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The Way to True Happiness
Translated from talks given in Thai by
Venerable Ajahn Dtun Thiracitto

Kamma : A Keystone within the Buddha’s Teachings
Page 31-37


รูปภาพ

Kamma
: A Keystone within the Buddha's Teachings
Translated from talks given in Thai by...
Venerable Ajahn Dtun Thiracitto
Wat Boonyawad, Amphoe Bo Thong, Chonburi
5th February 2549 (2006)

⊰⊱⊰⊱⊰⊱⊰⊱⊰⊱⊰⊱⊰⊱⊰⊱⊰⊱⊰⊱⊰⊱⊰⊱

In Buddhism, we have the Lord Buddha as our ideal. He was a man who purified his mind from all traces of greed, anger and delusion. Once having extinguished the dukkha (suffering, discontent) within his heart, he graciously extended his boundless compassion towards all sentient beings. Within his teachings he often pointed to the reality of the numerous realms of existence into which beings can be born, for example: the hell realms, animal realms, ghost and demon realms, the human realm, celestial and Brahma realms, and ultimately to a distinct spiritual dimension that some call the Dhamma-element, or Nibbana.

The Buddha taught us to have confidence in the reality of beings continually taking birth, or rebirth, into these various realms of existence. The cause for the continual transmigration of beings within this unrelenting cycle of birth, death and rebirth is that their minds are still defiled or, more precisely, are still subject to the control of ignorance. This being so, they will continue to wander on endlessly within this cycle, experiencing birth, death and rebirth in the various realms of existence both high and low, or gross and subtle. This cycle, called samsara, is beginningless with no known end due to the minds of beings deviating from the principles taught by the Buddha. As a result they are bound to this cycle, being completely unable to go beyond its power.

The Buddha therefore taught us to trust in the law of kamma. This law is truly a keystone within his teachings. He stressed that when a person performs wholesome actions they will reap favourable results, and when they perform unwholesome actions they will reap unfavourable results. This teaching in particular is an absolutely fundamental principle that must be held to within our hearts. If a religion teaches people to believe that their actions certainly do yield results then people will have the intelligence to be confident of the fact that when they perform immoral actions it will result in their unhappiness, both here and now, and also in the future. Likewise, they will be certain that when they perform good, virtuous deeds it will result in their happiness, both here in the present and also in the future. Any intelligent person would therefore refrain from all unwholesome and immoral actions. However, to do so one must first see the harm and suffering that comes from immoral behavior by recognizing that it will only be a cause for one to experience immediate unhappiness and pain and that such actions will also be a cause for other people, and society in general, to suffer.

When we have the awareness and wisdom to see the harm, or the dukkha, that naturally follows any unwholesome action, our mind will feel repulsed at the thought of doing anything that would be against any of the moral precepts. Instead, we will see the benefits of maintaining the precepts, recognizing that they help to initially alleviate any unhappiness or discontentment within our heart by moderating all of our actions of body and speech. By not behaving or speaking in ways that are against the precepts, our heart will begin to experience a measure of c oolness and peace. Hence any perceptive person will realize that when they take care of the moral precepts, the moral precepts will in turn take care of their heart by allowing it to experience a degree of c oolness and tranquility.

Nevertheless, if we maintain a wise and careful watch on the mind we will notice that a feeling of discontentment is still present within the mind. This feeling comes about owing to the mind being deluded and identifying with the emotions of greed and anger, or pleasure and displeasure, that arise. Whenever we become aware of the presence of discontentment or unhappiness within our heart we must try to find any possible means that we can to bring it to an end. The Lord Buddha has shown us the way of practice that brings about the complete cessation of all dukkha. He taught that we must have moral virtue as a foundation for our spiritual practice. This then serves as a base upon which we establish our practice of concentration. Concentration, in turn, serves as the basis for the development of mindfulness and wisdom. With these two faculties of mindfulness and wisdom we are able to let go of the attachment and identification that we have towards the body and mind. They also help to lessen any unhappiness and discontent by working to cleanse the heart, removing all traces of dukkha until none remain.

Even when we have established moral virtue as a basis for our lives, our hearts will, nevertheless, still be open to experiencing moods of unhappiness and discontent. Therefore, we must attempt to keep control over the mind by carefully constraining it, so as to keep it free from such emotions. To do this successfully it is necessary for us to calm our minds through the practice of concentration. Doing so creates the primary cause for the development of mental strength–the power of mindfulness. With mindfulness firmly established, the mind can sustain its awareness in the present moment and be aware of the arising of dukkha and its causes. Whenever dukkha arises, mindfulness will seek out ways and means to bring it to an end. Similarly, whenever any unwholesome thoughts arise we will possess the mindfulness and wisdom to know what needs to be done to counter the feelings or thoughts that are being coloured by greed and anger, or pleasure and displeasure. If greed arises it is to be countered by practicing renunciation and generosity. Anger and dissatisfaction are countered by forgiving and being warm-hearted towards one another. And if feelings of pleasure or attraction arise towards forms, sounds, odours, flavours and physical contacts, they are to be countered by using our mindfulness and wisdom to contemplate these feelings and see their impermanence and absence of self. Every feeling, mood, or thought that comes into being must also by nature, cease.

The development of meditative concentration depends upon a firm base of sīla, or moral virtue. It is the combined strength of concentration and moral virtue that will subsequently give rise to the faculties of mindfulness and wisdom. These two faculties will enable us to relieve the dukkha within our hearts by working to clear away any defilements that arise. If we fail to develop concentration our mindfulness will never be able to keep up with all of the mind’s thoughts and emotions.

The moods and emotions that issue from the mental defilements of greed, anger and delusion are great in strength and their very presence acts to cover up and weigh on the mind. Just as a flood destroys the things that it sweeps away, so too our hearts are swept along like logs in a wild flood. Our hearts are constantly being deceived by the flow of thoughts, moods and emotions that arise causing the heart to cling to, or identify with this flow as being the actual mind itself. The outcome is that feelings of discontentment and unhappiness are forever arising within the heart.

All of us must therefore try to practice in accordance with the teachings of the Buddha, and have confidence in the results of kamma. This means we trust that when we perform good deeds we will meet with favourable results, and when we perform bad deeds we must meet with unfavourable results. The Buddha instructed us to gradually develop our minds by performing good deeds, practicing generosity and building up the spiritual perfections.
* In addition we must also observe the moral precepts, develop concentration and cultivate wisdom. If we practice in this way our hearts will grow toward peace and true happiness. This is the path to true happiness, to Nibbāna, whereby all dukkha is brought to an end through the complete cessation of all greed, anger and delusion. And so each and every day we must try to have our faculties of mindfulness and wisdom keeping careful control over the mind so that we only think, speak and act in good, wholesome ways. As a result our hearts will naturally develop in a way that will lead us beyond all unhappiness and discontentment and thereby arrive at true happiness.


---------------------------------------
>>> Footnote *
Ten spiritual perfections (pāramīs) cultivated as a support for realizing enlightenment : 1) generosity; 2) morality; 3) renunciation; 4) wisdom; 5) effort; 6) patient endurance; 7) truthfulness-being true to one’s word; 8) resolution; 9) loving kindness; 10) equanimity.
⊰⊱⊰⊱⊰⊱⊰⊱⊰⊱⊰⊱⊰⊱⊰⊱⊰⊱⊰⊱⊰⊱⊰⊱

:b44: Teachings of Ajahn Dtun Thiracitto
http://www.dhammajak.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=72&t=50225

:b44: Autobiography of Ajahn Dtun Thiracitto

.....................................................
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โพสที่ยังไม่ได้อ่าน เมื่อ: 08 ส.ค. 2020, 12:13 
 
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โพสที่ยังไม่ได้อ่าน เมื่อ: 22 ก.ย. 2020, 10:32 
 
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