I have put all my effort to make all these answers are according to the Pāli Canon (Tipitaka) and pure Buddhism (Theravada).
- What do Buddhists believe?
There are totally 31 types of realms in the universe (and infinite number of world systems). Such as Brahma realm, Deva realm (heavens), Humanan realm, Animal realm, Ghosts realm (Pretaloka) , Hell realms (Narakaya) etc. ( Science believes only two types from those which are human realm and animal realm). Living beings are infinitely rebirth in these realms (Saṃsāra). Most often living beings are live in hells as their home, rarely come to human or heaven realms but again go to hells(very very rarely reach ultimate happy Nirvana). Life on any one of these realms are impermanent(called as Anicca), suffering(compared to the ultimate happy. called as Dukkha), and non-self (just a combination of non-materiel and materiel things exist as a generation. called as Anattā). These three characteristics are called Three Marks of Existence.(This is the First Noble Truth)
Always living beings are get mad with their different kind of desires ( avarice/Taṇhā ) including heavenly beings. So, they can't aware of this. (This is the Second Noble Truth)
The only answer to these sufferings is enlightenment (reach Nirvana). It is permanent and no sufferings. This is the Third Noble Truth)
If any one could understand these things(Four Noble Truths, Three Marks of Existence) perfectly and clearly just as we see something by our eye, then he will be awakened from that instant. Then after end of current life they will reach to a permanent happy status called Nirvana. There are only two types of self awaking called as Sammā-Sambuddha(Lord Buddha) and Pacceka-Sambuddha. They are very very rare (at maximum five Sammā-Sambuddha) in one world cycle. There is a path which Sammā-Sambuddha's teach to called as Noble Eightfold Path. Which by following a being can attain Nirvana with a little effort compared to the self awaking. (Lord Buddhas never recommend every one to have an aspire of becoming a Lord Buddha. It is very very suffer[very long time] in the Samsara also can be completely forget the goal. So, Mahayana Buddhism is not a Buddha's teaching ). Noble Eightfold Path can be split in to three steps called as "Threefold Training". Sīla(virtue) is the first step to the eternal happiness "Nirvana". Sīla(virtue) required to have a Samādhi(higher concentration of mind/tranquillity of mind) and Samādhi is required to have a Paññā(higher wisdom). Higher wisdom is required to completely realize the reality(Four Noble Truths). (This is the Fourth Noble Truth)
We can make our lives less suffering (happy) by doing good Karmas (Good Works/Punya-Karmas). If someone doing good Kearmas his life will be happy in the cycle of rebirth. On the other hand if someone doing bad Karmas (undesirable works/Papa-Karmas) there is bad returns definitely. Karmas mainly affect in next lives that's why some people don't believe it.
This is the ultimate reality about all of living beings.
Cultivate the good and the true,
This is the Teaching of the Buddhas.
"Sabba pāpassa akaranam,
(All Lord Buddhas came in to exist, tell this advice exactly same as this. Pronounce in Pali-Language as follows.)
Sachitta pariyō dapanam,
( Go to Questions )
- Why do Buddhists worship to Lord Buddha’s statues?
People worship to a god and expect something form him is what people doing in many religions. But in Buddhism this is different. Lord Buddha is not living today so he can’t help to people who warship to him. The Lord Buddha has supreme characteristics such as infinite intelligence; infinite power, infinite kindness etc. This is not a fantasy it is the reality which described in Buddhism. Lord Buddha can’t be equals to anyone except another Lord Buddha who lived in another aeon(Antak-Kalpa) or living in another great trichiliocosm (trisāhasra-mahāsāhasra-lokadhātu). Lord Buddhas have infinite virtues which can only be equals to a Lord Buddha.
According to Lod Buddhas teaching (Dharma/Ultimate Truth) respecting or worshiping to a person who has good virtues will be a good Karma. By worshiping to the Lord Buddha we can get largest merits (Karma) than worshiping any other being in the universe.
According to Buddhism, from our born to die everything mainly happened according to Karmas which we have done in previous lives (there are other four reasons described as "Niyama Dhammas"). Getting a good appearance, good house, good friends, good job or good wife everything mainly happened according to karma (But we can change it if we have good Karmas with us). So if we have good Karma next life we can get a good appearance, good house etc. That’s why Buddhist warship Buddha.
Karmas mainly get on to action in the next life, that’s why some people don’t believe it. According to Buddha if you don’t believe Karma it will be a very bad Karma called "Mithya Dushtiya" which will definitely make very bad results.
Niyama Dhammas (The laws governing us)
1. Utu Niyama, physical (inorganic) order, e.g., seasonal phenomena such as winds and rains.
2. Bija Niyama, laws of heredity; e.g., rice produced from rice-seed, sugary taste from sugar cane or honey etc. The scientific theory of cells and genes and the physical similarity of twins may be ascribed to this order.
3. Kamma Niyama, order of act and result, e.g., desirable and undesirable acts produce corresponding good and bad results.
4. Dhamma Niyama, order of the norm, e.g., Gravitation and other similar laws of nature, the natural phenomena occurring at the advent of a Bodhisatta in his last birth, etc.
5. Citta Niyama, order of mind or psychic law, e.g., processes of consciousness (Citta vithi), power of mind etc.
- Does Lord Buddha ask us to worship him?
Answer is Lord Buddha didn’t ask us to worship him. Persons with good virtues never ask to respect him or warship him. Persons with defilement want others to respect and worship him. Supreme Beings who attain the Nirvana have no desires any more. So they never want people to worship them. We must respect and warship them. It will be a good Karma and a merit for us definitely.
One day in the morning when Lord Buddha watching the world with his supreme mind he saw a poor woman is going to die and born in a hell. Buddha wanted to help her. So Buddha wanted her to worship him and has a good Karma from that. So that she will be born in a heaven. Buddha went towards to her with Sanghas. Lord Buddha saw she is coming toward them and Buddha stopped in front of her. But Buddha didn’t ask her to warship me. Then Ven. Mahāmoggallāna Thereo (Second of the Buddha's two foremost disciples and he was foremost in supernatural powers among all Theros) get to know that what Buddha is thinking. He tells to her this is the Lord Buddha, the teacher of humans and gods. She worshiped Lord Buddha. She died that day and born in a heaven.
- What does Lord Buddha mean to Buddhists?
Lord Buddha is the supreme human being who discovered the ultimate reality about all living beings which called Buddhism.
Gautama Samma Sammbuddha who attained Buddhahood in this aeon(Antah-Kalpa) with infinite intelligence, infinite power, infinite kindness, etc.
Lord Buddha is foremost for all living beings who living in three worlds (Human world, Heaven, Brhama world).
Supreme Teacher who teach how to be happy forever.
The best Supreme Being to whom by worshiping we can be a god or be reach in our next lives.
If superman ever exists he should be a Buddha.
- What is Buddha statues good for?
It will remind the supreme Lord Buddha. (Who has infinite intelligence, infinite power, infinite kindness, ...)
And we can get good karma(Pin) by worshiping statues on the behalf of Lord Buddha.
The Buddha is the best supreme being to whom by worshiping we can be a god or be reach in our next life...
- Why was in enlightenment(Nirvana) important to Buddhas?
There are totally 31 types of realms in the universe. Such as Brahma realm, Deva realm (heavens), Humanan realm, Animal realm, Ghosts realm (Pretaloka ) , Hell realms(Narakaya ) etc( Science believes only two types from those which are human realm and animal realm). Living beings are infinitely rebirth in these realms (Samsara). But life on any one of these realms is suffering(compared to the ultimate happy) and isn't permanent.
The only answer to these sufferings is enlightenment (reach Nirvana). It is permanent and no sufferings. This is the ultimate reality about all of living beings. Always living beings are get mad with their desire. So they can't understand this.
Nirvana is the only place we can hide from all sufferings. That's why it is most important.
- How do Buddhist reach Nirvana?
Sammā-Sambodhi(Lord Buddha), Pacceka-Bodhi and Savaka-Bhodhi(Arahath).
There are three ways (Bodhis) which we can reach Nirvana. Those are
The easiest way to get enlightenment (or reach Nirvana) is the Savaka-Bhodhi.
Those who obtained the enlightenment by following teachings of the Samma-Sambuddha are obtained enlightenment through Savaka-Bhodhi. They have to do concentrated meditation (Bhavana) to develop Samadhi (Samatha meditation). Then with developed mind they have to think about three marks of existence (Samsara) which is Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta. (Vipassanā meditation). Doing this with big effort they will understand Four Noble Truths clearly. So they will attain Nirvana (get enlightenment).
If you have cultivated enough virtues connected with Bodhi (bodhipaksa dharma) you can reach Nirvana in this life because still not exceeded 5000years range from the Gautama Lord Buddha's enlightenment.
Noble Eightfold Path, Study Dharma and do Mediation (Vipassana). You will be reaching Nirwana definitely with permanent happy and without any more sufferings in sad Samsara(infinite cycle of rebirth).
First thing you have to do is believe the supreme state of Lord Buddha(infinite intelligence, infinite power, infinite kindness, ..) and existence of Karma. Then follow
- What are some Buddhist gods?
Gods are a one kind of living being like us. But with living happily than humans.
They are born as appearing and die as vanishing. When they are born according to their karma some kind of gardens or mansions (Vimana) will appear for them.
There are six heavens in our solar system(Chatumaharajika, Tavatimsa, Yama, Tusita, Nimmanarathi, Paranimmita-Vasavati).
Regardless of the realign if some one do good works he will be born in heaves.
Interesting thing is there are some gods who believe Buddhism, some gods believe another religion or nothing. Just same as humans.
Their body is made from very soft material which we can't see. And they are long lived. Chatumaharajika gods are 750 feet (230 m) tall and live for 9,000,000 human years.They have enough power to appear as a human but usually they don't like for that.
Before the last life Lord Buddha was lived in Tusita Heaven.
- What is Buddhism and the origin of the universe?
According to Lord Buddha there is no beginning date or ending date to the universe. Everything around us one day born and one day die. As Buddha's teaching we cannot think about universe in the same way. How much we consider this much universe exist. But everything is changing always nothing permanent other than the Nirvana.
In the Buddhism infinite universe is divide in to units called Lokadhatu(Sakwala/Solar system) , 1000 Lokadhatus(Sahasri Lokadhatu), 1000,000 Lokadhatus(Divi-Sahasri Lokadhatu) and 1000,000,000 Lokadhatus(Thri-Sahasri Lokadhatu/Galaxy?).These units form and destroy cyclically without end.
- According to Lord Buddha what is the smallest particle everything consist of?
These things are described in Abhidhamma (The higher or subtle teachings of the Buddha / the ultimate truth)
Every material thing is consisting of vast amount of basic units called “Rupa-kalapa”. A rock, an atom, an electron, light or anything is just vast amount of Rupa-kalapas. Everything in the universe isn’t permanent. So Rupa-kalapa also isn’t permanent. It takes only a very short time for the Rupa-kalapa to come into being (uthpada), exist (sthithi) and destroy (bhanga). When a Rupa-kalapa is being destroying it gives birth to another Rupa-kalapas. As result of this for a given particle or object there is no significant change of the matter over short time. Object or particle is always changing over time but we consider as the same object.
A Rupa-kalapa is basically mixture of four (but eight with qualities) ultimate entities those cannot further be subdivided. These four basic entities are called Patavi(element of extension), Apo(element of cohesion), Tejo(element of heat) and Vayo(element of motion). Sometimes these four entities are considered as earth, water, fire and air. It is wrong according to Abhidhamma .
- Does life begin at conception?
These things described in Abhidhamma. Conception is a complex thing and going to the level beyond an atom. Three condition must be fulfilled 1)Mother and father should together 2)Mother should be in correct time 3)Came of the Gandhabbā(a being[generation of consciousness / Viññāṇaya] fit and ready to be born to the parents concerned. May soul in your word but there is no permanent thing going from life to life, only a changing generation of non-material[Nāma] and material[Rūpa] collections are exist).
Patisandhi(relinking) Chitta(basic unit of the mind, life time may shorter than one trillionth part of a second) is the type of consciousness one experiences at the moment of conception is termed Patisandhi Citta(relinking consciousness). It is so called because it links the past with the present. This Patisandhi Citta is conditioned by the powerful thought(the Karma related to it become the Janaka Karma which create the new life) one experiences at the dying moment, and is regarded as the source of the present life stream. In the course of one particular life there is only one Patisandhi Citta. The mental contents of Bhavaïga Citta, which later arises an infinite number of times during one’s lifetime, and Cuti Citta, which arises only once at the final moment of death, are identical with those of Patisandhi Citta.
Once sperm and ovum cells connected it is a place where Patisandhi Citta can arise. When Patisandhi Citta of a Gandhabba arise at sperm and ovum cells of the parents, the embryo in the mother’s womb has formed. This is the moment of conception(Okkanti). Life has begun.
At the moment of conception three special type of Rupa Kalapas(Dasaka. Basic unit of matter is called 'Rupa Kalapa', which is made from octad/eight entities. But Dasaka made from ten entities. life time of a 'Rupa Kalapa' is very short) are generated through Karma. Those are decads of sex, body, and the mind-base. The sex decad(Bhava Dasaka) has the essential octad plus the sex element, either male or female, and the life element. The body decad(Kaya Dasaka) is made up of the essential octad plus the element of bodily sensitivity and the life element. The mind-base decad(Vatthu Dasaka) is made up of the essential octad plus the mind-base element and the life element. After the embryo has been formed through these three decads, from about the eleventh week of gestation onwards, the decads of the other four sense organs begin to form. Karma causes and sustains these material phenomena through the whole course of life.
I am not a master of Abhidhamma. So, there may be some mistakes. But life begin at the conception which occur at near time after mother and father together. And I think very first three Kalapas are smaller than an atom in size( of course smaller than a cell ). This is the starting base of the Astral Body(Sukshama Kaya / Manomaya Kaya). Before the Lord Buddha teach these facts, no one knows how these things happen(in this aeon) even higher beings so they thought the soul concept.
- What is the science when compare to Buddhism?
Science is the knowledge developed based on experiments and logical thinking of scientist. It is always changing. It has a frame of reference and approximations. Still there are no answers to the most basic questions about the nature from the science. Such as, what is the most basic unit (particle) of all substances, what is the size or age of the universe, how does the brain and mind work, is life exist only on the Earth, etc. Buddhism has clear answers to all these questions. Buddhism is the ultimate truth with no frame of reference. Buddshim(Dharma) does not change with time(Akaliko), it is to be understood and realized by the wise in accordance with their own level of wisdom(Paccattam-veditabbo-vinnuhi). If a blind man touches an elephant’s tail, he will think that tail is the whole elephant. So if Buddhism (Ultimate reality) is an elephant, science can be treated as its tail which understood by the blind man.
- What should you do as a Buddhist?
Do following everyday (or as much as frequently you can).
Go to in front of a Lord Buddha's statue or picture. Tell the following things watching at it truly from your hart. (Take refuge in Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. Buddha is the supreme being who knew everything in this universe. Dhamma is the reality taught by the Lord Buddha. Sangha are persons who truly followed or following Buddhas teaching by leaving all other things, to escape from all sufferings and to happy forever)
(Homage to the Blessed One, the Worthy One, the Rightly Self-awakened One.)
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa.
(Take refuge in Three Jewels.)
I go for refuge to the Buddha
I go for refuge to the Dhamma
I go for refuge to the Sangha
For the second time, I go for refuge to the Buddha
For the second time, I go for refuge to the Dhamma
For the second time, I go for refuge to the Sangha
For the third time, I go for refuge to the Buddha
For the third time, I go for refuge to the Dhamma
For the third time, I go for refuge to the Sangha
(Encouraged to follow five precepts / Sila )
I undertake the precept to refrain from killing living beings.
I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.
I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.
I undertake the precept to refrain from false speech.
I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicants.
(Recollection of the Qualities of the Buddha / Buddhanussati)
Iti pi so Bhagavā arahaṃ sammā-sambuddho vijjā-caraṇasampanno
sugato loka-vidū anuttaro purisa-damma-sārathi
satthā deva-manussānaṃ Buddho Bhagavā ti.
Such indeed is the Blessed One, worthy, fully self-enlightened,
endowed with knowledge and conduct, fortunate, knower of the
worlds, the incomparable tamer of trainable men, teacher of gods and
men, enlightened and blessed.
(Recollection of the Qualities of the Dhamma)
Svākkhāto Bhagavatā dhammo sandiṭṭhiko akāliko ehipassiko
opanayiko paccattaṃ veditabbo viññūhī ti.
The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One, to be seen here & now,
timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves.
(Recollection of the Qualities of the Sangha)
Supaṭipanno Bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho uju-paṭipanno
Bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho ñāya-paṭipanno Bhagavato
sāvaka-saṅgho sāmīci-paṭipanno Bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho
yad idaṃ cattāri purisa-yugāni aṭṭha purisa-puggalā.
Esa Bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho āhuneyyo pāhuneyyo
dakkhiṇeyyo añjali-karaṇeyyo anuttaraṃ puñña-kkhettaṃ lokassā ti.
The Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples who have practiced well, who have practiced straight-forwardly, who have practiced methodically, who have practiced masterfully - in other words, the four types [of noble disciples] when taken as pairs, the eight when taken as individual types - they are the Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples: worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, the incomparable field of merit for the world.
There are "Ten Meritorious Deeds" which Buddhist practice in everyday life. First three practices are "Giving Charity", "Follow Sīla(Five Precepts)" and "Meditation". These three practices are most important as a Buddhist. Other practices are "Paying due respect to those who are worthy of it", "Helping others perform good deeds", "Sharing of merit after doing some good deed", "Rejoicing in the merits of others", "Teaching the Dhamma", "Listening to the Dhamma(Read Buddhism Books)", "Straightening one's own views".
When following Five Precepts it is usual to break some precepts. But we should encouraged to follow five precepts again from the start. If you can't encouraged to follow five precepts every time, you can encouraged to follow five precepts for an hour per day, half day per a month or as much as you can. When you are following precepts, you should be in good awareness about it. If you sleep after encouraging, then you are not following any Sīla. After you have followed Sīla(or time to time) you should check and think how much correctly you followed it(this is important). Sīla is very much important in Buddhism. Some kind of Sīla is required to be rebirth in a heaven. If you can follow even a one precept without breaking, that will be a very good merit to support in the cycle of rebirth.
Sīla(virtue) is the first step in the "Threefold Training(Noble Eightfold Path)" to the eternal happiness "Nirvana". Sīla(virtue) required to have a Samādhi(higher concentration of mind/tranquillity of mind) and Samādhi is required to have a Paññā(higher wisdom). Higher wisdom is required to completely realize the reality(Four Noble Truths).
If you are doing these things, your life will be happy and rich in this cycle of rebirth(Samsara) and will be reaching Nirvana. Then you will not afraid of dying.
Paying Homage to Buddha
- Why someone rich and someone poor?
The reason to diversity of living beings is Karma. Cycle of rebirth (Samsara) is infinite so everyone has vast amount of good and bad karmas with them. Every living being is living as a result of a large karma named “Janaka Karma (regenerative karma)" which they have done in a past lives. Large karmas can only give a birth (Become a Janaka Karma). If that Janaka Karma is powerful in good side we will receive many good returns. When we are living as a result of Janaka Karma, small karmas which we have give us corresponding good and bad results. We can’t say what the next karma is going to affect on us and there is no determination on what is the next karma. There are four other reasons (Niyama Dharma) which will determine the next karma which is going to affect on us. So, everything doesn’t depend on karma it is only a one of the five factors. If we have enough courage with us we change our life (Citta Niyama). Karma is a very complex thing. It can only be completely understand by a Buddha.
Born as a human is a result of very good karma and it is a very very rare case in the cycle of rebirth. Small karma (Janka Karma) can’t give birth as a human or god. We can’t be a Brahma by karmas such as donating or following Sila. We must have to do mediation till higher level to become a Brahma. Then that will be Janka Karma for a Brahma.
When donating, the interesting thing is we can get a very large good karma if receiving person has Sila with him. According to Dharma, if we can give a small donation to a Lord Buddha we can have a vastly large Karma because Buddha has the best Sila. If we could do so, we can get the return of that karma within this life (Ditta Dhamma Wedaniya Karma) such as become a king or very rich person.
If you can understand this article clearly, it means definitely you have good karma with you. To understand Dharma we must have good Karmas with us.
So, diversity is because of the diversity of karmas.
- What is giving charity or donation? How to get best possible result (good Karma) by a donation?
When you do a giving(as a donation), to become it to powerful good Karma(to get better return in the cycle of rebirth) there are three factors. Fist one is Chiththa Sampathhiya. It means giving person should have a clear mind and believe about the resulting Karma. As much as he knows about case and effect(Karma) result is powerful in good side. Before the giving, when giving and after the giving, the mind should be clear and happy about it. There should be no hidden goal such as become famous by giving. If you have a goal of become famous by giving then result Karma is less powerful. It is said that if some one did a giving with the mind of "With this good Karma I may receive eternal happiness(Nirvana)" it is the best possible giving that can support you in the cycle of rebirth. "With this good Karma I may rebirth in a heaven" is not that much better. Second one is Vastu Sampathhiya. It means giving thing should be correctly received your own thing. Also giving thing should arrange in a better way, you should give with honourable way, You should give by your own hand, you should give some thing not a waste(If you give a waste thing still there is a result but not a better result). Third thing is Prathigrahaka Sampathhiya. It means receiving person should have good virtue with him. Best possible receiver is a Lord Buddha with Sangha(Sanghika Dana). If you could give one spoon of food to a Lord Buddha, That Karma may enough to be in heavens for many aeons and become human king for more than 1000 times. But giving Dharma(ultimate reality) knowledge is the most powerful giving. It is said that giving Dharma knowledge is better than giving the life(protecting his life). If you did a giving without knowing these things still there is a result but not a better one.
But when you are killing if you know about Karama the bad result is reduced. Since then there is a title afraid of killing. When you kill with wicked and angry mind result is powerful in bad side. When you kill a large animal you have to put great effort. So, when it is large, Karama is powerful in bad side. Also, Karama will be powerful in bad side when receiver is virtuous. No one(a god, Mara or a Brahma) can't kill a Lord Buddha. So, result is not explained. There are many stories people went to hells just by blaming Lord Buddha.
Giving without seeking anything in return leads to greater spiritual wealth and it reduce the greed(Lobha). But giving with the mind of "With this good Karma I may receive eternal happiness Nirvana"(without expecting any worldly things) is the best as it return good deeds in the cycle of rebirth and also help to achieve Nirvana. To reach eternal happiness any being must complete Giving in some level as Pāramitā. To attain the Buddhahood any one must fulfil giving(donation/Dāna pāramī) in grate(unthinkable) manner in three ways. Regular Perfection(Pāramī), Higher Perfection (Upa Pāramī) and Highest perfection (Paramattha Pāramī).Giving out some objects(outside of the body) such as wives, children, assets are Dāna pāramī; give organs such as hands, feet, ,etc., is the Dāna Upa Pāramī; giving life is Dāna Paramattha Pāramī.
Lord Buddha may have donated only blood more than the amount of the sea to complete the necessary Pāramī in the cycle of rebirth(Only after receiving prediction from the Dīpankara Buddha as "In a future aeon(world cycle) you will become a Buddha named Gautama." while living as a ascetic named Sumedha ). So, how about other donations, Buddha have donated his wives, sons, daughters, eyes, also their own life numerous times to complete only the Dāna Paramita. When we talk only about Buddha's giving of children as servants(as thinking "I may become a Buddha by this good Karma" without any angry mind), if all hand tied strings collected it will become a huge mountain. There is a nice story as 'Sivi Jathaka' in 'Jataka Tales'. In this story King Sivi donated his both eyes. So, Sammāsambuddhas who have all knowing intelligence never tell every one to have aspire of becoming a Sammāsambuddha(Bhodisatva) since it will make very much suffer in the Samsara(cycle of rebirth). So, Bodhisattva concept of Mahayana Buddhism is completely wrong. It is not words of the Lord Buddha. Buddha, Pratyekabuddha, Arahant and then Bodhisattva. As some Bodhisattvas may forget their goal and again infinity suffer in the cycle of rebirth without any end.
[Sivi Jataka Story]
- Are men superior to women?
According to Lord Buddha's words if correctly practiced any one have the ability to attain higher levels of mind no matter man or woman. After attain first Jhāna and above no different in the mind according to the sex. Also, once Arahant status achieved with great effort no difference in enlighten between male and female(once after Parinirwana). Also male female difference exist only at Kama realms( 6 heavenly realms, human realm and all realms below). During the cycle of rebirth sex changes can be happen.
During the cycle of rebirth normally males rebirth as males, female rebirth as females. But sex change can happen after strong Karma(even within a same life). There is a story about a man named Soreyya who was a father of two and a mother of two. Soreyya was too greedy to golden complexion of a Venerable Arahant Maha Kaccayana Thero and thought a bad wish. His sex change to female instantly (Due to immeasurable qualities and virtue of a Arahant monk, small good or bad deed done on them result a very very large good or bad Karmas). If any male break the 3rd precepts(have sex with someone else's wife/girlfriend) badly he will reborn in a hell, once after he came back from a hell his sex will change to either or neuter or female as a result of left bad Karmas.
If a woman want to become a man, she have to be very honest to his current husband. There is a story, when Lord Buddha fulfilling his requirement to be a Buddha he was born as a woman(Ithi Princess), but she was very honest to her bad husband. Finally she could change her sex to male in next life.
Lord Buddha has said, a Lord Buddha can only be a male, Mara god(most powerful god who has authority over all of the 6 heavens and all realms below, but authority not going to some Brahma realms. Mara also called as death god ) only be a male, King of god(Sakra) can only be a male or Chakravartin King can only be a male. Also all Brahmas are male. If any female did Mediation till higher Jhāna and went to any Brahma realm sex will convert to male.(Gods, Brahmas, Hell animals all are born instantly without a mother[Opapathika born]. But, if any one born in the palace of god Jesus Christ he will be a son of Jesus Christ. So there can be mother and father for gods). Also in heavens powerful gods have many thousands goddess in their palace(read 'Wimana Wattu' in Pali Canon). But I haven't read in any place powerful goddess have many gods with her palace.(I am not 100% sure about this. I haven't read the whole Pail Canon).
God Mara(death god) ask below question from the Venerable Arahant Soma Theri(nun\Bhikkhuni)
"That state so hard to achieve. Which is to be attained by the seers, Can't be attained by a woman with her two-fingered wisdom."
Then answer was
"What does womanhood matter at all. When the mind is concentrated well, When knowledge flows on steadily, As one sees correctly into Dhamma. One to whom it might occur, 'I'm a woman' or 'I'm a man', Or 'I'm anything at all' — Is fit for Mara to address."
Venerable Arahant Uppalavanna Theri who was the foremost in supernormal powers among the all Buddhist nuns, reply to a god Mara's question as follows(Uppalavanna Sutta),
"Though a hundred thousand rogues just like you might come here, I stir not a hair, I feel no terror;Even alone, Mara, I don't fear you.I can make myself disappear Or I can enter inside your belly. I can stand between your eyebrows Yet you won't catch a glimpse of me. I am the master of my own mind, The bases of power are well developed; I am freed from every kind of bondage, Therefore I don't fear you, friend."
Lord Buddha has said to King Kosala that "Some women are better than men, O king. There are women who are wise and good, who regard their mothers-in-law as goddesses, and who are pure in word, thought and deed. They may one day give birth to brave sons who would rule a country."
Lord Buddha put more rules to Buddhist nuns than monk. May be since it is difficult to woman to control their some of Kleshas(defilements).
So in generally, It seems that human male are more powerful in Karma than female and male are less suffer (in our solar system). This is only a my idea. I haven't read any where Lord Buddha said this. So, this can be universally wrong. There may be a solar system woman(who give birth to another being) more powerful than man. I don't know does any once asked this question from Lord Buddha. If so, universally correct asked answer should be there. I believe woman as an average weaker than man. Also they need some kind of protection.
Meditation train mind to be in a one thing(Kamatahana or 'subject of meditation') without any thinking. Mind always try to wander and think, but we should put our mind only on the Kamatahana again and again. Kamatahana can be breathing, water, 'a candle flame' and there are many. Some Kamatahana can be better for one person but not fit to another person.
If we are doing 'Mindfulness of breathing', then mind should only use to see(not by eye) the breathing without any thinking. If our Kamatahana is a candle flame then our mind only use used to see(by eye) the candle flame without any thinking. In the beginning it may be difficult to put mind only on the candle flame so we can chant while seeing it "fire,fire,fire,......". Then mind should not go out from the candle flame and the word "fire". The aim is narrow the area which mind can go. But we are not going to completely stop the mind. When we put our mind again and again only on Kamatahana, it getting calm and calm. Then you will see the Nimitta, and finally achieve first Jhāna with qualities of Vitarka, Vichara, Priti, Sukha, and Ekagrata. If you die with fist Jhāna you will become a Brahma, who is more powerful than gods. And reaching the first Jhāna is not an easy task.
These all about Samatha Meditation. Vipassana Meditation is for realizing the reality of nature. It seems that Buddhism recommend only 40 type of Samatha subjects of meditation as in Visuddhimagga.
- What is a disciplined mind?
A disciplined mind means, a mind which do not wander(and strong). With meditation mind become disciplined(Samadhi).
Nature of mind is wandering. If any one correctly concentrated his mind on one thing(again and again) with great effort by doing correct meditation, he will have a Disciplined mind
But to have such a Samadhi(disciplined mind) it is important to have behaviour moral virtues(it is Called Śīla). Any one can get that moral virtues by following five precepts. If you follow five precepts for a half day with awareness, then you can easily have disciplined mind with a meditation. If you kill a animal or tell lies(or break another precepts) then it will be difficult to get disciplined mind for some time.
It is said to be ascetic can lost his higher Samadhi by just seeing a woman. There are many stories with ascetics going in the sky with supernormal ability gained from higher Samadhi, but he fall down to the ground by just seeing a woman. So, it is very difficult to maintain a disciplined mind in every day life. But we should practice gradually with behavior moral virtues(Śīla), since it is good for our current life and next lives. To become a god, disciplined mind is an essential factor. If you lost your mind discipline when you are ding, then you will rebirth in a bad place. If we practice Śīla in everyday life then most likely, we can maintain a discipline mind at death. Lord Buddha haven't put any rule(Vinaya) for the mind even for Buddhist monks all rules are for the behaviors.
- How to do Mindfulness of Breathing Meditation?
Meditation is something concentrate our mind (on one thing) with great effort. Letting our mind to wander is not a mediation.
When you do Meditation correctly all Depressive Feelings go away. You will feel more happy. It is always better to have a good experienced teacher or friend (not on-line) to master quickly. (Or you can visit your teacher time to time and discuss your progress till you master it. I think there are many Buddhist Meditation centers in many countries. You don't have to be a Buddhist to get their help) Don't try to do Meditation for a long time in the beginning. 15 minute for a day is OK in the beginning. All of this kind of things happen only at the starting few days. Once you master you will love it. Some people have born ability to do Meditation (since they have previous lives meditation experience). They will master very quickly. Others have to practice bit by bit with effort. Rarely for some one it may not suitable "Mindfulness of Breathing" at the beginning.
For Mindfulness of Breathing, at the beginning it is better to count the breaths like 1 to 10 then 10 to 1. Many cycles. Now your mind getting calm. Don't breath by force (you may do at the start of meditation), let your body to breath calmly, You only watch it. Once your mind become clam you can put attention on the in and out movement of the breath (by putting your mind on the nose tip). When air go in you can tell "BREATHING IN" with your mind(in very slow speed. Also you may say in words) then when air out you can tell "BREATHING OUT" with your mind very calmly. Once you master you can avoid this. Some times your mind runs away without you knowing. Please put your mind on Meditation again and again. Once you master this will not happen.
As you are in closed your eyes when you progress you may see some nonsense images. Don't pay your attention to those images continue your mediation. Images will vanish.
Please read this page first ( if you haven't read it before )
Here is the steps for Mindfulness of Breathing(same as in above page):
First, find a suitable place, perhaps a room that is not too noisy and where you are not likely to do disturbed. Second, sit in a comfortable posture. A good posture is to sit with your legs folded, a pillow under your buttocks, your back straight, the hands nestled in the lap and the eyes closed. Alternatively, you can sit in a chair as long as you keep your back straight. Next comes the actual practice itself. As you sit quietly with your eyes closed you focus your attention on the in and out movement of the breath. This can be done by counting the breaths or watching the rise and fall of the abdomen. When this is done, certain problems and difficulties will arise. You might experience irritating itches on the body or discomfort in the knees. If this happens, try to keep the body relaxed without moving and keep focusing on the breath. You will probably have many intruding thoughts coming into your mind and distracting your attention from the breath. The only way you can deal with this problem is to patiently keep returning your attention to the breath. If you keep doing this, eventually thoughts will weaken, your concentration will become stronger and you will have moments of deep mental calm and inner peace.
When you continue you will see the Nimitta, and finally achieve first Jhāna with qualities of Vitarka, Vichara, Priti, Sukha, and Ekagrata. If you die with fist Jhāna you will become a Brahma, who is more powerful than gods. And reaching the first Jhāna is not an easy task.
Simply, all living beings will reborn after death if they haven't attained Nirvana (enlightenment).But there is no soul which is going from birth to birth. So after reborn, there will be a different person but having same Karmas done in the cycle of rebirth (Samsara). Re-born being will have the similar qualities as previous life.
We, normal humans even can’t think how smart Buddha is. According to Dharma smartness of a Buddha can only completely understand by another Buddha. As example, Buddha can investigate one billion solar systems (Thri Sahashri Loka Datu) in the same way how we investigate a glass ball on our hand; Swim in the ground; Spread light to a any place in the universe; No one or nothing can be hide from Buddha’s intelligent; appearing and vanishing; going unhindered through a wall, through a mountain, through space;
Qualities of a Buddha are mainly dividing in to nine parts.
- Did Buddhists get Samsara from Hindus?
Before the Lord Buddha came into exist. Some gods introduce Vedas to the human world. So that it will be good practice to the understand Buddhism. Later Buddhas portion was removed from Veda and become Hinduism.
Lord Buddha understood this Samsara with his own intelligent.
- What is Sutra / Tripitaka ?
A Sutra is a teachings of the Lord Buddha(who knew everything) to a particular person(peoples) , god or Brahma in a certain occasion. After the First Buddhist council all teachings of Lord Buddha collected as the Tripitaka and memorized by Arahant(enlightened) great Theros. So that there will not be a alteration to the pure teachings of Lord Buddha which contain the ultimate reality(Dharma).
458 years after Lord Buddha's Parinibbana at Sri Lanka, Tripitaka was write down to the books by 500 Arahant Theros.
There is no mistakes to a Lord Buddha, so each sentence of the Tripitakaya has a value if it hasn't altered.Some content of the Thititaka is very difficult to understand by a normal person who doesn't have great brain which receive with birth. Some contents have a very deep meaning.
Only the Abhidhamma Pitaka, describe the Dharma in a methodical way without a complement. But Abhidhamma Pitaka is difficult to understand without other knowledge.
Key WordsB asics of the Buddhism, Buddhism and science, beginning of the universe, What should I do as a Buddhist ? , Three Jewels , five precepts , What does Buddhist believe after death?