Saturday, 26 March 2011

Silence of the Buddha


The Buddha emerged in this world for happiness, benefit, welfare of many people not for one and few only. There were ten unanswered questions which were not only put to the Buddha but to many religious teachers and who were before the Buddha as well prevailing religious thoughts.  The religious teachers who were before the Buddha and contemporary had answered but they were not satisfactory answered given for them. Therefore the contemporary intelligent people were searching for the satisfactory answers of them.

In Buddhist canon there are many places where the ten unanswered questions (avyAkata) were put to the Buddha as well as to his disciples. Once a Brahmin named Vacchagotta who we had come across many times in suttas, asked these questions but the Buddha kept silence therein. When he left, Ven. Ānanda asked the Buddha why he did not reply to the questions. Then the Buddha says thus to him “if he says yes it will fall into Eternalist view, if he says no it will be Nihilist view”. So he does not want to be fallen to any one of these views.  These ten were not only done answer but there are some others as recorded in the åcitayasutta of AN; they are enumerated in four unthinkable subjects:

1.  Buddha visaya
2.  Kamma visaya
3.  loka visaya
4.  Citta visaya

Therefore some of ten are including in these four unthinkable subjects. The Buddha did not answer these is that he does not want to spend his time answering these questions because they do not lead to liberation. Suppose you want to know the last coil of cabbage. Of course you may search of it but at last when you open the coils one by one you may get nothing than knowledge of its end. In the same the Buddha will be tire of answering them but they will get nothing for liberation.

One day his own disciple named µAlunkyaputta having got up from his meditation, went to the Buddha and said thus that you did not answer these questions; if the Blessed one does not answer them he will not lead the holy life. Thereon the Buddha says to him if you were shot, will you find out the arrow, what colour is, made of what, from where, who shot, to which clan does he belongs etc. or will cure the worn first. So if he could cure the worn first he may read it and another word if he attain arahant hood he will be free from these questions.

For detail explanation refer to chapter 8 the Silence of the Buddha in “Early Buddhism: Its Religious and Intellectual Milieu” by Chandima Wijebandara and “What the Buddha Taught” by Dr. W. Rahula thera in page thirteen.

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