Friday, May 24, 2013

Something to remember on Wesak Day

Happy Wesak Day to all Buddhists. In today's post, I would like to remind readers of the teachings of Buddha so that we will emulate Him and be good citizens of the world.

Basically, Gautama Buddha who had attained enlightenment or buddhahood told the world the truth about our lives. According to the Buddha, humann beings suffer because of three things, namely avarice, hatred and delusion.

When we are greedy, we are satisfied with what we have and hence crave for more things. Sometimes we resort to stealing, cheating or murdering in order to get what we want. Such act will land us in trouble. We may be caught and put in jail to suffer. Being not contented with what we have already possessed makes us unhappy - an example of suffering.

Hating others will also make us unhappy. Such feeling may lead to insulting others by words, injuring others by weapons and ending the lives of others by some other means. Once again, we suffer because of this feeling or harbouring hatred towards others.

Delusion is the state of not fully understanding the true nature of things. We think that things around us are forever ours. This is not true. Even the water in the glass keeps changing in terms of the movement of molecules within. It becomes less and less as the molecules  gain more energy and change into vapour and escape into the air. Hence we feel very sad when someone dear to us passes away.

To overcome the three evils, we must practise dana or donating things to others to get rid of greed or avarice. If we are willing to part with our money or things so that they go to the needy, we are not greedy anymore. In fact doing dana will reap things many folds in return if it is practised with sincerity and without attachment whatsoever.

As for surmounting the hurdle of hatred, we should practise loving kindness and compasion towards others. According to Buddhism, beings around us might be our relatives sometime in the past when rebirths occur every now and then. Think of the one you hate as your mother, sister or aunt if the person is a female and think of him as your father, brother or uncle. The one you hate is your relative in the past and hence you should forgive him and love him or her stead.

Delusion can only be overcome if we understand the impermanence of things around us. There is nothing that last forever. Hence we should practise detachment. We must not cling to someone as if he or she will be forever ours. We have to say goodbye to our beloved when the time comes and we should attach too much to him or her so that the feeling of loss will bot be so great.

So much for some reminder of the teaching of the Buddha on Wesak Day today.