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

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