DhammaTalks.net

 

FAITH

 

Dhamma Talk No. 7
By Ajahn Suchart (Abhijato Bhikkhu)
September 23, 2000
Translated by Chantaporn Gomutputra
Edited by June Gibb
 

Time is an essential element in proving a personís integrity.  Before we put our faith on someone we must be certain that the person we want to trust is truthful and honest, in order to avoid disappointments later on should that person turns out to be deceitful and dishonest.   Like the old proverb that says distance tests a horse; time tests a man.  People can often be deceitful and untrustworthy.   So we tend to get ourselves into trouble by believing in anything too readily. It is therefore essential to remind ourselves to listen with an open mind and do not rush to judgment until a careful study is made.

The same is true with the veracity of the Buddhaís teachings, which have so far remain intact for over 2,500 years. Although there are many people both in the past and present who tried to disprove his words. But Dhamma is a universal truth; it could therefore withstand the test of time. Those who followed and practiced Dhamma until attaining enlightenment, becoming Noble Disciples have never disputed that the Buddhaís Teaching is untrue.

Therefore the one thing on earth, which we can put our complete trust on, is the Triple Gem, namely, the Buddha; the Dhamma, his Teaching; and the Sangha, his Noble Disciples.  Nobody can dispute that the Dhamma Teaching is still fresh and alive today.  What he taught is not fairly tale or fiction, but truths that exists within us. He and his Disciples taught the Dhamma out of compassion and the desires to help all of us get out of the fire of suffering.  Not expecting any rewards in return.  He had lived like us before, had experienced both the joys and sufferings that we all have to go through.  So he knew exactly what it was like.  After his enlightenment, he subsequently spent the rest of his life, 45 years in all, teaching and propagating the Dhamma in order to shed lights on our deluded mind. 

When we take up the Dhamma practice we will find that his profound teaching pierces right into our hearts and minds, like a ray of light penetrating the dark cloud of delusion covering our minds and opening up the eye of wisdom hidden inside all of us, thereby allowing us to see things clearly as they are.  As normal people we can only see physical objects around us, whereas the Buddha could see things beyond the range of our normal perception.  He could see heaven and hell, all the different realms of existences, rebirths and nibbana. So it is prudent of us to have faith in the Buddha and what he told us, such as heaven and hell, right and wrong, good and bad, which can immensely affect our life and well-being. 

If we want to deny the existence of heaven and hell, we must also deny the existence of the kilesas, namely greed, hatred and delusion that reside in our hearts.  It is they that led us to hell.  If they exist so too do heaven and hell.  Hell is created by our bad conducts, driven by our greed, hatred and delusion. The opposite is true with heaven. If we let the kilesas dominate us then our conducts will be bad.  We will not be able to maintain sila; good conducts, such as abstaining from killing, stealing, committing adultery, lying, and drinking alcoholic drinks.   If we are not deluded, why then do we spend lots of money on alcoholic drinks, and getting ourselves drunk and out of control?  Itís a fact that people who drink can misbehave more easily than those who do not drink. People who drink think that drinking can ease their pain, relieve their sorrow and overcome their weariness.  But they donít realize that once alcohol takes control of their mind and body they will be led directly to hell.

The Buddha did not create or invent anything.  What he did was to attain enlightenment and acquired the eye of Dhamma that enabled him to see clearly the relationship between causes and effects.  These causes are our actions of body, speech and mind, which will affect our body, our mind, and our future lives.  When we do bad deeds, our mind will be afflicted with stress and our body will be adversely affected, get sick and die.  When we do good deeds, our mind will be happy and our body well because nobody will harm us.  When we die, we will reborn again either as celestial beings, human beings, or animals, depending on the kamma we have accumulated regardless of whether the Buddha became enlightened and taught about these causes and effects or not because they are an indisputable truth, just like the fact that the world is round. We cannot dispute this fact.  But in the past, no one knew this and thought the world to be flat.  When people went out to sea, they were afraid that they would fall off its edge.  Such was the belief that contradicted the truth that was later proven to be false. Similarly, heaven and hell, good and bad kamma, and rebirth are the truth.  Whether anyone tells us about it or not, itís still there and nobody can abolish it.  Buddhism has lasted more than 2,500 years because its teachings are based on the truth.

Those who have faith in the Buddha will follow his teachings by doing good, avoid doing evil and rid their mind of greed, hatred and delusion that will give them only good consequences, be happy and prosperous.  On the other hand, the non-believers will tend to do the opposite.  If they were taught to do good, they would not do it.  If they were taught to avoid doing evil, they would do it.  If they were taught to rid their mind of greed, hatred and delusion, they would instead accumulate more greed, hatred and delusion.  If they continue to do the bad kamma they would eventually run into misery and pain, ruin and deprivation such as ending up in jail because they did not believe in the consequences of their bad kamma.  So if we were to believe, please choose the Buddha, the Dhamma, and his Noble Disciples, which we can totally trust in providing us with the greatest benefits of a happy and prosperous life, free from all kinds of stress and suffering, by doing good, avoiding doing evil and ridding our mind of greed, hatred and delusion. 

 

Translated 25/8/48

 

Source : http://www.kammatthana.com

Home | Links | Contact

Copy Right Issues © DhammaTalks.net