Saturday, May 9, 2009

Some thoughts I have for Wesak Day

Today is Wesak Day – a very important day for all Buddhists. It is a day to commemorate the birthday and the attainment of Buddhahood by Gautama Buddha 4000 years ago. It was on a full moon in the month of May that Gautama Buddha became a Buddha, the enlightened one. After that, Buddha started to preach his teachings for the next 49 years.

Basically, Buddha tells us that all of us have Buddha nature but we cannot realize it because of three things. These are avarice or greed, hatred and delusion. Suffering begins when we cling to these. Hence we should try to get rid of the three evils to attain Buddhahood. It is easier said than done. Anyway, we can at least lessen our suffering if we try as far as possible to stay away from greed, hatred and delusion.

We can bid farewell to avarice by practicing doing dana or giving donation. People who donate like to share what they own. They are not greedy and are willing to part with their possession to help the needy.

Hatred can be obliterated if we practise loving kindness. Love all beings, including your enemies. If we can radiate love, there is no place for hatred.

Delusion can be got rid of is we practice detachment. We often suffer because we are so attached to things or loved ones that once they are destroyed or gone, we begin to feel sad. Buddhists often offer flowers to the Buddha by placing them in front of a Buddha statue. What is the significance of this? Actually the flower signifies impermanence as it will wither as days go by. Nothing in this world is permanent. Let us take water as an example. The molecules in it keep moving all the time. Some will acquire enough energy to become vapour. Thus water in liquid form is not permanent. It turns gaseous when conditions are ripe. In short we should not attach to things and love ones too much so as to avoid suffering.

So much for some thoughts I have for Wesak Day.

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