The purpose of Advayavada Buddhism is to become a true part of the whole.
Our quest is fully personalized: it is firmly based on what we increasingly know about ourselves and our world, and trusting our own intentions, feelings and conscience. Adherence to the familiar five precepts (not to kill, not to steal, sexual restraint, not to lie, and refraining from alcohol and drugs) and a well-considered understanding of the three (in Advayavada Buddhism, four) signs of being and the Buddha’s four noble truths, which were the subjects of weeks 1 to 5, suffice to start off on this Path at any time.
Advayavada Buddhism does not tell you what to do or believe, but invites us all to make the very best of our own lives by indeed attuning as best as possible with wondrous overall existence advancing over time now in its manifest direction. The Advayavada Study Plan (ASP) is repeated four times a year.
The purpose of the autonomous ASP is that we study (and debate in a local group, the family circle or with good friends) the meaning and implications of the weekly subject, not as a formal and impersonal intellectual exercise, but in the context of whatever we ourselves are presently doing or are concerned with, or about, such as our health, relationships, work, study, our place in society, etc.
(My own specific personal objective this quarter is to observe and interpret as closely as possible the workings in my own life of pratityasamutpada, i.e. the process of universal relativity or interdependent origination, understood as in Madhyamaka, where ‘all causes are effects and all effects are causes’, and karma, understood as the everchanging knotlet of biopsychosocial events in which I am personally embedded – what’s yours?)
Last week (6) we reviewed and took stock of our personal situation and circumstances and, to continue this weekly series, this week (7) we again take an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course, bearing in mind that truly commendable deeds are only those which are in agreement with wondrous overall existence and take us forward at the fundamental level of existence.
This task is based on the 2nd step on the Noble Eightfold Path: samma-sankappa (in Pali) or samyak-samkalpa (in Sanskrit), in Advayavada Buddhism’s usage: our very best resolution or determination; in Dutch: ons beste besluit (de tweede stap op het edele achtvoudige pad).
Nirvana is, in Advayavada Buddhism, the total extinction of our existential suffering as a result of our complete reconciliation and harmonization with reality as it truly is beyond our commonly limited and biased personal experience of it; the unremitting persistency of human distress, alienation and conflict is essentially due to the very many not knowing or not understanding or simply disbelieving the true nature of existence.
Other translations of the 2nd step are: right purpose (Arnold, Burt, Horner), right resolve (Bahm, David-Neel, Keown), appropriate thought (Batchelor), right intentions (Bodhi, Conze), right intention (Ch’en, Gethin, Khemo, St Ruth, Warder), right thoughts (Dhammananda, Narada), right desires (Dharmapala), right aspirations (Dharmapala, Eliot, Malalasekera, Rhys Davids), right thought (Fernando, Rahula, Saddhatissa, Takakusu), right resolution (Grimm), right conception (Guenther), right directed thought (Harvey), right motives (Humphreys), right attitude (Kornfield), right attitude of mind (Stroup), right aspiration (Narasu), right mindedness (Nyanatiloka), right understanding (Watts); proper hopes (Edwardes); correct resolve (Kloppenborg), right resolving (Melamed), correct thinking (Scheepers).
Feel free to share these ASP instalments.