30 March 2012

Have you read a Dhamma book today?

Title : The Buddhist Concept of the Environment and Individual
Author : Ven. Pallegama Ratanasara
Publisher : Buddhist Maha Vihara, Kuala Lumpur
ISBN : 983-40364-2-6
Topic : Philosophy

In the study of ecology (the study of the relationship between organisms and their environment) in biology, there are two different types of environments that we live in: 1. the abiotic or physical environment which consists of non-living components, e.g. light, temperature, water, pH, etc. 2. the biotic environment which consists of all the living components, e.g. plants, animals, bacteria, etc.  The components in these two environments interact among each other in different ways, continually.

However, there have been unhealthy interactions in recent decades which give rise to various environmental issues, and the main cause of these is human’s greed, craving and insensitivity to the importance of balanced environments.
Even though the Buddha did not address the topic on environments directly, but there are many occasions where the Buddha expressed the importance to take good care of the environments.  Many similes and metaphors related to environments are often found in the sermons by the Buddha, e.g. Sanamana Sutta in the Samyutta Nikaya, Rukkha Sutta from the Anguttara Nikaya, Aganna Sutta from the Digha Nikaya, Metta Sutta from the Khuddaka Nikaya, etc.  Major events in the life of the Buddha also took place in natural environments.

By using the primary sources of the Pāli Tipitaka, the author, Ven. Ratanasara studied and interpreted the Buddha’s teaching on human nature, human’s relationship with nature, and presents the environmental perspectives from the Buddhist point of view.   

Chapter 1 : An investigation into environmental studies
Chapter 2 : A critique of the concept of man
Chapter 3 : Loss of resources and its influence on man
Chapter 4 : Interrelationship between mind and environment
Chapter 5 : Buddhist ethical views on environmental problems
Chapter 6 : The Buddhist attitude towards environmental conservation
Chapter 7 : Conclusion 

When we reduce our defilements and uphold the Buddhist ethics, we can create an environment where all living creatures strive peacefully and harmoniously. 

Note : It is a Gardening Day at Nalanda on 1 April 2012, this Sunday.  Join us from 9am to 11am to green and beautify the environment, and be at peace with the Mother Nature.

Pustaka Nalanda
We welcome you to visit Pustaka Nalanda and experience a peaceful learning environment. Pustaka at Nalanda Centre in Serdang is open six days a week on Tuesdays to Sundays, 10am to 6pm. You can also do an on-line search of our catalogue through the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) at http://nalanda.org.my/pustaka/