Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Realisation Part 6: H.A.B.I.T

I had just finished my killer physio paper and finally have my time and urge to write. This topic pops into my mind a week ago while i was halfway struggling through my exam preparation.

HABIT. A five letter word to illustrate a pattern of action done repeatedly until it became a behaviour done without concious attention or effort1,2,3. Some of the habits came naturally like the para-functional habits but there are also other habits which came through our constant similar method of doing things.

Since it is an act that become part of our behaviour, it may or may not require a long period of time to estabilsh a certain habit. Each time when we do something, a fraction of memory of way we did it will be stored in our cerebral cortex. When the same action is done repeatedly, it reinforces our brain to establish as the 'method' of doing the action. So after sometime, it became a habit.

Actually, the word habit is already self-describing. Did u notice the word is spelled as HABIT?

It forms from BIT of every repeated actions.
After a prolonged exposure, it became ABIT of our life.
Very soon, it became our HABIT.

See the pattern?? Now, many of us say it is so difficult to break free from a habit, especially those innate habits formed since childhood... But even the newly formed habits, what makes it so difficult to be changed or eliminted? Look below:

When we have a HABIT, especially those bad ones, we'd like to change/get rid of them.
However, there is always ABIT left no matter how hard we try...
We try harder, yet again BIT is still there underlying as a strong base of our behaviour.

Now u see why it is so difficult to remove a bad habit of a person, as well as how difficult it is to forge a good habit in us?

So, next time when u are thinking of doing something, remember that each action we do, it does leave its mark in us and will soon become our personal behaviour. Start a good habit today. As it takes double the effort to eliminate a bad habit to be replaced with a good one. :)


This is for pleasure reading. Written using the word habit itself is just to illustrate the picture and to avoid using too much of jargons...hehe...but its true our mind does remember our past actions and repeat it in our actions. No research has been done though, or probably they are somewhere out there just undiscovered by me. Anyhow, hope it has given some light to you in a way or another. ;)
Would also like to express my gratitude towards Dr. Phang Cheng Kar whom has enlighten me on this idea during his talk recently. :)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Journey called Life... (Part 33: The Joys of Learning)

Guess I had got myself addicted to games for way too long now. Just now, while reading up on tomorrow's physics lab, I found that I actually enjoyed reading up new things about how the Pohl's Wheel works.

It's the kind of joy that I had not experienced for a few weeks, ever since I started playing the World of Warcraft that had me hooked onto it all the time. Guess I now had got my sense of learning back for now.

Life for me is all about learning, learning about yourself, and about the wonderful world that we are living in. Have you forgotten how good it feels to learn about new stuffs? Perhaps it's time to stop for a while and take up something that you like to do, and learn new things in the process... =)


seehua
*Let's create a world full of LOVE~

Foggy Morning...





Monday, November 13, 2006

Nice Nature Based Pictures

Jus found about this site on the net... The pictures that are so darn nice...

enjoy

http://thefairest.info/

http://thefairest.info/top.html

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Compilations of Q&A (Website Replies) by the Late Ven Dr K Sri Dhammananda

Triple Sadhu to Brother (though i prefer Uncle) Jerry for this message. I post this message for the benefit of all who visits this page.

Question: Why is incense offered to the Buddha?


Dear Master,

It has been great benefit and blessings to me to be able to buy most of the books authored by you. I had taken the Triple Gems for almost 10 years now but due to family commitment, was never able to find time to attend even a single Dharma talk. I could only read from your books and gain much knowledge from it. Your contributions that touch down in the hearts and humble level understanding of laymen like me is truly highly commendable.

I would be grateful if you can tell me if this is one of the true and amusing facts in the Buddha's life.

An ex-colleague's husband who was a Buddhist once undertook a recluse life in one of the temples in Thailand for a month. Beside the Sangha life he experienced as well as learning to chant and practice the code of conduct, they were also taught about the Life of the Buddha.

He told me that it is actually not necessary to burn incense for the Buddha for it was a wrong idea being brought down by folks during the Buddha's time.

The story goes like this. One day Buddha was residing under a tree doing his meditation as usual. As the place was in bad condition, it was infested with flies and mosquitoes everywhere. In order not to kill the insects one of the 5 precepts - Do not kill) that hounded Him, he burnt some incense so as to ward off the insects with its smoke. At that time, a few folks at the nearby village was passing by and saw Buddha's actions at a distant and from then, the thought of burning incense was passed down up till now.

I don't know how true this is but I find it really amusing and presume that the folks actually didn't see clearly what the Buddha was trying to avoid. I hope you

would not feel offensive about it.

My apologies if my message has been intruding.

With Metta

[Anonymous]


Answer:

Dear [Anonymous],

At the outset, greetings of peace, happiness, good health and long life to your goodself and your family.

I am certainly amused by the story you just shared. The Buddha certainly did not light incense to keep away insects. The practice of offering incense and flowers is an ancient Indian practice to pay homage to great teachers. This practice was adopted by Buddhists in ancient India as it is a good and valuable practice.

The Buddha certainly did not need incense to keep the insects away as one who has achieved Enlightenment can allow one's body to be subject to decay, pain, etc but will not allow one's mind to disturbed by it. The Buddha went forth fearlessly to tame the intoxicated elephant; Nalagiri, the bandit; Angulimala, to mediate between two warring countries, etc. He certainly did not need to be afraid of insects biting him.

This story related to you must have been misunderstood by the person who related the story or the person who taught your friend's husband.

With the Blessings of the Noble Triple Gem.

Yours in the Dhamma,

Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda

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Question: What is the Buddhist attitude towards homosexuality?


Dear Venerable Sir,

Before I seek your guidance on certain issues, may I first express my congratulatory note to Ven. Sir for your 50 years of services for Buddhism and most importantly for the good of mankind.

For the past few years, I have been posed by questions from my fellow gay friends who are interested to know what Buddhism views of homosexuals. In today's society, sad to say that homosexuals seem to be considered as "a thrash" of society who has nothing better to do than having sexual lusts. This stereotype image has prompted to the discrimination of homosexuals at the work place and even more so in the Asian countries.

From my understanding, religions like Islam and Christianity condemn homosexuality but I often ask myself the Buddhist viewpoint. Being a homosexual who also practices Buddhism, I do not have a clear view about this issue.

I have read many of your great publications and also heard of your dhamma talks. I even read some websites about this but there is no answer to this.

Here are some of my questions:

1) Does Buddhism condemn homosexuals?

2) If a true Buddhist who practices Buddhism but also on the same time is a

homosexual, is he by any means considered breaking the precepts especially

pertaining to the precept of "avoiding sexual misconduct"?

3) If two men fall in love with each other, are they wrong by any means?

There are many more questions I would like to ask pertaining homosexuals. Venerable Sir have written many publications that explain the rationale and wisdom

of Buddhism. May I suggest Venerable Sir to even write a book on "Buddhism and

Homosexuality" as I personally feel there are many more people out there who have mixed feelings on this issue. This is to correct the perspective of society on homosexuals.

I end here with my wishes of good health, and good wishes to Venerable Sir and may Venerable Sir continue to guide us and show us the way to the Dhamma.



Answer:

Dear [Anonymous],

Thank you for your e-mail. I am happy that you have brought up this matter as I realize how important it is in the context of what is happening in the world around us today.

We can no longer pretend that this aspect of human behavior is something shameful and if we ignore it long enough it will simply go away. I agree that it should be discussed at greater length in a book, but that will take time. In the meantime I hope that this brief reply will help you become acquainted with the Buddhist attitude to homosexuality.

To begin with, present day attitudes are largely influenced by the Tudor - Christian approach in the Bible which was blown out of proportion by the narrow mindedness of the Victorian era in 19th Century England.

In Asia, especially India and China, sex was never seen as something dirty only

to be indulged in surreptitiously and only for the purposes of breeding. Stone sculptures on the Hindu temples of India amply testify to the fact that all kinds of sexual behavior (including masturbation) was an expression of KAMA, of sensual pleasure which could be indulged in within the limits of Dharma, which in this case meant virtue.

As human beings, we are equipped with bodies which crave for the pleasures of all kinds (not only sex) - for food, pleasant smells, sounds etc. If we deny these for being sinful, then we repress natural desires which are harmful. The being which is the victim of MAYA (ignorance) sees the body as real and craves to satisfy its longing for KAMA.

But as the being matures spiritually MAYA is replaced with VIDYA (knowledge) and PANNA (wisdom) . Therefore when the body is seen as an illusion, than the being naturally GROWS OUT of craving. Here, we see the superior being renounces sex

through maturity just as a child stops playing with toys as he or she grows up.

THERE IS NOTHING INTRINISICALLY WRONG WITH SEX. What is wrong is attachment and slavery to it, on believing that indulgence in sex can bring ultimate happiness. This is the problem with the exploitation of sex by the mass entertainment industry today - extending the myth that sex can bring lasting happiness.

The third of the Five Precepts we recite in daily Buddhist practice is: undertake the training rule to refrain from sexual misconduct. First we note that there is no compulsion, no fear of punishment for infringement of any divine law, but when we recognize the danger of attachment to sex, we freely take the steps (training rule) to grow out of it, i.e. "I undertake".

Next we look at "sexual misconduct" - here we refer specifically to sexual misconduct, not all sexual behaviour. Sex is not prohibited to those who do not choose to be celibate. Undoubtedly, this rule only applies to those who are not monks or nuns. These latter have voluntarily taken it upon themselves to abstain from sex to better concentrate on their spiritual progress. By misconduct is

meant behavior which harms the person who does the act or the other party. This in a way means that if both parties are consenting adults, not under-aged, not “attached”- legally or otherwise to someone else, there is no harm done.

In Buddhism we do not consider any action "sinful" in the sense that we transgress a divine commandment. We act wrongly because of Ignorance and therefore we commit an Akusala Kamma (unskilful action) which delays or interferes with our spiritual progress. Because of our Ignorance about the real nature of things (in this case our body) we act in ways which are detrimental to us from a spiritual point of view.

Wisdom and Understanding will help us refrain from harmful actions, both mental and physical.

In this connection, Buddhism does not recognize that marriage is a divinely ordained institution which suddenly makes sex OK. Sex is a human activity which has nothing to do with heaven and hell. You will notice that sexual restraint is

only ONE of the Five Precepts. Killing is far more serious because you can hurt another being more viciously. Sex is caused by a craving just like craving for food, liquor, drugs, wealth, power, etc. Attachment to any of these constitutes

Akusala Kamma. Buddhism discourages any of these forms of carving because it will tie us down more firmly to Samsara. Also indulgence in sex can lead to other evils.

You may see from this that Buddhism does not see Homosexuality as WRONG and HETROSEXUALITY as RIGHT. Both are sexual activity using the body, both are strong expressions of lust which increase desire for life and therefore trap us longer in Samsara. Whether two men or a couple fall in love, it arises out of the same human limitation that is, of not seeing the body as empty of any ultimate reality.

Buddhism does not condemn homosexuals in the same way as it does not condemn any wrong doing. We act through ignorance of the true nature of things, therefore we are only guilty of AKUSALA Kamma (unskilful action) . We have no right to condemn others. Our duty is to help others see that they are acting out of ignorance, to show how real happiness can be gained. We have no right to condemn those who think or act differently from us especially when we ourselves are slaves of sensual pleasure in other forms. We know that when we point one finger at others, three fingers are pointing at us.

In summary, homosexuality like heterosexuality arises from Ignorance, and is certainly not "sinful" in a Christian sense. All forms of sex increase lust, craving, attachment to the body. With wisdom we learn to grow out of these attachments. We do not condemn homosexuality as wrong and sinful, but we do not condone it either, simply because it, like other forms of sex, delays our deliverance from Samsara.

Wishing you progress in your Dhamma practice.

Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda

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Question: What is the difference between Rebirth and Reincarnation?

Dear Sir,

I have noted that the words "Reincarnation" and "Rebirth" are at times used inter-changeably and at times to mean differently. Can you clarify the terms in the Buddhist perspective.

Regards

[Anonymous]

Answer:


Dear [Anonymous],

I am very happy that you have asked an interesting question which also addresses the fundamental Buddhist and Hindu thinking on the life after death.

There is a very great difference between Reincarnation and Rebirth, although both concepts pertain to a being coming back to life in an endless cycle of existence called Samsara.

In reincarnation, a person is taken to be made up of two real entities called a body and a soul. In Hinduism this body is made up of material parts which breaks up at death and can return to their original state, to be reused again to make up other material parts. The Soul (ATMAN) on the other hand, comes from the Creating Principle called Brahman.

Once created, the soul is trapped within the material body and because of Delusion (Maya) it performs actions called KARMA - good and bad, which determines what kind of body the soul takes (human, animal or spirit) after death. Good actions result in good births, and evil actions result in birth in unsatisfactory states. The aim is to replace Ignorance or Illusion with Wisdom where one strives to free the soul from the body and attain reunion with Brahman in a final release called MOKSHA.

In Buddhism however while the terms SAMSARA and KARMA are used to describe the actions one performs which trap oneself in SAMSARA, it is Ignorance of the real nature of a person which causes him or her to act. Here Ignorance means mistaking a contribution of MIND and MATTER for a personality or a self. What one mistakes for a Body is not made up of matter, but a combination of a series of processes which are SOLIDITY, FLUIDITY, HEAT and MOTION.

We know from Physics that what is called matter is really made up of atoms which in the final analysis are simply energy in constant motion which an ignorant mind mistakes for real.This explains why a body grows imperceptibly into a child, an adult and an old man. Everything is in a constant state of change. What is mistaken for a permanent soul, on the other hand is termed in Buddhism, MIND. Mind is also another constantly changing process of feeling, perception, mental habits and consciousness. These too are always in a state of change and therefore have no permanent reality. These two processes (MIND and MATTER) then add upon each other, giving an ILLUSION of a person, which in reality does not exist.

Because of Ignorance, a being thinks it is a real entity and acts, thinking, "This is I, this is mine". Their actions lead to further actions in a never ending stream. At death, the Matter separates from the MIND, but the MIND does not stop - it simply moves on, creates another body, lives another life, dies and goes on.

What propels these processes from one life to the next is Craving, the will to live. Because of the principle of change, what 'dies' is not exactly what is “reborn' although there is a continuity, just as in reality there is no body of water to call a 'river', which is made of innumerable drops of water moving

endlessly. We conventionally call it a 'river' although in reality no such thing exists because it is always changing.

There is no permanent soul which goes from body to body. Buddhists therefore say there is no re-incarnation, merely a continuation of a process of an endless cycle of birth, life and rebirth. When this process of becoming is stilled, we call it Nirvana, where there is no more will to live, so there is no more rebirth.

I hope I have been able to answer your doubts on the subject

matter.

With the Blessings of the Noble Triple Gem

Yours in the Dhamma

Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda

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Question: Why must we reborn?

Dear Sir,

I thank you for your reply and took the liberty to forward it to a few of my friends and relatives, some of whom are Buddhists and some not. A friend who is a Hindu responded with a query as follows: "The next time you get in touch with the Big Guy, ask him why must we reincarnate or be reborn?"

The question I believe is a refinement of my original question. Would you be kind enough to respond?

Regards

[Anonymous]


Answer:

Dear [Anonymous],

Thank you for your further interest in the subject. There is a book titled "Why are we born" authored by Bhikkhu Buddhadasa that answers in detail your question on why we are reborn. The book is available at the Buddhist Maha Vihara, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur.

The Buddha mentioned clearly we are reborn, not reincarnated as there is no soul migrating upon death to another body to "re-become".

In simple terms, the answer on why we are reborn lies in our Craving. Craving arises due to Ignorance. As long as we continue to be deluded, we cannot stop being reborn.

This subject matter can go into a schematic detail as we discuss the Twelve Links (Paticca Samupada) where we can understand clearly how one link gives rise to another and that in turn gives rise to another. The whole process explains why we are reborn. To stop being reborn, we need to reverse the links and extinguish "becoming" or being "reborn". The whole process can be stopped once we overcome Ignorance as you will see below:

Why is there birth?

The subconscious process of becoming as a combination of mind and body causes

birth. In other words, where there is the combination, there is birth.

What leads to the formation of mind and body?

Thoughts grasped by craving lead to the formation of Karmic tendencies and lead to the mind-body combination.

What leads to clinging?

Craving leads to clinging

What produces craving?

Craving is produced by sensations or feeling

What generates feeling?

It is the contact of the senses with their objects which generates feeling

Why is there such contact?

The six sense bases are the causes of contact

How do the six sense bases come into being?

Psycho-physical combinations brings forth the six sense bases

How do the psycho-physical combinations come into being?

With the appearance of inactive or passive consciousness, the psycho-physical combinations come into being.

How does passive consciousness appear?

It is the outcome of latent Karmic energies

How do Karmic energies appear?

Their appearance depends upon ignorance which is a facet of craving


Hope I have briefly answered your question and guided you to the relevant books for your further reading in relation to the subject.

With the Blessings of the Noble Triple Gem

Yours in the Dhamma

K. Sri Dhammananda

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Question: Can we perform euthanasia for someone who has consented to it?

Good day Rev sir,

Before I begin my question, I wish Chief Rev in a good state of health. Actually, there is a question that keeps ringing in my mind after I read an article about a gay couple of whom one of them is dying of cancer. The article said:

One is dying of cancer and before his dead, he requested his lover to kill him before he suffers in pain. This happened a few days before the situation aggravated. The lover promised him. When the situation gets worse and the pain was unbearable, the dying lover (who could hardly move in the bed) who was still conscious asks the lover to "do it now". When his lover asks, "I'm going to ask you 12 times.

Blink twice if you change your mind that you want your life to be taken away. Do you really want me to help you die right now?"

The dying lover blinks. His lover keeps asking for 12 times. And for 12 times, he still blinks - meaning he rather die than suffer. The question here is - "Although Buddhism does not encourage mercy killing, as no one has the right to take away one's life, if this situation arises where the dying lover acknowledges the fact that he rather die than suffer, is it "okay" to perform mercy killing? Does it mean breaking the first precept?"

If I am in this situation of being a lover to the dying patient, I will not know what to do - should I keep my precept of not killing or should I do it in the name of mercy killing.

I hope Chief can provide me a clear picture on this. May Chief continue to be in good health and guide us so we can be a better Buddhist.

Thank you.

Wishing you well and happy,

[Anonymous]


Answer:


Dear [Anonymous],

Let us begin by emphasizing that the matter does not pertain to gay lovers alone but to every creature which has life. Buddhists do not classify homosexuals as separate from the rest of humanity. In Buddhism the taking of life for whatever reasons is not to be condoned. However, if killing occurs as a result of unintentional, unmotivated act, then one is not held responsible (e.g. if a blind man kills ants by stepping on them without being aware that they are there). For the killing to be karmically complete, entailing a retribution in this life or subsequent ones, many conditions must be present.

1. There must be a living thing

2. Knowledge that it is a living thing

3. Intention to deprive that thing of its life

4. Effort to remove the life

5. Subsequent separation of the body from the life

All these conditions are fulfilled in the story you mentioned, so the partner is responsible for having broken the 1st principle and he must bear the karmic responsibility for the deed. That said, we must now add that the intention to kill can be motivated by compassion or by hatred which will of course determine the severity and the nature of the karmic effect.

In the case of mercy killing, also known as euthanasia which is motivated by compassion, the mind is not polluted in that situation. Thus the bad Karmic effect is reduced. It is a case of a wrong action done with good intention, the action however is still wrong. The more we pollute the mind, the higher the degree of the bad effect.

If one murders an innocent person out of hatred or greed, then of course the effect is severe. In the example you gave, the person was motivated by compassion so the effect will be less severe. Notice we said less severe, because there will be an effect, although there will be mitigating circumstances. Also we must consider the value of the creative life which was deprived - is it a mosquito or a

large useful animal life like an elephant, a horse or a cow.

The degree of effort taken and the intensity with which the mind is engaged influences the severity. Naturally the killing of a human is most serious. Even then we must consider how innocent or how useful the human being is – a parent, a monk are high on the list. In your example the person's consent was obviously given, the motivation was compassion (though misguided), so while all the conditions were met, the karmic effect is drastically reduced. A doctor who performs mercy killing cannot be put in the same category as a man who in cold blood murders his mother to get her money.

What this means is not all actions bear the same karmic effect . The effects of karmic actions which are not so strong may be eradicated or counteracted by other good karmas so that the effects of the bad karma have no chance to operate. In fact only the harming of a Buddha or the murder of arhants (saints) and parents or causing a split in the monastic order are considered to be so severe that it is

very difficult to escape their retribution . The effects of all other karmas can be reduced by purifying one's mind and actions. (We can refer to the story of Angulimala) In the case of suicide or euthanasia we cannot make a blanket statement that all suicide is wrong because the mental state of one who performs the action must be taken into account. However, this is a complex issue which we cannot discuss fully here.

Finally what we refer to as mercy killing is not merciful at all. It may at best be referred to as a misguided sense of mercy, because depriving the life of

another is not our prerogative - the sufferer must bear his own karma patiently

and with understanding and we cannot act as executioner. If we cut short the working of karma in this life, we merely postpone its completion to another life.

I hope I have at least briefly answered your question.

May you continue to grow spiritually in wisdom.

With the Blessings of the Noble Triple Gem.


Yours in the Dhamma,

Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda

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Question: I have so many questions- Why god created so many religions, why did the Boddhisatva leave his family and make them feel so sad, what to do with an ant which is suffering because some one has stepped on it, etc?


Answer:

Dear [Anonymous],

At the outset, greetings of peace, happiness and contentment to your goodself through the Blessings of the Noble Triple Gem.

Your questions are answered below;

1. Buddha said that we have to be satisfied with our condition. If we do that, so there is no improvement in this world, nobody will have the motivation to find new technology, science, etc. What does Bhante think?

To be satisfied with our condition is not equivalent to being lazy. The context of this must be seen in the light of differentiating our needs and wants. Our needs are limited and must be fulfilled. However our wants are infinite, dynamic and keep increasing and cannot be satisfied due to the inner craving within us.

In another context, is it wrong to be ambitious. No it is not. However we must know when to stop wanting as it a desire machine within us that will never be satisfied, thus always not being happy and contented. Contentment breeds happiness, but contentment is not equivalent to apathy and laziness and attributing everything to Karma is not what the Buddha taught.

The Buddha did not teach fatalism, he taught us to be dynamic. To lead the laylife, one needs to fulfill certain obligations to himself and his family. He needs to work energetically, filled with patience and observing the precepts.

The Buddha has taught us how to lead a worldly life and how to lead a life for spiritual development. To lead a worldly life, we need to earn, protect and enjoy our life in a proper manner until a time where we get realization of the true nature of our worldly life. At this point, we will renounce our worldly life for the spiritual life reducing our greed, hatred, delusion and all the bondages.


2. If we find for example an ant which is dying because someone have stepped it. What should we do? If we do nothing, it will be suffering. If we kill it right now, it will not suffer anymore.

Buddhists do not advocate a similiar step to euthanasia. Ending suffering in this lifetime by putting an end to that suffering life is not the answer as the being has to reap the fruit of the Karma in the next life. The suffering is just postponed to another dimension, the suffering continues.

Beings are born and dying in different life cycles and periods until the final liberation Nirvana is achieved.

If we see any being in suffering, we try our best to relief that suffering. If we neglect to do that, it does not create any bad Karma or bad effect because we are not responsible for that suffering inflicted. We can try to endeavor to alleviate that suffering, if not we can move on.

In the same manner, for example in a hospice we are surrounded by many individuals who are terminally ill. You can see so much suffering around by the devastating effects of cancer, paralysis, AIDS, etc that you could easily begin to feel remorseful, helpless and drowned by the magnitude of the suffering. But you must remain focused to do what you are able to do within your means or network and not succumb to helplessness if you cannot help everybody. It is important to remain positive within to help. Succumbing to negative helplessness helps neither yourself or others.


3. How can we devote to our parents if we live far from them, like a wanderer?

While of course the best thing would be to live close to our aged parents to help them physically, there are many things we can do to show them our gratitude for their kindness to us when we were young. First of all remember when we were young we always wanted our parents to talk to us, to show us that they cared for us?

Well now we must do that, by calling them on the telephone regularly, sending them little gifts or cash which they can show of to their friends.

Parents like to be proud of their children and talk about how good their children are. They need proof that their children are good and caring. The gifts need not be expensive. Even the occasional cards which says, "I just thought I'd send this to you because I thought of you" is kind and considerate. We need not wait for special occasions. Of course we should visit them as often as possible and let them know how much we missed them, or mom's cooking or dad's advice.

Parents like to know that they are important in your life. It is not good enough to say, "Ah they know I love them, I don't need to show it all the time". Love and gratitude must be physicalized.


4.Sakyamuni Gautama is a Boddhisattva before being born at Lumbini. The question

is why HE married with YASODHARA? He is supposed not to have lust anymore. After getting married and having a baby, HE left his family and made them so sad. HE is supposed not to hurt peoples’ feelings. If you say have this is due to KARMA, I would like to state that HE is Boddhisattva before he became the BUDDHA.

Remember, as a Bodhisattva he was not perfect yet. He did have sensual desires - they only left him in the final moments before his Enlightenment. He was married to please his father and the society which required that a prince should marry to produce heirs for the throne. When he left his wife and son, it was not an easy decision for him at all.

He loved them both very much. But he had to make that great supreme sacrifice because he realized that he had to find the answers to the question of how to find eternal, lasting permanent happiness for all of humanity. It is like a man who decides to give up his family for some time to study medicine and become a doctor.

Such a person makes a great sacrifice, and the family also makes a sacrifice while he is studying. But when he graduates and becomes a doctor, the family enjoys his

success and at the same time he is useful to others.

The Buddha is like that doctor. After his enlightenment he helped his family to gain supreme happiness which is greater than the temporary comfort they would have got if he had simply become king. It is said because he turned away from his family for a short time, millions of beings follow him today. Would that have happened if he had become a king? Sacrifices have to be made if greatness is to be achieved.


5.Why GOD creates so many religions in this world?

God did not create many religions in the world to hate each other or assign to eternal heaven his favored followers and condemn all other religionists to eternal hell for not following his religion.

For god who is supposed to be all-mighty, all-loving, all-embracing, this would be his biggest sin; for not being able to love everyone for what they are.

Man and not god made the many religions in the world. It arose out of misunderstanding of nature and phenomenons occuring on earth. Not being able to relate and answer these situations, man believed there must be an external greater force beyond his comprehension who guides the earth. Thus based on differentiation and blind faith, many religions arose to fulfill man's emotional needs to reduce the dissonance.

God was mistakenly thought to have created everything- he had a hand in everything- the creation of man, the earth, the universe, responsible for sicknesses, earthquakes, rain, wind, etc. But over time with more discoveries by scientist, god’s originally vast role in creation is diminishing over time. God merely becomes God of the Gaps- what man cannot explain within his limited frame of reference or knowledge is attributed to god. Over time, this gap becomes smaller and smaller till one point where god has no role to play in man’s creation nor destiny. Man created god and the many different religions, not the other way round.

6. Human beings are getting more and more. On the other hand, the capacity of this world is still the same. Some day the world cannot take in this population boom. What will thus happen?

This is not the only plane of existence. Buddha mentioned there are 31 planes of existence. As one plane increases in population, another reduces.

All planes are not static, but dynamic. All are subject to impermanence. At every moment we are rising and falling. There will be a time the earth continues to fill with more people, but it has to reduce the population in another plane. The cycle will reach equilibrium and there will a switch in the trend too.


7. Imagine that now you are in desert. In front of you there is an aquarium with a fish. You are very thirsty and hungry. The question is: If you drink the water and eat the fish you will be alive and have the energy to find a nearer village. If you do not eat and drink you will not see the sun anymore. You cannot just drink half of the water in the aquarium. And if you leave the fish in the desert, the water will evaporate and the fish will eventually die. What will you do?

As a Buddhist, I will leave the fish and the water out of compassion for the

living being. Also I understand that my life is unimportant if I compare it with the lives of others. The Bodhisatva sacrificed his life many times before he

became the Buddha. I too can become a Bodhisatva and sacrifice my life.

We cannot say " It is only a fish". If the fish dies because of my selfishness, my bad karma increases. If I die and save the fish, I have developed understanding

and progress along the spiritual path. Of course yours is an extreme example, but we can show selflessness and compassion in our daily lives in many ways.


8. If we do something wrong but we do not know that is wrong because nobody ever told us, are we wrong or not?

Put another way, you are asking, if we do something wrong without knowing it is wrong, do we accumulate bad karma?

Well if we are unaware of the action eg. if when driving at night we run over a snake and kill it we do not accumulate bad karma because there was no intention of killing.

But if we do anything knowing that we are doing it for our benefit, whether it is killing or lying or stealing, then we are guilty because these things deprive others of their peace of mind and happiness.

It does not matter whether we were taught about it or not. Certain actions are wrong and apply to all beings. Karma is action and re-action. If you walk into a hole, you will fall in. You cannot say it is unfair because you were not looking and it is not your fault. But of course the effect of the bad karma depends on

many factors eg. how much greed, hatred or anger was involved, or how much effort was put in to carry out the action and the degree of suffering which was created by the action.

Not all wrong actions bear the same karmic effect. Certain wrong actions (eg. killing) are wrong in all societies and at all times. Others are wrong because of social constraints (eg dressing up to arouse sexual desire in others) and can vary according to time or where we live. Not all bad karma produce equal results.


9.Have you ever thought: "Who am I?" What is your opinion of this question?

We are only mind and matter. There is no I, you, me, mine or yours in the ultimate sense. Once we begin to understand this, our attitude towards others will always

be positive, forgiving, understanding, etc.

We need to know we are a passing phenomeon, rising and falling daily...living and dying daily, as the thousands of cells within us are. We need to meditate to understand ourselves better. Once we see ourselves on a spiritual viewpoint, we

see there is no need to be angry, having hatred, jealousy, etc. We thus began to experience the joy of contentment, happiness, satisfaction, etc.


Hope I have answered your questions as briefly as possible.

With the Blessings of the Noble Triple Gem.

Yours in the Dhamma

Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda

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Question: How do we verify rebirth?



Venerable Bhante,

My name is [Anonymous]. I belong to the Lankarama Buddhist Youth Group for which you recently wrote such an enlightening article, and one which I personally have been desiring for some time.

There are several things which I am still not clear about however. One is the existence of rebirth. You say that there is much evidence for it and that it is inevitable. However as one of the tenets of Buddhism, I am wondering if there is any way that I could verify for myself of its existence. You mentioned hypnosis, but does the Buddha state any other way of retrieving some past concrete memory? Through a form of meditation perhaps?

The other thing which I hope you can clear up for me is regarding the entering of a soul into a new body. To the best of my knowledge, a foetus develops a personality and acquires a fully developed brain, from the age of around 4-5 months after conception. Would this not be the time when the new soul enters the body? My understanding is that a soul exists in a person’s brain. The reason a being, animal or human, is different from a plant is that we possess a brain which harbors the soul, hence would it not mean that once a body develops a brain, a soul can enter it?

I hope I am not troubling you with these questions.

Sincerely

[Anonymous]


Answer:

Dear [Anonymous],

At the outset, greetings of peace, happiness and contentment to your goodself through the Blessings of the Noble Triple Gem.

With regards to your questions, I have furnished below some answers to the questions and hope you can understand them.

Problems and worries arise in the mind because we do not understand how its works. Meditation under a qualified master will help us recognize unwholesome states when they arise and to remove them. Later, we become aware before they arise and

prevent them from arising. Once arisen, wholesome states can be maintained. The idea is to remain ever in the present moment, not worrying about the past or future.

Can I personally verify Rebirth?

There are some aspects of the Sublime Dharma which cannot be verified by our limited faculties. In fact the Buddha states that these are four great IMPONDERABLES which cannot be understood by the worldling and which he or she should not waste time over. They are:

When we will die

How we will die

Where we will die

Where we will be reborn

Only the enlightened mind of a Buddha is capable of seeing these phenomena. On the other hand the Buddha urges us to concentrate on the Present moment of existence and to see its intrinsic unsatisfactory nature. We can easily verify that there is SUFFERING, we can understand its CAUSE and we can take definite practical steps (the Noble Eightfold Path) to eradicate suffering. The Buddha consistently refrained from explaining things which are not necessary to follow the PATH. It is for this reason that he did not explain the origin of life knowing that it will not help one to escape suffering.

However if we use our common sense and observe how there has been a CONTINUITY of the Process of Life from the moment we are born until we die, without a break, like an electric current, we can easily conclude that the process must continue even when the body falls away.

The mind can be developed over many lifetimes to actually see past lives, but this requires much sustained strenuous efforts. Memory of the past lives can arise as a by product of mind development. But the primary aim of the method is not to develop the mind to see rebirth, but to purify it from all defilements. Some people, especially young children seem to remember past lives spontaneously and some hypnotists are able to regress their subjects into past existence, but the Buddha teaches us to concern ourselves with purifying the mind at each present moment.

When does a soul enter a body?

To begin with, Buddhism clearly teaches that there is no such thing as a "soul" which enters a "body". Both are nothing more than rapidly changing processes which we term Mind and Matter. They have extremely short life spans-no more than an in breath and an out breath. The rapidity of the process gives rise to the illusion of a permanent entity which is called a SELF. So in our ignorance we say a soul leaves a body as death. Actually it is a process which simply continues when the physical body ceases to function.

According to this explanation, that which leaves at death is not exactly the same as that which is born, anymore than the flame of a newly lit candle is the same as the flame of the match which lit it. There is no enduring permanent entity which we can recognize in a process. However because there is a strong urge in the dying person to continue living, there is Bhava Tanha, the craving for re-becoming - the

Consciousness of the life process moves on and looks for a new vessel to occupy. This force looking for a new container is called a Gandhabba.

If at the time a woman conceives, as the result of the union of sperm and egg, the physical vessel is formed, if the conditions are right, the Gandhabba occupies the newly created vessel and we say a foetus has come into being. It is at that time that the being comes to be in a new life. Abortion is unacceptable because there is a living being in the womb. Remember, the soul is not "harboured" in the brain.


With the Blessings of the Noble Triple Gem.

Yours in the Dhamma

Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda

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Question : Could you share with us about rebirth?

Venerable Bhante,

My name is [[Anonymous]] and I am a member of the Lankarama Buddhist Youth Group (Sydney, Australia), a group dedicated to fostering a deeper understanding of

Buddhism in young people. We are currently in the process of compiling a journal called “Footprints” which we hope will give our readers an insight into some issues of Buddhism that relate more strongly to their lives in today’s modern environment, perhaps on Karma or rebirth?


Having read various articles you have written we would be delighted to include a contribution from you in our journal which, of course, is not for profit and will be distributed free of charge.


Yours sincerely,

[Anonymous]



Answer:

Dear [Anonymous]

At the outset, greetings of peace, happiness and contentment to your goodself through the Blessings of the Noble Triple Gem.

Pls find below the article on rebirth as requested by you for use in your magazine. May you continue to do this Dhamma service continuously out of loving-kindness, compassion and happiness from within your heart.

Yours in the Dhamma,

K. Sri Dhammananda

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Rebirth

Unsatisfied desire for existence and sensual pleasures is the cause of rebirth.


Buddhists regard the doctrine of rebirth not as a mere theory but as a verifiable fact. The acceptance of the truth about rebirth forms a fundamental tenet of Buddhism. However, the belief in rebirth is not confined to Buddhists; it is also found in other countries, in other religions, and even among free thinkers. Pythagoras could remember his previous birth. Plato could remember a number of his

previous life.

According to Plato, human beings can be reborn only up to ten times. Plato also believed in the possibility of rebirth in the animal kingdom. Among the ancient people in Egypt and China, a common belief was that only well-known personalities like emperors and kings have rebirths. A Christian authority named Origen, who lived in 185-254 C.E., believed in rebirth. According to him, there is no eternal suffering in hell. Gorana Bruno, who lived in the sixteenth century, believed that the soul of every man and animal transmigrates from one being to another.

In 1788, the philosopher Kant criticized the teaching on eternal punishment. Kant also believed in the possibility of rebirth in other celestial bodies. Schopenhauer (1788-1860), another great philosopher, said that where the will to live existed there must be continuity of life. The will to live manifests itself successively in every new forms. The Buddha explained this 'will to exist' as the craving for existence. And of course, the ancient sages of India taught about the

transmigration of a soul from the earliest times.

It is possible but not very easy for us to actually verify our past lives. The nature of mind is such that it does not allow most people the recollection of their previous lives. Our minds are overpowered by the five hindrances: sensual

desire, ill-will, sloth, restlessness and doubt. Because of these hindrances, our vision is earth-bound and hence we cannot visualize rebirths.

Just as a minor does not reflect an image when it is covered with dirt, so the mind does not allow most people the recollection of previous lives. We cannot see the stars during daytime, not because they are not there in the sky, but because they are outshone by the sunlight. Similarly, we cannot remember our past lives

because our mind at present is always over-burdened with many thoughts in the present day-to-day events and mundane circumstances.

A consideration of the shortness of our life span on earth will help us to reflect on rebirth. If we consider life and its ultimate meaning and goal, and all the varied experience possible for a human being, we must conclude that in a single life there is not enough time for a person to carry out all that he or she can do or desires to do. The scale of experience and desire is infinite. There is a vast range of powers latent in human beings which we see and can even develop if the opportunity is open to us. This is especially true today if special investigation is made.

We find ourselves with high aspirations but with no time to attain them. Meanwhile, the great troop of passions and desires, selfish motives and ambitions, make war within us and with others. These forces pursue each other to the time of our death. All these forces must be tried, conquered, subdued and used. One life is just not enough for all this. To say that we must have but one life here with such possibilities put before us and impossible to develop is to make the universe

and life a huge and cruel joke.

The Buddhist doctrine of rebirth should be differentiated from the teachings of transmigration and reincarnation of other religions. Buddhism unlike Hinduism does not subscribe to the existence of a permanent, god-created soul or an unchanging entity that transmigrates from one life to another.

Just as a relative identity is made possible by causal continuity without a Self or Soul, so death can issue in rebirth without a transmigrating Soul. In a single life, each thought-moment flashes in and out of being, giving rise to its successor with its perishing. Strictly speaking, this momentary rise and fall of every thought is a birth and a death. Thus even in a single life we undergo countless births and death every second. But because the mental process continues with the support of a single physical body, we regard the mind body continuum as constituting a single life.

What we ordinarily mean by death is the cessation of the body's vital functions. When the physical body loses its vitality it can no longer support the current of

consciousness, the mental side of the process. But as long as there is clinging to life, a desire to go on existing, the current of consciousness does not come to a stop with the body's loss of life. Rather, when death takes place, when the body dies away, the mental current, driven by the thirst for more existence, will spring up again with the support of a new physical body, one which comes into being through the meeting of sperm and egg.

Thus, conception takes place immediately after death without a break. The stream of memory may be interrupted and the sense of identity transferred to the new situation, but the entire accumulation of experience and disposition has been transmitted to the new being, and the cycle of becoming begins to revolve for still another term.

For the Buddhism, therefore, death does not spell either the entrance to eternal life or complete annihilation. It is, rather, the portal to a new rebirth which will be followed by more growth, decay, and then another death.

While there is a mental continuum, however, at the last moment, no renewed physical functioning occurs in a dying person's mind. This is just like a motorist releasing the accelerator before stopping, so that no more pulling power is given to the engine. Similarly, no more material qualities of Karma arise.

Buddhists do not maintain that the present life is the only life between two eternities of misery and happiness; nor do they believe angels will carry them to heaven and leave them there for all eternity.

They believe that this present life is only one of the indefinite numbers of states of beings and that this earthly life is but one episode among many others. They believe that all beings will be reborn somewhere in some form for the limited period of time as long as their good and bad Karma remains in the subconscious mind as mental energy. Although many eminent psychologists, like Carl Jung for example, have recognized the Buddha's teaching on the subject, the interpretation of subconscious mind in the Buddhist context should not be confused with that given by modern psychologists, since the concepts are not exactly synonymous.

What is the cause of rebirth? The Buddha taught that ignorance of the real nature of existence produces desires. Unsatisfied desire is the cause of rebirth. When all unsatisfied desire is extinguished, then rebirth ceases. To stop rebirth is to extinguish all desires. To extinguish desire, it is necessary to destroy ignorance. When ignorance is destroyed, the worthlessness of every such rebirth is

perceived, as well as the paramount need to adopt a course of life by which the desire for such repeated births can be abolished.

Ignorance also begets the illusory and illogical idea that there is only one existence for human beings, and other illusion that this one life is followed by permanent states of eternal pleasure or torment.

The Buddha taught that ignorance can dispelled and sorrow removed by realization of the Four Noble Truths, and not through any other sources. To eradicate all ignorance, one must persevere diligently in the practice of an all-embracing altruism in conduct, intelligence and wisdom. One must also destroy all desire for the lower, personal pleasures and selfish craving.

How Does Rebirth Take Place?

When this physical body is no more capable of functioning, energies do not die with it, but continue to take some other shape or form, which we call another life. The karmic force manifesting itself in the form of a human being can also

manifest itself in the form of an animal. This can happen if a person has no chance to develop his or her positive karmic forces. This force, called craving, desire, volition thirst to live, does not end with the non-functioning of the body

but continues to manifest itself in another form, producing re-existence. This is called rebirth or re-becoming. Buddhists do not call it "reincarnation" because no

permanent entity or soul moves from one life to the next.

Today, there are people in various countries who have spontaneously developed the memory of their past births. The experiences of these people have been well-documented in newspapers and periodicals. Some of these people never accepted that there was such a thing as rebirth until memory fragments of their previous lives came to them. Much of the information they revealed about their past lives have been investigated and found to be valid.

Through hypnotism, some people have managed to reveal information of previous lives. Certain hypnotic states that penetrate into the subconscious mind make the recalling of past lives possible.

Rebirth or becoming again and again is a natural occurrence not created by any particular religion or god. Belief in rebirth or disbelief does not make any difference to the process of rebirth or avoiding rebirth. Rebirth takes place

as long as craving for existence and craving for sensual pleasures or attachment exist in the mind. Those strong mental forces prevail in each and every living being in this universe.

Those who hope and pray that they be not born again must understand that their wishes will not materialize until they make earnest efforts to eradicate their craving and attachment from their minds. Having seen and experienced the uncertainty and unsatisfactoriness of life under worldly conditions, wise people try to rid themselves of these repeated births and deaths by following the correct path of mental purification. Those who cannot reduce their craving and attachment must be prepared to face all unsatisfactory and uncertain situations associated with rebirth and becoming again and again.

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Question: Torn between my personal dream and my parents’ wishes. What should I do?


Dear Venerable Sri Dhammananda,

Good day. I am very happy to actually obtain your email address from the net. I have been bogged by some questions about what I want to do and what I should do.

Well, I shall tell you a little about myself.

I am a Malaysian girl in my final year of [Anonymous]X course in Australia. Since its my final year now, I am beginning to think about what I want to do in life, when I get out there in the world. I have always been thinking of working for NGOs and charitable organizations...and war torn countries using my skills to help them develop and build a better life. It has always been my dream subconsciously to achieve that.

The problem is that my family is not in agreement with my notions. They think that I should work in the real world. I am not able to defy their wishes as I know they have sacrificed a lot to make me successful and I do not want to be not filial and hurt them and do what I really want. But then, I am afraid that I would not be able to find fulfillment...in my life.

I really wish I can get some guidance from you. I am at a crossroad and I do not know where I should proceed. Thank you for your time. I just need someone to listen to me and provide me with some help....thanks

[Anonymous]

Answer:


Dear [Anonymous],

At the outset, greetings of peace, happiness and contentment to your goodself through the Blessings of the Noble Triple Gem.

I really sympathize with you over your dilemma. But rest assured that you are not the only one in this predicament. In the past parents even dictated what profession their children should follow.

In your case I would advice you to follow the middle path, and seek a compromise. That is, please your parents by following a profession which makes them happy. Do not forget that there are many good paying jobs which are service oriented (some NGO's for example pay salaries which are comparable with the private sector).

You can in the meantime do voluntary work with charitable organizations while, gaining experience and making contacts. You can eventually get a high paying job with the UN, for example, serving both your desire to help mankind and your

parents’ wishes. This will take time of course, but patience is a virtue.

At the same time remember that serving mankind need not be dramatic, going into war torn areas and risking your life, but there are jobs like teaching which also

serve mankind, without posing a danger to yourself and are socially acceptable. Over time you may be able to persuade your parents to allow you to follow your heart's desire, but do not go against them now. My advice is, make a choice

which eventually will create a win-win situation.

Hope I have tried to answer you the best possible way I can.

With the Blessings of the Noble Triple Gem.

Yours in the Dhamma,

Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda

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Question: As a homosexual, I have suffered much. What should I do?



Dear K Sri dhammananda,

I am a homosexual. I want to know what should I do for it. I would be grateful if you can answer to it. I suffered very much from it.


[Anonymous]



Answer:



Dear [Anonymous],

At the outset, greetings of peace, happiness and contentment to your goodself through the Blessings of the Noble Triple Gem.

You say you 'suffer' from being a homosexual. But have you asked yourself why you suffer? Is it because homosexuality itself brings suffering like AIDS or cancer or do you suffer from feelings of guilt because your sexual choice does not conform with what a restrictive society has deemed as deviant behavior?

You suffer because of what others think of you. This distinction is important because you must realize you are allowing external forces to determine your happiness or unhappiness. The Buddhist view of all sexual behavior is contained in the Third Precept: I undertake the TRAINING RULE to abstain from sexual misconduct.

Sexual activity is based on the use of the body to gain pleasure. Sex in itself is not sinful. What is wrong is the use of sex to exploit others-- young children, the economically deprived and so on. Again it does not matter if this pleasure is obtained through heterosexual or homosexual behavior.

Buddhism sees little difference between a homosexual who exploits others and a heterosexual who does the same, although public opinion seems to make heroes of

the latter.

Sex is sex, regardless of how we derive pleasure from it! What we have to guard against is ATTACHMENT to the body and the pleasure derived from it-- gluttony and alcoholism can be just as harmful. The more we indulge in sex the more we become attached to our gross bodies and the more we are doomed to suffer in Samsara thinking that our bodies are real. Sensible self-restraint of the body in all matters leads to freedom and spiritual development, free from guilt.

We must train ourselves to see our body and that of others as nothing more than a receptacle for pus, urine, blood, saliva and not be attracted to it, although we must treat it with due respect. We must not waste unnecessary time on useless guilt. Use your effort and energy to develop positive states of mind. As you see your body for what it really is you will be able to transcend your desires of all

kinds. But you have to be patient and diligent. These things take time.

With the Blessings of the Noble Triple Gem

Yours in the Dhamma,

Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda

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Question: Can the Sangha become candidates in a general election?

YOUR REVEREND:

I AM VERY DISTURBED BY THE LATEST DEVELOPMENT IN CAMBODIA REGARDING THE BARRING OF MONKS FROM TAKING PART IN THE GENERAL ELECTION THIS YEAR IN CAMBODIA.

AS A BUDDHIST, I AM INCLINED TO SAY THAT MONKS SHOULD NOT BE PART OF ANY POLITICAL ACTIVITIES. AS A CAMBODIAN, I AM TEMPTED TO SAY THE MONKS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO TAKE PART IN POLITICS.

I AM CONFUSED AND TORMENNTED BY THIS AND WOULD LIKE TO ASK YOU IF YOU WOULD BE SO KIND AS TO READ THE ATTACHED MESSAGE AND COMMENT ON IT.

RESPECTFULLY YOURS,

[Anonymous]



This is an unconstitional move that grossly violated the right of Cambodian citizens. Cambodian monks are Cambodian citizens. The separation of state and religious institution in Cambodia is limitedly defined. The Sangha governing body called RAJAKANA is the component created by state ruling. The Buddha did not create such ranking Sangha called Rajakana.

1. Sdech Sangh, Sanghniyork, Ranking Rajakana of 1st class, 2nd class, 3rd class and 4th class are members of administrative monks that do not exist in the Vinaya

Tipitaka. They are purely appointments of the state because the state firstly appoint Sdech Sangh or Sanghraja.

2. Building and establishing a Buddhist monastery requires to have permission by the state jointly with the Sangha. Without Ministry of Religious Affairs and Social instruction granting permission, such establishment cannot be legal.

3. Buddhist monks are members of democratic society. Monks can always perform civic duty as long as that duty is not prohibited by the Vinaya.


Dear [Anonymous],

At the outset, greetings of peace, happiness and contentment to your goodself through the Blessings of the Noble Triple Gem.

Thank you for your query. First of all we must ask ourselves why the Buddha instituted the Sangha Order. It was not to enable them to improve worldly conditions but to help them concentrate on their spiritual development and to be free from rebirth into this world of suffering.

They were forbidden to handle money and they had to rely on the generosity of others to get their daily sustenance. Therefore if monks get involved in politics they are actually getting further immersed in social problems and not

concentrating on their spiritual development.

The two do not go together. Of course a monk (or nun) is obliged to care for the welfare of lay people and be concerned about their well being. This means that if he sees people being oppressed by a cruel government he must speak up. But this has to be done by teaching the Dhamma to influence their thinking.

The monk cannot incite the people to violence or to struggle. Deeply motivated by compassion for ALL parties, he has to strive to replace ignorance which causes immoral behavior with wisdom. He has to explain the Buddha's teaching on good governance--in the Mangala Suttra, the Cakkavatti Sihanada Suttra etc. He can teach people about their constitutional rights but he himself cannot be involved in politics. There is nothing to stop him from disrobing and doing whatever he likes, but he cannot give the wrong impression about what the robe represents. He can of course serve society by getting devotees to be active in community service and to help themselves, but like the lotus, he must not be defiled by mundane concerns.

With the Blessings of the Noble Triple Gem.

Yours in the Dhamma,

Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda




May all be well and happy always

metta

seehua
*Let's create a world full of LOVE~

Friday, November 03, 2006

Funny video about BSD

Here is another darn funny (I think only applies to me) video about BSD (Berkerly Software Distribution). For those of you who don't understand why it's that funny, well, it's for geeks like me =p

BSD is Dying

enjoy =)

seehua
*Let#s create a world full of LOVE~

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Solution to Firefox 'Memory Leak'

For those who kept complaining that their copy of Mozilla Firefox eats their RAM for breakfast, here is a link on what it actually is and how to 'solve' it...

About the Firefox 'Memory Leak'

enjoy~


seehua
*Let's create a world full of LOVE~

Freewares that I use...

Here is a list of free (as in free beer) softwares that I had downloaded from the web for my own personal use, along with a very short description of it's usage.

1. Web Browser - Firefox: THE browser for those who wants simplicity, but can be extended to fir their own needs. While simple and elegant in design, it's support for extensions and the huge community to code myriads of extensions had won it many converts from the once insecure Internet Explorer. However, as it's market share continues to grow, more and more exploits had been associated with this software. As said, nothing can be truly safe online...

2. Image Editing - GIMP: GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a powerful image editor that rivals even the venerable Abobe Photoshop series, but without the associated costs. Many seemed to not able to get used to it's interface though, as it's a lot different from Photoshop.

3. Image Management/Viewer - Google Picasa: Voted by many tech editors are the best image management software, it's very simple yet very powerful. I use it mainly for it's intergration with Blogger and Picasa Web, as well as to browse my collection of photos easily.

4. CD/DVD Burning - CD Burner XP Pro: A decent alternative to Nero Burning ROM/Express. It's clean interface is easy enough for me to use it for everyday burning. I do test lots of Linux distributions, so disc burning had became a norm for me. and CD Burner XP Pro provides just that for free.

5. File (De)Compressions Program - 7zip: It's simple to use and supports huge amounts of compression formats, including .zip, .rar, .ace, and lots more. It's own compression mechanism, 7z provides the best compression ratio and is being adopted within the Linux community for their uses.

6. FTP Client - Filezilla: Small program and good performance for usage with ftp servers.

7. Music Management - iTunes 7.0.2: I use this music management program simple because of it's automatic sorting of my music files accordingly. While there are complaints against it's latest version for being buggy, the latest version, 7.0.2, which had just been released yesterday, seemed to had fixed more of the more serious problems. One very annoying bug that had been fixed is the cracking sound produced, finally I can play my music smoothly.

You guys might have noticed an earlier post regarding Songbird. Well, I am using it as my secondary media player, interchanging it with iTunes. It seemed to be a very promising project, and I will track it's progress all right. But for now, it's just a bit too buggy for normal consumption. If you feel adventurous, do give it a try, it's cool all right.

8. Movies (Codecs, Movie player etc.) - K-Lite Mega Codec Pack: This nifty little package contains all that you will ever need to play all kinds of media formats. And it also comes with my favourite movie player, Media Player Classic. Of course, you can opt not to install this player if you don't like a bland interface, it's codecs can work with any movie player that supports Microsoft Directshow interface.

That's all for introduction to the freewares that I am using with my own computer. It's specific to my Microsoft Windows installtion though. Under Ubuntu Linux I am using another set of softwares for the same needs. That I will dedicate another post for it.

Till next time, c'ya

seehua
*Let's create a world full of LOVE~

Pictures of Autumn 2006

As autumn draws to a close here at my place (It's really winter like now), I would like to share some of the pictures taken with my friend's camera taken during the earlier stages of this year's Autumn. I know it's still quite green in the pictures, a later post will highlight the real statue of the trees here. So, until then, enjoy =)



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Thanks dear ^.^

Just want to say thanks to Jen for the very special birthday dedication there...

Thanks for all the wonderful moments chatting together although we are far far away from each other...

Thanks for putting your trust in me that I won't do anything silly...

Thanks for the fun little moments spent missing you, and the smiles when i thought of the moments we spent together...

Thanks for the little gestures that had made me miss you even more all the time...

Thanks for the big surprise that you had given me for my birthday...

Thanks for those cute postcards that you had drew yourself...

and most of all, thanks for being there for me all the time, dear...