VIEWING THE FADED PERMANENCE

Update: 27/12/2021
 

VIEWING THE FADED PERMANENCE

 

Dalat city in the winter, some last blossomed old yellow leaves are falling down mournfully. Then, from skinny and lonely branches, buds are turning out from scabrous branches in order to blossom so beautifully in the weather. To be in light pink color, the flowering apricot tree has been cherishing the best thing in the universe, some last leaves have to be sacrificed to be reborn. Life or religion may be the same as this lesson. Cherishing, nurturing, and at last, leaving to get a higher goal. Buddha, the Great Master of Gods and living beings, have been cherishing for numerous lives. This is an unlimited process to fulfill the condition. He conducted a huge leave and at last reached the enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.

 

The story of Buddha seeking for the Truth is the inspiration for a number of poets, artists, philosophers, sculptors, etc. to praise and create works and poems. Through the story of Buddha as well as the lessons, the sutras He taught, we can know that Buddha is the ultimate enlightened God who includes all of the best qualities and manners in the world. According to scholar Max Miller (German), Buddha is the symbol of the qualities He taught. He did what He had said, He said what He had done. For 45 years of preaching, His wonderful qualities make a number of people . They want to learn these qualities to reach enlightenment. In thousands of Buddha’s good qualities, except for the two outstanding ones: compassion and knowledgeable, leaving is also a remark.

 

Leaving home to be a monk, in Pali: Nekkhamma, is one of the unlimited qualities Buddha had been nurturing for hundreds of lives in order to become the Ultimate Enlightened God. The original meaning of Nekkhamma is to refuse all the joys in the world to follow the monk’s steps. In addition, it also means to overcome the struggles of Nirvana by meditation. In general, refusing or leaving to reach a higher goal, ultimate destination.)

 

Reflecting the Buddha’s life, His important events goes with “leaving”. Bodha Prabhbala left life in the Tushila realm to reappear in Queen Maya' embryo. Bodha could deny comfort and peace to the mother's fetus in order to go 7 steps in Lumbini garden that year. Prince Siddhartha was willing to refuse the royal life in the luxury palace, happy family with beautiful wife and son in Kapilavatthu capital to leave His home. Then, in the learning process, He left His master Ālarāma Kālāma and Uddaka Rāmaputta one after another, and found ascetic forests to co – practice with Kondañña’s team. Finding an ascetic way was not the ultimate one, Bodha left and followed Middle religion. Sitting under the Pippala tree, He meditated deeply inside, left and erased all the anxiety to defeat the evil king and reach the Ultimate Enlightenment. After the preaching life, Buddha left, at last, Pancaskandha  to Nirvana. Whenever He left, the universe was struck.

Our life may be the farewells, left – behind. If life is the trip, would you be willing to leave this station for another one? Whoever will grow up, leave their family to learn and work to get mature. To the monks, “leaving home” means the high value of leaving. “Leaving secular home” means to leave the house of the family to live with other monks in the temples. The monks are refusing some attachments and secular life. Refusing to anxiety is to wish to stop worry or anxiety which originates from unhappy and reborn. Refusing to three house (Sex house, Beauty house, and No – beauty house) we have been stucking in many kinds of forms. Sometimes, we are in insect form, sometimes, we are in earls. Sometimes we can relax in the God world, sometimes we can be tormented in hell. Due to the unhappiness of birth and death, a number of Gods get tired of being reborn and try to leave.

The process of a monk’s practice is also refusing and leaving. A monk who wishes to reach elementary meditation has to leave and restrain 5 things: desire, anger, sleep, busy – mind and doubt. From elementary to secondary, practitioners have to refuse sex and love which affects negatively to meditation. From secondary to the third level, practitioners cannot keep joy. To the fourth level, they cannot keep cheer, just discharge and concentrate. The advanced level of practice in Beauty house is to skip steps of immaturity to maturity. Up to Non – Beauty meditation level, practitioners should recognize that the object of meditation is an unrefined state, skipping it to upgrade to higher levels, refined mind. Relating to The Four Holy Ways and Holy Fruits, from Srota Spanna to Arhat, which is a journey of refusal, separation and release. Srota Spanna completely stops the Wrong Views of Body Illusion, Clinging to the Mere Roles and Rituals, and Doubt. Sakrdagamin is to mild greediness and anger, Sakrdagamin is to mild greediness and anger, rising to Anagamin, which eliminates problems from simpliness to sophistication. Arhat is to destroy all steps of greediness and anger. Understanding each progress, we could know the deep meaning of Nekkhamma, the mind of leaving and refusing.

Some people hear “Leaving” or “refusing” in Buddhism and think that Buddhism is pessimistic and undeveloped, which causes many people to become lazy and neglectful. As they do not fully understand the meaning of leaving. Why do big companies like Samsung or Apple always launch new products, not just only one product? If a group or a team conservatively keeps the out – of – date rules, will it develop and last longer? In business and production, creativity is put into priority. To be better, they have to reject the old ideas. In an organization, the authority has to be clever to change and adjust the rules to the settings and reject the conservative mindset. Everything in the world is always in the process of change, which means that refusing is optimistic and developed. The images of three Hinduism Gods Brahma, Vishnu và Shiva are cleverly symbolized for creativity, protection and destruction. Supposing that there is creativity and protection, but without destruction, what will happen? If people multiply but not die, what will happen in the world? No place to stand, no rice to eat.

A hand put something down in order to pick the other thing up. Buddha’s quality of leaving is the lesson for the juniors. He teaches us to leave, rejecting love of family and relatives in order to love all of the living beings. He teaches us to reject selfishness, small – minded, mean – minded to be open for compassion, forgiveness. He teaches us to reject egoism in order to get nothing, non – egoism, non – image, non – creating. He teaches us to reject the anxiety, cruelty to reach Nirvana.

On His Buddhism propagation, although He was respected by Kings and richmen, Buddha still left them to continue on His journey in order to meet new people on the new lands for propagation. Despite the temples which are filled with scented candles and beautiful flowers like Ky Vien, Truc Lam, Loc Mau, Buddha calmly also meditated under the tree, in the cave or by the river. His lessons are so valuable to thousands of years that living beings have to admire and respect them. In His leave, there are a number of good Dharma: compassion, wisdom, patience, progress, selflessness, etc.

In modern life, which is full of facilities, we think that it is good to upgrade in practice. But sometimes it’s a sweet trap we can fall into. A monk who uses Zalo and Facebook is propagating. Somehow he is rescued. There is Sen. Venerable Giac Nguyen about this:

 

I take you to the Enlightenment station

You bring me to the round of rebirths

In the river, we smile together

You are also the enlightened guide

Sometimes, leaving is the buoy to rescue people in the ignorance river and love ocean. Precepts, Concentration and Wisdom also conclude leaving. Precept is to leave bad habits and be false. Concentration is to refuse a bad mind to gain a peaceful mind. Wisdom is to see clearly the origin of all things to leave. Enlightenment is to leave everything, the practitioners are completely free to live and go among people.

Laymen’s life is filled with many procedures, but we learn to refuse to be happy and peaceful. Putting anger and stress in the workplace makes you feel happy to play with your family. If you dare to refuse personal desires and passion, your family will be full. Forgiving the partners’ falsehoods is to give them a new opportunity. Refusing some direct benefits is to gain the long – lasting benefits. Refusing some personal benefits is to gain the group ones. Sometimes, success goes along with happiness when we help and care for others. Sometimes, success goes along with loneliness, which takes people’s work and stands on others to be successful. This success makes us unlucky.

Winter road is shining with sunlight. Apricot blooms. Some weeks later, apricot’s petals fell on the road. To the natural rule, apricot leaves the old color to the green bud color. Life is unusual, come and go, ups and downs. Flower lovers feel pitiful for the falling petals. Neglectful people do not care for them, even during the beautiful flower season. Awake people feel calm and watch the apricot blooming and fading. They understand that this is the natural rule of apricot. It will bloom next year.

 

 Lac Quang temple, Da Lat – Trong Dong, 2021

Tâm Biện

Translated into English by Nguyen Hoang Thoai

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