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.

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
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