PEOPLE AND THE WAY
18. THE EDUCATOR
(A teacher, mentor or preacher)
One whose duty
it is to teach and provide others with learning, especially a teacher, should
possess the qualities and observe the principles of conduct outlined below:
A. He is
a good friend:
[a teacher] should be endowed with the seven qualities of the good friend
(kalyanamitta-dhamma), as follows:
endearing; he is endowed with kindness and compassion, taking an
interest in his students and their well-being; he has rapport; he creates a
familiar and casual atmosphere, encouraging students to approach him with
queries and doubts.
worthy of respect; he is firm, adhering to principle; he has conduct
that befits his position, inspiring feelings of reassurance, refuge and
inspiring; he is truly learned and wise, and is one who constantly
trains and improves himself; he is praiseworthy and exemplary, so that his
students speak and think of him appreciatively, confidently and proudly.
capable of speaking effectively; he knows how to explain things clearly,
and knows when to speak what and how; he gives counsel and caution and is an
Vacanakkhamo: patient with words; he willingly listens to
questions and queries, no matter how petty, and can bear even improprieties,
admonishments and criticisms without becoming dejected or offended.
Gambhiranca katham katta: capable of expounding on the profound;
he can explain difficult and profound subjects clearly and can teach his
students even profounder subjects.
catthane niyojaye: not leading in wrongful ways; he does not lead his
students in ways that are detrimental or in matters that are worthless or
B. He is
dedicated to giving knowledge
by establishing himself in the five qualities of one who gives teachings, known
as the dhammadesaka-dhamma:
Anupubbikatha: teaching step-by-step, in proper sequence; he
teaches the principles or subject matter in order, from easy to abstruse,
shallow to profound, in logical progression.
Pariyayadassavi: expanding on and clarifying the main points; he
explains; he brings forth reasons to clarify the meaning of each aspect and
point; he varies his explanations to enable his listeners to clearly see his
points in the light of reason.
teaching with a heart of goodwill; he teaches with a mind imbued with
goodwill and a sincere desire for his listeners' benefit.
Anamisantara: aiming not for material gain; he does not teach out
of a desire for any material reward, payment or personal benefit.
Anupahacca: speaking impartially and unabrasively; he teaches
according to the principles, according to the content, with the intention of
revealing the truth and the meaning, neither exalting himself nor satirizing
or belittling others.
C. He maintains
the fourfold grace of a teacher: a capable teacher has the following techniques of teaching:
Sandassana: making clear; no matter what he teaches, he explains
the reasons behind it and analyzes it so that his listeners understand it
clearly, as if leading them by the hand to see it for themselves.
Samadapana: inviting practice; he teaches in such a way that [his
listeners] see the importance of doing what needs to be done, appreciate its
value, become convinced, accept it and are motivated to implement it or put
it into practice.
Samuttejana: arousing courage; he rouses his listeners to zeal,
interest, fortitude and firm resolve to consummate the practice, to fear no
difficulty or hardship.
Sampahamsana: inspiring joy; he creates an atmosphere of fun,
cheerfulness, joyousness and delight; he inspires his listeners with hope
and vision of a good result and the way to success.
In brief, this
can be summarized as: teaching to clarify, motivate, rouse and delight.
D. He uses the
briefly speaking, a teacher may examine himself with the three kinds of manner
that characterized how the Buddha taught:
- He teaches
with true knowledge: having first himself acquired true knowledge and
accomplished his goal, he teaches others.
- He teaches
logically, so that his listeners can clearly see the meaning with their own
- He teaches
pragmatically, accomplishing the objective of the teaching by, for example,
guiding his listeners to truly understand, to see the truth, to actualize
the practice and to attain the results of the practice.
E. He performs
the duties of a teacher to a student: he conducts himself toward his students by helping them
according to the teachings compared to the "right direction," as follows:
- He trains
them to be good.
- He guides
them to thorough understanding.
- He teaches
the subject in full.
encourages and praises his students' goodness and abilities and allows their
- He provides
a protection for all directions; that is, teaching and training them so that
they can actually use their learning to make a living and know how to
conduct themselves well, having a guarantee for smoothly leading a good life
and attaining happiness and prosperity.
19. THE LEARNER
(A pupil, student or researcher)
For one who is
learning, whether a pupil, a student or a researcher, the teachings for one who
is to be successful, namely the four wheels (cakka) and the four pathways
to success (iddhipada) are not the only thing to bear in mind. There are
also the following principles to learn and practices to observe:
Knowing the heralds of learning:
he understands the two factors for Right View, which are:
external factor: having good friends, which refers to associating with
teachers, advisors, friends, and [other vehicles of learning such as] books.
It also includes having general social conditions that are wholesome and
helpful. All of these will encourage or arouse the arising of wisdom,
through the processes of listening, discussing, seeking advice, querying,
reading, and researching. This also entails being selective about the use of
internal factor: yonisomanasikara, which is the proper use of thinking,
knowing how to think, or being skilled in thinking; that is, seeing things
with critical reflection, tracing their causes and effects; analyzing an
object or problem in order to see it as it is and in terms of its causal
conditions until one sees its true nature and can solve the problem or bring
- Knowing how
to rely beneficially on the people and things around one.
- Knowing how
to be self-reliant and also make oneself a refuge to others.
B. Having the
guarantee of a life that is progressing: Having learned of the two heralds of learning, one must put them
into practice in one's own life and also develop another five qualities,
bringing the total to seven, which are known as the auroras of a good life, or
the dawn of education. The Buddha compared them to the light of the dawn, which
always precedes sunrise, because these qualities are the capital foundation
which guarantees that learning will advance and life will progress to virtue and
success that are exalted and noble. They are as follows:
- Seeking out
sources of wisdom and good examples.
discipline as a foundation for one's life development.
- Having a
heart that aspires to learning and constructive action.
oneself to training for the realization of one's full human potential.
- Adhering to
the principle of conditionality; seeing things according to cause and
oneself in heedfulness.
wisely so as to realize benefit and see the truth.
explanations, see Introductory Section: Human Beings and Being Human, 1. Man,
The Noble Being.
Practicing according to the principles for encouraging wisdom: in practice, he may bring about
the two conditions for Right View mentioned above by following the principles
known as the four vuddhi-dhamma
(conditions conducive to the development of wisdom):
Sappurisasamseva: associating with the wise; he knows how to
select sources of knowledge, and associates with learned people who are
virtuous, wise and worthy of respect.
Saddhammassavana: harkening to the teaching; he listens
attentively to teachings and advice; he searches for knowledge from people
and from books or mass media; he applies himself to learning and
researching, seeks advice and makes queries so that he attains real
Yonisomanasikara: thinking wisely; having learned, seen, read or
heard about something, he reflects on it for himself, analyzes it to see its
true nature and looks into it to see the what, when, where, why and how of
it; he sees its merits and demerits, benefit and harm, etc.
practicing in accordance with principles; the things he has learned,
heard and thoroughly considered he puts into practice correctly in
accordance with the principles and their objectives, so that the minor
principles accord with the major ones and the minor practices are harmonious
with the overall objective; he practices the teaching with its objective in
mind; for example, contentment as a support for effort, but not leading to
Learning to be learned: whatever he learns
or studies, he makes himself well versed in that field by increasing and
clarifying his knowledge and understanding until he is endowed with the five
qualities of a learned one (bahussuta):
hearing much; he learns, hears, sees, experiences, reads and amasses a
large and extensive amount of knowledge in his field.
retaining; he grasps the gist or essence and remembers the subject
paricita: becoming fluent; he recites or speaks about the subject
often so that he is fluent in and clear about it, and can answer any queries
Manasanupekkhita: becoming thoroughly familiarized; he thinks
about the subject so often that he is thoroughly familiar with it; whenever
he calls it to mind the content is vivid to him, and he perceives it clearly
having penetrated; he clearly understands the overall meaning and
rationale of the subject; he thoroughly and penetratingly knows its source,
its logic and the relationship of the content and details within the subject
itself and in relation to other subjects within that field or theory.
the "lighter of the lamp": in terms of their relations with the teacher, students should
show respect to him as the "right direction" according to the teachings on the
- Rising to
greet the teacher and showing respect to him.
the teacher to care for and attend him, to consult, query and receive advice
well so as to gain wisdom.
- Serving the
teacher and running errands for him.
- Learning the
subject respectfully and earnestly; giving the task of learning its due
20. THE DEVOTEE
(A lay follower)
express their relationship to their religion through the following principles of
Supporting the monks:
treating the monks as the "upper direction," by:
toward them with goodwill.
- Speaking to
them with goodwill.
- Thinking of
them with goodwill.
them with the four requisites [almsfood, robes, shelter and medicine].
(D. III. 192)
B. Making merit: performing good deeds through
the various means known as the three punnakiriya-vatthu (bases of
Dana-maya: making merit through sharing out material things.
Sila-maya: making merit through virtuous conduct or moral behavior.
Bhavana-maya: making merit through mind training, i.e., developing
mental qualities and wisdom.
should also make an effort to perform these seven more specific kinds of merit,
bringing the total to ten:
Apacayana-maya: making merit through polite and modest conduct.
Veyyavacca-maya: making merit through efforts to give practical help,
offer service or do the common good.
Pattidana-maya: making merit through involving others in doing good
Pattanumodana-maya: making merit through rejoicing in the good deeds of
Dhammassavana-maya: making merit through listening to the teachings and
acquiring knowledge that is free of harm.
Dhammadesana-maya: making merit through explaining the teachings and
imparting knowledge that is beneficial.
Ditthujukamma: making merit through correcting one's views, learning to
see all things as they really are so that one attains Right View.
Familiarizing oneself with the religion: if one wishes to practice more strictly, to be a male lay
follower (upasaka) or female lay follower (upasika), one should
establish oneself in the conditions leading to prosperity for a lay follower
known as the seven upasaka-dhamma, as follows:
failing to visit or meet with the monks.
neglecting to hear the teachings.
oneself to progress in higher levels of morality.
imbued with faith in the monks, be they elders, newly ordained or of
to the teaching not for finding fault or flaws to criticize.
seeking the gift-worthy, or a field of merit, outside Buddhist principles.
first service to this religion; that is, applying oneself to supporting
Being a leading lay follower: good
Buddhist lay followers (upasaka, upasika) should be endowed with the
qualities known as the five upasaka-dhamma:
- They have
faith, rational belief and confidence in the attributes of the Triple Gem.
- They have
morality, at least maintaining themselves in the five precepts.
reject superstition; they believe in deeds, not in luck; they aspire to
results through their own actions, not through lucky charms or things wildly
rumored to be magical.
- They do
not seek the gift-worthy outside of this teaching.
- They apply
themselves to supporting and helping with Buddhist activities.
Regularly monitoring one's progress: this
is in brief to uphold the qualities for measuring progress in the Buddha's
teachings known as the five ariya-vaddhi:
having belief that accords with the principles of Buddhism, not being
credulous or easily led astray.
having honest and exemplary conduct and livelihood.
having sufficient knowledge of the principles of Buddhism to be able to
practice them and teach them to others.
sharing and giving, being ready to help those deserving of help.
understanding the true nature of life and the world so that one's mind is
not bound by them.
21. THE PERPETUATOR OF THE RELIGION
(A Buddhist monk)
The Order of
monks (Sangha), who are the ordained members of the Buddhist religion,
have the responsibility of studying, practicing and teaching the Dhamma, thereby
perpetuating the religion. Monks have many rules of conduct to observe. Here
only some of their duties in relation to lay people and some of the
admonishments for practice will be given:
a monk helps lay people through the principles of practice for the "upper
direction" as follows:
them from evil actions.
Encouraging them in goodness.
them with kind intentions.
known to them things not heard before.
and clarifying those things they have already heard.
out the way to heaven, teaching them the way to happiness and prosperity.
a monk must be constantly cautioning himself in accordance with the ten themes
to be frequently reflected on by a monk (pabbajita-abhinha-paccavekkhana):
standing is not the same as that of a layman. I have renounced all statuses;
I should live simply, and not try to get things my own way.
livelihood depends on others as I rely on them for my sustenance; I should
make myself easily looked after and use the four requisites reflectively,
not out of craving.
- The manner
expected of me differs from that of a lay person; whatever is the manner of
a monk I must adopt; I must also constantly improve myself.
- In regard
to moral conduct, am I still beyond self-reproach?
- In regard
to moral conduct, am I still beyond the reproach of my friends in the higher
life (brahmacariya) who are wise?
- I will
have to be separated from all that is loved and dear.
- My kamma
is my own; whatever kamma I do, whether good or evil, of that I will surely
be the heir.
- The days
and nights are passing: how am I using my time?
- Am I
content with a secluded dwelling?
- Are there
any of those supernormal attainments within me that will save me from
embarrassment when later questioned by my fellow monks?
Just as a drop
of water does not cleave to the lotus leaf, or water to the lotus flower, a sage
does not cleave to sights seen, sounds heard or experiences cognized.
the Dhamma do not pine over things done and gone or dream about things not yet
come. They attend to the present; thus are they radiant.
Those who are still weak in wisdom spend their time day-dreaming about things
not yet come and pining over things done and gone, so they become haggard, like
fresh reeds uprooted and left in the sun.
One without the
defilements which cause the concern of "mine" and "theirs" does not have to
contend with the notion of "mine" and is thus without the sorrow of not having.
He is not agitated by longing, he has no obsessions, he is not perturbed; he is
constant in all situations. Since he is unperturbed, his insight is clear and he
is free from all kinds of mental concoctions; he has abandoned brooding and
bemoaning and sees only ease in all places.
He who has attained the Dhamma and extinguished the defilements is always at
ease; he who is not attached to sensuality is cool and at peace; within him no
foothold for the defilements can be found.
When all attachments are cut off, all anxiety driven from the heart, and the
heart is at rest, peace and happiness are attained.
don't you have any suffering, don't you have any fun, aren't you bored sitting
Answer: Great One,
I do not have any suffering and neither do I have fun; even though I sit all
alone, I am not bored.
Question: Monk, how
is it that you do not have any suffering, how is it that you do not have any
fun, and how is it that you are not bored sitting on your own?
Answer: Only those
who suffer have fun, and only those who have fun suffer. The monk is free of
both fun and suffering. This is how it is; understand it thus.
not exist in the mind of the noble one who has transcended [the concern with]
being or not being this or that; he is free of fear and has only happiness, no
sorrow. Even the devas cannot perceive his mind.
He who has
attained the Dhamma has no task to do, as his task has been accomplished. As
long as he has not obtained a foothold, the swimmer must strive to his utmost,
but when he has found a place to rest his feet and gone up to dry land, his
striving is over because he has crossed to the further shore.
While alive he
is untroubled, and when he dies he is not sorrowful; a sage who has seen the
goal lives unsorrowfully even in a sorrowful world.
Wherever I go I
am unafraid; wherever I sleep, I am unalarmed. The nights and days do not burn
me. I see nothing in this world that is to be lost; therefore my heart dwells in
goodwill and kindness to all beings until I fall to sleep.
|Game va yadi varanne
||ninne va yadi va thale
|Yattha arahanto viharanti
|Be it a village or forest,
||in lands low or high,
|wherever enlightened ones dwell,
||that is a place of delight.
Back to Content
Copyright © 2002 Mahidol
University All rights reserved.
Mahidol University Computing Center, Rama VI Road,
Rajathewi, Bangkok 10400, THAILAND Tel. (662) 354-4333