May 17, 2012 § 4 Comments
One day, Buddha was preaching at Jetavana Monastery. Brahmā came down to Earth from Heaven to seek guidance from Buddha.
“What is the sharpest sword, the most vicious poison, the fiercest fire, and the darkest night?” asked Brahmā.
Buddha replied, “Evil speech is the sharpest sword, desire is the most vicious poison, afflictions is the fiercest fire, and ignorance is the darkest night”.
Very true and wise words… This teaching allows me to reflect my past, and resonates strongly with my perception of life, which was slowly shaped through the journey of my life…
When one’s speech is harsh and mean, especially when it comes from your beloved ones or people you care so much and have respect for, it hurts more than a stabbing knife. Unlike scratches or bruises, such mental wounds cannot be easily healed or reversed. It seems inevitable to come across people behaving this way, or is it just too easy to express foully in the heat of the moment? At least we can always be the first ones to be cautious when we speak, and not to cause distress towards others. If you have never encountered such a person in your life, you are probably one of the luckiest people in the world.
Desire comes from greed, which seems to be the root of all evil. When we do or could not get what we wanted, we become angry, or we become sad. It is a hole that can never be filled; because we are always looking for things that are better or prettier. We seldom know it, but what follows is the suffering and anguishes of “why can’t I…” or “if only…” etc, when we are not satisfied with what we currently have. Do we even realize how amazingly we could endure such unhappiness since we never stop asking these questions? I must say I highly admire people who are easily contented with their current status. They always seem a lot happier about because they have made the choice not to worry about too much other things.
Upon writing this, I feel greed also sets the basis for afflictions we have today. We are constantly worried about things in our lives, regardless if we have what we wanted or not… We can be happy and content, yet this may be short-lived as we seem to have more capability to dwell on the things that makes us angry or sad rather than staying focused and appreciating on what we already have or achieved. I guess underneath the worrying we brought to ourselves is the fear of not being good enough, or rich enough or pretty enough… What is the point of endless worrying when no one can fully cherish what they have until it is gone? We kept on putting these burdens on ourselves unconsciously that slowly grows into agony and making ourselves rather miserable.
Without acknowledging all of the above, it is as if we were blinded by our own egos that can never be satisfied with oneself. The metaphor of expressing ignorance as the longest dark night is just so right and so powerful. I really couldn’t think of any other ways to put it. However, when there is the night, there also comes the day. I am absolutely grateful to have come across the teachings of Buddha in the early stages of my life, and I do anticipate the day when I become enlightened also.
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