How to reach the moon without spending anything
51. When the Americans landed on the moon,
Mao Zedong in China said,
“We can reach the moon without spending anything. When people asked, “How?” He said, “We have enough people in our country to climb onto each other to reach the moon?”
Who are you?
52. One day, a Brahmin happened to meet the Buddha and he could not believe that he was a human being. He asked, “Are you a God?”
The Buddha said, “No.”
He then asked,
“Are you a supernatural being?”
The Buddha said,
“No I am very natural!”
In the end he asked,
“Are you an ordinary human being?”
The Buddha said, “No.”
The confused Brahmin asked,
“Then who are you?”
The Buddha answered,
“I am the Awakened One (Buddha).”
The noble example of the Buddha
53. The Buddha’s noble example was a source of inspiration to all his iron will, profound wisdom, universal love, boundless compassion, selfless service, historic renunciation, perfect purity, and magnetic personality have inspired people to respect him as a world-honoured Supreme Teacher!
Who are close to the Buddha?
54. There may be many disciples who stay with me, follow me by holding my hand or clinging to my robes, thereby, thinking that they are close to me. On the other hand, there may be some other disciples who are far away from me and who have not even seen me, but if their minds are pure, even though they are staying far away, they are indeed very close to me. Those who stay with me but exist only with polluted minds, are in fact not at all close to me.
The greatest conqueror of the world
55. The Buddha was the greatest conqueror the world has ever seen. He conquered the world with his infallible weapons of compassion and wisdom. His teaching illuminates the way for mankind to cross from a world of darkness, hatred and suffering, to a New World of light, love, happiness and security.
Buddha’s message to humanity
56. The Buddha has been something greater than all doctrines and dogmas, and his eternal message has thrilled humanity through the ages. Perhaps at no time in past history was his message of peace more needed for a suffering and distracted humanity than it is today.
The Buddha’s voice comforted suffering poor
57. The voice of the Buddha has comforted the bereaved and helped the suffering poor. It has ennobled the lives of the deluded and purified the corrupted lives of criminals. It has encouraged the feeble, united the divided, enlightened the ignorant, elevated the base and dignified the noble.
-Prof. Max Muller
The calm Buddha image
58. His eyes are closed but some power
of the spirit looks out of them and
a vital energy fills the frame.
The ages roll by and Buddha seems not so far away after all; his voice whispers in our ears and tells us not to run away from the struggle but calmed-eyed, to face it, and to see in life even greater opportunities for growth and advancement.
What the Buddha image teaches us
59. It seems that the kindly, appreciative, eternally young man is seated cross-legged on the lotus of purity with his right hand raised in admonition to utter these words: “If you wish to escape from suffering, from fear, practise compassion and develop wisdom.”
Why the Buddha kept silence
60. When metaphysical questions were asked, he often did not reply, not because the Buddha had nothing to say but because he had far too much to say, which would only confuse the questioner.
The riddle-mongers of his day posed questions which were both too narrow and too shallow to answer for gaining wisdom or spiritual development.
The Buddha taught self-reliance
61. Of all the teachers of the world, the Buddha was the one who taught us to be self-reliant, who freed us not only from the bondage of our views but from the dependence on invisible beings called good or Gods.
He invited everyone into the state of freedom, which he called Nirvana. All must attain it one day and the attainment is the complete fulfilment of man.
Why Buddha is needed for our salvation
62. It was the Buddha who taught that man
could gain his own salvation by his own exertion
without depending on God or mediating priest.
Buddhists do not take refuge in the Buddha seeking salvation directly through him, but to gain guidance and confidence for salvation.
How to gain salvation?
63. Do not depend on others for your salvation
Develop your self-confidence to gain it.
-Buddha – M-
Devotees gain the same good results
64. Whether the Buddha lives or has attained Nibbana.
The fruit is the same if
The mind of the giver is the same.
For having delight in the Buddha
Beings go to heavenly birth.
Three characteristics in everything
65. The three characteristics of everything in this universe are clearly explained only in Buddhism.
They are the impermanency of everything, the unsatisfactoriness of everything, and the impersonality or insubstantiality of everything. This is the most remarkable discovery of the Buddha. But due to ignorance and craving, there are very few people who can comprehend such a lofty and sublime teaching.
Wisdom and virtue are inseparable twins
66. Wisdom is purified by virtue,
and virtue is purified by wisdom.
The virtuous person has wisdom,
and the wise person has virtue.
The combination of virtue and
wisdom is called the highest thing in the world.
-Buddha – D. I: 84
67. As much as man’s understanding capacity is deep.
Buddhist philosophy is the only teaching that
can penetrate into the bottom of that deep knowledge.
You too can attain the final goal
68. It is through unshaken perseverance. That I have reached the final goal and enlightenment. Through unceasing effort that I have reached the peace supreme. If you also will strive unceasingly, you too will in time attain the highest goal of bliss.
-Buddha – M
Follow the Middle Path
69. Follow the middle path in every aspect of your life,
without extreme austerity or extreme indulgence.
Especially when you practise a religion.
-Buddha – S. V: 330
70. They make no lamentation over the past,
They yearn not after that which is not come;
They satisfy themselves.
By depending on what they receive,
Hence comes it that they look serene of hue.
-Buddha – Sn: 71
The difficuties of crossing the ocean
71. One who has destroyed attachment
Along with hate and ignorance,
Has crossed the ocean – Samsara
With its sharks and demons,
Its fearful waves so hard to cross.
-Buddha – It. V
Buddhism and miracles
72. Changing the wicked or the cruel to be kind-hearted, a stingy person to be generous, a stupid person to be intelligent, a criminal to be saintly, a deceitful person to be honest and a lazy one to be energetic is the real miracle in the eyes of the Buddha. The performance of magic does not constitute miracles.
The three eyes described by the Buddha
73. The fleshly eye, the divine eye,
And the unsurpassed wisdom eye –
These three eyes were described
By the Buddha, supreme among men.
The arising of the fleshly eye
Is the path to the divine eye,
But the unsurpassed wisdom eye
Is that from which knowledge arises.
By obtaining such an eye
One is released from all sufferings.
-Buddha – It. V
Dharma quenches your thirst
74. Having drunk this Dharma medicine,
You will be ageless and beyond death;
Having developed and seen the truth,
You will be quenched, free from craving.
-Buddha – Miln: 335
Dharma is the highest gifts
75. The gift of Dharma excels all gifts
The flavour of Dharma excels all flavours
The pleasure in Dharma excels all pleasures
who has destroyed craving (tanha)
over comes all sorrow.
What is Nirvana?
76. The destruction of greed and lust (lobha),
The destruction of ill-will and hatred (dosa),
The destruction of delusion and ignorance (moha),
That friend, is called Nirvana.
-Buddha – S
Why I could not catch you
77. One day, the Buddha went to meet Angulimala, a murderer who terrorised the whole country. When Angulimala saw the Buddha, he was very happy because he could kill the last person to complete the number of people he needed to kill to fulfil his vow.
With sword in his hand, he ran at the Buddha to catch him. He ran and ran until he became very tired, but he still could not reach the Buddha. Finally he shouted to the Buddha, “Stop!” The Buddha said, “I have already stopped long ago.”
Angulimala said, “But you were walking.” The Buddha then said, “The meaning of “stop” is that I have stopped committing evil deeds.”
Then Angulimala asked, “Why, I could not catch you after running such a long distance?”
The Buddha replied, “You could not catch me because you ran. If you stop running, you can catch me!"
Angulimala asked again, “What do you mean?” The Buddha said, “The meaning of the word ‘run’ means you are committing evil deeds for you to suffer for a long time in your life.”
Angulimala then decided to give up his cruel act of killing and followed the Buddha to become one of his disciples.
Purpose of religion
78. Annihilation of all greed,
Extinction of all hatred,
Cessation of all ignorance,
Cultivation of virtue and wisdom.
Pastor and taxi driver in heaven
79. One day, a pastor travelling in a taxi realized that the driver was driving recklessly. The pastor became worried about his safety and kept praying to God. But the stubborn driver continued to drive recklessly and thereby caused an accident. As a result, both of them died on the spot. They had the opportunity to go to heaven. However, when they reached heaven the pastor was stopped by the person in charge and was asked to wait outside. The taxi driver instead was warmly welcomed.
This caused the pastor to become angry and he argued, “It is very unfair. I have been preaching about God for a long time, whereas this taxi driver had never worked for God. How can be enter heaven before me?” To this, the person in charge explained, “Yes, we know that, but what we wish to evaluate is the outcome. When you were preaching, the congregation lost interest and fell asleep. But in the case of the taxi driver, he encouraged all his passengers to remember God and to pray while he was driving. Thus, he has earned more credit than you.”
To me, hell is better than heaven
80. I prefer to go to hell rather than heaven.
I believe heaven is good for playboys but not for me.
Many of those intellectuals like the scientists, great thinkers, rationalists including the Buddha are in hell because they did not believe in God. So if I go to hell I will have a nice time with them.
Real holy man
81. A holy man is one who never considers
himself superior to any single creature on earth
and who has remounced all the pleasures of life.
Who is the real holy man?
82. Whosoever does no harm to living creatures.
Whosoever does not kill or participate in killing,
is to be called a holy man.
Whosoever is tolerant with the intolerant.
Whosoever patiently tolerates punishment.
Whosoever shows compassion to all creatures,
is to be called a holy man.
-Buddha – Ud
We have to face the consequences of what we have done
83. If you fear pain, if you dislike pain
Do not do a bad deed openly or in secret
If you have done a bad deed or do one now.
You will not escape pain, though you try to flee.
-Buddha – Ud
Three premonitory visions of the dying man
84. Suppose a person is about to die. This critical stage may be compared to the flickering of a lamp just before it is extinguished. To this dying man, the present karma or some good or bad actions committed either during his lifetime or immediately before his dying moment may cause a karma nimitta or gati nimitta to appear in the mind of the dying man.
Karma nimitta is a symbol or a mental reproduction of any sight, sound, smell, taste, touch or idea, which dominated his activity during his lifetime. Thus a butcher may see a vision of knives or dying animals. A kind physician may see his patients comimg to him. A devotee may see an object of worship, etc.
A gati nimitta is a ‘symbol of destiny’ or a sign of the place where the rebirth is to occur. Such a symbol frequently presents itself to the dying person. Such premonitory visions of destiny may take various forms such as a fire, forests, mountanous regions, a mother’s womb, celestial mansions, etc. When these indications of the future birth occur, and if they are bad, they might at times be remedied.
Rebirth takes place immediately irrespective of the place of birth, just as an electro-magnetic wave that is projected into space is immediately reproduced in a receiving radio set. Rebirth of the mental flux is also instantaneous and leaves no room whatever for any intermediate state (antarabhava).
The Buddha-word does not support the belief that a spirit of the deceased person takes lodgement in some temporary state until it finds the suitable place for its birth. According to certain beliefs there is an intermediate state where beings remain for one to seven weeks until the forty-ninth day. This view is contrary to the teachings of the Buddha.
Those who remember their previous births
85. Some people remember their previous births,
but many others are unable to do so especially
the following persons:
Children who die young.
Those who die old and senile.
Those who are strongly addicted
to drugs or intoxicants.
Those whose mothers, during conception,
have been sickly or have had to toil laboriously,
or have been reckless or imprudent during pregnancy.
The foetuses in the womb, being stunned and startled,
lose all knowledge of their past existence.
Aspiration through merits
86. Meritorious deed done for worldly pleasure is low.
Meritorious deed done for one’s own salvation is normal.
Meritorious deed done for the well being of others is highest.
Bad effects come later
87. When a person is committing evil deeds
he feels it is sweet like honey.
Later when bad effects come,
he suffers like burning in the fire.
-Buddha – Dh.
Only effects of food and bad deeds follow us
88. All our material properties remain behind
when we depart from this world. Our relatives
and friends follow us up to the graveyard only.
Only the good and bad actions (karma)
that we have committed during our lifetime
follow us into the next life either to support us
or to disturb us.
A tree is known by its fruit
89. A good tree does not bear rotten fruit;
A rotten tree does not bear good fruit.
Are figs gathered from thorns,
or grapes from thistles?
Every tree is known by its fruit.
We have yet to learn the simple act
90. We have flown in the air like birds
and have swum the sea like fishes,
but we have yet to learn the simple act of
walking on the earth like brothers and sisters.
-Martin Luther King
What is difficult to do?
91. For the good to do what is good is easy,
For the bad to do what is good is difficult,
For the bad to do what is bad is easy,
For the noble to do what is bad is difficult.
-Buddha – Ud
Simplicity of a leader
92. Mahatma Gandhi, a leader of India
always travelled third-class in a train.
Somebody once asked, “You are a leader of
this country, why do you travel third-class?”
Mahatma Gandhi’s reply was, “I travel third-class
because there is no fourth-class.”
Be good yourself first
93. Let one first establish oneself in what is proper,
and then instruct others. Such a wise man
will not be blamed by others.
-Buddha – Dh. 158
Shame and fear govern humanity
94. Shame to commit immoral deeds and
Fear of committing evil deeds.
What is the secret of happiness?
95. The secret of happiness is not in doing
what one likes, but in liking what one does.
-J. M. Barrie
Do one thing at a time
96. The surest way to do many things is
to do only one thing at a time.
Only the wise cross the bridge
97. Those who have made a bridge
Cross over the river flood,
Leaving the swampy pools behind,
While people are binding a raft
The wise are already across.
-Buddha – Ud
The angry man cannot see properly
98. When an angry man opens his mouth
he naturally closes his eyes.
The danger of ignoring others’ evil deeds
99. The world is too dangerous to live in,
not because of people who do evil,
but because of people who sit and let it happen.
Only the wise experience heavenly bliss
100. If a person possesses these two things –
Good behaviour and a good view –
When his body perishes
That wise one is reborn in heaven.
-Buddha – It.