Saturday, September 15, 2007

Who will drink this medicine?

"One who drinks deeply of Buddha's teachings lives happily with a peaceful mind"- Buddha

Buddha can be regarded the greatest physician who lived on earth. He like any other great physician, diagnosed the illness, found the cause for it, explained how to get rid of and then prescribed the medication needed to overcome the illness.
Buddhist teachings are regarded as the "medicine for the mind". In an earlier posting I discussed Buddhism as the ultimate psychotherapy and how Buddhist practices will lead you to attain the ultimate happiness, that the Buddha called the "Bliss of Nirvana". This is the inner happiness of the unconditioned mind. This happiness comes only "within, not without".

In reality we are all "patients" to a certain degree. If you think for a moment we are constantly struggling in this world running away from pain and seeking pleasure. It is the pleasure for our body and our mind. Nobody can honestly say that they were never unhappy, sometime in their lives. We all get sad and feel depressed at certain times. Some times we can get into more serious situations like clinical depression, in our lives. Some people go further down this road and even get suicidal thoughts.
What is the reason for this? It is because we looked for the answer in the wrong place. We look for the answers to our problems in the outside world. We will never think even for a moment that the real answer is within us. The Buddha only directed us to look inside of us. The answer is always there. We only did not see it. Why is that? It is because our minds were already conditioned. This Buddha called "Avijja" in Pali language. In English it is called ignorance or delusion. In this part of the world we may want to call it "stupidity". It sounds like a simple problem but is it very hard to see. That is where the Buddhist teachings and practices come in. Buddhism tells you "how to do it" rather than "what to do". This is the basic difference in the Buddhist teachings compared to other religions. There is only one medicine for the mind to be free from all the suffering and pains. This is "The Four Noble Truths".

Now who will drink it? To explain this I will tell you a metaphor that is applicable today.

Imagine that somebody is gravely sick and is about to die. There are many possible scenarios.

1. The patient is in a place that there is no doctor therefore he dies.

2. The patent does not look for a doctor and he dies.

3. Patient looks for a doctor and he does not find one and he dies.

4. The patient refuses to go see the doctor and he dies.

5. The patent goes to a doctor but he does not get the right medicine and he dies. (In this case the doctor may be sued).

6. Patient finds the doctor and he prescribes the right medicine to save the patients life. He brings it home and does not drink it in time. Why didn't he drink it in time? This is because he refuses to drink the medicine until all his questions are answered. He has many questions like, is the doctor qualified? Is the medicine pure? Which company makes the medicine? Where was the bottle made? And so on. These are irrelevant questions, as his time is running out. He dies before all his questions are answered.

7. Only the wise man finds the doctor, gets the medicine, drinks it in time and gets cured.

In this metaphor the medicine is the Dhamma (Buddhist teachings). The sick man is the ordinary worldly being.

So do you think you are sick ? If the answer is "no" you may be enlightened. You are free from all suffering in this world and beyond. If the answer is "yes" browse this site you will find the medicine. But remember only you can drink it. Nobody can drink it for you or force you to drink.
"Just as the great ocean has one taste, the taste of salt, so also this Dhamma and Discipline has one taste, taste of liberation"-Paharada Sutta, Buddha

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