A Vesak thought

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Vesak Full Moon beams over the sky scrapers. There is no other week in the Buddhist calendar when sublime qualities; friendliness, compassion altruistic joy and equanimity resurface at least in a little amount in numerous minds all over the world than this week annually. On this day, when the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and passing away occurred, resolution of everybody is doing something good.

The Buddha’s concern was only doing good or positive. He said that either negativity or positivity is personal, and should be evaluated based on individual experience. Exactly, the individual is the only one who knows what he meant from a particular thought, word or deed.

According to the Buddha’s perspective, any thought, word or deed harmful either to individual, who bears it or any other living being on the earth is wrong. It is because no one wishs to be unhappy, worried or troubled at any available moment of their lives. The Buddha said that the purpose of every single activity of any living being is happiness. Exactly, killing makes killers happy. It is wrong because there is another party who is in trouble consequently.

Unanimously, Buddhism accepts the herd instinct as an intuition of humanity. No human life would either be meaningful or effective on earth, from its being secluded from the society. That reminds us that the problem is not the society. Therefore, it is clear that no one can make whatever the directions in scriptures reality, staying out of society.

Once a Brahmin came to the Buddha and asked that the Buddha had to be  among the  people and enjoy the life. Later, he left for seclusion being disappointed by living in society and spent time in the forest. After a while, the Buddha returned to live with people. Then, became secluded and accomplish the deserved goal of being enlightened. Finally, the Buddha came to stay in society, having an entourage of numerous of people of different categories. The Brahmin inquired of the reason to be in and out from the society all over the exercise for the accomplishment. The Buddha answered simply that all those ins and outs were because of the uneasiness he encountered in every step. Finally, the Buddha promulgated that the Buddha had returned in empathy towards all the living beings to guide them to eliminate the suffering of life. to the Buddha, people can eliminate suffering. Mostly, our selection is changing the environment or outside. As said before, in condition that society does not make us unhappy, that selection does not work.

There is another interesting conversation. One afternoon, Ven. Ananda inquires of the condition that made the Buddha to renounce the worldly life which had been unimaginably luxurious. The Buddha answered describing what he experienced; there had been an inconvenience in life, though it was one inundated with all the worldly comforts. Supplementarily, this reminds us that having everything does not make mind happy. The Buddha said that the reality of his princely life made him disappointed because he had felt that making an ever changing life in a totally impermanent background is an unending struggle. Then he persuades to check the others and found they are also in a relentless convulsion, striving to make their afflicted lives satisfied. The Buddha says that he had had two questions; how and when answers to this question of continuity of relentless convulsion can be found. Enthusiasm to find answer had driven him out of the luxurious life.  

After a while from the accomplishment of finding answer to questions, the Buddha was resting under a tree in an afternoon. Dandapani, an 80-years-old sakyanclansman, was also in a walk at that time on the track by the place where the Buddha had been resting. Seeing the Buddha, sitting under a tree, he was elated, approached to the Buddha and told that he had been looking for a chance to meet the Buddha personally to ask a question. Then the Buddha allowed him to present the question. (MN I, 18, The Semele of honey bawl) He inquired of the Buddha’s worldview. The Buddha said that the consciousness of one’s lust had been eliminated totally, would not find perceptual base to stand on and that one has no views to bear because of that. Further, the Buddha clarified that the Buddha’s way is leading a non-conflictive life. As given in Cula Viyuha Sutta in Sutta Nipatha, the Buddha said that people hold perceptions and views tightly hang around conflicting with the others who are same categorically. Minds of the Buddhas have no space where perceptions and views can perch. They are full of friendliness, compassion, altruistic joy and equanimity. Building a cool mind full of those qualities is the best way to pay respect to the Buddha on a Vesak day specially.
Then Dandapani posed another question. He wanted to know that what the Buddha was teaching to the people who had been swarming around. The Buddha told that the Buddha who lived peacefully and happily was teaching to the people who came to him asking for directions to live peacefully and happily. This is the place where the Buddha told directly what Buddhism teaches to the world; living peacefully and happily at any given moment. 

Now, it is clear that accumulation of assets and society is not making us peaceful or happy. Then, what does it make people unhappy, conflictive and lack of peace? The Buddha says that the beginning of personality belief makes the problem.

In Buddha’s teaching that personality belief is the root of all the problems of every individual human life. How does it spring? It is because of the distortion which makes people believing an existence of an entity called life. People who believe that there is something called life accept the existence of individual. It is a distortion in Buddhist perspective.

In Buddha’s clarification, the whole universe is a constantly-moving process. In it, there are numerous of activities and each activity is an incident. In four bases of mindfulness, the Buddha advises us to understand the life through process called inhalation and exaltation. Here the incident is breath. It is what makes the body. One who realizes the incidence of breath understands several universal realities. The first one is the arising and ceasing of incidences to keep process moving. Accordingly, every in breath extinguishes at the presence of outbreath. There is nothing to hold on because its cessation is indispensable. Secondly, the arising happens related to the cessation. The other is everything arises coupled with its counterpart. In those incidences there is nothing than just bit of something happens to know about. The Buddha shows that this is a universally attributable process. Ignorance of this process is the conditional fact of being suffered. 

The Buddha teaches that the nature of everything arising is ceasing. When something is arising on body or in mind, individual should be capable of understanding its natural realities. In CullaVedalla Sutta, Ven Dhammadinna answers that one can be happy until something unhappy will sprout. One who remembers this reality does not get intoxicated from whatever it would come on the way.

Again, the Buddha says that there is nothing permanent in the universe and everything is in a flux. Hinduism, the oldest living religion in the world, says that everything, but self is impermanent. The Buddha’s investigation revealed that self is none other than a creation of individual which is the root of all the troubles in life.

In the universe where everything arises because of something else, we cling to things irrespective of its related other thing. When experiences the change we worry saying that something never expected happens. The Buddha directs us to realize that every in breath arises related to out- breath and each out-breath is related to in-breath. Then, understanding this inter  relation makes easier to face the life, and the Buddha emphasizes the importance of preserving the inter-relation of everything. Wherever the inter-relation brakes up, no existence can be expected.

Another way one wishes to be happy and peaceful should understand is that learning to see the universal dualism of everything; arising and ceasing. One who sees arising and cling to it can never be happy as arising stands only it would cease. If he sees both, he would not have to be worried about.

In today’s environment, exclaiming of the preservation of parliamentary democracy in Sri Lanka, this is very important. No governing party can exist without a preservation of Opposition, and no Opposition would be there the governing party will not be preserved. They both are important, and no one can tell other party that they are important. Challenging each other is foolishness of the members of parliament whatever it is they are representing.

If one wants to know who creates suffering, impatiency or conflict, he should see what is going around in the society. It is clear that the way individuals see the universal pattern of everything is the creator. What do the individuals do? When something happens they see and grasp only whatever it is the advantageous party. People celebrate birth, forgetting the death and lament at deaths forgetting the birth. According to the Buddha, one should understand this common dualism. Forgetting one, no one can enjoy the other.

How we can use this approach to realize what personality belief is? The Buddha says that it has either no existing counterpart and it has no capability of existing because of that. Believing that kind of fake idea is a wrong view, and that is why people suffer because of an idea. Buddhism teaches that to get out of this personality grip, one should understand who he really is. According to the Buddha, all are nothing but aggregates of different entities made out of naturally impermanent elements and activities. When conditional facts of them change according to their nature they change. Forgetting this reality drives anyone to chaos. That is what we are seeing different types of chaotic situations all over the world. The only way of getting out of this is being attentive to preserve the inter-relations being understood of who we are as we are.  
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