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What is Not Dhamma - 5 Belief in Sacrifices is Not—Dhamma (From "Buddha And His Dhamma" by Dr. BR Ambedkar)

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What is Not Dhamma - 5 Belief in Sacrifices is Not—Dhamma (From "Buddha And His Dhamma" by Dr. BR Ambedkar)

Post  Admin on Fri May 13, 2011 12:48 am

What is Not Dhamma - 5 Belief in Sacrifices is Not—Dhamma (From "Buddha And His Dhamma" by Dr. BR Ambedkar)

1. The Brahmanic religion was based upon sacrifices.

2. Some sacrifices were classified as Nittya and other sacrifices were classified as Naimitik.

3. The Nittya sacrifices were obligations and had to be performed whether one got any fruit therefrom or not.

4. The Naimittitik sacrifices were performed when the performer wanted to gain something by way of worldly advantage.

5. The Brahmanic sacrifices involved drinking, killing animals and merry-making.

6. Yet these sacrifices were held as religious observances.

7. The Buddha declined to regard a religion based on sacrifices as worth having.

8. He has given his reasons to many a Brahmin who went to have a controversy with him as to why sacrifices were not part of religion.

9. It is reported that there were three Brahmins who had a controversy with him on the subject.

10. They were Kutadarita, Ujjaya and the third was Udayin.

11. Kutadanta the Brahmin requested the Blessed One to tell him what he thought about the value of a sacrifice.

12. The Blessed One said: " Well then, 0 Brahmin, give ear and listen attentively and I will speak."

13. " Very well, sir, " said Kutadanta in reply ; and the Blessed One spoke as follows :

14. " Long ago, 0 Brahmin, there was a king by name Maha Vigeta, mighty, with great wealth and large property; with stores of silver and gold, of aids to enjoyment, of goods and corn ; with his treasure-houses and his garners full.

15. "Now when King Maha Vigeta was once sitting alone in meditation he became anxious at the thought: ' I have in abundance all the good things a mortal can enjoy. The whole wide circle of the earth is mine by conquest to possess. It were well if I were to offer a great sacrifice that should ensure me weal and welfare for many days.'

16. " Thereupon the Brahmin who was chaplain said to the king : ' The king's country, sire, is harassed and harried. There are dacoits abroad who pillage the villages and townships and who make the roads unsafe. Were the king, so long as that is so, to levy a fresh tax, verily his majesty would acting wrongly.

17. " ' But perchance his majesty might think : 'I'll soon put a stop to these scoundrels' game by degradation and banishment, and fines and bonds and death ! ' But their licence cannot be satisfactorily put a stop to. The remnant left unpunished would still go on harassing the realm.

18. " ' Now there is one method to adopt to put a thorough end to this order. Whosoever there be in the king's realm who devote themselves to keeping cattle and the farm, to them let His Majesty the King give food and seed-corn. Whosoever there be in the king's realm who devote themselves to trade, to them let His Majesty the King give capital. Whosoever there be in the king's realm who devote themselves to government service, to them let His Majesty the King give wages and food.

19. '' ' Then those men, following each his own business, will no longer harass the realm; the king's revenue will go up; the country will be quiet and at peace.; and the populace, pleased one with another and happy, dancing their children in their arms, will dwell with open doors without fear.'

20. "Then King Maha Vigeta, 0 Brahmin, accepted the word of his chaplain, and did as he had said. And those men, following each his business, harassed the realm no more. And the king's revenue went up. And the country became quiet and at peace. And the populace, pleased one with another and happy, dancing their children in their arms, dwelt with open doors.

21. " When peace and order was restored. King Maha Vigeta had his chaplain called again and said :

* The disorder is at an end. The country is at peace. I want to offer that great sacrifice—let the Venerable One instruct me how—for my weal and my welfare for many days.'

22. " The chaplain, replying to the king, said,

* Be it so. Let His Majesty the King send invitations to those in the town and the country in his realm who are Kshatriyas, vassals of his; who are ministers and officials of his or who are Brahmins of position, or who are householders of substance, saying: ' I intend to offer a great sacrifice. Let the Venerable Ones give their
sanction to what will be to me for weal and welfare for many days.'

23. "Then the king, 0 Brahmin Kutadanta, accepted the word of his chaplain, and did as he had said. And they each—Kshatriya and Ministers and Brahmins and householders—made a like reply: '

Let His Majesty the King celebrate the sacrifice. The time is suitable, 0 King ! '

24. " King Vigeta was wise and gifted in many ways. And his chaplain was equally wise and gifted.

25. " The chaplain, 0 Brahmin, before the sacrifice had begun, explained to the king what it would involve.

26. ' ' Should His Majesty the King, before starting on the great sacrifice or whilst he is offering the great sacrifice, or when the great sacrifice has been offered, feel any such regret as : ' Great alas, has been the portion of my wealth used up herein,' let not the king harbour such regret,

27. "And further, 0 Brahmin, the chaplain, before the sacrifice had begun, in order to prevent any compunction that might afterwards arise as regards those who had taken part therein, said: '

Now there will come to your sacrifice, sire, men who destroy the life of living things, and men who refrain therefrom— men who take what has not been given, and men who refrain therefrom, men who act evilly in respect of lusts, and men who refrain therefrom, men who speak lies, and men who do not, men who slander, and men who do not, men who speak rudely, and men who do not, men who chatter vain things and men who refrain therefrom, men who covet, and men who covet not, men who harbour ill will and men who harbour it not, men whose views are Wrong, and men whose views are right. Of each of these let them, who do evil, alone with their evil. For them who do well let Your Majesty offer, for them, sire, arrange the rites, them let the king gratify, in them shall your heart within find peace.'

28. " And further, 0 Brahmin, at that sacrifice neither were any oxen slain, neither goats, nor fowls, nor fatted pigs, nor were any kinds of living creatures put to death. No trees were cut down to be used as posts, no Dabbha grasses mown to strew around the sacrificial spot. And the slaves and messengers and workmen there employed were driven neither by rods nor fear, nor carried on their work weeping with tears upon their faces. Whose chose to help, he worked who so chose not to help, worked not. What each chose to do, he did; what they chose not to do, that was left undone. With ghee, and oil and butter, and milk and honey, and sugar only was that sacrifice accomplished.

29. " Let your sacrifice be such as that of King Vigeta if you at all wish to perform any sacrifice. Sacrifices are a waste. Animal sacrifices are cruelties. Sacrifices cannot be part of religion. It is a worst form of religion which says you can go to heaven by killing an animal."

30. I was inclined to ask " Is there, 0 Gautama, any other sacrifice with more fruit and more advantage than killing animals ? "

31. " Yes, 0 Brahmin, there is."

32. " And what, 0 Gautama, may that be ? "

33. "When a man with trusting heart takes upon himself the precepts—abstinence from destroying life; abstinence from taking what has not been given; abstinence from evil conduct in respect of lusts; abstinence from lying words; abstinence from strong, intoxicating, maddening drinks, the root of carelessness that is a sacrifice better than open largesse, better than perpetual alms, better than the gift of dwelling places, better than accepting guidance."

34. And when he had thus spoken, Kutadanta the Brahmin said to the Blessed One: " Most excellent, 0 Gautama, are the words of thy mouth, most excellent. "


1. Now the Brahmin Ujjaya said this to the Exalted One:

2. "Pray does the worthy Gautama praise sacrifice?"

3. " No Brahmin, I do not praise every sacrifice. Yet I would not withhold praise from every sacrifice. In whatever sacrifice. Brahmin, cows are slaughtered, goats and sheep are slaughtered, poultry and pigs are slaughtered and divers living creatures come to destruction— such sacrifice. Brahmin, which involves butchery, I do not praise." " Why so ? "

4. " To such a sacrifice. Brahmin, involving butchery, neither the worthy ones nor those who have entered on the worthy way draw near.

5. " But in whatever sacrifice. Brahmin, cows are not slaughtered—and living creatures come not to destruction, such sacrifice not involving butchery, I do praise; such as, for instance, a long-established charity, an oblation for the welfare of the family."

6. "Why so?" "Because, Brahmin, the worthy ones, those who have entered on the worthy way, do draw near to such- a sacrifice which involves not butchery."


1. The Brahmin Udayin asked the same question to the Exalted One as was asked by the Brahmin Ujjaya:

2. "Pray, does the worthy Gautama praise sacrifice ? " The Buddha gave the same answer which he gave to Ujjaya.

3. He said:

" Fit sacrifice performed in season due And free from cruelty, to such draw near Those well trained in the God-life, even those Who have the veil rolled back while (yet on earth), Who have transcended time and going. Such do the enlightened praise,' those skilled in merit, " Whether in sacrifice or act of faith, Oblation fitly made with heart devout To that good field of Merit,— those who live . The Good—life, sacrificed, conferred,—so given Lavish the offering; devas therewith are pleased, Thus offering, the thoughtful, thereby becoming wise, Wins the blissful world from suffering free"

What is Not Dhamma - 6 Belief Based on Speculation is Not Dhamma

What is Not Dhamma - 4 Belief in Soul is Not Dhamma

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