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Krishna Kumar Singh, also known among friend circles KK and among close relative Krishna; Matriculation from Mithila High School Balour, Darbhanga in 1959, Graduated in Political Science Honours from C M College, Darbhanga, Bihar University in 1963; Joined post-graduate in Political Science the same year but dropped; joined Naxal movement under Charu Mazumdar, Kanu Sanyal, Satya Narayan Singh and Umadhar Singh in between but circumstances compelled to join literary work, clerk, proof readers etc in different publishing houses for livelihood; Finally joined journalism as career in different English newspapers and before my retirement from active journalism, I worked in The Times of India for about 19 years and retired as Chief Reporter  a few years back; continuing in journalism-reading more and more, writing more and more and praying to Almighty more and more-currently writing for different national English and Hindi dailies and magazines..

Friday, 6 July 2012

BUDDHISM:WHAT A WONDERFUL RELIGION IN THE WORLD?

"Buddhism had started at a time of social and spiritual revival and reforms in India.It infused the breath of new life in the people, it tapped new sources of popular strength and released new talent and capacity for the leadership.Under the Imperial patronage of  Ashoka it spread rapidly and became the dominant religion of India. It spread also to other countries and there was a constant stream of learn ed Buddha scholars going abroad from India and coming to India. This stream continued for many centuries.Buddhism influenced Indian life in hundred ways, as it was bound to, for it must be remembered that it was a living, dynamic and wide-spread religion in India for over a thousand years.Even in the long years of its decline in India, and when  later it practically ceases to count as a separate religion here, much of it remained as a part of the Hindu faith and in the national ways of life and thought-----"Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru in his book Discovery of India, written in 1940s in the Ahmednagar fort Prison Camp.

With these few lines about Lord Buddha are not only the faith and relevance of Buddhism in India and the major parts of the Planet but are  shining for salvation of human beings.To supplement the contention of Buddhism, I must refer about  Mahatma Buddh as narrated by  A L Basham, in his book The Wonder That Was India-"one night Mahamaya, chief queen of Suddhodhana, king of Sakyas, dreamt that she was carried away to the lake Anavatapta in the Himalayas, where she was bathed by the heavenly guardians of the four quarters of the Universe. A great white elephant with a lotus flower in his trunk approached her and entered her side (pl23c) Next day the dream was interpreted for her by wise men-she had conceived a wonderful son, who would be either Universal Emperor or a Universal Teacher. The child was born in a grove of Sal trees, called Lummbini, near the capital of Sakyas, Kapil Vastu, while his mother was  on way to her parents' home for her confinement. At birth he stood upright, took seven strides, and spoke, " This is my last birth-henceforth there is no more birth for me" The Boy was named Siddhartha at a great ceremony of his fifth from his birth. His gotra name was Gautam (in Pali Gotama by which he is commonly referred to in Buddhist literature).-----------"
It is said that Gautam was born and brought up , lived and died as a Hindu because much of his thoughts, which could not be found in one or other orthodox system and a great deal of morality could be matched from earlier or later Hindu books.Pundit Nehriu had said in his book Discovery Of India, " The Buddha story attracted me even in early boyhood, and I was drawn to the young Siddhartha, who, after many struggles and pain and torment, was to develop into the Buddha.. I liked to visit the many places connected with the Buddha legend, some time making a detour for the purpose. Most of these places lie in my province or not far from it. Here (on the Nepal frontier) Buddha was born, here he was wandered here (at Gaya in Bihar) he sat under the Boddhi tree and gained enlightenment, here he preached his first sermon, here he died-------------------"
His wonderful preachings captured the imaginations of  intellectuals and it went deep down into hearts of people." go unto all lands", Buddhas had said to his disciples and preach the gospel. Tell them that poor and lowly, the rich and the high , are all one and that all caste unite in this religion as do the rivers in the sea."Buddha's message was one of the universal benevolence, for love for all. For "never in this world does hatred cease to hatred; hared ceases by love." And "let a man overcome anger by kindness, evil by good..One may overcome a thousand men in battle but he who conquers himself is the greatest victor. Not by birth, but by his conduct alone, does a man became a low caste or a Barhmin" Even a sinner must not be condemned for who would willingly use hard speech to those who have done a sinful deed, strewing salt, as it were, upon the wound of their fault? Victory itself over another leads to unhappy consequences-"victory breeds hatred, for the conquered is unhappy."
What ever may be the reasons all these preachings are not at all based on any religions as well as without any references to God or another world.. His teachings are based on reasoning and logic and experience. Buddha had asked people to find exact truth from his own heart. Ignorance of truth is cause of all the miseries. In my opinion and experts view on  Buddhism religion, Buddha has referred about pain and suffering in life and given us "Four Nobel Truths", which mainly concerned with sufferings and its causes, the way to end it and the way to do it. Once Buddha has reportedly told his disciples, ""and while ye experienced this (sorrow) through long ages, more tears have flowed from you and have been shed by you, while ye strayed and wandered on this pilgrimage (of Life) and sorrowed and wept, because that was your portion which ye abhorred, and that which ye loved was not your portion, than all the water, which is in the four great oceans."
On such preachings of Buddha, Pundit Nehru has described in his book, "-Discovery of India, " Through an ending of this state of sufferings is reached Nirvan . As to what  Nirvana is , people differ, for it is impossible to describe a transcendental state in our inadequate language and in terms of the concepts of our limited minds. Some say it is just extinction, a blowing out. And Buddhas is reported to have denied this and to have indicated that it was an intense kind of activity. It was the extinction of false desire, and not just annihilation, but it cannot be described by us except in negative term. Buddha's way was the middle path, between the extreme of self-indulgence and self-mortification.From his own experiences of mortification of the body, he said that a person, who has lost his strength cannot progress along the right path...............Buddha told his disciples what he thought they could understand and live up to. His teaching was not meant to be a full of explanation of everything, a complete revelation of all that is. Once, it is said, he took some dry leaves in his hand and asked his favourite disciple, Anand, to tell him whether there were any other leaves besides those in his hands. Anand replied:"the leaves of  autumn are falling on all sides and there are more them than can be numbered." Then Buddha said : "in like manner I have given you a handful of truths, but besides these there are many thousands of other truths, more than can be numbered."--------------"
Thus Buddha's teachings spread far and wide in the globe thanks to the efforts of Maurayan empire-ChandraGupta's grand son Ashoka , Ashoka , being disgusted by killings of thousands of people in Kaling war, he decided to abandon warfare in the full tide of victory. His mind turned under the influence of Buddha's gospel and he embraced Buddhism. Ashoka got carved numerous of  edicts of Buddha in rock and metal and they conveyed his message not only to his people but to posterity. Ashoka himself devoted himself to the spread of Buddha's teachings. Buddhism spread rapidly from in India from Kashmir to ceylon. it penetrated into Nepal. and reached to Tibet, China and Mongolia. during those days, one of the consequences of this was the growth of vegetarianism and abstention from alcoholism drinks. Animal sacrifice was forbidden. There are many Ashoka's famous many-pillared hall in his palace at Pataliputra in Patna in Bihar was partly dug out by archaeologist about thirty years back.
A l Basham has referred in his book, " for over 40 years the reputation of Buddha grew and the sangha (literally society, the Buddhas Order) increased in number of influence. The end of Buddha came at the age of eighty years. he spent the last rainy season of his life near the city of Vaishali and after the rains he and his  followers journeyed northwards to the hill country, which had been Buddhists  home of his youth. On the day he prepared his disciples for his death, he told them that his body was now like a worn-out cart, creaking at every joint. He declared that he had made no distinction between exoteric and exoteric teaching but had preached the full doctrine(dharma). At Pawa he was entertained by a lay disciple, Cunda, the smith and ate a meal of pork. Soon after that he was attacked by dysentery but he insisted on moving on to the nearby town of Kusinagara. Here on the outskirts of the town he lay down under a sal tree and that night he died. His last words were: all composite things decay. strive diligently!" to them
Buddha died but his religion still is far and wide in the world although some deformities had come out at later stage.. To counter Buddhism, Shankaracharya , one of the greatest of India's philosopher, reportedly started religious order of or math for Hindu sanyasis or monks to counter Buddhiosm! . According to Pundit Nehru in his book;  this was an adoption of old Buddha practise of the Sangha. previously there had been no such organisatons of sanyasis in Brahminism although small group of them existed.. some degraded form of Buddhism continued in East Bengal and in the Sind in the north-west. otherwise Buddhism gradually vanished from India as a widespread religion.But before his death Shakracharya also admitted the importance of Buddhism and reportedly excused to counter the Buddhism
Hardly , three to four percent population of Indian are Buddhist religion followers. On the other hand, the teachings of Buddha and  Buddhism religion are spreading not only entire South-east Asia but entire Asia and many parts of Europe and America. According to an Opinion piece, written by famous author of "My life in the Middle ages: A survivor's Tale: James \Atlas in New York Times recently ; Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the United States of America. More Americans converts to Buddhism than to monrmonism (think about it Mitt). Dr Paul D Numrich, a professor of the World Religion and Inter-religion Relations, conjectured that there may be as many Buddhist as Muslims in the United States by now.. Thomas A Tweed in "the Anerucaan with Buddhism, " refers as "nightstand Buddhists"-mostly catholics, Jews (yeah I know  Juddihists)and refugee from other religion who keep a stack ( Prema choldron books besides their beds).Perhaps Buddhism is our current mind-body obsession. Dr Andrew Weil, in his book, Spontaneous Happiness, establishes a relationship between Buddhist practise and the developing integrative model of mental health". This connection is worth documented at the laboratory for affective neuroscience at the university the Wisconsin, researchers found that Buddhist meditation practise can change the structure of our mind-which we know from numerous clinical studies, can change our physiology. The mindful awareness research centre, at UCLA is collecting data in the new field of "mindfulness-based cognitive therapy" that  shows a positive correlation between the therapy and what a centre co-director, Dr S Daniel Siegel, calls  mind sight. he \writes of developing an ability to focus on our internal world that " we can use to re-sculpt our neutral pathways, stimulating the growth of areas that are crucial to mental health."
"I felt this happenings during my four-day retreat. each day, we sat for hours as bees hummed beyond the screened windows of the meditation room, . it was hard to concentrate at first, as anyone who had tried meditating knows: it requires toleration for the repetitive, inane-often boring-thoughts that float through self-observing consciousness(Buddhist the word use the word"mindfulness to describe the process; if it some times felt more like mindlessness). but after  a while, when the brass bawl was struck and we\ settled into silence, I found myself enveloped if only for a few moments in the calm emptiness of no-thought." the opinion writer said  The writer has narrated experiences of attending a four -day meditation camp at   Buddha religion camp at Vermont-Sakyong's "turning the Mind into Ally," about four hour drive from Manhattan.END

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