THE GREAT “8”

THE GREAT “8”

Bharath has been the only ancient country in the world, where various religious beliefs, faiths, thoughts, followed since its inception, being Hinduism has been predominantly followed. Buddha himself a Hindu, who propagated the BUDDHISM, is prevalent in the Asian and eastern part of our country even now.

“In this fast paced period of life, what determines ones’ life, their thoughts, actions, words, intentions, consistency in behaviour, all go into making and existence of humans. How effective, happy, people make their lives, filled with good thoughts, words, actions are a real challenge these days. This calls for the 8-fold ways of living for the betterment, peaceful living of oneself and to co-exist with others, in this world full of “MAYA”.

Two and a half millennia ago, Buddha wrote down eight rules to end suffering in this human lives. Once Buddha’s 8 rules of life are learnt, one will start aligning their priorities. It became to be known as the BUDDHIST EIGHTFOLD PATH, following it can be quite difficult.

It requires a certain amount of self-discipline, self-awareness, courage as well as the knowledge of the 4 NOBLE TRUTHS, which are,

Existence is suffering, because it is in a state of constant change.

Attachment to pleasure and aversion to pain trap one within existence.

By ceasing the attachment, aversion cycle, one can experience liberation from existence.

The 8-fold path is the way to end suffering.

Just to re-kindle our thoughts towards this effect, here are the rules of the NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH:

1.      RIGHT VIEW: The Right View is the understanding, that reality is temporary, it is not the truth. Everything we sense in this world is nothing more than a magic show, a pause before we reach the ultimate truth. When one sees the world in this way, then one sees that all suffering is virtual, none of it is real. Suffering is only as real as the world in which it exists in real and this world does not truly exist at all.

2.      RIGHT RESOLVE OR THOUGHT:The Right Resolve is also known as the Right Thought, Right Intention, Right Aspiration. This means to cut oneself from their worldly ties and to leave all their wants and desires behind. In some cases, the Right Resolve, means to become harmless, giving no harm unto others and wishing no ill will unto any other being. In more extreme example of Right Resolve, it means to consider that everyone around one is impermanent and unreal, is just a possible source of suffering from which one should become unattached.

3.      RIGHT SPEECH: Right Speech means exactly what one thinks, it would mean, to have honour in every word that one says. To hold oneself by their words, to exercise truth in their claims and interactions with others. The Right Speech teaches, that the words one speaks, shape the world around them and by being mindful of their words, one can shape a better reality than someone who wastes them. Never lie, never abuse, never manipulate. Even gossips and idle chatterings’ are considered wasteful.

4.      RIGHT ACTION: Right Action is similar to Right Speech, except it is focused on the things one does rather than the things one says. One must abstain from the act of hurting, killing other living beings, whether this hurt is in the form of physical harm or mental distress. Do not steal from, hurt, kill, main another living being, as this counts for every creature, not just the humans. For some Right Action also involves sexual conduct, to abstain from sexual pleasure and to maintain strict celibacy. One must not have any involvement with married individuals or young children.

5.      RIGHT LIVELIHOOD: With Right Livelihood, an individual should make sure that their livelihood or their profession does not directly or indirectly cause harm or distress unto others. One should be able to say that what one does, it does not cause suffering to other people, no matter how distantly involved one may be. Right Livelihood prohibits one from pursuing five types of business, including, 1. Business in Weapons (selling, creating or trading arms), 2. Business in Humans (prostitution, slavery, human trafficking, abusing others) 3. Business in Meat (raising cattle to be eaten, slaughtering animals, selling them) 4. Business in intoxicants (selling, creating, trading, advertising tobacco, alcohol, drugs) 5. Business in Poison (selling, creating, trading any chemical that may cause harm).

6.      RIGHT EFFORT: Right Efforts means that one has to actively uphold truth and justice around their community. One cannot simply just live on their own terms and say that they are a good person. If one sees an injustice in the world around them, they must make the effort to protect the rights of others.

7.      RIGHT MINDFULNESS:  Right Mindfulness means appreciating every moment of one’s life. So many of us fall to auto-pilot so many activities in our lives, whether it is when you are stuck in traffic, in a meeting or simply watching TV. To waste life away without even thinking about it, is suffering in itself. We must make the most of the life we are given and make the most to follow the EIGHTFOLD PATH, mindfully at all times. If we forget this path and zone out even for a few moments, then we may resort to our primal reactions and do something banned from the path.

8.      RIGHT CONCENTRATION: And finally, the Right Concentration, what this focuses on is MEDITATION and it is last because only once one has to cut themselves from all their ties and desire in the real world. Can one truly and effectively mediate and perhaps reach nirvana? With a mindfulness of one’s breathing and some repetition of mantras, the meditator may pass through meditative absorption or the four classic facets of meditation: 1. The joy of Meditation 2. The joy of completed awareness 3. Maximum alertness and mindfulness. 4. Perfection of equanimity, pure, blissful awareness.

In other words, said simply, is to have a DETACHED ATTACHMENT, in whatever things one does, to have a very peaceful and happy life. When one is conscious of their thoughts, words, actions, when there is a perfect alignment between MANASA, VAACHA, KARMA, AND, MIND, BODY, SOUL one can reach the absolute abode the “MOKSHA”. These eight folds also suggest the humans not to have re-births, by becoming aware of their each and every KARMA, so that they reach the pinnacle of life the “MOKSHA” and there are no re-births for the humans. Following this 8-fold path one can completely end their suffering,

FOR ONESELF AND EVERYONE….

 

VIJAYASHREE RAMESH, CHENNAI BASED ADVOCATE.