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Cultural Sensitivities and Awareness

By | 4/27/2024
In March 1974, about the same time that the first foreign meditators came to live at the new Vipassana centre in Igatpuri, Chandra Mohan Jain, calling himself Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, relocated from Mumbai to establish an ashram in Pune. He had already developed a reputation as a controversial guru by rejecting traditional religious and ascetic practices and expressing opinions on moral values that were opposed by most ordinary Indians. His young Western devotees, in their maroon or ochre robes, soon became a common sight in the city. Rumours circulated and began to appear in newspapers, containing allegations of drug use and sexual improprieties that tarnished his ashram's image.

Narayan Dasarwar

The Buddha You Never Knew

By | 4/14/2024
According to the most ancient sources, several months after the Buddha passed away, 500 monks, all of them Awakened, met together in Rājagaha and held what is usually called the First Council (sangīti pariyāya). The purpose of convening this council was to make sure that what the Buddha had taught during the previous forty five years would not be forgotten. The arahats and probably many others too, believed that the Buddha’s Dhamma was too precious, too important to be confused or forgotten. It had done so much for them, leading them to awakening (bodhi), that they wanted to make sure that others, at that time and forever after, would have the chance of attaining the freedom and peace of Nirvana too. It is likely that the arahats did not preserve everything the Buddha had said, because he had repeated some things many times, but they did preserve what they judged to be the essentials.
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