“…Today is like the day on which the Buddha was born,enlightened and passed into Nibbana over 2500 years ago.We Buddhists should have our view correspond to the Buddha’s. Even though all of us take refuge in the Buddha, in the Dhamma and in the Sangha, we are Buddhists only in our name. Some of us are always in doubt, shaken and excited about some rumours . Some say that we are Buddhists only in our house registration: we do not have sincere intention to follow the Buddha’s teachings. In fact, Buddhists, who are laypersons, do not necessarily practise so hard that they attain Arahatship. They only know the ‘Law of Kamma’, which may be compared to geometric theory ‘the falling angle is equal to the reflexiveangle’ This is enough for them. The Buddha wanted all beings to be free from all kinds of suffering .
He taught those who can be taught, but as for those who cannot be done so, he extended loving-kindness, dedicating his merit to and wishing all of them who wander in the Round of Rebirth , no matter what nations they belong to, to be free from their physical and mental pain. He cannot make any merit in place of others. He only tells them no matter whether they believe him or do as he told or not. If Buddhists want to practise what the Buddha taught, they should sincerely adjust their view to correspond to his. What theBuddha taught is:
to avoid all kinds of evil,
to do all kinds of good, and
to purify one’s mind.
What is evil or demerit? Evil is our bad action by way of body and speech , which places us in sufferingand trouble. What is good or merit? Good is opposite to evil . It is wholesomeness. In fact , it is our good action by way of body and speech , which results in our physical and mental happiness . He whose mind is skilful can separate what is right from what is wrong and then follow the former by means of giving generosity , of observing precepts and of purifying his mind.
The last one is called mental development . To start with you should know the original citta is only the Knower. It does not have mental activities . However, the fact that the citta knows this and that is called mental qualities or mental formations. Since it does not know realily , it is deluded. The citta is concocted to attach to this and that all the time. As soon as it knows evil,it is attached to it , making it defiled,het up, restless etc . When it knows merit , it holds it , being fluffy up , full of contentment and in high spirits.
However, whether it is good or bad, meritorious or ‘demeritorious , happy and painful , it is all under the Three Characteristics, i.e. arising, standing and ceasing. Since it is impermanent, it makes all of you very glad or sorrowful , mentally happy or painful, laugh or cry , or sometimes indifferent , but not for long. What is like that is because your mind is not purified. So the Buddha taught Buddhists to purify their mind in order that they could be free from suffering . (However , the method to chasten the mind is made by means of meditation practice under supervision of a meditation master and according to one’s intrinsic nature). It can be seen that you must do it all by yourself. Kamma means action or doing. Thus, Buddhism believes in Kamma, not in god. There is no prayer in Buddhism .
The Buddha did not teach Buddhists to seek material wealth without considering what is right and what is wrong. Buddhism teaches its followers to believe in Kamma and its consequence. So you have to do by yourself whatever you want . Your action must be only according to moral principle in order that you maynot be troubled later on both in this world and in the world to come. All of these are the Buddha’s teachings . What do you think about them? If you see that there are reason and a benefit to you, will you follow what he taught? If yes, start instantly by not making trouble and by not doing violence to others. You should be careful about things you are doing and speaking. Your job and livelihood, your wife , your husband or people under your control are based on moral principle, i.e. they being just enough. You should not violate others’ right . You should have effort based on the scope of morality . You should recall what does not bring trouble to you , your family and relatives and then try to make your mind be in onepointedness state.
After that you move your mind back from the state and contemplate the body and then stay on your calmed mind and contemplate the body again . You try to do like this again and again in order to see unattractivess and impermanence ofelements and aggregates grouped together as this body. When you make it more and cultivate it more , you would gradually know reality and then relinquish attachment. Though you have not been completely free from defilements, you can be said to have had your firm refuge. In brief , if you believe in the Buddha and his teachings , you should follow what he taught and refrain from what he did not lay down . If you are able to do like this, you will not be in trouble both in this world and in the world beyond . In fact , the Buddha did not teach Buddhists to do evil , but to doonly what is good .
Absolutely speaking , he taught Buddhists to abandon goodness and badness , merit and demerit , happiness and pain . The mind in such state is called “purified” , i.e. attaining “the state of Dhamma” . He who has been successful in practising like this is free from all kinds of suffering as were the Buddha and his Arahanta disciples. The Buddha did not teach his fot lowers to believe that if they follow what he taught , they will not experience what is bad.He always said that all human beings will experience what is good and what is bad.
Finally they will be dead all the same, whether they practise Dhamma or not . Different is that those who follow Dhamma , when they experience what is bad, still have their refuge , are mindful and understand the impermanence of all things as they really are. They always recall that that which happened will remain only for a while. Then it ceases in the end, because it is impermanent, whether it is good or bad. When they always know like this , they would not feel het up , restless and shaken by what is affecting their mind so extremely that they are dead. If they have not been free from defilements, they will go to good born. If they are reborn a human being , they will be in a good and suitable family according to their good deeds done in the former existence , which guards and does not let them fall into evil owing to their mind with good refuge.
Those whose mind is without refuge are Buddhists only in their house registration , because they do not know what is right and what is wrong , what the Law of Kamma is and what merit and demerit are. Or they may know, but since their mind is in an inferior quality , they cannot stop their desire. They feel frightened, being afraid that they themselves, their friends,their family and relatives will be troubled, have nothing to eat and have enough. They fear that they are not rich , not famous and inferior to others. Finally since they fear that they are to be dead , their mind is full of attachment , of doubt and of clear misunderstanding of impermanence , i.e. the four elements , namely: earth , water , air and fire are ready to be in decline. Some Buddhists become excited about some news. They try to seek what they think to make them be rich, charming and invulnerable, no matter how far they stay or how expensive they are. Some rob someone else of their money or steal things only because they mistakenly believe that if they own those things , they will have good luck or desirable things . Or even those who are ill or to be dead ought not to
be them , their child or wife or husband.
In short , undesirable things do not belong to themselves , their child, wife, husband, beloved ones are not to die. In fact, those Buddhists ought to think how the number one millionaire becomes rich , or what makes the Panda in the Chiangmai Zoo attractive to a number of people. This is the state of the mind without refuge of most of Buddhists at the present . Whether they are well educated or famous , under-educated or unfamous, rich or poor, laymen or monks, they think all the same. Well, please forgive me for talking such a thing . I do not place the blame on anyone else . It has never been found that when someone is sick , or injured in an accident, or knifed, or shot , no one or even their relatives examines what chain with amulet the sick or the injured are wearing around their neck , or whether or not they are sent to those who possess the original amulets.
All of them are sent to the hospital. Even the acarayas themselves, when they are ill, are to see the doctor. If they are still in a curable condition , they would have the best of care in the hospital. But if they are in a condition so serious that they cannot be helped by the doctor , their life ends.
Therefore , as for as your physical health is concerned, only the doctor , not other people or amulets, can help you. But he is the medical doctor with a licence. If he is not, it’s every man of himself!…”