13 Nov 08. Why did Buddha state that Giving, observing precepts and meditation do not lead to Nibbana
Buddha Dharshanaya 6
This was stated by Buddha on twelve occasions in Dhamma Chakka Pavaththana Sutra. Daana ,Seela and Bhavana (Giving, observing precepts and meditation) are all activities of the mind which in turn nourishes the notion of “I” or “ME” in the mind. In all three the fundamental base is the mind activity and therefore “I” or “ME” entrenched in it. When the mind becomes active the result is an illusion (Maya).
An illusion is a misinterpreted perception of a sensory experience, a false idea or simply an assumption of an existence as a real thing when such a thing actually is not present (maya). If one is able to stop thinking and still be awake and be able to provide a suitable environment for Panna (loosely known as Wisdom) to arise, then it will know how this illusion was created in the mind.
The problem here is that with Daana, Seela and Bhavana (Giving, observing precepts and meditation) the notion of “I” or “ME” will be nourished and this prevents the emergence of Panna. With out Panna one will not be able to find out there is actually no “I” or “ME” in the body in reality. This leads to ever continuing “Sakkaya Diththi” – existence of “self” – a wrong view and this in turn will obstruct “seeing” Nibbana. This is an ever perpetuating vicious cycle.
There is no doubt that the path to Nibbana is relinquishing the thought process (“Akuppa me Chetho Vimukthi” – Dhamma Chakka Pavaththana Sutra). If that is so creating a good thought in the mind after Giving (Daana) will become an obstruction to Nibbana. There is no “good” or “bad” in Nibbana. The common preaching after a Daana – “ Aayu Wanno Sukam Balam”- meaning one will get “long life, Fair colour, Happiness and Power” is a deception. When there is no “ME” or “I” who will get all these benefits ?. If anybody expects to receive them in the future after a Daana, he will have “ME” or “I” entrenched in him will never attain Nibbana.
Furthermore as these are mind created illusions no such result will come to fruition on a later occasion.
It is a well known fact that “ Aayu Wanno Sukam Balam” is not the Buddha word but the priests keep on preaching it for them to obtain personal benefits. In any case Prince Siddhartha (who later discovered Buddhahood) did not go on “Giving” (Daana) when he went on searching for the “truth” prior to attaining Nibbana and Buddhahood.
It is mentioned in Books he donated children in so called “assumed” previous lives. If it is done today it is a punishable offence today under the law. There is also a story about him disconnecting the head from the body and held it in his hand to donate the head. This is physically impossible. These are folk stories. Unfortunately uneducated people may believe these folk stories to be true.
Buddhism has created a population who do not investigate before accepting, but believe because “somebody says so”.
This attitude is the lowest form of education and there is no wonder such people do not become Philosophers, Scientists who produce new innovations. Under such circumstances countries will not develop and will remain poor eternally.
Buddhism also trains people to carry out traditions like robots with out investigating.
Most people know that at Stream Entry (Sothapanna – The first stage of enlightenment) the traditions (Seelabbatha paramaasa) stop because the Panna eye has seen that there is no “person” to carry out such traditions.
People should ask themselves and from priests how Giving (Daana) by “ME” or “I” can help to get rid of “I” or “ME” notion.
The real meaning of Daana is relinquishing, leaving behind. But today people expect something in return thousand times more than they gave away. This does not happen in reality as every thing is impermanent and nothing is stored in nature to produce results in the future.