Today on the occasion of Buddha’s enlightenment, all monks and nuns gather in the main hall to celebrate Buddha’s enlightenment.
We found that the latter put more emphasis on the Buddha’s birthday than on the day of Buddha’s enlightenment. On the day of Buddha’s birth, all temples and pagodas were celebrated in splendor, and on the day of Buddha’s enlightenment, they were quiet and simple.
It is reasonable for us as cultivators to see that the day of Buddha’s enlightenment is the most important day. Because if he does not attain the Way, the Buddha cannot explain the Buddhadharma and transform sentient beings. Thus, the day of enlightenment was a big turning point in his spiritual life, but also a meaningful day for all living beings. It was the day the Buddha turned from a worldly person to a worldly person, from a delusional person to an enlightened human being. So we consider this day very important.
Today, I summarize a few special features in the Buddhist life of the Buddha, so that we all remember and be aware of our spiritual path. The important issue we need to grasp, what is Buddha’s enlightenment? We keep bowing to the Buddha and attain enlightenment without knowing what, so we don’t understand anything about the meaning of enlightenment.
Buddha’s enlightenment is the result of the original cause that he left home. Let’s try to find out what caused the Buddha to go forth from home, how to become a monk, and what is it when he becomes a monk? Those are the three important stages that all monks and nuns and Buddhists need to firmly grasp, and then examine themselves whether they have those conditions. If we lack something, we try to make it as complete as the Buddha, so that one day we will become enlightened.
First let’s talk about the reason or motivation for the crown prince to become a monk. As we all know, when walking through the four gates of the city, seeing the birth, aging, sickness and death of living beings, he became enlightened and determined to go forth. Recently, many people think that old age, sickness and death is a sign of suffering that is easy to see, and suffering from birth is too difficult to understand. If you say that birth is suffering because you cry out of your mother’s lap, what do you know then? In fact, the suffering here is not only that.
The night of flowers in honor of Buddha Shakyamuni’s enlightenment
We recall a time when the Buddha followed his father to see the ceremony of the downing field. Seeing the furrows of the farmer, the crickets flew up and the birds landed to eat. The suffering of beings is the life of one species and the death of another. The life of this species one day is the death of many other species. So do sentient beings live in suffering?
Looking back at people, you can see that before you become a monk, how many animals are sacrificed every day to keep you healthy. Like the night when I meditated, I heard the pig screaming when it was stabbed in the throat, today people can eat delicious food, how many pigs have to sacrifice that night! Obviously, the life of one must be replaced by the life of another. Therefore, it should be said that birth and suffering is an indisputable thing.
After the prince saw the scene of birth, old age, sickness and death, he felt that human life was too temporary, too fragile, and full of suffering, so he decided to go to monkhood and find a way to solve the suffering of human life. Thus, the Buddha’s monasticism was not an accident, but a powerful motive that motivated him. That motive is human suffering. We live immersed in that suffering that few people are aware of, waiting around waiting for birth, old age, sickness and death to end a life, there is no way to escape.
The Buddha went to practice, the purpose was to find a way to free himself from birth, old age, sickness and death, the constant suffering of human life. He did not enter the monastery as a coincidence or due to the stricture of circumstances. Because of his attitude and determination to find a way out of suffering, he was always willing to die, ready to sacrifice, as long as he could find that way.
When he came out of the city, he sought out famous fairies for teaching the way to save sentient beings from samsara. But each of the fairies taught each other way, but those ways have not liberated human life and death, so he did not accept it. He abandoned them and finally found a way to solve the birth and death that he was holding in his heart.
We learn from the Buddha one thing, that is, our goal is to go where the teacher doesn’t go, we have to leave. Not to say that you go to the temple to become a monk, listen to whatever you teach, and in the end, a life won’t go anywhere. The Buddha showed us that the path of decisive cultivation is the way to save sentient beings from samsara. Whichever method, no matter how good, did not achieve the goal, he also gave up, this is very clear.
In the end, there was no one left to save, so he practiced asceticism himself. What do you think in the world what other Taoists can practice, endure asceticism, you can practice, see if it can lead to salvation? After years of ascetic practice, he finally failed to achieve his goal. So he gave up asceticism, lived a more simple life, while cultivating and regaining his health to find the path he had longed for.
Finally, when he reached the Bodhi tree to meditate, he clearly saw that when people are suffering to the extreme, their bodies are exhausted, their minds are dim, and they cannot find a way out. He began to change, living a moderate life, neither ascetic nor loose, living a very peaceful life. Sure enough, on the forty-ninth night, sitting under the Bodhi tree, he became enlightened.
The order of enlightenment in the sutras is called the Three Intelligences. In Tam Minh, there is a place where Thien eye is told first, and there is a place where Tuc Minh is told first. We say Thien eye first, that is, he first proves Thien eye, next to life, and finally, Luu fully understands. These three intelligences have met His aspiration when determined to practice.
Witnessed by the divine eye, he saw living beings from life to life due to karma. If you do good, good karma leads to a good path; if you do evil, then bad karma leads to an evil path, continuing birth and death. According to the Ahamma Sutra, he saw sentient beings following the karma of reincarnation in the six paths like a person standing on a high floor looking down at a crossroads and seeing people passing by clearly and without suspicion. Witnessing the Eye of Heaven, he has solved the question of not being over after death, but by karma leading to birth here and there. There is good and bad karma, so sentient beings are born in good and bad lands and see clearly.
Then he proved his life-span, ie remembering countless previous lives. The A-ham Sutra tells that, when his mind is calm and clear, he looks to the past and immediately remembers countless previous lives, where he was born, what job he did, what his parents’ name was… remembering it as clearly as yesterday. These two insights have answered His desire to find out what causes people to be here. After death is still good, if so, where to go? Finding out the cause can only destroy it to achieve the result of being free from the suffering of birth and death.
The books about the Buddha’s previous life are called Ban San, and about the previous lives of his disciples are called Ban Su. The Buddha saw that sentient beings reincarnated in the six paths, good people go the good way, evil go the bad way. He knew well that after death people do not die but are born here and there according to their karma. The Buddha explained clearly in the six paths of reincarnation, depending on the karma of sentient beings to places. To see in the cycle of birth and death we have not only this one life but countless previous lives. When we lose this body, it’s not the end, but it also continues for countless lifetimes into the future without end, so the Buddha used the word beginningless, no end.
Finally, the Buddha was fully enlightened. The word contraband is to fall, to the end, to thwart is to eliminate all the seeds that fall in the Three Realms, i.e. the Desire Realm, the Form Realm, and the Formless Realm. He clearly saw that if we nurture any cause, we will go there, if we eliminate all the causes of samsara, we will be liberated and will not be born in the Three Realms anymore. The Buddha’s enlightenment as well as the other two is due to him sitting in meditation with a pure mind and clear wisdom.
When he attained the Three Vipassana, then he declared to become a Buddha, ie fully enlightened, no longer stuck in samsara. This enlightenment is not taught by anyone, but through meditation, the mind is calm and clear. Therefore, after becoming a Buddha, he declared that we study the Way without a teacher. Because of the full knowledge of Gonorrhea, seeing thoroughly the causes leading to birth and death and knowing the method to eliminate that cause, he no longer has the germ of drag in samsara. The Buddha attained his wish to perfection.
When he became enlightened, he knew where people come from, where they died and then went and how to end birth and death and reincarnation, so the Buddha’s first sermon in Deer Garden with the five brothers Kieu Tran Nhu was a lecture. Four Emperors. The base word is the truth. In the Four Noble Truths, the first two are the Truth of Suffering as the effect and the Noble Truth as the cause. This word suffering is not suffering in the ordinary sense, but the suffering of samsara. The reason sentient beings suffer from samsara is not accidental, but has a cause. The cause is the Noble Truth; greed, hatred, delusion, conceit, doubt, evil views etc.. are the causes to lead to the result of suffering in samsara.
The Buddha clearly knew the cause and effect of samsara, he went one step further and said that cause and effect are free from birth and death, that is, the Truth of the Way and the Truth of Cessation. The truth of cessation is the result, the truth of the way is the cause. No one forces us to live and die, but it is greed, anger, delusion, pride, doubt… dragging us to create karma in samsara. Therefore, in order to end birth and death, the cause must be destroyed. To destroy it, there must be a method, there is a way, so the Truth of the Way is the antidote to the causes of birth and death. Thirty-seven teaching aids are thirty-seven methods of eliminating the cause of birth and death. Once the cause of birth and death is eliminated, it is called the result of cessation of birth and death. The truth of cessation is another name for peaceful Nirvana.
What is the night of December 8 when he became a monk? Accomplishment of Tam Minh Luc Thong, Four No Departments of Fear, Eight Eight Uncommon Laws… Here I just say simply Tam Minh. The Buddha’s wish is to find out the clues that make people roll in the cycle of birth and death, and then eliminate that germ of birth and death. He has achieved his goal, so it is called enlightenment. Having achieved what he had embraced, expected, and sacrificed his whole life to seek, this day the Buddha was happy, nothing more joyful.