Các bài viết (33)
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33. Remembering Lord Buddha
Every family ought to have its shrine, even if it is only a tiny one. It is really too bad that some families seem to think, because they cannot afford a costly shrine, they must go without any at all. When a small picture or image of the Buddha is given a position of honour in a home, that means the Blessed One has been invited to become a member of that family and to share the hosue. Quite often in Buddhist magazines or annuals or even on calendars, we find attractive coloured pictures of the Buddha. After everyone has finished reading the various articles, news items, etc., we usually throw away old magazines. Just think how easy it would be to cut out a picture of the Blessed One from such a periodical and put it in a frame. Such a picture could be the centre of the family shrine.
32. The Drawings in this Book
We believe our two artists, Mr. Andrew Lim and Mr. Teoh Eng Soon have succeeded admirably in creating line drawings that not only illustrate the meaning of each lesson, but also “tease” us into seeking much deeper meaning in each picture than we might find after a hurried glance. If we go through the lessons and study each illustrations, we are likely to find they encourage us to think, and that is one of the most cherished aims of any Dharma school. It is recommended by the compilers of this book that one or two lesson-sessions be devoted to a careful study of the illustrations. Each pupil should be encouraged to find his own meaning in each picture. If the children have exercise books or paper suitable for pencil or crayon sketching, then it is suggested that they be given a chance to compete for prizes for the best pictures drawn in each age group on an assigned subject or on subjects chosen by each individual child. Experiences has shown that some amazingly good talent is ofte
This word perseverance means “keeping on.” That is, we keep on with whatever we start, such as coming to Dharma school, studying lessons regularly and well, and constantly and unfailingly doing whatever we know we ought to do. Of course, if we find we have mistakenly begun to do anything of an unwise nature, we must not persevere in such action as that. But, to know what is right and to begin to do it and then stop, usually means we are lacking in strength of character. This is certainly not our Buddhist way of living.
It is so easy to call oneself a Buddhist and to talk about religion. Man individuals like to talk about Buddhist doctrines, to recite devotions and to be a Buddhist “on the outside.” Our Lord’s Dharma is for “the inside” of a person as well as for outside and is far more than just something to argue about or words to recite. If we really have respect for Lord Buddha’s Dharma in our hearts, then our “outside” lives will be right and will set bright examples to others.
29. Filial Piety
The two words, filial piety, are important to all civilized peoples, but they are doubly important to Buddhists. The actual words mean duties of children to parents, but there is a much deeper meaning in these words if we are faithful followers of Lord Buddha. The young are not only under a holy obligation to show respect and affection for their parents, but also to be considerate of all elderly persons and to be helpful towards them in such ways as to bring happiness into their lives. In some countries of the world the ideal of filial piety has been almost forgotten. We can see quite clearly that those countries are slipping backwards towards unhappiness.
28. The Greatest Secret in the World
If everyone had to pay a large amount of money to learn Lord Buddha’s Pathway to happiness, it is very likely that very many persons would pay ever so gladly, in order to learn how to overcome ignorance and sorrow, and find the right road to Wisdom, Peace and Happiness. But there is no charge at all for teaching this plan for thoughtful living and, as a result, many foolish individuals think it of little value just because it is free. Thus it is that the Lord Buddha’s Dharma remains a “secret” insofar as most people are concerned. Such individuals are their own enemies, because they are “trusting to luck” for happiness and peace of mind and heart.
27. The Teaching of all Buddha
“Cease to do evil, do good; purify the heart and mind; this is the teaching of all the Buddhas”. (1) “Cease to do evil”. All of us know the difference between right and wrong. We must not do anything we know will be hurtful to anyone, including ourselves. Birds and animals, too, must not harmed.
26. The Wheel of the Law
Usually, we call The Wheel of the Law by its Sanskrit name of Dharmacakra (pronounced Dharmachakra). This is only one of the many sings or symbols which are holy to Buddhists, because they stand for our religion and make us think of its teachings when we see any of these symbols. The lotus is the flower of Buddhism and the tree is the Bo or Bodhi tree. In Burma and northern Siam, the tail of the peacock is often used to represent the glory and beauty of the Dharma. The swastika is another sign much used by Buddhists. Sometimes we see three baskets used to represent the Buddhist teaching. Each of the three baskets stands for one of the three main divisions of the Buddhist holy scriptures. At other times we see a shining jewel used to represent our religion and, frequently, three jewels are used. The one jewel means Truth is like a beautiful gem. The Three Jewels stand for the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
25. Trusting to Luck
It is a very wrong idea to believe in good or bad “luck”. If we have such ideas in our minds, we should get rid of them while we are still children, and never again allow such wrong thinking to influence us. If we believe in “luck”, then we cannot believe in the Dharma. Lord Buddha taught us that good effects, that is to say, good results, come from good causes, and that only bad results can come from bad causes. A person who does not do clear thinking and whose actions are not good, cannot reasonably say that the bad effects that come into his life are just “bad luck.” Bad thinking and bad living produce bad conditions of life, just as surely as two plus two add up to four. On the other hand, good thinking and good acting produce good conditions of life, just as surely as two plus two add up to four. It is superstitious to believe in “luck”, and anyone who has such a belief shows thereby that he does not have any deep understanding of the Buddha’s teaching.
24. The Meaning of Wesak
The word Wesak is the shortened form of the name of a month, Vaisakha, in the ancient Indian calendar. However, when we Buddhists speak of Wesak we do not mean a month, but a day, and this day is the holiest of all holy days to us. Most holidays and holy days are in honour of some one thing only, in each case. Sometimes it is someone’s birthday, or it may be in honour of a country’s independence, or perhaps it is the anniversary of a great military victory. But Wesak commemorates not just one event, but three. It is the triple anniversary of the greatest events in the life of our Lord Buddha.
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