In times of happiness, the conditions are not there to awaken the mind of the realities of life, and so the Teachings are not really appreciated. In times of need and disasters, the mind will, by its own, point itself to the direction of the Divine, seeking for help and justice, realising the need to practise the virtues and the distastefulness of samsaric existences. This is how the human mind works and that is why this world is conditioned to awaken the mind and leading it from the worldly to the spiritual. To have known the joys of happiness and the pains of sorrow is the greatest advantage that human beings have, over the other beings of every realms.
To desire for happiness and to reject sufferings then becomes the aim of life. Here the Teachings play a very significant part so that the reward of heavenly bliss, as promised by some Faiths, will help attract people to develop good and abandon evil. The fortunate ones come across such teachings that will put them onto the path of happiness and to avoid falling into the unhappy states after death. Thus a great number of people are directed towards leading a life which at least brings about rebirth into the happy states. But this is not sufficient.
To live for the sake of avoiding unhappiness in the future does not lead one to really understand the Law. This means that the Teachings have been adhered to, out of fear and out of selfishness, so that Ultimate Bliss will not be attained. Unless one is free from selfish thoughts and acts, one will not really use his mind to perceive the Universal Law. Unless one is ready to learn, then the adherence to the rules laid down which promise the reward of a heavenly existence, will only bring about temporary happiness. It becomes an attachment for happiness in another samsaric realm which, when the end comes, brings about another set of realisations and suffering!
That is why the Buddha’s Path is the Ultimate Path that one must tread. It requires the full awareness of the joys and sorrows of cyclic existences, it requires great mental effort to reach the state of renunciation and the development of great wisdom to move away from selfishness to selflessness. He who is a practitioner of the Buddha’s Path must be willing to commit his life fully towards self-purification! This calls for an understanding of life as it is which means being able to accept both happiness and sufferings, and applying Dharma to life. When it is possible for one to be freed from the lures of sensual pleasures, it is the sign that he is ready for renunciation. He is learning from the happenings of life and his views towards existence will no longer be the same. With right spiritual friends he will easily develop the enlightenment mind and a new being is born!
Fear not the result of pain but rather their causes. When suffering is before you, how do you react? Again and again, each being must know the pains of life, but how many are able to learn from them? Your own and others’ pains are there to help you to liberate yourself!
Tuesday, 4th February 1986
12th Moon, 26th Day