Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Happy Wesak Day

On this auspicious day, I would like to say 'Happy Wesak Day' to all Buddhists all over the world. It is a day the Buddhists will reflect on the teachings of Gautama Buddha.

Simply put, Buddhism is a way of life. The Buddhists will try to emulate what the Buddha does - be compassionate to all beings, animals included and practise loving kindness to everyone around them.

On this day too, many Buddhists will opt to release birds, tortoises and animals about to be slaughtered to practise 'saving lives' as a way to prolong lives for themselves as well as showing compassion to others. According to the working of karma, if one saves lives, his age will be prolonged.

I would like to repeat the basic teachings of Buddhism in this post. According to Gautama Buddha, human beings suffer because of three things - avarice (greed), hatred and delusion. Hence we should all try to eliminate all these three so that we will say 'goodbye' to suffering.

To part with avarice, we have to practise dana or donating things to the needy. We can donate a ringgit a day to a beggar if we can't afford to give more. Some people will cling to their money for dear life and they suffer because they are always worried that the money will be robbed by some bad guy. Are you going to take with you the money you own when you pass away? If it is no, then you should donate it to those who need it to survive or alleviate their suffering.

In order not to hate others, we have to treat others with love no matter how badly they treat us. I know this is not easy. However, if you think in terms of the karma theory then you will find it easy to do it. If someone always says bad words about him, do not hate him. On the contrary, forgive him because in your last life (the Buddhists believe in past lives) you must have done the same thing to him. Why harbour hatred towards others when you can radiate love to them?

As for delusion, we have to understand the true nature of things in this world. All things are impermanent. They do not stay the same forever. The car you bought yesterday will have wear and tear after a week. The water you put in a glass will become less after a few days even if you do not drink it. If we can understand the impermanence of things then we will not cling to things and loved ones so much. In this way we will have less suffering should the things we own get lost or destroyed and our loved ones leave us suddenly. In other words, we should practise detachment of things and loved ones.

I hope my simple explanation of the gist of Buddhism will help others to understand Buddhism better. For very detailed teachings, one has to consult a monk.

Once again, Happy Wesak Day.

1 comment:

Celestial Elf said...

Happy Wesak Day !
Tashi Delek