Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Awe-inspiring example of pure inference used in Dhamma

It’s not easy to stop contemplating and comparing when faced with two different philosophical ideologies that many people stand by and guard in vicious rigor.

It’s hard to understand where the highly valued common sense and freedom of thought of humans goes and hide when it comes to religion. Why do highly educated and wise (in terms of normal daily matters) gulp down any concept throws at them and blindly believe and follow it with out thinking and analyzing what they devour?

These phrases of joy which came from Punna Arhath Bhikkuni gives us a clear insight in to the freedom of thought and highly analytical inference process apparent in Buddhist philosophy which makes it a much sought after and loved philosophies among wise.

These are the phrases of joy came from Punna Arhath Bhikkuni after she attain Nirvana. She used to be a maid servant for a rich Brahmin family.(Due to the poverty and the strictness in casting system servants were employed even from poor Brahmin families).

One winter day when she went to the river to bring water she saw an ascetic (brahmin) dipping in the icy river doing his daily morning rituals. Punna had a discussion with him and at the end of their discussion ascetic became a follower of Lord Buddha and Punna became a noble follower (Arya srawaka) who saw the nirvana from the first path.

Lets see how the discussion went.

I used to carry water in icy winters.
Always worked in water, shivering.
Did all work fearing punishments and scolding.
Always fearing that I will do something wrong

But, What are you fearing from dear Brahmin?
Dipped till the neck
Suffering and shivering in the icy cold water

Punna, You should know the purpose of this
Washing away my sins in this icy water
And collecting merits
Is what i'm doing here

Old or young who ever it is
If done any wrong
This is the only way to escape from his sins

Oh dear brahmin
Who is the unwise that doesn't know
The Karma and its results
Has advised you to do this way?

Think … If it is true,
All beings swimming in this water
Including frogs , tortoise , crocodiles and fish
Will go to heaven
With out any doubt

If it is true,
Beings who kill pigs, fish and cows
All thieves , murderers and other sinners
Only need to do is
Just take a dip , isn’t it?

If all sins you did
Got washed away in this water
Wont it wash away
Your merits as well?

Oh Brahmin, Fear of sins driven you to this water
So then stop doing any wrong
Stop punishing yourself in this cold water

Oh Punna, I was misguided all throughout
You are the one freed me from this miserable water bathing
And placed me on the noble path
Please accept this linen from me

Brahman , keep your linen with you
I dont need any gifts
If you fear sorrow
If you dislike sorrow
In open or while hiding
Don’t do any wrong

If you do any sins now or future
How much ever you tried
You wont be able to escape from it.

If you fear sorrow
If you dislike sorrow
Take refuge of Lord Buddha
Noble Dhamma and Arya Sangha
which will help you till the end

Because I was born as a Brahmin
I was called Brahma-Bandu (Close Relative of Brahma the god)
But it was now I became a true Brahmin
Now I have attained Thri-Vidya*
Washed away my defilements and
Stepped in to Nirvana
With utmost joy

(Punna Arhath Bhikkuni - Theri Gatha - "Attempted" translation by Me )

*Thri-Vidyas described in Buddhism are listed below
1. Capability of seeing and analyzing previous lives of a being
2. Capability of seeing and analyzing future lives of a being
3. Knowledge of removing defilements from the mind

MCTS and Light bulbs

Finally, after about one week of preparation I went and sat on the exam chair to do the MCTS exam in I** Srilanka. Was quite nervous when started but it turned in to a panic when i passed first set of questions (about 10) with out answering and with out having any clue of knowing the correct answer.
Was biting my finger nails and looking at the watch nervously when a guy came in to the exam room and started pulling and messing with chairs looking up and down. It was a small room so there was no escape from this distraction. After making some noise he went out. He might have not heard my sigh while leaving and that explains the second visit of him after about 2 minutes.
This time it was worst. He pulled some chairs out , climbed on to the computer desks (yes one next to me as well) and started changing light bulbs. Jesus.. Wasn’t there any better time to do the maintenance work than this?
Anyways given time was enough to compensate for the distractions and i passed it with out much further drama. My first ever MCTS. Maybe Microsoft keeps/gives some extra time buffer to the candidates as "Exam reading time + Exam time + Extra Light bulb changing time"
Overall it was a good and somewhat peculiar experiance and hope to go back to do more.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Excom shuts its doors.

Its surprising to hear that Excom , one of the largest IT training providers in Australia with so many branches (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Auckland and Singapore .. phew thats a mouthful ) founded by Paul Koukounaras and Graeme Newe shuts its doors on 25th August 2010.
Maybe the statement by Mr Lakin might provide us some insight in to the growing issue of declining International student numbers on Australian soil.
"Across all the learning agencies, whether they be tertiary, VET or vendor, there has been a general concern that the decline of international students has had a real effect on enrollments, We’ve got this skills shortage and we still haven't got a solution to address it.” - Australian Computer Society CEO, Bruce Lakin
Hmm I wonder what this news meant to the universities across Australia.
Anyways, all students (including international students) who are effected by the closure can enroll in courses provided by Dimension Data Learning Solutions (1800 853 276) with out any extra charge as they says. Well that’s a small relief!
Image is by : Mr Andrew Morison

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No Words !

With or with out religion good people can do good and bad people can be evil.

But for good people to do evil … That takes Religion!

Steven Weinberg