KHENPO'S BLOG

Assuming mankind truly believed in cause and effect, there would be no killing, lying, and stealing; no contamination of oil, meat, milk powder, and other food products; no violence and war. People would interact with complete sincerity.

Therefore, the Buddhist teachings on cause and effect are of immeasurable benefit to modern society.

~Depicted from ARE YOU READY FOR HAPPINESS - Spiritual Equipment for Modern Times

Buddha-dharma is not a philosophy to be appreciated from afar. Its wisdom is directly accessible and relevant to our problems in life. Unfortunately, most followers do not progress beyond an intellectual understanding of the Dharma, even those who have studied the five major treatises – Middle Way, logic, prajnaparamita, and other profound and significant texts. When confronted with life’s unexpected difficulties, they are lost and unable to put the teachings into practice. This is like a soldier who is armed with very sophisticated weapons; when confronted by the enemy, he is caught by surprise and does not know which weapon to use. How regrettable!

~Depicted from ARE YOU READY FOR HAPPINESS - How to Face Suffering and Happiness-How to Face Suffering

Some non-Buddhists in India follow asceticism strictly, forsaking food, clothes, bath, etc. They believe liberation can be attained through physical austerity. Others suggest that practitioners must jump into five fires—fires in the four directions plus the sun—to attain liberation after the body has been burned down. In Hetuvidya,1 the view of a non- Buddhist school was mentioned, which posited that both physical and mental phenomena are the causes of samsara. When one of them is destroyed, freedom from samsara may then be possible.

~Depicted from THE RIGHT VIEW - A Buddhist’s Mode of Life

In the last century, from the 60’s to the 90’s, there was a decline of 28% in the index on trust among people in the United States and Great Britain.

How does such a steep decline come about in so short a time? The main reason is a lot of people are no longer sincere. When people lack sincerity, they no longer trust each other.

More importantly, despite uninterrupted progress in our society, the index on happiness continues to decline, while divorce, suicide, and crime rates keep rising. Depression is even more of a problem.

~Depicted from ARE YOU READY FOR HAPPINESS - Spiritual Equipment for Modern Times

Buddhism holds that Brahma does not rule the world; he is but one of the celestial beings in the six realms of samsara. As such, he is still bound by karma, has not gained liberation, may fall and suffer, and is certainly not omnipotent. Even if we make offerings to please him, he cannot help us escape cyclic existence; moreover, the killing of animals keeps us further entrenched in samsara.

~Depicted from THE HANDBOOK'S FOR LIFE JOURNEY - On The Three Poisons-How to Refute Ignorance

What does true peace mean? After liberation, there is genuine freedom from the three types of suffering mentioned before; the seeds of the three types of suffering and their designations also cease to be. This pure and everlasting happiness is true peace. It is not the happiness ordinary people refer to; rather, happiness is just freedom from suffering that arises from contaminated actions. Because it is pure, it is deemed “true peace.”

~Depicted from THE FOUR SEALS OF DHARMA - Nirvana Is True Peace

We should not think that anything that is not discovered by science or proven with logic does not exist, as not everything can be measured by hard data. Things like rebirth or soul cannot be checked by scientific instruments, at least not for the time being. However, as science continues to break new grounds, it is entirely possible that one day we might be able to do that. For now, logic, as we know it, is rendered helpless in the field of parapsychology because our sense organs are not equipped to provide us with useful data to do this kind of analysis.

~Depicted from THE HANDBOOK'S FOR LIFE JOURNEY - On Death And Rebirth-What Life Truly Is

Unlike greed and anger which are quite noticeable, ignorance is a latent defilement. When we are angry or being greedy, it is obvious to not only ourselves but also others because our behavior is different, whereas ignorance is hidden deep down and not easily detected. None of the wise and knowledgeable people in the world including scientists, philosophers and psychologists has yet to discover ultimate ignorance. Although various fields of study have helped us clear some delusions and revealed to us many truths about life and the world, ignorance, a defilement entrenched at the deepest level, has never been explored by either science, philosophy or religions. Moreover, as the methods provided by these disciplines are not counteractive to ignorance, they are unable to refute and end ignorance.

~Depicted from THE HANDBOOK'S FOR LIFE JOURNEY - On The Three Poisons-How to Refute Ignorance

We neither came to nor will leave this world voluntarily. However unwilling, we all have to go when it is time, not by choice and certainly not on our terms. As well, we came in the same fashion. If there were free choices, no being would want to be born as an ox or a horse. But the reality is that we see these poor beings all the time. If free will were possible, all beings would naturally choose to be king in the human realm or someone like Indra, the King of the gods, instead of an ox or a horse. This clearly shows that beings cannot choose the timing or the form of birth. One just has to come when it is time. Why?

~Depicted from THE RIGHT VIEW - The Twelve Nidanas1—the sequence of cyclic existence