Nature as Source of Life - 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.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Nature as Source of Life

THE COSMOS is the universe or dimension of the whole world including earth, sun, moon, space, and so forth. In every world akin to the earth as well as the space, there are four great forming substances—viz:— earth, water, fire, and wind. But in the space, the four substances are the minutest particles, not being able to see by our eyes. The particle is a unit, called Avinibbhoga-rūpa (material phenomena that are inseparable) or Anū (molecule).

The Buddha, in the time when he attained Enlightenment, comprehended that the body of human being, animal, deity, evil spirits, as well as woeful being conditioned from the Four Great Forming Substances. When the four substances combine with Temperature, i.e. weather favourable to any being, consciousness, life and dependent materiality simultaneously come into being.

In the earth, there are likewise the four great forming substances. Therefore, some insects like palm worm without stock can come into being or in the decayed tree; the mite in ficus glomeratte can be born without stock. And the grass without seed root and grain can grow from the ground. Then again, on and in the human body are the four great forming substances, only then is born the louse, intestinal worm, viruses, and amoeba without stock because dirt and sweat consist of the four substances, favour to make louse be born. On the other hand, dirt and sweat on pillow, mat, and lattice, favour to make bedbug be born. Food eaten into the stomach is also the four great forming substances and then it is fermented into rottenness and sourness. If the food is digested badly by any case, the worm, ascarid and amoeba will be born in the stomach and intestines.

It is the evidence that the earth is the original source of life; so as the four Great Forming Substances combine with Temperature and then the four substances react and transform in favour of any being, that being is really born.

The life exists from earth, water, and wind associated with heat and cold in the space. In the earth, the water as well as the space consists of the four great forming substances. Life, while coming into the being, is to have mind or consciousness simultaneously come to reside in the four substances. It is, therefore, not right to conclude the earth was not one-facultied life or consciousness, even as the egg at the first time may not be seen the life or consciousness. Likewise, the seed not yet possibly met the condition to grow has no root or fruit.

Doing no shaking the same as it did on the day when the Buddha was born, enlightened, and expounded the first discourse, called Dhammacakka nor  swallowing Devadatta Thera, the earth should not be evaluated it is one-facultied. The Buddha was driven out of the crystal throne by protesting deity; didn’t he have clairvoyance (Dibba-cakkhu) with Wisdom-Eye that the earth is not one-facultied; the Buddha would not take it to be his witness. There is a precept forbidding bhikkhu to dig the ground, when should any bhikkhu dig soil or have it dug, it is an offence of Confession. This authenticates that the earth is one-facultied life, so as the Buddha regularized the precept. Even if the earth is one-facultied life, accordingly wind, water and rain are also one-facultied life. For case in point, when the Buddha was born, enlightened, expounded the first discourse, and announced his coming death, these natures made reactions by forcing out various phenomena according to their own functions the same as the earth.

Since the people living in previous time had pure mind, and when the cataclysms and various needs happened, they together invoked and solicited the nature. Perhaps ever the nature replied some positive answers. Then culture of invoking belief came into existence for a long time, and faded away after science has been developing.

By the time of the Buddha, the Great Master had purified his mind so that he could intent the earth as his witness. The earth made a sound. Aggañña-sutta in Suttanta Pitaka, Vol. 18 was stated by the Buddha that the first time the earth started appearing; there was sweet substances floating on it. At that time, human beings still had purified mind. They had satisfied mind as nutriment and success as the Brahma beings. Such a purified mark mind made beings long life, bright completion, and success in intention. Subsequently, human began to eat the substances on the earth, so their mind was no longer purified as before, the age shorter, and success faded away, according to their defilements which were grown up.

Hence, the cosmos is a source of life. It could not be, if it was concluded as any non-consciousness element. At least, we can see many lives coming into beings directly from the earth or from the four great forming substances as mentioned above.

In this day and age, believes on natures (water, earth, fire, wind) as Gods (Preah Gangā, Preah Dharanī, Preah Aggī, Preah Vāyo) are faded away in accordance with tendency of scientific development. The invoking is not sure to result in because of the descendants having unpurified mind as before. By the way, the strength of purified mind, if it is obviously come about, is still powerful and influential in nature ordinarily as previous.

Meanwhile, the influence of unpurified mind not only makes the nature invoking useless like the ancient time, but also takes effect on nature by making new phenomena and causing many kinds of disasters.

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