Mindfulness Is Necessarily Needed Every Moment - Buddhism, Philosophy, and Khmer Literature


Buddhism, Philosophy, and Khmer Literature

The teachings of the Buddha are aimed solely at liberating sentient beings from suffering. The Basic Teachings of Buddha which are core to Buddhism are: The Three Universal Truths; The Four Noble Truths; and The Noble Eightfold Path.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Mindfulness Is Necessarily Needed Every Moment

The Buddha, in his Dhamma talk, refers to an Elephant named Papeyyaka of Kosala king, which was stuck in the mud.
          When the king was told about it, he sent an elephant trainer in which he ordered his men to form an enemy’s front army marching towards the elephant and beat the battle drum. The king here refers to the Buddha who has compassion towards all beings and wishing to help them free from all kinds of suffering. The trainer elephant here refers to the disciples of the Buddha who at the first time had 61 Arahants went to do missionary works for the welfare of the many and for the happiness of all men, deities and Brahma in the world. Whereas the elephant caught in the mud refer to the wordling who sleep in ignorance and full of defilements in their mind. And the battle drum refers to the Dhamma taught by them.
So, on hearing the sound of the battle drum and seeing the enemy coming toward him, the elephant has mighty in proud to win the any battlefield also felt as if he were in a battlefield; his spirit rose, he pulled himself with all his might and strength, was soon out of the mud.
The Buddha was informed of this incident by the Bhikkhus. When realizing this, he said, “Bhikkhu”! Just as the elephant pulled itself of the mud, so also must you all pull yourselves out of the mud of mental defilements. Therefore, you got to apply proper intention and proper tactics to pull out of the mud of mental defilements of yourself. And then, Buddha expounded to them following verse, proper tactics.
Appamāda ratā hotha, Sacittam amurakkhatha
Duggā uddhrath’attaanam, Panke satto’va kunnjaro Dhammapada (N. 327)
Take delight in Mindfulness, guard your mind well. As an elephant stuck and having difficulty in mud pulls itself out, so also, pull yourself out of the mud of moral defilements. Dhammapada (verse No.327).
In this verse, take delight in Mindfulness means one must always take delight in living with mindfulness. Obviously, mindfulness is very important for all of us without consideration of high or low status people. Of course, here two kinds of mindfulness are to be explained, namely,1) Mindfulness in daily life and 2) Right mindfulness.
1)    Mindfulness in daily life is needed every moment, every time, every where and in every action in our life. The Buddha expounded mindfulness in daily life to the Bhikkhus to be mindful in every situation in Subha Sutta, Suttanta Pitaka, Digha Nikāya, Sila Khandha Vagga. Actually, this mindfulness is not only for monks but also for every person in every country in the world. Moreover, it is specially applied at meditation center which adopted the method of four foundations of mindfulness. If a meditator follows the way of mindfulness in a meditation center, he or she is required to be mindful in daily activities while he/she is lying down, walking, standing, sitting, eating, taking bath or they need to be mindful even going to toilet. If one talks, he also talks only necessarily, softly and mindfully.
Mindfulness is not essential only for the meditator at meditation centers but also for persons in the field of other careers such as scientists, sport man and a car driver… etc.
Especially the driver needs to be mindful every moment while he is driving along the road because all passengers place their hope of life and put confident on him. So the driver should drive mindfully to secure their life. That is why; there are following certain rules for car drivers to follow:
He should not drive when he is drunk.
He should not drive when he is sleepy.
He should not drive when he is tired.
He should not drive when he has bad temper.
He should not chat while he is driving.
These are certain rules to be avoided by drivers whenever he drives car because if he drives when being drunk, sleepy, tired, having bad temper and chatting, he may not have proper attention or may lack of mindfulness and so when lacking of mindfulness it may cause danger to all passengers in the car including he himself as well. So, mindfulness in daily life is really needed by everyone.

2)    Right mindfulness, this mindfulness refers to the mindfulness in the practice of insight meditation. When a person practices Vipassana, he needs to focus his mind carefully and mindfully on the objects to see things as they really occur. For example,
When he contemplates on:
The body in the body,
the feeling in the feeling,
the mind in the mind, and
The mind-object in the mind-object, he should mindfully note the natural phenomena that arise in them or any object whatsoever. He tries to develop insight meditation until insight knowledge appears in his wisdom-eyes. When this insight knowledge occurs, then it is said he can see the true facts or see things as they really are in his practice. To see things as they really are here mean to see all things that happen with right mindfulness.
On the other hand, the Buddha said, “guard your mind well” here means the mind of the ordinary person which has no mindfulness, generally wanders into the objects.
             When they see the visible object through the eyes, hear the sound through the ears, smell odor through the nose, taste the flavor through the tongue, tangible object come into contact with consciousness, they have attachments and crave for those things more and more, their five senses are uncontrolled and so the unwholesome states such as greed, anger and covetousness will inflict their mind, as a result, leading to unwholesome deeds. Of course, ordinary people’s mind mostly falls into such kind of states.
The mind with mindfulness, will lead to wholesome deeds. So, we need to restrain our five sense faculties so that the state of unwholesome can enter upon. Likewise, guard your mind well from leading to unwholesome mind concerned with any objects.
          The meaning of stuck and having difficulty in mud is moral defilements. As a matter of fact, defilements are like poison. In Govinda Sutta, Suttanta pitaka, Catuttha Bhāga, Mahāvagga, the Buddha expounded this sutta to Govinda Brahmin about 14 kinds of poisonous odor, that is, the moral defilements, which lead beings to the woeful states and close the path to heaven. They are:
1)    Aversion, 2) false speech, 3) cheating, 4) betraying friend, 5) stinginess, 6) looking down on others, 7) jealousy, 8) craving, 9) doubt, 10) thought of ill-will, 11) greed, 12) anger, 13) intoxicants and 14) illusion.
These defilements can make beings suffer in the round of rebirth like the simile of elephant named Papeyyaka get caught in the mud.
The meaning of this verse is that you must pull out from moral defilements and focus your mind onto Nibbana. Here means the Buddha wanted us to get rid of all defilements by following the proper tactics. The proper tactics here means treading on the way of mindfulness which is the only way to prevent defilements from the state of their arising. It is also the only way for the purification of being.
In Mahasatipathana Sutta, Suttanta Pitaka, Catutha Bhaga, Mahavagga, the Buddha expounded that, Bhikkhus, you have the body, you should ponder that of course we have it, but only for the spiritual growth and the development of wisdom. Bhikkhus, having mind, so, you all should free your mind from cravings and wrong views in the four posters. You should not attach to even trivial things in the world as well. O monks! You all should contemplate the body in the body regularly in the very four posters. By doing so, you will free from moral defilements.
Therefore, as the above description, it is possible to say that mindfulness is necessarily needed every moment, every time, every situation, and in every activity. It is like the salt in all dishes or like the prime minister who does all the works for the king.

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