DEVELOPMENT : MORAL AND PSYCHIC
Two important considerations emerge out of the Buddhist concept of consciousness or viññâna as the life-cntinuum of the humans. Triumph of man in his spiritual elevation lies in his capacity to transcend all failings and frailties of life by taking one's own life under one's total command, with judgement and determination [atta-sammâ-panidhi Sn. v. 260]. With a knowledge and awareness of what life really is, one handles with care one's responses to the world in which one lives. Buddhism declares these responses as being of inherently strong forms of attraction and repulsion. On the side of being attracted to dear and delightful things of the world [ piyarûpe rûpe sârajjati] are states of mind of varying intensity, referred to severally as greed [lobha], lustful attachment [kâmacchanda] and covetousness [abhijjhâ]. On the side of resistance or repulsion are hate [dosa], hostility [vyâpâda] and conflict or encounter [ patigha]. Buddhist moral development must reflect a definite steering clear of these polarities.
Buddhism's basic message to its followers is a request to undertake
a gradual process of self-discipline and self-culture
[bhâvanâ ] to enable one, without a prayer to
another, to handle wisely these responses to the stimuli of the world which
swing in both directions of likes and dislikes. Thus, one has to react
to the world without injury to oneself or to those around us
[neva atta-vyâbâdhâya na para-vyâbâdhâya].
Utter disregard towards these considerations leads to collective [in the
social sense] moral degradation and consequent social imbalances on the
one hand, and on the other, to total personal corrosion, call it ethical,
spiritual or whatever you will. Total personal culture, as Buddhism rightly
insists on, based on self-confidence and self-reliance as indicated above,
is indeed the way to ensure peace on earth and goodwill among men.
005. To be worthy of the saintly life of monkhood, clad in dyed-robes [ the word kâsâva used here never implies the colour of robes as yellow ], one must spit out one's evil contained within. One must possess restraint and truthfulness and be totally disciplined. Anything to the contrary disqualifies one from being worthy of the dyed robes or being a monk in the true Buddhist sense. [ Dhammapada vv. 9 & 10 ].