Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Precious Human Life (朝闻道夕可死矣)

Today is Vesak Day, so I wish everyone a Happy Vesak Day. Today is also the Birthday of One Thousand Buddhas. We have come together because of our spiritual bond. Do not belittle this spiritual bond – you had, in fact, received a very special blessing during your past lives that you could be part of the prayer group today. I hope you would cherish this opportunity dearly.

All things in this world will come to pass very soon. No matter how rich you are, even if you possess the wealth of the entire world, you will lose all of them at the moment when you draw your last breadth. By then, you will not be able to take anything along with you including your loved ones, your dearest ones, your son, your wife or your parents. Only your karma accumulated in the present and past lives will follow you throughout your endless cycle of birth and death. Karma is the accumulation of all the thoughts that you harboured in this life. Your thoughts became your actions, your personality and your karma – following you closely in all your future reincarnations.

According to Sakyamuni Buddha, being reborn as a human is actually a very rare opportunity. It is extremely difficult for one to be reborn a human. On the contrary, it is very easy for one to be reborn as an animal, hell being, ghost, ant, insect, etc. Now that you have been reborn a human, you ought to do your spiritual practice and give it the top priority in your life.

All things in this human world are but illusionary liken to a flower reflected in a mirror and a moon reflected on the surface of water; only spiritual practice truly matters. I will always remember a teaching of Sakyamuni Buddha that touches my heart dearly, which set me to ponder on its meaning for a long time. He said, “A man, even if he could live for 100 years and possess all the wealth and best things in this world including having a good wife, good children, a good career, the largest fortune, who has everything in the world and no sickness at all, however, all his possessions are nothing compared with having the opportunity to hear my teaching on the Law of Dependent Origination (生灭法). When you hear my teaching on the Law of Dependent Origination in the morning, you can leave this world immediately in the afternoon on the same day. Hearing this teaching far surpasses a life of 100 years without hearing it. ” This is a very important teaching given by Sakyamuni Buddha.

Sakyamuni Buddha said that you have already reincarnated umpteen times through the millions of aeons meaninglessly, and you have never been able to break free of the cyclic existence. Since you have already gained a human existence, heard the teachings of the Buddha and actually practiced the teachings during this prayer session, I hope you would cherish this opportunity and continue to develop your spirituality through vigorous practices. When you succeed in your spiritual practice, you will develop a special ability to help the numerous sentient beings in this universe. An enlightened being will naturally possess inconceivable abilities to help others. You would be able to help eradicate the numerous calamities, like Grand Master who is able to help eradicate any natural calamities and earthquakes occurring anywhere on earth, and turn this place into a pure land.

Please cherish your superior spiritual bond in this life and continue to walk the path to enlightenment extended from your previous life. Do not forget your spiritual path during the endless cycles of reincarnations. All things in this world are like a flower reflected in a mirror and a moon reflected on the surface of water. So what if you manage to get them? You will still end up having to let them go sooner or later.

Our prayer session today has thus come to a perfect closure.

A discourse given by Acho Rinpoche on 28-05-2010