Khóa Tu Học Phật Pháp Úc Châu Kỳ 20
của Giáo Hội PGVNTNHN tại UĐL - TTL
được tổ chức tại Thiền Lâm Pháp Bảo, Wallacia, NSW
(từ ngày 27 đến ngày 31 tháng 12 năm 2022)
Class A (from 6 to 12 years old)
True Happiness – Not Stealing
Teacher: Senior Venerable Thich Nguyen Tang
There can be no success in getting happiness out of Lord Buddha’s Dharma until we understand and use ‘Sila’, which is a Pali-Sanskrit word meaning morality. The Five Precepts are often called ‘Pancasila’, which means ‘the Five Moralities’.
As a rule, these five moralities are recited after the Three Refuges, and are usually considered as a necessary part of the ceremony of becoming a Buddhist. Everyone who understands these rules knows it is good and wise to follow them all, but many persons have weak characters and do not make a real attempt to be guided by these Five Rules that all Buddhists must follow. They are:
1. Do not kill
2. Do not steal
3. Do not perform sexual misconduct
4. Do not lie
5. Do not drink alcohol
Today, we just discuss the second rule, ‘Do not steal’.
The property that belongs to one person, from valuables such as gold, silver, houses ... to small objects such as apples, chili… People should not take the property of others without their permission. Those who use force and power to take it, are all guilty of stealing. Stealing is due to greed. Greed is the beginning of conflicts, struggles and stealing.
Anyone who lives honestly, without greed for others possessions, knows enough about the things we get from their own labour, and helps our neighbourhood to be peaceful.
Why does Buddha forbid stealing ? Buddha forbids stealing and asks us  to:
1. Have respect for fairness: When we don't want anyone to take what is ours. Why are we so eager to take someone else's? We know fairness is important. A society without justice cannot survive for long
2. Have respect for equality: Everyone has the ability to have the same Buddha-nature, why would we want to make others suffer so that we can be happy? We should treat each other equally.
3. Cultivate compassion: Once we accidentally lose some property or some money, we may be full of sadness, we may not eat or sleep well. Why would we have the heart to take someone's property so that they have to mourn and suffer because of us? By cultivating compassion, we cannot steal from anyone.
4. Avoid the karma of revenge: Stealing should always be punished. When caught, some thieves may be bound, interrogated and even imprisoned. Their fates may be extremely painful, causing their family, parents, wives and children, to be sad and ashamed, and lose all hope in the future. But, even if the law of the world does not punish, the thief will not escape the law of cause and effect. Stealing from people can cause hatred and suffering.
Making vows not to steal, to attain true happiness :
Aware of the suffering caused by stealing, Buddhists are committed to practicing generosity in thinking, speaking and acting. We are determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others.
We will share our time, energy and material resources with those who are in need. We will practice looking deeply to see that the happiness and suffering of others are not separate from our own happiness and suffering; that true happiness is not possible without understanding and compassion; and that running after wealth, fame, power, and sensual pleasures can bring much suffering and despair.
We are aware that happiness depends on our mental attitude and not on external conditions and that we can live happily in the present moment simply by remembering that we already have more than enough conditions to be happy.
We are committed to practicing ‘Right Livelihood’ so that we can help reduce the suffering of living beings on Earth and stop contributing to climate change./.