(Ven. K Sri Dhammananda)
Usually I don't post Buddhist articles in this blog. I post them in my other Buddhist blog "Life Is Like That". But this time is special. The article below came through a forwarded email today. Ven. K Sri Dhammananda was my Buddhist teacher. What I learned about Buddhism mainly came from him. During the 1980s I used to attend his Friday talk without fail, from 8pm to past 9pm. For more than one year, every Friday evening, Chief Reverend, as he was fondly addressed by all devotees, graciously answered all the questions I submitted to him. That was where I learned my Buddhism with full confidence; and am now able to share with others by answering their questions through "All Experts.com".
I am sure the person who initiated this email has posted the authentic last talk by Chief Reverend. I don't think he/she has any reason to do otherwise. From my experience with Chief Reverend's manner of speaking, the article below should be authentically his.
The subject of his final talk was fittingly appropriate given his physical condition then. I hope everyone who cares to read this can contemplate wisely the message of Chief Reverend .
Anicca Vatta Sankhara : All Component Things Are Impermanent.
The Buddha's final advice:
vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādetha
All compounded things, all experiences (mental and physical), all phenomena by their very nature decay and die, and are disappointing: it is through being not-blind-drunk on, obsessed by, or infatuated with, the objects of the senses that you succeed in awakening, or obtain liberation.
All things are disappointing, [it is] through vigilance [that] you succeed.
Strive on with diligence.
This is The Late Chief Reverend of Brickfield, Most Ven K Sri Dhammananda very last dhamma talk at the Maha Vihara given on the 7th July 2006 and he came as always when they rang the bell at 8.10pm into the PH Henry hall but this time in his wheel chair.___________________________________
*Human Life ( last talk by Chief Priest , Maha Vihara, 7.7.2006)*
"Dear devotees actually I never thought I would have the chance to see and talk to you , half of my body is dead, but my heart , my mind still has energy . What is this diseased body , is it life? Its not life , its the house , life is the energy , mental, kammic and cosmic all joined together as "energy ", that is life.
Body is decayed and life goes away .Actually we must be happy when time comes to depart without suffering , to crave so much for the body , we spend our whole life decorating , looking after it , one day it decays and when energy and the elements dissipate then mental energy will build another house . Life started with mental energy and then birth occurs . Every single child cries , none smiles after birth . Life is suffering we are using whole amounts of energy to maintain this physical body , but one day we have to depart .Then leaves solidity and fluidity ~ 2 elements only , heat and motion has gone.
Christians and Muslims are particular about the body as they believe in resurrection , we do not believe that there is anything in this physical body . Spend thousands on funerals , but the departed never get anything. Only way to support the departed , you must know how to make use of this life , that is why religion is needed to help us to cultivate compassion , sympathy and kindness and supporting others.
David Morris sent me a letter , he said there are 2 reasons to be happy as an old man , (1) he will be free from pain and suffering . (2) Ever since he became a Buddhist he has tried his best to maintain and uphold the 5 precepts , if there is another life it won't be an unfortunate one as he departs with confidence .
In the end the dying man takes no solace in dancing and singing , only meritorious deeds will you get confidence and this will support the kammic energy in the rebirth . Must know how to handle life , by doing service to others to help release their suffering . Many die with fear and confusion in mind , can't take rebirth in upper realm . Meditation is important to maintain purity . Prince Siddharta when he was born there were 5 astrologers invited to predict his fate, 4 said that he would either grow up to be a sage or monarch . Last one said definitely a sage . When craving and attachment is completely removed , mind is then completely pure .This body is not life . Its a house built by energy and 4 cosmic elements. Unfortunately in the past 2500 years , Buddhists in Asia have introduced a lot of rites and rituals, never introduced by the Buddha.Just keep away from evil by reducing anger, jealousy enmity , try to do meritorious deeds, try to develop the mind through understanding. Try to purify the mind.
If you are cruel hot tempered or stingy try your best to take this out . If you pray to God to take this out do you think God can do that? Buddha can't also , but he can tell you how to do that . War is declared by the human mind, peace also comes from our minds , not from heaven nor from God.
First by understanding without believing , when you develop a right understanding , then you can carry on a religious way of life . When you doubt , you think , investigate, accept or reject . Others say if there is doubt, then God will punish you.
All over the world different schools have sprung up and they follow their own traditions which they have maintained for a long time . Buddha had rejected old traditions , but it was introduced to the primitive narrow minded people . People in Asian countries don't study the dharma.
Next do Good . Reduce the anger and do something to train the mind through
right understanding . Change the mind , through your own experience you can understand right and wrong.
I have been in Malaysia for 53 years , used to have even no room to sleep. The Chinese were the main Buddhists here and through Buddhist societies we made them understand what Buddhism is.
My mind mental and life energy is still active but I am half way dead , you must know how to do this . Although the end of my life is now near , I have no fear. Arahants can disconnect mind from body to experience nibbanic bliss and at that time you cannot tell if they are dead or alive , their bodies are still warm and their complexions will remain ruddy . They can do that for 1 week at the most. Remember there are 4 kinds of happiness: (1) Happiness of Possession - In owing your own property , your house , land , business , bank account. (2) Happiness of Enjoyment - Using what you have earned you can enjoy good food , nice house,nice dress without abusing, bluffing, cheating others. (3) Happiness of Debtlessness - Try best not to borrow from others , spend within your own means, you gain self respect. (4) Happiness of Blamelessness - Try to lead life without doing harm to anybody.
These 4 kinds of happiness must be with you . Don't be lazy do some work , do not neglect what you have earned, maintain and protect what you have earned , then you can decide what to do including adopting a Buddhist way of life up to arahant , know how to adjust your way of life , how to associate with others , who are they ?Associate with good people ,not harmful wicked people .Support your father and mother ,look after your wife and children, don't neglect relatives, help them . Develop your mind to the extent that you are not shaken by the 8 winds of change, praise /blame , fame /shame , gain /loss , pleasure /pain and treat all the same , then at this stage nothing will affect you." All meetings end in partings
That which rises must fall
That which is collected will be dispersed
Birth ends with death