He spent many years as a vegetarian but after contracting Hepatitis in India and suffering from weakness, his doctors ordered him to eat meat on alternating days, which he did for several years. He tried switching back to a vegetarian diet, but once again returned to limited consumption of meat. This attracted public attention when, during a visit to the White House, he was offered a vegetarian menu but declined by replying, as he is known to do on occasion when dining in the company of non-vegetarians, "I'm a Tibetan monk, not a vegetarian." His own home kitchen, however, is completely vegetarian.” 

Diet and animal welfare
“People think of animals as if they were vegetables, and that is not right. We have to change the way people think about animals. I encourage the Tibetan people and all people to move toward a vegetarian diet that doesn’t cause suffering.”
[His Holiness the Dalai Lama, (From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia)]


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