Being A Buddhist

Dicussions on Buddism

Archive for the tag “poverty”

Talents and Differences

We, as humans, are clearly vary from each other in many different ways. When someone is extremely intelligent or talented in studies  or in other areas, another person can be of the most opposite,  Or another one can be at some where within that spectrum.

If someone  is talented in studying, he easily goes to the extent of education achievements with minimum effort. One can say that he is so fortunate. But seeing this, can make another person , who’s not fortunate like that, become frustrated. Some people could, even, think to give up further on education and look for alternatives to achieve a comfortable living . It’s understandable if we feel like that, as we all like to be treated fairly, and when even the nature seems to be unkind in some ways it could  seem as too much.

But is it smart to act at those general opinions as to Buddhism? Before answering that, why aren’t we all born as same as others? Why not be born with equal talents? At least why not be equal to people who we share same ancestors, as then it would be able to be explained by modern science ? As to Buddhism, there are several ways to reason this occurrence. But I see one most important factor among all of them. That one is more related to rebirth.

So  how does it explain these varieties? Well, It is a known fact, that we circle through lives until we reach our final enlightenment or Nirvana.  As we live each of these lives, we live according to those life style we could have, determined by the world we live in. If we have an opportunity we’ll have education and lead a life style according to that. Or our lives could be of a totally different form.

So, in one life a person could study and become a teacher, or  in another a professor, or an engineer, or…  like that. But he got to have been born in a time and a society that such education or profession is available to him. These things, how our lives,  are determined by five factors, called ‘Niyama dhamma’. Karma is only one of them. Being poor, is one of bad Karma’s result. But being poor does not determine the ability to study. So if someone  was born poor, and if there was no way to be schooled,  there could be no proper education in that life. But there are so many people, who invented many things that some most educated men could never think of, even they never had proper school education.

But they’d  had talents in those areas that came naturally with minimum knowledge. These talents are the ones they had got from ‘Sansar’ or the ‘chain of lives’ as I call it. They are the results of a certain practices. when someone study in one life, then that practice makes it easier to study in his next lives and much easy when it is in that same field.

I read recently, a well known Psychic and a hypnotist, Edgar Cayce  had once revealed about a child  that had natural talent for logical thinking, that he’d had spent several of his lives living as a judge, and that as the reason for his ability. There are many people like that who show born talents for many things at a level of experts but with no such experiences in current lives.

So, if  someone has  weaknesses for studying, it’s like that, he should more spend more of  his time and effort in that area,  thinking it as an opportunity he’d been given in this life time to get rid of them. Then it would make him  become more talented in his next lives and so then he won’t have to go through those same feelings, that he experience now. However, I don’t say that it is good  to choose such an area as a profession and to make one’s life miserable. Choose something talented and enjoyable for profession, because, life is to be lived happily, not for suffering,  but you could find enough time to learn what you are week at, as that practice would give you talents in those areas for your next lives,  if ever you are to be born after this life.

And  that explanation also worth, when asking why we are advised to practice Dhamma, even when we can’t see us reaching any stage of enlightenment in this life. That is,  to become talented in our paths to liberation.

Buddhists are poor?

 His holiness lord Buddha had advised lay people to earn by a righteous living and spend those earnings intelligently. But people who had left lay life to achieve their enlightenment were given completely different instructions. Like that, to let go everything that are not needed in such a life style. And also his holiness Lord Buddha had admired that kind of  life style.

 But still we have to understand that his holiness had never admired a person, who had or have not a willingness to give up lay life to join monk-hood,  having poverty in his life. What his holiness admires is simplicity and that it never should be mistaken for poverty.

And if a layman really study and follows the philosophy of Buddhism, they should be really happy and contented in their lives in every way, including  financial success in it, too.

Buddhism values poverty! true or false?

Few days ago I had a discussion with One of  my best friends about money. What I understood from it was, that she’d been mis-informed, that poverty is as same as consolation in life. Even though I tried to point out that it is not  so, and that Buddhism does not recommend poverty for laymen, my attempt was in vain. She showed  agreeing in some ways but again returned to her own misconception stubbornly. With some people I’ve seen that it so. Sometimes there is no other choice, even if they are great friends,  but we have  to let them realize the truth themselves, even if it could give them   bitter experiences later.  I realize that it may be same with her on this subject as she shows on openness to analyze it, but only wanting to stick to what she wants to believe on it. Anyway what made  me feel for her is that the fact that she is running a small business herself. So  this kind of myth would or could never help her to progress in whatever way, but to suffer.  I’m hoping she’d have good karma to get away from any miserables and move on happily.

However it would be, I think it shows another a worldwide popular myth that could be seen nowadays.  That is,  that the Buddhism values poverty. Even more, some people go further by acknowledging this as the reason for poor Buddhist countries to exist, which is a most untruthful fact. Likewise, if someone  says him as  a Buddhist-layman, and then if he assess the poverty as a value he would have, concerning Buddhist teachings, that his opinion clearly shows, how shallow he knows about the philosophy he says to follow.

If there’s anyone having such empty ideas, they should look into how some counts and other laymen had had been advised to live happily by his holiness lord Buddha. And they should correct their perceptions and their life styles. Buddhism has clear instructions to  how to make this current life  happy. It’s true Buddhism focuses on how to end the sufferings completely. So people assume that all teachings are on enlightenment. But looking into the teachings in whole shows that majority part of sutta/sections are told to laymen and on how to make their lay-lives happy, contented and successful.

If someone adheres to such mis-conceptions, like my friend, without having analyzed it to see whether it’s true or not (as Dhamma says), but if chooses to stick to them just because that they’ve heard it from someone  or felt it that way themselves, then it’s clearly  their delusion/moha working on it blindly. Main Buddhist teaching that a follower should remember when trying to understand something,  as to my understanding, is Kalama sutta.

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