Archive for the ‘Buddha’ Category

A Path of Meditation – Einstein the Buddha

February 8, 2007

Einstein the Buddha

– Osho

Science now needs great meditators, otherwise this earth is doomed. Science now needs people who can use their minds, who are masters of their being, who can use science in a conscious way. Otherwise we are on the verge of committing universal suicide. “Einstein had one of the most beautiful minds. Did he abuse it? Do you think the scientists who have created great technology and destroyed the whole ecology of the earth have used their minds or abused them?If one day this planet earth is going to die, it will be because of the great minds of the twentieth century — because if in the whole history of humanity there have been a hundred scientists, ninety-nine happen to be alive in the twentieth century. In fact seventy-five percent of the great scientists of all the ages are alive now.

Mind has gathered such a great momentum. We have created great technology within the last hundred years, particularly within these last ten years, but that technology is going to destroy this earth. Who will be responsible? And what will you say? The scientists used the mind or abused it?

If you ask me, I will say they were not masters of their minds. They neither used nor abused the mind; the mind used them, abused them.

Science now needs great meditators, otherwise this earth is doomed. Science now needs people who can use their minds, who are masters of their being, who can use science in a conscious way. Otherwise we are on the verge of committing universal suicide.

Man cannot live for more than twenty-five years the way he has lived up to now, unless a drastic change is made. And the greatest thing that can be of help, which can help humanity to survive, and the earth to still go on living…. And this is a beautiful earth. Compared to this earth millions and millions of stars are just dead: no flowers bloom, no rivers flow, there are no birds, no animals, no people. This universe is almost a great desert. This earth is alive! Something tremendously important — consciousness — has happened here. But this consciousness is still not a master, it is a slave. It has to be freed.

That’s my work here, my basic fundamental work: to help you be free of the mind so that you can use it. And if you are the master, you cannot abuse it; that is impossible. When you are alert, conscious, meditative, abuse is not possible.

If Einstein had also been a buddha, there would have been atomic energy but no atom bombs, and atomic energy would have become a blessing — the greatest blessing ever. The earth would have become a paradise. But Albert Einstein is not a buddha; unfortunately he knows nothing of meditation — a great mind, but the master is missing; a great mechanism, a great airplane without the pilot.

I have heard that they made an airplane which could go to the farthest distances without any pilot — pilotless, automatic. There was great thrill and enthusiasm, and on the first flight the automatic mechanism communicated to the people: “We are moving at such-and-such a height, at such-and-such a temperature, and at such-and-such a speed. Please be at ease, don’t be worried. Nothing can go wrong, nothing can go wrong, nothing can go wrong, nothing can go wrong…” and it went on! It has already gone wrong. Think of those people, what must have happened to those people! Now, what to do?

Great science is there, a by-product of the mind, but it is in the hands of slaves. Buddhas are needed to take possession of humanity — and one or two buddhas won’t do. Many many buddhas are needed in every field, in every direction, in every dimension of life, so that the mind can be used. Otherwise the mind was never as efficient as it is now, and that is the danger. The mind was never as clever as it is now, never as powerful as it is now.

We have given atom bombs into the hands of children. If no accident happens, that will be a miracle. There is every possibility that an accident is bound to happen. Children are playing with atom bombs.

Politicians are the most immature minds in the world. Only third-rate minds become interested in politics; mediocre people and people who are suffering from an inferiority complex, they become politicians. And in these people’s hands are atom bombs, hydrogen bombs, laser beams, and this and that.

You can cease at any moment! — I may not be able to finish my discourse. Any moment… we are sitting on a pile of hydrogen bombs, and there are so many… it is unbelievable how stupid man can be. We have so many hydrogen bombs that we can destroy every single human being seven hundred times. Now, what stupidity! For what? A man simply dies a single time. If you want to be very cautious, twice will do — but what is the point of seven hundred times?

And they are continuously creating more and more. The whole earth is full of hydrogen bombs; we can destroy seven hundred earths like this. And still, seventy percent of our energy is being put into war efforts. This whole earth seems to be a madhouse.”

Source : http://www.oshoworld.com

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Vipassana – a Meditation Technique of Gautama Buddha

February 7, 2007

In a single sentence :What is Vipassana ?

Vipassana means “to see things as they really are”; it is a logical process of mental purification through self-observation

Dear Friends,

Are you ready to understand the great gift of Gautama Buddha for humanity? 

Gautama Buddha is a great leader, a Great teacher & a great Innovator at this planet from ancient time to  modern time.

The timeless wisdom of Buddha is a complete solution of our a range of problems at level of root cause.

Kindly read this article …….

ajay singh Niranjan …

Vipassana Meditation

As taught by S.N. Goenka and his Assistant Teachers

 

 Link : http://www.vri.dhamma.org/general/vipintro.html

 

The technique of Vipassana is a simple, practical way to achieve real peace of mind and to lead a happy, useful life. Vipassana means “to see things as they really are”; it is a logical process of mental purification through self-observation.

 

From time to time, we all experience agitation, frustration and disharmony. When we suffer, we do not keep our misery limited to ourselves; instead, we keep distributing it to others. Certainly this is not a proper way to live. We all long to live at peace within ourselves, and with those around us. After all, human beings are social beings: we have to live and interact with others. How, then, can we live peacefully? How can we remain harmonious ourselves, and maintain peace and harmony around us?

Vipassana enables us to experience peace and harmony: it purifies the mind, freeing it from suffering and the deep-seated causes of suffering. The practice leads step-by-step to the highest spiritual goal of full liberation from all mental defilements.


Historical Background

Vipassana is one of India’s most ancient meditation techniques. It was rediscovered 2500 years ago by Gotama the Buddha, and is the essence of what he practiced and taught during his forty-five year ministry. During the Buddha’s time, large numbers of people in northern India were freed from the bonds of suffering by practising Vipassana, allowing them to attain high levels of achievement in all spheres of life. Over time, the technique spread to the neighbouring countries of Myanmar(Burma), Sri Lanka, Thailand and others, where it had the same ennobling effect.

Five centuries after the Buddha, the noble heritage of Vipassana had disappeared from India. The purity of the teaching was lost elsewhere as well. In the country of Myanmar, however, it was preserved by a chain of devoted teachers. From generation to generation, over two thousand years, this dedicated lineage transmitted the technique in its pristine purity.

In our time, Vipassana has been reintroduced to India, as well as to citizens from more than eighty other countries, by S.N. Goenka. He was authorized to teach Vipassana by the renowned Burmese Vipassana teacher, Sayagyi U Ba Khin. Before he died in 1971, Sayagyi was able to see one of his most cherished dreams realized. He had the strong wish that Vipassana should return to India, the land of its origin, to help it come out of its manifold problems. From India, he felt sure it would then spread throughout the world for the benefit of all mankind.

S.N. Goenka began conducting Vipassana courses in India in 1969; after ten years, he began to teach in foreign countries as well. In the thirty-five years since he started teaching, S.N. Goenka has conducted many ten-day Vipassana courses, and trained over 800 assistant teachers who have conducted many courses worldwide. In addition, many Centres have been established in India for the exclusive practice of Vipassana. Centres for exclusive practice have been established across the world as well. The invaluable gem of Vipassana, long preserved in the small country of Myanmar, can now be practiced in many places throughout the world. Today ever-increasing numbers of people have the opportunity to learn this art of living which brings lasting peace and happiness.

In the past, India had the distinction of being regarded as a World Teacher. In our time, the Ganges of Truth is once again flowing out from India to a thirsty world.


The Practice

To learn Vipassana it is necessary to take a ten-day residential course under the guidance of a qualified teacher. The courses are conducted at established Vipassana Centres and other places.For the duration of the retreat, students remain within the course site, having no contact with the outside world. They refrain from reading and writing, and suspend any religious practices or other disciplines. They follow a demanding daily schedule which includes about ten hours of sitting meditation. They also observe silence, not communicating with fellow students; however, they are free to discuss meditation questions with the teacher and material problems with the management.

There are three steps to the training. First, the students practice abstinence from actions which cause harm. They undertake five moral precepts, practicing abstention from killing, stealing, lying, sexual misconduct and the use of intoxicants. The observation of these precepts allows the mind to calm down sufficiently to proceed with the task at hand. Second, for the first three-and-a-half days, students practice Anapana meditation, focusing attention on the breath. This practice helps to develop control over the unruly mind.

These first two steps of living a wholesome life and developing control of the mind are necessary and beneficial, but are incomplete unless the third step is taken: purifying the mind of underlying negativities. The third step, undertaken for the last six-and-a-half days, is the practice of Vipassana: one penetrates one’s entire physical and mental structure with the clarity of insight.

Students receive systematic meditation instructions several times a day, and each day’s progress is explained during a taped evening discourse by S.N. Goenka. Complete silence is observed for the first nine days. On the tenth day, students resume speaking, making the transition back to a more extroverted way of life. The course concludes on the morning of the eleventh day. The retreat closes with the practice of metta-bhavana (loving-kindness or good will towards all), a meditation technique in which the purity developed during the course is shared with all beings. Pictorial representation of a 10 day retreat at Dhammagiri


The Courses

Vipassana courses are held regularly at permanent centres and rented sites in different countries. In addition to frequent ten-day courses, special courses and long courses of 20, 30, 45 and 60 days are offered for advanced students at long course centres like Dhamma Tapovan established for this purpose.

Short, courses in Anapana, the introductory part of the Vipassana technique, are courses offered for children in India and in other countries. The courses last for one to three days and serve children in two age groups: eight to eleven, and twelve to fifteen years.

All courses throughout the world are run solely on the basis of freely-offered donations. No fee charged: the courses are financed totally by donations from students who have completed a prior course and wish to share the benefits they themselves received by giving donation for the students who come after them. Neither the Teacher nor the assistant teachers receive remuneration; they and those who serve the courses volunteer their time. This practice is consistent with the pure tradition, whereby the teaching is to be offered freely, free from any taint of commercialism, and supported solely by donations stemming from the wholesome volitions of gratitude and generosity.


A Non-Sectarian Technique

Although Vipassana is a part of Buddha’s teaching, it contains nothing of a sectarian nature, and can be accepted and applied by people of any background. The Buddha himself taught Dhamma (the way, the truth, the path). He did not call his followers “Buddhists”; he referred to them as “Dhammists” (those who follow the truth). The technique works on the basis that all human beings share the same problems, and a pragmatic method which can eradicate these problems can be universally practiced.

Vipassana courses are open to anyone sincerely wishing to learn the technique, irrespective of race, caste, faith or nationality. Hindus, Jains, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Jews as well as members of other religions have all successfully practiced Vipassana. The malady is universal; therefore, the remedy has to be universal. For example, when we experience anger, this anger is not Hindu anger or Christian anger, Chinese anger or American anger. Similarly, love and compassion are not the strict province of any community or creed: they are universal human qualities resulting from purity of mind. People from all backgrounds who practice Vipassana find that they become better human beings.


The Present-day World Environment

Developments in the fields of science and technology, in transportation, communications, agriculture and medicine, have revolutionized human life at the material level. But, in actuality, this progress is only superficial: underneath, modern men and women are living in conditions of great mental and emotional stress, even in developed and affluent countries.

The problems and conflicts arising out of racial, ethnic, sectarian and caste prejudices affect the citizens of every country. Poverty, warfare, weapons of mass destruction, disease, drug addiction, the threat of terrorism, epidemic, environmental devastation and the general decline of moral values—all cast a dark shadow on the future of civilization. One need only glance at the front page of a daily newspaper to be reminded of  the acute suffering and deep despair which afflict the inhabitants of our planet.

Is there a way out of these seemingly insolvable problems? The answer is unequivocally, yes. All over the world today, the winds of change are readily apparent. People everywhere are eager to find a method which can bring peace and harmony; restore confidence in the efficacy of wholesome human qualities; and create an environment of freedom and security from all types of exploitation—social, religious and economic. Vipassana can be such a method.


Vipassana and Social Change

The technique of Vipassana is a path leading to freedom from all suffering; it eradicates the craving, aversion and ignorance which are responsible for all our miseries. Those who practice it remove, little by little, the root causes of their suffering and steadily emerge from the darkness of former tensions to lead happy, healthy, productive lives. There are many examples bearing testimony to this fact.

Several experiments have been conducted at prisons in India. In 1975, S.N. Goenka conducted a historic course for 120 inmates at the Central Jail in Jaipur, the first such experiment in Indian penal history. This course was followed in 1976 by a course for senior police officers at the Government Police Academy in Jaipur. In 1977, a second course was held at the Jaipur Central Jail. These courses were the subject of several sociological studies conducted by the University of Rajasthan. In 1990 another course was organized in Jaipur Central Jail in which forty life-term convicts and ten jail officials participated with very positive results.

n 1991, a course for life-sentence prisoners was held at the Sabaramati Central Jail, Ahmedabad, and was the subject of a research project by the Dept. of Education, Gujarat Vidyapeeth.

The Rajasthan and Gujarat studies and indicated definite positive changes of attitude and behaviour in the participants, and demonstrate that Vipassana is a positive reform measure enabling criminals to become wholesome members of society.

In 1995, a massive course was organised for 1000 prisoners in Tihar jail with far-reaching effects. Vipassana was adopted as a prison reform technique in the largest jails of India. A detailed report of the scientific studies carried out to assess the impact of Vipassana meditation on the prisoner’s mental health proves that Vipassana is capable of transforming criminals into better human beings.

The civil service career of S.N. Goenka’s meditation teacher, Sayagyi U Ba Khin, is an example of the transformative effect of Vipassana on government administration. Sayagyi was the head of several government departments. He succeeded in instilling a heightened sense of duty, discipline and morality in the officials working under him by teaching them Vipassana meditation. As a result, efficiency dramatically increased, and corruption was eliminated. Similarly, in the Home Department of the Government of Rajasthan, after several key officials attended Vipassana courses, decision-making and the disposal of cases were accelerated, and staff relations improved.

The Vipassana Research Institute has documented other examples of the positive impact of Vipassana in such fields as health, education, drug addiction, government, prisons and business management.

These experiments underscore the point that societal change must start with the individual. Social change cannot be brought about by mere sermons; discipline and virtuous conduct cannot be instilled in students simply through textbook lectures. Criminals will not become good citizens out of fear of punishment; neither can caste and sectarian discord be eliminated by punitive measures. History is replete with the failures of such attempts.

The individual is the key: he or she must be treated with love and compassion; he must be trained to improve himself—not by exhortations to follow moral precepts, but by being instilled with the authentic desire to change. He must be taught to explore himself, to initiate a process which can bring about transformation and lead to purification of mind. This is the only change which will be enduring.

Vipassana has the capacity to transform the human mind and character. It is an opportunity awaiting all who sincerely wish to make the effort.

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 – Ajay Singh Niranjan

Know thyself – Understand yourself –True Being, Pure Consciousness and Bliss

February 3, 2007

Know thyself – Understand yourself –True Being, Pure Consciousness and Bliss

Know Thyself-A Talk by Sri Chinmoy “Know Thyself”

Atmanam viddhi-Know thyself. Each individual has to know himself. He has to know himself as the infinite, eternal and immortal Consciousness. The concept of Infinity, Eternity and Immortality is absolutely foreign to us. Why? The reason is quite simple. We live in the body, rather than in the soul. To us the body is everything. There is nothing and can be nothing beyond the body. The existence of the soul we consider sheer imagination. But I assure you that the soul is not imaginary. It is at once the life and the revelation of the Cosmic Reality. Most of us live in the body, in the earthbound physical consciousness. Our teacher is Darkness; our professor is Ignorance. But if ever we live in the soul, we shall see that our teacher is Vision and our professor is Illumination.

“Life is effort.” So says the body. “Life is blessing.” So says the soul. The human in man does not want to go beyond morality, society and humanity. The divine in man comes down from divinity into humanity, from unity into multiplicity. 

Atmanam viddhi. Know thyself. The seers of the Upanishads not only discovered this Truth Transcendental but offered it to the suffering, crying and striving mankind. In order to know oneself, one has to discover oneself first. What is self discovery? Self discovery is God-Realisation.

Without Yoga there is no self discovery. Yoga is not a religion. Yoga is the Universal Truth. It is the traditional truth of
India. It is the most important experience of life. True Yoga and life go together. They cannot be separated. If you try to separate them, you will fail. Yoga and life are as inseparable as the Creator and the Creation.

Is Yoga another name for severe asceticism? Positively not. Is Yoga another name for self-discipline? Decisively yes. Does Yoga demand the rejection of the world and the starvation of the senses? No, never. Does Yoga demand the acceptance of the world and mastery over the senses? Yes, a mighty Yes. Is Yoga for everybody? Yes and no. Yes, because each human soul has come from God and inwardly aspires to return to Him. No, because some people, at their present stage of development, feel they can live without God.

Can learning and reasoning offer man self realisation? No. Mere book knowledge ends in self deception. Why? Because a man of knowledge feels that he has achieved the infinite wisdom. Unfortunately, he does not know that the real Infinite Wisdom can come only from God, from God Realisation. Mere mental reasoning ends in self-frustration.

Can dedication and aspiration offer man self realisation? Yes. Man’s dedication is his heart flower offered at the Feet of God. Man’s aspiration is his soul fruit placed in the Lap of God.For self realisation, man needs freedom. God gives him freedom. What is freedom? Freedom is God’s sacrifice-power and man’s miracle-power. Sri Ramakrishna, the great spiritual Master of India, once remarked, “The wretch who constantly says, ‘I am bound, I am bound,’ only succeeds in being bound. He who says day and night, ‘I am a sinner, I am a sinner,’ verily becomes a sinner. One must have such burning faith in God that one can say, ‘What? I have repeated God’s name, so how can sin still cling to me? How can I be a sinner anymore?'”

We must cherish positive thoughts, positive ideas, positive ideals. Only then will our Goal no longer remain a far cry. Each man has to feel, “I am at the Feet of God, my own Master. I am in the Hands of God, my own Creator. I am in the Heart of God, my only Beloved.”

“Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.” I asked. My Lord bestowed His boundless Compassion on me. I sought. My Lord gave me His infinite Love. I knocked. To my utter surprise, the door was not bolted from inside. My sweet Lord was eagerly expecting my arrival. Lo, I am come!

Source:www.srichinmoy.org

Meditation Found To Increase Brain Size

January 29, 2007

People who meditate grow bigger brains than those who don’t. Researchers at Harvard, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found the first evidence that meditation can alter the physical structure of our brains. Brain scans they conducted reveal that experienced meditators boasted increased thickness in parts of the brain that deal with attention and processing sensory input.

In one area of gray matter, the thickening turns out to be more pronounced in older than in younger people. That’s intriguing because those sections of the human cortex, or thinking cap, normally get thinner as we age.

 Our data suggest that meditation practice can promote cortical plasticity in adults in areas important for cognitive and emotional processing and well-being,” says Sara Lazar, leader of the study and a psychologist at Harvard Medical School. “These findings are consistent with other studies that demonstrated increased thickness of music areas in the brains of musicians, and visual and motor areas in the brains of jugglers. In other words, the structure of an adult brain can change in response to repeated practice.”

The researchers compared brain scans of 20 experienced meditators with those of 15 nonmeditators. Four of the former taught meditation or yoga, but they were not monks living in seclusion. The rest worked in careers such as law, health care, and journalism. All the participants were white. During scanning, the meditators meditated; the others just relaxed and thought about whatever they wanted.

Meditators did Buddhist “insight meditation,” which focuses on whatever is there, like noise or body sensations. It doesn’t involve “om,” other mantras, or chanting.

“The goal is to pay attention to sensory experience, rather than to your thoughts about the sensory experience,” Lazar explains. “For example, if you suddenly hear a noise, you just listen to it rather than thinking about it. If your leg falls asleep, you just notice the physical sensations. If nothing is there, you pay attention to your breathing.” Successful meditators get used to not thinking or elaborating things in their mind.

Study participants meditated an average of about 40 minutes a day. Some had been doing it for only a year, others for decades. Depth of the meditation was measured by the slowing of breathing rates. Those most deeply involved in the meditation showed the greatest changes in brain structure. “This strongly suggests,” Lazar concludes, “that the differences in brain structure were caused by the meditation, rather than that differences in brain thickness got them into meditation in the first place.”

Lazar took up meditation about 10 years ago and now practices insight meditation about three times a week. At first she was not sure it would work. But “I have definitely experienced beneficial changes,” she says. “It reduces stress [and] increases my clarity of thought and my tolerance for staying focused in difficult situations.”

Controlling random thoughts

Insight meditation can be practiced anytime, anywhere. “People who do it quickly realize that much of what goes on in their heads involves random thoughts that often have little substance,” Lazar comments. “The goal is not so much to ’empty’ your head, but to not get caught up in random thoughts that pop into consciousness.”

She uses this example: Facing an important deadline, people tend to worry about what will happen if they miss it, or if the end product will be good enough to suit the boss. You can drive yourself crazy with unproductive “what if” worry. “If, instead, you focus on the present moment, on what needs to be done and what is happening right now, then much of the feeling of stress goes away,” Lazar says. “Feelings become less obstructive and more motivational.”

The increased thickness of gray matter is not very much, 4 to 8 thousandths of an inch. “These increases are proportional to the time a person has been meditating during their lives,” Lazar notes. “This suggests that the thickness differences are acquired through extensive practice and not simply due to differences between meditators and nonmeditators.”

As small as they are, you can bet those differences are going to lead to lots more studies to find out just what is going on and how meditation might better be used to improve health and well-being, and even slow aging.

More basic questions need to be answered. What causes the increased thickness? Does meditation produce more connections between brain cells, or more blood vessels? How does increased brain thickness influence daily behavior? Does it promote increased communication between intellectual and emotional areas of the brain?

To get answers, larger studies are planned at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Harvard-affiliated facility where Lazar is a research scientist and where these first studies were done. That work included only 20 meditators and their brains were scanned only once.

“The results were very encouraging,” Lazar remarks. “But further research needs to be done using a larger number of people and testing them multiple times. We also need to examine their brains both before and after learning to meditate. Our group is currently planning to do this. Eventually, such research should reveal more about the function of the thickening; that is, how it affects emotions and knowing in terms of both awareness and judgment.”

Slowing aging?

Since this type of meditation counteracts the natural thinning of the thinking surface of the brain, could it play a role in slowing – even reversing – aging? That could really be mind-boggling in the most positive sense.

Lazar is cautious in her answer. “Our data suggest that one small bit of brain appears to have a slower rate of cortical thinning, so meditation may help slow some aspects of cognitive aging,” she agrees. “But it’s important to remember that monks and yogis suffer from the same ailments as the rest of us. They get old and die, too. However, they do claim to enjoy an increased capacity for attention and memory.”

Source: Harvard University (By William J. Cromie)

Link:http://www.sciencenewsden.com

Buddha as a Leader

January 28, 2007

The Buddha has often been described as one of the greatest leaders of all time. But just what characterizes a good leader? What are the duties and qualities of good leadership? And what can we learn from the Buddha as a leader that we can apply to our chaotic world?

The Leader as Visionary

Like the captain of a ship, a leader must have a definite goal; only then can he chart his course and steer his ship in the right direction. Having given up his royal rights, wealth and family, Prince Siddhartha had one goal – to find the cause of suffering and a way out of suffering. Despite much hardship and setback, he never veered from his course but persevered till he gained Enlightenment.

But the Buddha did not stop there. He made it his mission to lead all sentient beings out of the samsaric cycle of suffering. It is this vision which defined his forty-five years of teaching and shaped his role as leader of an order(sangha) and a following that is still growing strong today.

Guided by this vision, the Buddha’s mission was an all-embracing one. It is a mission founded on compassion and love for all sentient beings, regardless of race, creed or status quo. Addressing his first group of disciples, the Buddha instructed them to go forth and spread the teachings for the good and happiness of the many. In this respect, the Buddha was revolutionary, displaying extreme courage in his advocacy for the emancipation of the persons belonging to all the four castes, in his dismissal of the Brahmin as the supreme authority and in his admission of women to the sangha.

The Leader as Role Model

A leader must be an exemplary figure, someone we can respect and emulate. The Buddha, having purified himself through many lifetimes, embodied all the Perfections (paramita). He was extraordinary, virtuous and righteous in every thought, word and deed. He says as he does and does as he says. Such integrity and consistency won him the trust of his followers.

As a leader, the Buddha led by example. His simple and humble lifestyle is a reflection of his teachings. In his daily routine, the Buddha wasted no time on idleness and frivolity. For forty-five years, he devoted his time and effort for the good of others, starting his day before dawn and working till midnight.  

Compare this with many world leaders who live in the laps of luxury while half of the world’s population suffer from poverty and hunger, and we can understand why many people lament the lack of good leaders in our times. In his advice to the rulers of his time, the Buddha emphasized the importance of leadership according to the Dharma.

A ruler must first establish himself in piety and righteousness, and avoid all the vices. Sovereignty and the rule of power are subjected to the rule of righteousness, not the rule of force. Here is the ideal model of a value-based leadership. The Buddha highlighted ten principles which a ruler ought to be possess:

1. Dana – alms-giving

2. Sila – morality

3. Parricaga – unselfishness

4. Ajjava – integrity

5. Maddava – gentleness

6. Tapo – self-restraint

7. Akkhoda – non-anger

8. Avihimsa – non-violence

9. Khanti – patience

10. Avirodhana – agreeability

The Leader as Mediator

As a leader, the Buddha demonstrated both skills in mediation and impartiality in judgment. In the Ummagga Jataka, as Prince Mahausadha, the Bodhisattva (the Buddha in a previous birth) showed his ability to resolve problems and arguments. As advisor to the King, he displayed wit and intelligence in the protection of his people.

The Buddha displayed his skills at resolving conflicts between opposing parties on several occasions. Once a dispute broke out between the Sakyans, to which the Buddha belonged, and the Koliyas, to which his mother, Queen Maya, belonged. Unable to arrive at an agreement over the distribution of the waters of the river Rohini, the two parties were on the verge of war. The Buddha settled the dispute by asking:”What do you consider as more valuable – water or human lives?”

The Leader as Manager

The Buddha was a great human resource manager. With an acute knowledge of human beings, he knew the strengths and weaknesses of those around him. Based on their dominant traits, the Buddha categorised people into six groups:

1. those lustful and passionate

2. those with hatred and anger

3. those with delusion

4. those with faith and confidence

5. those with wisdom and intelligence

6. those with hesitation and doubt

He delegated duties to his followers in accordance with their abilities and temperament. In addition, he showed his appreciation by conferring upon them due respect and recognition. Trainers of managerial leadership could learn much from the Buddha in this respect to develop an effective workforce.

The Leader as Protector

The Jataka stories, which tell of the previous births of the Buddha, abound with numerous examples of the Bodhisattva’s courage and self-sacrificial spirit to safeguard the interests of his group. In the Mahakapi Jataka, the Bodhisattva in a previous birth was the leader of a troop of monkeys living in the
Himalayas.

One day, the king of the state saw that the forest was abundant with mango trees, set his men upon the monkeys. To flee from the king’s men, the Bodhisattva used some bamboo vines to build a bridge so that the monkeys could cross over to the other river bank. Unfortunately the bamboo vines were too short.

To bridge the gap, the Bodhisattva stretched himself out, clinging on to one side with his hands and the other with his tail so that the monkeys could cross over on his back. Among the monkeys was Devadatta, his arch-enemy. Seeing his opponent in a disadvantaged position, he stamped hard on his back as he made his way across.

The Bodhisattva was in immense pain but remained clinging on to the bamboo vines till the last monkey was safely across. The king, upon witnessing such a courageous and selfless act by such a monkey, ordered his men to bring himdown from the trees and tried to save him. Asked why he endangered his life to save his subjects the Bodhisattva replied:”O King! Verily my body is broken. But my mind is still sound; I uplifted only those over whom I exercised my royal powers for so long.?

After the Bodhisattva’s death, the king in honour his self-sacrificing spirit, erected a shrine and ordered that daily offerings be made.

Another aspect in which the Buddha exercised his role as a protector is in teachings of the Buddha was open to all, in the Buddha’s four-fold party of monks, nuns, lay men and lay women followers, admission was not so liberal.

While this may invite criticisms that the Buddha was prejudicial, it is necessary not for his personal interests but to protect the Buddhist community from corruptive and evil forces and to ensure its long-term survival. The Buddha also set out criteria and rules and regulations, especially the vinaya code, to protect the well-being and order of his community

The Leader Shows the Way

During his 45 years of missionary work, many followers became enlightened after listening to his teachings. 2500 years later, the Buddha continues to inspire millions of people around the world to follow his path. This, above all else, is the most important role of the Buddha as a leader – one who is able to inspire others to bring out the best in themselves, to develop their full potential and gain the ultimate goal of Nirvana.

Author – Ven. Sobhita Thero–advisor of Bodhiraja Buddhist Society

Source : http://www.4ui.com/eart/167eart1.htm 

 

A Journey to Yoga-meditation: A balance path (a win-win solution)

January 25, 2007

“Life is full of contradiction and surprises, that it is infact, full of paradox like success or failure, happiness or distress etc. So always one question arises in the mind, how we can balance our life in paradox (duality in nature).

Definitely Yoga-Mediation is a third alternative for overcome such dualities, balance the mind and for living the life with totality. Yoga is a remedy for doubt, confusion and intellectual dissatisfaction.

A basic principle of yoga is that practicing mental equilibrium neutralized the effects of delusion.Yoga-Meditation is a scientific process of neutralization of duality of Mental Speculation and Emotional stimulation from Successes & failure, Strength & Weakness, Discrimination and self sense –mind, Spirits and matter, Soul & Body, Knowledge & ignorance, health and diseases, Changeless and transistorizes, Light & darkness, Divine self & False Ego, Self-control and temptation, Life and death.

“It is the Holistic universe where everything is fundamentally interconnected by a common background”.

So In simple Term, Yoga means integration, unification, addition of positive elements in our bodies, minds, hearts and souls for harmonization of our all thoughts, actions and deeds for wellness of humanity.

Lord Krishna in Bhagvat Gita has described different yoga system for different types of people according to their way of living, nature and their conditional mind. All type of yoga – bhakti yoga (Devotion oriented), karma yoga (action oriented), Raja yoga (Patanjali Yoga system- scientific method of meditation) and janan Yoga (wisdom oriented) reach every body on path of self-realization.

Patanjali, the father of Yoga, is famous for his ancient eightfold path of yoga. The idea is to follow a path of positive mind control that leads one to the living understanding of being that is so effective that for the greatest students and masters of yoga – this goal is the ONLY GOAL. Pantajali called it Samadhi. It is also known as Nirvana,Union with the Divine Intelligence, Cosmic Consciousness, and Ultimate Bliss.

Patanjali Yoga system is a systematically method for attaining Ultimate bliss.The sequesnce of patanjali Yoga system is reprented in following way.

1.      Yama (Moral conduct)

2.      Niyama (Religious observance),

3.      Asana (Right posture to still bodily restlessness),

4.      Pranayama (control of Prana, Subtle life control),

5.      Pratayahar (Interiorization),

6.      Dharana (concentration),

7.      Dhyana (Meditation),

8.      Samadhi (superconscious experience – Ultimate Bliss).

The Ultimate aim of yoga to understand true nature of self (consciousness) and integrate with cosmic consciousness for attaining ultimate bliss which is described in this line beautifully.  

The Four Great Vedic statements:‘That Thou Art,’ ‘I am Brahman’, ‘This self is Brahman’, and ‘Brahman is Consciousness (Mind).’

Every Sage has said, “Know Thyself”

Concentration = Definite : Meditation = Infinite
YOGA = Definite + Infinite = Ultimate Bliss
YOGA = Self Consciousness + Cosmic consciousness = Ultimate Bliss

Basically Yoga provides a sets of experience based techniques so that we can aware our whole mind (Left Brain-logical, analytical, Fact based , sequential and right brain-synergetic, intuitive, Emotional, synthesizing, holistic) for integration of our thinking pattern and how it work effectively when it is driven by the soul. It brings us towards centre (root) which is infinite powerful, infinite creative and infinite bliss. So let’s go ahead – It is your choice but remember it is win-win deals for all human being.

I am sharing following divine songs of Bhagvat Gita for better understanding of Yoga-meditation.

“The uncontrolled mind does not guess that the Atman (soul) is present:
How can it mediate?
Without meditation, where is peace
without peace, where is happiness?”

“For one who has conquered the mind, the super soul is already reached, for he has attained tranquility to such a man: success & failure, happiness and distress, honor and dishonor are all the same”.

“Performed your duty equipoise, abandoning all attachment to success or failure. Such equanimity is called Yoga”.

“You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruit of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the result of your activities and never be attached to not doing your duty”.

“Now the Atman (Soul) as the lord and the master of the chariot, which is the body. The intellectual you should know as the charioteer. The mind should be known as (merely) the rein. The one whose mind is not harnessed properly, who’s is devoid of proper knowledge and wisdom, his sense organs go beyond the control of the intellect as vicious horse go beyond the control of charioteer”.

“Those who are beyond the dualities that arise from doubts, whose minds are engaged With in, who are always busy working for the welfare of all living being and who are free from all sins achieve liberation in the supreme“.

“He is perfect yogi who, compare to his ownself, see the true equality of all being, in both their happiness and their distress”.

Yoga (Integration or unification) is a vision of all sciences or arts & religion. Yoga resonance with psychology and quantum mechanics in a very scientific manner and bring us from happiness to Bliss. Yoga-Meditation moves yourself for understanding thoughts ,feeling and experiences effectively .Yoga-Meditation active our consciousness who integrates body, mind and heart. Yoga-Meditation is about true taste which you can feel in last continuously.  

So Just drinks (experience or feel it) this timeless wisdom from mind with complete devotion & faith in the heart and integrates your consciousness with cosmic consciousness for attaining ultimate bliss. It is a first step for understanding of this cosmic wisdom because Our Journey begins from Zero to Infinite. So at this balance path try to walk few steps with devotion & faith then you automatically can disclose mystery of complete happiness. It is your journey, only you can experience & feel it because true knowledge is just medium (a vehicle) for reaching ultimate goal (perfect happiness).

© Ajay Singh Niranjan  

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