The Oasis- Part 4 “The Five Poisons”

The anger of the king diminished to certain extent and he submitted to the queen’s request. Both of them went to a secluded corner and started their conversation. Sulochana said to Harshvardhan in a very affectionate and warm manner, “O king! I know of no other human being as just and as merciful as you and I have always respected your decision, not because you are my husband but because it has always been taken impartially without any prejudices in mind but this time I beg to differ with you as it cannot be justified according to our ‘Dhamma’. Let me remind you that ‘Mana’ or the arrogance is considered to be one of the five poisons described in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and this poison kills none but oneself.”

Listening to this Harshvardhan was reminded of the teachings imparted to him and Sulochana by the great Buddhist priest. Harshvardhan praised Sulochana, “O queen! How precisely you remember those great teachings by that great scholar. Now I remember the five poisons which the scholar advised us to refrain from, the Moh Vidya (ignorance), Raga (the attachment), Dvesha (the aversion), Mana (pride), Irshya (the envy). I got drifted in my own wrath. Thanks for reminding me.” He immediately ordered his soldiers to free the beggar but the conversation didn’t end here.

Harshwardhan continued, “O my queen! I deeply regret that I had forgotten to apply these teachings in real life in the path of ‘Dhamma’. I feel that your life condition is higher than me so you could see the truth. Do you still remember that the scholar also told us about six root Kleshas of Abhidharma. Raga (attachment), Pratigha (anger), Avidya (ignorance), Mana (pride), vicikitsa (doubt) and Drishti (false view).”

Sulochana smiled and replied, “See! You have not forgotten anything but as they say, time rusts even the toughest iron, our memory also gets rusted with time. May I ask you a question? According to you, what is life and what is the purpose of life?”

Harshvardhan said, “According to our mentor Buddha said, “That life is the cycle of existences and struggle between suffering and end of suffering. The primary objective of life of all the human should be to find a permanent solution to end suffering. Buddha said that humans suffer because we ourselves create causes for our suffering by continually striving after things, relations, health which ultimately do not give us lasting happiness. We keep attaching ourselves to them and suffering begins when we are not able to do so. The Buddha did not deny that even materialistic things can be a cause of joy but the cause of suffering is our attachment to them.

The key to happiness is to recognise the evanescence, the impermanence of all materialistic things and trying to find ways to free oneself from attachment to them. These teachings of Buddha have been well explained in the four noble truths and the noble 8 fold path and the further version of Buddhist movement ‘Mahayan’ or the greater vehicle because it opened the way to enlightenment leading to a better life condition through the chanting of the ‘Lotus Sutra’ and other buddhist study. These practices help one eliminate desire and creates a constant support of karmic energy which ultimately cuts the cycle of life and death helping one to reach the blissful state of Nirvana which Shakyamuni himself achieved.

This practice introduces one to one’s inherent Buddha nature which only needs to be unleashed and you can see your life taking on a completely different state of joy and as you already know Sulochana the simplest way to achieve all this is the chanting of the sutra ‘Nam Myoho Renge Kyo’ that Nichiren advocated. From this enlightened perspective of Buddhahood we become silently aware of the causes and effects within our lives, which become the causes in effect of Buddhahood. After this state one can clearly visualise defeats transforming into triumphs, sorrows into happiness and pain into pleasure. According to our great mentor, “The dynamic vital awakening of the greater self enables each individual to experience both life and death with equal delight.”

But as they say our present is the fruit of the karma in past and similarly our future will be the fruit of our present. We shall reap what we will sow today. In present context let us take the example of this beggar. Do you remember Sulochana our mentor asked us to observe things around us to relate his teachings to realise. If we look at the current pathetic state of this beggar he cannot blame it on destiny or misfortune. I have been told by the village people that he used to be a rich merchant, but he had same arrogance then also. Although socially speaking he was God-Fearing. He was not an atheist, went to temple every day, but as if even his superficial spirituality did not work for him as it could not teach him humanity. He still remained ruthless to his fellow beings. You know Sulochana some people use their faith in God as a weapon instead of an ornament. They have this false notion that since they believe in God they did not require help from anyone else. They start thinking that they have license to be rude to people. Due to this they keep creating causes of their own misery and their life condition keeps deteriorating day by day.

One day a group of dacoits came to their village and started looting people forcibly. All the people surrounded calmly and requested the dacoits to spare them. The dacoits got ready on one condition that they should pay the dacoits a collective amount as ransom. Everyone got ready except him. Instead he behaved very arrogantly with the dacoits and refused to pay. Though he knew that he will not be able to fight with them. In their anguish they amputated his limbs. It was not bravery and he just wanted to save his own money and not others. This action of his became the cause of his misery which has been going on till date. People say that after this incident also he did not get rid of his arrogance and gradually he was deserted by his relatives and totally deprived with the money he possessed. He had been arrogant and had false sense of pride even before this incident also so only few people extended helping hand to him and those who did ere also repelled by his extreme arrogance adding insult to injury but at the same time he must have done good also so that you became his saviour and prevented his misfortune.

Look at our present moment, now it is no wonder that we both are compassionate and pious beings just because despite living such a luxurious life we have been fond of hosting sages and ascetics to our palace and we have had some really soul enriching conversations with them. We have always tried to help whoever came to our refuge, which has been the cause of all the affection from our subjects wherever we go. So my dear queen we must try to become the best version of ours in this present moment so that in future we get to see the best sculpture of ours, which we are slowly chiseling today.

The Oasis- Part 3- “The journey”

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