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  Volume 4 - Issue 05 MAY 2006
 
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THE ESSENCE OF BUDDHA'S TEACHINGS


 

May 13th is sacred as Buddha Poornima, celebrating the birth of Lord Buddha. Let’s recapitulate Swami’s message on this occasion in 1998.

Happiness Is Union With God

All that is connected with body is temporary and transient. What men should seek is enduring bliss. Happiness is union with God. Buddha prescribed five duties: good vision, good thoughts, listening to good things, good speech, and good actions. These five-fold duties constitute true sadhana (spiritual practice).

Man is misusing the talents given to him by the Divine. He is giving free vent to the six cardinal vices like lust, anger, and greed. They are not the gifts of the Divine. They have been fostered by the food people eat. They are animal qualities which have to be got rid of. People should speak the truth and avoid speaking what is unpleasant even if it is truth. The entire gamut of human life should be based on truth.

 

Bharatiya (Indian) culture has placed the foremost emphasis on “Speak the truth; act righteously.” Speaking truth is a supreme virtue for all people, anywhere. In any circumstance one should adhere to truth. Truth is God incarnate. Righteousness should accompany one like a shadow.

When you have truth and righteousness as your guiding stars you can achieve anything in life. All powers are inherent in these two virtues. Man can realize bliss only when he turns his vision inward. Only proximity to God can confer happiness. It cannot be had elsewhere, from anyone else.

It is a mark of ignorance to expect that some other person will give you happiness. Buddha felt sad that people should be subject to such ignorance. He practiced many spiritual exercises and came to a certain decision.

He decided to go to Gaya and experience bliss by his own way. He found the source of bliss within himself. He realised it could not be got from outside.

Every man's heart is the dwelling place of God. Hence everyone should take good care of it and cultivate it as the source of divine bliss.

Cultivate Sacred Feelings

Because Buddha’s teachings were not properly propagated, Buddhism steadily declined in this country. All religions suffer a decline because those who profess them do not practice them in their daily lives. People should practice what they profess.

People should live up to the truths in which they believe. People do not act upon the truths they have learnt. Unfortunately, people today have only outward vision. The external vision is characteristic of animals. You must sanctify your vision by turning it inward. Then you can get rid of animal qualities and divinise your life. Hence, develop godly feelings within you.

The divine dwells in the heart of everyone. You must enthuse those who entertain godly feelings. Such people should not be discouraged. Divine feelings arise in one only as a consequence of good deeds done in many lives. Only a sacred heart can experience the Divine. The pursuit of any object other than the Divine is a futile exercise - worldly possessions come and go, but divinity comes and grows.

 

There are three things required to be done in life. You should try to do good to those that have done harm to you. You must forget the harm done by others and also the good you have done to others. So you should forget what needs to be forgotten and remember those things that require to be remembered. What are the things you have to remember? The good that others have done to you. You must remember the good that has been done to you as something sacred. You must express your gratitude to them. Make all your actions conform to righteousness ( dharma ). Whatever actions you do remembering God will get sanctified thereby.

See no evil; See what is good.
Hear no evil; Hear what is good.
Speak no evil; Speak what is good.
Think no evil; Think what is good.
Do no evil; Do what is good.
This is the way to God.

This is the essence of Buddha's teachings. When you are indulging in evil pursuits through your senses, how can you get peace? Peace should come from hridaya (the spiritual heart) filled with compassion. Embodiments of Love ! The Divine dwells in each of us in the form of Love.

- Divine Discourse, 11th May 1988

- Heart2Heart Team


 
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Vol 4 Issue 05 - MAY 2006
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