Dhamma is a very simple process, which is taking place universally and every moment in every being, which any person can comprehend as soon as it is uncovered of the cloaks of mystery called …isms in which it was surrounded by the attitude, thinking and way of life.
This is a time of pretence and falsehood -- hatred and greed rule the roost. Technological progress and digital miracles galore on one side, but lack of regard for beings and life spoil everyone’s hope. It affects all of us, but we do nothing about it. The learned virtuous monks should preach in such a way that would appeal to the young: instructing, lecturing and counselling the present lot is a waste. Future politicians should learn how lust, pride, vengeance and craving bring disaster to themselves and the nation.
The Dhamma de-emphasizes egoism by stressing anatta, the concept of no-self and anicca or impermanence as two of the three marks of existence. All beings are a mere combination of the ever-changing five aggregates. Thus, we cannot give up individualism because concepts like “I,” “me,” and “you” are only illusions of such combination, which wrongly encourage us to believe that people are independent, static entities. We use these terms only as a matter of convenience in as much as no language has the capacity to describe a constantly changing “being.”
Dhamma and Science
Prof. Rhys Davis has said that he examined every one of the great religions and in none of them did he find anything to outshine, in beauty and depth, the teachings of the Buddha, and that he is pleased to shape his life according to those principles. Albert Einstein, the father of modern science, declared that he was not a religious person, but if he were one he would be a Buddhist.
The Dhamma agrees with the scientific propositions rather than the theologians. All things are transitory, continually arising, becoming, varying and vanishing; there is nothing whatsoever that is essentially or independently present; Neither of these cause any threat to the Dhamma, which says, we are in a state of uninterrupted change [flux] - situation and sensory requirements assist one to find ways to delight; Atheists do cast insults on ‘believers’ of other view points, they need to find answers to inexplicable areas in their own ideas, pronouncements, and hypothesis rather than working on volumes on delusions.
The Darwinists have not answered the vital question of speciation; a rational explanation free from uncertainties is expected of them. Neither Darwin nor the present interpreters, the neo-Darwinians, have offered a solid answer that can go through deeply and carefully into the working of the ‘Evolution of Species’.
The Dhamma emphasizes that the truth can be comprehended only by application of rationale and mind-centred empiricism which are easily accessible to everyone without the help or presence of interpreters, researchers or students of academic studies.
Today we are existing in a world which has a living contradiction. A world of huge wealth, but also in depths of poverty. Though we have achieved unbelievable advances in medicinal and healthcare facilities; yet 10 million people die from diseases which can be easily cared for. A world where daily trade in lethal weapons exceeds millions of dollars, yet where more than one million children die of hunger and 800 million humans are severely undernourished. And perhaps most alarming of all, a world bent on unlimited growth on a planet whose finite resources are rapidly diminishing. Thus, with our all brave march towards the future, our world still suffers looking for a way out, for a cure has become imminent if humanity is to carry on unharmed through to the next century.
Dharma inspires the practitioner to view the world as being interconnected and living beings, human or animal as brothers and sisters, and to turn his or her thoughts towards the welfare of all living things. Dhamma doesn’t tell the patient the meaning of sickness; so much as it tells him what he needs to do. Dhamma is a present moment path of action in birth, life, and death. We can’t change the past, but have definite control over the future if one can act with skill and precision at the present moment.
Interpreters of Dhamma
Over the centuries many commentaries [atuva, teeka, tippani] have been written to ‘add clarity and understanding’ to Buddha’s teachings. It happened then and happens now. These interpretations, both the written and verbal [in the form of sermons] only add to misunderstanding and confusion. Some of this academic work has crept into Tripitaka as well. We humans cannot utter one word in any given circumstances without ‘colouring’ it with his/her own intrinsic, subconscious prejudices. The Buddha attained nirvana at the age of thirty-five. He shared and taught his Dhamma which is designed to end transformation of karma suffering, and bring to an end to rebirths.
Feeling and the thinker
When you watch or monitor a feeling, that feeling terminates itself. But if there is an observer, a viewer, an editor, a thinker who remains separate from the feeling, then there is still a disagreement. So it is very important to recognize how we look at a feeling. A very common feeling jealousy is the best example. We all are familiar with what it is to be jealous. How do you look at your jealousy? When you come across at that feeling, you are the observer of jealousy as something separately from yourself. You try to alter or modify jealousy, to adjust it, or you try to explain why you are reasonable in being jealous, and so on and so forth.
So there is a living being, a censor, a person or entity apart from jealousy who observes it. For an instant, jealousy may vanish, but it comes back once more; and it comes back since you do not really see that jealousy is part of you. The moment you give a name, a label to that feeling, you have conveyed it into the framework of the old; and the old is the observer, the separate entity who is made up of words, of ideas, of opinions about what is right and what is wrong. ... But if you do not name that feeling - which demands great awareness, a great deal of instantaneous understanding - then you will find that there is no observer, no thinker, no center from which you are reviewing, and that you are not diverse from the feeling. There is no `you’ who feels it.
The Dhamma way to understand life –‘I and Me.’
The belief of a permanent unchanging ‘self’ or soul is recognized over the constantly changing bio-chemical building blocks that makes up the physical aspects of a ‘being’. The Dhamma cannot be understood by mere knowledge alone, it requires the practice of [mindful awareness], or momentary awareness of the change or flux.
It is possible only by observing the mind with precise accuracy [bare attention]. One has to reject ‘construction’ and ‘formation’ of illusionary objects in the mind through the sense organs, with accumulated concepts playing a significant role. These concepts (signs) block our direct view, making us hear, see, taste, sense and feel only fabrications; a process that gives birth to a new being every instant.
Through continued practice during the day’s normal activities; (irrespective of place, time, postures and repetition of mantrums) the mythical ‘self, I and Me’ would be exposed leading to the closure of the urge to satisfy sensual pleasure, thus the ‘being’ itself would be seen as an delusion. The so-called Samata-Vipassana, are all included in the above simple process; they arise in harmony without specific effort. Mindfulness deals with angry, guilty, sad, anxious and depressed states of mind and allows them to be themselves. Being aware of them, not by trying to escape from them, but accepting them as they really are. By observing and watching these states lose energy, fade away and over time die out altogether. On the spiritual level this process of attention and awareness process continues intuitive wisdom arises and one begins to see the the real nature of the mind—perceives and understands the basic the characteristics of life, its ever-changing nature. The awareness continues to do this until, when conditions are right, it penetrates into the absolute beyond body and mind, the deathlessness.
“You should know that all things in the world are impermanent; coming together inevitably means parting. Do not be troubled, for this is the nature of life. Diligently practicing right effort, you must seek liberation immediately. Within the light of wisdom, destroy the darkness of ignorance. Nothing is secure. Everything in this life is precarious. Always wholeheartedly seek the way of liberation. All things in the world, whether moving or non-moving, are characterized by disappearance and instability. Stop now! Do not speak! Time is passing. I am about to cross over. This is my final teaching.” -Buddha Ever changing ethical, spiritual, physical, biological and psychological components give life to our suffering. Our existence, ultimate death, rebirth or nirvana depend on a complex combination of aggregates. There is no ‘One object’ or a ‘thing’ that decide anything in Dhamma it is always the interconnected and interdependent flux of all things.
May all Beings be Happy!