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

What the Buddha taught

19/02/201116:07(Xem: 2939)
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
21/02/2011(Xem: 5117)
I was the first reader of the Life of the Buddha written by Mrs. Radhika Abeysekera. She presents the Dhamma to children in a very attractive way. On the day I was in Winnipeg, I understood the value of her voluntary gift of Dhamma (Dhammadana) to the children.
21/02/2011(Xem: 2215)
Relatives and Disciples of the Buddha, which is the second book in the series of Buddhism books that I have written, is my fifth publication. Once the students have knowledge of the life story of the Buddha, they need to be introduced to His relatives and disciples. Parents or educators should introduce the students to the appropriate life stories as they mature in the Dhamma. They will then have a strong foundation and background, which will enhance their studies in the Dhamma.
21/02/2011(Xem: 2043)
Lord Buddha, the Sakyan Prince, the real refuge of all men, devas and brahmas, had fulfilled the ten perfections (Parami) since the life of Sumedha. Four Asankhyeyyas and one hundred-thousand world-cycles ago, the future Buddha named Sumedha was the only son of a rich man at Amaravati, the Royal City. He came of rich parental lineage, both of whom were pure in morality and race.
21/02/2011(Xem: 2640)
We have gathered here all the information we could find in the Theravada tradition concerning the coming Buddha.[1] In Burma and Sri Lanka, the coming Buddha is generally spoken of as Ariya Metteyya, the Noble Metteyya.[2] The term Ariya was already added to the name in some post-canonical Pali texts, and it shows the deep respect felt for the Bodhisatta who will attain Awakening in the best of conditions. Indeed, all aspects of his career as a Buddha rank among the highest achievements of Buddhas of the past as recorded in the Buddhavamsa (The Chronicle of Buddhas).
19/02/2011(Xem: 2881)
In times long past, fully twenty-five hundred years ago, where are now the border-lands between Nepal and the northern parts of the provinces of Oudh and North Bihar, there were a number of little kingdoms inhabited by different races of people, each ruled over by its own Raja or King. One of these little kingdoms which lay some distance north of the present-day town of Gorakhpore, on the north side of the river Rapti, was the land of a race called the Sakyas, the king who ruled over them at that time being called Suddhodana. The family to which King Suddhodana of the Sakyas belonged was called the Gotama family, so that his full name was King Suddhodana Gotama; and the name of the chief city in his kingdom where he had his chief palace, was Kapilavatthu.
15/02/2011(Xem: 2634)
Buddha and His Message by: C. Jinarajadasa Published in the 1900's Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Chennai [Madras] India The Theosophist Office, Adyar, Madras. India AMONG all the great personalities who stand out as revealing the genius of Asia, Buddha is the foremost. The spirit of Asia, when Asia is at her noblest, is the spirit of Buddha. Above all other teachers of India, above Confucius and Lao-Tse of China, this great Teacher of India dominates Asia. The peoplesof Asia, from the Tartars of Russia and Turkestan in the West to the Chinese and Japanese peoples inthe far East, from the Mongolians in the North to the Annamites, Siamese, Cambodians, Burmans and Sinhalese in the South, all alike reverence him as their guide and teacher.
13/02/2011(Xem: 2349)
German poet and novelist, who has depicted in his works the duality of spirit and nature, body versus mind and individual's spiritual search outside restrictions of the society. Hesse was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946. Several of Hesse's novels depict the protagonists struggle for enlightenment. A spiritual guide assists the hero in his quest and shows the way beyond everyday world.
01/12/2010(Xem: 2074)
Peace lives the heart and soul of every human being, with mindfulness being the key to opening its door. The Jade Buddha shows you your reflection and reminds you that peace is within you, not around you.
29/10/2010(Xem: 1633)
Gautama the Buddha was born in northern India about 2,500 years ago. The exact place of his birth is understood to be the Lumbini Garden...
29/10/2010(Xem: 1822)
In the sixth century before the Christian era, religion was forgotten in India. The lofty teachings of the Vedas were thrown into the background.
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
90,825,724