The Buddha Emphasizes On Mind Development

All nations of the world have plans to develop their lands in various ways and have targets for development to acquire wealth and strength so that the people of that land can live happily and prosper. It is believed that development of one’s own country is of the greatest importance and most necessary for the government to carry out. One cannot just let it be! If this is so, then the country has to have its own plan of development.

In the Buddha’s Teachings it is the same because the Lord Buddha has laid down the plan or method for development, but it is a way of developing the individual’s life and directly emphasizes mind development. For when the mind has been developed, then the person is said to be developed too. Thus all kinds of development for welfare and happiness will be accomplished easily, including the welfare of all human beings.

Then the world will be peaceful and happy without wars and civil disturbances. Humanity in all societies will live together in a friendly way having loving-kindness and compassion ( metta-karuna ), sympathizing and helping each other. The more the mind is developed, the greater the happiness that will accrue to the world.

But while the world is in great turmoil regarding politics, economics, and society in general, as it is now, most people are inclined to develop the material things, including body rather than mind. From this is born the state of permanent crisis in the world and it seems as though it will increase with time. Should there be no crisis in politics and economics, then there would be no mental and nervous diseases among people, especially in the great cities of the world. When compared with earlier times, we see that in today’s world there is much more modern technology that has been developed to increase human happiness, enjoyment, and comfort.On the other hand, mind development has decreased considerably; at least it cannot keep pace with the former.

Thus it is necessary for people to be more aware of mind development, firstly developing their own minds and secondly, pointing out and making mind development known to other human beings, in the same way nations try to develop their own countries. If everyone will develop their minds according to the Buddha’s Teaching, it is certain that the world will have peace and happiness, a vast improvement over the current state of world affairs.

What is Mind Development?

Padhana means ‘growth, development’ from the Pali language ‘ bhavana ’. It is a new word referring to increase and prosperity and can be used to imply both mind and material development, such as rural development, national de
velopment, mind and knowledge development, the way of developing the mind and so on. But the true word for mind development in the Buddha’s Teachings is “ bhavana ” which means bringing into existence, arising, making prosperous, developing or increasing. For example, samatha bhavana – Calm meditation or tranquillity and vipassana bhavana – Insight meditation, etc.

So in general, mind development in Buddhist terms is called bhavana as we find it mentioned in the Mahasaccaka Sutta where the Lord Buddha instructed Saccaka (the Jain who regarded himself as a learned man) as follows:

“Oh, Aggivessana (the Buddha a
ddressed him by clan-name) what have you heard about mind-development ( Cittabhavana )?”

When Saccaka could not reply, the Buddha said “ Aggivessana , for the noble disciples of this teaching in the dhamma and vinaya who have already developed their minds, when happiness has occurred they just experience that happiness, having no delight in it; and when that happiness disappears and dukkha arises they are not sad and depressed. They do not create difficulties for themselves. They do not lament, nor do they grieve. They do not fall into delusion. So Aggivessana , when happiness occurs to each one of them, their minds are not disturbed by that because they have developed the body already. Whereas, when dukkha arises their minds are also not disturbed since their minds have been developed. A person who has developed the bodyand the mind is like this.”

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