Associate Professor & Ex. Chairman, Ven. Dr. Jinabodhi Bhikkhu, Department of Oriental Languages, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh
The practical approach of the supremely enlightened Buddha is liberation from sufferings. The Buddha explains that human mind is restless. It is always running wild after the pleasant sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. It is also unable to remain in any condition for long. So it is changing rapidly. It is the fastest of all media in the universe. It is disobedient and beyond control. It is very difficult for any person to prevent it from falling into valueless, useless and unwanted thoughts. Moreover, it is obvious that the world has been in turmoil and restlessness for the reason of political, economic and social instability. Dissatisfaction, disagreement, disobedience, injustice, and crimes prevail everywhere. As a result, frustration and confusion are developing rapidly. Underlying this scene there is emphasis more on material than on mental development. This problematic condition appears to be permanent. The condition is going from bad to worse and becomes aggravated with the passage of time. Realizing the profound truth, the supremely enlightened Buddha called the mind "the lone wanderer" because it wanders far, lonely, being baseless and formless. Only a well-trained person can restrain it and can be delivered from the bonds of sufferings. It is also obvious that the mind suffers rebirth and re-death at any time or even every moment. Apart from these, we are experiencing deepest sorrow because of the separation from a loved one or loss of status or property to which we are greatly attached. We are experiencing deepest anxiety and worry because of unreasonable desire and expectation. We are frequently experiencing an unsettled state of mind due to our conflicting desires, unwholesome wanting and boundless greediness. We are experiencing adverse feelings of harmful memory and we are unable to remove our mental fixation on horrible or frightening sights. In consequence of these mental experiences, we suffer from sleeplessness and as a result, we lose our soundness of health.
Therefore, in Buddhism the Buddha formulated a system of development. The development of an individual's life means steady and uniform development of mental aspect.
It is worth mentioning that modern technology has supplied us with countless number of devices and facilities to make the world enjoyable. But the world will not be a paradise without mental development of every individual. The development or training is to make oneself progress and ennobled to raise the mind to a level beyond the reach of its extreme pollution and corruption. Buddhism always stresses mind as the focal point. A well-trained mind brings unending perpetual happiness. The Buddha did not neglect to encourage his disciples to learn how to train the mind.
In order to develop the mind we have to follow the principles of doing good, which means merit making. We can earn merit by dispensing charity, by observing the precepts and by developing our mind, which are important ingredients of mind development. By dispensing charity we can develop the mind as this process abolishes miserliness and selfishness. By observing precepts we can present the mind from being overpowered by corruptions and pollutions. By way of imparting proper training and teaching in the academic institution, we can strengthens the mind by making it purified and calmed and there-after we can bring about heavenly bliss. In fact, accumulation of religious merit is the precious wealth. If we are in possession of such precious wealth we are able to realize the reality of life. It is everybody's goal to lead a noble life with ever-lasting happiness by avoiding sorrows and sufferings. But we are inclined to hurt ourselves by drinking intoxicating things or by doing uncountable evil deeds in the family, society and country at large. Specially, many of the young generation are addicted to drugs. They are jobless, aimless, restless and hopeless. They take recourse to terrorism. They are, in the strict sense, morally degraded. They have plunged into darkness of ignorance. They should be, in no way, brought to light with a view to bringing them to perfection. For them, meditation is the only gate-way to physical and mental progress and development. Meditation is the essential pre-requisite to all the development, both mental and physical. One with perfection of moral conduct (sîla) is like having obtained the Bachelor degree in Buddhism. Again, with the perfection meditation (samâdhi) a Master degree of Buddhism is acquired. By the preservation of moral conduct (sîla) and by the adoption of the process of meditation perfection is attained and thereby wisdom (paññâ) is acquired and such doctorate degree is also obtained. The benefit and importance of meditation can better be imagined than described. Tranquil meditation and insight meditation are unique and effective methods of accumulating and developing wisdom.
By practicing meditation we can eliminate fourteen Immoral (Akusala)- (1) Greed; (2) Hate; (3)Dullness; (4) Wrong-view; (5) Conceit; (6) Envy; (7) Selfishness; (8) Worry; (9) Shameless; (10) Reckless; (11) Distraction; (12) Sloth; (13) Torpor / Drowsiness; (14) Perplexity.
By eliminating the above-noted immoral we can derive twenty-five morals (1) Disinterestedness (free form greed); (2) Amity; (3) Reason; (4) Faith; (5) Mindfulness; (6) Modesty; (7) Discretion; (8) Balance of mind; (9) Composure of mental properties; (10) Composure of mind; (11) Buoyancy of mental properties; (12) Buoyancy of mind; (13) Pliancy of mental properties; (14) pliancy of mind; (15) Adaptability of mental properties; (16) Adaptability of mind; (17) Proficiency of mental properties; (18) Proficiency of mind; (19) Rectitude of mental properties; (20) Rectitude of mind; (21) Rich speech; (22) Right action; (23) Right livelihood; (24) Pity; (25) Appreciation.
Over and above meditation removes ugliness, vagueness, sadness, restlessness and witlessness. It brings and invites awareness, boldness, cheerfulness, fondness, goodness, greatness, happiness, kindness, smartness, vigorousness, freshness, sportiveness and youthfulness in our personal life, family life and social life at large.
In view of the above mentioned explanation relating to the usefulness as well as effectiveness of mediation it is the demand of the present age that the learning of meditation must be included in the syllabus of the academic institution as an important academic subject. The utilities, applications, approaches and procedures of meditation can easily be introduced in the academic institutions up to university level. This also serves the purpose of propagating and teaching effectively as practical training is given to the devoted deserving teachers after completing theoretical lessons on meditation. With technological advancement the world has become smaller. We can easily communicate with one another through television channels. So, the lessons on Buddhism and meditation can be taught and practical course/ lessons can be given through audiovisual process. In order to make the objectives of such teachings a success we need international efforts. We need mutual understanding, co-ordination, co-operation, mutual trust and wholeheartedness. Over and above, international relations among departments of different educational institutions of all Buddhist countries have to stand unitedly under a common religious flag of Buddhism. If so, we are sure to be crowned with unprecedented grand success in the teachings of Meditations as an academic subject.
Finally, it is meditation which brings mindfulness to the young restless students and then they can attain single-mindedness and thereby they can get blessedness in their lives. Therefore, learning of meditation must be introduced as an Academic Subject.
 Presented at The International Conference of All Theravâda Buddhist Universities held at International Theravâda Buddhist Missionary University, Yangon & Woodlands Hotel, Poppa Mountain Resort, Bagan, Myanmar, 9-12th March 2007.