Friday, December 5, 2008

Aspiration to become a Buddha – the most important matter

The goal of Buddhism is to become a Buddha.
Not to paint this life in different colors, not to become a smart or interesting kind of Buddhist, but to become a Buddha.

The Buddhist path is not a method of relaxation or a tablet for headache, something like “how can we become happier and calmer people” or a recipe for momentary happiness, but a road to Buddhahood or complete Freedom for us and all beings.

It is vital for those who enter the Buddhist path to have the aspiration to become a Buddha. Without this aspiration there is no Buddhism. If we don’t want or don’t feel the urgency of complete freedom from the many sufferings of repeated births, then Buddhism will remain for us only an object of study, an interesting lecture of mythology or an intellectual delight.

There are, so to speak, two visions one can have about himself and the world.
One is the ordinary vision depending on his cultural education or his daily concerns and the other one is the Dharmic vision.

The first represents what is considered normal in various times, containing limited explanations of the world and without being interested on the sense of human existence or something which is beyond the life of the here and now. The immediate utilitarianism is fundamental in the non-Dharmic vision of the world.

On the other hand, the Dharmic vision perceives the world and personal life through the perspective of the Buddhist teaching (Dharma) where for example, everything is explained in terms of impermanence and the law of karma. Also what is truly important is defined in a different way than immediate utility and the need for Freedom is especially emphasized.

By reading, listening and always reflecting on the explanations and light that the Dharma throws on the world and human existence, one can come to understand why it is necessary to become a Buddha.
By engaging more and more in the study of the Dharma, you reach the point when you receive what we may call the “Dharmic vision” or “Dharma eye”. Then, many of your mental constructions you considered to be solid and unbreakable, will break down and the world will start to empty itself of the false colors projected on it and taken as the true reality.

Walking the Buddhist path with the aspiration to become a Buddha and having the Dharmic vision on your side, you become more intimate with your own karma, that is, you start to know yourself better and especially your spiritual limitations.
This stage – the awareness of your spiritual limitations in comparison with the effort of becoming a Buddha – is extremely important and especially emphasized in Jodo Shinshu.
About this I wrote in the article Entering the Jodo Shinshu path”.

To aspire to become a Buddha is fundamental but this aspiration remains just an unfulfilled wish like many others if your personal capacities cannot lead you to this goal.
It is not necessary to become a saint or who knows what special kind of person in order to have the aspiration to become a Buddha, but to be successful in attaining Buddhahood you will need efforts and qualities infinitely great than your ordinary capacities.

So, in the moment when you realize not only that you cannot, but that it is impossible to attain this state through your own power, you are ready to hear the message of the Primal Vow of Amida Buddha.
This message is not a sophisticated or a hard to understand one, but the only disadvantage it has is that few nice and full of themselves Buddhists are truly capable to recognize their limitations and incapacity to become a Buddha. In other words, who is ready to recognize himself as powerless?

Just it is very important to understand that Jodo Shinshu doesn’t require from people to consider themselves incapable in their daily activities, but only in matters of attaining supreme Liberation.
To become a Buddha is not the same thing with being a good electrician, business man or anything you are in your private life. These are two different things.

Walking path to Freedom from birth and death is not a hobby or an interesting cultural topic, but the only real activity in our lives. It means to escape from the endless sufferings of birth and death. If this is important to you, then you are indeed a disciple of the Buddha.

1 comentarii:

Unknown said...

Thank you Adrian, for this post. I have added it to the Shin Ugly Blog here:



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