True And Good Dharma (P.2)

Update: 22/09/2021

True And Good Dharma  (P.2)


On the cultivating and practicing Buddha’s teaching, there are things that are supposed to be good acts but in deep meaning they are actually hidden unkind dharma. In Avatamsaka sutra, chapter 38, section Detachment from the World. Buddha said about obstacles on the way that Bodhisattvas will face while practicing and performing their Bodhisattvas’ path. These obstacles are also known as evil karma.

4. Staying away from good knowledge, being close to evil knowledge is called demon karma.

Warren Buffett said “If you want to go fast, be alone; if you want to go far, join together”, this quote teaches us that in this life we need companions to help and share with us difficulties on the path of searching for fame, position, possession to achieve sustainable success. Thus, being supported by good talented people is very significant for Buddhists who want to get achievement on the way of cultivating.

In Quy Son Canh Sach Van, Linh Hutu master taught “Going far needs good friends in order to help us look and hear things obviously; settling down needs good friends to be taught new things”. There are sentences “parents give birth to us, friends assist us mature,” “Staying close to kind people is just like going in dew, we will be always absorbed without wetness’. There is a quotation from Avatamsaka sutra “Listen! All good man, good knowledge is considered as a good mother since it was born from Buddha lineage; good knowledge is like a good father because of its generous benefit, like a wet nurse because pagoda-keeper does not allow evil action, like a good doctor who treats affliction, like a ferryman who saves lives, like a boat man who lightens human understanding”. So we can see the importance of a good companion. On the cultivate way, there are questions in sutra and things that we still confuse, good gifted people will help us answer and make everything clear. Practically, we must sometimes face trouble, sadness that we often cannot stand and we want to let go of everything. At the right time, good friends will be there with us, share, comfort and help us overcome difficulties. Good friends will not decry or look down on us when we unintentionally make mistakes. On the contrary, they will show us the way to correct our wrong-doing. Our intellectual career will be successful soon with the assistance of good companions.

There are people who only want to live alone. They do not want to make friends with anyone. So, without help on cultivating a path, we will face more difficulties, challenges and fail easier when we meet obstacles. However, there are people who prefer staying close to bad friends or parties to making friends with good people. They together break percepts, commit crime and suffer badly. Quy Son initiator taught “Being close to bad people, our inner evil characters will grow up, doing bad things frequently will face immediate consequences, being in misfortune after death, if we once lose human body, it is hard to obtain again”. Buddha once asked A-nan to go to the market, hold a fish and drop it down then smell the hand. A-nan did as Buddha said. He smelt an unpleasant fishy smell on his hand. Buddha said although A-nan had already put the fish down but its smell was still there on the hand. This is the same with cultivators. We are kind initially but staying close to bad people, we gradually practice bad habits. Our good characters wear out day by day and unhealthy habits will take place. We finally become black-hearted people unexpectedly.

There are people who are very confident by saying “I frequently have relationships with wrong-doing people in order to influence them and help them quit their bad characters”. That wish is praiseworthy. However, we should be very careful because we may be affected by them before we can help them. We cannot give them any assistance yet, but we harm ourselves in the reverse. Reading the sutra, there are pictures of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva and Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva who usually appear in poor and miserable circumstances to help people. We also want to imitate them to guide the black-hearted. But Bodhisattvas are unaffected. They are not influenced by surroundings. Bodhisattvas embody life, get close to bad people, and use many means to bring them back to Buddhism. We learn to step in life but we lack experience and we change by the situation easily. Favourable circumstances make us pleased but adverse circumstances stress us. We eventually immerse ourselves in the misfortune of life. Therefore, if cultivators determine on following Bodhisattvas’ aspiration, they have to prepare well. Preparation is Buddha dharma cultivating and practicing effort. Achieving a substantial mind can only face challenges in life and become a pure lotus which grows up from the mud and perfume.

5. An angry heart, evil look, searching for others' fault.

This is an obstacle to cultivating a way and a weird mentality of humankind. It’s like a spotlessly white shirt with a tiny black stain. We only focus on that stain and ignore the whole white shirt. We, human beings, don't usually recognize and praise other people’s good deeds. We sometimes say “That is such a simple thing, anyone can do, it’s not praiseworthy at all”. On the other hand, if they make a small mistake, we take the chance, dig up their story and spread it to everyone. We ruin their face and reputation. Why do we owe this strange mentality?

Firstly, we are afraid that other people are better than us. In Buddhism this is called attachment. We often think that we are the best, we are the center of the universe and the attention. If there are more talented people, they will take our important position. Secondly, we are afraid of losing our fame, position and sake. This is called “ours” in Buddhism – meaning our possession. In Buddha's time, when He enlightened and educated the human kind, there were so many people following him; so other religions lost followers and benefits. Thus, they found a way to dishonor Buddha and Sangha charisma to get back believers and offerings. Nowadays, we are the same. We are willing to search and speak out about other people's faults to lower their honor – people who are better than us. We cannot improve ourselves, we have to pull people down equal or lower than us. This is a bad thought that makes us go backwards on a cultivating path.

Thus, if we want to change this opinion, we have to learn soft-hearted character. It means we cheer other people on their success. In addition, we should commend people who do good deeds and tell them about their actions. Otherwise, we should not criticize or blame the wrong-doing, we have to help them correct their faults and avoid fanning out their mistakes. If we do so, we are authentic Buddha cultivators.

Tâm Thiện

Translated into English by Nguyen Thị Tham

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