What do you dislike about Buddhism?


The following partial translations from the Dhammapada come from a discussion of the transmission by Munish B. Schiekel (Dhammapada 2008).

I try to go my own way, following Heidegger's idea: "over- sit - on another bank - on the bank of another !! ”(Heidegger 2000, 341) following. About the meaning of this "over-setting "on the bank of another, including talking to oneself and one's own language, he writes:

“One thinks that“ translating ”is the transfer of one language into another, the foreign language into the mother tongue or vice versa. However, we fail to recognize that we are constantly translating our own language, our mother tongue, into its own word. Speaking and saying is in itself a translation, the essence of which can in no way be absorbed in the fact that the translating and the translated word belong to different languages. An original translation prevails in every conversation and self-talk. We do not mean the process of replacing a phrase by another in the same language and using the "paraphrase". The change in the choice of words is already the result of the fact that what is to be said is abovehas put into another truth and clarity or even questionability. This oversitting can happen without the linguistic expression changing. A poet's poetry, a thinker's treatise, is in its own unique, single word. It forces us to hear this word again and again as if we were hearing it for the first time. Each time these first fruits of the Word transfer us to a new bank. The so-called overput and rewriting always follows only that overput our whole being in the realm of a changed truth. Only if we already have this overwe are in the care of the word. Only with respect for language established in this way can we take on the usually easier and more limited task of translating foreign words into our own. ”(Heidegger 1982, pp. 17-18).

Whether I actually succeed in putting on another bank, namely on the bank of the Buddha, the "enlightened" or "awakened" as the usual translations read, and thus to a transformation of my humanity through the opposition of another developed or another 'World'? Perhaps 'the serene' would be a more appropriate word. Without any knowledge of Sanskrit and Pali, my translations are, of course, helpless attempts. I rely on the expert help of the sources cited by Schiekel and on the work of Raimon Panikkar (1996).

My ways of “translation” have their origins in the existential philosophy tradition. In his recently published early lectures, Odo Marquard referred to this tradition (Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Sartre) and distinguished it from essentialist thinkers - from Plato to Hegel and Husserl (Marquard 2013). Buddha's ways of letting go, the insight into the essence of things and of our self (atman) can be reached from this shore if one is ready to cross over.

The serene preaches no religion in the sense of a divine revelation. Nor is he a divine mediator. Perhaps it happened to him that his students turned it into a quasi-religion. The Buddha followed the Buddhaism. This is indicated by the following story:

“When the Buddha was asked a few months before his death who he would like to appoint as his successor, he replied as follows (Longer Collection [Digha-Nikaya] 16, 2, 25-26, and 16, 6, 1, abbreviated):

"Why does the Order expect this from me? I have set forth the teaching (dhamma) without distinguishing between an inside and an outside, because with regard to the teaching the perfect does not have the closed fist of a teacher who withholds certain truths. [.. .]
A consummate man does not believe that he must necessarily lead the order or that the order depends on him. [...]

Therefore be your own island, your own refuge, have the teaching as an island, the teaching as a refuge, have no other refuge! [...] "(Dhammapada 2008, 10)

"Buddhism, which initially only resonated with individuals, became a broad reform movement when the Buddha was declared a divine incarnation after his death. The legend usurped his life, connected him with the known gods and invented miracle stories. That was the price for Buddhism to penetrate the masses.
From a philosophical insight that said: "We carry the key to happiness within us", the people ultimately made a religion, less in the literal sense of religion, which goes back to the Latin "religare" (to tie back), but rather in the Kind of a supernatural worship with certain cults and rites. "(Percheron 1988, 14-15).

Buddha's insight into the human condition as suffering is aimed at each individual who, without the help of a divine Redeemer, is able to free himself from the state of dependence not only on things, but above all on himself, on his self as an entity to let go.

This insight is also connected with exercises, which, however, have a completely different meaning than, for example, meditation techniques in Christianity. The ways of letting go are individual, i.e. they are ways of the self into selflessness. The self is the very source of suffering as the root of all attachment.

The insight into the impermanence and essence of all phenomena as well as the addressing of one's own self connects and separates basic insights of the serene with existential philosophers two and a half thousand years later.

The serene did not hand down the making of his insights explicitly in writing, but what his students recorded suggests that the serene questions a prevailing morality and its reflection in the form of an ethic. If this was his basic insight, then his “silence” (Panikkar 1996) regarding, for example, the question of God and thus the presentation of a theology is consistent. The silence of the serene with regard to the eternity of the world, the essence of the divine or the essence of the self is based on the insight that these facts are not things "about" which we, in the sense of Wittgenstein but also Kant or Heidegger, could speak meaningfully. Panikkar mentions the following story under the heading "No Appropriate Answer":

"Thereupon Vacchagotta, the wanderer, paid a visit to the sublime ... and said:
"Well, Master Gautama, is there a self?"
At these words the Blessed One was silent.
"How is it now, Master Gautama, so there is no self?"
The Blessed One was silent again.
Vacchagotta, the wanderer, rose from his seat and went away.
Not long after the wanderer's departure, the venerable Ananda said to the sublime:
"How is it, Lord, that the Blessed One did not answer Vacchagotta's question?"
“When I, Ânanda, when asked by the wanderer: 'Is there a self? had answered, 'There is a self,' then, Ânanda, I would have sided with the hermits and brahmins who believe in eternity.
"But if I, Ânanda, had answered the question: 'So there is no self?", That there is none, then I would have taken the side of the hermits and brahmins who believe in total annihilation.
"If I had replied to the wanderer's question, Ânanda: 'Is there a self?", That there is one, would my answer be consistent with the knowledge that all things are impermanent? "
"Certainly not, sir."
"If I had replied to the wanderer Vacchagotta's question, 'So there is no self?", That there is none, there would have been even more confusion for the confused Vacchotta. Because he would have said: 'I used to have a self, but now I don't have one anymore. "(Panikkar 1996, 127-128)

The serene is not a founder of a religion, but an ethicist who does not want his insights to be understood in the sense of a theory about the good life, but above all in the sense of an incentive for each individual to take care of their own self. Seen in this way, the ethics of the serene resembles that of Aristotle, who never tired of emphasizing that the meaning of ethics as practical philosophy is perfected in the practice of being good in the individual in the sense of the areté leads. For the serene, however, the goal is not the goodness of the self, but rather the letting go of all goals and theoretical superstructures, rites and dogmas that the self sets for itself and, above all, of being a self.

This letting go of the self is what the basic word nirvana indicates. Thinking in the sense of a practice of “translating” would have to follow, if it matters, for example Dhammapada to translate to sit across on the bank of the serene.

Of course, a translation from the bank of existential philosophy and in its various forms is no less a risk than other attempts from other banks. What would the serene say about these helpless attempts of mine? He would probably ask me if she my Ways are. That's them.


abinnâ - the perfect understanding

“Profound knowledge; in later Pali texts then always in the meaning: "the six mental powers: magical powers (e.g. flying through the air, walking over water, etc.), heavenly ear, mind reading, heavenly eye, memory of earlier forms of existence, drying up of all urges and ultimate liberation "(Dhammapada 2008, 126)

amata - the fugue

Let go. Please refer nirvana

anakkhata - nameless

Please refer nirvana

arahat - The released one, the self-redeemed

arahatta - The protection of selflessness

ariya-puggala - The wanderings of the self

Entry, return, never return, selflessness.

âtman - the self

“In addition to its meaning as a (demonstrative, indefinite and even reflexive) pronoun, âtman translated as “soul”, “substance”, “I”, “selfhood”, “self” etc. Strangely enough, all of these translations cannot be wrongly called, although they miss either the background or the shading of the original. [...]

The Buddha's intuition is that of pure contingency. It is the discovery of the absence of a supreme acting subject; it is the primary experience of impermanence and therefore of the suffering inherent in all beings. With the refusal, from âtman to speak, the Buddha thinks that there is no ultimate supreme object and no primary subject of human experience, nothing that can be set as the ultimate, defined ground for anything else. Conversely, it can be said that the concept of Buddha is tantamount to stating that there are no preferred beings in this world. There are no substances here and accidents there. No, everything that we can experience is equally ephemeral, fleeting and impermanent - not just colors and feelings, but also the subject who experiences them. "(Panikkar 1996, 65-67)

bojjhanga - The seven ways of awakening

Research into teaching

brahma-cariya - The liberated one

also: the renouncing, pure living

Buddha - the serene

cattāri ariyasaccāni - The four noble truths

dukkha: suffering (life is suffering)
samudaya: cause (causes of suffering are greed, hatred and delusion)
nirodha: extinction (when the causes extinguish, suffering is extinguished)
magga: See sammā (The eightfold path)

dhamma - The providence

also: the law, the doctrine, the reality.
Dhammapada: path of destiny

duhkha - the suffering

gantha - The four fetters

Desire [tanhā]
Rules and rituals,

jhanās - the exercises of selflessness

Goodness (metta)
Emptiness (vipassana)
Rest (samatha)

(See: Dhammapada 2008, 133-142).

khandha - The ways of being human

Body, sensations, perceptions, psyche, consciousness

mara - suffering, death

See: samsara

nirvâna - Being away

“The etymology of the word is instructive. The Sanskrit verb nirvâ means “to be extinguished” or “to be consumed”, never in the transitive mode, but always like a fire that “goes out” or a flame that goes out for lack of fuel. One remembers the wind (like the Latin spirit or the Greek pneuma). However, the wind not only extinguishes the fire, it also softens the heat so that nirvana etymologically also has the meaning of "refreshing" or "pleasant". [...]

Nirvana is more than a psychological condition. Nirvana is the extinction of existence seen as negative and conditional. It is the “going out” of temporality, death and everything mortal - everything that can (still) be born. Because where does all sensual or intellectual human experience end? In suffering. But suffering is the mark and mark of existence. Then man's ultimate goal must be the pure negation of negativity itself - that a-no-nada-miento. The “to-not-nothingness” of Spanish mysticism, the annihilation of that nothingness that nonadathat one “is”. Obviously it all depends on the meaning given to the verb "to be". For the Buddha, what one is "is" certainly not what one believes, feels or thinks to be, or what one could ever believe, feel or think to be. Nirvana is the cessation of everyone samskara. It is the dissolution of all ties. It is the quenching of thirst. It is the destruction of the three main vices. Nirvana belongs to the "other bank", or pâra, the opposite bank itself of what the tradition of the Upanishads meant and wanted to convey. With one word, nirvana can as holiness (arhatva), as the ideal of the arhant be understood: “The dissolution of passion, of hatred, of confusion becomes nirvana called".

The Least False Statement That We Can About nirvana can do, maybe that's that it akrita be: not made, not built, different from the processed (samskrita), the erected, even the created. If existence is what is, then is nirvana not being. ”(Panikkar 1996, 79-81).

pannā– The clairvoyance, the insight

parinibbuta– The complete rest

prajñāselfless self (wisdom)

See sammā.
Look here.

pratitya-samutpada - the causal chain

Look here.

punna– The good works, The merits

saggapayā - Heaven and the lower paths of existence

"the six realms of the gods, demons, humans, animals, spirits and the suffering beings in the hells." (Dhammapada 2008, 126)

sammā - The eightfold path

selfless self (wisdom) (prajñā):
1. right knowledge (sammā-ditthi)
2. right thinking (sammā-sankappa)

Letting go of violence (sīla):
3. right speaking (sammā-vācā)
4. right action (sammā-kammanta)
5. Right livelihood (sammā-ājiva)

Collection (samādhi):
6. right endeavor (sammā-vāyāma)
7. right mindfulness (sammā-sati)
8. right collection (sammā-samādhi)

Look here.

samyojana - The ten fetters

The five lower fetters:
Attachment to rules and rituals
Sensual desire
Ill will

The five higher fetters:
Greater physical desire
Spiritual desire
Delusion, ignorance.

Also: samyoga - the four fetters: senses, life, opinions (talk), ignorance.

samsara - the cycle of existence

sīla - Letting go of violence

Please refer: sammā
Ethical principles are derived from this on various levels.

tathāgata-The loosened one

vipassanā - The insight into suffering, impermanence, selflessness

viveka - The seclusion

yoga - the exercises in being human


According to the presentation by (Panikkar 1996, 62-64).

"The canonical Buddhist texts can be classified according to the five categories.The first and the oldest, belonging to the Theravadin tradition, form the Pâli canon. This includes fragments of the same canon in Sanskrit belonging to the Sarvâstivâda, Mularsarvâstivâda and Mahâsânghika schools. The later Mahayana tradition also wrote its canonical texts in Sanskrit.

A. Theravada, the school of the elders: The scriptures of this tradition include the oldest texts, called Tripitaka (Tripitaka in Sanskrit): The three baskets (pitaka).

1. Vinaya Pitaka: The basket of monastic discipline.
a. Sutta Vibhanga: The classifications of the rule.
Bhikkhuvibhanga, for the monks.
Bhikkhunîvibhanga, for the nuns.
b. Khandhaka: The text part
Mahâvagga: The big part.
Cullavagga (Culavagga): The small part.
c. Parivâra: The supplement, an appendix, a kind of index that summarizes the other texts of the Vinaya.

2. Sutta Pitaka: The Basket of Texts. Collection of the speeches of the Buddha and his disciples. These are the most important documents of the Doctrine (dhamma). There are five nikâya (collections or parts)
a. Dîgha-nikâya: Compilation of the Long Sutta (34)
b. Majjhima-nikâya: Collection of the Middle Sutta (142)
c. Samyutta-nikâya: Collection of the Combined Sutta (56 groups)
d Anguttara-nikâya: collection of the sutta, classified by subject (11 groups)
e. Khuddaka-nikâya: Collection of Short Texts (15), among them:
(1) Dhammapada: Verses of the Dhamma.
(2) Udana: utterances (mostly in metric form).
(3) Itivuttaka: "This is what it was said," the Buddha's speeches.
(4) Sutta Nipâta: Collection of speeches (mostly in verse) about the Buddha, society and ethics.
(5) Theragâthâ: The stanzas of the elders: monks.
(6) Therîgâthâ: The stanzas of the elders: nuns.
(7) Jâtaka: Stories about previous births of the Buddha.

The Milinda Pañha:One can add this dialogue between King Milinda and a monk about knowledge and wisdom. Burmese tradition regards him as belonging to this canon. Although this is a Pâli version, the original probably wasn't in P.âli.

3. Abhidamma Pitaka or Sattapakarana: The Seven Discourses. Detailed and classifying interpretation of the teaching. Among the commentaries in the Pâli Canon is the Visuddhimagga: the Way of Perfect Purification, from Buddhagosa, the most famous. It is a systematic and comprehensive treatment of the entire teaching.

B. Sarvâstivâda
Fragments in Sanskrit of the Vinaya, the Sutta and other texts of this canon. Most of it only exists in Chinese and Tibetan translations.

C. Mularsarvâstivâda
An important part of the Vinayavastu is kept in Kashmir. Fragments of the Vinaya. A complete vinaya exists in Tibetan.

D. Mahâsânghika
The Mahasanghika, considered to be the Vinaya Pitaka of this school, although it incorporates many texts of the sutta and legend types. The most important fragment of this canon is kept in Nepal.

E. Mahâyâna
The texts belong to the late period from around the 2nd century AD. (Nâgârjuna), although the emergence of some of them is likely to be placed [sic] at the beginning of the Christian era. The two most important schools were Mâdhayamika (Shunyavâda) and Vijñânavâda (Yogâcâra).

To the largest Sûtren belong to this rich literature:

Prajnâpâramitâ, Collection of Sûtra-Texts in prose about the Great Wisdom, derived from Shûnyatâ.

Lalitavistara Sûtra: Full description of the game, a legendary story about the human appearance of the Buddha.

Lankâvatâra Sûtra: The descent (âvatâra) of the Buddha to Srî Lañka, where for a while he answered the 108 questions of the Bodhisatva Mahâmati and gave reasoned reports on the teaching.

Saddhara PundarîkaSûtra: Sutra of the lotus of the true law. About the nature of the appearances of the Buddha, about the opinions of the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas. It contains various parabolas.

Mañjushrî Mûlakalpa: The originKalpa of Mañjushrî. This Kalpa is a treatise that sets the rule of ritual. A later text, a kind of encyclopedia on many things: ritual teaching, astrology, history. "



All things arise in the self
Are our mighty selves creation.
Talk to impure self
Deal with impure selves
And suffering will follow you
As the wheel follows the foot
who pulls the car.

All things arise in the self
Are our mighty selves creation.
Talk to the pure self
Act with pure self
And luck will follow you
How the shadow follows the body
and does not give way.



Vigilanceappamāda] is the way to be away [nirvana],
Inattention the way to the mischief of existence.
Whoever lives vigilantly does not return,
But the unwary is like a returning one.



Like the arrow maker his arrows
Carved and straightened
This is how the vigilant directs his restless
And hard-to-control self out.

Like a fish torn from the water
And stranded on the bank
This is how this unsteady self fidgets
Under the power of suffering [māra

Difficult to see is the self
It wanders at its convenience.
It is wise to keep it
And protecting it leads to happiness.

This wandering self
Living in the body and yet not tangible
Who masters this self,
Becomes free of māras Tie up.

A person who is unsteady in self,
Without trust and without clarity
And the serene insights [saddhamma] does not understand
There can be no insight into this [paññā] to grow.

A person free from desire in self
And no longer oppressed by aversion,
Who has let go of all good and bad,
He lives thanks to his vigilance
free from danger.

Know your body
as a fragile vessel,
And protect yourself like a castle
Overcome māra with your deep understanding
Protect what has been acquired by letting go [sīla]
and give up your clinging

Because soon this body will
Lying on the ground
Thrown away and unconscious
Like a useless piece of wood.

Your worst enemy
and those who hate you
Will never hurt you so much
Like your own self
When you focus on the unwholesome.
Your father, your mother
and those who love you
Will never be able to help you so much
Like your own self
When you focus on the wholesome.



See how the body is like a foam bubble
A fleeting reflection in the air
Remove the arrows adorned with flowers Maras,
And invisibly leave this realm of mischief.

If you always want to pick all these flowers
When your heart is always full of desire
So the mischief will suddenly surprise you
Like the tidal wave a sleeping village.


If you are on your hike
Find no morally like-minded person
So you go on alone
Because only calamity brings accompaniment to a goal


Why do you do things
That you will deeply regret later
That bring you tears and pain
When your actions bear fruit


"May everyone know my work,
Lay people, monks and nuns,
And like each other in all things
Always judge everyone according to my will. "
Such is the thinking and wishing of the fool,
And so his pride grows more and more.

One way leads to profit
The other way to be away [nirvana].
A monk and a disciple of the serene,
who recognizes this clearly shouldn't
Delight in hospitality and honor,
He practices with devotion
in the seclusion [viveka].



Even if it may be difficult for you
To enjoy letting go
Let go of all your desires
And so set your heart and self free
Of all the mischief [kilesa].

When you have developed your self rightly
In the seven ways of awakening [bojjhanga]
When you have broken away from all desire
And enjoy the freedom of letting go
If your passions
have completely dried up
And you linger in radiantly clear insight
Then you came to rest [paranibbuta].


Who has walked the path
He is completely liberated
Free from sorrow
Free from all shackles [gantha],
Free of will.




Better than thousands of warriors
To defeat in a battle
Is it just defeating yourself
Then you are really victorious in the fight.



Hurry to do docile thing,
And keep your self away from the mischief.
If you hesitate
Your self will enjoy the mischief.



All beings tremble at the violence
All beings fear death;
See yourself in others
And don't kill, don't hurt




Who has not led a relaxed life
Created wealth at a young age,
It looks like an old, wingless heron
At a dried up pond devoid of fish.




You yourself always act like this
How you teach the others
Self-tamed you may tame the others,
But it is difficult to tame yourself.

You yourself are your own protector,
Who else could protect you?
Self-tamed you gain the protection of selflessness [arahatta]
Which is hard to get.



You yourself are the source
of all purity and impurity,
And nobody can
Purify another person.

Don't neglect your own self-liberation
Not even for great future good
Realize your own task
and then do it.



See this whole world
Like a bubble in the water
Like a reflection in the air
So you go beyond this realm of mischief




Stop doing evil
Turn to the good
Purify Heart and Self:
This is the teaching of the serene.



It is happiness and blessings
To meet the self-detached,
And instead of being driven
To live with the watchful
So you can always be happy.



Don't hang your heart on anything
So that loss doesn't bring you pain.
Go beyond affection and dislike.
In this way you will be free from all shackles.


Give up the anger and the pride
Free yourself from all shackles [samyojana]




Build your own island and refuge,
Hurry and try, develop insight,
Free yourself from all mischief
And so achieve a relaxed life.



But if you leave all good and bad
And as a liberator [brahma-cariya]
Wander through this world of mischief
Then you are really considered a serene person.



The highest path is the eightfold path [samma]
The highest truth is the fourfold truth [cattāri ariyasaccāni]
The highest thing is detachment
And the highest man is the loosened one
who recognizes.


Realize all of this very clearly
Live wisely and loosely,
And search for yourself quickly
The way to be away [nirvana].



Sit alert, lie alert, walk alert
Practice tirelessly
And vigilantly tame yourself
Linger full of joy
In the solitude of the woods.



Many probably wear the yellow robe,
But do not curb their unwholesome deeds;
And so they lead the consequences of their actions
Into the depths of suffering.




When you find a wise friend
a companion,
Who lives and understands in the right way,
So overcome all obstacles
and walk with him
Alert and with an open heart and self.

If you don't find a wise friend
no companion,
He who lives in the right way and who understands
Walk like a king who gives up his kingdom
And wander alone
Like the elephant in the jungle.




When you bring misery
Conquering desire
That which is difficult to cross in this world
So all worries fall away from you
Like the drops of water from the lotus leaf.


"I have overcome everything and recognized everything
No longer attached to anything
and not stained by anything,
I let go of everything
And all desire has dried up
I am redeemed and free
I recognized this out of myself
Who should I call my teacher? "

[“The Buddha gave this answer soon after his
Awakening the ascetic [samana] Upaka, than this
met the Buddha on the street, and impressed
of Buddha's radiant and peaceful being, according to
asked his teacher (Medium Collection [Majjhima Nikaya] 26)“]

(Dhammapada 2008, 111)



Stay with the body and with the self
Without attachment to an "I" and "mine",
And don't lament the decay:
So you are rightly called a lonely one.


Through your own effort
Through your own introspection
Through your own mindfulness
Will you live happily, oh lonely one.

You yourself are your own master,
You yourself are your own refuge,
You educate yourself
Just like the breeder his noble horse.




The Brahmin worships the sacred fire,
But you bow to the person
Through whom you heard and understood the teaching
Which the let loose has proclaimed


Who has freed himself from all his bonds,
Is no longer excited and worried,
Who is really free from clinging and fettering,
I call him a saint.


Who in the midst of arguing people
stay calm
Who in the midst of fighting people
stay peaceful
Who in the midst of greedy people
remains detached
I call him a saint.


Who clearly recognizes how everywhere the beings
Perish and arise,
He who is free from clinging and awakens,
I call him a saint.

Who goes on the path that nobody knows
No god, no heavenly being
and no one
He who is free from all instincts and released [arahat],
I call him a saint.

Who neither in the past,
Still clinging to the future
And not even in the present
He who is free from all desire
And no longer attached to anything
I call him a saint.


Who knows about his earlier forms of existence,
Who clearly recognizes heaven and hells [saggapaya],
Who has reached the end of all creations,
He who has achieved perfect understanding [abhinna],
He who lives detached as a silent sage,
A completely loosened one
I call him a saint.


Harro von Senger: 36 stratagems. Life and survival lists from three millennia.

Frankfurt am Main 2011, 339-342

24.15 Buddha's parable of the burning house

"So I have heard. The Buddha once lived in the city of Rajagrha [capital of the country of Magadha in India] on the Vulture Mountain [...] multitudes of supernatural beings and countless disciples surrounded him [...] At that time, the sublime rose and spoke [...]

This is how the Lotus Sutra begins, also known as the "Bible of East Asia". It is the most important script of Mahajana Buddhism, which is widespread across the Far East. In the period between 200 BC Originated in India and AD 200, it owes its prominent position to the incomparable attraction it exerted for centuries on the Buddhist pious. In the following I base myself on the complete German translation of the under the titleMiao Fa Lianhua Jing traditional Chinese text by Margareta von Borsig (Sutra from the lotus flower of the marvelous law. Darmstadt 1993).

The speeches of the Lotus Sutra are placed in the mouth of the Buddha who has attained supreme enlightenment. Against the background of a mythical scenery, grandiose images unfold in the 28 chapters of the sutra. Parables illustrate the teaching content, including the parable of the burning house given in the third chapter. In this parable, the Buddha tells how fire breaks out on each side of a huge building at the same time and spreads over the entire structure. In it are the still small, incomprehensible sons of the immensely wealthy house owner. They are happily absorbed in their game, understand and notice nothing, are not frightened or afraid. They do not seek to escape. The father warns the children and calls to them: "Come out quickly!" But the children do not take in the words of the father. They are not frightened or frightened and they do not think about getting out. Nor do they know what is meant by "fire" or what is meant by "house" and what he means they would lose it.You keep walking back and forth in the game and that's all.

Then the father thinks: "If I and the sons don't leave the house on fire immediately, our death will be inevitable." He knows what precious and rare things his sons are fond of, and so he calls out to them: "Various wagons with goats, deer and oxen are standing outside the gate. You can play with them. You should now get out of this burning house quickly . I want to give everyone what they want. " When the children hear of the precious things that the father speaks of and that correspond to their wishes, they eagerly and courageously come out of the burning house, pushing each other and trying to get one ahead of the other.

When the father has managed to get all the children out unharmed, and he now sees that they are sitting on the ground in the square courtyard, his heart is calm and overflowing with joy. Now each of the sons says to the father: "Father, please give us these beautiful things now, the wagons with zigans, deer and oxen that you promised us earlier!" Now the father gives each son a completely identical car. This car is big and wide and decorated with many jewels. [...] Now every son gets on a big wagon. They have received something that they have never had before and that even in the least not hoped for.

The Buddha explains this parable elsewhere in the Lotus Sutra:

"For the sake of living beings who are blinded in suffering

and confused

I preach nirvana

I employ this skillful means

And cause them to be in the Buddha's mind

enter into.

I didn't preach to them before:

You must come to complete the Buddha-path.

That I haven't preached it yet was

Because the time for preaching had not yet come;

Now this time has come

And steadfastly I preach the great vehicle.

First of all, Buddha, to whom the father corresponds in the parable, promises the people, who with their earthly senses and striving are like the children in the burning house, "carts with goats, deer and oxen". This is an image of the prospect of nirvana. With the promise of the complete dissolution of the ego, Buddha tempts people, or at least some people, to free themselves from their illusions and earthly truths (see 19.4), i.e. to leave the burning house and to achieve that state of seclusion that they in itself allowed to enter nirvana. But at this moment the so mature people do not receive, as promised, "carts with pulling stags, deer and oxen", i.e. instant nirvana, but each one of the same size, wide, jeweled carts. This means what is known as the Bodhisattva. A Bodhisattva is in the last stage of enlightenment, but refrains from entering nirvana in order to be able to devote himself to the world again and to other beings who do not have the ability to save themselves from the earthly "burning house" with their own strength, to help from his high spiritual level. For millennia or millions of years, a Bodhisattva renounces the originally pursued personal goal - entry into nirvana - in order to support weak beings on the path to nirvana with their continually accumulated merits, which they no longer need for themselves.

The parable of the burning house shows a Buddha who initially only tells half the truth. Initially, he only sets the one goal of entering nirvana. This is a real, not a faked, goal. Only after he has led people directly to this goal does he reveal his hitherto secret goal to them, namely to induce them to serve beings and people as Bodhisattvas. To a certain extent, the Buddha behaves like the king of Jin in reference story 24.1 to the prince of Yu. He only lets the cat out of the bag for one of his two goals. Like the Prince of Yu, those affected by Buddha's "skillful means" (fangbian) only learn later that the other is pursuing a second goal. Unlike the King of Jin, the Buddha does not harm anyone. Buddha's application of the dual target stratagem can therefore be qualified as a pure service strategist. The tick justifies the means here. This emerges from the following dialogue between the Buddha and his disciple Sariputra, in which the process described in the parable is not analyzed from the aspect of a cunning, but from the narrow point of view of the lie:

"Sariputra! What is your opinion now? Is this father, because he gave his sons a large wagon of precious jewels in exactly the same way, somehow wrong and lying or not?" Sariputra said: "No, honored one of the world! This father made sure that his sons escaped the danger of fire and kept their bodies and their lives completely intact. This is not falsehood and a lie. What is the reason for this? If only because he gave them body and preserved life entirely, they obtained a beautiful, precious thing. He rescued them from the burning house by a skillful means. Dear one of the world! Even if this father had not given them even the smallest car, he would not be wrong and lying. Why is it like this? This father had this thought: 'I want to use the skillful means to get these children out.' This motive is not false and lying, the less so since the father, aware that his wealth is immeasurable, wished to give his sons ample gifts and therefore gave each of them a big car. "