Wednesday, May 27, 2009




As assignment of Buddhist meditation subject, I will write about right efforts, the sixth of noble eightfold path. Especially I will introduce what its benefits and how and why it is necessary to succeed to leading the end of suffering. And also I will describe how many kinds of right efforts are. Almost all of what I will describe will be related with mentioning of collections of lord Buddha’s teachings called suttas. Some of them will be from my point of view and from the opinion of particular teacher.

Right Efforts

There is not any goal with good results without efforts so effort is very important for those who want to get the final goal. Our lives are fully in the habits of sufferings which we with firm confidences must surmount. What it is the goal of Buddhists, is the end of suffering. To end it we need to know what is suffering, what is root of suffering and what are ways for cessation of it. Right effort is one of ways for ending of suffering. Right effort can be seen as prerequisite to other noble sevenfold paths. Without effort nothing can be achieved. Here the effort must be mental energy to achieve to end of suffering. There are four kinds of efforts in Buddhist ways as practical method for those who follow the teaching of the Buddha ( cattaro sammavayama in pali):

(1) The effort to prevent the arising of evils that have not yet arisen.
(2) The effort to discard evils that have arisen.
(3) The effort to bring the goods from good deeds, which have not arisen yet.
(4) The effort to maintain and develop what it is the goods that have arisen.

Note. (In abiddhammattha sagnha, the first is second, the second is first)

These are mentioned in the sutta as follow:
And what, monks, is right effort?
1. There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.
2. He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.
3. He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen.
4. He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen. Samyutta Nikaya XLV.8

In my point of view, even though there are four kinds of efforts in accordance with magga-vibhanga sutta, whoever with just doing good deeds, is fully with four right efforts. The reason is that just doing the good deeds automatically is preventing coming evils that have not yet arisen and is automatically discarding the evils that have arisen. And it is automatically maintaining the goods because he is doing good deeds. It is similar with this example, the glass which is full with tea, can not accept other milk, water, etc. this is an example between the wholesome and unwholesome. (. In my confession dealing with this example, I just had heard about it, but I don’t know wathar sutta mention like this glass example or not.)
Wrong effort for unwholesome states is abolished with right effort according to sutta:
“With right effort, wrong effort is abolished, and the many evil unwholesome states that originate with wrong effort as condition are also abolished, and many wholesome states that originate with right effort as condition come to fulfillment by development.”
M, 117, 35 (
For wrong effort there is right effort for extinguishing.
(Others will make wrong effort; we shall make right effort here -- thus effacement can be done) M, 8, 12

Effort in Meditation
The important of effort is that when some one taking meditation appears right thought, must make an effort for being examined for direct solution with volitional effort to arouse the enlightenment factor effort. By the time being development of enlightenment factor effort, it will complete the though for searching the solution.

The Effort by Right Thought

The meaning of right effort is to go ahead with firm confidence of mind by using the right way. Here right way is the thought which prevents arising all of evil though. It just leads to development and completion of arisen thoughts of good deeds in regard to what you are doing. Effort must be a supporter to get insight knowledge in four foundations of mindfulness. And right thought, right mindfulness and right intention must manage the effort to achieve successful way.
“Friends, what is right effort?
Here, the bhikkhu arouses interest, puts forth effort and makes the mind spring forward. For the non arising of non-arisen evil thoughts of demerit, for the dispelling of arisen evil thoughts of demerit, for the arousing of non arisen thoughts of merit and for the non deluded establishment, development and completion of arisen thoughts of merit. This is called right effort.”(M, 141, 27)

Leading to Nibbana by Effort

Less effort is more far goal, the nearest of goal must be by leading of effort. Our goal, nibana, is so far from places with being the full craving, where we live, and which is called society. But the way is right, the nearest is with it. We must regularly walk to it as daily job and we must use right ways. And the meaning of daily job by right way is right effort (practice) with right view, right thought, right intention, and right mindfulness. If you walk this way, the end of way will be the goal called nibana.
Let me mention the explanation to comments on Salient Points in the singala sutta (by U Ko Lay):
(It is true that whatever the Buddha has said, in instructions, injunctions or discourses to devas and men, has only one taste, one flavour, that of emancipation. But the Buddha's Teaching was meant not just for the bhikkhus and bhikkhunis who practised the Dhamma full time, leading a life of retirement in remote places, cutting themselves off from society. In his Teachings, the Buddha did not forget the needs and difficulties of the everyday world. The tremendous accumulation of his paramis (efforts for self-perfection) was not to be utilised for the benefit of the ascetics and recluses only. It was meant for all mankind as well as devas without distinction. To promote their welfare and happiness and to help them attain liberation from the round of rebirths is the sole purpose of the appearance of a Buddha in the world.)

The most important in middle way
Today, most of learners have a doubt which path is importance than other paths in noble eightfold path. In reality, all of them are important in each part, and all of them are related with each other. It is an example; if whoever without being any good concentration is nothing for right view, if whoever without being any good right effort right is nothing for right livelihood. Even thought right concentration is for proximate cause to the obtainment of wisdom (right view), it is very important that right view is both the beginning and the end of the path, it simply means to see and to understand things as they really are and to realize the Four Noble Truth.
Bhikkhus, just as the dawn is the forerunner and first indication of the rising of the sun, so is right view the forerunner and first indication of wholesome states.
For one of right view, bhikkhus, right intention springs up. For one of right intention, right speech springs up. For one of right speech, right action springs up. For one of right action, right livelihood springs up. For one of right livelihood, right effort springs up. For one of right effort, right mindfulness springs up. For one of right mindfulness, right concentration springs up. For one of right concentration, right knowledge springs up. For one of right knowledge, right deliverance springs up.
Anguttara Nikaya 10:121



Tuesday, March 31, 2009


In Mahachulalongornrajadyalaya University the greatest university for Buddhist monks in Thailand, as an assignment of pali subject by Ven.Suthithammanuwat(Asst.Prof.Dr), our Arjen, I have a responsibility to write a topic about Buddhadatta who was a Buddhist scholar from south of India in 5th century AD.

It is very hard to get some information that concerned with Buddhadatta.
Even though I looked for some information in libraries of Tammasat and Chularlorngkorn Universities, I could not find any book or nay information about him. Yet by the time searching of this on internet, I had found some pieces about that from some websites and I collected all of them to become a topic.


I will write an assignment dealing with a Buddhist scholar named Buddhadatta. Exactly, I did not get enough information to write about Buddhadatta. But, I will try to complete my topic as much as I can. However, in my topic about some of the Buddhadatta may be remaining because of lack information. When I write my topic, I will describe about Buddhadatta by how he had done better his works, by where he had spent usefully his life and by how he had made benefits for Buddhism. What I will mention will be in talking an active part of his activities for Buddhism. I also will say about him how he had a relationship with Buddhaghosa who is well known as the great Buddhist scholar from time to time.

In my confession dealing with this topic, I can not introduce what was date of his birth, who were his parents, and who were his brothers and sisters.


In the early half of the 5th century A.D, Buddhadatta, contemporary’s Buddhaghosa*, who is famous and wise scholar in Buddhism, was born in Uragpura in south of India (modern time Kaveri River region near Truchirappalli). He was a member of Tamil family living in Chola* country.

If some one wants to reconstruct and report the history of south of Indian Buddhism, he has to depend mainly on the works of Tamil poets and scholars who were great from that time to time. According to the mentioning of Ghadhavansa there are ten famous Buddhist teachers in south of India, including Buddhadatta with regard to whom I will write in detail. South of India continued to be the centre of Buddhism as lat as the 12th century A.D.

Like most venerable Buddhaghosa, Buddadatta went to Sri Lanka to study Buddhism in Mahavihara temple which is the main seat of the ancestral branch for present day Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka, and which was founded by King Devananpiya Tissa in the capital of Anuradhapura on the site of the Tissarama, given to visiting missionary from King Asoka* . Buddhadatta wrote many books living in Chola country by supporting of king and delivered the Buddha’s teaching to his fellowship.

Buddhaghosa: a scholar who wrote tipitaka that is the teaching of the Buddha.
Chola: it was a country living Tamil people before centuries ago, modern time south of India.
Asoka: the king giving for sponsorship for hosting the third saghayana called rehearsal.

Buddhadatta and Buddhaghosa

On the way by boat to India, Buddhadatta met Budhaghosa, the great Buddhist scholar. When the buddhadatta having accomplished the task was en route back to India by boat which was crossing to another boat by which Budhaghosa was a trip to Linkadipa* from Jambudipa* . Some time, boats on the way faced the heavy winds so both of them had been stopped. By the time boats being stopped by side by side very closely, buddhadatta and buddhaghosa met each other on board their own vessels. And they introduced themselves with being exchanged courtesy greetings according to being Indian tradition. Firstly, venerable Buddhaghosa said to buddhadatta thera; "Bhante*, the doctrine of the Buddha is available in the Sinhala language, I am proceeding to Lankadipa to render them to Magadhi* (early Pali)". In the end of the buddhaghosa’s the first talking, Buddhadatta replied, “Dear Bhante, I too had come to Sri Lanka for the same task, but as I shall not live very long now, I cannot finish the task". And Buddhadatta requested buddhaghosa to send each copy of his commentaries to him in India. For boats departed in the conversation in position of subside winds, the limited time did not allow them to discuss more.
As buddhadatta requested on the boat, budhaghosa sent him copies of each commentaries written by himself. Later buddhadatta summarized buddhaghosa commentaries on the abhidhamma pitaka* into abhidhammavatra and vinaya pitaka into vinaya vinicchaya. But Rohan L. Jayetilleke said; “Among Buddhadatta's works Abhidhammavatara stands supreme. Buddhadatta did not accept Buddhaghosa's commentary on Abhidhammapitaka blindly”. Even though they lived in different places, they had friendly discourse with communicating each other by charring knowledge concerned with the Buddha’ s teachings from another to another.
Lankadipa: It was the name of Sri Lanka in ancient time.
Jambudipa: it was a name of around the India
Magadhi: the language that Buddhists accept as Buddha’s speech is called now pali.
Pitaka: cannon of Buddhism

Buddhadatta in South of India

Not only most of his time that he studied at Mahavihara in Sri Lanka but also in south of India, his native, he used to learn his education living in many places there. After studying his education at Mahavihara monastery in Sri Lanka he returned to his native the banks of the Kaveri River to spend his life living there for propagation Buddha’s teaching. It is mentioned in Ditionary of Buddhism as follow:
(Buddhadatta, scholar and commentator lived in Uragapura in kâńcî after studying at the mahãvihâra.)

At the monastery of Bhutamangalagama in the Chola, Buddhadatta Mahathera lived his monastic life in south of India and taught or shared Buddhist knowledge to his disciples or fellowships. At that time, people in south of India was being eager to study about Buddhism. That is why many of Buddhist scholars were from that area and another famous missionary to Southern China whose name is Bodhidharma was also from there.

During the century, 5th, as Buddhadatta did well his works with volitional mind to propagate the teachings of the lord Buddha, he flourished in reign of the kalabhra chief, Accutavikkanta, residing at the monastery of Bhutamangalagama in kaveriputtinam.

At that time the people of Tamil in south of India are mainly the two groups of taking refuge in religions such as mostly Brahmanism, another Buddhism. That is why in 5th century A.D, many Buddhist scholars (of them, Bodhi Darma and Buddhadatta were famous and another is Kaccayana first author of pali grammar) were from that place and also buddhaghosa was originally from south of India..

Buddhadatta and His Works

Later as the Buddhist scholar Buddhadatta was a famous and cleaver author, contemporary’s Buddhaghosa and both of them in different places were writing about Buddhism in the time, 5th century. He as being requested by his disciples had written many kinds of important books for Buddhism to be understood in it, during the time in which he was in native south of India.

In accordance with describing of some scholars, while Gupta king kumara Gupta was a patron of venerable Buddhaghosa, the patron of Buddhadatta was the Kalabhra Accyutavikkhanta (Acyuta Narayana) of the Colanadu. A.P.Buddhadatta had written most of his works in kaveripattinam at the instance of important books, by the supporting of Chola king. He was the most important adviser with regard to Buddhism for king. What he had done to introduce about Buddhism with his firm confidences is seen as follow:

1. Abhidhamma-avatăra,
2. Vinaya-Vinicchaya,
3. Uttara-vinicchaya
4. Rûparûpavibhảga
5. and other etc books

Ahiddhamma-vatara, introduction to abhiddhamma’ which is mostly in verses, is introduction to study of abhidhamma and comparable to Visuddhimagga of Buddhaghosa. But some scholar translates abhiddhamma vatara as ‘the coming of abhiddhamma’. He had composed it by using verses to be easily memorized by those who want to study abhiddhamma because around the last century B.C, only a number of atthakathas which is very large to be studied was found on particular texts for Buddha’s abhidhamma. Although abhidhammavatara is easy to memorize, it is too hard to understand abhiddhamma by this books in deeper. He continuously wrote another book named Ruparupavibhagha. it has three parts of meaning, Rupa+Arupa+Vibhagha. It says “explaining about nama rupa in detail or widely”.

Rûparûpavibhảga, which is a supplement of abhidhamma-vatara is a large writing about Abhidhamma in detail.

Both Vinaya-Vinicchaya and Uttara-vinicchaya are judgments or condemnations for faults of Buddhist monks. It is also called vinaya. Uttara-vinicchaya is as a supplement to his own Vinaya-vinicchaya. I would like to mention the meaning of these books. Vinaya-Vinicchaya

Because of being requested by his pupil, Buddhasiha from Sri Lanka both Uttara-vinicchaya and Rûparûpavibhảga were written by him for those who want to deeply and widely learn about the Vinaya and Abhiddhamma. All of them are written in pali.

Buddhadatta had passed away earlier than Buddhaghosa. When he passed away, Buddhaghosa spoke that he was great and wise person.


What I have written above all of them are related with Buddhadatta who was a famous Buddhist scholar from south of India. As I have talked about him above, he had tried hard to introduce Buddhism to be understood by other. However the centuries have changed, his works still gives benefit to all of us. It is clear that he was the great scholar for Buddhism. What I have written are just some parts of about him.

by Kavinda (MCU)


1. The Life and Work of Buddhaghosa (By Bimala Churn Law)

2. The History of Buddhism in the Tamil Kingdoms of South IndiaBy

3. Venerable Buddhagosha Maha Thera - The greatest Indian Pali commentator of the 5th century A.D.( by Rohan L. Jayetilleke)
4. Dictionary of Buddhism

5.buddhadatta in open

Friday, May 8, 2009