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					BHODIRATANARAMA DAMMA SCHOOL
Canada Friendship Road
Katunayake

Grade 8


Questions

      1. Briefly explain the ten perfections ( Dasa kusal/ දස කුසල්) ?

      2. Does Buddhism have a code of morality (Five precepts / පන්සිල්) ?

      3. All religions have holy writings, what is the Buddhist holy book?

      4. What are the main teachings of the Buddha (Noble Truths/ චතුරාර්ය සත්ය)?

      5. Briefly explain the Four Noble Truths (Noble Truths/ චතුරාර්ය සත්ය)?

      6. What are the Three Refuges (තිසරන)?

      7. Briefly explain the Eight Fold Path (ආර්ය අෂ්ටාoගික මාර්ගය)?
Answers
    01. The Ten Perfections

    Generosity (dana)

    This can be characterized by unattached and unconditional generosity, giving and
    letting go. Giving leads to being reborn in happy states and material wealth.
    Alternatively, lack of giving leads to unhappy states and poverty. The exquisite
    paradox in Buddhism is that the more we give - and the more we give without
    seeking something in return - the wealthier (in the broadest sense of the word) we
    will become. By giving we destroy those acquisitive impulses that ultimately lead
    to further suffering.

    Morality (sila)-virtue, integrity

    It is an action that is an intentional effort. It refers to moral purity of thought,
    word, and deed. The four conditions of sila are chastity, calmness, quiet, and
    extinguishment, i.e. no longer being susceptible to perturbation by the passions
    like greed and selfishness, which are common in the world today. Sila refers to
    overall (principles of) ethical behaviour.

    Renunciation (nekkhamma)

    Nekkhamma is a Pali word generally translated as "renunciation" while also
    conveying more specifically "giving up the world and leading a holy life" or
    "freedom from lust, craving and desires." In Buddhism's Noble Eightfold Path,
    nekkhamma is the first practice associated with "Right Intention." In the
    Theravada list of ten perfections, nekkhamma is the third practice of "perfection."

    Wisdom (pañña)

    Prajña (Sanskrit) or pañña (Pali) has been translated as "wisdom,"
    "understanding," "discernment," "cognitive acuity," or "know-how." In some sects
    of Buddhism, it especially refers to the wisdom that is based on the direct
    realization of the Four Noble Truths, impermanence, interdependent origination,
    non-self, emptiness, etc. Prajña is the wisdom that is able to extinguish afflictions
    and bring about enlightenment.

    Energy/Strength (viriya)- effort

    It stands for strenuous and sustained effort to overcome unskillful ways, such as
    indulging in sensuality, ill will and harmfulness. It stands for the right endeavour
    to attain dhyana. Virya does not stand for physical strength. It signifies strength of
    character and the persistent effort for the well-being of others. In the absence of
sustained efforts in practicing meditation, craving creeps in and the meditator
comes under its influence. Right effort known as viryabala is, thus, required to
overcome unskillful mental factors and deviation from dhyana.

Patience (khanti)

Khanti (Pali) has been translated as patience, forbearance and forgiveness. It is the
practice of exercising patience toward behavior or situations that might not
necessarily deserve it. It is seen as a conscious choice to actively give patience as
if a gift, rather than being in a state of oppression in which one feels obligated to
act in such a way.

Truthfulness (sacca)

Sacca is a Pali word meaning "real" or "true." In early Buddhist literature, sacca is
often found in the context of the "Four Noble Truths," a crystallization of
Buddhist wisdom. In addition, sacca is one of the ten paramis or perfections that a
bodhisatta must develop in order to become a Buddha.

Resolution - determination (adhitthana)

Adhitthana (Pali; from adhi meaning "higher" or "best" plus stha meaning
"standing") has been translated as "decision," "resolution," "self-determination,"
"will" and "resolute determination." In the late canonical literature of Theravada
Buddhism, adhitthana is one of the ten "perfections" (dasa paramiyo), exemplified
by the bodhisatta's resolve to become fully awakened.

Lovingkindness (metta)

Metta (Pali) or maitri (Sanskrit) has been translated as "loving-kindness,"
"friendliness," "benevolence," "amity," "friendship," "good will," "kindness,"
"love," "sympathy," and "active interest in others." It is one of the ten paramitas
of the Theravada school of Buddhism, and the first of the four Brahmaviharas.
The metta bhavana ("cultivation of metta") is a popular form of meditation in
Buddhism.

The object of metta meditation is loving kindness (love without attachment).
Traditionally, the practice begins with the meditator cultivating loving kindness
towards themselves,then their loved ones, friends, teachers, strangers, enemies,
and finally towards all sentient beings. Commonly, it can be used as a greeting or
closing to a letter or note.

Buddhists believe that those who cultivate metta will be at ease because they see
no need to harbour ill will or hostility. Buddhist teachers may even recommend
meditation on metta as an antidote to insomnia and nightmares. It is generally felt
that those around a metta-ful person will feel more comfortable and happy too.
Radiating metta is thought to contribute to a world of love, peace and happiness.

Metta meditation is considered a good way to calm down a distraught mind by
people who consider it to be an antidote to anger. According to them, someone
who has cultivated metta will not be easily angered and can quickly subdue anger
that arises, being more caring, more loving, and more likely to love
unconditionally.

Equanimity (upekkha)

"The real meaning of upekkha is equanimity, not indifference in the sense of
unconcern for others. As a spiritual virtue, upekkha means equanimity in the face
of the fluctuations of worldly fortune. It is evenness of mind, unshakeable
freedom of mind, a state of inner equipoise that cannot be upset by gain and loss,
honor and dishonor, praise and blame, pleasure and pain. Upekkha is freedom
from all points of self-reference; it is indifference only to the demands of the ego-
self with its craving for pleasure and position, not to the well-being of one's
fellow human beings. True equanimity is the pinnacle of the four social attitudes
that the Buddhist texts call the 'divine abodes': boundless loving-kindness,
compassion, altruistic joy, and equanimity. The last does not override and negate
the preceding three, but perfects and consummates them."


02. Yes it does. The five precepts are the basis of Buddhist morality.
    2.1 The first precept is to avoid killing or harming living beings.
    2.2 The second is to avoid stealing,
    2.3 The third is to avoid sexual misconduct,
    2.4 The fourth is to avoid lying
    2.5 The fifth is to avoid alcohol and other intoxicating drugs.

03. The sacred book of Buddhism is called the Tipitaka. It is written in an ancient Indian
    language called Pali which is very close to the language that the Buddha himself
    spoke. The Tripitaka is a very large book. The English translation of it takes up nearly
    forty volumes.

04. All of the many teachings of the Buddha centre on the Four Noble Truths, just as the
    rim and spokes of a wheel centers on the hub. They are called 'Four' because there
    are four of them. They are called 'Noble' because they ennoble one who understands
    them and they are called 'Truths' because, corresponding with reality, they are true.

05.
      5.1 The First Noble Truth is that life is suffering. To live, you must suffer. It is
          impossible to live without experiencing some kind of suffering. We have to
          endure physical suffering like sickness, injury, tiredness, old age and eventually
          death and we have to endure psychological suffering like loneliness, frustrations,
          fear, embarrassment, disappointment, anger, etc.

      5.2 The Second Noble Truth is that all suffering is caused by craving. When we look
          at psychological suffering, it is easy to see how it is caused by craving. When we
              want something but are unable to get it, we feel frustrated. When we expect
              someone to live up to our expectation and they do not, we feel let down and
              disappointed. When we want others to like us and they don't, we feel hurt. Even
              when we want something and are able to get it, this does not often lead to
              happiness either because it is not long before we feel bored with that thing, lose
              interest in it and commence to want something else.

              Put simply, the Second Noble Truth says that getting what you want does not
              guarantee happiness. Rather than constantly struggling to get what you want, try
              to modify your wanting. Wanting deprives us of contentment and happiness.

          5.3 The Third Noble Truth is that suffering can be overcome and happiness attained.
              This is perhaps the most important of the Four Noble Truths because in it the
              Buddha reassures us that true happiness and contentment are possible. When
              we give up useless craving and learn to live each day at a time, enjoying without
              restlessly wanting the experiences that life offers us, patiently enduring the
              problems that life involves, without fear, hatred and anger, then we become
              happy and free. Then, and then only, do we begin to live fully. Because we are
              no longer obsessed with satisfying our own selfish wants, we find that we have
              so much time to help others fulfil their needs. This state is called Nirvana. We are
              free from psychological suffering.



          5.4 The Fourth Noble Truth is the Path leading to the overcoming of suffering. This
              path is called the Noble Eightfold Path and consists of Perfect Understanding,
              Perfect Thought, Perfect Speech, Perfect Action, Perfect Livelihood, Perfect
              Effort, Perfect Mindfulness, and Perfect Concentration. Buddhist practice consist
              of practising these eight things until they become more complete. You will notice
              that the steps on the Noble Eightfold Path cover every aspect of life: the
              intellectual, the ethical and economic and the psychological and therefore
              contains everything a person needs to lead a good life and to develop spiritually.

06.   A refuge is a place where people go when they are distressed or when they need safety
      and security. There are many types of refuges. When people are unhappy, they take
      refuge with their friends, when they are worried and frightened, they may take refuge in
      false hopes and beliefs. As they approach death, they might take refuge in the belief in
      an eternal heaven. But, as the Buddha says, none of these are true refuges because they
      do not give comfort and security based on reality.

      Truly these are not safe refuges,
      not the refuge supreme.
      Not the refuge whereby one is
      freed from all sorrow.

      But to take refuge in the
      Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha
      and to see with real understanding
      the Four Noble Truths.

      Suffering, the cause of suffering,
      the transcending of suffering and
      the Noble Eightfold Path that leads
      to the transcending of suffering.
       This indeed is a safe refuge,
       it is the refuge supreme.
       It is the refuge whereby one is
       freed from all suffering.

       Taking Refuge in the Buddha is a confident acceptance of the fact that one can become
       fully enlightened of the fact that one can become fully enlightened and perfected just as
       the Buddha was. Taking Refuge in the Dhamma means understanding the Four Noble
       Truths and basing one's life on the Noble Eightfold Path. Taking Refuge in the Sangha
       means looking for support, inspiration and guidance from all who walk the Noble Eightfold
       Path. Doing this one becomes a Buddhist and thus takes the first step on the path
       towards Nirvana.




07.    1. Right View                     Wisdom                        Samma Ditti

       2. Right Intention                                              Samma Sankappa

       3. Right Speech                                                 Samma Waacha

       4. Right Action                   Ethical Conduct               Samma Ajiwa

       5. Right Livelihood                                             Samma Kammamtha

       6. Right Effort                                                 Samma Wayama

       7. Right Mindfulness              Mental Development            Samma Sathi

       8. Right Concentration                                          Samma Samadhi

1. Right View

Right view is the beginning and the end of the path, it simply means to see and to
understand things as they really are and to realise the Four Noble Truth. As such, right
view is the cognitive aspect of wisdom. It means to see things through, to grasp the
impermanent and imperfect nature of worldly objects and ideas, and to understand the
law of karma and karmic conditioning. Right view is not necessarily an intellectual
capacity, just as wisdom is not just a matter of intelligence. Instead, right view is attained,
sustained, and enhanced through all capacities of mind. It begins with the intuitive insight
that all beings are subject to suffering and it ends with complete understanding of the true
nature of all things. Since our view of the world forms our thoughts and our actions, right
view yields right thoughts and right actions.

2. Right Intention

While right view refers to the cognitive aspect of wisdom, right intention refers to the
volitional aspect, i.e. the kind of mental energy that controls our actions. Right intention
can be described best as commitment to ethical and mental self-improvement. Buddha
distinguishes three types of right intentions: 1. the intention of renunciation, which means
resistance to the pull of desire, 2. the intention of good will, meaning resistance to
feelings of anger and aversion, and 3. the intention of harmlessness, meaning not to think
or act cruelly, violently, or aggressively, and to develop compassion.

3. Right Speech

Right speech is the first principle of ethical conduct in the eightfold path. Ethical conduct
is viewed as a guideline to moral discipline, which supports the other principles of the
path. This aspect is not self-sufficient, however, essential, because mental purification
can only be achieved through the cultivation of ethical conduct. The importance of
speech in the context of Buddhist ethics is obvious: words can break or save lives, make
enemies or friends, start war or create peace. Buddha explained right speech as follows:
1. to abstain from false speech, especially not to tell deliberate lies and not to speak
deceitfully, 2. to abstain from slanderous speech and not to use words maliciously against
others, 3. to abstain from harsh words that offend or hurt others, and 4. to abstain from
idle chatter that lacks purpose or depth. Positively phrased, this means to tell the truth, to
speak friendly, warm, and gently and to talk only when necessary.

4. Right Action

The second ethical principle, right action, involves the body as natural means of
expression, as it refers to deeds that involve bodily actions. Unwholesome actions lead to
unsound states of mind, while wholesome actions lead to sound states of mind. Again, the
principle is explained in terms of abstinence: right action means 1. to abstain from
harming sentient beings, especially to abstain from taking life (including suicide) and
doing harm intentionally or delinquently, 2. to abstain from taking what is not given,
which includes stealing, robbery, fraud, deceitfulness, and dishonesty, and 3. to abstain
from sexual misconduct. Positively formulated, right action means to act kindly and
compassionately, to be honest, to respect the belongings of others, and to keep sexual
relationships harmless to others. Further details regarding the concrete meaning of right
action can be found in the Precepts.

5. Right Livelihood

Right livelihood means that one should earn one's living in a righteous way and that
wealth should be gained legally and peacefully. The Buddha mentions four specific
activities that harm other beings and that one should avoid for this reason: 1. dealing in
weapons, 2. dealing in living beings (including raising animals for slaughter as well as
slave trade and prostitution), 3. working in meat production and butchery, and 4. selling
intoxicants and poisons, such as alcohol and drugs. Furthermore any other occupation
that would violate the principles of right speech and right action should be avoided.

6. Right Effort
Right effort can be seen as a prerequisite for the other principles of the path. Without
effort, which is in itself an act of will, nothing can be achieved, whereas misguided effort
distracts the mind from its task, and confusion will be the consequence. Mental energy is
the force behind right effort; it can occur in either wholesome or unwholesome states.
The same type of energy that fuels desire, envy, aggression, and violence can on the other
side fuel self-discipline, honesty, benevolence, and kindness. Right effort is detailed in
four types of endeavours that rank in ascending order of perfection: 1. to prevent the
arising of unarisen unwholesome states, 2. to abandon unwholesome states that have
already arisen, 3. to arouse wholesome states that have not yet arisen, and 4. to maintain
and perfect wholesome states already arisen.

7. Right Mindfulness

Right mindfulness is the controlled and perfected faculty of cognition. It is the mental
ability to see things as they are, with clear consciousness. Usually, the cognitive process
begins with an impression induced by perception, or by a thought, but then it does not
stay with the mere impression. Instead, we almost always conceptualise sense
impressions and thoughts immediately. We interpret them and set them in relation to
other thoughts and experiences, which naturally go beyond the facticity of the original
impression. The mind then posits concepts, joins concepts into constructs, and weaves
those constructs into complex interpretative schemes. All this happens only half
consciously, and as a result we often see things obscured. Right mindfulness is anchored
in clear perception and it penetrates impressions without getting carried away. Right
mindfulness enables us to be aware of the process of conceptualisation in a way that we
actively observe and control the way our thoughts go. Buddha accounted for this as the
four foundations of mindfulness: 1. contemplation of the body, 2. contemplation of
feeling (repulsive, attractive, or neutral), 3. contemplation of the state of mind, and 4.
contemplation of the phenomena.

8. Right Concentration

The eighth principle of the path, right concentration, refers to the development of a
mental force that occurs in natural consciousness, although at a relatively low level of
intensity, namely concentration. Concentration in this context is described as one-
pointedness of mind, meaning a state where all mental faculties are unified and directed
onto one particular object. Right concentration for the purpose of the eightfold path
means wholesome concentration, i.e. concentration on wholesome thoughts and actions.
The Buddhist method of choice to develop right concentration is through the practice of
meditation. The meditating mind focuses on a selected object. It first directs itself onto it,
then sustains concentration, and finally intensifies concentration step by step. Through
this practice it becomes natural to apply elevated levels concentration also in everyday
situations.
BHODIRATANARAMA DAMMA SCHOOL
Canada Friendship Road
Katunayake

Grade 7


Questions


01. How should one live the Buddhist way of life?


02. How is universal loving-kindness taught in Buddhism?


03. What is the Buddha's teaching about caste and colour?


04. What are the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha?


05. What are the results of the practice of the Five Precepts?


06. What is the holy text of Buddhism?
Answers

01. To live the Buddhist way of life one should avoid doing evil, perform
wholesome acts and purify one's own mind.
   The "don't and do" moral principles of the Buddhist way of life are as
follows:
1. To abstain from killing, and develop loving-kindness and compassion to
all living beings.
2. To abstain from stealing, and develop right means of livelihood.
3. To abstain from sexual misconduct, and develop restraint of the senses.
4. To abstain from lying, and develop truthful speech.
5. To abstain from intoxicants, and develop restraint and mindfulness.
The more one can observe the above Five Precepts and Five Virtues, the
more happy and peaceful life one will achieve.
Furthermore, trying to purify one's own mind from greed, hatred, and
delusion step-by-step in daily life is the ideal way for all Buddhists


02. Loving-kindness (Metta) means extending good-will or benevolence
which is opposite to ill-will. Buddhism teaches that loving-kindness should
be diffused to all sentient beings, be they human or non-human. If the world
follows the teaching of diffusion of universal loving-kindness, conflicts may
be solved not by confrontation but through peaceful means.

03. There is no division of caste and colour in Buddhism. In some country,
the caste system is a very important social structure. However, Buddhism is
free from caste, racial, and gender prejudices. Everyone is equal in spiritual
potential.

The Buddha explained that a man's virtues or vices depend on his deeds, not
his birth or wealth. One who comes to be ordained in Buddhism has equal
rights such as the right to vote in meetings. The only difference is the order
of seniority which goes according to the precedence in ordination.

Buddhism lays stress on human equality by pointing to the importance of
knowledge and good conduct. The Lord Buddha taught that one who is
endowed with knowledge and good conduct is excellent among divine and
human beings.
04. To be a Buddhist, one is expected primarily to take refuge in the Triple
Gem: the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha.
Buddha means the Enlightened One.
Dhamma means Truth realised and taught by the Buddha.
Sangha means the Buddha's disciples who behave and practise righteously.
The ideal Sangha means those who attain the Four States of Noblehood.
The meaning of the Triple Gem or the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha may be
understood in three different levels as follows:
(1)The First Level
  The Buddha : the Enlightened One represented by His replica or Buddha
image.
  Dhamma : Truth realised and taught by the Buddha, represented by
Tripitaka or the Buddhist scripture.
  Sangha : the Buddha's noble disciples represented by Buddhist bhikkhus
(monks) and bhikkhunis (nuns) in general, who have not yet attained the
Four States of Noblehood.
The Sangha in this level is called Conventional Sangha or Sammati Sangha.

(2) The Second Level
   The Buddha : The Enlightened One, who was formerly Prince Siddhattha
of the Sakya clan. He renounced the worldly life in search of Truth and after
His Enlightenment established Buddhism.
   Dhamma : Truth realised and taught by the Buddha, learned and put into
practice by the Buddhists, both ordained and lay people.
   Sangha : the Buddha's noble disciples who have attained the Four States
of Noblehood.

(3) The Third Level
   The Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha become one. The Buddha in this level
is identical with Dhamma as it was stated by Him that "One who sees
Dhamma sees me; one who seems me sees Dhamma." This shows that
Buddhahood is Dhamma and Dhamma is Buddhahood. The ideal Sangha is
the embodiment of the realised Dhamma..
05. The Five Precepts are not laws but they are self-training rules that lead to
moral practices and right behaviour. Since one does not live alone, living in
society requires self-awareness, self-control, adaptability, non-violent
attitude and good-will.

The Five Precepts are to abstain from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct,
false speech, and intoxicants which cause carelessness. One should be kind,
honest and mindful. Then our society will reach the goal that persons can
live together peacefully and in mutual trust.

06. The teachings and conversations of Buddha are divided into three parts,
which collectively make up the

Tripitaka (three baskets):
Sutta—discourses of Buddha
Vinaya—rules for right conduct
Abhidhamma—further knowledge
There will also be different sutras depending on the sect.

				
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