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What is the primitive Buddhism?

2016-10-17 | zen

1-What is the primitive Buddhism?

We call Buddhism in the era where Buddha was alive or in the early days Buddha passed away to Nirvana "the primitive Buddhism".
A hundred years later after Buddha had passed away to Nirvana, Buddhism was divided into two sects. Further, four hundred years later, it was divided into twenty sects. In the 1st or 2nd century, the Mahayana Buddhism was established in the center of India. In other words, we could call Buddhism before the division "the primitive Buddhism".
The primitive Buddhism seems to have been referred to Zen. Is that true?
Here I will show the Pãli sutra that was inherited to Sri Lanka.
Let's take a lesson of the Buddha’s teaching that is thought to be the origin of Zen.

2-"Dhamma-pada", the sutra in Sri Lanka
Dhamma in Pãli means law. Dhamma includes many meanings such as norm, teachings, existence, truth, doctrine, among others. In this context, it is interpreted as the Buddha’s teachings.
Pada means sutra. 423 phrases of the Hokku sutra in Mahayana are regarded as Pada. In fact, the common sutras of the Buddha’s words are described in both of the Theravada Buddhism and the Mahayana Buddhism.
The fact that the common sutras exist in two sects 2500 years later after passing away of Buddha is very pleasant for Buddhists living in the world. It must be arising from Buddha’s virtue.

3-The society where Buddha was alive
The reason that Buddha, originally Gautama Siddhãrtha became a monk is thought to have been caused by wars. When he was 17 years old, he was married to Yasodharã and became a leader of Sãkyas although he was quite young. Then he frequently suffered from miserable wars.
Indian society at that time had flourished in the culture of ironware and the farming had developed. On the other hand, the conflict to compete for fertile land or water often erupted and the country was devastated by thieves.
Society was corrupt so severely that people expected a virtuous person will appear to help the world in the near future. Under such circumstances of the world, Gautama Siddhãrtha wished to rescue the people from sufferings. Therefore, he became a monk at the age of 29, gained enlightenment at 35 and kept preaching the path of righteousness for 45 years until he turned 80 years old.

4-Buddha’s personality
It is said; Buddha was tall and a good physique. He attracted people by his long arms, dignified gait, big eyes like an ox, shining beautiful appearance and a burly chest. Those who happened to meet Buddha stopped walking and those who were standing followed Buddha unconsciously. Also those who were walking slowly began to run and those who were sitting stood up. The Buddha’s voice was fascinating, low like a drumming sound and convincing as well.

5-Mercy: dysentery of a monk
One of the Buddha’s disciples suffered from dysentery. When Buddha called on him, he was lying in the shack alone. Dysentery was also recognized as one of infectious diseases at that time and the patients might die. Buddha washed a disciple's robe contaminated with filth and took care of him. Then Buddha remonstrated other disciples.

"I tell you. Unless you help each other when you are in trouble, who will help you? If I didn't visit the shack of your fellow, he would have never recovered at all. If his master was there, the master should take care of him until he recovers. If his seniors, brothers or disciples were there, they should help him until he recovers. If no one helps him, it would be the equivalent of a sin."

The Buddha’s disciples used to hold an evaluation meeting called Uposatha twice a month. The system of the Indian Trade Association was adopted in the meeting. Several kinds of rules were determined, which included penalties for violators. Some of the violators seem to have been deported. However, the penalty more than the expulsion seems not to have determined. The deported disciples were allowed to come back to take part in the Buddhist group, however in that case, 20 guarantors consisted by elder abbots were required.
Buddha was treated impartially same as his disciples. He followed the rules such as "having private goods is prohibited and only three pieces of robes are allowed. (five robes for nuns)" Along with other strict rules, for example, "a meal is given once a day", Buddha followed the rules that had been determined by all members. One day, Prajãpti, a Buddha’s step mother sent him two robes from Sãkya, a Buddha’s home town. Buddha said, "I already have three" and he returned them to her.

7-Buddha’s dislike matters
Buddha told that anger was the most distant feeling from enlightenment. It is said that Buddha disliked fortune-telling and politics. It indicates that in those days Indian politics was corrupt and many fortune-tellers disrupted people.

"The master said. Stop divining fortune including signs of happiness, natural disaster, dreams or physiognomy. Ascetic monks who never judge fortune will lead society correctly." Sutta Nipãta 360

原始仏教とは何か・スリランカでの記念講話 (2017年6月予定)







 仏陀の弟子たちは月に二度、ウポーサタと呼ばれる反省会を催した。これはインドの商工会組織の制度を取り入れたのです。そこでは決まりを決め、また違反者は懺悔をしました。追放者もありましたが、それ以上の罪は問われませんでした。そのような人はまた入門もできましたが、その場合は長老級の比丘20人の保証人が必要でした。 仏陀も決まりに関して特別扱いではなく弟子たちと平等でした。私物を持たない、着物は3枚(尼は五枚)、一日一食、などみんなで決めたことに従われたのです。あるとき故郷のシャーキャ国の義母パジャパティから二枚の白い反物が届きました。仏陀は「着物はすでに3枚あるから」といってこれを返しました。



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