Tuesday, November 13, 2018

If Buddhism taught Biology

§ 3. The root inheritance, the starting capital for self-training
I didn't ask to be reborn. It was my karma.
...This suggests that namo must be significant.

"If we take it up for consideration, we find that na stands for the water element, and mo for the earth element—and with this, a line from the Buddhist texts comes to mind:

Mātā-petika-sambhavo odāna-kummāsa-paccayo:

The caul or embryonic sac we're born in
"When the generative elements of the mother and father are combined, the body comes into being. When it is born from the mother’s womb, it is nourished with rice and meal and so is able to develop and grow."

Na is the mother’s element; mo, the father’s element. When these two elements are combined, the mother’s fire element then warms the combination until it becomes what is called a kalala, a droplet of oil.

This is the point where the connecting consciousness (paṭisandhi-viññāṇa) can make its connection so that the mind becomes joined to the namo element. Once the mind has taken up residence, the droplet of oil develops until it is an ambuja, a glob of blood.

"From a glob of blood it becomes a ghana, a rod, and then a pesī, a lump of flesh. Then it expands itself into a lizard-like shape, with five extensions: two arms, two legs, and a head.

"(As for the elements ba, breath, and dha, fire, these take up residence later, because they are not what the mind holds onto. If the mind lets the droplet of oil drop, the droplet of oil vanishes or is discarded as useless.

"It has no breath or fire, just as when a person dies and the breath and fire vanishes from the body. This is why we say they are secondary elements. The important factors are the two original elements, namo).
I am completely dependent on others.
"After the child is born, it has to depend on na, its mother, and mo, its father, to care for it, nurturing it and nourishing it with such foods as rice and meal, at the same time teaching and training it in every form of goodness.

"The mother and father are thus called the child’s first and foremost teachers. The love and benevolence the mother and father feel for their children cannot be measured or calculated. The legacy they give us—this body—is our primal inheritance.

"External wealth, silver or gold, comes from this body. If we didn’t have this body, we wouldn’t be able to do anything, which means that we wouldn’t have anything at all.

"For this reason, our body is the root of our entire inheritance from our mother and father, which is why we say that the good they have done us cannot be measured or calculated [and is impossible to repay except by establishing them in the liberating Dharma]. Wise people thus never neglect or forget them.

"We first have to take up this body, this namo, and only then do we perform the act of bending it down in homage. To translate namo as homage is to translate only the act, not the source of the act." More

A Heart Released: The Teachings of Phra Ajaan Mun, translated by Ven. Ṭhānissaro. (ePublished Jan. 1, 2016). Much has been written about the life of Ajahn Mun (1870-1949), the founder of the Thai Forest Tradition, but very little was recorded of his teachings during his lifetime. (Most of his teachings he left in the form of people: the students whose lives were profoundly shaped by the experience of living and practicing meditation under his guidance). Translated here, A Heart Released (Muttodaya), is a record of passages from his sermons made during the years 1944-1945 by two monks who were staying under his guidance.

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