Dhamma in Your Daily Life
“…..In fact, you may find more opportunity to listen to a sermon than Prince Siddhattha might, but lack including in and by your own mind. Most of you here as a doctor, a nurse and a medical person are to have been concerned with birth, old age, sickness and death more or less. But you may feel they are common and simple because you have been accustomed to them. Your feeling is not common only when those who are sick and dead belong to your father, your mother, your husband, your wife, your son or daughter, your nephew or niece, or your relatives. You feel painful and troublesome. The more you love them, the more sorrowful you are. You may not eat and sleep properly.
lf you read the history of the Buddha, you would find that Prince Siddhattha was predicted that if he reigned, he would be king of the king, but if he became an ascetic, he would become the greatest teacher in the world. King Suddhodana, his father, who wanted him to reign tried to give his only son happiness as much as he could. He had the three mansions for the three seasons built for the young Prince to live in. The Prince was forced to have seen favourite and beautiful people and things.
One day when he was outside the palace, he saw what he had never seen before. He had seen the old, the sick, the dead and a calm and self-controlled recluse.
After returning to his palace, the Prince was always immersed in thought of what he had just seen. Although people in general thought those things were natural, he did not agree with them. So the young Prince decided to become an ascetic in quest of what he has been in doubt, i.e. birth, decay, sickness and death. He spent his six Years on those things and finally discovered the truth. That is, he had been enlightened and his all doubt was destroyed.
It is obvious that before he had known the truth of birth, old age, sickness and death, the Prince was forbidden and obstructed by every means. But as for most of you here, it is very convenient to have seen such things.
In fact, they stay near you. By your job or duty, you are to see them inevitably. What makes the Prince have doubt no more is the Four Noble Truths, which you may have heard so often that you think they are common and simple.
Briefly speaking, the Four Noble Truths are Cause and effect. There are two causes and two effects. Samudaya (The cause of suffering) is the Cause. Its result is suffering. Magga (or the Path leading to the cessation of suffering) is the Cause. Its result is the cessation of suffering (Nirodha). If you want to follow the Buddha’s step, let the following be easily understood that…
Magga or the Path leading to the cessation of suffering is basically composed of giving (dana) morality (Sila) and mental culture (bhavana). These three things (Dhammas) are near all of you and yon can practice them in accordance with your own condition and status.
Dana or giving is meritorious action. Its purpose is to develop one’s mind in order that one may decrease and releasing in anything. Roughly speaking, Dana is to give materials and articles to both householder and a monk. If you give offerings to monks at any monastery, your dana is called material worship including giving food to animals such as dogs, birds and the like. Where there is giving, there is sacrifice or self-denial. This is mentioned in terms of Practice. If you give such things to either humans or animals, your meanness or stinginess is thrown off your own mind as well.
The feedback to ourselves is normal, calm and cool mind. That is Sila. Next, doing meditation in order to develope our mind is easier. Attention to do more and more development in doing meditation until our mind is calm enough to attain the state of Samadhi (concentration) and then we will begin to have the right view and have the basis of considering the truth. At first we was taught or known by teacher or reading from the text book and later we begin practising roughly by ourselves from doing Dana which make our mind is more gentle and more sympathetic to the feeling of other people. Then it leads us to be Sila people. After that we continue doing Bhavana very little time until more time that fit your own condition and status. Finally your when our mind attain the state of real calmness, our feeling of knowing will become the right view. We will see things as they really are, not as they appear. The more we see, the mor we know, our doubt will be decreased and also the releasing in anything which depends on each wisdom, confidence and effort.
Prince Siddhattha practiced the Path (Magga), but he did not know because no one told him. After his Enlightenment, he clearly understood because he knew and saw the things he had been attached to for a long time as they really are, not as they appear. Now, the Prince monk has Known the fact of birth, decay, sickness and death, which lead to the Round of Rebirth. He has discovered the Truth. He has not been attached to them any more. Where there is detachment, there is no suffering any more. Everything, no matter whether merit or demerit, pleasure or suffering, has been finished.
Briefly speaking, the cause of suffering and the Path leading to the cessation of suffering are the index indicating that one will have more or less suffering, or the cessation of suffering. When you have known this fact, it is up to you to choose and practise for your own sake.
As the Buddha said, Kamma Satte Vibhajjati – It is their own Kammas or actions that make humans and animals different…..”
Part of the Dhamma talk made by
Phra Acaraya Angara Aggadhammo
at the Phuket Hospital, Phuket Province
March 9, 2007