Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms
Talk No. 7
By Ajahn Suchart (Abhijato Bhikkhu)
September 23, 2000
Translated by Chantaporn Gomutputra
Edited by June Gibb
is an essential element in proving a personís
integrity. Before we put our faith
on someone we must be certain that the person we want to trust is truthful and
honest, in order to avoid disappointments later on should that person turns out
to be deceitful and dishonest. Like
the old proverb that says distance tests a horse; time tests a man.
People can often be deceitful and untrustworthy.
So we tend to get ourselves into trouble by believing in anything too
readily. It is therefore essential to remind ourselves to listen with an open
mind and do not rush to judgment until a careful study is made.
The same is true with
the veracity of the Buddhaís teachings,
which have so far remain intact for over 2,500 years.
Although there are many people both in the past and present who tried to
disprove his words. But Dhamma is a universal truth; it could therefore
withstand the test of time. Those who followed and practiced Dhamma until
attaining enlightenment, becoming Noble Disciples have never disputed that the
Buddhaís Teaching is
the one thing on earth, which we can put our complete trust on, is the Triple
Gem, namely, the Buddha; the Dhamma, his Teaching; and the Sangha, his Noble
Disciples. Nobody can dispute that
the Dhamma Teaching is still fresh and alive today.
What he taught is not fairly tale or fiction, but truths that exists
within us. He and his Disciples taught the Dhamma out of compassion and the
desires to help all of us get out of the fire of suffering.
Not expecting any rewards in return.
He had lived like us before, had experienced both the joys and sufferings
that we all have to go through. So
he knew exactly what it was like. After
his enlightenment, he subsequently spent the rest of his life, 45 years in all,
teaching and propagating the Dhamma in order to shed lights on our deluded mind.
When we take up the Dhamma practice we
will find that his profound teaching pierces right into our hearts and minds,
like a ray of light penetrating the dark cloud of delusion covering our minds
and opening up the eye of wisdom hidden inside all of us, thereby allowing us to
see things clearly as they are. As
normal people we can only see physical objects around us, whereas the Buddha
could see things beyond the range of our normal perception.
He could see heaven and hell, all the different realms of existences,
rebirths and nibbana. So it is prudent of us to have faith in the Buddha and
what he told us, such as heaven and hell, right and wrong, good and bad, which
can immensely affect our life and well-being.
we want to deny the existence of heaven and hell, we must also deny the
existence of the kilesas, namely greed, hatred and delusion that reside in our
hearts. It is they that led us to
hell. If they exist so too do
heaven and hell. Hell is created by
our bad conducts, driven by our greed, hatred and delusion. The opposite is true
with heaven. If we let the kilesas dominate us then our conducts will be bad.
We will not be able to maintain sila; good conducts, such as abstaining
from killing, stealing, committing adultery, lying, and drinking alcoholic
drinks. If we are not deluded,
why then do we spend lots of money on alcoholic drinks, and getting ourselves
drunk and out of control? Itís a
fact that people who drink can misbehave more easily than those who do not drink.
People who drink think that drinking can ease their pain, relieve their sorrow
and overcome their weariness. But
they donít realize that once alcohol takes control of their mind and body they
will be led directly to hell.
The Buddha did not create or invent
anything. What he did was to attain
enlightenment and acquired the eye of Dhamma that enabled him to see clearly the
relationship between causes and effects. These causes are our actions of body, speech and mind, which
will affect our body, our mind, and our future lives. When we do bad deeds, our mind will be afflicted with stress
and our body will be adversely affected, get sick and die.
When we do good deeds, our mind will be happy and our body well because
nobody will harm us. When we die, we will reborn again either as celestial beings,
human beings, or animals, depending on the kamma we have accumulated regardless
of whether the Buddha became enlightened and taught about these causes and
effects or not because they are an indisputable truth, just like the fact that
the world is round. We cannot dispute this fact.
But in the past, no one knew this and thought the world to be flat.
When people went out to sea, they were afraid that they would fall off
its edge. Such was the belief that
contradicted the truth that was later proven to be false. Similarly, heaven and
hell, good and bad kamma, and rebirth are the truth.
Whether anyone tells us about it or not, itís still there and nobody
can abolish it. Buddhism has lasted
more than 2,500 years because its teachings are based on the truth.
who have faith in the Buddha will follow his teachings by doing good, avoid
doing evil and rid their mind of greed, hatred and delusion that will give them
only good consequences, be happy and prosperous.
On the other hand, the non-believers will tend to do the opposite.
If they were taught to do good, they would not do it.
If they were taught to avoid doing evil, they would do it.
If they were taught to rid their mind of greed, hatred and delusion, they
would instead accumulate more greed, hatred and delusion.
If they continue to do the bad kamma they would eventually run into
misery and pain, ruin and deprivation such as ending up in jail because they did
not believe in the consequences of their bad kamma. So if we were to believe, please choose the Buddha, the
Dhamma, and his Noble Disciples, which we can totally trust in providing us with
the greatest benefits of a happy and prosperous life, free from all kinds of
stress and suffering, by doing good, avoiding doing evil and ridding our mind of
greed, hatred and delusion.