Dharma Tour in Norway
On 26 July 1995 I visited Oslo City, Norway. This is where land ends because there is no more land to travel. Here one might be wondering why there is no more land. As far as your eyes can see, there is only water. Land is not in sight. Once a year, for three months, there are only days - no nights. There is light for three months (June to August) - no darkness. After this time of the year, there are only nights - no days .
Here in Norway, I explained Lord Buddha Dharma to some of those who were interested in Buddhism. Dharma practice relies very much on observing Budhist codes of conducts (Dharma Precepts - Sila ) as this the foundation. Whether or not our Dharma practice is progressing well or not depends on how strictly we observe these Dharma Precepts.
Observing these precepts is, in a way, to cleanse our Kilesa and make our Citta free from being sad or worried, otherwise this will not only bring Dukkha to oneself, but to those surrounding you as well. I would like to explain the state of a distressed Citta by way of photographs below so that all of you can clearly see for yourself. This is the truth according to the Teachings of Lord Buddha . This is like one of the sayings in Pali:-
‘Silena Sukkhadhing Yanti Silena Bhokhasampa Sliena Nibbhudhing Yanti Thatsama Silangvisodhaye'
which briefly means whether there occurs happiness or prosperity it is because of the Five Precepts and not because of something else.
In Buddha ‘ Silena Sukkhadhing Yanti '. Sila is the best in the world. Sila is the most sought after by world beings as well as beings of the Five Worlds (Brahma World, Deva World, Naga World, World of Human beings and World of Lord of Hell ). All of them want to be happy and to be free from sufferings. In another word, Sila means ‘Emptiness'.
If there is no happiness, peace and equanimity, Sila will not develop in the Citta. In this context, Emptiness means not mistreating oneself and other people. It also means, ‘Understanding what is good for oneself, for other people and for beings of the world' . Lord Buddha described Sila principles in great length in his Teachings as it is the foundation of all Dharma Kammathana practice.
Sila is the main principles of the Teachings of Lord Buddha. If there is no Sila , there will be no Dharma. If there is no Sila , there will be no Buddhism, or if there is, it will not be completed. If there is no Sila , there will have no codes of practice - everything will be in chaos. Therefore, we can safely say that Sila is the source of all happiness for world beings including beings of the Five Worlds.
Observing (Sila Principles), for example, the (5) Dharma Precepts, the (8) Dharma Precepts, the (10) Dharma Precept, or the (227) Dharma Precepts, it simply means maintaining our Citta to be pure. It means that one must not do anything which wrong or bad.
By not being able to observe these Dharma Precepts, it all circles around the words ‘forget, neglect, carelessness, mistaken'. If we do not forget by killing a being, the Dharma Precept - ‘Panathipata' will still be pure. If we do not forget by taking someone's else possessions, the Dharma Precepts - ‘Athinnathana' will still be pure. If we do not forget by committing adultery, the Dharma Precept - ‘ Kamesumicca' will still be pure. If we do not forget to tell the truth, the Dharma Precept - ‘Musavaca' will still be pure. If we do not forget by consuming alcoholic beverage, the Dharma Precept -' Suramerayamacca pama' will still be pure.
I would like to give an example, why do we get lost occasionally when driving a car? It is because we forget. Why do we forget? It is because we have no wisdom. Why do we not have any wisdom? It is because we do not know; we are ignorant; we are careless. When we ask someone this question ‘ Is it the right road?. When the answer is ‘Yes'. Then we take that road, but we still get lost. Why? It is because we forget by believing other people. It is also because we are careless. It is because we are being negligent.
Lord Buddha taught us not to be careless, not to be negligent, not to forget, not to be underestimate. Being forgetful is ‘Darkness'. Darkness leads to ignorance, decay and destruction. Decay and destruction is one of the causes of sufferings which spring from 'Avijja - ignorance '.
This is like two animals, any kind of animal, one male and one female standing on an opposite side of a busy street. They desire to be with one another. Without realising any danger that might occur, they rush out towards each other on a busy street and got hit by a passing vehicle. Both are dead. Why?
It is because they are not intelligent. They are ignorant. Occasionally, we tend to see carcasses of cats, dogs, etc on the streets. It is because these animals cannot control their desires. They lack intelligence. The consequence of their inability to control their desire is death on the streets.
Lord Buddha taught World beings to use their intelligence and wisdom careful to control their desires. If one can control his own desires, he is the winner. He is the conqueror. The reason why we are suffering in our daily life is because we cannot control our desires. We commit sins because we cannot control our desires. To be able to control our desires we must keep observing the Dharma Precepts and at the same time practise Dharma meditation.
The more we desire, the more sufferings we will accumulate. We must use goodness to combat badness. We must use our intelligence to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong. When we say that our Dharma Precepts (Sila) is not pure, it means that our Citta is not empty. All beings of the world can live together peacefully if their Sila is pure. Emptiness is the foundation of all Goodness or Righteousness. Even our own body, we have to rely on Emptiness.
Luongta Chanhphy Manivong
Delivered at the Residence of:
Engeway Ronnes - 4890 Grimtad, NORWAY
1 August 1995