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Buddha introduced mental culture to humanity

Buddha introduced mental culture to humanity

“What should be directly known is directly known
What should be developed has been developed
What should be abandoned has been abandoned
Therefore, Brahmin, I am a Buddha”
(Sela Sutta – Sutta Nipata)

Two hundred and sixty decades ago, the above mentioned unprecedented and unheard of words profoundly resounded and tremendously resonated in our human society. The Master and an extraordinary human being who indefatigably accomplished his incomparable spiritual aspiration firmly assured and resolutely confirmed true nature and the impeccable personality of the Buddha.

As the aspirant of the Buddha; the Bodhisatta, who enthusiastically sought the ultimate truth, an incomparable noble search was implemented and executed with indefatigable endeavour and indefinable determination till he reached the beacon of the conclusion of the aspiration of his spiritual purpose, the full enlightenment. Inconceivable challenges and ineffable difficulties were enormous and excessively inundated in his life but he patiently overcame and assiduously conquered them with courage and perseverance. With his unique dedication and paramount persistence he conquered the battle of defilements and impurities; ultimately by treading the Noble Eightfold Path or Path of Purification he attained his spiritual accomplishment, the bliss of Nibbana.

“Through many a birth in Samsara, have I wandered in vain, seeking the builder of his house of life. Repeated and continual birth is indeed suffering!
O house-builder, you are seen!
You will not build this house again. For all your rafters broken and your ridge-pole shattered.
My mind has reached the unconditioned! I have attained the destruction of cravings.”
(Gouthama Buddha)

This is his foremost statement and profound confirmation soon after he accomplished his Full Enlightenment.

Though we live in a digitally-cultured global society, modern science and nano-technology have failed to make peace of the human mind in our human society. All these boasting achievements and developments have created competitive commercial culture and numerous discordances in our human society today. Profit-based multinational weapon manufacturing companies and multitudes of consumer products business sectors have directed innocent people into a quagmire of mental conflicts and struggles.

Nano technology and Digital Revolution along with proliferation of digital devices have created highly perplexing entanglements in our human society today.

26 centuries ago, the Blessed One explicitly emphasised thus:

“A tangle inside, a tangle outside, This generation is entangled in a tangle”
(Samyutta Nikaya)

In his statement, the Blessed One firmly stated that the tangle was the network of craving.

We have encountered innumerable individuals who are infatuated with accumulation of wealth and intoxicated with pursuing treasures. Unfortunately most of them are mentally stressful and sometimes depressed. Some of them have no peace at all. Their marriage lives are in chaos and disorder. Their children are disobedient and insubordinate. Some parents complain about their poor performance of academic work and unruly behaviour. Now increasing of single parent digits are highly escalated. Some partners are terrified and tortured. The prime reason is that most people are mentally bewildered and topsy-turvy. Humane qualities are drastically degraded.

They think that the money, wealth, profit, treasures, status, power, amusement and so on are the life. They have no capacity and ability to understand the importance of humane inner qualities.

Once Gouthama Buddha said thus:

“One who, while himself seeking happiness, oppresses with violence other beings who also desire happiness, will not attain happiness hereafter.”

Today, emotional disturbances and mental traumas are overflowing.

Unfortunately some members in our human family come to an end with catastrophic conclusion due to their inconceivable agonies. Mental distress, frustration, stress, anxiety, grief, misery, sorrow, despair, depression are widely known and prominent maladies along with numerous afflictions which we daily experience and encounter around the globe today.

The significance of the Buddha Dhamma, the teaching of the Buddha is opening the gateway to find and scrutinize the underlying tendencies of the mind and removing the cloud of ignorance which tremendously covers the human mind. The great Master, the Buddha has prescribed many techniques to apply and train ourselves to win the battle of hidden tendencies. This is why the Buddha Dhamma is widely accepted and globally appreciated in our human society today.

Some may firmly believe that aggressively working and fighting to preserve and protect their nationality and culture is what the Goutama Buddha asked and encouraged us to practise, but none was included in his discourses at all. If someone can understand the fundamental teaching of the Buddha, they would be able to recognise who the Buddha is, and what the Buddha said.

Once, when his disciples assembled, the Buddha precisely emphasised thus;
“Bhikkhus, there are these four means of sustaining a favourable relationship.
What four? Giving, endearing speech, beneficent conduct, and impartiality. These are four means of sustaining a favourable relationship.”

Unfortunately, many people have completely forgotten the authentic approach to find the true peace and innermost happiness that the great Master, Gouthama Buddha compassionately asked to achieve. There are numerous unacceptable and disgraceful activities that are visible in the vicinity of the island of the Dhamma and political movements are gravely apparent and undeniable in our society today. These provocative pursuits will constantly lead and create a very violent and hostile environment in our peaceful society.

People speak and express their personal views about their own so called cultures. Some of them are in a battle field to make their own superior to another. Even some religious groups struggle to place the superior one’s own in some other part in the world today.

Unfortunately, they never focus on their own mentality and inward condition. After a long period of time, by achieving his ultimate spiritual aspiration the Blessed One declared that the best was the mental culture. Mentally cultured people never suffer from defilement and they are not shaken by any vicissitude of life.

Once the Goutama Buddha was asked by an earth-bound deity (deva) who dwelt in the forest, each day he would see monks who inhabited the forest sitting in meditation after their meal. As they sat their minds would become unified and serene, and the serenity of their minds would become manifest in their complexions. Puzzled that they could have such serene faces while living under these austere conditions, the deva came to the Blessed One to inquire into the cause.

“Those who dwell deep in the forest,
Peaceful, leading the holy life,
Eating but a single meal a day:
Why is their complexion so serene?”
“They do not sorrow over the past,
Nor do they hanker for the future,
They maintain themselves with what is present,
Hence their complexion is so serene.”
(Samyutta Nikaya)

Unfortunately, the deplorable and distressing fact is that individual branded credos and dogmas are proliferated and multiplied in the name of the Buddha Dhamma.

No authority in the community of the Buddhist monks or responsible government to take any decisive and conclusive action to protect and preserve true doctrine and discipline (Dhamma –Vinaya).

The quality and standard of the monk-hood has been drastically changed. Many monks have embraced and engaged in party politics. The life style, the way of life, behaviour as a disciple of the Buddha, deportment of monkhood, duties and responsibilities as a monk is completely disappeared and absent in certain individuals.
Unacceptable behaviour and disgraceful acts of so called monks lead drastically changed people’s respectful attitudes and deep rooted devotion. The way they speak and express their antagonistic ideas and inimical views is completely dangerous and catastrophic. Our future generation will be in vulnerable situation and true spiritual practice will dramatically disappear.

The Buddha declared that “Vinayo Naama Sasanassa Aayu” Discipline is the lifespan of the dispensation of the Buddha. Numerous well-disciplined and well trained monks have guided our Buddhist community with outstanding examples but now it is in topsy-turvy.

The current propensity and inconceivable proclivity in the Sinhala Buddhist community around the globe is indescribable. Listening to multitudes of sermons and taking part in meditation programmes are widely spread and fast growing cult of personality.

Antagonism and animosity is the burning issue in the globe today. World recognized organizations indefatigably work hard to implement and execute numerous programmes to resolve and to find the solid and long-lasting solution to this smouldering matter of contention.

Until we accept the inner failure and start with fresh thoughts of loving kindness and compassion, no one can reach the destination of unity and harmony.

Craving for political power is the virus in our country today. They horrendously and unwisely provoke innocent people towards violence, conflicts and discord. So called unwise leaders implant disharmony and hostility in the hearts of many people.

If the Buddhists cannot be harmonious and united, how will they be in harmony and in unison with other nationalities and races and what they preach others to do so?

Be wise to set aside disparity, diversity and differences. We should wholeheartedly appreciate and accept the similarities and conformities of others with compassion and understanding.

“He who is friendly
amidst the hostile,
Peaceful amidst the violent,
And unattached amidst the attached
Him do I call a Holy man”
(Gouthama Buddha)

This article was Published in Daily Mirror newspaper on 30 April 2018

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