Happy Buddha Day 2020. (B.E. 2563)
It has been 2,563 years since Shakyamuni Buddha’s time and some may think that it is a long time. If human life span is 80 years, that is about 32 generation. If we view it from the perspective of heavenly realm, say 1 day in heaven is 100 days in Human realm. That’s just 25 days since the Buddha passed away. As far as the deva is concerned.
How have we kept the Buddha’s legacy and enlightening message alive for the past 30 human generation?
When Buddha did not want idol worshiping, Buddhist has many giant Buddha statue all over the world. Naturally, that is a lot of human effort. It would be nice if those effort were taken to cultivate enlightenment instead.
When Buddha forbade his monks from conducting useless rituals, mantra chanting and all other religious ceremony, we now have so many different traditions, each with their unique prayers for various secular happiness. Massive events and decorations that cost a lot. We just love party, don’t we?
When Buddha forbade his monks from trade and financial endeavor, monks participate in various fund raising activities. Selling various religious articles to keep the monastery running.
When Buddha leave no spiritual heir and advised his disciples to be their own island. To rely on his teachings and practice for enlightenment, we now have various sects with their individual heads.
This is not meant to critique anyone but a self-reflection on how we can do better as a disciples. Genuine teachers who are compassionate, try to get our attention to practice Dharma by catering to our childish wants.
Just as a father who bluffed his children to leave a burning house by claiming there are toys with him.
Is it time that we grow up and stop pursuing non-Buddhist spirituality and start focusing on the real treasure that was left behind by Buddha? That is the skills and knowledge required for enlightenment.
The blessed rosaries, statues, mantra calligraphy, relics, amulets etc are just toys for people bounded to secular activities. Time to look beyond that to know the dharma, because the only thing that can help us face the inevitable event of Death is Dharma.
May all be well and happy. Happy Vesak 2020