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Volume 5 no 3

From the editor

Let's Walk The Bodhisattva Path

Among the universal truths expounded by Buddha is one that in death life does not end (Vol 5 Issue No.2). We are reborn and life continues. Rebirth does not necessarily mean that human beings will be reborn as human beings or elephants as elephants again, and so on. It depends on how we have conducted our lives, i.e. the actions or karma committed by our body, speech and mind. What this means is that we are entirely responsible for our own destiny. Six realms of rebirth are possible - heavens, asura, human, animal, ghost and hell.

It is popularly believed that to be born in the realm of heavens is a great blessing. Of course it is, and this is the effect of performing great virtuous deeds. But, heaven is not an end in itself. It is not the ultimate (Vol 5 Issue No. 1), for when the heavenly blessings are exhausted, rebirth will take place in a lower realm. The ultimate realm is the one that provides us with the opportunity to cultivate our mind and deeds until we are enlightened. We become free from illusions. What illusions? Illusions that are no different from the ancient ignorance that the earth is flat, that the more you give the lesser you will have, or simply that material wealth solves all our problems, and the countless other superstitious beliefs.

Cultivation replaces ignorance with wisdom and brightness. When we continue to cultivate, life after life, eventually we attain the supreme enlightenment and become Buddha ourselves. Then, we have attained the ultimate. The realm that gives us this opportunity is none other than the human realm, for all Buddhas attain supreme enlightenment by cultivating in the human realm.

Therefore, we need to keep our aspiration for enlightenment alive by ensuring that we are reborn in the human realm life after life. The basis of rebirth in the human realm is by observing the Five Precepts and practicing the Ten Virtuous Deeds. In this way we continue to cultivate and to walk on the Bodhisattva Path, the path to enlightenment.

Let us walk on the Bodhisattva Path.

Be with Buddha.


Copyright 2002.Jen Chen Buddhism Centre