The wisdom to distinguish between good and evil – Chapter 9: Criteria for good and evil



Good and evil is thus not clear. Something we think is good but evil, and something we believe is bad but good. However, we can rely on the core teachings of the Buddha to differentiate between good and evil.

Four Boundless Minds (Kindness, Compassion, Happiness, Forgiveness) is superb. Every day we should on our knees bow to the Buddha, “May Buddhas bless me have compassion for all beings, in this world and the spiritual world. Please help me have the love for people, and animals, trees, grass in forests, and fish in water, and beings in hell.” Regularly doing this, we are going in the right direction to the Buddha’s lighthouse and won’t get lost.

Or we feel sorry for those who are in misery, feel happy for those who find happiness, forgive those who make mistakes. These are good deeds.

The law of Karma is a great lighthouse. We should rely on it to consider every one of our actions. Every time we do something, we should know our retribution, so, we are not afraid of being sent to dangerous places after our death.

For example, when we help a person in great need, we know the result for us is that in the future when needing help, we will be helped. So, helping people is a good thing.

Or, in a village, there is a broken bridge which causes people difficulties to go across. We then invite our friends to fix it. We reason that we help others to travel comfortably, then our legs will be healthy, our traveling will be easy, and ability to choose any transportation we wish. That is the reasoning based on the law of Karma. Thus, building or fixing bridge is good.

Or, when we meet our old friend, we will feel very excited and invite him a cigarette. Is it good or bad? It is similar to giving poison to our friend. Because when he smokes a cigarette, his lungs will be damaged by the smoke. Consequently, our retribution is our lungs will get damaged, too. So, inviting someone to smoke is evil. However, our people think that this is a culture when people meet. It’s a grave mistake. Or, the concept that you have to drink at a party, if not, it’s not joyful. When we invite someone a glass of wine, we are inviting him a glass of poison because drinking makes people addicted, drunk, lose temper/control, have cirrhosis, blindness and even die if they drink alcohol containing much methanol.

Therefore, we should rely on the law of Karma to identify what we should do, because it is a great lighthouse that guides us what is good and what is evil.

Another great deed is the goal of liberation. All of us are forced to be attached to the endless cycle of birth and death. We are born into this life, do both good and bad deeds, and we die afterward. In our next life, we will be reincarnated. We continue with the cycle of doing good and bad deeds and death. It is an endless cycle. Because we cannot recognize this cycle, we do not fear that. We just only think that we were born tens of years ago and will die dozens of years later, so we are not afraid of reincarnation. But for Saints, when they recall about their twenty lives, they will fear reincarnation and feel tired of that. And Saints who can remember about one hundred lives of theirs, they will discover that the ideal of liberation is very genuine.

Therefore, we should have this ideal to be free from our karma. We should take the active role in our reincarnation, that is, we will reincarnate whenever we wish, but no one or nothing can force us to do so. For example, if we would like to help beings then we will be born; if not, nothing can force us. At that time, we have true happiness. So, progressing to liberation is a great deed. Living in this world, if we have this ideal and help others have the same ideal as us, we are doing a great job.

Humans are in a hurry to love, to live without carefully thinking about what they should do and what they should not. We live in a way that brings us profit or happiness and ignore other people. That is, we live a temporary life and show no fear for the cycle of birth and death which causes our tiredness. In this cycle, when awakened, we will do good deeds which help us achieve blessings and, hence, will be happy and wealthy, but when we are not, we will do bad deeds which cause us to fall into lower positions, hence, will be miserable. So it’s best if we try to practice the Dharma to be freed from our Karma. At that time, we can live, or can be reborn, or die whenever we like. It’s great happiness. It was the goal the Buddha often reminded human beings. Because He knew His countless lives and countless lives of beings, He recognized the tiredness of reincarnation. He often said, “I have been reincarnated in many lifetimes. I was someone at this time and someone else at another time. I created bad karma in some life and created good karma in another life. I was born into that family and won that glory. I also had an inferior position in the society. I continued with this cycle, but today, “the house builder” has stopped. I have ended this cycle of reincarnation.” When the Buddha recognized the presence of reincarnation and knew this caused our tiredness, He advised us to try to escape it. So, the goal of liberation is a lighthouse of goodness.

Another lighthouse of goodness is selflessness. This goodness is very standard. Selflessness is when you do not see yourselves. All of us see ourselves. Even when those who reach a high level in their cultivation i.e. they have a pure and empty mind, their egos still exist. When our egos dominate us, we will become selfish and greedy, hence, will make mistakes and have hatred, and as a result, we will be reincarnated. As long as we still have egos, suffering is waiting for us. By practicing Buddhism, we can destroy our egos; hence we will become Arhats or Buddhas. At that time, our compassion will spread all over the universe and for all beings. So, speaking of Selflessness is speaking of the perfectly awakened mind of Buddhas and Arhats.

And we should understand that the mind towards selflessness is towards a very firm lighthouse that the Buddha created.

I live in total ignorance
Fear to get lost in virgin forests
Too miserable to find the way
I wish to have an excellent guide
Buddha came to lead me to Selflessness
Which helps me escape the ocean of suffering
Warm me up with the sacred fire
Wake me up for the everlasting dawn.


Source Facebook Buddha Everywhere

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