Bình luận về Hồ Chí Minh và Đảng Cộng Sản Việt Nam

Bình luận về Hồ Chí Minh và Đảng Cộng Sản Việt Nam

Thursday, 7 June 2012

BUDDHA 'S MIDDLE PATH II






Part   ii   
The Buddha‘s middle path

The Buddhist Middle Path  has three  meanings.
-Firstly, Buddhist Middle Path  is a way that led to enlightenment by avoiding the extremes.
-Secondly, Buddhist Middle way is a right way,  a path to performing virtue, and doing good..
-Thirdly, Buddhist  Middle Way is a way of harmony.
 Indeed, the Middle Way between or behind two extremes does not lie on the same level as the two extremes, but above them. Extremism, ideas or actions beyond what is deemed acceptable, and exceeding a normal or reasonable limit. A lot of people live in the extremes. The Middle Way is the essential theory of  Buddhism like the Middle Way of  Confucianism


Chapter vi
AVOIDING THE EXTREMES

 Middle Path is a principle to live and the methods to practice for the monks and the followers.
I. REALITY
Buddha’s philosophy based on reality. Buddha described his life when he was a prince:
Monks, I lived in refinement, utmost refinement, total refinement. My father even had lotus ponds made in our palace: one where red-lotuses bloomed, one where white lotuses bloomed, one where blue lotuses bloomed, all for my sake. I used no sandalwood that was not from Varanasi. My turban was from Varanasi, as were my tunic, my lower garments, and my outer cloak. A white sunshade was held over me day and night to protect me from cold, heat, dust, dirt, and dew.
"I had three palaces: one for the cold season, one for the hot season, one for the rainy season. During the four months of the rainy season I was entertained in the rainy-season palace by minstrels without a single man among them, and I did not once come down from the palace. Whereas the servants, workers, and retainers in other people's homes are fed meals of lentil soup and broken rice, in my father's home the servants, workers, and retainers were fed wheat, rice, and meat.[1]
After Gotama left his royal family, he renounced everything, and submitted himself to the most grueling forms of asceticism. He starved himself into a state of extreme emaciation:
.  .. Through feeding on a single kola-fruit a day, my body reached a state of extreme emaciation. Because of eating so little my limbs became like the jointed segments of vine stems or bamboo stems. Because of eating so little my backside became like a camel's hoof. Because of eating so little the projections on my spine stood forth like corded beads. Because of eating so little my ribs jutted out as gaunt as the crazy rafters of an old roofless barn. Because of eating so little the gleam of my eyes sank far down in their sockets, looking like a gleam of water which has sunk far down in a deep well. Because of eating so little my scalp shriveled and withered as a green bitter gourd shrivels and withers in the wind and sun. Because of eating so little my belly skin adhered to my backbone; thus if I touched my belly skin I encountered my backbone, and if I touched my backbone I encountered my belly skin. Because of eating so little, if I tried to ease my body by rubbing my limbs with my hands, the hair, rotted at its roots, fell from my body as I rubbed.[2]

                Even though, he did not attain Enlightenment, and he realized that if he went on abusing his body in that way, he would die before finding the answer  to his problem. He decided to cancel his way of asceticism. Therefore he took a little food in order to give himself enough strength to make a new start. Witnessing this, his five fellows ascetics walked off in disgust, declaring ‘’Gautama has taken to the easy life’’, and they quitted his master.
            By changing his way, he quickly attained the Enlightenment. He told Aggivessana his experience:
Partaking coarse food and gaining strength, secluded from sensual thoughts and thoughts of demerit with thoughts and discursive thoughts and with joy and pleasantness born of seclusion I attained to the first jhaana. Aggivessana, even those arisen pleasant feelings did not take hold of my mind and settle. Overcoming thoughts and discursive thoughts, with the mind internally appeased, and brought to a single point, without thoughts and discursive thoughts and with joy and pleasantness born of concentration I attained to the second jhaana. . .  . the third jhaana. . . I attained to the fourth jhaana. Aggivessana, even those pleasant feelings, did not take hold of my mind and settle. 
When the mind was concentrated, pure, free from minor defilements, malleable workable not disturbed, I directed the mind for the knowledge of previous births. I recollected the manifold previous births, one birth, two births, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred births, a thousand births, a hundred thousand births, innumerable forward cycles of births, innumerable backward cycles of births, innumerable forward and backward cycles of births. There I was of such name, clan, disposition, supports, experiencing such pleasant and unpleasant feelings and with such a life span.  .  . ...Aggivessana, this is the first knowledge I attained in the first watch of the night, ignorance dispelled, knowledge arose, as it happens to those abiding diligent for dispelling. Aggivessana, even these pleasant feelings did not take hold of my mind and settle. [3]    
By this experience, he built his new philosophy. In his first sermon of " Setting in Motion the Wheel of Righteousness", the Middle Middle way was the first lesson that the Buddha preached to the five ascetics. 
ii. the ESSENCE OF  THE BUDDHIST MIDDLE WAY
1. Avoiding two extremes of sensual-indulgence and self-mortification
            He agreed with his contemporaries that sensual pleasantness was not a noble way for everybody especially the monks. But all the Indian monks have followed the  tradition of asceticism, when Buddha denied it. The asceticism is not a good way for the monks and for everybody in their lives. He spoke of two extremes of sensuality and mortification, and of the Middle Way, the sweetly reasonable Middle Way which lies between.  Buddha gave us some examples. If we hold tight a bird , it will die. If we hold it loosely, it will fly away. If we key up the string of a music instrument strictly, it will break. If we key it up loosely, it does not work.
 Buddha said to Venerable Anuruddha:
Like a man who holds a hand cart firmly with bothhands, would die with it. In the same manner Anuruddha, too much aroused effort had arisen to me. On account of too much effort my concentration faded. When the concentration faded, the effulgence and beautiful forms disappeared. .  .   .   .Like a man who holds a hand cart loosely and gives up the hold. In the same manner Anuruddha, too little effort had arisen to me. On account of too little effort my concentration faded. When the concentration faded, the effulgence and beautiful forms disappeared. [4]
 
  Buddha asked Sona:
Now what do you think, Sona. Before, when you were a house-dweller, were you skilled at playing the vina?"
Yes, lord."
And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were too taut, was your vina in tune and  playable?"
No, lord."
And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were too loose, was your vina in tune and playable?"
No, lord."
And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were neither too taut nor too loose, but tuned to be right on pitch, was your vina in tune and playable?"
Yes, lord."
In the same way, Sona, over-aroused persistence leads to restlessness, overly slack persistence leads to laziness. Thus you should determine the right pitch for your persistence, attune the pitch of the [five] faculties [to that], and there pick up your theme." [5]
By changing his method of practicing and his life style, he attained Enlightenment. He said:
‘Bhikkhus, do not be yoked  to either the low, vile, useless sensual pleasantness of the ordinary not noble ones, or to the not noble useless torturing of the self. The Thus Gone One has realized the middle path, which is conducive to wisdom, peace, knowledge, enlightenment and extinction. [6]
He always remembered his experience, and told this story to his disciples. This was the first lesson for five ascetic monks. So his first teaching is called Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion.
157. Bhikkhus, these three are the methods. What three?The strong hard method, the method of wasting away, and the way of the middle path.
Bhikkhus, what is the hard method?
Here bhikkhus, a certain one holds this view and says, `There is nothing wrong in indulging in sensual pleasures and they fall for sensual pleasures.' Bhikkhus, this isthe hard method.
Bhikkhus, what is the wasting away method?
Here bhikkhus a certain one goes without clothes, without good manners licks the hand, does not invite anyone, or offer a meal, or accept what is brought..  .  .. Does not accept fish, meat, intoxicating drinks, brewed drinks and gruel..  . . Thus he gives various kinds of torture to the body. This is the method of wasting away.
Bhikkhus, what is the middle path?
Here, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu abides reflecting the body in the body mindful and aware to dispel covetousness and displeasure in the world. The bhikkhu abides reflecting the feelings in feelings mindful and aware to dispel covetousness and displeasure in the world. The bhikkhu abides reflecting the mental states in the mind mindful and aware to dispel covetousness and displeasure in the world. The bhikkhu abides reflecting thoughts in thoughts mindful and aware to dispel covetousness and displeasure in the world. Bhikkhus, this is the middlepath. Bhikkhus, these are the three methods. [7]
2. Avoiding the extreme  questions.
At that time, there were many schools of philosophy. They always discussed about the metaphysical questions. But the Buddha did not pay attention to these problems because he focused on practice more than theory. Moreover, the Buddha’s philosophy was different from the doctrines of his time:
-'Everything exists': That is one extreme. 'Everything doesn't exist': That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle: From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications [8]
 
          - The one who acts is the one who experiences [the result of the act]' amounts to the eternalist statement, 'Existing from the very beginning, stress is self-made.' 'The one who acts is someone other than the one who experiences' amounts to the annihilationist statement, 'For one existing harassed by feeling, stress is other-made.' Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle:
From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications.
From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness.
From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form. From name-and-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contac
t
[9]

One day, the wanderer Uttiya asked Buddha a lot of questions but Buddha did not answer because these questions did not fit  Buddha’s philosophy:

Does good Gotama say, the world is eternal. This is the truth, all else is false?. .   .
Does good Gotama say, the world is not eternal. This is the truth, all else is false?
-Uttiya, I have not declared that either, the world is eternal. This is the truth, all else is false.
Does good Gotama say the world is limited. ?
Uttiya, I have not declared, the world is limited. This is the truth, all else is false.
Uttiya, I have not declared that either, the Thus Gone One neither is nor is not after death. This is the truth, all else is false.
Uttiya, I declare the Teaching having realized by meself, to my disciples for the purification of beings, for the ending of grief, lament, unpleasantness, displeasure and distress for the realization of extinction.
When good Gotama declares the Teaching having realized by himself to the disciples, for the purification of beings, for the ending of grief, lament, unpleasantness, displeasure and distress for the realization of extinction, is all the world or half the world or one third of it led away? When this was asked The Blessed One became silent.
Then, Ananda said:
Friend, the question you asked from The Blessed One was not correctly worded Therefore The Blessed One did not explain it.[10]
          3. Eating and Drinking in moderation
Buddha also advised his disciples to apply the Middle Way in daily life:
And how does a monk know moderation in eating? There is the case where a monk, considering it appropriately, takes his food not playfully, nor for intoxication, nor for putting on bulk, nor for beautification, but simply for the survival and continuance of this body, for ending its afflictions, for the support of the holy life, thinking, 'I will destroy old feelings [of hunger] and not create new feelings [from overeating]. Thus I will maintain myself, be blameless, and live in comfort.' This is how a monk knows moderation in eating  [11]
Buddha also focused on his followers. He encouraged them working for the  wealth of their families and their country. The followers have the right to make money following the Buddhist Dhamma and the  laws of their country, and they have also the right to protect their property:
And what does it mean to be consummate in vigilance? There is the case when a lay person has righteous wealth -- righteously gained, coming from his initiative, his striving, his making an effort, gathered by the strength of his arm, earned by his sweat -- he manages to protect it through vigilance [with the thought], 'How shall neither kings nor thieves make off with this property of mine, nor fire burn it, nor water sweep it away, nor hateful heirs make off with it?' This is called being consummate in vigilance.[12]
Applying the Buddhist Middle Way is  balancing their expenditures and receipts
"And what does it mean to maintain one's livelihood in tune? There is the case where a lay person, knowing the income and outflow of his wealth, maintains a livelihood in tune, neither a spendthrift nor a penny-pincher, [thinking], 'Thus will my income exceed my outflow, and my outflow will not exceed my income.' Just as when a weigher or his apprentice, when holding the scales, knows, 'It has tipped down so much or has tipped up so much,' in the same way, the lay person, knowing the income and outflow of his wealth, maintains a livelihood in tune, neither a spendthrift nor a penny-pincher, [thinking], 

'Thus will my income exceed my outflow, and my outflow will not exceed my income.' If a lay person has a small income but maintains a grand livelihood, it will be rumored of him, 'This clansman devours his wealth like a fruit-tree eater. If a lay person has a large income but maintains a miserable livelihood, it will be rumored of him, 'This clansman will die of starvation.' But when a lay person, knowing the income and outflow of his wealth, maintains a livelihood in tune, neither a spendthrift nor a penny-pincher, [thinking],
'Thus will my income exceed my outflow, and my outflow will not exceed my income,' this is call maintaining one's livelihood in tune. [13]



 


Chapter ViI

The right way
           
            The Buddha’s Middle Path means the right path, the noble path because  the Buddha always  declared the characteristics of his works  such as Four Noble Truths,  Noble Eightfold Path, right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration..  . Those terms have a beautiful form and expressed the essence  of Buddhism such as knowledge,  self-awakening, and Unbinding. Buddhism is a wonderful religion with its philosophy as well as its morality. Its philosophy and morality aim to encourage people performing virtue  and elevate  their mind. They are the fundamental constructions, and inseparable elements of Buddhism.
           
I. PHILOSOPHY
At the beginning of his life, Gotama was influenced by the Brahmin philosophies and traditions. In the ancient times, the priests were expected to have control of their emotions, control of senses, purity, truthfulness, tolerance, simplicity, renounce materialistic wealth and have sustenance from other community, belief in God, and studying and teaching of sacred scriptures. Somes Buddha’s teachings reflected the Brahmin philosophies and beliefs.
1. World View:
According to Buddha, our world system is innumerable and can be divided into three main layers:
a.       Kamadhatu  - the Realm  of Desire
b.      Rupadhatu:- The Realm of Form.
c.       Arupadhatu  -The Realm of No Form.
All beings in our world system will be born into six ‘’destinations’’, two good and four bad. The wheel is divided into six sections which represent the Six realms(or Worlds) of Existence. These Six Worlds are:
a.The World of Devas or Gods
b.The World of Asuras (Demigods, Titans,
            Fighting Demons)
c.The World of Humans
d.The World of Animals
e.The World of Pretas(hungry ghosts)
f.The World of Hell
These world systems which are similar to our own are thought to float in infinite empty space, each one founded on a two layered basic of air and water. In the human sphere, there are periods of progress and decay, and life can vary from 80,000 years at the beginning of a new age down to 10 years on the eve of nemesis [14]      

Bhikkhus, fifty years of a human is one night and day to the four guardian gods. Thirty such nights is a month, twelve such months is a year, five hundred of those heavenly years is the life span of the four guardian gods. There is a possibility that a woman or man observing the full moon should after death be born with the four guardian gods. On acount of this, it is said that in comparison to heavenly bliss, human rulership is miserable.
Bhikkhus, a hundred years of a human is one night and day to the gods of the thirty-three. .  .   Bhikkhus, two hundred years of a human is one night and day to the Titan gods..  . Thirty such nights is a month, twelve such months is a year, two thousand of those heavenly years is the life span of the Titan gods. .  .  .  Bhikkhus, four hundred years of a human is one night and day to the gods of happiness. .  .  . Bhikkhus, eight hundred years of a human is one night and day to the gods of creation. . .  . Bhikkhus, sixteen hundred years of a human is one night and day to the gods attached to creating others [15].

The Heaven and Hell are two realms in many religions, and many people believe in God, the creator and ruler of the universe. Every religion teaches its believers that the human soul will  exist after death. The Heaven is an eternally blessed life after death,  and in  Heaven, humanity is reunited with God in a perfect and natural state of eternal existence. But in the Buddhist cosmology, there are many worlds of the Gods, so, there are many Gods, many Creators. The heaven realms are blissful abodes whose present inhabitants (the devas) gained rebirth there through the power of their past meritorious actions. Like all beings still caught in samsara,however, these deities eventually succumb to aging, illness, and death, and must eventually take rebirth in other realms, pleasant or otherwise, according to the quality and strength of their past kamma. 

The  Buddhist goal is not God and Heaven, but  Nibbana, the highest happiness. It is founded upon the principle of causality, the law of cause and effect in the moral domain, that is, in the field of human behavior. Above all, it is a path to liberation from suffering, a goal to be won by cultivating the Noble Eightfold Path in its three stages of morality, concentration, and wisdom. With the attainment of Nibbana, one also realizes that birth is destroyed, the higher life has been successfully lived, one's duty has been done, and there is no more of this (mundane) existence. That is  Buddha’s new theory.
2.    Equality.
When Gautama left his family and sat under the Bodhi tree, he bcame an Enlightentment because he found the answers to the problems of mankind. e was a revolutionist struggling against his society. He built a new philosophy,  and he showed us a  right way to go.  Buddha was a real socialist when he denied the four castes of Brahmin society. The Indian caste system is one of the oldest and most important systems of social class. There are four ‘’varnas’’: the Brahmins(teachers, scholars and priests), the Kshatriyas(kings and warriors), the Vaishyas (traders), and Shudras(agriculturists, service providers, and some artisan groups). Buddha declared the purity of the four castes and he insisted that all persons were equal:
Assalàyana, have you heard of Greece, Cambodiya, and certain other bordering states. They have only two castes, masters and slaves. One becomes a master and then a slave, and a slave becomes a master? [16]
Those born with the out castes, low castes, bamboo weavers, chariot makers or the cleaners, born in a trough of the dogs, pigs, the washerman, or born in a brush wood, would take an outer cover and make fire, would not that fire give the flame, colour and lustre and wouldn't whatever that should be done with the fire not be done?
Good Gotama, that is not so.   .. Good Gotama, all fire has the flame, colour and lustre and it is possible to do, whatever work that has to be done with fire [17]

3. Four Noble Truths and Noble Eightfold Path.
Sometimes, people face two different ways and they do not know where to go. In literature and philosophy, there is a contradiction between  good and  evil:
Suppose, Cunda, there were an uneven road and another even road by which to avoid it; and suppose there were an uneven ford and another even ford by which to avoid it. [18]

At his first Sermon, the Buddha taught his five ascetics his philosophy: The Noble Eightfold Path and the Four Noble Truths:
"There are these two extremes that are not to be indulged in by one who has gone forth. Which two? That which is devoted to sensual pleasure with reference to sensual objects: base, vulgar, common, ignoble, unprofitable; and that which is devoted to self-affliction: painful, ignoble, unprofitable. Avoiding both of these extremes, the middle way realized by the Tathagata -- producing vision, producing knowledge -- leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding.
"And what is the middle way realized by the Tathagata that -- producing vision, producing knowledge --  leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding? Precisely this Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This is the middle way realized by the Tathagata that -- producing vision, producing knowledge --  leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. [19]
The Noble Eightfold Path  and the Four Noble Truths  have a great relationship. The Noble Eightfold Path  is  the way to the cessation of suffering, the path to liberation.
                        a. Dukkha: suffering.
b. Tanha: Dukkha has an identifiable cause
c. Nirvana.That cause may be terminated
d. Marga .The mean by which that cause may be terminated.
 
            4. Dependent  Origination
The Four Noble Truths and the doctrine of Paticcasammuppada, Dependent  Origination,  also have a great relationship. Dependent Arising is an important part of Buddhist metaphysics. Common to all Schools of Buddhism, it states that phenomena arise together in a mutually interdependent web of cause and effect. It is variously rendered into English as "dependent origination," "conditioned genesis," "dependent co-arising," "interdependent arising," etc. This doctrine shows that in the case of humans and other sentient beings -  a circular chain-reaction consisting of 12 conditioned and conditioning ‘link’ generates one complete life cycle:
1. Ignorance
            2. activities which produce karma
3. consciousness
4. name and form (personality or identity)
5. the twelve domains (5 physical senses + the mind + forms, sounds, ..., thoughts)
6. contact (between objects and the senses)
7. sensation (registering the contact)
8. desire (for continued contact)
9. attachment
10. becoming (conception of a new life)
11. birth
12. old age and death. 
            5. Kamma and Rebirth
 
Kamma and Rebirth are the essential theories of Buddhism and Hinduism. The theory of Kamma ( Karma), the Law of Cause and Effect, states that "Do good, get good, do evil, get evil." The Buddha said:Whatever actions good or bad he does, will be his heritage.[20]
We can say that life is actually a stream of kamma. Desire to do deeds (kamma) causes one to perform actions and receive the results of those actions; then, desire to do deeds arises again and again endlessly.
The Awakened One said:
-"Punna, there are four kinds of kamma proclaimed by me after realization myself with direct knowledge. What are the four? There is dark kamma with dark ripening, there is bright kamma with bright ripening, there is dark-and-bright kamma with dark-and-bright ripening, and there is kamma that is not dark and not bright with neither-dark-nor-bright ripening that conduces to the exhaustion of kamma. [21]  
II. MORALITY
Buddha is a philosopher and a moralist. He always showed us two contrary ways, and advised us to follow the good way. The Noble Eightfold Path consists of a number of moral lessons 
-Bhikkhus, I will teach the noble path and the ignoble path, listen and attend to it carefully. Bhikkhus, what is the ignoble path?
Destroying living things, taking the not given, misbehaving sexually, telling lies, slandering, talking roughly, talking frivolously, coveting, bearing an angry mind and upholding wrong view, this is said to be the ignoble path.    [22]        

In  the Buddha ‘s teachings,  there are many moral lessons:
-There friends, greed is an evil, anger is an evil. To dispel greed and anger, there is the middle path which conduces to wisdom, knowledge enlightenment and extinction..  .. . There friends, anger is an evil, ill will is an evil, hypocrisy is an evil, mercilessness is an evil, envy is an evil, selfishness is an evil, deceit is an evil, craftiness is an evil, obstinacy is an evil, haughty talk is an evil, measuring is an evil, conceit is an evil, intoxication is an evil, negligence is an evil. .[23]  
Moreover, the Buddhism’s  five precepts are the basic rules that define what is good conduct and what kind of conduct should be avoided. These have been passed down from the Buddha himself:
                        a. No killing: Respect for life
b. No stealing: Respect for others' property
c. No sexual misconduct: Respect for our
            pure nature
d. No lying:   Respect for honesty
e. No intoxicants   Respect for a clear mind
In Digha Nikàya (Dasuttara Sutta and Sangiti Sutta), The Blesse One gave his disciples a nunber of moral lessons:
1-One thing:
a. Tirelessness .
b. Mindfulness
d. Ego-conceit.
2-Two things:
a. Mindfulness and clear awareness
b. Calm and Insight
c. Mind and Body
d. Ignorance and craving for existence
3. Three things:
a- Association with good people, hearing the
 true Dharma, practice of the Dharma in its entirety
                                b.Three elements for making deliverance:
Deliverance from sensuality, deliverance from material forms, the deliverance from that is cessation.
            4. Four things greatly help, four things are to be developed:
                        a. Four "wheels": A favorable place of residence, Association with good people,. Perfect development of one’s personality, Past meritorious actions
b. Four Floods: Sensuality, Becoming,
Wrong Views, Ignorance.
c. Four Yokes: Sensuality, Becoming,
Wrong Views, Ignorance.
            5. Five things greatly help, five things are to be developed.
a. Fivefold perfect concentration:
Suffusion with delight, Suffusion with happiness, Suffusion with will, Suffusion with light, The reviewing sign.
b. Five aggregates of grasping: Body,
Feelings, Perceptions, Mental Formations, Consciousness
d.      Five faculties: Faith, Energy,
Mindfulness, Concentration, Wisdom.
                6. Ten things greatly help:
a.Ten sense spheres: eye and sight-object,
ear and sound, nose and smell, tongue and taste, body and tactile object.
b. Ten wholesome courses of action.
Avoidance of taking life, avoidance of taking what is not given, avoidance of sexual misconduct, avoidance of lying speech, avoidance of slander, avoidance of rude speech, avoidance of idle chatter, avoidance of greed, avoidance of malevolence, and avoidance of wrong view.


                                  

 CHAPTER VIII
                            

 THE HARMONY

            The third meaning of  the Buddhist Middle way is harmony. While annihilating the extremes, the Buddha’s Middle Way  built a union of things in our life and the universe. Buddhism is the harmony of the ideal thought and organization.

I. BRAHMINISM AND BUDDHISM
           
The Buddha and his followers grew up in the Brahmin traditions and beliefs. Although Buddha was a revolutionist,  he was not an extremist, because he did not reverse his society and this world. He only opposed some Brahmin traditions such as faith in God, and the social inequality, but he still followed the law of karma,  the cycle of life, and the practice of meditation of the Brahmin culture.  He was a great philosopher with his new theories of Four Noble Truths, Noble Eightfold Path, and Dependent  Origination.  In a word, Buddhism is a synthesis of Brahmin philosophy and beliefs with new philosophy of the Buddha.
II. REALTY AND THEORY
Buddha’s philosophy of Four Noble Truths came from the reality of life. By realizing the sufferings of human beings, he tried to resolve this problem.
Although the Buddha left the world affairs, and became a recluse, a homeless, he also paid attention to the problems of his society, such as social inequality, and development of nation, and people.
            Buddhism itself  is a united force, consisting of  the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. And the Buddhist Sangha is the union of four kinds of Buddhists: bhikkhus (ordained monks) and bhikkhunis(ordained nuns), male lay followers and female followers. Moreover, the Buddha always insisted on the union of the people, and the  Sangha[24]
Buddhism is a religion of love, and has a close relation with reality and society.

III. PHILOSOPHY AND MORALITY
         
Buddhism is the harmony of philosophy and morality. Four Noble Truths,  Noble Eightfold  Path are the union of philosophy and morality. In many sutras, besides  Buddha’s  philosophy, a great part of the Buddha’s teachings are the moral lessons. Philosophy  is the super  structure, and morality is the substructure of Buddhism. Buddhism and Confucianism  are two religions focusing   on morality in order to elevate the mind of people. The Buddha and Confucius were two  great teachers of the world.
IV. THEORY AND PRACTICE
           
Buddhist philosophy and morality are not only for study but also for practice. The Buddha’s teachings are not the treasure of philosophy and knowledge for the scholars, but  the paths to practicing virtue and ending sufferings for everybody. The true Buddhists must do good, avoid evil, and practice  meditation. Meditation is the back bone of Buddhism. The Buddha’s social philosophy largely revolves around the concept of ‘’compassion’’ or ‘’loving others’’ Cultivating or practicing such concern for others involved deprecating oneself. Self-discipline or self improving was the most important  thing in  Buddhism. The Buddha regarded self improving and  loving others as a calling and a mission for all beings in our world system to attain Nirbana.
V. SELF RELIANCE ANF FAITH IN  BUDDHA
            
Buddha said to his disciples:
...Monks, live with yourself as your island, yourself as your refuge, with nothing else as your refuge. Live with the Dhamma as your island, the Dhamma as your refuge, with nothing else as your refuge.[25]
First of all, the Buddhists have to make self reliance to attain Nibbana, while they can   take  refuge in The Triple
Gems i.e. the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. That is the harmony of self salvation and theexternal force or third party for help. Buddhism is a Middle Path between two extremes of theism and atheism.
Buddhism is a great religion because of its philosophy  and its morality.  Buddhism is the doctrine of the Eye and the doctrine of the Heart. During the last two millennia or so, Buddhism has  not remained static. There have been many  new developments and modifications, but the basic teachings of Buddha have been  constant.


[1] AN.. 3. .38. Sukhamala Sutta. Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
[2] MN.12. The Great Discourse on the Lion's Roar. Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
[3] MN I. 36- The Major Discourse to Saccaka . Thanissaro Bhikkhu
[4] MN III.128. The minor Defilements . Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
[5] AN 6.55.About Sona.Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
[6] MN 3,139. The Classification of Solitude. Thanissaro Bhikkhu)
[7] AN3. Tika Nipàta. 6. Acelavaggo (Patipada Vagga).Not clothed. Trans. by Bhikkhuni Uppalavanna
[8] SN 12,5Kaccayanagotta Sutta.
[9] Samyuetta 12- Acela Sutta To the Clothless Ascetic. Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
[10] AN.6. 010. Upàlivaggo - The Section on Upali. Trans.by Bhikkhuni Uppalavanna.
[11]  AN.4.37. Thanissaro Bhikkhu
[12] AN.8.54. Thanissaro Bhikkhu..
[13] AN.8.54. Vyagghapajja Sutta. To Dighajanu. Thanissaro Bhikkhu
[14] DN.26:
[15] AN 5. 005. Uposathavaggo - The full moon day. Bhikkhuni Uppalavanna.
[16]   MN2 93.ASSALAYANA SUTTA. Uppalavanna .
[17] MN2 93. ASSALAYANA SUTTA.  Uppalavanna.
[18] MN. The Discourse on Effacement Edited by Nyanaponika Thera..
[19] SN56.11Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion..Thanissaro.
[20] AN.III.  017.On hurtfulness.Uppalavanna.
[21] MN 57 .The Dog-duty Ascetic. Nanamoli Thera
[22] AN 6. 019.  Noble path.  Uppalavanna.
[23] MN I.  3. Dhammadaayaadasuttam  (3) To Inherit the Teaching.  Uppalavanna .
[24] AN 4. 003. Vajjisattakavaggo - The sevens to the Vajjis 1. Bhikkhuni Uppalavanna
[25] DN3.26Cakkavatti Sutta.. THANISSARO


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