Truth 1: There is suffering.
Truth 2: There is the cause of suffering.
Suffering is caused by desires (trishna)arising out of sensual
contacts, and out of the will to continue existence or not
to continue existence .
Truth 3: There is elimination of suffering.
Suffering is eliminated through the cessation( to avoid )
Truth 4: There is a path leading to the
elimination of suffering. Desires cease as a result of following
the eight fold path which eliminates Ignorance of human mind.
The noble eight fold path (arya Ashtangika Marga), the path
leading to deliverance from suffering consists of :
1. Right views (samyak drishti)
2. Right aspirations (samyak samkalpa)
3. Right speech (samyak vachana)
4. Right deeds (samyak karmanta )
5. Right livelihood (samyak ajibika)
6. Right effort (samyak vyayama)
7. Right mindfulness (samyak smriti)
8. Right concentration of mind (samyak samadhi)
The word right (samyak) indicates that there are false or
wrong sides to each of the above (views, aspirations, etc.)
which leads us towards suffering. It is necessary for an aspirant
to be vigilant leading and treading in the right track. Gautama
claims, in the light of his own experience, that the path
persuade with constant vigilance leads to the cessation of
desires arising out of ignorance or the wrong views of things
and opens up the eyes of wisdom and realisation of Truth and
Five precepts (For Rightly Livelihood):
a) To abstain from killing
b) To abstain from stealing
c) To abstain from adultery
d) To abstain from lying
e) To abstain from narcotics
If one follows the five fundamental rules, he can save him
self from much defilement. He will be called a saintly person
Final Goal /Ultimatum:
- Enlightenment /Buddhahood
- Perfect knowledge
- Realising complete Emptiness
It is believed that from the time of Buddha , the people
interpreted his teachings in different ways. This gave birth
to a kind of misunderstanding and as a result of that the
Buddhism in course of time developed in many schools.
a) Theravada : The early school, who strictly
followed the sayings of Buddha without any new interpretation
. As they strictly followed the sayings of Buddha they were
called Sthir Vadin and hence this school is known as Theravada.
b) Maha Yana : This school began new interpretation
of sayings of Buddha and believed on many Pre and Post Buddha's
and many Buddhisattwas (enlightened beings ) and thus they
were known as Maha yana . This school regards Buddha as the
absolute and supreme reality, God and developed their literature
in Sanskrit language where as the Theravada school continued
the Pali or Prakrit language , the language spoken by Buddha
c) Vajra Yana : Maha Yana which is dominated
by Mantras is known as Mantrayana , Tantrayana or Vajrayana
.It is characterised as the path which leads to perfect enlightenment
. The Maha yana school further developed on many schools Vajra
yana is one school that developed out Maha Yana . Vajra is
Sanskrit has many meanings , a diamond thus meaning the best
. The Buddhist literature says
Sunyata Vajra Uchhyate. This can be translated as voidness
or nothingness is called Vajra. Vajra yana believes on many
ritual sacraments and has thousand and thousands of God 's
and Goddess . The Vajra is called Dorje in Tibetan language
and is popular religious instrument in Nepal and Tibet , Vajra
also stands for Thunder. Vajra also means " Thunderbolt"
or "diamond "and "Yana" means Path , Way
These three paved the way for the development of Buddhism
all over the world with different features suitable to their
own need , environment and culture. Here one thing we should
not forget is that, there all three ways have the same base
and the same goal. All three Yanas have the same base of Buddha,
Dharma and Sangha which are called triple gems, known as Tri
Buddhism is based on three main pillars, the Buddha, Dharma
and Sangha. Popularly cited as Tri Ratna, it means three Jewels
that the Buddha (the wisdom), Dharma (the right path) and
Sangh (the unity of virtuous people). If we human being follow
the Tri Ratna our life will be peaceful and we can achieve
Nirvana that ultimate peace8 .
Three supreme reality:
a) Anitty (Impermanence)
b) Dukkha (Suffering)
c) Anattma (soullessness)
Way of mind fullness practise:
a) Shila (Discipline /Rules and
b) Shamadhi (contemplation) positively.
c) Prajna (Wisdom/Knowledge) /
Nirvan is the down of prajana, and negatively nirvan is the
absence of desires.
In terms of practice the different is in adopting and presenting
the way. All these three Yanas inspire us to work hard to
realise the Anitty (Impermanence),Dukkha (Suffering), Anattma
(soullessness).A lay man can't reach easily, (to enter) the
depth of those fact. To entering to the depth one should practise
shila (precepts), Shamadhi (contemplation), prajna (Wisdom
and knowledge)with full determination.
Human minds are just restless. In relation to the Buddha's
teachings human mind is just like a monkey. It is very hard
to control it Our mind can gradually be trained step by step.
One can test and practice these with patience. Then one should
come to realise through one's own experiences. To control
our deluded mind we need certain rules and regulation (shila)
in our daily life, so we can reach to the stage of shamadhi.
Thus our accumulation power help to realise the perfect knowledge
in the subject matter.
The efficiency is clear that, without shila practise one
can not reach to the stage shamadhi. Without shamadhi one
can not get the perfect knowledge (prajna). So these all three
are interrelated with each other.
As acknowledge before, all the three Yanas practice on the
basis of triple gems. Therawada sect practise there things
through the meditation and orientation of the Buddha's teachings.
For them Buddha means enlightened being (Gaining Buddhahood).
Dhamma means exact following of teachings of the Buddha through
the Binaya and Sutra. Shangha means to them is "Bhikkhu
Shangha" a monastic form.
The people of the Mahayana sect practise these triple gems
in different forms . The difference is just in their attitude
and media. They followed the concept of "Bodhi Charya"
with Bodhi chitta (Boudhi mind). It means mindfulness practice
to develop love and compassion. People of this sect all practice
this in their day to day life circle by the society and family.
Vajrayana, the most advanced teaching, continued to exit
only through rituals and Buddhist were identified by the peculiar
rites in their life9 . Vajrayana,
Buddhahood means to complete the realisation of emptiness.
Dhamma means to follow the concept Prajna and Upaya (perfect
knowledge and way of solution ) means. From the Buddhist point
of view this is the shortcut method of enlightenment. People
of this sect do some rituals as prescibed in their scriptures
(symbolic and psychological worship).
In Newar community, there are near about 20 sub-communities.
The Buddhist society of the valley had driven by the concept
of teacher disciple linens and sangha concept. One group function
as spiritual master is known as "Gubhaju" (Vajracharyas).
Other communities of people function as followers of path.
Due to that social law Shakyas and Vajracharyas are one of
the most important and well established community among the
Newar society. In terms of social hierarchy Shakya and Vajracharya
have higher position in cast system (after 14th cent.). They
are the town denizen and they have merchant life style from
the very beginning10 .
Buddhism is affiliated to research on oneself, what "I
am "or what "we are ". This way of self searching
about oneself is called "Vippassana" in Pali which
was spoken by the Buddha's language. "Vippassana"
means to conduct research on oneself what "I am "
or what "we are". "We" means our body
and mind in aggregate. The combination of mind and body is
called "I" or "We" and nothing more than
this .This is the truth that every man ought to accept.
Mahayana + Mantrayana =Vajrayana
For Vajrayana practitioner monastery is the institution form
as a Sangha. The word Sangha meant brotherhood of celibate
Buddhist monk but it is now commonly used for all male members
of Vajracharya and Shakya communities who have undergone certain
rituals in recognised Vihars11 .
So as far it concerns , the three different ways of Buddha's
teachings are just like three different level of courses .They
not only are interrelated with one another but also are of
equal value and importance.
Little earlier we discussed about Buddhism and its' teachings.
In this part let us discuss in brief about Shakya and Vajracharya
community with the question of what is the meaning of Buddhism
Nepal though small , is rich both in Nature and culture ,
and the recent census show sixty different ethnic groups in
this country12 . We here find so many
diversities of cultures due to the geographical condition.
Among these the Kathmandu valley (Nepal Mandala ) is the heart
of country, and the Newars are the indigenous ethnic group
of this valley.
The Newars are divided in two major groups as Hindu Newars
and Buddhist. Shakya and Vajracharya belong to the later one
and the most important and well established community among
the Newar society. In terms of social hierarchy the Shakya
and Vajracharya have higher position in caste system. They
are the town denizen and they were traders from the very beginning.
If we search about their origin from different sources, we
know that the Shakya migrated in the valley from Kapilavastu
(South West part of Nepal) after it was completely destroyed
by King Birudhaka ? A study on this is the need of the time.
In the case of Vajracharya. , we know that, it is not the
name of a caste. It is the title of those who have gained
the perfect knowledge about Buddhism and who have taken specific
initiation (Acharya Abhishekha) from a senior practitioner
of Vajrayana. Vajracharya means Vajra holder.
Vajra + Acharya = Vajracharya
So it is the title of Vajracharyahood not the caste. It is
the advanced process of practising the Buddhist way.. Only
the proper , capable person will get the title after taking
the specific consecration. But for a long time the title has
been used as a caste and is transferred from father to son13
This community have made a lot of abandon to universalise
our country all over the world through their unique culture
and tradition. Their norms and values are still found in their
daily life unseeingly. All the society is mobilised with the
guideline of Buddhist way of life. They still continue their
practice of love and compassion, five precepts moral and rightly
livelihood in their day to day life. To know better one should
study their way of life.
Religiously Shakya and Vajracharya are Buddhist by birth
. Their practice
form of Buddhism is popular in the name of Newar Buddhism.
Once ,in life people of this community have to have practised
all three Yana way on their own way. All the Vajracharya known
as Bare must undergo ordination as monks. The ceremony, of
ordination is called Bare Chhuyigu (The making into Bare)
. In this ceremony the male Bare has to be a monk for four
days. During this four day period one must learn about the
Shrawokyana principle . In this way they enter into Shrawokyana
as the beginning step. After this they are recognised as a
member of Shangha. All the Bare including Vajracharya undergo
initiation as monks (Bare Chhuyigu) and thereby become members
of a monastery (Vihar Shangh).The Vihar is the centre of the
religious life and activities of Newar Buddhism14
After the four days the monks should retire from the monk
life in ritual terms and they live the way of life according
to the Mahayana concept. They accepted the way of Samyak Ajibika
(Rightly livelihood) on the base of Pancha shila (Five precepts).So
the people of this community never involved in that kind of
work for living, which is prohibited by five precepts. Almost
all the Shakya / Vajracharyas have traditional occupation
of silver and gold work . The research shows that the ancestor
of this community adopted this occupations for Samyak Ajibika.
This is just an example about the practice of Buddhism. The
same way they practise love and compassion, mindfulness practices
following by them15 .
The second most important moment of their life is second
consecration (purification) of Acharya
Abhishekha 16. After
getting higher initiation. One can function as a Buddhist
priest so this is the step of higher practice form of Vajrayana
Buddhism. No one can reach easily to the depth . So in the
lay vision it looks more complex but actually it is very systematic
and meaningful way of Buddhism which still continue in practice
within this community in the valley.
People of this community are motivated by the Buddhist guideline.
This virtue keeps them to have very systematic and peaceful
life style. We can notice that from the beginning they are
motivated by non-violence and have much tolerance. The people
of this community are very co-operative and honest which has
raised their social status ,economically, intellectually and
They have an unique way of life. Their norms, ethic and values
are absolutely preserved. This culture must be protected and
thus, they have to be alert and conscious to conquest their
culture. The most important thing is to encourage them to
preserve their norms and values for the sake of Nepal's identity.