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Friday, February 18, 2011

Buddha’s concept of Sansaric journey

Navam Poya

Buddha’s concept of Sansaric journey

Sakyamuni Siddhartha Gauthama out of compassion for suffering humanity determines to be Buddha one day and lead countless millions into Bliss. In his last life he fulfilled this ambition of his. He discovered the truth of life and told the others “Live the good life for the destruction of suffering.”

Much of our suffering according to him is our own fault and of our own making Each person should bear the burden of one’s evil actions and thereby try to work out his own salvation independent of an external force. He emphasized self discipline self culture and hard work. His teachings were essentially a spiritual discipline. He taught his doctrine in the form of a way of life to be followed by those who sought spiritual perfection. This supreme gift of Theravada doctrine was gifted to the island by Emperor Asoka and the advent of Arahat Mahinda, his son was the most momentous occurrence in the history in this Dharmadweepa. The cardinal problems of life identified by the Buddha over 2500 years ago was brought here.

Ethics – The unsatisfactory nature of life with its impermanence and inherent suffering in Samsara, the cycle of births and deaths formed the basis of his teaching. His teachings formed the most profound thoughts that evolved from a human mind guiding us in our journey through Samsara. We are caught up in this karmic cycle. It is the noble eightfold path advocated by the Great Master that should be followed for the realization of the goal of Nibbana the state of non-existence to be relieved of all suffering. His Samsaric journey comes to an end with death.

He will not be born again. Nibbana is achieved. The noble eightfold path was advocated by the Buddha for the liberation of living beings. Buddha is an emblem of peace and compassion and loving kindness radiating from him. So called Meththa is the love for humanity, the enthusiasm for the welfare of the fellow beings. It is said that anyone with a confused mind can find ample consolation by drawing his or her attention to the serene figure of Buddha full of Meththa. Another quality closely connected to this is the idea of tolerance the sympathetic understanding of others point of view which attitude, promotes peace and Harmony. In Buddhist ethics a high place is assigned to the individual. The Buddha throughout his teachings, stressed the importance of the individual and self effort.

His view was that each person should bear the burden of his own actions. The teachings of the Buddha is for guidance and direction to seek spiritual liberation. He always emphasized that his attainment of the truth of life (enlightenment) was by his own effort and endeavour – a unique achievement in the realization of the supreme gift. Similarly the deliverance from suffering should be sorted out by each one for himself. Each living being is his own creator.

There is no other creator in the world beyond our own action. This leads to another important aspect in Buddhism – the law of Kamma. The primary meaning of Kamma is volition (Chetana) action prompted by will. As the Buddha says “Volition of monks, I declare is Kamma.” The law of Kamma and the doctrine of re-birth are very important factors in Buddhism. Subject to re-birth are all human beings, animals and heavenly beings. Those who embrace Buddha Dhamma will have to accept that this is a natural law of existence and guard their actions accordingly.

Eternal change

Buddha saw life in reality – The impermanency of life. Not only life, everything in the globe. Even the globe in it’s entirety is subject to this rule. Sabbe Sankara Anicca – All component things are transient.

This is the revolutionary message that Buddha has proclaimed to the world – that everything is changing in the human universe in the heavens too.

Everything transfers from one mode to another. The best example is the human being from the day that one sees the light of the world, to the day that he breathes his last the life is one of transition, till he faces death. This is well illustrated by the world renowned writer Shakespeare too.

This transition is realized only when one experiences it in the evening of his or her life. The complete cycle of birth, death – rebirth process in itself is the greatest example. Life in itself is a process of begun by birth, intermingled with joy and sorrow pain, grief, despair, old age, decease and death which is again followed by rebirth somewhere in the universe according to our actions as mentioned earlier.

This is the truth of suffering for which the Buddha has shown us the path of liberation. This is clearly given in his doctrine – the Dhamma – the most practical teaching that leads the follower to final deliverance.

The term ‘Dhamma’ throughout stands for the moral and philosophical teachings of the Buddha. It is meant to “come and see” - (Eahi Passiko) and not come and believe a religion purely, to practise.

The Buddha says “I proclaim to you the Dhamma – My teaching – in the parable of the raft, not for you to keep it in your possession, but use it as an instrument to cross the river of suffering.”

Therefore the interested, faithful and the devoted should utilize the region – the Dhamma to get rid of their worldly suffering.

The Dhamma guides the followers through proper and noble living. May Dhamma last forever - the greatest gift to the world.

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