Lives on the Earth are facing the threat of extinction at the largest scale in the history. The signs are revealed through that fact that severe weather conditions around the globe tend to escalate at an unexpected speed. The average global temperature on Earth has increased year by year. Heat levels around the globe are always higher than that the previous years. Many countries which have freezing cold around the year such as Canada, Greenland and Japan have also experienced significant increase in the temperature, forest fires, and melting ice. Many have lost lives or been sent to hospital due to heat stroke.
Recently, multi-million hectares of forests in Siberia, a frozen country, were on fire. To date, the Amazon rainforest, the planets’ lungs, has been on fire for more than a fortnight. This has brought a great sock and sadness to mankind. All are alarming signs of apocalypse, the total destruction and end of the world, which approaches very close to the Earth. This is because plants are the foundation of lives. Without grass and trees, lives on this planet will surely end like a building loses its foundation.
For this reason, on 24th August 2019 (24th July Lunar Calendar), on the occasion of Monthly Meditation Course held at Phat Ngoc Xa Loi Pagoda ( 287 Vinh Hoa Hamlet, Tan Ngai Commune, Vinh Long City, Vinh Long province), Venerable Thich Chan Quang – Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Central Committee of Economics and Finance, Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, The Abbot of Thien Ton Phat Quang Pagoda, delivered a sermon about “WHAT IS APOCALYSPE?” with the attendance of more than 1,000 Buddhist meditation practitioners.
Thanks to the sermon, we suddenly realize that while the Earth is writhing in agonies of negative consequences caused by humans’ destructive lifestyles, most of us are neglectful of our duties. We’ve assumed that protecting the Earth is the responsibility of national level, of governments, or of some organizations, but not ours. For us, the primary duties are only those relating to personal, family commitments, and obligations to a small community in which we are living. Every day, we are still living, working and enjoying …. Without being aware that the world is coming very close to an end as a result of such a neglectful way of living.
Our Venerable started his sermon with an assertion: According to the natural law, the most intelligent species will be the master of the Earth. And we, the human species, with our intelligence, have quickly reformed nature, controlled other species and become the owners of the Earth. However, nowadays, humans have created a new species to turn them into our masters, i.e. robot or artificial intelligence.
It is undeniable that machines have helped to make our life more convenient, and they have replaced both manual and intellectual workforces of human beings. However, machines are getting more and more intelligent. They outperform humans both in terms of intelligence and abilities. They can search a place to recharge on their own when running out of batteries. They can fix themselves when having technical errors. And even, these robots can change the codes in order to reject humans’ commands and so on. This means, robots can be able to get rid of human controls. Someday, robots are going to become a new species, a new master of the Earth (according to the principle that more intelligent species will be the master). Our mistake is that we have created products which are smarter than us and turn them into our masters.
Anyway, it is the bad consequence that humans have to suffer. Why do we have to face an end? Since throughout thousands of years, humans take advantage of their intelligence to exploit nature in the greedy, cruel, wasting, and destructive manners. This is the cause of the apocalypse.
We have been using fishing vessels to take almost all species of fishes in the oceans and wasting available food in unlimited ways. For instance, we use half of a shrimp and throw the rest away. For us, it may be a piece of food, but for that shrimp, it is the whole life with full of hopes and desires to live.
Then, humans have been mining the deeply into the ground to take away all of sources of minerals, to withdraw available groundwater, as well as cutting down all trees in forests. What we give back to the environment are toxic gases, contaminated water resources, and plastic trash that are floating in the ocean and causing deaths of marine animals.
This means, humans are ENJOYING and at the same time, DESTROYING. These two words form the cause of the apocalyptic day which is coming very soon. Lives on Earth will completely stop since humans are no longer deserved to live on this Earth.
The second cause of the apocalyptic day is our neglection and undervaluation of the doctrines for enlightenment that the Buddha brought to this planet, a planet with sky and clouds, mountains and rivers, forests, and plenty of beautiful creatures and things on it. What humans have been received on the Earth are extraordinarily rare in the universe. And the Buddha came to this planet to give his invaluable gift to humans, i.e. the doctrines of enlightenment which enables humans to overcome their ordinary status to become a Saint. Unfortunately, human beings have turned their backs to such a precious gift. Even the Buddhism practitioners are not cultivating diligently. Yet, there are various evil organizations who are making non-stop efforts to attack and destroy Buddhism.
So, human beings have neglected and undervalued two gifts: First, the miraculous lives of this planet (as we have been enjoying and destroying); Second, the Buddha’s teachings of mediation or His doctrines of enlightenment. We, therefore, are no longer deserved lives on this planet. That are the causes of the upcoming apocalyptic day.
During this year, some regions in the world have no winter. Next year, there is going to be no autumn. And the year later, the spring will disappear. Gradually, there remains only the summer with scorching and burning heat. Each year, the global temperature reaches a new alarming record. In a near future, many will die from heat strokes. There will come a day when only 50%, then 20% and finally 10% of human beings are able to survive with a minimum amount of available foods. Until a period in which the Earth temperature reaches the maximum degree and makes all the amount of water vaporize into the space, our planet will immediately transform into a dead planet like the Mars.
And it is, therefore, impossible for us to avoid rather than facing the apocalyptic day. If the doomsday occurs, there are only 4 realms for human beings to be reborn: Heavenly Realm, Asura Realm, Hell Realm and Hungry Ghost Realm. Unfortunately, the majority of beings are going to be reborn in the Realm of Hungry Ghosts due to the lack of blessings and spiritual cultivation.
If we had visions of a Saint, we would see that on a dead planet, there are numerous hungry and suffering souls mournfully clinging around it. After billions of years floating in the universe until when there exists a life on another planet, these hungry souls will strive to fly across remote spaces and enter the life on this planet to be reborn as lower level animals such as worms, crickets, not humans yet.
Thus, when we are aware that the apocalyptic day is not far away, there are two options available for us.
The first option is: We just let it be and wait for the death to come or in the meantime, we strive to meditate since a ghost knowing how to meditate is a high rank one.
The second option is: Together, we sow a new ‘seed’ to reverse the apocalyptic situation. As mentioned above, the cause of the apocalypse is the living choices of Enjoying and Destroying. Therefore, to rescue the Earth, we have to create a contrasting cause.
Firstly, we will not live to enjoy instead of contributing and cultivating to become a Saint. We must bear in mind that this life is an opportunity for us be of service and to seek spiritual enlightenment.
Secondly, going against the cause of destroying lives, we have to ‘sow a new seed’ of culturing lives on this planet by the following specific actions:
– Planting trees
– Protecting and restoring forests
– Saving energies and minerals
– Releasing animals facing the loss of life.
– Going vegetarian
– Saying NO to littering plastic trash (as they will float to the ocean and kill marine creatures)
– Minimizing the use of plastic materials and replacing them with environmentally friendly materials.
– Supporting living conditions for each other: saving each other in accidents or tough conditions, supporting each other to improve living quality.
We carry out above actions to protect lives and go against the cause of destroying lives.
If everyone lives to serve, to cultivate morality, to protect the planet, then the progress of the apocalyptic day will slow down, and the Earth will get cooler. However, if there is only a small group of community carrying out the above actions determinedly, we can’t create a significant change. Therefore, after listening to this sermon, all of us have to rewrite the content based on our own abilities. We must also encourage our families, friends and neighbors to join us. Let’s spread the message of the sermon around the world by posting on social networks, especially in bilingual texts to help international friends access this message.
Our Venerable emphasized that:
“Those who keep silence after listening to this sermon Are heartless and inhumane people!”
In sum, the global scale of massive death toll is going to happen. Areas where people correctly follow the Buddha’s teachings, doing good deeds will be the latest places to die. Even, these people will be able to survive and reconstruct a new world with their right ways of living. However, all should be aware, and should prepare for the up-coming extinction which is approaching us in a very close distance. For the compassion of a Buddha’s disciple, we are not allowed to be neglectful and inactive anymore. We all have to take action to pay our debts to Mother Earth, to create a right cause for stopping the upcoming doomsday.
Our dream is to rebuild and make the Earth come back to a heaven as it used to be. Only by doing so, humans are deserved to be fortunate for living on a scare planet in this universe where lives exist. Also, by doing so, we are well-deserved to pursue the Path of Selflessness – An invaluable gift that The Enlightened One gave to human beings. Please help to spread this message around the world.