An outlook on the pragmatism of the Buddhism


                       Nowadays, it is obviously seen that the young people are in indecisive situation to take a hold of belief in any of world religions. Their hesitation to approach to religions is because they feel religious principles the constraints of individual freedom. The Buddhism is irregular in shape from other religious doctrines and the Buddhism teaching is so ability to adjust to our real world because of not ideological base but authentic intellectual trace to personal freedom and individual cognitive development. It is more pragmatic to apply for everyone to get knowledge harmoniously aligned with all different set of belief, culture and gender. In this work, the essence of Buddhism will be communicated to you to get quick understanding.

                     The Buddhism education is not rather inferior to human right policy and it is more flexible doctrine worthy of applying to get peace in this world.  The Buddhism preludes us incredible idea to have very honest attitude to and treat all with a compassionate wisdom produced by sinless decision or awareness and its pragmatic way that can even come an end of ridiculously sufferings of life. The Buddhism entirely rejects such a theory that a personal capacity is relied on superstitious God but it represents that our daily activities of individual would echo to our life in accordance with the extent that mental aspiration of performance  while in effort strengthens and it will affect to us, no way to avoid.

                    It is fairly acceptable that the principle concept in Buddhism is much more accorded with actuality of the human society. The Buddhism teaches the dynamic concept of causes and its effect. This theory manifests that the reflection of individual behaviour is totally deserved to doers, no one can destroy consequence of their prior action except for themselves. The Buddha taught the right understanding that if the one acts to another person by body and speech with good intention or bad intention, he/she will be reacted in similar way by them they treated: its natural impact is inevitable. It should be said that the Buddhism places an emphasis on very present life to be the coolness and happiness.

               There are six kinds of primary root cause of psychic which can administrate the sentient beings to be superior or inferior in this very life and the after-life: they are- greed- rooted volition, hatred-rooted volition and delusion-rooted volition that are bad spiritual causes that affect the devastating results to the life and another three are the reversed mental components of bad cause volition, that are potential to generate the cheerful results in life: they are non-greedy volition, non-hatred volition and non-deluded volition. The volition hereby means spiritual quality that is forerunner of all actions of individual. It forces the people to take the action (karma). The action, psychological and physical behavior of individuals, is remarked by the Buddha as self-property, heritage, kin and refuge of all animates because its resultant quality is capable of creating us to be upper and lower in social society.

                The Buddha identified the fundamental concepts of his entire teaching of 45 years period in order to create the better condition from individuals up to society, divided into three applicable aspects - (1) avoid doing evils (all unwholesome actions) (2) perform good deeds (all wholesome actions) and (3) purifying the mind with meditation not to cling to wrong thought, action and speech.

                The unwholesome actions which should be abandoned are occasionally taken due to three morally wicked ideas and the wholesome deeds that should be developed occur based on three kinds of proper ideas. The unwholesome actions (karma) are able to be overcome by the performance of the meritorious deeds: it means the wholesome action is able to conquer the unwholesome action. It also happens depending on mental power influences. The most powerful mental quality whether bad or good, used to control over and resist the weakest mental quality in removed-system. This theory conceptualizes that to get rid of consequence of evil actions, unwholesome, it is needful much more to exert the good deeds that have the potentiality to remove the evil ideas and its affects.

                The three kinds of psychological fact of stimulation are basis for bad idea arising as previously described- greedy mind that always thinks of self-profits, (2) hatred mind that naturally tries to destroy others and (3) deluded mind that leads to wrong decision. The Buddha explained that if we have much more one out of them, we are impossible to make a right decision, cannot do the right thing and cannot distinguish between what is right or wrong; in short we are so clouded to take perception of “cause and effect of something” as well. The cause and effect is regarded as “action and re-action" as previously stated. For example, suppose, a short tempered person acts with angry emotional expression to someone. The possible final reflection results in bad situation and it comes an end with wrong doing i.e. he/she may insult someone by speech or may hit someone by body or hit themselves and may make something mistake at least to manage the anger. Here anger (hatred) is cause and feeling sorry and anger- exploration is effect. This intellectual aspects claim that greed of, hated of and delusion of mind impose the personal conflicts as well as communal violence because they cover up the tolerance and moderate thinking. Actually, the unwholesome consciousness occurs owing to lack of reasonable thinking so called “right understanding”. They are mental impurity to be terminated. On removal of them, the good idea left ready to take good actions.  It is a critical assumption that the performance of meritorious deeds is either removing the dust of unwholesome or cultivating the wholesome requisites. 

                      In order to relinquish them, the Buddhism indicates that we must occupy three kinds of meritorious deeds such as-charity, observing the precepts and meditation.

                      It is notion on removal of evil ideas that by charity and moral conducts so called precepts, it can temporarily remove the greed, hatred and delusion condition of mind; by concentration, it can longer remove and totally remove them from mind by wisdom of path and fruit. Especially, the quality of concentration and wisdom is developed only by the meditation practice that can absolutely purify the mind.

                       The charity hereby means the donation of ones’ prosperities to others in need. The mental phenomena that the generous volition predominates, is rooted in non-greed: it means the mind is temporarily freed from the bad cause of greedy consciousness. While in making donation, the sympathetic attitude towards others is occurring in donors and it has no mental defilement of self-fish and greedy intention. It is a momently purification of mind by charity of wholesome. The charity doing is not only loved by the people but it can come to fruition of owning more properties. The Buddha therefore declared that the charity is a deed that should be performed for fulfilling the perfection and it is a practice like a ladder to nibbana as well. This fact clears up the point that the Buddhists donating the monks or helping the old and friends in need and assisting  family, have very particular reason : it is to temporarily remove the sorrow, lamentation, grief which arise in us rooted in greed, hatred and delusion.

                    Another thing we have to do is “morality”.  The morality is developed by controlling the speech and bodily action by which not to commit the evils.  The bodily actions and verbal actions are basically controlled not to violate the crimes by avoiding killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, telling lie and using drug. The observation of morality is aimed to eliminate longer the greed, hatred and delusion. The committing of these moral conducts with intention causes our spiritual motive to arouse the potentiality to get greedier, angrier and more deluded which of these three conditions never satisfy the people. Hence, the Buddhism insists its devotees not to be engaged in even one of these five bad things and to abstain from them. The people, who attempt to be a good person, should abide by the rules of abstaining from these five things as a social principle. The Buddhism also clearly states that the breaking of one of these five social laws might drive us to the way to be stuffed with social problem in human society. But it might raise the question in social perspective that we as human beings have a mandate to perform what we like. Of course, it is true, not deniable from point of view of personal freedom but we should think as a human being we should live without any harm to others’ individual rights. Now, according to news, we see human society full of greed, anger and delusion so that it could lead to battle, crimes, rep, sexual abuse, social oppression, political corruption, economic sanction, human trafficking, territorial tension and terrorism. 

                    From observation of precepts, it might to have to experience some benefits such as-achieving great wealth, spreading reputation, unhesitating to enter into the public, dying with mindfulness and being reborn in celestial abodes. All of social conflicts, political corruption and economic inequality will settle down too when theory of observing five precepts influence over the world civilization.  No one push us to earn this pleasurable sequence but it naturally affects in respect of power of five precepts application, we possess. Based on pure precept undertaking, a person is conducive to uplifts strong concentration that can keep away the mental defilements. The power of concentration is able to get our evil thoughts under control. As some people misconceive, the Buddhism is not based on mere faith in the Buddha but practice of his teaching. The buddhists take refuge in the buddha as an excellent and greatest teacher who trained us to achieve the skills, self-determination, self-confidence, self-esteem, self-efficacy development and possible spiritual incomes to endure the life sufferings. He improved us some mental qualities to live happy life in this world and he identified the exclusive meaning of life, life’s final destination and its liberation. Under his guidance, the Buddhist though poverty can enjoy their life in luxury and die with smile because they know their direction where they go after life; they have a right decision on life. They trust in Buddha as a leader and guide but they know they are only their-refuges to go through the life. The Buddha never encourage us just to believe in Him nor guaranteed us if we only believe in Him, everything we need and avoid, He will create. The buddha said that the actions of individual play a critical role in constructing lifestyle in different circumstances. He explained that everything is possible under reason, nothing without reason. The mental desire or volition in our mind is a greatest cause powerfully effective to life. The human destiny is sore to their mental volition, good or bad. The good volition creates good life condition and bad leads to badly condition. We can understand by this theory some important concepts in life that we can knock our destiny into optimistic shape. As was mentioned, the buddhists respect the Buddha as a greatest teacher, who laid down the principles essential for us to create our own destiny, the dhamma as technique to build a peaceful life and go to life liberty and the monks as benefit-e-r-s who teach us what the buddha taught. Another reason we devote to the monks is that they have holy life in higher morality, concentration and wisdom. The respecting of triple gems is cultivating the good deeds too. If we venerate the Buddha, Dhamma and Monks, and respect the old and parents, our mind become gentle and very soft and experience inner peace. The gentle and soft mind leads us to attain the wholesome state which carries out good destiny to us for health, wealth, happiness and mind freedom (nibbana).

                     Another sort of practice in Buddhism is meditation. It is mental culture to calm down all metal agitations and restlessness and the spiritual practice to definitely purify the mind. The meditation is the only way to reach the nibbana as well. In fact, the teaching of the buddha is only to be understood by putting it in practice. As all knows, the final destination of the believers in the Buddhism is to attain the nibbana. The attainment to nibbana is so mastery but no secret because the buddha revealed the right path to it. To attain the nibbana, we need to meditate to realize nature of the mind and body as they really are. The Buddhism says that mind and body are operating its nature of un-sustainability but constant changeability moment to moment. Mind and body originally have three characteristics - impermanence, suffering and egoless-ness. So long as we do not realize every moment of these three characteristics happening in our mind and body, we cannot understand even the word of nibbana, so far to attain to it. However, even by worshiping and praying without practicing dhamma, no one will have access to the nibbana instead.

                 Here I think I need to explain a little more the three characteristics of the natural work of mind and body – their nature of impermanence, suffering and egoless-ness. The Buddha identified that mind and matter, belonging to animate things, are an element in the nature being in rigid change. According to abhidhammic (also see: abhidhamma) context, our mind and matter are naturally running with highest speed (if we practice meditation, we can see this characteristic, hard to identify it in letter clearly) and avoiding even moment-l-y stability but arising and dissolving are working every moment. They very quickly arise, moment-l-y persist and immediately perish. They have no longer moment to stay. The commentator gave the example the work of mind and matter is working their process like water process-i-v-e-l-y flourishing through the stream and like a candle light continuously burning the inflammable material. If we take a look at water flourishing in the stream, we might see like the water is single thing. In reality, the water in stream is following as the proceeding water is followed by successive water. However, we see it same because the speed of flourishing is so highest that it can go pretending our eyes to be the same. In the same way, to fully be aware of nature of matter, we should go to scientific experiment- we divide an atom into very smallest particle of possibility. Then, we see an atom consisted of so many of smallest particles. The identical characteristic is seen in our psychical form: we have body now because the fluidity in water and blood aggregates the very smallest particle into a human body. The cells in our body contain un-measurable smallest materials. A particle of cell in body renews, matures and dies itself. Its process lasts not only about a lightening moment. Therefore, they are also changing constantly. What is changing is called impermanence. The Buddha implicitly explained the life sufferings that birth (including ten months of embryo period in mothers’ womb), aging, sick-i-n-g, decay, death, sorrow, lamentation, grief, agitation, association with unloved ones, disassociation with beloved ones and not to gain what is wanted are a very clear and comprehensive characteristics of “suffering”. In brief, the mind and matter are suffering because they are not persisting even for two moments of thunder-lighting. They arise and immediately dissolve. This arising and dissolving is a characteristic of impermanence: what is in fact impermanence is so called suffering: what is impermanence and suffering is so called egoless-ness (no eternality or mortality) because they are not really belonging to us but working their process of arising and dissolving. We basically need to see clearly these three characteristics if we want to attain the nibbana (mental freedom). The mental freedom and understanding three characteristics are inter-related to each other. If a person clearly sees three characteristics in mind and body, they are not attached to them, not desire for them but feel disgusted with them. It is that their mind is freed from affection to the sensual objects. When the mind does not grasp to any objects, there remains peaceful, being removed from defilements. Therefore, understanding the characteristics in mind and body is highly related to peace gain.  Herein I explain three characteristics only in theoretical approach. In actual, nibbana cannot be reached through theory but self-experience of dhamma and self-understanding of three characteristics of mind and body through practice.

                          Here another problem is “what is nibbana? Nibbana literally means “No Greed or Craving or Attachment”. It is actually the independent state of mind from mental defilements such as- greedy state, angry state and ignorant state of mind. The pure and steady condition of mind lies in mental quality escaped from greed, hatred and ignorance or delusion. The Buddha said that our mind or consciousness is originally purified but it gets clouded with guest mental associations such as- agreed, hatred and delusion. So, nibbana originally exists at entirely pure state of mind with non-greed, non-anger and non-delusion. The comprehensive meaning of nibbana is an inner indefinite peace left after attaining wisdom. This theory produces the idea that to attain the nibbana, we need to remove the greed, anger and delusion condition from the mind being purified by meditation. They entail into our heart because we attach to the things and feel them or because we do not understand clearly the reality of concept that there is no I , You, Men, Women except for the three characteristics of mind and matter - impermanence, suffering and non-soul. This statement proves that if we are conscious of characteristics of the mind and matter forming the men, women and things, we do not attach to any things and any one; as a consequence, we do not get greedy to, angry with and deluded with any one and anything and we also do not grasp them like "my husband, my wife, my son, my daughter, and my properties, none of which belongs to us, follows us when we are dead”. So we should understand the point that if we can remove a little bid greed, hatred and delusion, then it is we who attain a little bit into nibbana (experience the nibbana bliss): if we can remove much these three from our mind, we experience the peace of nibannic bliss much and if we totally remove these three from our mind, we attain into nibbana and absolutely experience the bliss. Actually Nibbana is an element of supreme-mundane phenomena beyond the mundane condition. In mundane level, we have greed, hatred and delusion but not such the things in supreme-mundane so which is called Freedom (Nibbana).

              I would like to reach on my conclusion that the Buddhism is not merely based on belief like other religions but absolutely based on practice of three aspects- "Charity, Morality and Wisdom". The purpose of Buddhism is also not to be reborn in Heaven like other religions' teaching but to attain the Nibbana and live in this very life happily without mental agitation, sorrow, lamentation and grief. To attain the Nibbana and to gain the good destiny and effect, we need to practice the three things in Buddhism: they are in brief "to avoid the evil deeds, to cultivate the good deeds and to stabilize the mind with being purified". Living in control of greed, hatred and delusion, even though not attainment to nibbana, is supportive to live happiness in the present world situation.


Panyacekka (M.Ed.)

April 11, 2015

Also see: Bhante Panyacekka Biography;


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