The Brahmin created the social class with the key objective to suppress the innocent people in the society, depriving them of all the opportunities that the highest caste, Brahmin enjoyed. Contrarily, Buddhism emerged in society as a way of life on the basis of morality and nobility that requires every citizen to cultivate in order to create a fair or an equal society. Every citizen deserves equal treatment and deserves to live with dignity and respect. Therefore, no one is superior or inferior to one another in regard to the source of their origin, but certainly one’s own action, knowledge, wisdom and character or behaviour that classifies one’s superiority or inferiority.
The Buddha says “kammaṃ satte vibhajati yadidaṃ hīnappanītatāyāti” – It is the action that distinguishes beings as inferior and superior. ’’ Vasala Sutta says: “Kammanā vasalō hōti, kammanā hōti Brāhmanō – By deed one becomes an outcast, by deed one becomes a Brahman. ” By performing a good action, if one becomes superior, and have a respected place in society, anyone can be superior regardless of gender, caste or colour. In this easy, I will argue that all human beings are equal in terms of the five premises in the Madhūra Sutta, and the sutta is logically consistency, the five premises are enumerated as follows: all castes are equal in terms of financial success, Wrong action, Good deed, Law and Punishment, Leading a recluse life.
Financial success: Financial achievement plays an indispensable role in a human’s life. With an abundance of financial security, one can lead a life in physical comfort. To talk about the essentials of wealth, the Buddha says daliddiyam’pi dukkham lokasmin-poverty is suffering in this world; jigaccha parama roga-hunger is the greatest illness; Khuda same natthi narassa annam-there is no pain equal to hunger; sabbe sattā āhāratthitikā-all animals subsist on food”. Finance can control the life of every individual. With sufficient wealth, even a sudda can become master, while without enough financial security, a Brahmin becomes a street beggar or a servant to anyone who employs him. Therefore, through the acquisition of wealth, anyone can hire anyone or any caste for his servants. Additionally, the four castes are also not free from their wrong action, by committing which they have no chance to escape hell suffering.
Wrong action: the Wrong action refers to the action that one commits through unwholesome mental attitude: greed, hatred and delusion. In Dhammapada, it says: “Manasā ce paduṭṭhena bhāsati vā karoti vāTato naṃ dukkhamanveti cakkaṃ’va vahato padaṃ” – “If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox. ” This evidently shows one is born into the hell realm (Niraya) as a result of collected unwholesome acts (Akusala Kamma) and has to suffer there until storage of those harmful activities (Akusala kamma) used up. “Sabbe satta kammasaka – all beings have their individual action as their individual property in possession”. The Buddha further emphasis: “Kammassako’mhi kammadayado kammayoni kammabandhu kammapatisarano, yam kammam karissami kalyanam va papakam va, tassa dayado bhavissami’ ti – Whatever kamma I shall do, whether good or evil, of that I shall be the heir. ” An action is committed by an individual has to undergo the accountability himself and no one can take parts of it. Even the Buddha or the arahants have no exemption from committing wrong action (Akusala kamma). Such as Venerable Mahā Moggallāna who was an Arahant, developed psychic powers, killed by a rivalling sect as a result of a heinous sin that he committed killing his parents in previous life. Although the theory of kamma in Buddhism has taught in an adjustable way, but there are five anantarika kamma- dreadful sin by committing which one has no chance to escape the most awful hell. So knowing, no single individual desires to fall down to hell and experience hell suffering, but still, one’s own accumulated destructive deeds drag him there. The Brahmins who claims superiority over others castes have to reborn there correspondingly due to their unwholesome action, and there is no exception for other castes also. However, as by committing bad, they are punished through hell suffering; by performing good they all have a chance to reward heavenly happiness.
Good deed: Regarding performing a good deed, the Buddha says: “Sabba papassa akaranam, Kusalassa upasampada, Sachitta party odapanam, Etam Buddhanasasanam. “– To keep away from all evil, cultivate good, and purify one’s mind is the advice of all the Buddhas. Right effort (samma sankappa) is one of the Noble fold eight paths of the Buddha’s discovery. The very purpose of cultivating the right effort is to prevent oneself from committing evil intentional action. That is to subdue the evil and unwholesome thoughts that have arisen and make an exertion awakening the good and wholesome thoughts that have yet to arise. Granting the three actions enumerated as bodily, verbally and mentally, but in practice, the process of spiritual mechanism comes first. Thus by guiding one’s mind, one purifies his action verbally and bodily. In Saleyyaka sutta of MN says: right conduct by body is threefold: abstain from killing, stealing, and sexual misconduct; right conduct by word is fourfold: abstain from telling lie, slandering, frivolous talk and gossiping, and right conduct by mind is threefold: abstain from being greedy, being angry and being cultivating the wrong view. Either a human being is born in higher or lower class, the mental purification process instigates through individual exertion. And the liberation or the transformation of mind or born into the happy realm, so-called Heaven is through the cultivation of right mental attitude. Only performing good action ensures one to reborn in heaven. Hence, accumulating merit is the primary source to born in such a happy realm, and it is not due to having a birth in a Brahmin family. Any of the four castes have the equal potentiality to borne in heaven through a collection of wholesome merits. As the four castes have the potentiality to reborn in heaven as a result of meritorious deeds, they also all must abide by the social law.
Law and Punishment: Every citizen is equal before the law. In order to preserve peace and stability, the law against crime must be implemented in accordance with the gravity of one’s crime. In Buddhist histories, there were recorded of several criminal activities, theft, bugler and serial killers etc. Even, for good reason, the Buddha had to confront serial killer like Angulimala, and a notorious bandit Alavaka. The criminal activity among the Bhikkhu Sangha is an inevitable issue despite implementing 227 monastic codes for a monk. Committing any activities in relation to violating monastic code out 227 justify with the degree of crime. According to monastic codes, violating the four pārājikas not repairable by any means; therefore, any monk violates any of four pārājikas must be expelled from the Order. This clearly shows violating the law or committing a crime a monk or a Brahmin has to face punishment. No one is above the law! However, at the old age, the four castes must seek liberation through their spiritual endeavour, which so-called leading an ascetic life.
Leading a recluse life: An ascetic is the most admired person in his respected society, who seeks liberation from the repeated existence of rebirth and death, or from worldly suffering. It is customary in Indian society that a man in his old age must give up his worldly life and seeks liberation through his spiritual endeavour. This spiritual quest for all castes is akin. Additionally, anyone desires to lead an ascetic life is amiably welcome in the society. The society values the spiritual life that an ascetic sincerely embraces. Therefore, a higher or lower caste is nothing but one’s character and the way one develops moral values within through his spiritual journey. In the history of Buddhist philosophy, many great monks have established a respected place in society through their spiritual achievement despite being born in the low-class family, as for instance: Ven. Sopaka, who is from a low caste family, attained to Brahma realm through following the noble eightfold path that discovered by the Buddha. Many highest castes, Brahmins and Kshatriyas went to respect him. And also Ven. Upali, a barber from low caste by birth, become an expert in the discipline (Vinaya), also an Arahant, played a prominent role reciting the discipline (Vinaya) during the first Buddhist synod which took place three months after the Buddha’s demised. Furthermore, the Buddhist exposition of a lotus flower, a lotus flower initially grows in muddy water, but when it able to rise up above the muddy water and fully blossom, it represents a symbol of purity and respect. Likewise, the ordinary people entangle with greed, hatred and delusion are like the lotus flower in muddy water. But when they are able to eliminate their klesā, they become pure and symbol of respect. Thus, Buddhist evaluation process starts through the development of mind; it is not by birth to a high or low caste family.
The five premises of Madhūrasutta empirically proved that there is no distinction between higher or lower castes for accomplishing financial success; committing the wrong action; performing good; law and punishment and leading an Ascetic life. Financial success can be achieved by any of caste wither higher, middle or low, and can higher his servants from any of the four castes. Committing wrong action can cause any of four castes reborn into hell, and by doing good any caste can be reborn in heaven; violating the law, even a higher caste, Brahmin has no exception from punishment, and leading a recluse life even from low caste; sudda can be accepted and highly admired in the society. Finally, birth in a higher or lower caste is nothing but it is about the cultivation of mind based on morality and nobility are the main basis for a human being to be esteemed.
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