Knowledge is power. Noble Eightfold Path is supreme power. There are five great powers according to Bodhipakkhiya Dhamma (37 Limbs for Awakening):- “Confidence is power; Effort is power; Mindfulness is power; Concentration is power; Wisdom is power.” Character (Morality) is power. In modern management: – Mind (spiritual resources) is power. Man (human resources) is power. Material (natural resources) is power. Money (financial resources) is power. Machine (physical resources) is power. Method (technology) is power. Market (Information and Communication) is power. Managerial (Capability) is power. Institution (social resources) is power. Location (strategic resources) is power. In this world: – Electricity is power. Energy is power. Water is power, Nuclear is power. Knowledge, skills, attitude (mindset) (ASK) can be properly changed, enhanced and improved through the learning and practicing of The Dhamma, (Dhammapada “Anthology of Verses”) (A Practical Guide to Right Living) (26 Chapters with 423 Verses). “To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one’s mind-this is the teaching of the Buddhas”. “Know this, O good man: evil things are difficult to control. Let not greed and wickedness drag you to protracted misery.” Enduring patience is the highest austerity. “Nibbana is Supreme, “say the Buddhas. He is not a true monk who harms another, nor a true renunciate who oppresses other. Better it is to live one day virtuous and meditative than to live a hundred years immoral and uncontrolled. Better it is to live one day wise and meditative than to live a hundred years foolish and uncontrolled. Better it is to live one day strenuous and resolute than to live a hundred years sluggish and dissipated. There are four Bases for Success. Wish-to-do makes the impossible possible. Working hard (Effort) make the impossible possible. Will (mind) makes the impossible possible. Wisdom makes the impossible possible. Easy to do are things that are bad and harmful to oneself. But exceedingly difficult to do are things that are good and beneficial. Better it is to live one day seeing the rise and fall of things than to live a hundred years without ever seeing the rise and fall of things. Better it is to live one day seeing the Deathless than to live a hundred years without ever seeing the Deathless. Better it is to live one day seeing the Supreme Truth than to live a hundred years without ever seeing the Supreme Truth. People hold dear him who embodies virtue and insight, who is principled, has realized the truth, and who himself does what he ought to be doing. By oneself is evil done; by oneself is one defiled. By oneself is evil left undone; by oneself is one made pure. Purity and impurity depend on oneself; no one can purify another. Lead a righteous life; lead not a base life. The righteous live happily both in this world and the next. Overcome the angry by non-anger; overcome the wicked by goodness; overcome the miser by generosity; overcome the liar by truth; he who having been heedless is heedless no more, illuminates this world like the moon freed from clouds. He who by good deeds covers the evil he has done, illuminates this world like the moon freed from clouds. Blind is this world; here only a few possess insight. Only a few, like birds escaping from a net, go to the realms of bliss. Understanding that “There are those who do not realize that one day we all must die. But those who do realize this settle their quarrels.” The foolish and ignorant indulge in heedlessness, but the wise one keeps his heedfulness at his best treasure. Do not give way to heedlessness. Do not indulge in sensual pleasures. Only the heedful and meditative attain great happiness.
Realizing that “By effort and heedfulness, discipline and self-mastery, let the wise one make for himself an island which no flood can overwhelm.” Wisdom never becomes perfect in one whose mind is not steadfast, who knows not the Good Teaching and whose faith wavers. Of all paths the Noble eightfold path is the best; of all truths the Four Noble Truths are the best; of all things passionlessness is the best; of men the Seeing One (the Buddha) is the best. Mind preceded all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with a pure mind, a person speaks or acts, happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow. Well done is that action doing which one repents not later, and the fruit of which one reaps with delight and happiness. He who drinks deep the Dhamma lives happily with a tranquil mind. The wise man ever delights in the Dhamma made known by the Noble One (the Buddha). If by renouncing a lesser happiness one may realize a greater happiness, let the wise man renounce the lesser, having regard for the greater. Ill done is that action doing which one repents later, and the fruit of which one, weeping, reaps with tears. Just as a solid rock is not shaken by the storm, even so the wise are not affected by praise or blame. Irrigators regulate the waters; fletchers straighten the arrow shaft; carpenters shape the wood; the wise control themselves. Not by these mounts, however, would one go to the Un-trodden Land (Nibbana), as one who is self-tamed goes by his own tamed and well-controlled mind. Calm is his thought, calm is his speech and calm is his deed, who, truly knowing, is wholly freed, perfectly tranquil and wise. Difficult is life for the modest one always seeks purity, is detached and unassuming, clean in life, and discerning. Not despising, not harming, restraint according to the code of monastic discipline, moderation in food, dwelling in solitude, devotion to meditation-this is the teaching of the Buddhas. People give according to their faith or regard. If one becomes discontented with the food and drink given by others, one does not attain meditative absorption, either by day or by night. There are no satisfying desires, even with a rain of gold coins. For sensual pleasures give little satisfaction and much pain. Having understood this, the wise man finds no delight even in heavenly pleasures. The disciple of the upreme Buddha delights in the destruction of craving. Unchastity is the taint in a woman; niggardliness is the taint in a giver. Taints, indeed, are all evil things, both in this world and the next. The wise are controlled in thought, controlled in speech and controlled in bodily action. They are truly well-controlled. Realizing this fact “For him who is assailed by death there is no protection by kinsmen. None there are to save him-neither sons, nor father nor relatives.” Let the wise man, restrained by morality, hasten to clear the path leading to Nibbana. There is no fire like lust; there is no grip like delusion; there is no river like craving. Easy is life for the shameless one who is imprudent as a crow, is backbiting and forward, arrogant and corrupt. Ever grows the glory of him who is energetic, mindful and pure in conduct, discerning and self-controlled, righteous and heedful. Blessed is the birth of the Buddhas; blessed is the enunciation of the sacred Teaching; blessed is the harmony in the Order 9sangha), and blessed is the spiritual pursuit of the united truth-seekers. Think not lightly of good, saying, “It will not come to me.” Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.
Even though he be well-attired, yet if he is poised, calm, controlled and established in holy life, having set aside violence towards all beings-he, truly, is a holy man, a renunciate, a monk. Good is virtue until life’s end, good is faith that is steadfast, good is the acquisition of wisdom, and good is the avoidance of evil.
Good are friend when need arises; good is contentment with just what one has; good is merit when life is at an end, and good is the abandoning of all suffering (through Arahatship). It may be ill with the doer of good as long as the good ripens not. But when it does ripen, then the doer of good sees (the pleasant results of) his good.
One by one, little by little, moment by moment, a wise man should remove his own impurities, as a silver smith removes the dross from silver. In this world, good it is to serve one’s mother, good it is to serve one’s father, good it is to serve the monks’ and good it is to serve the holy men.
O Atula! Indeed, this is an ancient practice, not one only of today: they blame those who remain silent, they blame those who speak much, they blame those who speak in moderation. There is none in this world who is not blamed. Make an island for yourself! Strive hard and become wise! Rid of impurities and cleansed of stain, you shall enter the celestial abode of the Noble Ones.
Delight in heedfulness! Guard well your thoughts! Draw yourself out of this bog of evil, even as an elephant draws himself out of the mud. Those who are ever vigilant, who discipline themselves day and night, and are ever intent upon Nibbana-their defilements fade away.
Those who discern the wrong as wrong and the right as right- upholding right views, they go to realms of bliss. Good it is to see the Noble Ones; to live with them is ever blissful. One will always be happy by not encountering fool. Indeed, he who moves in the company of fools grieves for long. Association with fool is ever painful, like partnership with an enemy. Association with the wise is happy, like meeting one’s own kinsmen.
One who destroys life, utters lies, takes what is not given, goes to another man’s wife, and is addicted to intoxicating drinks and drugs- such a man digs up his own root even in this very world. One truly is the protector of oneself; who else could the protector be? With oneself fully controlled, one gains a mastery that is hard to gain.
One should first establish oneself in what is proper; then only should instruct others. Thus the wise man will not be reproached. One should do what one teaches others to do; if one would train others, one should be well controlled oneself. Difficult, indeed, is self-control.
There never was, there never will be, nor is there now, a person who is wholly blamed or wholly praised. But the man whom the wise praise, after observing him day after day, is one of flawless character, wise, and endowed with knowledge and virtue. Who can blame such a one, as worthy as a coin of refined gold? Even the gods praise him; by Brahma, too, is he praised.
He who is free from craving and attachment, is perfect in uncovering the true meaning of the Buddha’s Teachings, and knows the arrangement of the sacred texts in correct sequence-he, indeed, is the bearer of his final body. He is truly called the profoundly wise one, the great man.
Even the gods hold dear the wise one, whose senses are subdued, like horses well trained by a charioteer, whose pride is destroyed and who is free from the cankers. Blessed is the birth of the Buddhas; blessed is the enunciation of the sacred Teaching; blessed is the harmony in the Sangha (the Order), and blessed is the spiritual pursuit of the united truth-seekers.
Riches ruins only the foolish, not those in quest of the Beyond. By craving for riches the witless man ruins himself as well as others. Hunger is the worst disease, conditioned things the worst suffering. Knowing this as it really is, the wise realize Nibbana, the highest bliss. Health is the precious gain and contentment the greatest wealth. A trustworthy person is the best kinsman, Nibbana the highest bliss.
Speak the truth; yield not to anger; when asked, give even if you only have a little. By these three means can one reach the presence of the gods. Should a person do good, let him do it again and again. Let him find pleasure therein, for blissful is the accumulation of good. The gift of Dhamma excels all gifts; the taste of Dhamma excels all tastes; the delights in Dhamma excel all delights. The Craving-Freed vanquishes all suffering. (Dhammapada, A Practical guide to Right Living, Acharya Buddharakkhita, Maha Bodhi Ashram, Bangalore, India, 16th October 1986)
“May I be happy. May I be free from stress and pain. May I be free from animosity. May I be free from oppression. May I be free from trouble. May I look after myself with ease. May all living beings be happy. May all living beings be free from animosity. May all living beings be free from oppression. May all living beings be free from trouble. May all living beings look after themselves with ease. May all living beings be freed from all stress and pain. May all living beings not be deprived of the good fortune they have attained. All living beings are the owners of their actions, heir to their actions, born of their actions, related through their actions, and live dependent on their actions. Whatever they do, for good or for evil, to that will they fall heir. May all beings live happily, always free from animosity. May all share in the blessings springing from the good I have done. May there be every good blessing. May all the devas protect you. Through the power of all the Buddhas, may you forever be well. May there be every good blessing. May all the devas protect you. Through the power of all the Dhamma, may you forever be well. May there be every good blessing. May all the devas protect you. Through the power of all the Sangha, may you forever be well. May there be every good blessing. May all the devas protect you.” *****