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Showing posts from July, 2017


Everybody gets angry. Whether it’s mild irritation or flaming rage, we experience it every day and there are few of us for whom this is not, at some point, a serious problem. By “problem” I mean “soul sucking, productivity leaching, blood pressure soaring, jaw clenching, dark aftermath generating” state. This is what, in more genteel Buddhist parlance, is called an “afflictive emotion”, or in other words, a mental state that causes suffering.

Eliminating suffering is the raison d’etre of Buddhism. In the Buddha’s own words: “Both formerly and now I teach only one thing: the nature of suffering and it’s ending.” And anger does cause suffering. You might at this point object that we need anger. Perhaps.  Yet most of the things we think we need anger for — fighting injustice, fleeing danger, protecting ourselves — are actually better done when not angry. When we are calm, collected and ruled by love instead of anger we are actually more insightful, more effective, more vital, and more end…

9 Benefits of Meditation

(1) Meditation helps to calm the mind and get it better organised.

(2) It strengthens our will power and enables us to face all problems and hardships with confidence.

(3) It guides us think positively

(4) It improves our efficiency in work by helping us to concentrate better and by sharpening our mental faculties

(5) It frees us from worries, restlessness, fatigue, stress and blood-pressure.

(6) It increases our mental health and therefore bears a positive effect to a large extent on our physical health and thereby an awakening in all our day today activities.

(7) It helps cleanse our mind of defilements (Kilesa)

(8) It creates in us virtuous qualities like kindness, inner peace, humbleness (as opposed to arrogance), a realistic attitude towards life and it prevents us from being influenced by such elements as passion, selfishness, hatred, jealousy, malice, taking revenge or greed.

(9) An untrained person is often dominated by delusion or ignorance (Avijja) and his own pre-conceptions which …

Buddhist Views on Marriage

In Buddhism, marriage is regarded as entirely a personal, individual concern and not as a religious duty.

Marriage is a social convention, an institution created by man for the well-being and happiness of man, to differentiate human society from animal life and to maintain order and harmony in the process of procreation. Even though the Buddhist texts are silent on the subject of monogamy or polygamy, the Buddhist laity is advised to limit themselves to one wife. The Buddha did not lay rules on married life but gave necessary advice on how to live a happy married life. There are ample inferences in His sermons that it is wise and advisable to be faithful to one wife and not to be sensual and to run after other women. The Buddha realized that one of the main causes of man's downfall is his involvement with other women (Parabhava Sutta).Man must realize the difficulties, the trials and tribulations that he has to undergo just to maintain a wife and a family. These would be magnified …


As parents age, it is inevitable that their bodies will gradually weaken and deteriorate in a variety of ways, making them increasingly susceptible to physical illnesses that can affect every organ in their system. As the realisation grows that there is no escape, the aging individual must try to find some way to come to terms with the disturbing new reality.
Filial piety is an important factor in caring for the aged in our traditional Asian society. As Asians it has long been the norm for us to accommodate and nurse the aged parents in our own homes as far as possible.

Do children owe any legal liability to care for old and disabled parents? Unfortunately the answer is 'No'. Parents simply have to depend on the goodwill of their children. Although we are proud about our values, and cultural heritage, unfortunately the number of elderly citizens with no savings and abandoned by their families is growing in Asia. The problem for us to consider is whether our values, including fil…


Man by nature is gifted with intelligence. From childhood to adolescence his perception of life would be one of youthful vigour with lofty ideals and aspirations. As he reaches manhood, the age of reason dawns on him, and with his mature outlook, he soon realises that his utopian ideals held by him during his youth would have to be cast aside, and that he would have to perceive life afresh in its true perspective. With advancing age, and with mellowed outlook in life, he finds he has to change and adjust his lifestyle accordingly. Even his lofty ambitions in life held eminently by him in his younger days, will eventually have to come to terms with the realities of change. Such is the inevitable life cycle affecting Man and his ambitions.

'When I was young I set out to change the world.
When I grew older I perceived that this was too ambitious, so I set out to change my state.
This too, I realised as I grew older, was too ambitious, so I set out to change my town.
When I realised that …


It is not necessary to have personal experience in certain things to understand whether they are good or bad. Here is a an analogy for you to understand this situation. A shoal of fishes come across an obstruction in the water with an unusually small opening. It is actually a trap laid by a fisherman to catch the fish.
Some fish want to go inside the fence and see what it is, but the more experienced fish advise them not to do so because it must be a dangerous trap. The young fish asks, 'How do we know whether it is dangerous or not? We must go in and see, only then can we understand what it is.' So some of them go in and get caught in the trap.

We must be prepared to accept the advice given by wise men like the Buddha who is enlightened. Of course the Buddha himself has said that we must not accept his teachings blindly. At the same time we can listen to some wise ones or other religious teachers. This is simply because their experience is more advanced than our limited knowled…


Teaching children the facts of sex and sexual development needs to be done with care, sensitivity and in a holistic manner. Coping with changes in sexual development is an issue every child must face, and the challenge is even more critical for children during their early formative years. Educators and parents must therefore regard sexuality as part of human drives and needs that must be correctly channelled.
The necessity for giving correct information about sexual development to children is of paramount importance. Children nowadays are exposed to knowledge about sex through the mass media (often with gory details), books, through the Internet and also from their peers, and if they are not taught to differentiate between what is appropriate and what is not, they might end up exhibiting inappropriate behaviour. No parents will ever want their children to obtain information on sexual development from the gutter.
Parents can impart knowledge of sex to their children but such information …


The Buddha says that if we are to understand anything, we must learn to 'see things as they are'. It is after such analysis of women in relation to men, that He came to the conclusion that there is no impediment in women to enable them to practise religion as men do and attain the highest state in life, which is Arahanthood or Sainthood, the highest level of mental purity. The Buddha had to face strong opposition in giving full freedom to women to practise religion.
At the time of the Buddha, before He emancipated women, the customs and traditions were such that the women were considered as chattel, to be used by men at their pleasure. Manu, the ancient lawgiver of India, had decreed that women were inferior to men. Women's position in society was therefore very low, and it was restricted to the kitchen. They were not even allowed to enter temples and to participate in religious activities in any manner whatsoever.

As we have previously noted under the heading 'Birth Con…


Living together before getting married, or cohabiting as it is more commonly known, is a cosy option among young people in the West, and is progressively catching on in .many Asian countries. It is said that about half of the couples in the United States and Britain would have lived together before marriage. One can learn about it in the movies and in the papers. In the conservative East, on the other hand, living together before marriage is still very much a taboo. The mere mention of the subject is enough to be frowned upon particularly by the elders. We must add however that as the world is shrinking so fast many of these values are being adopted in the East as well, especially in urban areas.

In the United States, where living together out of wedlock is becoming increasingly acceptable, one out of three marriages results in divorce.
Tragic cases do occur in situations where couples live together out of wedlock, for example when the female partner gets pregnant and the male partner l…

A HAPPY FAMILY According To Buddhism

It is true in every society that a family is the smallest social unit. If every family in a country is happy, the whole nation will be happy. What constitutes a happy family? A happy family is defined as one that is stable in terms of social, economic, psychological and physical aspects of life; and where there is warm affection and harmony among family members. A family which can strike a balance between these factors is indeed a happy family.
But when we look around us at the situation in most parts of the world, what do we see? Children loitering in the streets and video arcades. They play truant. Children are abused, wives are beaten and ageing parents are packed off to old folks homes regardless of their feelings. All these are tell-tale signs that all is not well at the most basic level of society: these are signs of social decadence.
It is a sad situation when good values and traditions are no longer practised. There is little interaction among members of the family and friends a…


In advising women about their role in married life, the Buddha appreciated the fact that peace and harmony of a home rested largely on a woman. His advice was realistic and practical when he explained a number of day-to-day characteristics which a woman should or should not cultivate. On diverse occasions, the Buddha counseled that a wife should: - not harbor evil thoughts against her husband - not be cruel, harsh or domineering - not be spendthrift but should be economical and live within her means; - guard and save her husbands' hard-earned earnings and property; - always be attentive and chaste in mind and action; - be faithful and harbor no thought of any adulterous acts; - be refined in speech and polite in action; - be kind, industrious and hardworking; - be thoughtful and compassionate towards her husband; - be modest and respectful; - be cool, calm and understanding - serving not only as a wife but also as a friend and adviser when the need arises. According to Buddhist te…