Human life is the best life among all living beings in this world, however; there is no glory of being as a human if one can not acquire the proper quality of true human being. But acquiring these qualities is not easy, rather quite difficult.
Every one of us seek peace and harmony to live in the society. All of us want to be happy. So, we do what we think is good. If we don’t think well, of course, we will not do it. All human beings do what they think is good for them and which will bring them happiness. To think anything is well means to wish to have it. That is craving. Once any one starts to crave for anything he strives to achieve it. If he achieves it, he become satisfied for a moment. If he does not achieve what he crave for, he becomes dissatisfied and he feels agitated, irritated, disharmony and suffering in his mind. This is the pollution of the mind. This pollution of suffering does not remain in the limited area. It spreads to the people of the surrounding area. So the environment of the entire area fill up with full of unhappiness.
Children are busy from morning to evening, whole day; they run, play in the field and keep themselves busy with various activities. So they face with lot of dirty polluted environment. Consequently, their bodies become dirty. It is essential to take bath regularly for cleaning up their bodies. Similarly, we need clean up our mind to remove the pollution and live happily in our day to day life. Nobody can expect peaceful and harmonious living in the society with polluted mind. All of us need to purify our mind. Mental purification is indispensable to create a peaceful environment in the society to live in happily and harmoniously. So, we should educate our children to purify the mind through devotional chanting meditation.
Children are the future architect and building block of a society. It is relatively easy to install virtuous conduct at the early formative stage of human life. Childhood is the proper time to installing virtuous conduct for building up a peaceful society. If we create opportunities of moral education for our children and educate them how to purify mind, they will grow up as worthy citizen capable of making this world a beautiful and better place for the future generation to live in peace, harmony and happiness.
The best way to gain moral education is by learning and practicing the Dhamma or Dharma. Now, we need to know what the Dhamma is. What mind contain is called the Dhamma. A further meaning of the Dhamma is the law of nature, or the characteristics of whatever arises in the mind or self-nature, self-characteristic that is contained in the mind. Dhamma is divided into Kusala(wholesome) Dhamma and Akusala(unwholesome) Dhamma…. Akusala Dhamma contains impurities in the mind like anger, hatred, passion, animosity, ego etc. Which bear unwholesome results. Kusala Dhamma contains loving kindness, compassion, goodwill, selfless service which bears wholesome results. The definition of the Kusala and Akusala Dhamma is – any actions(physical, verbal or mental), that harms other, that disturbs their peaceful and harmonious living is Akusala Dhamma, or Adharma and on the other hand, any actions(either physical, or verbal or mental), that helps others, and contributes their peaceful harmonious living is Kusala Dhamma or Dharma.
One can not cause harm to others before generating unwholesome thought in his mind anger, hatred etc. and after generating defilement in his mind then he becomes miserable, he feels the suffering of hell within his mind. Similarly, nobody can help other before generating loving-kindness, compassion and goodwill. When anyone starts to generate such Kusala Dhamma or mental qualities he starts to enjoy heavenly peace within his mind. If one harms other at the same time he harms himself and if anyone helps others, at the same time he helps himself. This is the Dhamma, this is the law of nature which is the universal truth and this is called the teachings of the Buddha.
All parents have one common expectation, without any exception, the bright future and happiness of their children. It is not an easy task to raise children and make their future bright full of happiness. The parents can not complete their responsibility simply by giving birth of a child. It is the beginning of a long journey to reach the ultimate goal to bring up the child as worthy human being. The journey includes supporting the child in every aspect, in term of food, clothing and shelter until they are capable of taking care of themselves. Only arranging these basic needs is not sufficient and does not complete the responsibilities of being parents. Within this journey the most important responsibility is to guide them in proper direction which will lead them to the bright future and to make their life full of happiness. To achieve that goal parents need to set example by leading and ideal life. It is possible to expect worthy children from unworthy parents.
Due to close association since birth children take parents as role model and get influenced by parent’s behavior. It is essential for parents to follow moral discipline(Sila in pali) based on Compassion(Karuna) and Wisdom(Panna). Compassion represents loving-kindness, charity and tolerance like noble qualities of the emotional side the heart, on the other hand, Wisdom (Panna) represent intellectual side of the mind. If anyone develops only emotional side neglecting intellect he becomes a good hearted fool, while to develops only intellect neglecting emotion he may turn into hard-hearted intellectual without feeling for others. So according to Buddhism to be perfect one has to be develop both equally.
There are three parts of moral discipline, we can see at the Noble Eightfold Path, according to Buddhism, Namely (1) Right Speech(Samma Vaca), (2) Right Action (Samma Kammanta), (3) Right Livelihood(Samma Ajiva)…….
Morality is the foundation of personal development. The earth is the best of all animate and inanimate things. So morality is the foundation of good quality of human beings. To live in peacefully and harmoniously in a society one has to realize that he must control his speech & action and has to cultivate Right Speech, Right Action and Right Livelihood.
(1) Right Speech:- Right Speech means to avoid lying, backbiting or slander, harsh speech and idle talk. Backbiting or slander talk bring hatred, enmity, disunity among individuals and divide society. Harsh speech is rude, impolite and malicious. Usually harsh speech uttered in anger, and can cause the hearer pain and untold agony. Idle speech is foolish babble and meaningless gossip that wastes own time of the speaker and the time of others. Pleasant speech is sweet as honey, truthful speech is beautiful as flower and the false speech is impure and filthy. So, everyone should respect the truth and cultivate Right Speech for promoting own happy and harmonious life and for the society.
(2) Right Action:- Right Action means to abstain from killing, stealing, adultery, taking intoxicating drink. Life is dear to all and everybody fear death, every sentient being wants happiness and nobody likes pain. Comparing one with others, no one should kill any living beings nor be a cause to kill. One should not take anything what not given and abstain from taking it and take on the things that are given. We may recite following Carlyle that “make yourself an honest man, and then you may be sure that there is one less rascal in the world”. One should live a pure and chaste life and abstain from sexual misconduct. Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, no one should involve in it and cultivate responsibility to protect the safety and integrity of individual, couple, families and society. Intoxicating drink prevents clear thinking and brings about negligence and infatuation and also a host of other evils. A drunkard may commit all sorts of crimes. Sometimes people argue that to drink in moderation is harmless but there is saying
“First a man takes a drink,
Then the drink takes a drink
Then the drink take the man”.
So the Buddha warned the people “Be mindful and self control, and serene.” The wise one shuns drugs and drinks which blind the truth of life and the path of happiness.
(3) Right Livelihood:– Right Livelihood means everybody must have a proper way of supporting themselves through a profession which is honorable, blameless and innocent of harm to others. The Buddha mentioned five kinds of livelihood which bring harm to the others. These are trading animal for slaughter, dealing in slaves, dealing in weapons, dealing in poisons and dealing in intoxicants, those are drug and alcoholic drinks. These five kinds of livelihood are the cause to harm others and contribute to the insecurity and suffering of society.
The advice of Buddha regarding traditions and customs was neither to accept nor to reject anything without considering whether such practices are meaningful or beneficial. So in the Kalama Sutta the Buddha said ”Do not simply believe what ever you have heard, you are told or whatever has been handed over from the past generations and whatever your teacher or elders and even your religious scripture say”. But whenever you find that anything leads to harm and suffering then it should be abandon immediately. When anyone directly knows that anything is blameless, praiseworthy and agrees with reason and lead to the welfare and happiness of one and all then it should be accepted and practiced. We can examine ourselves that in presence of greed and anger we have the feeling of disturbance and pain which leads us to suffering and when greed and anger are not in our mind, we don’t feel ant disturbance and pain and we find peace in mind which leads us to happiness.
After the enlightenment the Buddha went Sarnath near Varanasi, delivered his first discourse DHAMMACAKKA PAVATTANA SUTTA for the benefit of the many, for the happiness of many, out of compassion for the world, for the good, welfare and happiness of the gods and human beings. The Compassion of the Buddha is not limited for any community or any nation his compassion is for all, irrespective community races and nations.
The Buddha’s compassion proved through the teaching of the Dharma. It is true that people can help their friends and relatives in doing good deeds and speaking kind words to them. In fact, in this way people can make them feel more relax and less depressed for a moment but who are really face the unexpected heart breaking situation, no matter how kindly people treat them, they can not make them happy. The deepest sorrow and happiness is within the mind of the people. The Buddha helped people in the most effective way to make them aware about right understanding(Sammadhi) about their life, about their Karma(Kamma) and about the way to find out true happiness. So, he thought Dhamma, which means everything is real, and the truth of life and the universe. We can see in the Dhammapada at the verse of Tanha Vagga that
“Sabbadanaa dhammadanaa jinati
Sabba rasaa dhammaraso jinati
Sabba ratia dhammarati jinati
Taahakkhayo sabbadukkhaa jinati”
The gift of the Dhamma is noblest of all gifts. The Taste of the Dhamma is the best of all tastes and the delight in the Dhamma is the best of all delights. The eradication of craving overcomes all sorts of sufferings.
Buddhism is in fact a “way of life” which lead to the well-being and happiness of the people, no matter what their race, region and nationality. The Teachings of the Buddha are also called “Dhamma”. Through the Dhamma, we learn to develop the wisdom that leads to detachment from the selfishness and finally eradication of craving, hatred and ignorance is possible. When there is less attachment to our life, we can more cultivate loving-kindness(metta) and compassion (Karuna) for living beings that create a conducive atmosphere in the society- which is most important to educate our children, so that they may contribute in future to make a better world to live in.
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Published San Bernardino, CA, USA, Pravarana Purnima 2010.