Tu Viện Quảng Đức105 Lynch Rd, Fawkner, Vic 3060. Australia. Tel: 9357 3544. quangduc@quangduc.com* Viện Chủ: HT Tâm Phương, Trụ Trì: Nguyên Tạng   

What the Buddha taught

19/02/201116:07(Xem: 3326)
What the Buddha taught

whatthebuddhataught_walpolarahula
What the Buddha taught
Walpola Rahula

 


Contents


Foreword
Preface
Buddha
Chapter I: The Buddhist attitude of Mind
Chapter II: The First Noble Truth: Dukkha
Chapter III: The Second Noble Truth: Samudaya
Chapter IV:The Third Noble Truth: Nirodha
Chapter V: The Fourth Noble Truth: Magga
Chapter VI: The Doctrine of No Soul
Chapter VII: Meditation or Mental Culture
Chapter VIII: What the Buddha taught and the World Today
 

 

Foreword

 By Paul Demieville

Member of the institute de France
Professor at the College de France
Director of Buddhist Studies at the School
of Higher Studies (Paris)

Here is an exposition of Buddhism conceived in a resolutely modern spirit by one of the most qualifies and enlightened representatives of that religion. The Rev. Dr. W. Rahula received the traditional training and education of a Buddhist monk in Ceylon, and held eminent positions in one of the leading monastic institutes (Pirivena) in that island, where the Law of the Buddha flourishes from the time of Asoka and has preserved all its vitality up to this day. Thus brought up in ancient tradition, he decided, at this time when all traditions are called in questions, to face the spirit and the methods of international scientific learning. He entered the Ceylon University, obtained the B.A. Honours degree (London), and then won the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of the Ceylon University on a highly learned thesis on the History of Buddhism in Ceylon. Having worked with distinguished professors at the University of Calcutta and come in contact with adepts of Mahāyāna (the Great Vehicle), that form of Buddhism which reigns from Tibet to the Far East, he decided to go into the Tibetan and Chinese texts in order to widen his ecumenism, and he has honoured us by coming to the University of Paris (Sorbonne) to prepare a study of Asanga, the illustrious philosopher of Mahāyāna, whose principal works in the original Sanskrit are lost, and can only be read in their Tibetan and Chinese translations. It is now eight years since Dr. Rahula is among us, wearing yellow robe, breathing the air of the Occident, searching perhaps in our old troubled mirror a universalized reflection of the religion which is his.

The book, which he has kindly asked me to present to the public of the West, is a luminous account, within reach of everybody, of the fundamental principles of the Buddhist doctrine, as they are found in the most ancient texts, which are called “The Tradition’ (Āgama) in Sanskrit and ‘The Canonic Corpus’ (Nikāya) in Pali. Dr. Rahula, who possesses an incomparable knowledge of these texts, refers to them constantly and almost exclusively. Their authority is recognized unanimously by all the Buddhist schools, which were and are numerous, but none of which ever deviates from these texts, except with the intention of better interpreting the spirit beyond the letter. The interpretation has indeed been varied in the course of the expansion of Buddhism through many centuries and vast regions, and the Law has taken more than one aspect. But the aspect of Buddhism here presented by Dr. Rahula-humanist, rational, Socratic in some respects, Evangelic in others, or again almost scientific-has for its support a great deal of authentic scriptural evidence which he only had to let speak for themselves.

The explanations which he adds to his quotations, always translated with scrupulous accuracy, are clear, simple, direct and free from all pedantry. Some among them might lead to discussion, as when he wishes to rediscover in the Pali sources all the doctrines of Mahāyāna; but his familiarity with those sources permits him to throw new light on them. He addresses himself to the modern man, but the refrains from insisting on comparisons just suggested here and there, which could be made with certain currents and thought of the contemporary world: socialism, atheism, existentialism, psycho-analysis. It is for the reader to appreciate the modernity, the possibilities of adaptation of a doctrine which, in this work of genuine scholarship, is presented to him in its primal richness.

 


      Most Ven. Walpola Rahula

Preface

 All over the world today there is growing interest in Buddhism. Numerous societies and study-groups have come into being, and scores if books have appeared on the teaching of the Buddha. It is to be regretted, however, that most of them have been written by those who are not really competent, or who bring to their task misleading assumptions derived from other religions, which must misinterpret and misrepresent their subject. A professor of comparative religion who recently wrote a book on Buddhism did not even know that Ānanda, the devoted attendant of the Buddha, was a bbikkhu (a monk), but though he was a layman! The knowledge of Buddhism propagated by books like these can be left to the reader’s imagination.

I have tried in this little book to address myself first of all to the educated and intelligent general reader, uninstructed in the subject, who would like to know what the Buddha actually taught. For his benefit I have aimed at giving briefly, and as directly and simply as possible, a faithful and accurate account of the actual words used by the Buddha as they are to be found in the original Pali texts of the Tipitaka, universally accepted by scholars as the earliest extant records of the teachings of the Buddha. The material used and the passages here are taken directly from these originals. In a few places I have preferred to some later works too.

I have borne in mind, too, the reader who has already some knowledge of what the Buddha taught and would like to go further with his studies. I have therefore provided not only the Pali equivalents of most of the key-words, but also references to the original texts in footnotes, and s select bibliography.

The difficulties of my task have been manifold: throughout I have tried to steer a course between the unfamiliar and the popular, to give the English reader of the present day something which he could understand and appreciate, without sacrificing anything of the matter and the form of the discourses of the Buddha. Writing the book I have had the ancient texts running in my mind, so I have deliberately kept the synonyms and repetitions which were a part of the Buddha’s speech as it has come down to us through oral tradition, in order that the reader should have some notion of the form used by the Teacher. I have kept as close as I could to the originals, and have tried to make my translations easy and readable.

But there is a point beyond which it is difficult to take an idea without losing in the interests of simplicity the particular meaning the Buddha was interested in developing. As the title ‘What the Buddha Taught’ was selected for this book, I felt that it would be wrong not to set down the words of the Buddha, even the figures he used, in preference to a rendering which might provide the easy gratification of comprehensibility at the risk of distortion of meaning.

I have discussed in this book almost everything which is commonly accepted as the essential and fundamental teaching of Buddha. These are the doctrines of the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, the Five Aggregates, Karma, Rebirth, Conditioned Genesis (Paticcasamuppāda), the doctrine of No-Soul (Anatta), Satipatthāna (the Setting-up of Mindfulness). Naturally there will be in the discussion expressions which must be unfamiliar to the Western reader. I would ask him, if he is interested, to take up on his first reading the opening chapter, and then go on to Chapters V, VII and VIII, returning to Chapters II, III, IV and VI when the general sense is clearer and more vivid. It would not be possible to write a book on the teaching of the Buddha without dealing with the subjects which Theravādaand Mahāyāna Buddhism have accepted as fundamental in his system of thought.

The term Theravāda-Hinayāna or ‘Small Vehicle’ is no longer used in informed circles- could be translated as ‘the School of the Elders’ (theras), and Mahāyāna as ‘Great Vehicle’. They are used of the two main forms of Buddhism known in the world today. Theravāda, which is regarded as the original orthodox Buddhism, is followed in Ceylon, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Chittagong in East Pakistan. Mahāyāna, which developed relatively later, is followed in other Buddhist countries like China, Japan, Tibet, Mongolia, etc. There are certain differences, mainly with regard to some beliefs, practices and observances between these two schools, but on the most important teachings of the Buddha, such as those discussed here, Theravāda and Mahāyāna are unanimously agreed.

It only remains for me now to express my sense of gratitude to Professor E.F.C. Ludowyk, who in fact invited me to write this book, for all the help given me, the interest taken in it, the suggestions he offered, and for reading through the manuscript. To Miss Marianne Möhn too, who went through the manuscript and made valuable suggestions, I am deeply greatly. Finally I am greatly beholden to Professor Paul Demiéville, my teacher in Paris, for his kindness in writing the Foreword. 

 

W.RAHULA.                                                                                                                
   Paris
   July 1958 start

 

 

(Vietnamese version)

Download: Metta Sutta (mp3)

---o0o---
Typing: Christina Quang Nhat Hy
Layout: Pho Tri
Created: 01-04-2007; Update: 10-11-2007

Gửi ý kiến của bạn
Tắt
Telex
VNI
Tên của bạn
Email của bạn
05/05/2020(Xem: 3964)
When an organisation we care about doesn't have the level of support it should, it's often quite frustrating. I believe the Australian UN Vesak Day should be known and celebrated by ALL Buddhists and non-Buddhists in Australia, but it's not as well known as it should be. This is a heart-to-heart from me to you to highlight some of the biggest misconceptions I believe people generally have about the Australian UN Vesak Day (Australian Observance of the United Nations Day of Vesak), which impacts its participation level every year. It also invites you to the very first online celebration not just open to Australian Buddhists and non-Buddhists but for everyone internationally to come together in unity and solidarity to celebrate this auspicious day for ALL Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike to celebrate the Buddha's messages of peace and his devotion to the service of humanity.
01/05/2020(Xem: 5023)
The Buddhist Federation of Australia would like to express its sincere concern for the impact that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having on the lives of people in Australia and around the world. We understand the levels of concern in the community caused by the health risks from the virus as well as the socio-economic crisis brought on by the significant reduction in employment and general social and commercial activities. We especially appreciate the dedication and professionalism of healthcare workers who put their lives at risk on the frontline in dealing with this crisis and we support the efforts and measures put in place by the government at this difficult and challenging time.
30/01/2020(Xem: 8279)
You are invited to a multifaith gathering to acknowledge Victoria’s bushfire crisis Join Victoria’s faith and political leaders for a special multifaith gathering on the steps of Parliament House on Tuesday 4 February 2020. Hosted by the Faith Communities Council of Victoria and the Multifaith Advisory Group (convened by the Victorian Multicultural Commission), the gathering will bring Victorians together to pray for those who have lost their lives and for the devastation of land, property and wildlife caused by the recent bushfires. Together, we will show our appreciation and say thanks to the firefighters, emergency services and volunteers for their dedication, bravery and service. We will also demonstrate our support for leaders on all sides of politics as they continue to lead our state through this unprecedented tragedy. With the fire season not yet over and with relief and recovery efforts expected to take months, if not years, this event will demonstrate the stren
07/04/2019(Xem: 3669)
PREFACE Avalokiteśvara is a female bodhisattva. There are many female Buddhists (upāsikā), but those who become sages or Buddhas are scarce. According to the Southern Buddhist tradition (Theravāda), there exists the Therīgāthā (Songs of the Elder Nuns), which consists of seventy-three stories about the lives, cultivation, strenuous effort, and realized experiences of the elder nuns who were female arahants or on the way to arahantship. From accounts in the Buddhist Mahāyāna tradition, there are many sūtras related to several female bodhisattvas, such as Mahāsthāmaprāpta and Avalokiteśvara. The latter is assumed to be the most unique as she is the Great Compassionate Mother. She endows sentient beings with pleasure and saves them from misfortune; in particular, she takes sounds as her contemplative object and deeply listens to sentient beings crying from the suffering in life. Thus, in the mind of every Buddhist, she is a perfect symbol of the Compassionate Goddess in Buddhism. T
30/03/2019(Xem: 7925)
Vesak Friendship Dinner -Saturday 30 March 2019 at Quang Minh Temple, Victoria
11/12/2018(Xem: 7247)
Social Values-In The Metta Sutta by_Dr. Bokanoruwe Dewananda
23/05/2018(Xem: 3715)
Dharma talk: Thoughts and Significance of Celebrating Buddha’s Birthday – Buddhist Calendar 2562 Buddha’s Birthday or Vesak Day, Buddhist Calendar 2562 is again returning to our earth, millions of Buddha’s followers from East to West; from Europe to Asia, with millions of hearts just as one, and with a single belief in joyfully welcoming this important day. That is the day when our World Honored One comes into existence with the great vow of Wisdom and Compassion, bringing peace and happiness for the majority; setting straight what is fallen down from net of hatred and ignorance, false beliefs; healing what is broken from ideologies of self-attachment and variations of mean selfishness; turning on the light for people to see “the original face” of themselves and showing them the way to escape from birth-death nights full of darkness.
22/05/2018(Xem: 27229)
The Buddhist community is extremely upset by the inappropriate and disrespectful use of the image of Buddha, The Buddhist community is extremely upset by the inappropriate and disrespectful use of the image of Buddha, in a display at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) entitled the 'Eternity-Buddha in Nirvana, the Dying Gaul, Farnese Hercules, Night, Day, Sartyr and Bacchante, Funerary Genius, Achilles, Persian Soldier Fighting, Dancing Faun, Crouching Aphrodite, Narcisse Couché, Othryades the Spartan Dying, the Fall of Icarus, A River, Milo of Croton'. It can also be seen at: https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/work/131149/ Although this display has been in place for some months, we have only just been made aware of its' existence. We are not usually outspoken, but this display desecrates the image of Buddha by placing images of these mythical images on him and in doing so, showing no apparent regard or respect for Him.
07/05/2018(Xem: 3864)
The 2018 Australian Observance of the United Nations Day of Vesak, commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing away of The Lord Buddha was held at Paul Keating Park in Bankstown, New South Wales on Saturday May 5, and was well attended by hundreds of enthusiastic and happy Buddhists and Non-Buddhists from around Sydney, and from around Australia. The formal proceedings of this most auspicious event began at 10am with a warm welcome from the MC's and traditional Buddhist chanting in the Pali, Vietnamese, Tibetan and English languages, by representatives from the monastic communities of the three major Buddhist traditions of Theravada (School of the Elders), Mahayana (Great Vehicle) and Vajrayana (Diamond Vehicle).
23/02/2018(Xem: 9487)
THE Great Stupa of Universal Compassion expects to spend $400,000 on a three-day celebration to welcome home a ‘wonder of the world’. Preparations are underway for the Illumin8 festival, marking the return of the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace. The five-tonne Buddha, crafted from the world’s largest discovered piece of gem-quality jade, has been travelling the globe since 2009.
facebook youtube google-plus linkedin twitter blog
Nguyện đem công đức này, trang nghiêm Phật Tịnh Độ, trên đền bốn ơn nặng, dưới cứu khổ ba đường,
nếu có người thấy nghe, đều phát lòng Bồ Đề, hết một báo thân này, sinh qua cõi Cực Lạc.

May the Merit and virtue,accrued from this work, adorn the Buddhas pureland,
Repay the four great kindnesses above, andrelieve the suffering of those on the three paths below,
may those who see or hear of these efforts generates Bodhi Mind, spend their lives devoted to the Buddha Dharma,
the Land of Ultimate Bliss.

Quang Duc Buddhist Welfare Association of Victoria
Tu Viện Quảng Đức | Quang Duc Monastery
Senior Venerable Thich Tam Phuong | Senior Venerable Thich Nguyen Tang
Address: Quang Duc Monastery, 105 Lynch Road, Fawkner, Vic.3060 Australia
Tel: 61.03.9357 3544 ; Fax: 61.03.9357 3600
Website: http://www.quangduc.com ; http://www.tuvienquangduc.com.au (old)
Xin gửi Xin gửi bài mới và ý kiến đóng góp đến Ban Biên Tập qua địa chỉ:
quangduc@quangduc.com , tvquangduc@bigpond.com
VISITOR
100,220,999