Four Things that Shouldn’t be Despised

Four things should not be looked down upon and despised because they are young. They are –

  1. A serpent
  2. A fire
  3. A prince
  4. A novice monk

The bite of even a small snake may kill. A little fire may become a huge inferno that destroys building and forests. An enraged young prince may ruthlessly cause harm to others. Even a young monk may be a saint.

When Does Human Life Begin in This Body? ByAjahn Brahm

When Does Human Life Begin in This Body? By
Ajahn Brahm

  1. What Did the Buddha Say?
    1a. “(Human life begins) when in the mother’s womb, the first citta (‘mind’ or ‘thought’) arises, when the first consciousness manifests”.1
    1b. “Bhikkhus, the descent of the gabbha (misleadingly translated as embryo by Bhikkhu Bodhi) takes place through the union of
    3 things – the union of mother and father, the mother is in season, and the gandhabba (stream of consciousness) is present.”2
    1c. “If viññāṇa (consciousness) were not to descend into the mother’s womb, would nāma-rūpa take shape in the womb? Certainly not, Venerable Sir.”3
    Nāma-rūpa = feeling (vedana) perception (saññā) contact (phasso) will (cetanā) attention (manasikāro) and material form (rūpa ).
    1d. Nāma-rūpa and consciousness are like two sheaves of reeds standing leaning against each other. If one were to remove one of those sheaves of reeds, the other would fall. So, with the cessation of nāma-rūpa comes cessation of consciousness, and with the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of nāma-rūpa. 4
    1. What Did the Buddha Mean?
      2a. Human life begins when the stream of consciousness (s.o.c.) enters the embryo-fetus and the first consciousness manifests therein.
      2b. Such an arising of consciousness is caused by the combination of 3 conditions: parental union, fertility and an s.o.c. being available.
      2c. The above causal link is not necessarily instantaneous. Buddhist causality includes results that appear a long time after their cause. A prime example is “when there is birth, there is old age, sickness and death.” It is a mistake to assume that the s.o.c. descends into the mother’s womb at the very moment of parental union. Such a belief would beg the question into what does the s.o.c. descend? Into the lucky one of the millions of sperm, or into an egg that might well remain
      1 From Pārājika 3, the rule about deliberately killing a human being, repeated at Vinaya Mahāvagga 1.75.
      2 From Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi’s translation of Sutta #38 of the Majjhima Nikāya..
      3 Mahānidāna Sutta, DN15.
      4 Abridged from Nidana Saṃyutta No. 67.
      unfertilized? The Buddha meant that some time after
      parental union, with the other two factors also being fulfilled,
      there is descent of the s.o.c. into the mother’s womb.
      2d. Point 1d, above, shows that there cannot be consciousness
      without feeling + perception + contact + will + attention +
      material form (nāma-rūpa). When one manifests, so does the
      other, immediately.

  2. When Does A New Human Life Begin?
    3a. The embryo designates the unborn being in the first 8 weeks of development, the fetus designates the unborn being after 8 weeks of development.
    3b. A single embryo may split into 2 or more viable embryos after a certain number of days. Prior to such an event, there cannot be 2 s.o.cs. co-existing in a single embryo, nor can a single s.o.c. split into two separate streams. Such propositions are excluded by the Buddha’s doctrine of Paṭicca-Samuppāda. Either a second s.o.c. enters one of the divided embryos after the separation, or two karmically connected s.o.cs. enter the twinned embryos at the same time shortly after division. In either case, this shows that the s.o.c. can descend into the mother’s womb several days after parental union.
    3c. The Buddha consistently stated that human life in this body begins when consciousness first manifests inside the mother’s womb. The Pāli word here rendered as “manifest” is Pātubhūta, which also means to be open, visible, apparent. To be precise, human life in this body begins not when consciousness first exists in the mother’s womb, but when it first shows its
    existence in the mother’s womb (these two events, I believe, are simultaneous). How does consciousness first manifest its existence? Point 2d, above, states that when consciousness first manifests then
    nāma-rūpa also shows its first appearance. Two essential parts of nāma-rūpa are vedana (feeling, the ability to distinguish between painful or pleasurable or neutral sensations) and cetanā (will, deliberate reactions to such sensations). So, when vedana and will first manifest in the unborn being, then one knows that nāma-rūpa has first manifested; and when nāmarūpa has first manifested, then consciousness has first manifested and human life has begun anew!

    In conclusion, only when the embryo-fetus first shows sensitivity to pleasure and pain (vedana) and first shows will (such as by a purposeful shrinking away from a painful stimulus) has consciousness and nāma-rūpa first manifested and the new human life started.
  3. Further Discussion
    4a. Such a definition for the beginning of human life has been argued tightly from the earliest teachings of Buddhism, those as close as we can get to what the Buddha actually said. Thus the definition has textual authority.
    4b. Such a definition is pragmatic, because it gives us a discernible measure by which we can know when a human life has begun anew. Procedures such as the ultrasound scan can convince neutral observers that the fetus at a certain stage of development shows experience of pain and moves deliberately, but before such a stage does not manifest feeling or will. Neurologists can also confirm that prior to a certain stage of development, the fetus’s nervous system is absent and therefore pain and pleasure cannot be felt. Thus such a definition is workable.
    4c. When there is no sure-fire method of discerning the beginning of a new human life, many will err on the safe side, meaning they will push the beginning of human life impractically early, even to the stage of parental union. The above definition avoids such sloppiness based on fear.
    4d. The ethical quality of karma has much to do with the happiness or suffering that one deliberately inflicts upon another. When the other is incapable of feeling pleasure or pain, such considerations become irrelevant.
    Indeed, there is a widespread revulsion at viewing a film of an abortion where the fetus manifest pain during the procedure, but such a revulsion is absent at the destruction of an embryo, in a Petri dish, that does not manifest any feeling at all. The above definition is in harmony with the ethical foundation of such revulsion. In other words, many non-Buddhists, especially those rationalists with no religious affiliations, would easily support such a Buddhist definition of the beginning of human
  4. IVF.
    5a. The above definition clarifies the ethics of destroying fertilized human ova that are yet to be implanted into the mother, or using them to begin a line of stem cells. Since these embryos do not show feeling or will, then consciousness also has not been manifested, and so it is not reckoned as human life.
    Scientifically speaking, the nervous system has certainly not developed yet and therefore such an embryo is incapable of manifesting consciousness. Other ethical considerations may be relevant here, but certainly not that concerned with destroying a human life.

    5b. A further clause in the Buddha’s consistent definition for the beginning of a human life is the location of the manifested consciousness – in the mother’s womb. Thus, there is a strong logical argument that states that even if consciousness did manifest somehow in an embryo in the lab, it still has not appeared in the mother’s womb, and therefore does not fulfil the Buddha’s definition of a human life. Only when that embryo–with-consciousness has been implanted in the mother’s womb, then can one say that consciousness has appeared within the mother’s womb and human life begun.
    5c. There are some skilful meditators who can remember their past lives, and also those who can recall past lives through other means. Those who recall the passage from their previous life into their present existence are remarkably consistent in their recollection of being drawn irresistibly into their future mother’s womb. To them, it is implausible that one could be drawn into a bunch of cells in a Petri dish in a laboratory. One of the unstated but necessary ingredients for rebirth is the sight of one’s future mother, which acts as a magnet to draw the stream of consciousness in. Such an attractor would be absent in a laboratory.

    Conclusion: embryos outside of a mother’s womb are not reckoned as human life, and thus the ethical considerations specific to human beings do not apply.
    Ajahn Brahm, Perth, September 2007

What Buddhism is Not

What Buddhism is not –

Buddhists are not idol-worshipers. Buddhists pay homage to what the image represents.

The Buddha image symbolizes the wisdom, loving-kindness, and compassion of the great Teacher.

They try to live according to their teacher’s high standard of wisdom, loving-kindness, and compassion.

KBS calendar 2022

Dear readers,

Find the uposatha days for your individual or group practice. Uposatha days are used for observing Uposatha precepts or Eight precepts by lay devotees.

Please follow the link and see your suitable days. We updated table following the same table of watmetta monastery and also uploaded our Karuna Buddhist Society calendar too.

Click the link

Donation is not a concept of gambling!

Donation is not a concept of gambling! It’s not like, you donate $1 and get $1000 in future or after life. It should be out of compassion and kindness. 

Donation is not a concept of gambling! It’s not like, you donate $1 and get $1000 in future or after life. It should be out of compassion and kindness. 

The concept of donation is giving up the attachment of ego. One should give because he/she has a beautiful and compassionate heart. If you increase ego by giving and expect more than you give in return, then it’s more likely a gambling donation which is harmful and fruitless. People gamble to multiply what they spend but donation isn’t such.

Buddha said….. People should donate to purify their heart (Citta Visuddhi), as an adornment for the mind (Citta Alaṇkāra), and as a gift for the mind (Citta Parikkhāra). They should have thoughts like…by this donation, may the deserved receiver be benefited, be well, be freed from danger and affliction, be happy and peaceful.

You give foods, so one doesn’t stay hungry.

You give cloths, so one doesn’t stay with shame.

You give education, so one doesn’t stay illiterate.

You give medicine, so one doesn’t stay sick.

You give shelter, so one doesn’t stay under the open sky.

You give anything to anyone who deserves and needs it, thinking thus, may the deserved receiver be eased from their bad condition and situation, serious affliction or danger. May the receiver be well, happy, and peaceful. 

But in the case of a recluse practice who vowed to practice the homelessness, is difference. They dwell in happiness of non-attachment state for having nothing.

And also…there are monks and people who have sacrificed and dedicated their lives for the people and community. If such social and religious services are practiced with limitless kindness and compassion, such practices are the Bodhisattva practices, to fulfill all the Paramitas by serving the world community. And a Buddha always encouraged and praises such good deeds while he also encouraged his followers to shorten the Saṃsāra.

Buddha Pūjā stanzas in Pāli and English

Credit: Turfan’s Artbin

Pali Buddhist prayers with English meaning



Vandāmi cetiyaṃ sabbaṃ

Sabbatane supaṭittitaṃ

Sārīrika dhāthu mahā bodhiṃ

Buddharupaṃ sakalaṃ sadā


Always I do worship every shrine, every bodily relic, every Bodhi tree, every Buddha image

That may stand in any place



Yassa mūle nisinno’va

Sabbāri vijayaṃ akā

Patto sabbaññutaṃ satthā

Vande taṃ bodhi pādapaṃ


Seated at which beneath,

The teacher overcame all foes,

Attaining Omniscience

That very bodhi tree do I worship.

Ime ete mahābodhi

Lokanāthena pūjitaṃ

Ahaṃpi te namassāmi

Bodhirājā namatthu te


These great trees of enlightenment

Honored by the lord of the world (Buddha)

I too honor you, O great bodhi trees, the king of all trees.



Vaṇṇa gandha gunopetaṃ

Etaṃ kusuma santatiṃ

Pājayāmi munindassa

Siri pāda saroruhe


This mass of flowers fresh, fragrant and colorful

I offer at the sacred lotus like feet of the noble sage

Pūjemi Buddhaṃ kusumen’nena

Puññenametena ca hothu mokkhaṃ

Pupphaṃ milāyāti yathā idaṃ me

Kāyo tathā yāti vināsa bhāvam


I worship the Buddha with these flowers;

May this virtue be helpful for my emancipation;

Just as these flowers fade,

Our body will undergo decay.



Ghaṇa sārappa dittena

Dīpena tama dhaṃsinā

Tiloka dīpaṃ sambuddhaṃ

Pūjayāmi tamonudaṃ.


With lights brightly shining

Abolishing this gloom

I worship the Enlightened One

The Light of the three worlds*

who dispels the darkness ( of ignorance )

(*three worlds – kama loka, rupa loka and arupa loka)



Gandha sambhāra yuttena

Dhūpenāhaṃ sugandhinā

Pūjaye Pūjanīyanaṃ taṃ

Pūjā bhājana muttamaṃ.


With perfumed incense,

From fragrant substances,

I worship the exalted one, worthy of worship,

Who dispels the darkness (of ignorance)

Sugandhi kāya vadanaṃ

Ananta guṇa gandhinā

Sugandhinā’haṃ gandhena

Pūjayāmi tathāgataṃ


Fragrant of voice and form,

Fragrant of infinite virtues,

The fragrant one, Thathagatha (the exalted one),

With fragrance I worship.



Adhivāsetu no bhante

Pāniyaṃ parikappitaṃ

Anukampaṃ upādāya



O Venerable sir! The blessed one

May this water

Be kindly accepted by you

Out of great compassion on us.



Adhivāsetu no bhante

Bhojanaṃ parikappitaṃ

Anukampaṃ upādāya



O Venerable sir! The blessed one

May this alm

Be kindly accepted by you

Out of great compassion on us.



Adhivāsetu no bhante

Bhesajjaṃ parikappitaṃ

Anukampaṃ upādāya



O Venerable sir! The blessed one

May this medicine

Be kindly accepted by you

Out of great compassion on us.


(Bodhi Pūjā


Yo sannisinno varabodhimūle

Māraṃ sasenaṃ sujitaṃ jinitvā

Sambodhim-āgacchi anantañāṇo

Lokuttamo taṃ paṇamāmi buddhaṃ

Aṭṭhaṅgiko ariyapatho janānaṃ

Mokkhappavesāya ujū ca maggo

Dhammo ayaṃ santikaro paṇito

Niyyāniko taṃ paṇamāmi dhammaṃ

Saṅgho visuddho varadakkhiṇeyyo

Santindriyo sabbamalappahīno

Guṇehinekehi samiddhipatto

Anāsavo taṃ paṇamāmi saṅghaṃ


Namassamāno ratanattayaṃ yaṃ

Puññabhisandaṃ vipulaṃ alatthaṃ

Tassānubhāvena hatantarāyo.


Seated serene at the Sacred Bodhi’s root

Having conquered Mara and his serried hosts,

Attained to Sambodhi, with wisdom that is infinite,

Highest in the Universe, that Buddha I revere.

Eight-factored Noble Path for people everywhere.

For those seeking Freedom, the Way that is straight,

This Dhamma fine and subtle, making for peace,

Leading out of dukkha, that Dhamma I revere.

Right worthy of gifts is the Saṅgha purified,

With pacified senses, all mental stains removed,

One quality alone with which all powers won:

Gone beyond desire, that Saṅgha I revere.

Thus indeed the Highest which is the Triple Gem

Should be venerated as revered by me,

And then by the power of this vast amount of merit,

Very beneficial, may danger be destroyed.


(Sangha Dna)

Imaṃ bhikkhaṃ saparikkhāraṃ anuttaram bhikkhu sanghassa uddisse dānam dema, pūjema; sangho yathā sukhaṃ paribhuñjanto.(3x)


These alms and requisites, we donate and offer to the excellent Sangha.

May the Sangha consume as they pleased.



(Sangha Dāna)

Imaṃ aṭṭhaparikkharaṃ anuttaram bhikkhu sanghassa uddisse dānam dema, pūjema; sangho yathā sukhaṃ paribhuñjanto.(3x)


These eight requisites, we donate and offer to the excellent Sangha.

May the Sangha consume as they pleased.


(Colored Kaṭhina robe)

Imaṃ kaṭhina cīvaraṃ anuttaraṃ bhikkhu saṇghassa dānaṃ dema; kaṭhinaṃ attharituṃ.(3x)


This dyed Kaṭhina robe we offer to the Sangha order, may the lay it out.


(White Kaṭhina robe)

Imaṃ kaṭhina dussaṃ anuttaraṃ bhikkhu saṇghassa dānaṃ dema; kaṭhinaṃ attharituṃ.(3x)


This Kaṭhina cloth we offer to the Sangha order, they may lay it out.


(Kappa Rukkha)

Imaṃ kappa rukkhaṃ anuttaraṃ bhikkhu saṇghassa dānaṃ dema, pūjema. Idaṃ me puññaṃ sabba lābhaṃ paṭilābhāya saṇvattatu, nibbānassa paccayo hotu. (3x)


We offer this resembled Kappa Rukkha (a celestial tree thats fullfil all wishes) to the excellent Sangha order.

By this meritorious deed, may my all wished be fulfilled too.

May this merit be a cause to attain Nibbāna.


(Buddha statue)

Imaṃ buddha bimbaṃ sabbehi deva manussehi hitatthāya, pūjanatthāya imasmiṃ vihāre/gehe patiṭṭhāpemi; idaṃ puññaṃ anāgate bodhiñānaṃ paṭilābhāya saṇvattatu nibbānassa paccāyo hotu. (3x)


This Buddha statue we are establishing in this vihara/house,

For the vast benefits and veneration,

Of all humankind and deities.

May this merit be a cause,

For attaining enlightenment and Nibbāna.

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