Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thosence). This understanding causes one to seek relief from the unsatisfactory state of Sansara. Those who realize this, also realize that there is none other than the Samma Sambuddha who can show the way to achieving this goal. Those who understand, seek refuge in the Buddha, saying ‘Buddham saranam gacchami’.e who are wise, who listen to and understand this doctrine, also comprehend the reality of Sansara (Round of Exist

Prince Ratthapala, who sought refuge in the Buddha, explained to King Koravya why he became a monk:
‘Oh king, it is as if from the time one is born, he is being forced into a furnace by two devils holding him from either side. All beings face old age and death. Hence life is impermanent and susceptible to destruction.
‘Therefore, all beings have no refuge, no hope; there is no one to offer relief. Man owns nothing. He leaves everything behind when facing death. He is a slave to desire. Even if he conquers the universe, he still is not completely content. After contemplating these explanations brought forth by the Buddha, I entered monkhood.”

After comprehending the Four Noble Truths, those who are wise seek relief from this grievous state of Sansara, and take refuge in the Noble Eightfold Path -

  1. Perfect View, 
  2. Perfect Thought,
  3. Perfect Word,
  4. Perfect Occupation,
  5. Perfect Livelihood,
  6. Perfect Effort,
  7. Perfect Mindfulness,
  8. Perfect Concentratio
and seek refuge in the Dhamma saying ‘Dhammam saranam gacchami ’ and realize the Buddha’s Doctrine.
Nevertheless, seeking refuge in the Buddha alone will not help one to realize this goal. While seeking refuge in the Dhamma, one must also practice until one has achieved this objective. ‘Tumhehi ‘kiccham, atappam akkataro Tathdgata.’ By preaching the differences between purity and impurity, the Buddha shows the way, but it is you who must make the effort.

These are the Fourfold Positive Efforts.

What is meant by ‘make the effort’? It means…
  1. to strive to not give rise to those sins which have so far not arisen;
  2. to destroy those sins which have so far arisen;
  3. to strive to maintain those meritorious deeds which have so far arisen, and
  4. to enhance those meritorious deeds which have so far been performed.
The accumulation of sin and merit occurs through thoughts, words and deeds. The Buddha thus preached to Chunda, the silversmith’ that one finds one’s purification through the fulfillment of meritorious deeds performed through the three outlets mentioned earlier, and one is made impure by the sinful acts committed through the same three outlets.
‘He who cleanses the three outlets, refrains from such oral and mental impurity, and from the impurities of the body, realizes the Noble Eightfold Path taught by the Buddha.’


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