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Buddhadharma and law of righteousness


The motto of Buddhists must be:
Let me truly recognize my even own faults,
And not discuss others’ shortcomings.
Others’ faults are just my own:
Being one with all things in Great Compassion.

By Sanjoo Thangjam

Buddhadharma is simply worldly dharma, but it’s a variety of worldly dharma that many people are unwilling to use.

Though Buddhadharma simply means worldly dharma, nonetheless first we should know what Dharma actually means. It means truth, that which really is; it also means law – the law which exists in the man’s own heart and mind; it is the principle of righteousness; therefore, the Buddha advises to man to he noble, pure and worthy of honour. Dharma, this law of righteousness, exists not only in a man’s heart and mind, but exists in the universe also. The etymological meaning word is ‘that which has upholds or supports’, therefore is Dharma is every principle on which on the cosmos operates.

The entire universe is an embodiment or revelation of the Dharma. The law of nature which modem science has discovered is the revelations of Dharma, for Dharma is that law within the universe which makes matter act in the way studied to physics, chemistry, zoology, botany and astronomy. Dharma exists in the universe just as gravity, wind and heat. The teaching of the Buddha is called Dharma because he explained how natural occurrences take place according to world conditions and universal law.

Buddhism is the philosophy of awakening. Buddhism as religion or a science is unique in the importance it attaches to philosophy and metaphysical inquiry.’ As such, it is often regarded as the most advanced of the philosophic systems of India. Ethics, science and philosophy are delicately interwoven into the system, which is divorced from mythology and which attempts to unravel the real nature of life.

There is no aspect of the BuddhaDharma, or the Buddha’s teachings, which does not stem from the logical and rational foundations of that philosophy. The Buddha Dharma is to pave the way for final salvation by leading a noble life.

Buddhism may be defined as way of life, called the Noble Eightfold Path, leading to a goal called Nirvana. This goal or deliverance is the state of supreme good, because it is free from defects, and has ultimate peace, purity and the highest happiness that our minds can conceive. Yet, it is something, which cannot be conferred by another person, however exalted he or she may be, but must be won by one’s own effort.

Buddhism teaches the principle that everything in the world comes on account of something else. There is no first event or first cause.

Most people keep themselves busy running around and arc constantly hurried and agitated. The primal source of all this activity is selfishness, motivated by a concern to protect one’s life and possessions. Buddhadarma, on the other hand, is unselfish and public-spirited, and springs from a wish to benefit others. As we learn the Buddhadharma, our every action gradually comes to include in its scope a concern for others. The ego gradually loses its importance.

We should give up our own interests in service to others, and avoid bringing affliction to others. These are the hallmarks of the Buddhadharma. But most people fail to clearly understand these basic ideas. When that lack of understanding reaches even Buddhist circles, then struggle and contention, troubles and hassles and contention, quarrels and strife may result.

If that happens, then how Buddhists behave will not be all that the way most anyone behaves. Sometimes the relationships within the Buddhist groups don’t even measure up to the standards of ordinary social conduct that occurs when people study Buddhism on the one hand and create offences on the other.

They do good deeds, and in the next breath, destroy the merit and virtue they’ve earned. Instead of advancing the cause of Buddhism, such behaviour actually harms it. The Buddha referred to such people as “parasites on the lion, feeding off the lion’s flesh.”

We Buddhists cannot expect any results from our cultivation if we are selfish and profiteering, unable to put things down and see through our attachments.

The motto of Buddhists must be:
Let me truly recognize my even own faults,
And not discuss others’ shortcomings.
Others’ faults are just my own:
Being one with all things in Great Compassion.

If we want to thoroughly understand the truths of Buddhism, then we must first cultivate patience and giving. Then we can come to accomplishment. We must turn ourselves around and be different from ordinary people. We can no longer flow along with the turbid currents of life. Cultivating the Way simply means “turning ourselves around.” This means simply “giving desirable situations and benefits to other people, and keeping the unfavourable situations for ourselves.” We renounce the petty self in order to bring to perfection the greater self.

All disciples who have taken refuge with the Buddha are like the flesh and blood of his own body. No matter which piece of flesh is severed from his body. His hurts him just the same. No matter where he bleed, the wound injuries his constitution. Because of this, all of you must be united. To make Buddhism expand and flourish, you must take a lost in situations where most people are unable to. You must endure the insults that ordinary people find unendurable.

Expand the measure of your minds and be true in your actions. When you’re not trying to be true, the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas are aware of it. No one can cheat them. Each of you should examine your own faults and earnestly correct the flaws in your character. Truly recognize where in the past you’ve been upside-down and where your behaviour has departed from principles. Be honest, forget about yourselves, and work for the sake of all Buddhism and all of society.

No matter where you look in the world, every organisation and every society has its own complications and power struggles. At the Way-places, schools, and institutes that belong to the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association, we must correct these faults. Naturally, we can’t cxpect perfection immediately, but we can hope to improve step by step.

We can change things until we reach the ultimate point of perfection. Then in thought after thought, we must preserve this wholesome behaviour and maintain our resolve and purpose as we go about disseminating Buddhism, so that its light spreads far and wide. All disciples of the Buddha share this responsibility equally. We must think, “If Buddhism fails to flourish, I haven’t fulfilled my responsibilities”. Don’t pass your duty to others. If we can shoulder our responsibility in this way, then in the near future, Buddhism will certainly expand and spread to every corner of the world!

As Buddhist disciples, do we seek the Buddhas’ aid every day? Do we pray that the Buddha will help us get rich, help us to rise in power, or help us to develop wisdom? Are we concerned only with personal advantages? Do we forget all about making a contribution to Buddhism? Have we brought a genuine resolve or not? Is it right at this point that we must reflect inwardly. When we took refuge with Triple Jewel, we made the four vows of Bodhisattvas:

1. Living beings are numberless, I vow to save them all. Ask yourself, “Have I saved any living beings?” If so, then why not save a few more? And if not, then quickly turn them over right away!

2. Afflictions are infinite, I vow to cut them alt off. There is a limitless quantity of afflictions, but we must reverse them, transform them into Bodhi. “Have I reversed them?” If not, then quickly turn them over right away!

3. Dharma – doors are measureless, I vow to learn them all. Ask yourself, “Have I learned any of the Buddhadharma? Have I brought forth the slightest bit for strength for Buddhism? Have I been too rigid and inflexible in my study of the teachings? Is my study of the various Dharma- doors off and on?”

4. The Buddha Way is supreme, I vow to realise it. There is no dharma on earth that surpass the Buddha’s Way, no one that is more ultimate. Have I really made a resolve to accomplish Buddhahood?

What’s more, we shouldn’t resolve to accomplish the Buddhahood for ourselves alone, but to take all living beings across the Buddhahood. In the past, Shakyamuni Buddha “cultivated blessings and wisdom for the three great innumerable eons, and develop the fine features and hallmark for one hundred eons.” His sincerity in seeking the Dharma was truly noble. We should all imitate his model of vigour. Don’t fail to gain any genuine benefit from the Dharma. Don’t fail to experience the greatest of the spirit of the Buddhadharma. Be sure not to place yourselves outside the Buddhadharma, without being able to deeply enter it.

Our attitude should be, “if Buddhism is going on to flourish, then it must begin with me.” What we need are true hearts, endowed with a genuine spirit of devotion to the Buddhadharma. Work hard and break free of the small circles that you’ve drawn around yourselves. Take the entire Dharma Realm as your own body! Let all of empty space be your field of action! This means, “bringing forth thoughts that linger nowhere.” If every person would really do this, then Buddhism could truly flourish in Manipur.

( The writer is a journalist based in Imphal)

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