Not by Birth is a Person Superior

Is one superior to others because of the colour of your skin or the eyes?

“Not by birth is one an outcast; not by birth is one a brahman. By deed one becomes an outcast, by deed one becomes an brahman.” [1]

~ The Buddha, Vasala Sutta: Discourse on Outcasts (Khuddaka Nikaya : Sutta Nipata 1.7)

 

In the Assalayana Sutta: With Assalayana (Majjhima Nikaya 93), a brahman learns from the Buddha, how one’s actions and not one’s birth determines the purity of a person. [2]

“… … No, Master Gotama. Even a noble warrior… Even a brahman… Even a merchant… Even a worker… (Members of) all four castes — if they take life, steal, engage in sexual misconduct, tell lies, speak divisively, speak harshly, engage in idle chatter, are greedy, bear thoughts of ill will, & hold wrong views — on the break-up of the body, after death, reappear in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. … … “

“… … No, Master Gotama. Even a noble warrior… Even a brahman… Even a merchant… Even a worker… (Members of) all four castes — if they refrain from taking life, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from telling lies, from speaking divisive speech, from harsh speech, & from idle chatter, are not greedy, bear no thoughts of ill-will, & hold to right view — on the break-up of the body, after death, reappear in the good destination, the heavenly world. … … “

Not by one’s birth or race, the colour of one’s skin or eyes, nor gender or language, is one superior or not, but by the way you live and act.

Not by your nationality but by how you treat other nations is one superior or not.

Not by how big one’s house is but by how big one’s heart is; not by what we put in our house, but by what we put in our heart.

Not by the cars you drive, but by how you drive them.

Not by
your title nor by your beliefs are you superior, but how you live and act with love, compassion and wisdom, is one superior or not.

 

Watch the document on how Jane Elliot, a teacher in a small, all-white Iowa town, divided her third-grade class into blue-eyed and brown-eyed groups and gave them a daring lesson in discrimination. A Class Divided [3] a documentary by FRONTLINE [4], now available on PBS [5].

May all sentient beings, locals and foreigners alike, be Well and Happy!

 

References

  • Meng Jiat

    I remember she did the experiment/course again on College students. One of the student couldn’t take the whole course and stomped off halfway. I didn’t manage to finish watching it the other time though cause it was about an hour long.

    • I recently tried with a youth Dharma camp … and the youths responded just like the kids in the documentary!
      Very good way to let people learn and appreciate what discrimination is and why it is not good or wholesome. 🙂