After the attack on the Twin Towers in 2001, US President George W. Bush launched "The War on Terror. Ten years later, in 2011, there was no sign of any end to fighting, and twenty years later, in 2021, after foreign troops left Afghanistan, the suffering continues. The concept of a "Holy War" in Buddhism is the spiritual battle with the mental defilements of greed, ill-will, and delusion. The proximate cause of suffering, according to the teaching of the Buddha, is craving, and the root cause is ignorance. Due to not understanding things as they truly are, we crave for and lust for pleasurable objects, and reject and recoil from unpleasant objects. The only way to reach peace is to fight "The War on Error," to remove delusion. If one rightly understands the three characteristics of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and not- self, one will become equanimous regarding pleasant and unpleasant objects of the senses. Neither will one cling to views and opinions. If the root cause of ignorance is destroyed, all other mental defilements will also cease. This book offers some advice on cultivating tolerance, compassion, and wisdom, to live a peaceful life by avoiding conflict, and withdrawing the mind from the inner and outer turmoil caused by wrong- views and wrong-thoughts.
BHIKKHU PESALA received higher ordination in 1979, at the Oakenholt Buddhist Centre, near Oxford, UK, with the late Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw as his preceptor. Since then, he has devoted his life to studying and teaching the Dhamma-Vinaya, and the practice of insight meditation, in monasteries in Burma, Thailand, and England, UK. He has endeavoured to share his understanding of the Dhamma through writing, editing, and translating many Dhamma books, chiefly by famous meditation masters of the Burmese Insight tradition. On its website, The Association for Insight meditation" hosts these publications and links to other useful resources on Buddhism. Bhikkhu Pesala's first publication was "The Debate of King Milinda," which was first published in 1990, and reprinted by Motilal Banarsidass in 1991. 1998, and 2022.
When teaching at my own centre or in other Theravada Buddhist centres I usually find that those who attend such classes and talks already have an interest in Theravada teachings. However, when discussing Dhamma on Internet forums I come across the full spectrum of Buddhist thought from all schools of Buddhism. The teachings of the Buddha have spread to many different cultures over the centuries and have, in some cases, changed beyond all recognition. Unlike many Buddhists of Southeast Asia, Western Buddhists have often come into contact with several of these divergent schools of thought, and many have also introduced their own ideas from western psychology or philosophy to further dilute or pollute the original teachings of the Buddha. In the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, the Buddha advised us to compare any teachings with the Dhamma and Vinaya, and to reject them if they do not fit with, but contradict the original teachings. We should be wary of accepting any teachings at face value. Those teachings that we have accepted should be re-examined constantly in the light of whatever knowledge we gain later. All of us start from a point of not understanding, and imperfect views. That is the nature of the human condition. If we were not deluded, we would not have taken rebirth in this world. The basic assumption for a Buddhist is that the Buddha knew something that we do not. To be a Buddhist, therefore, means that one must follow "The Way of Analysis" (Vibhajjavada). The Buddha's teaching is not a religion, or a belief system, but a way of life and a practical method to develop the mind so that we can remove our ignorance, clarify our understanding, and gain right- view. The Pâli term for right-view- samma-ditthi-has a broader meaning than simply "right" as opposed to "wrong." A Sammãsambuddha is a "Fully Awakened Buddha" so "samma-ditthi" means a view that is perfectly correct, fully in accord- ance with reality. While we are in the process of studying and practising the Buddha's teaching, our view is gradually straightened out and refined to remove any imperfections until, on attaining the Noble Path and realising nibbana, it becomes the perfectly correct view that is fully in accordance with the way things are.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Language & Literature (442)
Sacred Sites (102)
Tantric Buddhism (87)
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