Sunday, January 25, 2009

What can we learn?

Question:(unedited) How is teh religion used to solve a problem. How is it utilized by leaders/group?

My comment:

Buddhism is about the teachings of the Buddha. What did the Buddha teach? He taught us to use our human intelligence to see the world as it really is. He taught us to be masters of ourselves. He taught us to be free from dogmas and commandments. So long as we are fearful of something or someone we are not free. We cannot have peace of mind if we are fearful.

He taught us how to have peace within ourselves. If we do not understand the true nature of the world and this life, we will never experience peace within ourselves.

The Buddha discovered the way to peace and happiness through realizing the true nature of life and this universe. It was more than 2500 years ago in northern India where the Buddha through harnessing the power of his mind realized that if man were to be free of greed, hatred and delusion, he had to look inward into his mind, and start cleansing his inner defilements. If one reduces one's defilements, one would experience peace and happiness.

He discovered that the whole world had certain characteristics and that life continued to exist because of certain causes. This world is very unsatisfactory, we cannot be fully satisfied with life and that nothing is permanent. He also pointed out that because of our craving for permanent and complete satisfaction, we were always miserable.

The most salient aspect of Buddhism is FREEDOM in its practice. The Buddha encouraged his followers to use their common sense and human intelligence to analyze his teachings before accepting them. The natural law of cause and effect rules the world. No matter who you are and where you are, or what you believe, this universal LAW rules supreme. There is no escape. It is perfectly impartial. In simple language, good begets good; evil begets evil.

Knowing the nature of this world, we begin to accept and face problems. We know that we cannot be rid of problems because it is the very nature of this world which is always beset with problems.

Below is a quotation from my teacher, The Venerable Dr K Sri Dhammananda:

"Life is unsatisfactory because it is impermanent. When a person has a happy life, he would like the passage of time to stand still. This ceaseless passage of time is so obvious a quality of our lives that we take it for granted. Within this ceaseless movement, all things we know are born, grow, decay and die, and we will go through this process with them.

The law of impermanence lays its cruel hands on all people. And all youth ends in old age, all health in sicknesses, all strength in impotence, all beauty in ugliness, and all life in death. Nothing can stop this process. Death follows birth, as night follows day. This process of change is common to all - to the poor and the rich alike, to the young and the old. But this seems to be the very thing some of us forget, living and acting as if we are immortal.

It is important to realize that we are born to this world to do some service for the weal and happiness of mankind. We will be remembered by humanity more for what we have done for mankind than what we have done for ourselves.

When people see their own lives as being only a drop in an ever-flowing river, they will be moved to contribute their little part to the stream of life."


PM said...

Somehow whilst reading this article Kugans death came into my mine. If he is really a hardcore criminal, the effect is his fate in death.

But what if he is innocent of the charges and yet met his fate in death. What are his causes that resulted in death?.

Justin Choo said...


To me there are 2 issues here.

One is that he was arrested as a suspected offender.

The other is the police respobsibility to answer why and how he died while in custody.

I am sure there are 2 opposing questions in everyone's mind. You know what I mean.

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