A LIFE strengthened by TRUTH
A soft but hurtful symphony was coming from a distance. Few children who were playing started to run towards that sound on a gritty road with their bare feet. Horning sound of a three-wheeler suddenly overcame that mild sound making few people gathered on that road startled. Taking the passage it found by alarming those people, that three-wheeler quickly drove away from those people like it was in a hurry.
The children started to ridicule the driver shouting loudly. Few grown people tried to hush them and showed them the procession that was reaching towards them. It was a funeral cortege taking the dead body for its burial. Few people were carrying the casket and others were following them. An old lady and a young girl were crying hard, while most others were shedding tears silently. A banner was fastened onto one of the carriages moving slowly in the front. It says “may our father come back to us…”
How this life ends
This person’s death looks unbearable for them. Even though few others were showing no pain, some began to break their calmness when they got close to the cemetery. Some started to col lapse without been able to with stand the agony. It was in complete words a “funeral” or a “painful departure”. No one seems to endure the sadness. They cannot seem to fathom the idea of letting go of their beloved relative.
They do not see him as dead. “We need you… Please don’t leave us here alone… How could we live without you…? I don’t have a life without you… Please come back…” They were still crying and hollering to the dead body that was under fire now… He has left them forever. He is not going to come back to them in this life again. That is how this life ends…
Death is one of the most sorrowful and hurtful event we all have to confront one day. But, we do not have to act like the people above, let our mournful feelings overcome us and make us victims of our sufferings. By understanding the nature of this life, we can relieve ourselves from such tormenting moments. Only a person who could see the truth of this life and starts to think according to the ways that the Supreme Buddha taught, will be able to face such moments without pain. One such remarkable way is to see things with equanimity, which is also known as Upekkha. With equanimity, one will be able to understand the changing states of things.
How could a person come to the state of equanimity under such terrible moments where stress, pain, anger, and loneliness are victorious in one’s mind? The approach is to apprehend true nature of the moment or the incident. In case of loss of a love done, thinking the death as an unstoppable event while life is impermanent would help. Furthermore, having proper understanding about one’s body or life is the best way to achieve such thinking capability. It is the Supreme Buddha’s teachings that only help in this regard.
Sathara Maha Dhatu
The Gautama Buddha once preached an insightful stanza to Uttari Bhikkhuni (Khuddaka Nikaya-1, Dhamnnapadaya-1 1, Jara Vagga):
‘This body, which is created with four parts or Sathara Maha Dhatu, fades away with deterioration. It is like a nest for illnesses. It demolishes easily and drains feces in nine doorways. This life get destroyed and ended with death:’
In fact, the true nature of these parts (Sathara Maha Dhatu) that we take as me, mine and my soul, is that they change with time. One that changes with time has the characteristics of demolishing and ceasing to exist. Thus, the only propensity of a body (or life) is its death. This is the truth that will let one to comprehend his/her delusive attachment to one’s own and other’s bodies/lives. Birth, illnesses, decay, or death will be unable to bring him pain anymore. He would become a new person strengthened by the truth and with a special wisdom…
Author//Chinthaka Mahesh, USA