OM MANI PADME HUM
Most people do not accept changes in life and because of this they become miserable at every change that they experience. How wise the person who has understood what Impermanence is; how fortunate is he who walks the path of Knowledge and abandons wrong views and superstitions; how calm is the mind of the person who has accepted the doctrines and accepted all changes and taking them to be challenges and experiences from which wisdom can be gained.
Those who have health do not appreciate it until sickness strikes; those who have wealth are not aware of the importance of thrift and so with all the things that human possesses which are not treasured but taken for granted. These are the ones who have not benefited from life, will not seek to gain merits for the future and so life becomes a natural going on - depending on circumstances and conditions of environment. These are the ones who suffer and suffer but yet suffering in ignorance. Without wisdom, even truths which are placed before them will not be appreciated, cannot be accepted. They are not stubborn; they are filled with ignorance and they will never wake up until the day when disaster strikes and cause them deep wounds so that they become desperate for help and cure. Only then do they begin to think deeply and search with effort. But how many can succeed? Without foundations of the past, they will only grope in the dark blindly and then they put their trust in everyone they meet who seems to have some ability to give them some help or lead.
Eventually, they will look up to the heavens and ask for mercy, begging for another chance and how pitiful they are. Yet, when they cry so, I am caused to respond. I am touched easily and so I do what is best for them - leading them to the right way of thinking and to the right refuge without affecting Universal Laws in any way. Some are helped almost immediately because of past merits; some are given the ability to realise the truths and so they change and adopt a way of practice where repentance is done; but most of them, because of their great illusions will not be able to reach for the hand that I extend to them and so they fall. This lifetime is lost and it will be a long period of time again before they accumulate sufficient merits to have another great opportunity of being born a human again when he is able to reason and to practise that which is good, and lead him to better and better rebirths which will expose him to the Divine!
You who are praying, have understood what prayers can do for you, have experienced the help of the Divine in one way or another, do not fall back to bad and evil ways, do not waste this great and rare opportunity to cultivate and practise the Way to Enlightenment which will remove all pains! Do good to others, do what you hope that others will do to you or your loved ones when you or they are down with afflictions and suffering greatly. Do the service to your brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers who make up mankind and the lower existences.
Practise kindliness and perform selfless services to them as you would hope for when you yourself are sick in bed, are hungry to the point of starving, are rejected by society, are weak with old age and all the uncountable kinds of sufferings which all beings are subject to. At such times, how would you feel when someone reaches out a hand to lift you up? How do you feel when you receive a medicine that brings cure or relief? How do you feel when someone patiently listens and really understand your problem and then go about to give you the kind of help that you are seeking?
Look around you at the great sea of suffering and see what you can do about it. But be specific, narrow down the view and see clearly the great pains of individuals who are near to you. Start with them and with sincere love, attend to them the best way that you can think of. It does not require money to be a benefactor, even kind words of advice, some company for the lonely and rejected ones; a visit to the sick who are abandoned or who do not have kin to be near to help them. How can you ever finish the great task of lifting the spirits of the downtrodden ones? So do not even say that you would like to help, to be of service to others but do not know where to begin. Do not only have good intentions, but fail to perform when opportunities that you have hoped for arise and you shrink back and feel ashamed later on, only to repeat another prayer of good wishes. Those who walk this path cannot be seated at home and only dwell with good wishes. If may be a good act which brings more merits but such good acts are not concrete or effective in any way. The way to the Heart of Compassion is to be actively involved in service with your whole being, committing yourself to the great task of bringing some cheers to the suffering faces, of bringing some food to the hungry ones, of being a companion to the sick and bring love and care to those who are lost and lacking of affections. When you can perform such services, you are doing good not only to others but to your own self; you are cleansing your heart each day and ‘no dust will alight’ on your spotless mirror which is your true nature. And then, there is no need to pray, no need to learn difficult rituals and exhortations. Your life becomes one of constant prayer because you are the answer to the prayers of the suffering ones.
Do you know how the average beings pray? They only utter words which they hope will be effective so that they can get what they hope for. They repeat hollow words which are powerless and useless and yet they believe that they are the good and religious-minded ones, so that when disaster strikes, they pine and cry aloud that the God has not been fair to their devotions. All they ever said has been, “God, please help me!” which any fool can utter!
What is the use of knowing when the practice is not applied? Perfecting virtues cannot be done with the mind. Holding noble views are fine but you cannot build a house with mind power alone! So all the knowledge that you have accumulated through reading and hearing will not be worth much until the day when you decide to do your bit to give real help to humanity! When this is done and ‘doing good to others’ is not only lip service, then you are a true son of the Buddha, a favourite son of the Bodhisattvas, and a great son of man! Then your prayers become potent and your wishes are no longer day dreams so that whenever you recite the Name of the Buddha or the Compassionate prayers, you are doing so with body and mind! You have the right to call on the gods for protection and they will gladly protect you. You have the right to query deeper on the sufferings of beings so that wisdom will be gained. True cultivation is such that there is no need for you to seek great teachers because that will only bring forth the desire of being recognised. That is why there is no need to be associated with great teachers in any way. Even when you are with them, stand afar less you be affected by the praise or envy of those who cannot be near them. But there is no need to avoid them when circumstances cause you to meet them. Be natural and do not allow a single thought to arise of how great he is and how little you know that he has learned. You are equal before all men and women. You are not inferior to great masters or the gods and you are no greater than the lowest of beings. If this state of mind can be held, you are free from the shackles of Samsara, you are worthy of My Name and each word that you say will become sweet dew which you can sprinkle on others and causing them to change and preparing them to the path of the noble. See how easy it is to cultivate? See how needless it is to be well read in great books?
The Way of the Bodhisattvas is not for the learned, not for the famous or the powerful ones alone; it is for all, for everyone and anyone who sincerely seeks to become part of existence by becoming one with all! So the great teaching of “Serve All, Love All” is to be embedded into your mind and each night before you fall asleep, you will contemplate on how you can really serve and love your fellow beings! The way to opening up your compassionate nature is not mysterious, not given to a selected few only, it is for all! It is for those who are ever trying to be of some help to others and make it their duties to save all beings as long as they have life to do so! When this is your great aspiration in life, nothing in the world will affect you, you become fearless to changes so that you are willing to strive on when your conditions of life change drastically. So what is there to cry about when you lose your position in life, when you can sleep well at night, when you become affected with an incurable disease? You cannot do a single bit to change things because you are here to experience circumstances and situations which are meant to polish your mind! It is how you hold your mind that matters!
So the next time you cannot sleep well, do not just feel miserable and become miserable. Let those hours be spent in deep thoughts of how you would live your life and how you are going to reach others and bring them some relief. You should not waste those hours with useless struggles and ignoble thoughts which are dark and materialistic; you should entertain thought which are kind and calm which will draw away your worries. Nothing is permanent, so your sleeplessness too cannot be forever! Be wise and at all times hold your mind with kindly thoughts and prayers which are directed towards the well-being of others. Each moment is an opportunity to plant a good seed which is latent with energy and will become a living force one day so that in the future you will be able to use this energy fully!
Monday, 27th February 1984
1st Moon, 26th Day