LECTURE No. XV: BUDDHA SASANA IN BAGAN - Buddhism, Philosophy, and Khmer Literature


Buddhism, Philosophy, and Khmer Literature

The teachings of the Buddha are aimed solely at liberating sentient beings from suffering. The Basic Teachings of Buddha which are core to Buddhism are: The Three Universal Truths; The Four Noble Truths; and The Noble Eightfold Path.

Post Top Ad

Post Top Ad

Monday, June 17, 2019


1.      The influence of Theravada Buddhism on social relationship of Bagan family.
A.    The teaching of the Buddha collectively known as the Dhamma is the ways [eight fold paths] to reach Nirvana, the end of the cravings, sufferings and miseries of rebirths in the cycle of Samsara. This is the pure religions or spiritual aspect and the very essence of Buddhism.
B.    On the other hand, there are ethical and moral aspects of Buddha dhamma. In many of stutata pitaka we find the teachings on ethics and morals. Mingala Sutta is one shrining example of Buddha’s teachings on how to live noble life while you are still living in mundane world.
C.    Monastic education imparts religious knowledge, trains in literary, and instructs morals, manners, ethics, good behavior and conduct to all pupils regardless of the social back ground. Both high born and low born royal children and children of grass root people receive the same education, equal treatment and equal training.
D.    Rajakumar stone inscription set up by prince Rajakumar, the only son of king Kyansitha testifies the profound influence of Theravada Buddhism on social relationship among members of Bagan family.
E.     Prince Rajakumar lost the chance of succession to the throne because his father king Kyansitha chose the grandson Alaungrithu by another queen as his immediate succerser while Alaunrithu was still an infant. Rajakumar and his mother thambula came to the court after Kyanziltha had chosen his succerser the king would not repeal his choice but he raised Rajakumar to prence and his mother queen with the title Usaukpan. Prence Rajakumar neven kept grudge against his royal father. He was quite contented with the position and lands his father be stowed upon him.
F.     In the true tenets of Theravada Buddhism, prince Rajakumar fulfilled his filial duties towards his royal father when the later was about to die of old age by performing deeds of religious merit in honor of the dying father, so that the father could witness the deed and gain merit and feel delighted before he passed away.
G.    The following is the rough translation of Rajakumar stone inscription in which his religious deed for his dying father was recorded with prayers and wishes. Prince rajakumar remembering the many and great favoues with which the king had nourished him, made the beautiful golden image of the Buddha. And entering with ceremony presented it to the king, saying “this golden Buddha I have made to help my lord. The three villages of slaves you gave me, I give me to this Buddha”. And the king rejoiced and said “sadhu sadhu sadhu” then in the presence of the compassionate Maha thera and other leading bhikkhus, the king poured on the ground the water of dedication calling the earth to witness. Then rajakumar enshrined the golden image and built around it a cave temple with golden pinnacle”.
H.    This stone inscription is one of substantial proofs to show the influence of Theravada Buddhism upon the people of Bagan in all social status from the court to the village, from the clergy to laity. Codes of conduct

Lecture No. XV Buddha sasana in Bagan [contd]
            And obligation prescribed by the Buddha to be observed and practiced in the mutual relations between the parents and children, between husband and wife, between teachers and pupils, between master and slaves, between ruler and the ruled, etc, were faithfully followed even among member of the royal court and families. Instead of harboring personal grudge against his royal father for  not choosing his as his successor to the throne prince Rajakumar sincerely fulfilled his filial duties he owed to his royal father in the true teaching of the Buddha by performing such a great deed of religious merit as making a golden Buddha image and enshrining it in a stupa [ Myazedi] in his father’s honor and dedication all lands and slaves which his father gave him to religion.
I.       the inscription contains prince Rajakumar’s prayer and wishes to attain Nirvana and his curse upon those who modest and destroy his religious deeds. And blessings upon those who maintain his religious deeds.
J.      Children’s duties towards their parents
1.      To cherish and support the parents.
2.      To manage and perform the duties incumbent on the parents.
3.      To make oneself worthy of heritage.
4.      To give charity and share the merit with the parents, and
5.      To keep up the lineage and tradition of the family.
K.   parents’ duties towards their children
1.      to restrain the children from vice
2.      to exhort them to virtue
3.      to give them proper education
4.      to give them financial aid, and
5.      to give them a suitable marriage
L. pupils’ duties towards their teachers
      1. To get up and pay respect formally to their teachers.
      2. To listen to their words
      3. To wait upon their coming
      4. To attend their teachers closely and personally, and
      5. To learn equally what the teachers teach them.
M. teachers’ duties towards their pupils
      1. To teach their pupils the useful arts and sciences.
      2. To train them well
      3. To impart full knowledge to their pupils
      4. To protect them well, and
      5. To send them to places suitable to them.
N. Mangala sutta [blessing-discourse]
      1. Not associate with the fools, to associate with the wise, and to honor those who are worthy of honors.
      2. To live in the suitable place, to have done meritorious deeds in the past, and to keep one’s mind and body in a proper way.
            3. To have much learning, to be skilled in crafts, to be well trained in moral conduct and to have speech that is well-spoken.
4. Carrying for one’s mother and father, supporting one’s spouse and children and having work that causes no confession.
N. Mangala sutta [blessing discourse]
5. Giving practice of what is good, support of one’s relatives and blameless actions.
6. Abstention from evil in mind, abstention from evil in body and speech, abstention from intoxicants an non-negligence in meritorious acts.
7. Respectfulness humbleness, contentment, gratitude and listening to the dhamma on suitable occasions.
8. Patience, obedience, meeting those who have calmed defilement and discussing the dhamma on suitable occasions.
9. Practice that consumes evil states, a noble life, seeing the noble truths and realization of Nibbana.
10. The mind of the person [an arahant] who is confronted with worldly condition doesn’t flutter, is sorrow less, stainless, and secure.
11. Having fulfilled such thing as these, beings are invincible everywhere and gain happiness every where.
Translated by rector sayadaw Dr U Silananda bhivamsa
The international Theravada Buddhist missionary university, yangon, Myanmar.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post Top Ad