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 Post subject: Man and his Destiny
 Post Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:37 am 
Man and his Destiny

Buddhism is a religion very closely associated with the mind. It teaches that the destiny of man lies with himself and himself alone. His Destiny lies with himself and is something self-created or self-earned for good or for evil. Destiny should not be mistaken for a blind force. Destiny is one expression of the greater cosmic intelligence and mental energy associated with Karmic energy. Man crates his own Destiny by his own thoughts.

by George Thillekeratne
@ The Island


As we all know Man is the highest, greatest and most precious fruit of "The Tree of Life". In order to ascertain who or what is man it is necessary to peer into the realm of religion, which man has created in order to give a more meaningful end to life. Religions originally developed as "Humanism" to uphold human qualities and later it was introduced as a Divine Law.

According to Professor K. S. Krishnamurthi, the famed Indian Astrologer who devised The Krishnamurthi Padhathi system of Astrology, the whole world is like a huge theatre where the cinema of life goes on for ever and where every individual is an actor. The past, the present and the future are already fixed in the roll of the film. The future will be shown in the same order without any alterations. The roll of film depends on the Karma done by us in the previous birth, and the story is the result of birth and it cannot be changed, altered or modified.

Destiny is therefore the inevitable and unavoidable occurrence of events in one’s life, which is not under the control of the person. It is but the inevitable result of his karma. One can neither modify nor mollify the results of Destiny. There is a mystery in the life of Man. There is an invisible hand that steers Man’s "Galleon of Life". Christians call this God, or "The Hand of God". Others in the Theo-centric group of religions call it God as well, as they all believe in the creation of Man by a God. Buddhism refers to it as Karma or "Karma Vipaka". It could also be described as Destiny which is the inevitable and unavoidable occurrences of events in one’s life that is not at all under the control of the person but the inevitable results of his actions or Karma done in his previous birth. Destiny can therefore be described as something that is self-created or self-earned whether it is for good or for evil. Man is the builder of his own life, the creator of his own fate both outward and inward. Man should know that whatever he gives or does in his lifetime is thrown back to him by Destiny. Destiny is certainly not a blind force. It is but one expression of the greater cosmic intelligence and mental energy associated with Karimc energy. It has a purpose to fulfil, and the purpose as far as man is concerned is an educative one. As man creates his own Destiny by his own thoughts and actions, he gets back unerringly from life what he does or gives in life. Good begets good and bad begets bad. Every action has its own reaction. These are but universal laws. Man should not forge that he is the result of millions of his past thoughts and actions.

Religions

Religions are classified into two groups, namely, theo-centric religions and homo-centric religions. A theo-centric religion is based on the concept of an Almighty God, who rules over the destinies of Mankind, where the religious teacher is thought of as Divine. On the other hand a Homo-centric religion denies the existence of a God, and the religious teacher does not claim to be divine. The only known Homo-centric religion is Buddhism founded by Lord Buddha. Buddhism is a moral code of ethics, which enables Man to have inner peace and happiness not only in this world but in the world hereafter as well and finally reach his own salvation, which is the bliss of Nirvana unaided by a divine being.

Buddhism is a religion very closely associated with the mind. It teaches that the destiny of man lies with himself and himself alone. His Destiny lies with himself and is something self-created or self-earned for good or for evil. Destiny should not be mistaken for a blind force. Destiny is one expression of the greater cosmic intelligence and mental energy associated with Karmic energy. Man crates his own Destiny by his own thoughts.


Noble Eight Fold Path

Man must choose a rational and meaningful way of life based on his firm conviction, and not one founded on mythological beliefs, traditional practices and theories. Following a religion blindly only abuses human intelligence and dignity. Unlike in the case of animals human beings are blessed with a common sense that enables them to distinguish between right and wrong. The Buddha’s Noble Eight Fold Path is an ethic philosophical system, a practical do-it-yourself method introduced as a path of reason and freedom.


Mind and matter

The Noble Eightfold path teaches man to refrain from doing any bad deeds, to be of service to others and to maintain a healthy and pure mind in order to attain the ultimate of bliss of Nirvana. Lord Buddha said: My teaching is not for you to come and believe me, but to come and practice and judge for yourself whether to accept my teachings or not. That is the hallmark of the Buddha. The Noble Eightfold Path is neither a metaphysical nor a ritualistic path, and it is neither dogmatism nor scepticism. Enlightenment is a means of deliverance from suffering or unsatisfactoriness. One who follows the Noble Eightfold Path would find real peace and happiness.

According to Buddhism man is not a substantive entity but an expression existing literally from moment to moment on the basis of energy. The combination of mind and matter brings into existence a being who goes on changing in a state of flux, until dissolution takes place. The displaced mental energy combines with elements or matter and reappears in various forms and in different spheres as life, in accordance with the nature of one’s previous lives. This continuity of life goes on again and again as long as the Karmic energy and craving for existence exist.


Five aggregates

Life is nothing but a combination of five aggregates, namely, matter, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness. Matter consists of solidity, fluidity, heat and motion. Thus matter plus the four mental factors as stated above are combined to form life. There is therefore no such things as permanent life that exists without dissolution. The body of man is therefore nothing but an abstract generalisation for a constantly changing combination of chemical constituents. It must be understood that man today is the result of millions of his past thoughts and actions, and as such he is not readymade or created but only a combination, which becomes and continues becoming. His character is therefore determined by his own thinking and not by nature, but he has to train himself to become perfect. Man who is absorbed in seeking worldly pleasures will never reach higher knowledge since it cannot be found without any strenuous search. While materialism degrades man to the "brute state", religion elevates man to a divine or noble state. In a materialistic regime man becomes a slave to his senses.


Four Groups

Mankind has been divided into four groups by the Buddha. They are:

One who strives hard for the abolition of greed, hatred and delusion.

One who encourages others to rid themselves of greed, hatred and delusion but does not take any interest to rid himself of greed, hatred and delusion.

One who doesn’t try to rid himself of greed, hatred and delusion, and who doesn’t encourage others to do so either.

One who tries to free himself of greed, hatred and delusion and encourages others also to do so.


Suffering

Everything pertaining to man’s life is subject to change and unsatisfactoriness. The little happiness he derives is secured amidst many disappointments, failures and defeats. Man suffers because he has a body, and if he has no physical body he would not suffer, says a Chinese religious teacher. The man who is not at peace with himself cannot be at peace with the rest of the world. A very respectable and highly knowledgeable political leader of this country once said that man’s prime duty is to serve mankind. Man should not live in idleness but must try to be of service to others. The Buddha did not condemn man, but praised man and has said that "There is no other supernatural living being higher than the Perfect Man". Man is the only creature who is aware of his own death. Man has often made death the centre of religious objects and invoking heavenly blessings for everlasting life. The scientific analysis of the universe shows that the world is nothing but an unbroken continuity of movement and Einstein has said that all matter is made up of waves, and that we live in a world of waves. Buddhism therefore does not run counter to science and is a doctrine that is everlasting. Scientists describe matter as being in a state of continuous flux or change and that is what Lord Buddha stated more than two thousand five hundred years ago.

He enunciated two laws, they are:

1. The "Law of Karma" and Karma Vipaka, that "every action has a reaction". This same law was restated by scientists nearly two thousand years later as "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction".

2. Everything is in a state of continuous change or the law of impermanence. Scientists after two thousand years and after several experiments have stated the same thing as the "Law of Flux", or that matter is in constant change.


Sarvagna

What better evidence could you adduce for his vast knowledge and that is why he is called a Sarvagna. No doubt he is incomparable to any religious teacher dead or living.

Man’s inhumanity to man, makes countless thousands to mourn, and as long as there are human beings with polluted minds in this world there can be no peace in this world. Man is born into this world to do good, and not to pass his time in idleness. At the end of his life, his body turns into dust but his influence persists. The man living in a world seething with joy and hatred is sometimes physically united but mentally divided and at times mentally united but physically divided. Man should realise that to be born as a human being is very rare indeed and should therefore strive hard to do good and to avoid evil always as the Buddha said. It could be therefore said, that the invisible hand that steers man’s galleon of life is Destiny and Destiny alone. Before I conclude I would like to quote from the Dammapada:

Better an evil deed not done for misdeeds later on ferment. Better done is a deed that is good, which does not torment.


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