Budistička etika (1)

Započinjemo novu seriju, ovoga puta posvećenu budističkoj etici. Ponešto o tome već znamo odranije, zato ću u predavanjima koja slede pokušati da se odmaknem od isključivo istorijskog pristupa, razmatranja samo onoga što je Buda imao da kaže o ovoj temi. Pre toga, ovo uvodno predavnje ima za cilj da pripremi teren za detaljnije razmatranje specifičnih etičkih pitanja i to kroz način na koji se budisti danas suočavaju sa nekim od gorućih problema modernog sveta. A ta pitanja su sledeća:

2. predavanje: Budizam i ekologija. Odnos prema životinjama. Jedenje mesa.
3. predavanje: Angažovani budizam. Socijalna etika. Budistička ekonomija. Konzumerizam.
4. predavanje: Konflikt, rat i nasilje, posebno ono religijski inspirisano.
5. predavanje: Odnos prema životu. Eutanazija, abortus, samoubistvo.
6. predavanje: Odnosi među polovima, budistički pogled na seksualnost. Zaključak

Za početak valja razjasniti samu reč etika. Kao što znamo, reč je o jednoj grani filozofije, o filozofiji morala, o grani kakve su takođe logika, metafizika, ili epistemologija. i dok ova psolednja odgoneta prirodu i način sticanja znanja. zadatak etike je da definisanje šta je dobro, a šta loše u našim postupcima.

Termin etika se može razložiti na tri značenja:

1. Skup opštih moralnih principa ili teorija na osnovu kojih se određuje šta je moralno ispravno, a šta nije (normativna etika) – Dobro je ono što daje sreću najvećem broju ljudi (utilitarizam).
2. Skup konkretnih moralnih načela (primenjena etika) – Ubijanje je nemoralno (kategorički princip).
3. Opis kako se ljudi zapravo ponašaju (deskriptivna etika). – Budisti slede pet pravila vrline, od kojih je prvo odustajanje od povređivanja drugih bića.

Što se tiče budista, oni u etičkim, kao i u drugim stvarima, svoju inspiraciju i orijentir nalaze u tri dragulja ili tri utočišta: Buda, Dhamma (učenje) i Sangha (monaška zajednica). Tako se Buda poštuje kao onaj ko je ponovo otkrio i podučavao oslobađajuće istine. Isto tako, on je otelovljenje onih lekovitih ljudskih kvaliteta kakve i drugi treba u sebi da razviju. U mahāyana tradiciji, u kojoj je proces deifikacije Učitelja daleko odmakao, ovome su dodati i nebeski Bude (na primer Amitabha) kao savremeni izvori učenja i pomoći.

Dhamma je, sa druge strane, učenje svih Buda, put ka budističkom cilju, a koji je saglasan sa prirodom ovoga sveta, načinom na koji on funkcioniše, i ne ide protiv njega.

Sangha jeste zajednica “plemenitih” (ariya), usavršenih sledbenika koji su već u određenoj meri iskusili taj konačni cilj i isto tako ga simbolizuju u praktičnom smislu. Reč je obično o monasima i monahinjama, a saveti, pa i oni etički koje daju nezaređenima zasnivaju se kako na kanonskim tekstovima, tako i na njihovom ličnom iskustvu.

Nezaređeni nemaju obavezu da slede ta uputstva, neće zbog toga biti anatemisani, već to čine po svojoj volji i iz nadahnuća i poštovanja prema načinu na koji vide da monasi žive i ponašaju se. Dakle, autoritet zaređenih nije apsolutan, već u srazmeri sa ličnom posvećenošću, kao i dobrim primerom koji daju.

Osnovni pojmovi
Inače, moral je utkan u samo tkivo budističkog učenja i ne postoji nijedna značajnija škola budizma koja ne naglašava važnost moralnog življenja. Sveti budistički tekstovi na paliju, sanskritu, tibetanskom, kineskom ili nekom drugom od drevnih i savremenih azijskih jezika naširoko razmatraju vrline kakve su nenasilje (ahiṃsā), darežljivost (dāna) i saosećanje (karuṇā), a budistička verzija “zlatnog pravila” savetuje nas da ne činimo drugima ono što ne bismo želeli za sebe.

Rekli smo da je Dhamma, učenje, jedan od izvora etičkog mišljenja i delanja, pa da vidimo sada koje su to temeljne odlike budističkog tumačenja sveta važne za etiku. Pre svega, to su četiri plemenite istine, o kojima smo do sada pričali naširoko i nadugačko. Za ovu priliku samo da ih nabrojimo zbog onih koji ih ne znaju:

(1) U životu postoji patnja i nju je nemoguće izbeći strategijama koje obično primenjujemo, a glavna je što više čulnih zadovoljstava.
(2) Izvor te patnje je slepo vezivanje za stvari i ljude, usled neznanja, pogrešnog razumevanja prave prirode sveta kojim smo okruženi.
(3) Ipak, sreća jeste moguća, ako se oslobodimo tog neznanja, to jest vezivanja.
(4) Put ka tom oslobođenju jeste praktikovanje plemenitog osmostrukog puta.

Upravo taj put, iako od osam delova, može se podeliti u tri celine: 1. vrlina, 2. koncentracija i 3. mudrost. Dalja analiza ove prve celine, vrline, kaže nam da nju čine mudra, promišljena upotreba našeg govora i tela, kao i ispravno življenje, to jest zarađivanje za život. To su stvari na koje treba da obratimo pažnju, ukoliko želimo da se naša muka smanjuje, a sreća i mir uvećavaju.

Druga stvar na koju treba da obratimo pažnju jeste zakon kamme (na sanskritu: karma), koji prihvataju sve budističke škole. Naime, zakon uzroka i posledice kakav znamo u materijalnom svetu Buda je uočio i na mentalnom, tačnije ovde etičkom planu i formulisao ga tvrdnjom da naši svesni, voljni postupci i odluke imaju svoj rezultat, u zavisnosti od etičkog karaktera tog postupka, tj. namere, moralnog izbora koji iza njega stoji. Ovaj zakon, kao i svaki drugi, deluje bez obzira da li mi za njega znamo ili ne, da li ga priznajemo ili ne. Zato nije loše da ga imamo na umu.

Očigledno je iz ovoga da je Buda smatrao kako ljudi imaju slobodnu volju, a nisu tek igračke nekog božanstva. Koristeći je, oni zapravo određuju ne samo sudbinu drugih, već i svoju. To šta će postati i kakav će njihov unutrašnji doživljaj stvarnosti biti. Jer ako slobodno i uvek iznova biramo jednu vrstu postupaka, mi oblikujemo svoj karakter, a time i svoju budućnost. A nju, kao i prošlost, budizam vidi kao nepregledni niz rođenja u svetovima sa više ili manje patnje, opet u skladu ne sa slučajnošću, već sa našom kammom, tj. vrlinom prethodnih dela. Naše činjenje dobrih ili loših dela se može uporediti sa stavljanjem semena u zemlju, koje će pre ili kasnije doneti plod. Raskoljnikov koji ubija staricu, Magbetova okrutna ambicija ili Sokratova spremnost da umre za svoje ideje iz budističkog ugla jesu primeri takvog kammičkog semena i tragičnog ploda, na jednoj, ili veličanstvenog ploda, na drugoj, koje je to seme dalo.

Vrlo je važno dobro razumeti zakon kamme (u tu svrhu pogledajte ovaj link:
https://srednjiput.rs/tumacenja/sravasti-dhammika-kamma/sravasti-dhammika-kamma-2/
jer je upravo zakon kamme izvor mnogih zabluda. On se često shvata fatalistički, kao nekakva sudbina, koje je zapisana i mora nam se dogoditi. Druga zabluda je da sve što nam se dogodi jeste posledica kamme. Buda je jasno govorio da je ona samo jedan od uzroka, jer je i zakon kamme samo jedan od zakona po kojima se odvija ovaj svet. Energiju one kamme koja se nije realizovala u ovom, novim rođenjem prenosimo u naredni život i to je nova šansa da donese plod, onda kada se steknu povoljni uslovi. A prvi je plod onaj sa kojim se rađamo i to je rezultat prošle kamme ili postupaka: sklonosti, porivi, emocionalne i intelektualne sposobnosti, jednom rečju – naš karakter.

Već smo rekli da jedan postupak dobrim (kusala) ili lošim (akusala) čini uglavnom namera koja ga pokreće. Ali odakle izviru te namere? Buda je kao veliki psiholog i to objasnio: izvore je video u tri loša “korena”: sebičnost, mržnja i obmanutost. Postoje naravno i njima suprotna tri dobra “korena”: nesebičnost ili darežljivost, ne-mržnja ili dobronamernost i znanje ili jasno razumevanje. Međutim, napredovanju ka oslobađanju od patnje, što je kao što smo pomenuli glavni budistički cilj, ne događa se jednostavno tako što imamo dobre namere. Nekada loše učine i ljudi koji su vođeni najplemenitijim motivima. Zato dobre namere treba znalački pretvoriti u dobra dela, a to su ona koja koriste i ne povređuju ni počinioca, niti druge. Kao praktični orijentir pri odlučivanju koja su to dela služi nam osnovni set od pet pravila vrline (pañća sīla), koja ću objasniti malo kasnije, jer želim prvo da kažem nešto o drugom terminu usko vezanom za kammu, a to je puñña.

Pošto kamma može biti ili dobra ili loša, budisti dobru kammu nazivaju puñña, naša dobročinstva, dobrota, “zasluge”. To je ono što treba da uvećavamo. Suprotno je loša kamma ili pāpa. Neki od istih tih budista, za moj ukus malo naivno, posmatraju puññu kao nekakav duhovni kapital – slično novcu na računu u banci – te se njihova “kreditna sposobnost” da se preporode u nekom od nebeskih svetova uvećava kako raste depozit na tom računu. Čak vode i svojevrsno “knjigovodstvo”, zaboravljajući šta je suština. Kažem naivno, jer kao sa svakim novcem, često se iz toga izrodi pohlepa za što više, pa činjenje dobrih dela gubi vrednost samo po sebi, već se onda više bavimo kalkulisanjem koliko nam je neko delo donelo kamate na kamma računu, umesto da to vidimo tek kao nuzproizvod onog glavnog – dobročinstva i najčistije radosti koje takav čin sobom nosi. Tako se činjenje dobrih dela može pretvoriti u pohlepu za dobrom kammom, a kad je motiv loš, već smo videli, ni rezultat nije bog zna kako srećan.

Sem toga, Buda je jasno govorio da postoji razlika u veličini dobrobiti koju stičemo u zavisnosti od toga kakvu osobu ili ideju podržavamo. Generalno pravilo je da podržavajući ono što je dobro i bolje u ovome svetu, time i naša puñña biva veća. Na taj način je ukazivao da dobrotu jednostavno treba hraniti i štititi, ako želimo da je u ovom svetu bude više. A jedan od najvećih izvora dobrote u njemu jeste monaška zajednica, kao model i inspiracija moralnog ponašanja, izvor podrške i zaštite, a ne porobljavanja i povređivanja. Zato je ona za budističkog sledbenika prirodan objekat darežljivosti. Poznate su scene prošenja hrane u budističkim zemljama, kada monasi prolaze kroz selo i hranu im stavljaju u zdelu. Za glavne praznike običaj je da im se daruju novi ogrtači. Drugi način sticanja dobročinstava je pokrivanja redovnih troškova koje imaju manastiri, dobrovoljni rad u manastiru, ali isto tako i slušanje govora o učenju, učestvovanje u recitovanju ili pak jednostavno iskazivanje radosti zbog tuđe velikodušnosti, umesto zavisti.

Takođe, u mnogim budističkim zajednicama postoji vrlo snažno verovanje u to da je moguć prenos dobročinstava, tj. da možemo učiniti nešto dobro i podeliti stvorenu dobrobit sa drugima. Moram priznati da u skladu sa Budinim objašnjenjem da je kamma sasvim individualna stvar, nemam baš mnogo poverenja u jednu ovakvu ideju kolektivnog participiranja. Ono što se svakako dešava je da “doniranjem” svojih dobrih dela, zbog namere velikodušnosti, još više uvećavamo svoju puññu i suprotno od novčanih transakcija, ovde što više dajemo, to više dobijamo! Zato i ne želim suviše da kritikujem ovu ideju, jer je ona generalno u skladu sa budističkim naglašavanjem važnosti darežljivosti i sigurno je da njeno praktikovanje vodi ka formiranju sve nesebičnijeg i dobronamernijeg karaktera.

A sad da se vratim na već pomenutih pet pravila vrline, kao najopštija pravila budističke etike. Ukoliko želimo formalno da postanemo budista, mala ceremonija koja tome služi sadrži dve stvari. Prva je da kroz recitovanje potvrdimo da su naša tri utočišta, oslonca ili orijentira Buda, Dhamma i Sangha. Druga je da opet kroz recitovanje “uzmemo” pet pravila vrline kao okvira našeg ponašanja. Ona su formulisana negativno, ali zapravo podrazumevaju i pozitivne suprotnosti, ne samo uklanjanje mentalnih nečistoća, već i razvijanje pozitivnih kvaliteta. A pravila vežbanja su:

1. odustajanje od ubijanja i povređivanja živih bića = pomaganje, prijateljska ljubav

Da bismo do kraja poštovali ovo pravilo, potrebno je da zaista razumemo povezanost između živih bića, jer prema budističkom učenju, kroz beskrajni ciklus preporađanja, svako je svakome bio otac, majka, sestra, brat, sin ili kćer. Ovo razumevanje treba da bude učvršćeno nepokolebljivom dobronamernošću i saosećanjem. Iako je malo onih koji sve to imaju, ipak svaki slučaj u kojem se umesto nasilja odlučimo da se pridržavamo ovog pravila znači jedan korak bliže probuđenju.

  1. odustajanje od krađe = darežljivost
  2. odustajanje od preljube = negovanje iskrenosti prema svom partneru
  3. odustajanje od laganja, vređanja, ogovaranja i naklapanja = istina, ohrabrenje, pohvala
  4. odustajanje od svega što direktno pomućuje um (alkohol i droge) = meditacija, to jasniji um

Radi detaljnijeg objašnjenja, preporučujem divan tekst Thich Nhat Hanha “Pet divnih pravila“:

Postoje i proširene liste od osam, odnosno deset pravila, koje nezaređeni obično uzimaju dva puta mesečno na dan punog i mladog meseca (uposatha).

Posle svih ovih pravila, želeo bih posebno da naglasim da se ovde ne radi o nekakvim zapovestima, već pre o savetima dobrog prijatelja. Otuda i ako ih prekršimo, naglasak nije na kajanju, osećaju krivice i greha, to jest stalnom osvrtanju na to što smo uradili, već na izvlačenju pouke i ponovnom učvršćivanju unutrašnje odluke da ćemo dati sve do sebe kako to ne bismo ponovo uradili. Zato, sem pridržavanja pravila, čitava budistička etička praksa u velikoj meri podrazumeva da nam je jasno sa kojim razlogom radimo to što radimo. Potrebna je, dakle, prava motivacija, kao što sam već pominjao. Tako je od pravila mnogo važnije izgrađivanje vrline, izgrađivanje karaktera. U tom pogledu budistička etika liči na novčić čije su jedno lice pravila, a drugo vrline i na pravila se može gledati jednostavno kao na listu stvari koje osoba ispunjena vrlinom ne bi nikad uradila. Tako vrlina postaje naš prirodan stav, a ne okov.

Zanimljiv dodatak budističkoj etici imamo u mahāyānskom budizmu. Naime, Buda je često svoj način izlaganja prilagođavao sagovorniku i u tome je bio veliki majstor. Recimo, kad bi razgovarao sa brahmanima, koristio bi pojmove iz njihovog vokabulara, ali sa nešto izmenjenim, budističkim značenjem. Oslanjajući se na to, mahāyānski učitelji su u tekstovima kakvi su recimo Lotos sutra (1. vek n.e.) razvili radikalnu ideju o “korisnim sredstvima” (upāya-kauśalya). Prema njoj, u Budinim govorima nema ničeg što se ne bi moglo prilagoditi nekoj novoj situaciji. Na taj način učenje u neku ruku postaje relativno i, što je malo nezgodno, podložno različitim interpretacijama. Otuda i pravila predstavljaju tek uputstva i na nama je da ih prilagodimo datoj situaciji. Na primer, bodhisattve, moralni heroji mahāyāne koji su uzeli zavet da se pomoći svim bićima na putu probuđenja, mogu recimo da ubiju nekoga ukoliko vide da će time zapravo sprečiti veći zločin, tako da druga bića, ali i počinitelj nedela manje pate. Na taj način saosećanje postaje vodeći princip odlučivanja, stavljajući u drugi plan sve ostale.

Tantrički budizam, koji se razvio u Indiji u VI veku i kasnije presudno uticao na tibetansku tradiciju, u ovome je otišao još dalje, ostavivši često sasvim po strani etička pravila i više se oslanjajući na kršenje raznih tabua i magijske rituale, kako bi se um prenuo iz “dogmatskog dremeža” i doveo u navodno više stanje svesti. Jedna od osnovnih tehnika tantre je transmutacija negativne energije u pozitivnu. Smatralo se da oslobađajući energiju zarobljenu na instinktivnom nivou našeg bića, u emocijama kao što su strah ili požuda, praktikant ubrzava napredovanje na putu probuđenja. Primeri ovakvih praksi uključuju pijenje alkohola ili seksualni odnos, što su sve ozbiljni prekršaji, pogotovo za zaređene. Istorija nam je pokazala da su neki sledbenici ovakva učenja razumeli doslovno i “nasukali se” poput čuvenog Chogyam Trungpe, koji je umro od ciroze jetre, dok su drugi bili oprezniji i videli ovakve ideje tek kao simboličan izraz i korisne objekte za meditaciju. Dakle, oprez sa eksperimentisanjem!

Sve u svemu, ako bismo sumirali ključne tačke onoga što je do sada rečeno, onda možemo naglasiti da je Budino učenje o moralu ukorenjeno u kosmičkom zakonu nazvanom Dhamma, pre nego u zapovestima koje je izdao neki bog. Budisti smatraju da su osobine tog zakona uvideli probuđeni učitelji i otuda je svakome ko razvije neophodan uvid moguće da ih isto tako otkrije sam za sebe. Tako, živeći životom vrline, postajemo otelovljenje tog univerzalnog zakona, a svako ko na taj način živi i orijentiše se na osnovu datih pravila može očekivati sreću u svom životu, srećno preporađanje u narednom, i konačno dostizanje probuđenja i izlazak iz bolnog kruga preporađanja. Budistička etika naglašava samodisciplinu, pogotovo za one koji su se odlučili za put monaha i monahinje, zatim darežljivost, nenasilnost i saosećanje za sebe i za druga bića. U skladu sa svojim izuzetnim insistiranjem na saosećanju, mahāyana budistička tradicija stavlja poseban naglasak na služenje drugima, što ponekad može voditi do unutrašnjeg sukoba između saosećanja i održavanja pomenutih pravila vrline. Sve u svemu, budistička etika predstavlja široko polje, u kojem ima mnogo pravila, ali i mnogo slobode za nas da odlučimo kojim ćemo putem poći. Neke od tih puteva razmotrićemo u narednim predavanjima.

(Nastavak teksta ovde)

Kurs budističke etike

“Ispred svakog bića ukloni svoj štap
da ne povrediš nijedno od njih…”

Budizam je odgovor na ono što je u suštini jedan etički problem, a to je večno pitanje pred kojim se svako od nas nađe: kako da na najbolji način proživim život koji imam?

Zato ćemo na našim redovnim onlajn okupljanjima nedeljom, počev od naredne, pokušati da se kroz seriju od šest predavanja bolje upoznamo sa odgovorima koje je Buda ponudio, gradeći jednu specifičnu filozofiju morala, ali i skup praksi koje su njen vidljivi izraz. U isto vreme, posvetićemo pažnju posebnim aspektima primene budističke etike u odnosu na savremena pitanja kakva su odnos prema prirodnom okruženju i životinjama, ekonomija i radna etika, konflikt i nasilje, eutanazija, abortus i samoubistvo, budistički stav u vezi sa odnosima među polovima i slično.

Prvo predavanje, 30. avgusta u 16:30, uvešće nas u svet budističke etike i upoznati sa osnovnim principima na kojima ona počiva. Tako ćemo biti u prilici da sebi na pravi način definišemo ključne etičke vrednosti i promišljamo njihovu primenu u sopstvenom životu.

Ako vas tema zanima, pridružite nam se preko ovog (direkt browser) ili ovog linka (instaliraće vam posebnu Zoom aplikaciju, ako je već nemate na računaru).

Abhidhamma and Emotional Quotient

Although since after the dawn of civilization humankind has valued certain qualities of the mind, as compassion, well-being, charity, altruism, kindness, love, and other noble aspects of the human condition, even nowadays scientists disagree on the exact nature of these and emotions in general. Throughout history several theories were proposed, aiming to properly answer this tricky question. And two of them are the most prominent. The first one, dominating psychological discussions since Plato up until XIX century, is often called the cultural theory of emotions. According to this view, emotions are learned ways of behavior, knowledge transmitted culturally, similarly like languages. Just like one first needs to hear English to be able to speak it, in the same way one needs to see other people reacting emotionally to be able to imitate these reactions.

The second school of thought, pointing to a biological causes of emotions, started with Charles Darwin’s The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872) and James-Lange theory that the experience of emotion is created by certain physiological arousal. Further research in this direction promoted a claim that there is a certain set of so-called basic emotions, universal and innate to all humans. There is, expectedly, certain disagreement in this camp about how many of these basic emotions there are, but most of the proponents would include the following into their list: joy/happiness, distress/sadness, anger, fear, surprise and disgust. Thus, according to contemporary theories, emotions are hardwired into our brain. They are something like breathing, simply a part of human nature.

Brain and emotions

Wherever the truth might lay, further research in neuroscience showed there are certain, specialized parts of our brain dealing with each of these emotions. This map of our emotional landscape consists of three main areas:

1. Threat system: processes information coming through our senses and evaluates if they represent a threat for our existence of not. During the evolution, it played an important part of our survival success, protecting us against various predators. Nowadays we do not meet with many of them. However, the system also processes information coming from the mind and doesn’t know the difference between signals produced by our mind and those supplied by the five senses. It simply asks: “Is this a threat?” That means it is being triggered by many things we only perceive as harmful: painful memories, self-criticism (“I’m not good enough!”) or anticipation of some unpleasant events (“Oh, how I’m going to perform at that job interview next week!?”) Many of these mental constructs are social threats: fear to be judged negatively by others, disgust provoked by racial prejudices or anger during discussion with political opponents.

Therefore, it is extremely helpful to better know what exactly triggers our threat system and how we can cope with his alarms and subsequent mental reactions. One of the prominent features we should be aware of is called “negativity bias”, which means that our brains are prone to overestimate a threat. Evolutionary psychology explains this trait as a part of our survival mechanism. Our ancestors were faced with two basic challenges: “sticks” and “carrots”. The first one represents predators and a conflict among opposed communities or inside one of them. The “carrots” were mainly food and sex. But among these two, “sticks” were far more important, since if we miss the opportunity to register the predator, no more chances for any “carrot” – ever! Thus, naturally our brains much more thoroughly keep scanning for bad signs around, but also inside us. Focusing tightly on them, it’s easy to lose a big picture and overreact. Practical outcome is that if, let say, out of ten interactions with other people during the day nine are pleasant and only one unpleasant, we will end up obsessively thinking about this one! Reinforcing thus another common tendency of our mind, that to rumination and worry!

2. Drive and resource acquisition system: Both men and animals need to provide food and shelter for their survival, as well as mate for procreation. If we are successful in achieving these and some other essential goals, we feel excited and happy. At the same time, it is a source of great frustration, stress and sadness if for various reasons we are not capable of achieving that. These reasons might be stronger competition, aging, but also setting unrealistic goals. We can also become addicted to the surge of dopamine when getting something for ourselves or receiving approval from the others for what we’ve achieved. But this may cause a problem if we come across indifference or negative criticism, amplifying our sense of inadequacy and vulnerability.

In our highly competitive societies we can fall prey to inordinate goal-oriented mode of thinking, failing to see the importance and value of other human capabilities and interpersonal relationships. If we lack emotional intelligence, this may create a feeling of emptiness and disorientation, forcing us to compensate with various compulsive behavior like shopping, fast driving, gambling or alcohol abuse. All this is exacerbated by strong social influences like advertising or peer pressure, resulting in our drive system over-stimulation.

3. Contentment and soothing system: When we feel secure and our needs are satisfied, those first two systems switch off and the soothing system continues to regulate our behavior. Stability of this system is based on our relationship with others, early in our life, as a bond between parents and an infant. This pattern continues also during our adult life, when feeling of being cared and connected enormously contribute to our better coping with stress and other life challenges. Fortunately, we can regulate the work of this and other emotional regulation systems by applying various exercises, similarly we exercise our body. Our brains are adaptable and that is what is called neuroplasticity.

Our experiences play a great role in the development of these systems, depending on which one of them is being frequently activated and which one rarely. As with many other things, all this lead us to two fundamental options: we can be dominated by them, or we can prevent them to dictate our actions and mindfully take over at least partial control over them.

The first two of these systems resemble Abhidhamma description of the three roots of moral evil: hatred (dosa), greed (lobha) and delusion (moha). Treat system obviously could be related to dosa and two types of unwholesome consciousness rooted in it. This class of consciousness is always accompanied with another emotion, which is displeasure (domanassa). Dosa is destructive and is compared to a jungle-fire burning that which it depends on. The second, acquisition system corresponds to lobha, attachment to what is agreeable, and the types of consciousness rooted in greed. Abhidhamma lists four of these, accompanied by the emotion of joy, and the same number of them accompanied by equanimity. Finally, the soothing system could be just conditionally related to moha, because unknowing could feel soothing and produce a feeling of contentment, but as moha according to Abhidhamma is the root of all unwholesome, for more sound basis of mental health obviously it should be replaced by contentment based on knowing and insight.

Emotional intelligence

The outcome of all our efforts considerably depends on our emotional intelligence (EI), set of character traits and skills that contribute to the understanding of our own and the emotional life and reactions of other people. Although present in a scientific psychological discourse from mid-1970s, the notion of emotional intelligence was greatly popularized some twenty years later, by psychologist Daniel Goleman, after he published his book Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ in 1995.

To grasp the nature of emotional intelligence, it’s important to make distinction between it and specific personality traits and idiosyncrasies. More than just having a cheerful disposition or “being nice”, emotional intelligence is about being capable to accurately identify our own and emotions of others. Also, to be able to harness the power of emotions for taking positive actions and coming up with solutions. Finally, since emotions contain important information and strongly influence our thinking, EI also encompass understanding the need to incorporate them intelligently into our process of reasoning and managing various social interactions. This means having the ability to clearly discern and make sense of our internal turmoil, sadness or anxiety, but also to be able to approach others with empathy, an understanding of their emotional state, at any given time.

Of course, emotion management is not a simple task. As Aristotle famously put it: “Anybody can become angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.” All this requires a considerable degree of emotional quotient, category which just recently started to catch up with its much more renowned relative IQ.

But what is really encouraging in all this consideration is the fact that our level of emotional intelligence is not something fixed genetically, nor it does develop only in childhood. Unlike our intellectual capacities, which mostly stay the same after our teen years, EI seems to be continuously learned, improved and capable of developing as we go through various life experiences.

EI from an Abhidhammic perspective

When we finally turn to the Abhidhamma, curious to see how ancient Buddhist thinkers analyzed and explained emotions, we might be puzzled by the fact that this type of psychology simply does not have a separate term for emotions in its extremely rich vocabulary, nor does it have among its innumerable lists the one with the full range of various emotions. Reason for that seems to be the fact that an emotion is a complex phenomenon and the Abhidhamma program was strictly to deconstruct physical and mental reality up to its basic constituents, which are not possible further to segregate. But this first impression is just an initial blindness, as when we enter into a dark room from the full daylight outside. Soon, things start to differentiate and become more visible:

Once I started looking, I saw that “feeling” was showing up all over. The first noble truth of Buddhism refers to a feeling: suffering. The second khandha is feeling. Feeling is the seventh link on the Wheel of Life and Death and is critical in categorizing all acts of consciousness and their attending mental factors. Contemplation of feeling is the second foundation of mindfulness, after contemplation of the body. This says that feeling is the most important mental factor to understand on the path toward enlightenment.1

To understand how Abhidhamma treats emotions, we can first turn to the Buddha’s succinct statement: “All things converge on feelings”. This reminds us to the distinction between a feeling and an emotion and helps to refocus by searching for the analysis of an emotion mostly in the Abhidhamma sections on the mental factors (cetasikas) and the processes of perception. There, among mental factors, we come across a feeling (vedanā), distinguished into pleasant (sukha), painful (dukkha) and neither painful not pleasant (adukkhāsukha). Growing out of this basic feeling tone of any experience, variety of emotions are developed by adding likes and dislikes of various intensity, as well as other thought processes like memories and preferences. Important as they are, emotions were not isolated, but were not neglected either. Instead, they were described as a major force of a human nature.

Integrative nature of this process reminds us of one of the most complex Buddhist terms, which is saṇkhāra. Apart from its role in the Buddha’s analysis of the components of which consists a being, where it figures as saṇkhāra khandha or the aggregate of volitional constructions, in the Abhidhamma context it denotes similar, constructive aspect of a cognition act and semantically overlaps with the one among universal mind factors, namely cetanā or volition. Thus, propelled by a pleasant or painful feeling, the mental factor of cetanā plays a decisive role also in mobilizing other cetasikas and forming such a complex mental events as emotions and providing along the process a unique stamp of personal reaction to various external or internal stimulus. These reactions are, on their own, one of the main factors coloring one’s viññāṇa (consciousness). This is possible reason why in the paṭiccasamuppāda formula saṇkhāra immediately precedes viññāṇa or in the Abhidhammic terminology rather citta.

Further on, the fact that a feeling belongs to the group of cetasikas which accompany all mind states can be taken as a testimony to the importance of emotions for the Buddhist exegetes. Interestingly, this view seems to correspond to the central place our limbic system, called “brain’s emotional center” because it is responsible for regulating emotions, occupy in the architecture of our brain. It is situated deeply withing the brain, joining both hemispheres, with connections to all outer layers of the brain. The same centrality is reflected in the fact that at the middle of a cognitive process occurs the turning point at which its receptive part turns into an active, emotionally and volitionally charged sequence:

An important shift occurs at about the halfway point of the full seventeen-step process, between Determining and the Javanas. It has been called the Gateway to Karma, because, at this exact point, perception switches from being essentially affected by the past to having an effect on the future… At the Gateway to Karma, the midpoint of the perceptual process, real emotion can kick in and related past mental objects arise. We can be influenced by our old associations, reactive and emotionally bound by the past. This is the point where emotions can get stuck, running over and over history and perpetuating its influence… This might be expressed in the Abhidharma description of the javanas, the seven steps of perception that run over and over the object.2

Evidently, Abhidhamma presents a model of consciousness that is open to growth and improvements and that is the main rationale of the Buddha’s teachings as a practically oriented endeavor. The Dhamma starts with one emotion, dukkha, but it doesn’t stop there. Supported by the insights into human psyche elaborated in the Abhidhamma, one is better equipped to respond to suffering. The second factor in this process of transformation is the insight that all our mental experiences are not some static, unchanging phenomena, but a rather dynamic, conditioned and conditioning constituents of our psyche.

Inspired by the Abhidhamma breath of view and various forms of Buddhist mental training, contemporary Western psychology developed a whole range of mindfulness based interventions aimed at emotional regulations. One of them is a compassion meditation training, aimed at cultivating compassion as a response to various forms of suffering and results in external behavioral change. This method is based on the latest research done by leading Western scientists in the field, together with the long-time practitioners.3 The research has shown that compassionate states during meditation practice induce also compassionate responses to suffering outside the meditation context and thus enhance prosocial behavior to relieve suffering.

Compassion meditation training

During practice, a meditator first develops compassion towards oneself and the persons closest to him/her, like parents, spouse, children etc. Later, that “circle of compassion” widens, to encompass various groups of people differentiated by the degree of emotional closeness: friends, acquaintances, unknown people to whom we are indifferent, then “difficult people”, the ones we had some misunderstanding in the past. Finally, a meditator tries to develop compassion towards all living beings. Each of these steps builds on the previous one. It is relatively easy to develop compassion towards loved ones and then this initial emotion is ground for its development towards less emotionally charged groups of people.

Along this process, three steps are practiced for each of the target groups:

1. Visualization of a situation, witnessed of supposed, when each person has suffered from physical or emotional pain.

2. Being aware of own reactions to that suffering and bringing acceptance and nonjudgmental attention, especially to challenging sensations, thoughts, and feelings that arise.

3. Cultivating compassion by evoking feelings of care and concern for that person, paired with desire to relieve his/her suffering.

As a part of the last step, meditators are instructed to silently repeat phrases that support compassion awakening: “May you have happiness. May you be free from suffering; May you experience joy and ease.” Tripartite structure of the meditation is designed in such a way to lead to three clearly recognizable mental processes: 1. Increasing emphatic responses, 2. Decreasing avoidance responses, and 3. Increasing compassionate responses to suffering.

As mentioned earlier, emotional intelligence includes not only recognizing emotions when they appear, but also cognitive reappraisal, being able to re-interpret the meaning of situations and to decrease stress. Thus, a number of research-projects was conducted4 including compassion training, which is other-focused and aimed to increase emphatic concern and prosocial motivation. This method was combined with the reappraisal training, which is self-focused and designed to reduce personal negative emotions. The results of those studies gave encouraging results, showing that it is possible to change neural functions and behavioral patterns in situations of emphatic distress and compassion:

These studies revealed that compassion is associated with an increase in positive feelings and with neural activations in a network associated with care and social connection… Importantly, the degree of compassionate experiences is not set in stone, but can be trained even in adults. Training compassion leads to an increase in positive affect associated with functional plasticity in brain networks related to care and compassion.5

The last chapter of the Abhidhammata Sangaha on meditation subjects anticipates and dovetails with the types of training described above, as it gives recommendation for how to cure distortions of our mind. This process naturally starts already with the study of the Abhidhamma, by gradually dispersing ignorance about the workings of our mind. But here more concrete instructions are found, following the well known division of the Buddhist meditative practice into calm and insight oriented efforts. The first path of training is close to modern cognitive therapies, while the insight comes closer to a more psychoanalytic therapeutic approach. But, ultimately, the goal is to link Abhidhamma theory and a practice, first by pairing the six distinct temperaments with the most appropriate among forty different meditation objects (kammathana). Creating stable and more attentive mind further on serves as a foundation for deep insight into the significance of every experience in a wider context of the human life and the network of interpersonal relationships.

From all we’ve discussed so far, it is obvious that Abhidhamma is not some abstract, scholastic project, created as a mere intellectual entertainment, but was designed with very practical goals in mind.

At the same time, better knowledge of our psychological mechanisms described in details by this ancient Buddhist psychology clearly supports better recognizing of emotions and their management. Thus, directly contributing to our emotional intelligence.

Notes

1 Jacobs (2017), p. 64.
2 Jacobs (2017), pp. 25, 67.
3 Davidson, R. J., & Harrington, A. (2001), Visions of Compassion: Western Scientists and Tibetan Buddhists Examine Human Nature. New York: Oxford University Press; Lama, D., & Cutler, H. C. (1998), The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living. Riverhead Books; Salzberg, S. (1997). Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness. Boston, MA: Shambhala.
4 Seppalla (2017), pp. 109-202.
5 Seppalla (2017), p. 166.

Literature

Bodhi, Bhikkhu (2000), A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma (Abhidhammattha Sangaha). Pariyatti.
Jacobs, Beth (2017), The Original Buddhist Psychology: What the Abhidhamma Tells Us about How We Think, Feel, and Experience Life, California, North Atlantic Books.
Janakabhivamsa, Ashin (1999), Abhidhamma in Daily Life, (trans. U Ko Lay). Mandalay, Mahagandayone
Nyanaponika Thera (1976), Abhidhamma Studies: Researches in Buddhist Psychology. Kandy, BPS
Seppala, Emma M. et. eds. (2017), The Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science, Oxford, OUP.
Van Gorkom, Nina (2018), Abhidhamma in Daily Life, Bangkok
Welford, Mary (2016), Compassion Focused Therapy for dummies. Chichester: John Wiley & Son.

Beskrajne želje

Vežba: Što je češće moguće, tokom dana, postani svestan kada se pojavi neka želja.

PODSEĆANJE
Postavi male natpise na strateškim mestima koji kažu: “Koja je moja želja upravo sada?”

OTKRIĆA
Ljudi kažu da su pre praktikovanja ove vežbe želju uvek povezivali ili sa hranom ili sa seksom. Međutim, kako je neko primetio, posle izvesnog perioda održavanja svesnosti želje tokom dana, ustanovio je da se različite želje neprekidno javljaju. Od trenutka buđenja, pa sve do poslednjeg svesnog trenutka pred spavanje. Kada zazvoni budilnik, želja za još spavanja. Ulazak u kuhinju, želja za kafom. Uveče, želja da se legne u krevet. I tako dalje. Mnogi ljudi se zabezeknu kad ustanove da su jedno veliko klupko želja, sa tankom pokoricom “racionalnosti”.

Tiranija želja nam se nametne rano u životu. Pola sata posle doručka, moja dvogodišnja unuka je napolju na ljuljašci, sva srećna, a onda joj se izraz lica potpuno promeni u grimasu, pre nego što objavi: “Hoću sladoled!” Malo kasnije, to će biti “Hoću čokoladne bombone!” Takođe je naučila da je “Treba mi…” efikasniji način da zadovolji svoje želje nego “Hoću…” Ona je tako transparentna, da možeš posmatrati oblake želje kako prolaze i zatamne njezin sunčani um. Zaista je potrebno mnogo odlučnosti odraslih i truda da joj skrenemo pažnju kako bi se oslobodila te hobotnice želje kada je jednom obuhvati svojim pipcima.

Svi znamo kako želja može da se obavije oko nas poput puzavice. I mi s ene razlikujemo mnogo od tih dvogodišnjaka. Spokojno šetamo kroz tržni centar i odjednom osetimo miris mekike. Istog trenutka smo u prilici da posmatramo želju kako raste i počinje da nas cima, nagovara i formuliše ubedljive razloge. Potrebna je odlučnost da prekinemo tu unutrašnju debatu i um okrenemo ka nečem zdravijem.

DUBLJE LEKCIJE
Nema ničeg lošeg u želji kao takvoj. Želja nas održava u životu. Kada ne bismo želeli hranu, vodu ili san, uskoro bismo umrli. Kada ne bismo imali želju za seksom, ne bi više bilo ljudi, ni Bude, ni proroka, ni Isusa. Na primer, nema ničeg lošeg u tome da želimo hranu kada smo gladni i da uživamo u njoj dok je jedemo. Međutim, ako se kasnije vežemo za to zadovoljstvo, a onda i za hranu koja nam ga je donela, krećemo nizbrdo ka patnji. “Taj sladoled je bio izvanredan, treba mi još jedna velika porcija.” Ili malo lukavija strategija: “Baš sam vredno radio, zaslužujem još jednu porciju.”

Posmatranje koliko često se želje javljaju tokom dana, izvlači ih iz područja nesvesnog, gde su u stanju da nas kontrolišu, usmeravaju naše ponašanje, a da mi to ni ne shvatamo. “Želim/treba mi/zaslužujem još sladoleda” uskoro postaje “Kako sam se ugojio tih pet kila?” “Usamljen sam i želim/treba mi/zaslužujem nekoga d ame voli” postaje “Otkuda ja u krevetu sa ovom osobom?” Kada želju izvedemo na otvoreno polje svesnosti, možemo da je jasno vidimo i, potom, pravimo svesne odluke o tome da li je korisno da je sledimo ili nije.

Deo razloga zašto je želja toliko moćna leži u tome što nas ona čini toliko živim. Kada nam se um fiksir na nešto što želi, tada smo poput lovaca koji su se fiksirali na svoj plen, vrlo pažljivih i punih energije. Ako razmišljamo da kupimo kola, počinjemo svuda da primećujemo kola. O njima pričamo sa prijateljima i trgovcima, čitamo izveštaje i poređenja na internetu. I na kraju, kupimo kola. Vrlo srećni zbog toga, vozamo se unaokolo. Ali koliko dugo traje to zadovoljstvo? Nekoliko nedelje ili, najviše, nekoliko meseci. I tada to postanu samo još jedna kola, a mi smo se već zaputili u potragu za nečim drugim, možda novim kompjuterom. Sama želja može biti prijatna, ali zadovoljena želja može biti razočaravajuća, što je jedan od razloga da su ljudi uvek u potrazi, bilo za novim kolima, novim partnerom ili novom poslasticom. Upravo taj nemir izvor je velike patnje i nezadovoljstva.

Zaključak: Kada si nesrećan, ustanovi za šta si se vezao i napusti to.

Otrov samoprezira i lek kamme

Poput čoveka koji pati od hroničnog manjka samopoštovanja, i zajednice na prostoru bivše bivše nam domovine, u celini i posle traume devedesetih, takođe imaju ogroman deficit samopoštovanja. Taj nedostatak se onda pokušava zamaskirati/nadomestiti različitim “priručnim sredstvima”, od kojih nacionalizam nije ono najmanje zastupljeno. Naprotiv. To je bio i nadalje ostaje ozbiljan problem, jer jedna zajednica, po definiciji, nije tek nasumični skup pojedinaca, već mora posedovati nešto, ideju, cilj, sećanje, što je drži na okupu. Nije samo moj osećaj da smo na tom terenu izgubili ono što se po nekima staromodno zove “sistem vrednosti”. I nikako da ga ponovo pronađemo iliti da iz temelja izgradimo novi. Taj sistem se najbolje odslikava u etičkim normama koje vladaju u jednoj zajednici, a tu je deficit rekao bih globalan. Taj trend je, onda, uz već pomenutu “domaću” autodestrukciju, stvari ovde učinio još ozbiljnijim.

I zaista, neodložno pitanje koje svako od nas sebi u ovom trenutku treba da postavi jeste: Koji je moj etički kodeks, moj moralni kompas? Da li ga uopšte imam? Ako ga nemam, da li ga nemam zato što ga smatram nečim staromodnim, samo za zatucane vernike, dakle apsolutno nepotrebnim? A ako ga imam, kakav je, od čega se sastoji? Dalje, kako je on formiran? Da li ga stvaram adhok, po potrebi, od slučaja do slučaja ili je on stabilan, primenljiv više-manje na svaku situaciju, pouzdan oslonac u svakodnenim situacijama kada treba da odlučim idem li levo ili desno, da li uopšte da krenem ili ne? Sve su to naizgled jednostavna, ali zaista duboka pitanja kojima bi svako od nas trebalo da se u svetlu samorefleksije pozabavi. Pre svega sebe radi, a onda i u kontekstu zajednice u kojoj živimo. I neka nas ne zavara zabluda da je moral, etika, nešto staromordno, prevaziđeno, relativno. Jer relativnost se odnosi na fiziku, nikako ne na etiku.

Kakav god odgovor da posle iskrenog samoistraživanja pronađemo, on ne treba da nam bude povod za novo šibanje samih sebe, za samoprezir, već kao osnova da napravimo korak dalje u traganju koje smo upravo započeli. Taj korak znači ili početak strpljivog građenja ili proveru solidnosti onoga što već postoji. Koji god da je slučaj, zadatak nije lak i zahteva pažnju, energiju pronicljivog samoposmatranja, iskrenost prema samome sebi, istrajnost, a pre svega otvorenost za ideje koje su nam strane ili neobične.

Među glavnim preprekama na tom putu naići ćemo na fasciniranost, zaokupljenost samim sobom, što negativnu, što “pozitivnu”. “MOJ problem! Niko nikada nije ga imao. Niti će. MOJE potrebe! Sve u odnosu na njih je mikroskopskih razmera.”

Nije preterivanje reći, baš kao što nas je to Buda upozoravao, da naš moralni razvoj može napredovati samo u odsustvu sebičnih želja. Jedino ako prestanemo da budemo ono što su stari Grci nazivali “samo strasna požuda na gomili mesa”. Jer ona je poput ogromne planete čija gravitacija vrlo lako skrene sa kursa našu svemirsku iliti etičku sondu, a da često mi to ni ne primetimo. Za tu svrhu od velike nam je pomoći ako na umu imamo upozorenje jednog istinskog cinika kakav je bio Hobs. On je, nažalost u velikoj meri tačno, primetio u Levijatanu: “Predmet voljnog čina svakog čoveka jest neko dobro za njega samog”. Samo što se ne bih ovde sa njim složio oko kvalifikacije “čovek”. Radije bih stavio “čovek u pokušaju”. Upravo neopozivi izlazak iz gravitacionog polja tog egoističnog interesa jeste ono što od pokušaja pravi istinskog čoveka.

Budizam u ovakva etička razmatranja na Zapadu unosi jednu važnu ideju, a to je ideja kamme/karme. Njezina vrednost se, po meni, u velikoj meri ogleda u tome što zadovoljava našu, opšteljudsku i nesvesnu potrebu za pravednošću, a to znači redom, poretkom i predvidivošću. Ako nas nešto efikasno potire kao ljudska bića, onda je to haos.

Ali nevolja sa kammom za nas Zapadnjake je što ona ide u paketu sa još jednom idejom, a to je preporađanje, i samo sa njom dobija svoj puni smisao. Radi se o tome da je ovaj sadašnji život tek jedan od mnogih koje smo preživeli i nastaviće se novim rođenjima u ovom bolnom krugu preporađanja, sve dok iz njega ne izađemo razumevši šta je to što nas za njega drži prikovane. Nažalost, naše neograničeno poverenje u onaj deo nauke koji je zasnovan na krajnjem materijalizmu, na ideji da ništa ne postoji za šta ne možemo da se osvedočimo sopstvenim čulima, kao i već duboko usađeni refleks antagonizma prema religiji, koju brkamo sa metafizikom, čine da ideju preporađanja u startu odbacimo. A budistička ideja preporađanja jeste jedna metafizička ideja, ne religijska.

Dalje, mi zaista nismo u poziciji da decidirano kažemo da li se sve završava smrću ili ipak, postoji i drugo, treće, četvrto… poluvreme. Mi to sada, ovakvi kakvi smo ne znamo i to treba pošteno sami sebi da priznamo. Pa ako ne znamo, nije li onda mudro makar ostaviti to kao jednu od dve mogućnosti? I kao što je Buda podučio, u tom slučaju, živeći život vrline u ovom životu, svakako smo na dobitku. Ako drugog života nema, ništa strašno, barem ćemo ovaj tekući provesti u miru i usput učiniti neko dobročinstvo po kojem će nas oni koji posle nas ostanu pamtiti. A ako ipak postoji nastavak, tada nam ostaje da uživamo u plodovima dobrih dela koje činimo sada. I isto tako sa nedelima. Sada nam zagorčavaju život, pa ako nam i kasnije još jednom dođu na naplatu… teško nama. Jer smo eto promašili strategiju. A zadatak zaista nije bio strašno komplikovan. Zato, umesto rizika, možda bi bilo mudro da igramo na sigurno. I ovo je jedna od retkih, a životno važnih stvari u kojoj imamo šansu da budemo u win-win situaciji. Ali naravno, u nju dolazimo delima delima, a ne samo logičkim domišljanjima.

What Does Dhamma Mean in Theravada Abhidhamma?

Except for the term Buddha, dhamma (Sanskrit: dharma) is undoubtedly the most important term in Buddhism, with the breath of meaning which is not easy to encompass. To support this claim, it suffices to look at the long list of scholarly works which deal with this topic in the limits of Theravada Buddhism, starting with the early endeavors made by Magdalene and Wilhelm Geiger1 and followed by F. Th. Stcherbatsky.2 Among the more recent attempts in explaining semantic richness of the term dhamma, some of them stand out. In his lengthy study, John Ross Carter did an interesting analysis of the ways the term was interpreted by the Western scholars: “For nearly a century and a half Western scholars have been aware of the term dhamma; they have pondered philological difficulties involved in the wide spectrum of meaning given to the term by Buddhists, and they have grappled with the implications suggested by the concept.”3 Further on, Richard Gombrich’s starting point is that ‘the Dharma’ of the Buddha is both the Buddha’s account describing his ‘experience’ and a message prescribing what to do about it.4 According to Karunadasa, “the term dhamma denotes not only the ultimate data of empirical existence but also the unconditioned state of Nibbana”.5 Finally, Rupert Rupert Gethin summarize various attempts at finding the best English equivalent for the term dhamma: “In many ways it might be the English word quality in its range of uses in both the singular and plural that provides the single best fit for dhamma in early Buddhism.”6

These and many other scholarly works generally group the meaning of the dhamma in four main semantic areas. The first one is the Buddha’s teachings, as it was expounded by the Teacher, but also in the form of the latter formulated texts that contain these teachings. Related to this is the second meaning, that of a truth or a natural law according to which this world operates. It was re-discovered by the Buddha and then in many different ways explained in his sermons. For example, in many places in the Canon it is described how, after preparing listeners by the gradual talk (anupubbī kathā) on giving, kindness and virtuous conduct, the Buddha reveals the Dhamma, the truth of all the Buddhas, formulated in the form of the four noble truths, but also in numerous other ways. Thirdly, as the last part of a compound, dhamma signify a “natural condition” (pakati) of something. For example, “subject to age” (jarādhamma)and many similar occasions in the suttas. Finally, the fourth meaning dhamma is used in the Nikāyas isbasic “mental or physical quality” and that brings us closer to the Abhidhammic understanding of the term.

Now if we narrow down the scope of our interest to the Theravada Abhidhamma, our topic starts to appear much more manageable. First, here we find dhamma theory as a corner stone of the whole Abhidhamma edifice. In their attempt to describe the nature of reality, authors of the canonical Abhidhamma works and their commentaries gave very specific meaning to the term dhamma, denoting it as the basic component of the phenomenal existence as a whole.

The key premise underpinning such an interpretation was the idea that the whole empirical existence is composed of basic units, labeled dhammas, which are not possible to reduce any further. This premise was actually a philosophical extension of the Buddha’s insight into the real nature of our everyday experience, behind which apparent appearance only bare, conditioned phenomenaoperate. The main task of the Abhidhammikas was to classify and describe all these dhammas and also explain causal relationships between them. It may be said that they did a quite thorough job, reducing the vastness of mental and physical experience to only four categories, labeled paramatha dhammas: 1. matter (rūpa), 2. consciousness (citta), 3. mental factors (cetasikas) and 4. uncondioned (nibbāna).

Thus, the term dhamma stands at the very beginning of the fist Abhidhamma book, showing how this term is crucial for the whole Abhidhamma project. Dhammasaṇgani starts with the matrix, a kind of table of contents of the further analysis:

[1] Kusalā dhammā (wholesome things)
Akusalā dhammā (unwholesome things)
Abyākatā dhammā (things without consequences).

[2] Sukhāya vedanāya sampayuttā dhammā (things connected with pleasant feeling)
Dukkhāya vedanāya sampayuttā dhammā (things connected with painful feeling)
Adukkham-asukhāya vedanāya sampayuttā dhammā (things connected with neither painful nor pleasant feeling)

[3] Vipākā dhammā (things with results)
Vipākadhammadhammā(things that have resultant nature)
Nevavipākanavipākadhammadhammā (things that are neither results nor have resultant nature)7
etc.

Abhidhammic understanding of dhammas as the basic constituents of the reality produced several disputes between Theravada and the other early schools of Buddhism in India and which were reflected in the Kathāvatthu (Points of Controversy). The main issue around all these polemics hinge is Theravada’s consistent rejection of all attempts, sometime more and sometime less open, to posit anything that would resemble of the permanent essence or atman. As an illustration, here great dispute with Sarvastivadins could be mentioned. In an attempt to explain those parts of Buddhist teachings that involve past and future, like the doctrine or kamma or rebirth, Sarvastivada thinkers found solution in postulating existence of not only present dhammas, but also past and future ones. This is the idea from which the name of their school was derived. Their conclusion was based on the fact that in Canon, as well as in commentaries all conditioned dhammas are described as tekālika (“belonging to the three times”) and the unconditioned nibbāna as kāla-mutta (“time-free”). They also assumed a distinction between phenomena, a form the dhammas appear to our senses, and their ideal mode of existence.

This idea seems similar to Plato’s allegory of the cave and the distinction between real objects and the shadows at the wall of the cave. As it is known, Plato’s ideas were criticized from the start, beginning with Democritus and then his follower Pyrrho. The same happened with Sarvastivadins’ theory of the dhammas belonging to all three divisions of time. Thus, Theravada critique found in the Katāvatthu points out that what they missed recognizing is that in all instances in the Canon, it is not ontological status of dhammas being confirmed, but purely the psychological one:

The very definition of past as “something that has ceased, that is departed, changed, gone away,” and the very definition of future as “something that is not yet born, not yet come to be, not yet come to pass, not happened, not befallen, is not manifested” excludes every possibility of the past and the future being considered as “existing.” If the term “to exist” is predicable of all the three divisions of time, the attributes of one become applicable to the other two as well. The pastness of the past, the presentness of the present, and the futureness of the future become equally applicable and hence mutually convertible, resulting in the complete obliteration of all distinctions between the three divisions of time.8

Being non-existent before and after their conditioned arising and ceasing, dhammas cannot be said to come into existence from somewhere and also to leave anywhere. Theravada scholastics also seem to go step further in the direction of realism and claimed that dhammas exist in a way that they are ultimate and possess their own particular characteristics. What is specific and important to notice here is that there is no difference between dhammas and their characteristics: the characteristics themselves are the dhammas. However, this “realness” is not some kind of independent existence, but a momentary one. As the dhammas depend on causes, they constantly appear and, when these causes are no more, cease to exist.

In the development of the Theravada dhamma theory one trend is clearly visible. Besides rearranging the old material from the suttas, some new elements were added on the way. For example, a property of femininity (itthindriya) was added for the description of the matter or the physical mind-base (hadaya-vatthu). Debates with competing schools were also led about the question of how real are individual beings and consequently the dhammas that constitute them. Theravada exegesis advocated position that while puggala is just a concept, the dhammas were considered real. On the other hand, especially mahāyāna schools like Madhyāmika or Yogācāra, opposed that on the basis of the argument that all the dhammas depend on the other dhammas to appear and thus exist only in the relationship with them.

Based on previous examination, it seems that between the time of suttas and the time of the Abhidhamma texts a whole evolution occured in defining and interpreting the basic terms by which the Buddhist teachers explained the teachings. The Buddha and his disciples were quite satisfied with the terms like khandha, āyatana or dhatu to describe the ultimate reality of the world they all lived in. Nevertheless, in the centuries after the Buddha passed away some old terms started to be assigned additional meanings in the permanent debate between Buddhists and the followers of the other spiritual traditions in India, as well as between various Buddhist schools themselves. One of such terms was dhamma, which was thus used to go one level deeper than the suttas and denote constituent elements of the khandas themselves.

Footnotes
1 Geiger (1920).
2 Stcherbatsky (1923).
3 Carter (1976), p. 662.
4 Gombrich (1996), pp. 34–36.
5 Karunadasa (2007), p. 29.
6 Gethin (2004) p. 537.
7 Anandajoti (2007).
8 Karunadasa (2005), p. 30.

Literature
1. Anandajoti Bhikkhu transl. (2007): Abhidhamma-Mātikā (The Matrix from the Abstract Teaching) (https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/English-Texts/Abstract-Matrix/index.htm).
2. Carter, John Ross (1976): “Dhamma as a religious concept: A Brief Investigation of Its History in the Western Academic Tradition and its Centrality within the Sinhalese Theravāda Tradition”, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 44/4, p. 661-674.
3. Geiger, Magdelene and Wilhelm (1920): Pāli Dhamma vornehmlich in der kanonischen Literatur, Munich, Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.
4. Gethin, Rupert (2004): “He Who Sees Dhamma Sees Dhammas: Dhamma in Early Buddhism”, Journal of Indian Philosophy, Vol. 32 pp. 513-542.
5. Gombrich, Richard (1996): How Buddhism Began: The Conditioned Genesis of the Early Teachings. London: Athlone.
6. Karunadasa, Yakupitiyage (2005): Theravada Abhidhamma, Kandy, Buddhist Publication Society.
7. Karunadasa, Yakupitiyage (2007): The Dhamma Theory: Philosophical Cornerstone of the Abhidhamma, Wheel 412/413. Kandy, Buddhist Publication Society.
8. Stcherbatsky, Fyodor (1923): The Central Conception of Buddhism and the Meaning of the Word ‘dharma’, London, Royal Asiatic Society.

Anatta, Rebirth and Responsibility for Action

If one has to single out the most important and the unique contribution the Buddha made to the humanity, then it’s theory of anatta or non-existence of the permanent self, the essence in the center of every human being. This discovery goes so much against our everyday experience, so it is quite usual that it causes a lot of misunderstanding and seemingly legitimate objections. The uncommonness of this teaching was also among opponents of Buddhism in the West often used as a “strong” argument for its complete rejection. The overall aim of this essay is to shed more light onto this somewhat confusing topic, by explaining what anatta theory means, but also how it is related to the Buddhas understanding of the law of kamma and the question of a bearer of moral responsibility in this life and those to come as well.

To better understand the Buddha’s position regarding permanent self-denial, it is helpful to review first the historical context and prevailing conceptions of a soul in India during his time. Therefore, let us briefly review the position on this issue occupied by the main philosophical schools dominant in India of the fifth century BC. The early Brahmanical texts like Upanishads, especially Bṛhadāranyaka and Chāndogya Upanishads, advocated that the true nature of an individual is an unchanging, mysterious and unfathomable entity called ātman. It is considered to be the basis for all of our transient, unstable experiences, but is not affected by them and thus not affected by inevitable suffering that befall us during our lives. It was also considered identical with Brahman, the underlying ground of the world itself. Thorough understanding of this identity is in the Upanishads represented as deepest and liberating insight, which set us free from the round of rebirth.

On the other hand, Jains saw jīva or soul as encrusted with the microscopic kammic particles, weighting it down and preventing it from achieving mokṣa or liberation from the round of rebirth. Therefore, the way of purification for Jains was twofold. The one, called saṃvara,led towards inhibiting the further accumulation of such kammic matter through a strict adhering to a set of ethical principles quite similar to pañca sīla precepts of the Buddhists. The second way, called nirjarā,meant purifying the soul of the karmic matter that has already been accumulated. This predominantly meant practicing various extreme ascetic practices:

Saṃvara necessitates adhering to the ethical principles of The Five Great Vows of (1) non- violence or non-harming, (2) truth, (3) no stealing, (4) chastity, and (5) nonpossession/non- attachment. In order to adhere to these ethical principles, the “passions” (anger, pride, deceit, and greed) must also be eliminated because they cause the ethical violations of these vows that, in turn, cause the accumulation of more harmful karmic matter. Nirjarā, on the other hand, requires practicing twelve different types of austerities (tapas): six external austerities (most of which involve fasting and bodily mortification) and six internal austerities (including penance, humility, service, religious study, renunciation, and meditation).1

As for the other prominent samana group of the Buddha’s time called Ajivikas, the outside sources mention quite strange theory of soul being as big as 500 yojanas. As Basham concludes, “jīva seems to have been taught of as an aura, extending far beyond the individual’s body. Its structure was atomic, and, as we have seen, atoms could not interpenetrate. It is difficult to suggest how the Ajīvikas accounted for the fact that living bodies were capable of approaching one another.”2

On the quite opposite side of the ideological spectrum were materialists, Carvakas, who denied existence of any eternal entity. For them, a life simply and undoubtedly ends with a death.

Going against all these views, Buddha took quite the unique position. His claim was that nothing in this world possesses a permanent substratum (sabbe dhammā anattā), but at the same time there is a continuation in the round of rebirth between consecutive existences. In other words, by claiming that what normally appears of us as a stable, permanent self is just a process of ever-changing mental states, the Buddha asserted that it is possible to have continuity without identity.

The Buddha’s view on such a crucial issue hadn’t come out of thin air, but through the deep meditative observation of his own experience. It was also natural outcome of his analysis of what makes a being, what are its constituting factors (khandhas) and how these factors are inter-related. Through his insight, he came to the conclusion that person is a bundle of five dynamic aggregates: matter (rūpa), feeling (vedanā), perception (saññā), mental formations (saṃkhāra) and consciousness (viññāṇa). These aggregates are impermanent, characterized by continuous causal connectedness. There is nothing else, inside them taken individually or collectively or outside them, that would constitute a being. In our experience, certain physical and mental phenomena are seen as lasting and connected. And that is all of ‘I’, ego, self that there is. Just our subjective impression. Nothing stable, unchanging exists behind this mental construct, except the functioning of the basic law of causality: “When this exists, that comes to be; with the arising of this, that arises… When this does not exist, that does not come to be; with the cessation of this, that ceases.”3

Having in mind the general view of the Indian philosophical scene of the Buddha’s time described above, it is obvious that with his doctrine of anatta, the Buddha actually avoided two main position advocated in the ontological debate of his contemporaries. These are positions of spiritual eternalism, based on the duality of the soul and body, and the materialist nihilism, which considers that soul and the body are one and the same:

At S.II.19-20 it is said that painful feeling is not made by self, other, both, or neither (i.e. without any reason). Were it to be self-made, this would be Eternalism, with both the agent of past karma and the present experiencer of its result being the same unchanging I. Were it to be other-made, this would be Annihilationism, with the agent of past karma being totally unrelated to the person experiencing its result in the present life. Both these extremes are avoided by understanding life as the flow of conditions outlined in the Conditioned Arising series.4

Thus, constantly renewed factors of a being make for this being not appropriate to be designated as the same, but also not as completely another. Here we can use a fire metaphor, as its flame is not something that is always the same or completely changes with the time. What we have is actually just a rapidly changing series of moments of flame, which quickly cools down and is replaced by new flames produced by the fuel burning. Although to us it seems as something constant from the first moment we see the fire until it is extinguished, the flame is just a process of red-hot gasses cooling down and being replaced with the new ones. In the same way, the combination of “red-hot” factors of a being last for a moment and are immediately replaced with the next, causally produced combination.

After describing the Buddha’s position on the crucial question of the nature of being, let us now turn to the second element in our equation and that is the Buddha’s explanation of the law of kamma as a key part of hist theory of morality.    There are in general three key elements of that theory. The first one is what he called kammāvada, a claim that there is a fundamental distinction between our good and bad actions, since they have completely opposite results. In this way the Buddha opposed to the claims of materialists that “there is… no fruit or result of good and bad actions”.5

Another key element was called kiriyavāda, which points out a moral efficacy of our moral acts for reaching a state of happiness and liberation. Innovation that Buddha made in the widely spread theory of kamma in India of his time was twofold. The first one was rejection of any external cause – God, past kamma, destiny (niyati) or nature (svabhava) – which is an agent, initiator of actions and a man is just the one who experiences its results. The second innovation was that the Buddha connected the results of any volitional action with the ethical quality of the will that stood behind it. As he expressed it in the Dhammapada:

By self is a wicked deed done,
by self is one defiled, by self
is a wicked deed left undone,
by oneself is one purified,
purity and impurity
come from oneself, for no one can
be purified by another.6

And finally, the last principle of the Buddhist theory of kamma was viriyavāda. To achieve happiness in this life and also happiness of liberation we need to invest an effort in our moral purification. The blueprint of the way this effort should be directed is the Noble Eightfold Path.

After these preliminary considerations, it is time now to turn to our main topic: if, as we’ve seen, according to the Buddha there is no permanent self, does it mean that the question of the moral responsibility for our actions becomes irrelevant? If there is no one who would be the carrier of that responsibility, how we can talk about kamma and vipāka, actor and the one who receives the fruits of that action? What is it, finally, that connects one existence with the next one?

The answer to these seemingly perplexing questions is related to the Buddha’s theory of person and the interpretation of the law of kamma we just elaborated on. As we saw, the Buddha considers a being as a process, a sequence, a stream of momentary mental and physical events. Therefore, what connects “me” now with “me” from yesterday is only the fact that both of these two “me” belong to the same sequence, the same continuity. When earlier part of that sequence does something kammically wholesome, it is the later part of that very same sequence that enjoys the resultant pleasant feelings. The same connectedness accounts for the role of a bearer of moral responsibility for harmful, unwholesome actions. This can be compared with the river, which was polluted in its upper part by some chemicals and it is unavoidable that the lower part of that river, not some other one, will be affected by the same level of pollution. Admittedly, this is the basic principle and the law of kamma is much more complex, as we create various types of kamma during our life.    So much that, as the Buddha explained in the Mahā-kammavibhanga Sutta (MN 136), interfering with each other, these types influence the time when the fruits of our intentional actions will be experienced, either now or sometime later, in this of in some next life.

So, as it influence this life, the law of moral causality likewise spans over two and more lifetimes, since the moment of death is nothing more than the end of one thought moment, after which, due to the accumulated kammic energy, new moment arises, by the stream of consciousness being re-linked to another material-mental complex called new embryo. This process the Buddha explained through his schema of dependent origination (paṭicca-samuppāda), where the preceding moment conditions the next one. “At the moment of death, the quality of the last consciousness conditions the arising of the rebirth consciousness. Nothing is carried over. Yet the new consciousness arises in dependence on the previous consciousness”.7 Thus the person is product of his/her past kamma and without that kammic potential, that person wouldn’t be born in the first place.

The schema of conditioned arising presents this process in quite a detail. Also, this multi-factored causal process sits in the center of the Buddha’s teachings in general, to the degree that it was said by the Buddha that the seeing of paṭicca-samuppāda equals to seeing the Dhamma.8 Although there are several versions of the schema, the most common is the one with the following twelve links: ignorance (avijjā), volitional formations (saṅkhārā), consciousness (viññāṇa), name-and-form (nāma-rūpa), six senses (saḷāyatana), contact (phassa), feeling (vedanā), craving (taṇ), clinging (upādāna), becoming (bhava), birth (jāti), old age (jarā) and death (maraṇa). Theravada exegesis saw it as presenting two aspects of the life process. The first one, found in the Vibhaṅga, applies each of the twelve links to a single mind moment. In the second one, found in the Paṭisambhidāmagga, twelve-link model is extending over three consecutive lifetimes. Thus, the first two links belong to the previous life, the last two to the next one and all in between to the present one. For our topic, this second model is of interest to be explored, especially its two factors of consciousness and name-and-form.

As stated in the Mahānidāna Sutta (DN 15),9 constantly changing processes of consciousness and name-and-form condition each other during the life. But that interplay also has a direct bearing on the topic of rebirth, since without simultaneous existence of the two, arising of a new being wouldn’t be possible. Thus, in the moment of rebirth stream of consciousness “enters” the womb, re-linking with the embryo.    It is stream of consciousness that is actually being reborn and it represents a necessary condition for name-and-form to grow. According to what was said in the Mahāmālunkya Sutta (MN 64), this consciousness is not some tabula rasa. It is colored by imprints from the past life, in a form of latent tendencies (anusaya). They accompany the stream of consciousness from previous life to the next one, giving specific character traits to the newborn:

For a young tender infant lying prone does not even have the notion ‘personality,’ so how could personality view arise in him? Yet the underlying tendency to personality view lies within him… A young tender infant lying prone does not even have the notion ‘sensual pleasures/ so how could sensual desire arise in him? Yet the underlying tendency to sensual lust lies within him. A young tender infant lying prone does not even have the notion ‘beings/ so how could ill will towards beings arise in him? Yet the underlying tendency to ill will lies within him.10

Vibhaṅga Sutta (SN 12:2) gives us the list of mental factors that are subsumed under the label nāma: “And what, bhikkhus, is name-and-form? Feeling, perception, volition, contact, attention: this is called name.”11 Among them, volition is often emphasized, since it is a decisive factor which produces kamma and thus directly determines our future life. At the same time, unlike other factors, it is the one which through mental training can be brought under our direct control. This also means that in this way we also put under our control the circumstances in which we will be reborn, although this process is not so simple, as the law of kamma is only one factor in a complicated network of factors that have their own role in this process.

When discussing the Buddhist theory of rebirth, it is interesting to mention one widely accepted view among Theravada followers regarding great importance the last mind moment (cuticitta). That moment in our present life seemingly is a key factor in defining circumstances we will be born into in the next life. The idea is unknown in the suttas and it seems to appear for the first time in Milindapañha. There it is said: “If anyone should do what is unskilled for a hundred years but at the time of dying should obtain one mindfulness occupied with the Buddha, he would uprise among the devas.”12 This idea is later worked out in detail in the Visuddhimagga13 and become part of the Theravada orthodoxy.

What is strange here is that this view seems to be opposed to the law of kamma as stated by the Buddha in several ways. First, Tipitaka records many occasions when the Buddha was conversing with the person approaching the moment of death, but none of them he used to expound on the last thought-moment teachings. Let us take a case of the Buddha’s conversation with his fellow tribesman Sakyanin Mahānāma. When asked by him what will happen if he dies at some sudden moment, the Teacher instructs him in the following way:

Don’t be afraid, Mahanama! Don’t be afraid, Mahanama! Your death will not be a bad one, your demise will not be a bad one. When a person’s mind has been fortified over a long time by faith, virtue, learning, generosity, and wisdom, right here crows, vultures, hawks, dogs, jackals, or various creatures eat his body, consisting of form, composed of the four great elements, originating from mother and father, built up out of rice and gruel, subject to impermanence, to being worn and rubbed away, to breaking apart and dispersal. But his mind, which has been fortified over a long time by faith, virtue, learning, generosity, and wisdom-that goes upwards, goes to distinction.14

Obviously, what counts is that “person’s mind has been fortified over a long time” by virtue and this view fits perfectly with the teaching expounded in the Mahā-kammavibhanga sutta quoted erlier. What we accumulate, that we experience. In line with that, idea of kamma as a factor which influences our perception of the world and thus the circumstances we live in is based on the principle of accumulation of many acts, not on a dominance of the single one. If someone was living virtuous life and at the moment of death, led by confusion and fear, had some misguided thought, it is hard to understand how this thought so thoroughly erased all the accumulation of his good deeds during seventy or eighty years of his life. Finally, the spirit of the whole Teachings is permeated by the idea of causality. If everything in our life is conditioned, then the last thought moment must be conditioned by the second to the last. And this one is conditioned by the third to the last etc. Therefore, it is more in the spirit of the Dhamma to talk about our tendencies and dispositions built during the long period of time and through innumerable repetitions, rather than about some individual, decisive and fatal moments which completely overturn whatever was build up during the lifetime.

This fits into Abhidhamma teachings of the four types of kamma and the object which presents itself in the mind-door in the moment of death. What apply here is the first type:

Some weighty action performed earlier by the dying person. This may be meritorious such as a jhānic ecstasy, or it may be demeritorious, some heinous crime. Either of these would be so powerful as to eclipse all other kammas in determining rebirth. This is called garuka kamma.15

So her we have a case when some act done in the past, as impactful as it is, gives direction to our rebirth. But, again, if it has just manifested in the last mind moment, that doesn’t mean that last moment had a decisive role in deciding where we are going to be reborn. This last mind moment is in the main part a result of what we’ve done before.

Literature
Analayo, Bhikkhu (2018), Rebirth in Early Buddhism and Current Research. Boston, Wisdom Publications.
Anandajoti, Bhikkhu, trns. (2016), Dhammapada    https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/Buddhist-Texts/K2-Dhammapada-New/index.htm
Basham, A. L. (1951), History and Doctrines of the Ajīvikas: A Vanished Indian Religion. London, Luzac & Company.
Bodhi, Bhikkhu, trns. (1995), The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha. Kandy, BPS.
Bodhi, Bhikkhu, trns. (2000), The Connected Discourses of the Buddha. Boston, Wisdom Publications.
Dhammika, Shravasti (2015), Good kamma! Bad kamma! What exactly is kamma? Singapore: Buddha Dhamma Mandala Society
Fohr, Sherry (2015), Jainism. London, Bloomsbury Academic.
Harvey, Peter (1995), The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirvana in Early Buddhism. London, Routledge Curzon.
Horner, I. B. (1969), Milinda’s Questions. London, PTS.
Karunadasa, Y. (2018), Early Buddhist Teachings: The Middle Position in Theory and Practice. Somerville, Wisdom Publications.
Mendis, N.K.G. (1985), The Abhidhamma in Practice. Kandy, BPS.
Walshe, Maurice, Transl. (1987), The Long Discourses of the Buddha. Boston: Wisdom Publications.

Notes
1 Fohr (2015), p. 37.
2 Basham (1951), p. 272.
3 Bodhi (1995), p. 355, 357.
4 Harvey (1995), p. 66.
5 Bodhi (1995), Sāleyyaka Sutta (MN 41).
6 Anandajoti (2016), verse 165.
7 Karunadasa (2018), p. 43-44.
8 Mahāhatthipadopama Sutta (MN 28), Transl. Bhikkhu Bodhi (1995).
9 Walshe (1987), p. 223.
10 Bodhi (1995), p. 538.
11 Bodhi (2000), p. 535.
12 Yo vassasataṃ akusalaṃ kareyya, maraṇakāle ca ekaṃ buddhaguṇaṃ satiṃ paṭilabheyya, so devesu uppajjeyyā’ti. Horner (1969), Vol I, p. 111.
13 Vism. 458-60.
14 Bodhi (2000), p. 1808.
15 Mendis (1985), p. 24.

Rečnik budističkih pojmova (1)

Krenuo sam da sastavljam rečnik budističkih pojmova na osnovu liste koju sam pravio godinama, da ne kažem decenijama, prevodeći kanonske i druge tekstove. Ta lista su bili zapravo samo stručni pali termini i služila mi je više kao podsetnik da znam kako sam neki termin ranije prevodio. Na kraju sam pomislio da bi bilo lepo napraviti od te liste jedan budistički rečnik. Ali onda su stvari počele da se komplikuju, kao što je i red, jer su počeli da mi se nameću neki novi pojmovi koje treba ili bi bilo lepo ubaciti. Tako je prvobitni rečnik počeo da preti da se pretvori u enciklopediju, a time posao umesto da se bliži kraju, kraj poslu biva sve dalji… 😂 No, dobro, radim, pa dokle stignem. A što ne stignem, uradiće već neko drugi. I pošto, očigledno, kraj nije ni na vidiku, evo jednog delića, čisto da znate čime se zanimam u dokolici. Stavljaću ubuduće još neke delove kako ih budem manje-više uredio, jer možda nekome bude korisno, pa da ne mora da čeka da sve završim. Jer to će da potraje. 😎

abbhutadhamma
Čudesni događaji. Jedna od devet (p. navaṅga[pāvacana]), odnosno dvanaest (sk. dvādaśāṅga[pravacana]) kategorija (aṅga) tekstova sadržanih u pāli i sanskritskim izvorima, a klasifikovanih na osnovu njihove strukture ili stila. Ovu kategoriju sutta karakterišu opisi različitih čudesnih ili natprirodnih događaja, koji se javljaju u toku naracije.

abhabbaṭṭhāna (sk. abhavyasthāna)
Stanje nesposobnosti ili nemogućnost. Odnosi se na devet vrsta nemoralnih postupaka ili manjkavosti karaktera, za koje je nemoguće da ih jedan arahant učini ili poseduje. Pošto je uklonio četiri otrova (āsava), smatra se zauvek imunim na ove slabosti: 1. namerno ubijanje živog bića, 2. krađa, 3. seksualni odnos, 4. namerno laganje, 5. gomilanje stvari radi čulnih užitaka, kao što to rade svetovni ljudi 6. vezivanje, 7. mržnja, 8. lakomislenost i 9. strah.

ābhassaraloka
Jedan od Brahma svetova (vidi: kosmologija) nastanjen božanstvima koja emituju bleštavu svetlost, a hrane se radošću (pītibhakkha). Najviši od tri sveta u koji se preporađaju bića koja su dosegla drugo zadubljenje (đhāna). Ona tu žive dva kosmička ciklusa (kappa) i nema garancije da se neće ponovo roditi u nekom od svetova patnje. Bodhisatte se nekada rađaju u ovom svetu.

Abhayagiri
Manastir na Šri Lanki, podignut u tadašnjoj prestonici Anurādhapuri u I veku pre n.e. Podigao ga je kralj → Vaṭṭagāmaṇi Abhaya za Mahātissa theru, u znak zahvalnost za monahovu pomoć u vreme kraljevog boravka u egzilu i borbe za tron. Ova zajednica se vremenom odvojila od → Mahāvihare i postala poseban red šrilankanskog budizma, što je dovelo do borbe za dominaciju. Abhayagiri je bio prosperitetan manastir, koji je svoj vrhunac doživeo u XI veka, da bi u XIII, kada je prestonica preseljena, lagano počeo da se gasi i na kraju prestao da bude aktivan budistički centar. Danas je njegova lokacija poznata po ogromnoj Abhayagiri stupi, jednoj od najvećih na ostrvu, a otkrivena je krajem XIX veka duboko u džungli.

abhayamudrā
„Gest neustrašivosti“ ili zaštite; ponekad se naziva i gest davanja utočišta. Ovaj gest (mudrā) obično čini dlan desne ruke okrenut ka spolja u visini ramena i sa prstima usmerenim nagore. Kada je prikazan u stojećem položaju, Buda je često predstavljen sa ovom mudrom, koja prenosi značenje sigurnosti, mira i saosećanja. Buda je ovim gestom umirio podivljalog slona, koji je jurišao prema njemu.

abhidhamma (sk. abhidharma)
U tekstovima Pāli kanona ovaj termin znači jednostavno “viša Dhamma”, kao sistematski pokušaj da se definiše Budino učenje i shvate odnosi među njegovim delovima. Kasnije ovaj termin označavao vrstu analitičkih rasprava zasnovanih na listama kategorija izvedenih iz učenja izloženog u Budinim govorima i dodatih Kanonu nekolika vekova posle Budine smrti kao Abhidhamma piṭaka, treća „košara“ Kanona. Sam naziv abhidhamma sugeriše da su ove rasprave smatrane preciznim i definitivnim prikazom učenja koje je u dijaloškoj, konvencionalnoj formi dato u suttama. I dok se sutte oslanjaju na subjektivno izlaganje i svakodnevni govor, poređenja, metafore i pripovedanje, kako bi doprle do specifične publike kojoj su namenjene, abhidhamma pruža objektivan, bezličan i krajnje tehnički opis specifičnih karakteristika stvarnosti i uzročnih procesa koji upravljaju stvaranjem i razlaganjem njenih delova.

Postoje dve oprečne teorije o nastanku abhidhamme kao posebnog žanra budističke literature. Po jednoj, koju prihvata većina zapadnih proučavalaca, smatra se da je abhidhamma evoluirala iz „matrica“ (mātikā) ili numeričkih listi dhammi, koje su korišćene kao mnemonička sredsta za organizovanje Budinog učenja na jedan mnogo sistematičniji način. Ovakav pristup učenju možemo uočti već u suttama i verovatno je on neizbežan nuzprodukt usmenog načina prenošenja ranih budističkih tekstova. Druga teorija, popularna među japanskim proučavaocima budizma, jeste da je abhidhamma evoluirala iz katehističkih diskusija (abhidharmakathā), u kojima je korišćna logička forma da se razjasne problematična pitanja učenja. Ovakav stil dijaloškog razmatranja javlja se na više mesta u suttama, gde Buda na primer daje kratak iskaz (uddesa), a onda njegovo značenje (niddesa) opširnije tumači neki od njegovih učenika. Tako je → Mahākaććānu sam Buda označio kad najboljeg u toj veštini među svim njegovim učenicima. Ovakav način izlaganja bio je dovoljno karakterističan da bude uvršten kao jedan od devet žanrova budističke literature (veyyākaraṇa).

Prema tradiciji, Buda je abhidhammi prvo podučio svoju majku → Mahāmāyu, koja je umrla nedelju dana pošto ga je rodila i potom se preporodila na Tusita nebu. Susreo ju je na nebu trideset trojice (tāvatiṃsa), gde je tokom tri meseca nju i druga okupljena božanstva podučavao abhidhammu, a potom sve to ponavljao → Sāriputti, kad bi silazio na zemlju u prošenje hrane. Tako je Sāriputta ostao upamćen kao vrsni znalac abhidhamme. Ova oblast učenja prvenstveno predstavlja obuku u višoj mudrosti (adhipañña). Korpus skolastičke literature, nastao kao rezultat i analitičke i sintetičke doktrinarne egzegeze, sakupljen je u Abhidhamma piṭaku, jednu od tri glavna dela budističkog kanona ili Tipiṭake. Sadržaj ovih dela uglavnom čine vrlo suptilne rasprave iz oblasti epistemologije, kosmologije i psihologije, zatim o zakon kamme, preporađanju i činiocima procesa probuđenja i puta (magga) ka oslobođenju od patnje.

Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha
„Sažetak značenja abhidhamme“, važan priručnik abhidhamme, čiji je autor Anuruddha, starešina Mūlasoma manastira u Polonnaruwi, sastavljen negde između VIII i XII veka, najverovatnije početkom XI. (Burmanska tradicija, međutim, datira ovaj tekst u I vek pre n.e.). Zbog svog konciznog stila, korišćen je vekovima kao uvod u proučavanje abhidhamme. Nijedan drugi tekst ove vrste nije privukao veću pažnju theravādskih egzegeta, naročito u Burmi, tako da postoji niz njegovih komentara i prevoda na narodne jezike. Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha se sastoji od devet poglavlja sistematskog pregleda doktrine theravāda budizma. Anuruddha koristi egzegezu koju je dao Buddhaghosa u svom kapitalnom delu Visuddhimagga, mada se ova dva dela značajno razlikuju po načinu izlaganja. Tamo gde Visuddhimagga nudi široko izlaganje theravāda abhidhamme, praćeno mnoštvom istorijskih i mitskih detalja, Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha ne daje mnogo više od puke liste tema, nalik nekakvom pregledu sadržaja. Međutim, Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha je posebno vredna po svojoj analizi 52 mentalna sastojka (ćetasika).

Abhidhammāvatāra
“Uvod u abhidhammu”, priručnik abhidhamme čije je autorstvo pripisano Buddhadatti (V vek), a za kojeg se kaže da je bio Buddhaghosin savremenik. Nema podataka da su se ova dva velika abhidhammike ikada sreli. Knjiga je sastavljena na jugu Indije i najstarije je pāli nekanonsko delo o abhidhammi, daju‘i njen sistematski skolastički pregled. Podeljena je u 24 poglavlja, nazvana niddesa („izlaganje“) i pokazuje prilične bliskosti sa Buddhaghosinom Visuddhimaggom. Autor je obradio um (ćitta) i mentalne sastojke (ćetasika), različite tipove koncentracije (samādhi), vrste znanja (đñāna) povezane sa probuđenjem, kao i proces pročišćenja (visuddhi). Tekst je napisan kao mešavine stihova i proze.

abhidhammika
“Specijalista za abhidhammu”, monah specijalizovan za proučavanje abhidhamma dela Tipitake. U okviru pāli tradicije, ovakvo proučavanje je imalo posebno važnost. Aṭṭhasālinī kaže da je prvi abhidhammika bio sam Buda, a da su kasniji abhidhammike zapravo predstavljali najkompetentniji tumači učenja. Među Budinim neposrednim učenicima, najveći abhidhammika bio je Sāriputta, poznat po svom sistematičnom razumevanju Dhamme. Monaška bratstva specijalista u abhidhammi bila su poznata kao abhidhammikagaṇa i ona su kroz generacije prenosila sopstvenu skolastičku interpretaciju Budinog učenja, interpretaciju koja se nekada razlikovala od drugih specijalista, tumača govora (sutta) ili tumača monaških pravila (vinaya). U srednjovekovnoj Šri Lanki najviše nagrade dobijali su monasi specijalizovani upravo u ovoj grani studija, pre nego eksperti za govore i pravila. Održavani su posebne svetkovine u čast abhidhamme, sa recitovanjem važnijih tekstova. I danas se u Mjanmaru, gde se studije abhidhamme i dalje veoma cene, sedma knjiga Abhidhamma piṭake koja nosi naslov Paṭṭhāna („Uslovljenosti“), redovno se recituje na svetkovinama koje Burmanci zovu pathan pwe. Reč je o višednevnom maratonu u recitovanju posebno odabranih abhidhammika, koji posebno dobro poznaju Paṭṭhānu. Inače, za ovakvo recitovanje se veruje da otklanja svaku opasnost i po tome je slično paritta recitovanju. No glavni cilj ovde je ipak da se zaustavi neumitno propadanje i nestanak Budinog učenja (sāsana). Theravāda tradicija smatra Paṭṭhānu Budinim najdubljim izlaganje krajnje istine (paramatthasacca). Prema toj tradiciji, upravo je ta knjiga prvi deo Budinog učenja koji će biti izgubljen.

Abhidhānappadīpikā
Pāli rečnik sinonima. Veruje se da je njegov autor šrilankarski monah-erudita iz XII veka Moggallāna. Po stilu i metodu sličan je sanskritskom leksikonu Amarakośa. Tekst je podeljen u tri dela i govori o nebeskim, zemaljskim i raznim drugim temama. Ova tri dela se dalje granaju u posebna poglavlja sačinjena od grupa sinonima, sastavljenih u stihu radi lakšeg memorisanja. Na primer, prve deo ovog tezaurusa uključuje 179 odrednica, a svaka od njih okuplja više pojmova: na primer, 32 različita epiteta za Budu i 46 sinonima za nibbānu. Drugi deo ima šest poglavlja, gde nalazimo 24 sinonima za kuću, deset za čoveka, 15 za ženu itd. U trećem delu su četiri poglavlja sa različitim temama.

abhiññā
Intuitivne moći koje dolaze sa vežbanjem koncentracije. Sposobnost da se čuje i vidi na veliku daljinu, da se čitaju misli drugih, sećanje na prošle živote i znanje koje briše mentalne nečistoće. Videti: āsava.


aćariya
Učitelj; mentor. Na tajlandskom: ađahn. → kalyanamitta.

adhitthana
Odlučnost, rešenost. Jedno od deset savršenstava, parami.

akaliko
Vanvremeno; neuslovljeno vremenom ili godišnjim dobima.

ākāsānañcāyatana
„Područje beskrajnog prostora“, prvi i najniži od četiri nivoa nematerijalnog sveta (arūpadhātu) i pravo od četiri nematerijalna zadubljenja (đhāna). Predstavlja mesto preporađanja, ali i meditativno stanje koje je potpuno nematerijalno (tj. ne postoji fizička (rūpa) komponenta egzistencije) i gde um postaje svestan neograničenog prostora, bez postojanja materijalnih objekata. Za bića u tom svetu se kaže da žive četrdeset hiljada eona (kappa). Međutim, pošto je i ovo stanje podložno preporađanju, čak i područje beskrajnog prostora ostaje deo saṃsāre. Kao i kod drugih nivoa u svetu suptilne materije (rūpadhātu) i u nematerijalnom svetu, bića se ovde preporađaju zahvaljujući dostizanju odgovarajućeg nivoa meditativnog zadubljenja u prethodnom životu. Jedno od najpoznatijih i najuticajnijih izlaganja o ovim nematerijalnim stanjima nalazi se u kompendijumu Visuddhimagga, čiji je autor Buddhaghosa, a nastao je u V veku. Iako postoje mnogobrojni opisi budističkih meditanata koji su dostigli nematerijalna stanja samādhija, ona su takođe korišćena polemički u budističkoj literaturi da se opišu postignuća ne-budističkih yogin, koji su ova uzvišena, ali ipak još uvek stanja unutar saṃsāre, pogrešno razumeli kao stanja trajnog oslobađanja od novih rođenja.

akusala
Kammički štetno, pogrešno, nespretno. Suprotno: kusala.

anagami
Nepovratnik. Osoba koja se oslobodila pet nižih okova kojima je um vezan za krug preporađanja (samyođana). Ona će se posle smrti pojaviti u nekom od svetova Brame nazvanim čista boravišta, da bi tu dostigla nibbānu, nikad se više ne rodivši u ovome svetu.


anapanasati
Sabranost pažnje na dah. Meditativna tehnika u kojoj se centar pažnje vezuje za osećaje koji se javljaju pri udahu i izdahu, najčešće u predelu nozdrva ili iznad gornje usne.


anatta
Doslovno „ne-sopstvo”, nepostojanje trajnog „ja“, sopstva, duše. Takođe, nemogućnost da kontrolišemo prirodni tok zbivanja, jer nam ništa od toga istinski ne pripada. Jedna od tri karakteristike postojanja, da su sve pojave bez bilo kakve trajne, nepromenljive suštine, već samo jedan neprekidni tok promena.


anićća
Nestalno, prolazno, nepostojano, nestabilno.

anumodanā
“Po ukusu”, blagodarenje, zahvalnost, „hvala!” (naročito posle obroka ili primanja dara).

anupadisesa-nibbāna
Nibbāna “bez ostatka”, posle koje više nema goriva za vatru života (analogija sa ugašenom vatrom čiji su ugarci već ohlađeni), nibbāna arahanta posle njegove smrti.

anupubbi-katha
Postepeno upućivanje. Budin metod podučavanja Dhamme koji slušaoca progresivno vodi kroz sve supstilinije pojmove: velikodušnost (videti: dana), vrlinu (sīla), nebeske svetove, prepreke, odricanje i četiri plemenite istine.

apaya-bhumi
Stanje lišavanja i patnje; četiri niža nivoa egzistencije u kojima je moguće preporoditi se zbog prošlih loših postupaka (videti: kamma): preporađanje u čistilištu, kao gladni duh, kao ljutiti demon (videti: asura) ili kao životinja. Nijedno od ovih stanja nije večno. Uporediti: sugati.

arahat
“Dostojni”, onaj koji je uklonio sve mentalne nečistoće (kilesa) i sve uzroke za buduća preporađanja, te će otuda dostići nibbānu posle smrti. Arahant je najviši stupanj među četiri nivoa probuđenja. Ostali su, od najnižeg, sotāpanna, “ulazak u tok”, sakadāgāmī, “jednom povratnik” i anāgāmī, “ne-povratnik”. Arahat je neko ko je odložio svih deset okova (saṃyođana) koji nas vezuju za krug preporađanja: (1) verovanje u postojanje trajnog sopstva (sakkāyadiṭṭhi), (2) sumnjičavost (vićikiććhā), (3) slepa vezanost za pravila i rituale (sīlabbata-parāmāsa), (4) žudnja za čulnim zadovoljstvima (kāmaććhanda, kāmarāga), (5) zlovolja, odbojnost (vyāpāda, dosa), (6) žudnja za preporađanjem u svetu suptilne materije, da postanemo božanstvo (rūparāga), (7) žudnja za preporađanjem u svetu bez materije, da postanemo još više božanstvo (arūparāga), (8) gordost, uobraženost (māna), (9) nemir (uddhaćća) i (10) neznanje (aviđđhā).

ārammaṇa
“objectivna potpora”, “objekat čula” ili “objekat kognicije”. U budističkoj epistemologiji, objekat bilo koje od šest vrsta svesti (viññāna) o opaženom, tj. vizuelnim, auditivnim, olfaktornim, gustatornim, taktilnim i mentalnim objektima. Ti objekti se smatraju spoljašnjim konstituentima kognitivnog odnosa između subjekta i objekta, dok kontakt (phassa) između na primer olfaktornog objekta čula i čula mirisa (ghānindriya) proizvodi odgovaraju olfaktornu svest (ghānaviññāṇa). Objekti čula tako odgovaraju onome što se zove šest spoljašnjih „područja čula“ ili „sfera percepcije“ (āyatana) i šest spoljašnjih „elemenata“ (dhātu).

Ariyapariyesanā sutta
“Govor o plemenitom traganju”, važan govor u Pāli kanonu jer sadrži detalj o Budinom životu. Smešten je kao 26. govor u okviru Mađđhimanikāye, a poznat je i kao Pāsarāsisutta. Buda ga je održao grupi monaha u boravištu pustinjaka Rammake, kraj grada → Sāvatthija. Govor započinje objašnjenjem šta je to plemenito, a šta neplemenito traganje i na koji način je on uočio razliku. Zatim opisuje svoj odlazak u beskućnike i vežbanje pod vođstvom dva učitelja meditacije, da bi ih potom napustio i posvetio se rigoroznim asketskim vežbama umrtvljavanja tela. Uvidevši da je to pogrešan put, otkriva svoj autentični put probuđenja, u čemu mu je pomoglo prisećanje jednog neobičnog događaja iz detinjstva. Buda takođe priča kako je oklevao da, posle probuđenja, počne da podučava, smatrajući da je ono što je otkrio teško za razumevanje, ali ga u suprotno uverava božanstvo → Brahmā Sahampati. Odlučivši da ipak podučava, Buda za svoje prve učenike bira petoricu asketa sa kojima je ranije vežbao i sreće ih u → Sarnathu, gde drži svoj prvi → Govor o pokretanju točka Učenja.

Ariyaratne, A. T. videti Sarvodaya.

Arnold, Edwin (1832–1904)
Ser Edwin Arnold se obrazovao na oksfordskom univerzitetu, da bi kasnije radio kao nastojnik državnog koledža u Pune (Indija) od 1856. do 1861. Tokom tog vremena je studirao indijske jezike i objavljivao prevode sa sanskrita. Ipak, bio je primoran da se vrati u Englesku, zbog smrti deteta i bolesti svoje žene. Po povratku, radio je kao novinar, a od 1873. kao glavni urednik Daily Telegrapha. Tokom tog perioda, 1879. objavio je svoje najpoznatije delo, The Light of Asia, Budinu biografiju u stihovima, koje je doživelo ogroman uspeh i zapravo je prvi uspešan pokušaj popularizovanja budizma na Zapadu. Napustivši urednički posao, kreće da putuje po Aziji, naročito često u Japan i objavljuje reportaže sa tih putovanja.

Iako je danas uglavnom zaboravljena, poema The Light of Asia bila je u to vreme nezaobilazan tekst za svakoga na Zapadu ko se zanimao za budizam. Kao svoj glavni izvor informacija, Arnold je iskoristio francuski prevod → Lalitavistare, legendarnu povest o Budi, ali je dodao i mnogo toga originalnog. Tako je ubacio nove scene, kako bi naraciju učinio što dramatičnijom i zanimljivijom. Iako ovakva popularnost nije naišla na odobravanje crkvenih krugova u Engleskoj, kraljica Viktorija je pokazala simpatije za njegov rad i na kraju ga proglasila vitezom. Arnold je takođe igrao važnu ulogu u obnavljanju budističkog svetilišta u → Bodhgayi, mestu Budinog probuđenja. On i pošt. → Sumangala poslali su molbu kraljici da odobri kupovinu zemlje i zapuštenog hrama od vlasnika, hindusa, i obnove ga. Iako je ovaj pokušaj bio neuspešan, njegovi napori doneli su plod posle proglašenja nezavisnosti Indije 1949, kada je indijski parlament kontrolu nad svetilištem vratio u ruke budista.

Jerotić (pogrešno) o budizmu

Natrčah na internetu na jedan deo Jerotićeve knjige Budizam i hrišćanstvo, pa zavirih da vidim šta ima unutra. Kad tamo, govoreći o Budi, autor piše:

“Osnova budističkog učenja izložena je u njegovom učenju o četiri plemenite istine i osmostrukom putu oslobođenja. Moglo bi se reći da je osnova njegovog učenja praksa, a ne vera; otud, u njegovom učenju malo je toga što bi se moglo nazvati dogmom. Koje su to četiri istine u Budinom učenju? Postoje četiri dragocene istine: 1. život je zlo, nesreća, jad; 2. uzrok ovome je nepresušna želja, žeđ koja je ujedno i uzrok ponovnog rođenja; 3. potrebno je uništiti, odbaciti ovu žeđ i 4. osmostruki je put spasenja i oslobođenja: pravo, tačno posmatranje, pravo osećanje, pravo delanje, tačno vođenje života, pravo govorenje, pravo borenje, tačno mišljenje, prava predanost.”

Vrlo lepo i tačno je krenuo o četiri istine i putu, potom govoreći o osnovi učenja u praksi, a ne slepoj veri. A onda sam se, malo je reći stresao kad sam pročitao ovaj deo o istinama i putu, valjda prevod odnekle. Ali odakle!? Prva Budina istina nema veze sa: “1. život je zlo, nesreća, jad.” Umesto toga, on je tvrdio tek očiglednu istinu, da u našem životu postoji (sem sreće) i patnja i da je ne možemo zaobići živeći na način na koji obično živimo, neprobuđeni, zaslepljeni svojim žudnjama. I “žudnja” je reč iz druge istine kojom bi trebalo zameniti reč “želja”, da bi stvari bile makar malo jasnije, a to je gde je izvor te patnje. Malo kasnije je autor lepo formuliše kao “želju usmerenu na samog sebe”. Naime, ne vodi svaka želja do patnje, kao što i sami možemo da vidimo na sopstvenom iskustvu.

Treća istina u Jerotićevoj interpretaciji navodno govori o “uništenju”. Ali ta ratnička retorika je kod Bude izostala. On u drugoj istini objašnjava odakle nastaje ta patnja koju je pomenuo u prvoj. Da bi u trećoj istini govorio o prestanku iste te patnje. Nikakvo uništenje. To je otprilike kao kad bismo o večeri govorili ne kao o prestanku, već kao o uništenju dana!? Autor promašuje poentu i duh Budinog učenja, jer očigledno ga ne razume. A ne razume ga zato što je informacije o budizmu stekao na osnovu neautentičnih izvora, po principu gluvih telefona iliti pop đaku, a đak crkvenjaku.

I onda dođemo do četvrte plemenite istine, tj. plemenitog osmostrukog puta. I tu je papazjanija potpuna. Prvo to nije nikakav put spasenja. Mada mi je jasno odakle zabuna. Autor je hrišćanin i koristi terminologiju koja mu je najbliža. Ali sasvim neoprezno u novom kontekstu, jer termin ima svoje značenje i ne može se to značenje tako lako prenositi i na druge stvari, koje sa prvom nemaju nikakve veze. Dakle, u hrišćanstvu pali i grešni muškarci i žene dobijaju na dar spasenje zahvaljujući milosti Božijoj, jer je poslao svog sina da na krstu umre za njih i tako iskupi njihove grehe. To je u redu. Ali niti budizam poznaje nekakvu pretpostavljenu, što bi se reklo hardverski ugrađenu čovekovu grešnost, niti je Buda, a ni njegov sin, umro za svoje sledbenike. Takođe, ti sledbenici se ne mogu “spasiti” od patnje tek verujući u Budu. Pošto je njihov problem, kao što smo već videli, egoistična žudnja izrasla iz temeljnog neznanja, jedino suštinsko “spasenje” postoji po principu “u se i u svoje kljuse” (mada naravno drugi mogu malo pomoći savetom). Jer niko naš um ne može pročistiti od žudnje i nezannja do mi sami. To je tako jasno.

Dobro, to smo razjasnili. Ali onda stižemo do nabrajanja delova plemenitog ili još bolje oplemenjujućeg puta, gde autor kaže:

“pravo, tačno posmatranje, pravo osećanje, pravo delanje, tačno vođenje života, pravo govorenje, pravo borenje, tačno mišljenje, prava predanost.”

“Posmatranje” ne bi bio najprecizniji prevod pojma diṭṭhi, već pre “ugao posmatranja, gledište”, a najpre “razumevanje” stvari kakve zaista jesu. Zatim dolazimo do “pravo osećanje”, koje je potpuni promašaj za termin sankappa, koji znači “misao, namera”. Odakle mu “osećanje” n’umem da kažem, a ni šta je pod tim mislio. Sledi “delanje” koje je prihvatljiv prevod za termin samma kammanta. Zatim imamo permutaciju, jer prvo prema standardnoj formuli ide “govorenje” za samma vaća, pa tek onda samma āđiva. I njega bi trebalo prevesti kao “zarađivanje za život”, da bi bilo jasnije o čemu se radi. Ovako, “življenje” je zapravo termin koji bi mogao da se primeni na čitav put, a ne samo na ovaj njegov elemenat. Na kraju imamo u tekstu: “pravo borenje, tačno mišljenje, prava predanost”. Opet promašaji za termine koji zapravo znače ispravan napor, ispravna svesnost i ispravna koncentracija.

Kao što rekoh, jasno mi je da Jerotić malo zna o budizmu, ali mi je manje jasno kako je čovek ipak rešio da napiše knjigu o njemu. A još mi je manje jasno, jer vidim da je vodio prepisku sa Veljačićem, što ne pita čoveka da mu iz prve ruke makar malo pomogne oko ovih osnovnih termina kao što su četiri plemenite istine i osmostruki put. Jer ako to ne razume, šta onda uopšte razume? To je kao kada neko ne bi razumeo recimo šta je sveto trojstvo i put golgote, a ipak krene da piše knjigu o hrišćanstvu.

Naravno, nemam ni volje ni vremena da idem dalje kroz tekst, jer vidim da je to jedan diskurs koji se do besvesti ponavlja među onima koji nisu imali dovoljno energije da se makar malo obaveste o budizmu, pa im je lakše da ponavljaju ad nauseam iste pogrešne frazetine kao što su „Buda ide za oslobođenjem od svesti“ ili kako je budizam „niti pesimistički, niti optimistički, niti aktivan, niti pasivan“ itd. Stvari koje niti imaju veze sa Budinim učenjem, a često ni sa smislom. Ali važno je da što ih manje razumemo to više zvuče “istočnjački, mistično, spiritualno”.

Elem, da samo zaključim jednim dobronamernim savetom, ne Jerotiću, bog da mu dušu prosti, već vama koji ovo čitate: U redu je ne znati nešto. Ali ako biste o tome nešto da saznate, vodite računa ko vam je izvor. Ljudi pretpostavljam pomisle: Jerotić je veliki autoritet za psihologiju i hrišćanstvo. Mora da mnogo zna i o budizmu. Kad ono, cvrc. Pogrešna logika.

I da ne budem pogrešno shvaćen. Ja cenim Jerotića u onome za šta je stručan. Ali nije svaki izvor za svako znanje.

Posledice

PUN MESEC – 4. august 2020.

Čak i oni koji učine zlo mogu doživeti radost,
sve dotle dok njihova nedela ne stignu za naplatu.
Ali kada plodovi takvih postupaka sazreju,
bolne posledice izbeći se ne mogu.

Dhammapada, 119

Možda volimo da mislimo kako možemo da se izvučemo bez posledica iz nečega što jeste pogrešno, samo ako niko drugi ništa ne zna o tome. Međutim, mi smo ti koji znamo; i isto tako znamo da mi znamo. Tako smo prinuđeni da živimo sa time iz dana u dan, do kraja života. Moramo biti spremni na to da ćemo se sećati svakog svog namerno učinjenog postupka. Kada jednom to počnemo da cenimo, tada ćemo možda uvideti da mudar pristup životu znači pokušati da činimo samo ono čega želimo da se sećamo. Ali ako smo već nakupili sećanja koja nas ispunjavaju kajanjem, razumimo da su upravo to kajanje i stid deo isceljenja. Takva patnja jeste poruka koja nas poziva da je pogledamo i prihvatimo, kako bi nas podučila da ubuduće budemo pažljiviji.

Sa dobrim željama
ađan Munindo