The present world is filled with different kinds of sufferings, including terrors attacks resulting in mass annihilation caused by possible use of various kinds of dreadful arms, ammunitions and nuclear weapons. The Christchurch mosque shooting in New Zealand on 15 March 2019 left 51 people dead. On April 21, 2019 in Sri Lanka many suicide bombers attacked various churches and five star hotels which killed more than 300 people. Why is this happening in the world?
According to Buddha, the world is full of misery and suffering. Birth is suffering, old age is suffering, sickness and death are suffering. To be filled with hatred is suffering, to be separated from one’s beloved is suffering. In fact, life is not free from desire and passion is always involved with distress. This is called truth of suffering. Desire and attachment is the root cause of all misery and suffering. Human beings are actuated very largely by greed, hatred and delusion. This world is burning up with its many fires. There are fires of greed, fires of anger, fires of foolishness, fires of infatuation and egoism, fires of decrepitude, sickness and death, fires of sorrow, lamentation, suffering and agony. Everywhere these fires are raging. All the miseries and discontents of life stem from selfishness. Selfishness takes three forms: one is the desire to satisfy the senses, second the craving for immorality and third the desire for prosperity and worldliness. Buddha has shown people the way to emancipation from all sorrows or ‘Nibbana’. budhha
Suffering can be brought to an end by extinguishing desire. The path which leads to the cessation of suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path which is known firstly as Sila or moral conduct, secondly Samadhi or mental concentration, and thirdly Pragya (Panna) full and unshakable knowledge. The Eight Fold Path refers to right view, right thought, right speech, right behaviour, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. It inculcates the highest virtues of mercy, uprightness, purity of life, truthfulness, gentleness of speech, freedom from malice, charity, non-covetousness and universal love. Mankind can only be saved by renouncing the use of force once and for all.
Buddha was the first teacher in history who indiscriminately opened the gate of religion to each and every society. His teaching became a great religion which first enlightened man twenty-five centuries ago and redeemed him from all bondage, superstitious practices and blind faiths. Buddha’s teaching is undoubtedly a great religion known as Buddhism. It is sure that nothing but the spirit of Buddhism can turn the distressed heart into full satisfaction, disappointment into hope and despair into salvation.
Buddha’s teaching of peace and emancipation from suffering is diametrically opposite to war. Everybody should expand the propagation of Buddha’s doctrine of universal love, non-violence, tolerance and equanimity. It must be embraced to remove psychological, social, political, religious, economic causes of war. This task is essential in spiritual realm. Material civilization alone can never contribute to full realization of human happiness, and for equal wellbeing a moral civilization is required.
The founder of this rational and scientific religion, Buddha, is honoured today by every cultured and intellectual man irrespective of whatever religion he follows. He is respected as the supreme Enlightened One. The Enlightened One means ‘one who is fully awake to the real facts of life’. The teachings as well as the magnetic personality of the Buddha are the most important factors in the development of peace in the world. So Buddha is remembered every year on the day of Baisakh Purnima. The day of Baisakh Purnima is triply blessed since it commemorates the three important events in Buddha’s life: his birth, the day he attained enlightenment and the day he passed to Nirvana. This auspicious day is celebrated throughout the world in the name of Buddha; in Nepal, a whole week is dedicated for celebrating it with organization of various programmes as the national festival.
(Author Munindra Ratna Bajracharya is a former Reader in Central Department of Political Science.)
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