Ancient Eastern Philosophy

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  Ancient Eastern Philosophy  On the Ancient Wisdom of Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism & Confucianism    The most important characteristic of the Eastern world view - one could almost say the essenceof it - is the awareness of the unity and mutual interrelation of all things and events, theexperience of all phenomena in the world as manifestations of a basic oneness. All things areseen as interdependent and inseparable parts of this cosmic whole; as different manifestations of the same ultimate reality.(Fritjof Capra,The Tao of Physics)The fundamental element of the cosmos is Space. Space is the all-embracing principle of higher unity. Nothing can exist without Space. .. According to ancient Indian tradition the Universereveals itself in two fundamental properties: as Motion and as that in which motion takes place,namely Space . This Space is called Akasa .. derived from the root kas, 'to radiate, to shine',and has therefore the meaning of ether which is conceived as the medium of movement. The principle of movement, however, is Prana , the breath of life, the all-powerful, all-pervading rhythm of theuniverse. (Lama Anagarika Govinda, 1969) Buddhism  On the Life of Buddha, Buddhist Thought & Practice    Buddhism is a moral philosophy / religion based upon theteachings of  Siddhartha Gautama (566 - 486 B.C.).Siddhartha Gautama became known as the Buddha. 'Buddha'(from the ancient Indian languages of Pali and Sanskrit) means one who has awakened . It is derived from the verbal root budh , meaning to awaken or to be enlightened , and to comprehend .The Buddha offered metaphysical knowledge into the nature of reality aswell as a moral way of life. The Middle Way is an important idea in Buddhistthought and practice. To seek moderation and avoid the extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification.At the age of 35, meditating under a Bodhi tree, Siddhartha reachedEnlightenment, awakening to the true nature of reality, which is Nirvana(Absolute Truth); The dustless and stainless Eye of Truth (Dhamma-cakkhu) has arisen. He has seen Truth, has attained Truth, has known Truth, has penetrated into Truth, has crossed   over doubt, is without wavering.Thus with right wisdom he sees it as it is (yatha bhutam) ... The Absolute Truth is Nibbana,which is Reality. (Buddha, from the Dhatuvibhanga-sutta (No. 140) of the Majjhima-nikaya) The Buddha taught that the nature of reality was impermanent andinterconnected. We suffer in life because of our desire to transient things.Liberation from suffering may come by training the mind and actingaccording to the laws of karma (cause and effect) i.e. with right action, goodthings will come to you. This teaching is known as the FourNoble Truths : Dukkha : Suffering is everywhere Samudaya : There is a cause of suffering, which is attachmentor misplaced desire (tanha) rooted in ignorance. Nirodha : There is an end of suffering, which is Nirvana (thepossibility of liberation exists for everyone). Maggo : There is a path that leads out of suffering, known as the NobleEightfold Path (right view, right thought, right speech, right conduct, rightvocation, right effort, right attention and right concentration).The following quotes (from Buddha and others) express some of the mainideas of Buddhism;  I will teach you the Truth and the Path leading to the Truth. (Buddha) It is proper for you to doubt .. do not go upon report .. do not go not go upon hearsay..' (Buddha, Kalama Sutra)O Brahmana, it is just like a mountain river, flowing far and swift, taking everything along with it; there is no moment, no instant, no second whenit stops flowing, but it goes on flowing and continuing. So Brahmana, ishuman life, like a mountain river. (Buddha) „Wherefore, brethren, thus must ye train you rselves : Liberation of the will through love will develop, we will often practice it, we will make it vehicle and  base, take our stand upon it, store it up, thoroughly set it going.‟  (Buddha) From The Dhammapada;   Not to do any evil, to cultivate the good   , to purify one‟s mind, this is the Teaching of the Buddhas.To speak no ill will, to do no harm, to practice self-restraint according to the fundamental precepts, to be moderate in eating,  to live in seclusion, to devote oneself to higher consciousness, this is the Teaching of the Buddhas. By endeavour, diligence, discipline and self-mastery, let the wise person make (of himself) anisland that no flood can overwhelm. All (mental) states have mind as their forerunner, mind is their chief, and they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts with a defiled mind, then suffering follows .. Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world; it is appeased by love. This is an eternal Law. Hard to restrain, unstable is this mind; it flits wherever it lists. Good is it to control the mind. Acontrolled mind brings happiness. 'All conditioned things are impermanent‟, when one sees this in wisdom, then one becomes dispassionate towards the painful. This is the Path to Purity. Buddhism recognizes that humans have a measure of freedom of moral choice, and Buddhist practice has essentially to do with acquiring the freedom to choose as one ought to choose with truth: that is of acquiring a freedom from the passions and desires that impel us to distraction and poor decisions. (Walpola Rahula, What the Buddha Taught)     Buddhism stands unique in the history of human thought indenying the existence of such a Soul, Self, or Atman. According tothe teaching of the Buddha, the idea of self is imaginary, falsebelief which has no corresponding reality, and it produces harmful thoughts of „me‟ and „mine‟, selfish desire, craving, attachment, hatred, ill-will, conceit, pride, egoism, and other defilements, impurities and  problems. It is the source of all the troubles in the world from personal conflicts to wars betweennations. (Rahula)   The theory of karma is the theory of cause and effect, of action and reaction; it is a natural law,which has nothing to do with the idea of justice or reward and punishment. Every volitional action produces its effects or results. If a good action produces good effects, it is not justice, or reward, meted out by anybody or any power sitting in judgement of your action, but this is invirtue of its own nature, its own law. (Rahula)    For the first time in the history of the world, Buddhism proclaimed a salvation which eachindividual could gain from him or herself, in this world, during this life, without any least reference to God, or to gods either great or small. (Aldous Huxley)  See our webpage Buddha Nirvana / Buddhism Religion for more pictures, information and quotes on   Karma, Truth, the Dynamic Unity of Reality, Buddha's conception of Mind and Matter, The Four NobleTruths and the Eightfold Path, Anatta (No Soul) and Conditioned Genesis (Paticca-samuppada). Hinduism  On the Metaphysics & Philosophy of Hinduism Beliefs & Hindu Gods All is One (Brahman)    The first collection of Indian philosophy that was written down wasthe Vedas . The word 'Veda' comes from the Sanskrit vid, meaningknowledge - the Vedas are 'sacred knowledge'. Their exact date iscontroversial, it is possible that the knowledge dates back 10,000years BC, and were first written around 3,000 BC.The metaphysical foundation of Hinduism, which is expressed in both theVedas and the Upanishads is that Reality (Brahman) is One or Absolute,changeless, perfect and eternal. The ordinary human world of manyseparate and discrete (finite) things (which our mind represents by oursenses) is an illusion. Through meditation and purity of mind, one canexperience their true Self which is Brahman, God, the One infinite eternalthing which causes and connects the many things. True enlightenment isSelf-realisation, to experience the supreme reality as Self.The following mantra and quotes express the aspirations of Hinduismreligion; OM Asato ma sadgamaya, tamaso ma jyotirgamaya, mrityor mamritam gamaya OM Lead me from falsehood to truth, from darkness to light, from death to immortality.  Though One, Brahman is the cause of the many. Brahman is the unborn (aja) in whom all existing things abide.The One manifests as the many, the formless putting on forms.(  Rig Veda   ) Behold but One in all things; it is the second that leads youastray. (  Kabir   )
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