Dharma Tour in Singapore
THE DAILY SUFFERING (DUKKHA)
As already stated above, Dukkha (suffering) has been with us since the day we were born. We bring it with us. We cannot escape it as we have forgotten ourselves that Happiness has been conditioned by our own desire in our own Citta. We forgot ourselves in name (nama) and form (rupa) continuously.
I would like to briefly describe to you our dukkha (suffering) and its origin. If we do not practice meditation, it is very difficult to have wisdom to investigate our suffering. Suffering has been with us since the day we were born. Suffering is not far away – suffering is not because we have no place to live, or not because we do not have money, or not because we do not good reputation, or not because we do not have material possessions.
According to the Teachings of Lord Buddha, what I have mentioned earlier is not Dukkha (suffering). Dukkha is in each and everyone of us – because we cannot escape from being born, from getting old, from feeling pain and from passing away. These four truths are in each and everyone of us.
The only way to escape from all these is to seek refuge in Lord Buddha. Salute and pray to him every day and night from our heart. It means that we accept him as our Saviour. By accepting the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, it means that we are testing ourselves by visiting a temple. However, once you visit a temple, you must learn to know that temple. At present time, many people do not seem to know a temple and that is why there are so many problems. In actual fact, once you go to a temple you should have no problem. Temple means ‘Wat (in many Southeast Asian languages) and Wat means ‘ Measure’ and what are we measuring? We are measuring ourselves and not Lord Buddha. A temple is in all of us – in our Citta. Once we go to a temple, we salute three times – the First Salute is to Lord Buddha; the Second Salute is the Dharma and the Third Salute is to the Sangha (all monks). After that we should sit down and start breathing in and out by contemplating on the good deed of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha by saying in your heart the word ‘Bud – Dho’ while closing eyes and mouth. Your ear should also listen to Bud –Dho and the word Bud – Dho means knowledge. The knowledge of knowing why we have been born with suffering? Where is the suffering; and Where is the happiness. Bud – Dho is our refuge, Bud – Dho is Lord Buddha’s virtue and it symbolises our Lord Buddha. Dharmo is the name of Dharma Teachings and Sangho refers of all the monks in Buddhism. Therefore, Bud – Dho, Dharmo and Sangho and these Triple Gems. They are our Refuge. We must know where to seek refuge.
Everything in the world we possess can not protect us and also can not make us be happy. If it is without emptiness in our mind, we will not be happy. It is just only the emptiness in our mind that can make us happiness. Why can't protect our life? Because everythings is not permanent. Only the Dharma by the lord Buddha teaching and all the good thing we have done can protect our life.
It is because of our greed that leads us to take action (karma) which could be both good and bad (good karma or bad karma) and keep on accumulating endlessly. This is why human beings, once born into this world, their situation and circumstances are different from one another because their action (good and bad) in their past life were different. These are the factors which make us to be born again and again in the cycle of rebirth and enjoying life according to good or bad deeds committed in their past life. If your past actions were good, you will enjoy good life. If your past actions were bad, in this life you will suffer. This is like a Pali saying ‘Karmana Vattatiko’ which means, in this life, world beings will live according to their past action which has three states of existence:-
- Native land and nationality
- Wheels of a chariot having a Citta
- Axle of the chariot wheels having good / bad karma.
The chariot is Tanha (greed) and Upadana (attachment). In another word, the pair of horses / bullocks pulling the wheels of the chariot along the earth. This is similar to our life, which goes on according to the cause and effects of the karma. This is inescapable. Our karma has three phases:-
- physical karma
- mental karma and
- verbal karma
All actions from the mind, the feeling, the thinking, the talking and body action is called "Arrom". If there is no wisdom to control, just only feeling by temper. That will make you to do the bad action. All Dharma by the Lord Buddha teaching I would like to leave all with you. How can you have protection? You have to find out and use your wisdom by yourselves.
Written By Luongta Chanhphy Manivong
21 September 1996
in the capital of Singapore