Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Everyone of us has Buddha nature

When Gautama Buddha achieved enlightenment, he uttered, "How strange! All beings have Buddha nature but unfortunately they are clouded by avarice, hatred and delusion."

If all human beings are able to get rid of the three states of the mind, they can achieve Buddhahood.

We tend to ask for more, when we are given something. This is reflected in the proverb 'Given an inch, want a yard.' The Chinese proverb is even more fantastic. A greedy person is likened to ‘a snake who wants to swallow an elephant’. Hence our greed is insatiable.

As for hatred, it will never end as hatred begets hatred. It is only through forgiveness that one can get rid of hatred towards others. If we treat the one whom we hate as the one who has done something so horrible to us in his last life that we hate him when we meet him again in this life, then we should exercise forgiveness and pardon him. From then on, don’t hate him anymore. It will lighten your mental burden too if you rationalize in this way.

Delusion has to do with not having a true picture of life. Everything in this world is not constant. The atoms in all things are always in a state of motion. It explains the three states of water. When heated, the atoms move faster and turn into the gaseous state, assuming the form of steam. On the other hand, deprivation of energy by subjecting water to very low temperatures, turns it into ice. It explains why Buddhists offer flowers to the Buddha as they represent things impermanent. Getting rid of delusion means not placing too much attachment to ‘I’ or be too egoistic. If we always place others above self, we will not be placing too much importance to the self. In this way, we will be too willing to help others, to donate things or money to help the needy and so on.

Walking the Buddha’s path is not easy. It entails determination and will as well as self-sacrifice.

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