Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Mahindarama Buddhist Temple Kathina 2015

It is with great pleasure that Mahindarama Buddhist Temple is reprinting again, a series of Dhamma publications and talks in audio compact discs (MP3) by Venerable Dr M. Punnaji Nayaka Mahā Thera, namely,
    • Ariyamagga Bhāvanā (Level III): Awakening from the Dream of Existence
    • Return to Tranquilliy
    • Beyond Horizon of Time
    • Kamma — Series of Dhamma Talks 
    • Meditation — Retreat Talks
The above are published for free distribution to commemorate 2015 Kathina Celebration by Mahindarama Buddhist Temple on 1st November 2015.

(Book III)
Awakening from 
the Dream of Existence 

This book is the third and final in the series of books on the three levels of meditation that provide step-by-step guidance toward attainment of the imperturbable serenity of mind — Nibbāna — as taught by the Buddha and recorded in the Pāli language in the Sutta Pitaka of the Tripitaka.

The reader is invited to read all three books before beginning on the meditative path. This will serve as a map to enable one to understand the terrain to be traversed before starting the journey.

This proper cultivation of the Seven Steps to Awakening (satta bojjhanga) is the real “Insight Meditation” (vipassanā bhāvanā), as taught by the Buddha, in the Sutta Pitaka. We, however, call our third level of meditation vidassanā bhāvanā instead of vipassanā, in order to distinguish it from the common kind of vipassanā bhāvanā that is taught all over the world today, which is based on the teachings in the Visuddhi Magga, written by the well known author Buddhagosha. Our method is not based on the Visuddhi Magga but on the words of the Buddha as found in the Sutta Pitaka. We describe our method of meditation as “the development of Superperception” (abhiññā). This means the term apperception, as we use it, means: focusing attention on the process of perception, rather than on the object perceived. When this is done a paradigm shift occurs between existential thinking and experiential thinking, which results in Superperception (abhiññā).

In support of our use of the term vidassanā, instead of vipassanā we quote a passage from the Mettā Sutta: “ditthiñca anupagamma sīlavā dassanena sampanno,” which we understand as: 

“Having withdrawn attention 
from the objects perceived, 
the disciplined individual focuses 
attention on the process of perception.” 

This method of meditation will be elaborated as we proceed.... 

For further reading, get a copy from Mahindarama Buddhist Temple.

Is Reincarnation Buddhist? 

In this book, Bhante Punnaji explains that the teaching of the Buddha is centered on the insecurity of life (dukkha), the cause of insecurity (samudaya), the cure for the insecurity (nirodha), and the way to cure it (magga). This insecurity of life (commonly called suffering) is caused by our emotions. It is this emotional urge (tanhā) that brings about a relationship between a subject and an object; the subject being personalized as “self,” and the object being alienated as other. It is through personalization and alienation that the “self” and the “world” come into being. With the coming of “being” (bhava), or “existence,” comes the concept of space and time. With space/time come birth, aging and death. This brings about the concept of “samsāra,” or the pre-existence and the re-existence of “self.” In other words, the concepts of “samsāra” and “self” are the result of the unconscious emotional arousal. It is this concept of “self” and “existence” that is at the basis of insecurity. Their removal, by removing the self-centered unconscious emotions, is the freedom from insecurity.


    This book captures some of the essential teachings of the Buddha, discovered by the author and presented in a practical format, applicable to our daily lives, which are far removed from the tranquility that we desperately seek.

    A careful study of the contents will reveal many unknown facts about the wisdom of the Buddha, which other books on Buddhism have never been able to point out. This book also reveals that the teaching of the Buddha is ever modern, and that the Buddha solved the problem of existence that modern thinkers have not been able to solve. It also reveals that the Buddha is the highest evolved animal who had transcended all animalistic and human weaknesses and become truly Divine.

    "The appreciation of tranquillity, or the Buddha, Dhamma, and the Sangha, which is also the appreciation of goodness, happiness and truth, is the Buddhist right sense of values, called “saddhā.” In Buddhism, saddhā is the equivalent of faith in theistic religions. The Buddha is comparable to the God of theistic religions, but because Buddhism is humanistic, the term “God” takes on a different meaning from that in theistic religion. “God,” in the Buddhist sense, is the state of perfection, which one worships and takes refuge in. For the Buddhists then, God is not the Creator of the world, but the Savior of the world, the Buddha. The Buddha saves the world, not through supernatural power, but through natural wisdom." ...

    The author, Bhante Punnaji is well versed in Western fields of scientific knowledge, including medicine, and has a thorough understanding of comparative religions, modern philosophy and psychology. His interpretations of the original teachings of the Buddha have been much enriched by these forays beyond a mere study and practice of Buddhism. No modern scholar has so far taken the time and energy necessary to be able to identify the elusive original teachings of the Buddha.