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Buddhism : Greatest heritage from the past

 S. M. Wijayaratne Kurunegala Daily News Corr

The Buddha’s teaching is the greatest heritage that man has received from the past. The Buddha’s message of non-violence and peace, of love and compassion, of tolerance and understanding, of truth and wisdom, of respect and regard for all life, of freedom from selfishness, hatred and violence delivered over 2500 years ago, stands good for today and will stand forever as the truth.

IT is an eternal message. We are in a world torn by strife. The Fully-Awakened One taught that we must develop the ‘bodhi’ heart of wisdom, a heart of love, a heart of understanding, to overcome the prevailing vices which have plagued man since the beginning of time. “Overcome anger by non-anger, overcome hatred by love. Are we practising the advice given by the Most Compassionate One.

We are responsible for our destiny. We have to cleanse our hearts, scrutinize our own natures and determine to practise the teachings not only in the letter but, more importantly, in the spirit.

We should never forget that we are very fortunate to be born in this era of time when the sacred teachings of the Fully-Awakened One are existing in the world. Buddhists who are really in need of seeing the Buddha can do so even today.

How can it be possible? The Buddha says “Those who properly practise my noble teachings will definitely see me.” That means, we should realise and practise His teachings whole heartedly to achieve the real bliss of life that He promised us to gain during this life itself. Buddha also says “Buddhas are only guides,” they became perfect in wisdom and realized Nibbana through proper cultivation of virtues for a period of millions of years.

A person has to tread the path of purification diligently with self-confidence until he becomes successful in his search of true happiness. In the Anguttara Nikaya, the Blessed One has said as follows:

“The appearance of three persons, oh! Monks, is rare in the world.” “Who are they?”

(1) The appearance of a Thathagatha an Arahant who is a Fully Enlightened one is rare in the world.

(2) A person who could expound the Teachings and Discipline taught by the Thathagatha is rare in the world.

(3) A person who is grateful and thankful is rare in this world.”

Thus, we see how highly Buddha regarded Gratitude, as grateful people are very rare in the world.

The dog, which is regarded as man’s friend, it has been stated, has a sense of gratitude which most human beings do not have.

The first lesson the Supremely Enlightened Buddha taught mankind is Gratitude. Soon after his Enlightenment, for the cool and benign shade of the sacred Bo-tree at Gaya, under which He realized the Truth He was so grateful that for one whole week. He feasted His eyes on the Bo-tree without batting an eyelid.

After the attainment of Enlightenment, the first thought that came to his mind was to give the benefit of his attainment to his erstwhile teachers - Alara Kalama and Uddakarama Putta, but on seeing through his Divine Eye that they had passed away, He thought of the five companions who had attended on Him and served Him during the six years of self-mortification.

Finding that they were at Isipathana, he proceeded on foot and preached His first sermon to those five and established one of them - Kondanna - in the first stage of sainthood.

His gratitude to his parents was so profound that He preached the Doctrine to his father and it is recorded that he proceeded to Thusitha Heaven to preach Dhamma to His mother, who had passed away as Queen Maha Maya seven days after His birth.

Another striking instance of Gratitude that we see in the Buddhist texts is that of Maha Arahant Sariputta, who, on hearing two lines of a stanza from Arahant Assaji saw the Truth and became a Sovan. Ven. Sariputta was so grateful to his Teacher, Assaji, that it was a daily practice for him to enquire where Ven. Assaji was and worship the latter, and lie down to sleep with his head in that direction.

There is a Jataka story illustrating the practice of gratitude by the Bosath is “Mathu Poshaka Jatakaya” according to which the Bosath who was born as an elephant supported and looked after his mother who was totally blind and this was a Jataka story that the Blessed One related to commend the action of a monk who has been using his alms to support his indigent parents.

The Blessed One is reported to have said, “Monks, one could never repay two persons, I declare,” “Which two?” - “Mother and Father.”

In the same discourse, the Fully Awakened One has set out four ways of discharging this heavy debt in the following words.

But, he, O Monks, who encourages his unbelieving parents, settles and establishes them in faith; who encourages his immoral parents, settles and establishes them in morality; who encourages his stingy parents, settles and establishes them in liberality; who encourages his ignorant parents, settles and establishes them in wisdom - such an one, O, Monks, does enough for his parents he repays and more than repays them for what they have done.

In another context, the Blessed One says one’s parents are Brahma meaning that they are worthy of worship as they have the noble qualities of loving-kindness, compassion and altruistic joy and equanimity towards their children.

Parents are the early teachers of children, as they impart to their children the first rudiments of right thinking and right living. They teach them what is right and what is wrong.

Thus, they are the early teachers of young children.

From what has been stated above, it is very obvious that respect and gratitude to one’s parents and teachers are integral parts of the sublime Buddha, Dhamma.

It is sad to state that the noble quality of gratitude is very rare indeed. There is so much gambling on horse-racing and lotteries, alcoholism, drug addiction and the resulting escalating rate of grave crime that there is no time for people to inculcate in the minds of their children this ennobling quality. In order to reverse this dangerous trend, a duty lies on both parents and teachers to instil into the minds of the young generation, the virtue of gratitude as an essential part of this discipline or Sila.

අධි වෙසක් අව අටවක පෝය

අධි වෙසක් අව අටවක පෝයමැයි මස 05 වනදා අපරභාග 8.30 ට ලබයි.
6 වන දා බ්‍රහස්පතින්දා අපරභාග 11 දක්වා පෝය පවතී. සිල් සමාදන්වීම 6 වනදා බ්‍රහස්පතින්දාය.

මීළඟ පෝය
මැයි මස 13 වනදා බ්‍රහස්පතින්දාය.

පොහෝ දින දර්ශනය

Second Quarterඅව අටවක

මැයි 06

New Moonඅමාවක

මැයි 13

First Quarterපුර අටවක

මැයි 21

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මැයි 27

2010 පෝය ලබන ගෙවෙන වේලා සහ සිල් සමාදන් විය යුතු දවස

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