Theravada Buddhist Temple and Vipassana Meditation Center

Theravada Buddhist Temple and Vipassana Meditation Center

The Georgia Buddhist Vihara is dedicated to the promotion of the Theravada Buddhist teachings through the practice of meditation, study of Buddhist scriptures, Dhamma School for children and regular religious ceremonies. The Vihara was established in 2000 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Monday, December 7, 2009



The Unduvap Poya day program will be held on on Saturday, Dec 10, 2011, from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara,  We invite you all, to join the program.



MORNING PROGRAM

7:30am – 8:30am Observance of the eight Precepts, Buddha Puja and Heel Dana.

8:30am – 9:00am Tea, & coffee break

9:00am – 11:00am Vipassana Meditation.

11:00am Buddha Puja

11:20am – 12 Noon Dana offering to the monks and those who observe eight precepts. For more information pleae feel free to contact the Vihara at 770-987-8442.)

AFTERNOON PROGRAM

12nn – 1:00pm Luncheon

1:00 – 2:30pm Discussion will be base on Abhidhamma by Dr. Deepta Jayaratne

2:30 – 2:45pm Break.

3.00-4.00 Dharmadeshanawa

4:00 – 5:30 Sutra Discussion; Alagaddupama Sutta: The Snake Simile (English, Sinhala)

5:30 pm  Termination of the Sil, Gilanpasa Pujava

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


REAL HAPPINESS.


By Bhante P.Wajirabuddhi


Once Gautama Buddha has mentioned the greatest wealth is happiness no matter how much poverty own by someone, but there is no real happiness. People who claim as wealthy but they still get sick, old age and finally face to the death. It is very clear that every things are impermanent, there is nothing permanent, therefore Buddhism always tolerate the spiritual happiness is greater than material gain happiness, material happiness is easily destroyed, by water, fire and any other natural and unnatural disasters, but the spiritual power who have gained through the righteous way is never destroyed it follows like a shadow behind the person. We can find in many Sutras explaining about happiness Vayagga pajja Sutra is one of the best Sutra explains happiness. But my main idea of this letter is to find the way to gain spiritual happiness. There are very common demonstration known as Dasa punyak kriya? ten meritorious acts, generosity, morality and meditation are main three meritorious acts, transferring merits who have done, accepting merits from others, cleaning up (house and yard) providing water supplies, lighting the dark area, helping and nursing elders, advice others not to do evil things and to do good things, listening the Dhamma, gaining the inner confidence about the eight noble path and applied into practice are some of ways to gain happiness. The other way of sorrow and lament arise because of remembering past incidents and worry about future instead of remembering the past should try to be mindful at present moment, then the he she is able to overcome sorrow and lamentation. While parents are live, children must take care them, nurse them provide necessities, then the children can be happy at all the times, otherwise worry and cry after they depart form the world. Many I have seen too much regret when they die, but actual speaking is they did not take care while they live, therefore live with the present do things at present should not postpone for tomorrow.

WHO IS YOUR REAL FRIEND?


And who is not . . .


By Bhante. P. Wajirabuddhi


Though we all need and want friends, Lord Buddha cautions us to nurture friendship only with those who are of high moral character. The Sigalovada Sutra identifies the characteristics of those with whom you want to share friendship and those with whom you would never find real friendship. There are four categories of true friends. REAL FRIENDS Upakaraka (helper) guards his friend and his friends property. The Helper is a refuge for his friend when fear and trouble overwhelms him. If the friend needs help, the upakaraka is there to support him. When his friend needs to borrow money, the helper, when he is able, gives twice the amount for which he has been asked. Samana sukha dukkha is the friend who is always there for you in adversity as well as happy times. He has no secrets but he keeps the secrets of his friend. He would lay down his life for his friend. Attakkhaya is the friend of good counsel who restrains you from wrongdoing and encourages you to do what is right. He informs his friend of what he has never known before. He reveals the path to a heavenly state. Anukampaka is the friend of sympathetic heart. He never rejoices over his friend's misfortune but rejoices when the friend is prosperous. He restrains those who would speak evil of his friend and commends anyone who gives praise. And four categories of those who are not our friends. Annadatthuhra is he who would take from you and who gives little in the hope he will gain more. He always thinks of personal gain as his goal and never shares that gain. He strives to be a close friend only when motivated by fear . . . otherwise he makes no effort for friendship. His only concern is personal gain. Vaciparama is a friend of words, not deeds. His words are empty and meaningless. His promises are always in the past tense. Oh yes,? he would say, ?You should have told me you needed help. I could have helped you.? But he never returned your calls. His words are empty. Annuppiyabhani is the flatterer. He will praise you when you stand in front of him but will speak ill of you when you are absent. He will encourage you to do what is wrong and discourage what is right. Apaya sahaya is the waster. He will accompany his friends when they participate in vices such as gambling, drinking and wandering the streets late at night. Real friendships are bound together by the virtues of generosity benevolence cooperation courtesy empathy and being ready to help each other whenever necessary.

SIDDHARTHA'S RENUNCIATION


By Dr. Bhante Gunaratna Thero


You must think of Siddhartha. Who is Siddhartha? As soon as Siddhartha was born to a royal family the whole country came to know about his birth. Astrologers came, and they predicted this child's future. Two astrologers said, either he would stay home or he would renounce the world. One astrologer said, he will renounce the world. Everybody in the country knew that. When he came to marry, the girl whom he married, Yasodhara, also knew that. Yasodhara was not just an outsider they just picked up from somewhere. She was from that country, from that area, and knew quite well that Siddhartha was going to leave home and become an ascetic. Knowing that, she agreed to marry him. She was a very intelligent woman. According Buddhist traditions she also had performed perfections, promised, to become his wife. So they married. From the day they married, they must have had opportunities to sit down and talk. Going to parks, sitting alone, a very young couple definitely had plenty of time to sit and talk. She certainly noticed that this man is a contemplative man, very quiet, very peaceful. Even in his childhood, when other children were playing, he would go and sit under a tree meditating. When other children were hurting animals, he would rescue animals. His life was given perfectly clearly. The description of his childhood very clearly gives the impression that he was a contemplative boy, as a youth a contemplative youth, as a young man, a contemplative young man. This girl knew all this. And every time she saw him sitting somewhere, quietly contemplating, meditating, she would tell him, "Darling, don't worry. I know you are going to leave the palace. I know that. All the astrologers have told that. Everybody in the country knows that. We all notice that that is what you are. That is what you want. Darling, I love you no matter what decision you make. I love you so much I will do anything for you without any hesitation. You make a decision. I will be with you. I accept your decision." This is what a loving woman would tell her husband. And she gave her word to him, "You make any decision, I will support you. Not only that. I know you are going to leave, but don't leave without giving me a ,child. Then when you leave, I will have somebody to remind me of you. I can see your child when you are away." Actually when a woman sees the child she remembers her husband. It's a natural psychological truth. So she told him, "You give me a baby. But don't stay at home, because even though we have a child, you would be miserable. You always would be thinking of leaving home. That is your destiny, written in your horoscope. Everybody knows that is what you are going to do." "Therefore, the very same day the child is born, you come and have a peep, have a look at the child, and then leave. I will make all arrangements for you to leave the palace. Don't worry about the child, and don't worry about me. I'm in your father's palace. Your father has provided me with plenty of servants. Your mother is just like my mother. She loves me. And therefore I am in a secure place. I am protected. You don't worry about me." In modern society in any country everyone worries about the economy, their jobs, their money, social security, health insurance, this and that. Because of that, people think in these terms. To understand Siddhartha, we have to understand that this happened two thousand six hundred years ago, in India, in Indian society. Indian society is a joint family system. When you are married, you marry not only the woman, you marry the whole family. In this situation in the King's palace, everything was perfectly arranged for her to live comfortably. So, with this comfort, with this security, with this understanding, with this perfection, with this utmost love, she agreed to let him go. Siddhartha promised, "Darling, whenever I find what I am looking for, I will come back and see you." So with this assurance, with this security, he left. As soon as he left, her father-in-law and mother-in-law took her as their own child. You never see one single report of quarrel, disagreement or resentment in the family. They all supported her and she was very comfortable. As soon as Siddbartha attained enlightenment he came home. When he came home the child was seven years old. While everybody else gathered in the family reunion, the Buddha went to Yasodhara's bedroom and sat down. She came and catching his ankles, she cried with joy of seeing him after seven years. She did not say, "Go away, you abandoned my child and you abandoned me and you are disloyal, ungrateful, unfaithful. Go away, get out!" She did not say that. She was so glad, so full of joy. Without uttering a word, catching his ankles she cried until his feet were soaked by her tears. Not only that. Then she addressed her child and said, "Darling, this is your father. See, this majestic looking person is your father. He has a hidden wealth. Go and ask him for it." So she sent her own child. This child went and holding his finger said, "Father, daddy, even your shadow makes me happy, makes me calm, makes me peaceful. I love you. I heard that you have a wealth. Give me that wealth." Buddha said, "Darling, I give you wealth which is imperishable. Any wealth that you get from the world will be perishable. I give you imperishable wealth." So he took him to the monastery and ordained him. Eventually what happened? His stepmother became a nun, wife became a nun, cousin Ananda became a monk, son became a monk. His father attained anagami state. [He visited his mother in Tusita heaven.] Everybody reunited. Whenever we tell the life of the Buddha, we have to show the whole picture, and the difference in cultures, for people to understand. If not, if we tell only one little part of the story, the impression people get is very negative. Sometimes in our books people do not record the history, the purpose and circumstances. All of a sudden they throw something into the book and when you read it, you get confused. We have to have the real sociological, cultural, geographical, religious background to present the picture properly. If these things are lacking, then we have a problem.

Article in Georgia Asian Times - Read Here
An Interview - By Bhante Wajirabuddhi to Monthly Message, Atlanta Georgia

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Advice to the Koliyan

Koliyans were the inhabitants of the city named Koliya city existing in the Buddhas time. They are known in relation to the Buddha's life. It was the country adjacent to that of Sakyans kingdom. Koliyans had a township named Kakkarapatta.

Once the Buddha was wandering on tour in the Koliya region and stopped at the township of Koliya to help them with the Dhamma. At that time, a Koliyan householder by the name of Dighajanu approached the Buddha. Having paid homage to the Buddha, he requested the Blessed One to teach him some Dhamma thus, Venerable Sir, we are those who use flowers, scents, perfumes, gold, silver, money and all that. We are living a lay life that is burdened with duties in relation to our children. We have to provide them with nourishment and have other commitments and business as well. Thereby, we get stressed and troubled. It would be good, Venerable Sir, to teach us the Dhamma that would lead us towards welfare and happiness in this very life and life after death.

Then the Buddha addressed them thus, in order to teach the Dhamma, Vyaggapajjha, (this is the word used to address Koliyans) there are four reasons that are conducive for lay people to find welfare and happiness here and now. That is to say; endeavor, protection, good friendship and a balanced life.

Here, endeavor is that effort put forth in earning money and wealth for the advancement of your life. You may earn money either by farming and cultivation or trade or rearing cattle or working for the government and so on. Whatever you do in earning your living, you have to be an expert in it. You have to be knowledgeable of the field of business. You should not be lazy but be enthusiastic in doing your work. Deliberation and skillfulness are some of the necessary elements to attain success. When you organize businesses skillfully your economy will, no doubt, increase. It enables you and your family members to live at ease without difficulties, troubles and worries. This is a visible fact that you yourself can find in the human society. People with wisdom and endeavor come up in life while those who are lazy, experience failure and downfall.

Protection is to safeguard what you have earned and accumulated by hard work. You should know the importance of protecting wealth earned through enthusiasm and righteously working hard. The money and wealth and all that have to be protected from thieves, hostile enemies, fire, water and the natural elements such as sun and wind. The wealth has to be kept in safety so as it is not a loss to the government by way of penalty or fine as well. Having known how hard earned wealth is protected and how it gets destroyed, you should known to protect it so that the collected wealth is not lost.

Breaking the laws of the land, either deliberately or through ignorance, can result in having to pay a fine to the government. If there is a spate of robberies in the area you live in, you have to be alert and take necessary steps for the protection of your wealth.

Good friendship is to associate with good people, people who follow a spiritual path. Your life has to have a moral foundation to enjoy external achievements and success. Material success alone is not enough, there should be an association with good friends. Good friends will guide you in right and wrong. They recommend a spiritual path while practicing it. If association with a particular person leads to our welfare then that person can be regarded as a Good Friend regardless of his or her age. If you find a person with many good qualities in his life, whether elder or young, either from your own village or suburb or township, it is then good to form an association with him or her. It must also be mentioned here that it does not mean that we condemn the rest of society. The virtues of such good people, whether great or small, have to be applied and followed in your life. This isn't vain imitation without any real result but an essential element in our inner and outer development.

Next is a balanced life. It is the life that you live in accordance to your means and station in life. People's lifestyles vary greatly. Their lives are dependent on their income. Even those who work in the same field may have different knowledge and experience. Accordingly, the income they earn may also be unequal. One person may earn less income while another receives a reasonably a good wage. But the needs of both persons cannot be solved in the same manner.

Therefore, you have to know how to spend money and live an unburdened, debtless life according to the state of your income. Especially expenditure should be balanced to your revenue.

You should also know how to lead a life with nothing exceedingly luxurious nor extremely austere but should strive to live a peaceful harmonious life following the middle way. You have to be especially mindful not to have a competitive attitude in regard to lifestyles. Some people have more money and spend it lavishly. If you try to compete it may cause you to suffer.

If one tries to lead a luxurious life with his income being low and the other leads a meaningless life with his revenue being great are blameworthy. It may cause stress when one hears what is said about him. They may say that your way of living is wrong. So, it has to be said that to live a balanced life according to your wealth is praiseworthy. If one wishes to live a good life he should know how the wealth get wasted and destroyed. There are four ways that your wealth could get destroyed. That is could by

womanizing, alcoholism (drug addiction), gambling, and to live with those who do the above things. These are utterly contradictory to your wish for advancement in life.

For instance, think of this. There is a water-tank with four pipes to let water in and four pipes to let water out. Having blocked the four incoming water lines and while keeping the four out-lines open and if it does not rain as well, the tank becomes emptied within a short while and you cannot expect the water level to increase.

Likewise, the life that possesses the above said four bad reasons will face its spiritual decline and the ruin of wealth without doubt. When the outlets are off while the incoming water lines are on and if it rains considerably as well, the water level of the tank will then increase. It will definitely not decrease. In the same manner, in following the four virtuous ways of action, which are known as endeavour, protection of wealth, being with good friends and leading a balanced life, the dawn of happiness in that life is certain. How could it be otherwise?

Now, the reasons for the welfare and happiness in the life after death are to be considered. There are four factors that bring happiness to the life after death. That is to say, confidence (faith), virtue, generosity, and wisdom.

Confidence is to have faith in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. It does not mean to have it blindly but with the real understanding of it. Through good friendship, listening to the dhamma and discussions, faith in the Triple Gem (Buddha, Dhamma Sangha) can be meaningfully achieved. Accordingly, the law of kamma and its effect is actually understood. To the degree that you arouse confidence in yourself, the ingenuity and energy to develop wholesome thoughts (kusala) arise to that degree. The seed for wholesome thoughts is faith (confidence), the Buddha says.

Morality is to restrain oneself from wrong doing and misconduct. One who lives a lay life can practice it as follows: Being compassionate towards animals (animate things), not to take their lives; being honest and sincere, not to take what is not given; leading a pure and righteous life, not to commit sexual misconduct; practicing truthfulness and developing skillful speech, to speak true and blameless words; by restraining from lying, not to take alcoholic drinks that lead to the lack of mindfulness and to sickness. Possessing a life with these five virtues is regarded to be a virtuous life. Then restraint and moral beauty are found in such a life.

Generosity is the next virtue. It is to practice generous offering. While living a lay life one can practice it as far as one can, according to his ability. It brings about a tremendous mental happiness. To enthusiastically engage in organizing and taking part in generous activities is praiseworthy. That happiness arising from offering (Dana) or presenting something to another is a great thing. It cannot be compared with happiness generated from sensual objects. That happiness can only be gained through such generous activities.

Wisdom quality comes next. That is to gain knowledge to see and realize the true nature of the world. That is to say; the knowledge through which one sees the arising and ceasing state of all conditional things. This is a particular wisdom that is born only through insight meditation. Because of its clarity and power, the mind clings to nothing in the world. Attachment and desire become gradually lessened and abandoned. At the moment of death, one is able to manage his mind easily and have a peaceful mind. No fear comes to him because he has by that time clearly recognized the world's true nature. It is such a powerful mental state which leads one to a blissful heavenly state.

Those are the four factors that are conditions for the welfare and happiness of the next life. Hence it is good conduct, priceless for this life and life after death.

The Buddha taught this portion of Dhamma to the Koliyan named Dighajanu and he became greatly pleased by hearing it. May those who aspire to the advancement of their lives, both mentally and materially and wish for welfare and happiness here and now and there after, bear this part of the Dhamma in the mind and endeavor to achieve it.

By Bhante Jinalankara Thero

"Budhusarana"

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