The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Do you remember the Death?!
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Nowadays many in the western countries believe in this or another way that reincarnation is a truth. But quite often I have had a feeling that an understanding, the way they use to think about it, is inappropriate.
I can tell you. Yes, an inner feeling about the rebirth has had its impact on me in my life too. Life – it is a Duty. We have no willingness to live. But we HAVE to live. Here are so many sorrows and sufferings and difficulties, that most often a human feels tired of such a living. Do not want to live. Most definitely – not forever. Life is a suffering. And the Eternal Life – should mean eternal sufferings.
If the life were only once – there would be an easy solution – how to escape from it… Have you seen a dead man? How he sleeps peacefully, who is not touched by any worldly storms and sorrows anymore? Who is so peaceful and quiet and nobody ever will disturb or harm him?
I think the first time I saw a dead man was probably in the third class. We had a lesson about the safety on the streets…And throughout the school started to circulate a rumour - there is a lethal accident with a kid on the street, only a few steps from our school. So our teacher took us there to see…A little could we see, there was a crowd around…But there he was sleeping under the wheels of the truck…Covered with a white sheet. He was from the second class and it seems like some boys has pushed him on the street so he fell under the truck.
And that’s it. And after that…We were living in a small town, and our apartments were right across the street with windows straight to the school… A few days later there was a farewell ceremony in the school and a big procession on the street were carrying him to the graveyard in a small white coffin.
Right, if a life is only once, it is really hard to resist the temptation, to end the story very fast. Of course, you can search for some kind of motivation to live. For example, in the soviet country it was told, that we are living to serve the soviet country and people, to build a country where everyone would feel happy. Or the motivation may be to live for a family, if you have one. But even those motives are often taken away or at some point turns out to be illusions. But – if you believe you will reborn, and everything will go on, and may be a lot worse…It becomes not so easy to run away… To attain a permanent death you will have to work hard and practice a noble livelihood and a religious training. It appears it has been not only my own perception and experience, but similar considerations have shared also those religions which teach about the rebirth – Buddhism and Hinduism.
The goal here is not to believe or not to believe in rebirth. Usually it is an obvious fact, that there is a rebirth. That there are many who can remember their past lives. Who are recognizing things and people from their former life. Some are giving clear predictions about their future lives…
Somewhat like this I was viewing things when I was young.
I remember when I started my studies in the capital. It was September. And I was seeing so many small kids in the city at once, nicely dressed for their first school day… And somehow you are questioning yourself – and what is the sense?! They all will die. And some good portion of them after some years will grow up as criminals or moral degenerates…