Floating Water Hyacinth …

Update: 14/03/2018
Ngày 24/01 Mậu Tuất (11/03/2018) chúng tôi – Phật tử chùa Hoằng Pháp được quý thầy hướng dẫn đi phóng sanh tại chùa Hưng Thiền, tỉnh Đồng Tháp

Floating Water Hyacinth …


Here we met a group of nuns who used to do charity work at Hoang Phap pagoda; so two pagodas have a very close relationship. We were very happy to see each other. They looked peaceful, wise and matured. These nuns are so lucky to follow Buddha’s footprints to achieve happiness for themselves and their family. The path of Buddha is very quiet and noble. There is only love, generosity and compassion. Buddhism saves people from suffering and gives happiness. That is just very simple and close to us.

After paying homage to the venerable, we got on small boats one by one. These are pagoda’ boats, so the nuns are familiar with the unbalanced, bobbing situation. But I was so scared since I have never seen such a swinging boat like that. Buddha! My heart felt sick like a heart attack! Then I only knew to recite Buddha’s name to keep calm. I asked a sister who sat next to me why the boat was bobbing too much. She said because the small boat carried so many people, she also assured me that the boat would not sink. However, I still felt unwell because if the boat had turned upside down, I would have dived and risen to the surface after 3 days. Luckily, a nun announced that we would transfer to a bigger boat, I was so relieved, and no more worried.

The boat weighed up the anchor and went to the middle of the river. There was fruits hanging dangling along two sides of the river, rousing our joy and desire. Wild flowers and grass also contributed to the nature beauty. This is one of the loveliest rivers because it is converged by other nine small rivers with the prosperous of Mekong delta.

After the releasing ritual, we took turn to free the fishes. We silently wished that they would not be caught again and could be reborn as human being to have a chance learning Buddhism.

Sighting the river rolling the water hyacinth bushes that was, floating disorientedly, not acknowledge where to go just follow the flow. This is a familiar picture with the resident here. There will be one day when water hyacinth reproduces, they will block on the way of boats and will be pulled up to the riverside so as to die drying, accepting an unfortunate destiny.

At the moment, we were thinking about people who do not know Buddhism yet. They lead an innocent life, unrealize where to go after dying? How will their afterlives be? They ignore everything, do what they like, they commit karma unintentionally then receive suffering, follow the circle of birth and death.

The sunset came. The boat reached the riverside. We stepped on a big rock to get on land, I suddenly remembered a story: life is full of impacts. Listen to a gravel tell its origin.“ I was indeed a giant rock on the mountain, soaked under the sun then I was full of clefts. I broke myself and rolled down the mountain, washed up by water of rainstorm to rivers and streams. Due to continuously impacted, my body was injured. However, it was water again healed my wounds. Consequently, I now become a bright and smooth gravel”.

What do you think about that story? Are you interested in the rock’s journey or emotional with its point of view in this unstable life? Have you ever thought it is difficulties that build beautiful and impressive shape, even though they are built on painful wounds?

It is may be you or me. Life does not always bring either suffering or happiness. Overcoming suffering and challenge are   completing yourself. Remember the rock’s journey whenever you are happy or in difficulties to live confidently, comfort and heal the wounds by love.

Please do not live like water hyacinth, water-fern or clouds floating in no direction, no destination. Do not spend your time uselessly. Live a life in every minute at present not to regret.

Every individual is unique for this life. We should know how to live meaningful.

Hoang Phap pagoda, 13th March, 2018.

 Nguyen Thanh Thao

Translated into English by Nguyen Thi Tham

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