The Wisdom Blog: Classic & Contemporary Buddhism


Daily Wisdom for December 9

Mon, 12/09/2013 - 13:58 -- landerson

“With the destruction of all acquisitions The Awakened One sleeps: “Why should this concern you, Mara?” Then Mara the Evil One, realizing, “The Blessed One knows me, the Fortunate One knows me,” sad and disappointed, disappeared right there.”—The Connected Discourses of the Buddha

The Teachings of the Buddha: The Path to Liberation and Good Friendship

Thu, 11/07/2013 - 09:30 -- bbodhi

Today's sutta throws a different spotlight on the path than we are accustomed to hear in standard Buddhist rhetoric. While we are often told that the practice of the Buddhist path depends entirely on personal effort, this sutta emphasizes the importance of spiritual friendship. The Buddha declares that spiritual friendship is not merely “half the spiritual life” but the whole of it, for the endeavor to attain spiritual perfection is not a purely solitary enterprise but occurs in dependence on close personal ties.

The Teachings of the Buddha: The Path to Liberation and the Cūḷamālunkya Sutta

Wed, 11/06/2013 - 09:30 -- bbodhi

Today's selection is the Cūḷamālunkya Sutta: The Shorter Discourse to Mālunkyāputta. This sutta shows that the Buddhist path is not designed to provide theoretical answers to philosophical questions. In this sutta the monk Mālunkyāputta approaches the Buddha and demands answers to ten speculative questions, threatening to leave the Sangha if this demand is not satisfied. Scholars have debated whether the Buddha refused to answer such questions because they are in principle unanswerable or simply because they are irrelevant to a practical resolution of the problem of suffering.

Teachings of the Buddha: A Way to a Fortunate Rebirth and Kamma and Its Fruits

Wed, 10/23/2013 - 10:30 -- bbodhi

Today’s selection comes from the Cūḷakammavibhanga Sutta. This sutta specifies the underlying karmic causes for the manifest differences in human life. It does so with reference to a well-known saying of the Buddha: “Beings are owners of their kamma, heirs of their kamma; they originate from their kamma, are bound to their kamma, have their kamma as their refuge. It is kamma that distinguishes beings as inferior and superior.” The sutta proposes to explain this statement with regard to seven pairs of contrasting qualities observed among people.