Specific Items of Consult

Facing the Adversities

Update: 19/11/2015
Ask: How can a Buddhist cultivate progressively while facing the adversities?

Facing the Adversities



Normally, all of living actions in life meet a lot of obstacles and difficulties; but if we can pass them  persistently and cleverly, the accomplishment surely progresses. Our ancients said, ’If the life is smooth, a hero is not different from a normal person’. If everything in life were easy and decent, there would not be outstanding heroes. People who can be called heroes have abilities to overcome the thorny and challenging obstacles to progress. Likewise, on cultivating way, we cannot hope things which are always easy or always in good conditions. If we can skillfully see and resolve the adversities, it is proved that we are stronger and better than normal people. Do not assume that you are the only one who have to face many adversities; because each person has to face his own obstacles basing on his karmas.

While facing the adversities, we must mind those things:

  • First, we should think that these are the karmas we must pay for. People do not mean to afflict or make us difficult. Maybe we created the causes in previous life and we get the effect in present life, so we must accept to overcome these adversities. When we borrow, we have to pay; that is the natural law of cause and effect which is eternal and dominates our lives. The Buddha has also been dominated by the law of cause and effect, although he is a master with full of wisdom. He has also suffered  from headache for 3 days because he had knocked on a head of a fish three times. Or he had to suffer being punctured accidentally by a spear or he had to eat the food of horses for 3 months because he could not beg any food. Those are the cause we created in previous lives and we have to pay completely. So, the Buddhists who knocked three times on the fish’s head need to understand clearly and do not be discourage or show up the anger and opposition.

  • Secondly, a buddhist should consider that the adversities also capacitate us for uplifting our mind  and efforting our cultivation. When the Buddha attained the enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, he said about four universal truths (The Four Noble Truths) and Suffering is the first truth and it can not be changed. It is proved by the adversities. In ten wishes, the Buddha also taught the cultivators basing on the adversities to improve in cultivation. Not only the Buddhists  who have to meet the obstacles, the Buddha was also harmed a lot of times by Devadatta or was slandered by the order denomination to hinder his propagative career but he overcame all with his mighty. We also need to review the history and the examples of the ancients and the great monks and also of the present examples showed in the Buddha’s wonderful Dharma Program to confirm on the way of cultivation.


  • Thirdly, we must realize that our lives only exist in one breath and things which are around us are always change impermanently. They are not real, so there are nothing for us to suffer and attach. When comprehending the truth, a cultivator can drive away and pass any adversities or difficulties easily. Those are the cultivative ways that a cultivator must learns by heart to help himself to overcome the adversities to get close to the liberation.

Thích Minh Thành.

Translated into English by Nguyen Khanh Hoa.

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