Sunday, April 11, 2010

A little about Buddhism...

Recently I have gone into a 'mode', religious mode. You will see a few more postings on this subject. Put aside personal preferences, a close-hearted attitude and religious differences. Look at the attributes, aspect, quality and the purity each of these postings represent. Read it like you are reading a story if you are a non-Buddhist.

Avaloketishvara or Chenrizig is my teacher and protector. Every person whose heart is moved by love and compassion, who deeply and sincerely act for the benefit of others without concern for fame, profit, social position, or recognition, expresses the activity of Chenrezig. Love and compassion are the true signs revealing the presence of Chenrezig. The six syllabus heart mantra 'Ohm Mani Padme Hum' is something I remember daily. I love this calligraphy and am sharing it here with people who are like-minded.

Here are some basic understanding to Buddhism. I am not here to preach nor am I qualify to do so. I wish to share with those who are interested to know a little about this religion.

Buddha is not God. Buddha does not eliminate all wrong doings. Buddha does not forgive us for wrong doings either. He who sows will reap what he sows. Buddha does not carry our sins for us. He is our Teacher. He was human like us. This shows us that we can attain enlightenment if Buddha can. Out of compassion he found the Path and taught us how to go about it. Buddha did not want us to worship his form. Buddha has no form. It is devotees who created the form as a reminder of a Great Teacher. The form serves as a reminder to practice and achieve enlightenment. It is not something far way, it is reachable. All the teachings and methods are but 'vessels'. It helps us to cross the ocean of Samsara. The 'vessels' won't move if we just sit there. We need to put in effort to paddle the 'vessels'. How one wants to paddle is up to one. Some put in a motor, some use the oars, some use wooden planks and others may use their hands. Whichever way, Enlightenment is the Goal and we will reach there if we keep our focus and not lost sight of it. The basic requirement one needs is to have 'Bodhicitta', a compassionate heart. You need not be rich and famous and if you are poor, you are not kept outside the door. For laymen, we need to observe the 5 Precepts, understand the 8-Fold Path, keep our Faith and grow our Bodhicitta. We are taught the basic conditions of being a Human :

1) Abstain from killing - Buddhist believes in Karma. Don't do onto others if you don't want others to do onto you. If one kills, one will be killed. You will say 'Yes', to Human but anything with a life that you kill, is killing.

2) Abstain from stealing. How do you like people taking your things without telling you? It ruined reputations. Grievous punishment is to go into jail. Actually we all steal - by just taking something from your colleagues work table without asking is stealing. By doing what is not supposed to be done without permission is also stealing. Stealing in a broad sense range from things to Human.

3) Abstain from committing sexual misconduct. This is to protect the integrity of another Human. How do you like your love ones committing this behind your back? Is it OK when you commit such to another party? Consequences - jail and ‘rotan’, bad reputation and despised by people who knew about it. Only animals are not able to distinguish what is right and wrong. We are Human.

4) Abstain from lying - We all lie in one way or another. Whether it is an intended lie, 'black or white' lie, it is a lie. Lie has hidden message and guilty properties in it. Many argued that I don't say doesn't mean I lie. Well, my Mum told me 'There is nothing people cannot know if it was already committed'. Tell one lie, and you need 1000 lies to cover that one you started. It also ruined one's reputation.

This part of 'Lie' also covers 'harsh speech', 'accusing speech' and anything spews from the mouth that is unkind.

Lie also covers ‘speaking to cause split in relationship’. Many of us are guilty of this too. People sow discords intentionally or unintentionally. There are people who are very good at this. Example : 'I do not know why Lian did this, maybe she has a point in doing so...BUT I will not do it.....subtle right? Sound likes she is supporting Lian but indirectly she is saying 'Lian is bad, if it is me, I won't do it'. At time of anger, we speak badly about a person because we are vexed.

5) Abstain from intoxication. Aha! this is the killer. Many loves to drink - beer, wine, hard liquor and mixed. After drinking the mind went DULL. In this dull stage, the HEART becomes daring - one will steal, kill, commit sexual misconduct, lie and in the end, ended up in jail or worst in the hangman's room. Many sins are committed in this stage – DULL mind. If the item is for medicinal purpose to cure a sickness, it is alright but it needs to be taken moderately.

Intoxication includes cigarettes, drugs etc ... anything that may cause one to lose the power of reasoning.

Therefore, the word is 'Abstain'. If you know you have wronged, you rectify it yourself. We call these 5 Precepts or in Sanskrit 'Panca Sila'. If you have a tinted character, how can your Heart be peaceful and pure enough to do Divine's works?

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