By Ven Rahulananda
Published: On 2010-11-29, New Lotus, Buddhistdoor
Change is the very nature of the phenomenal existence. But most of the times we are not ready to face it. It becomes extremely difficult especially when it happens almost suddenly and if it is bigger than our imagination. One of such changes in nature we call natural disasters. Such a disaster happened recently in the northeastern part of Thailand known as Nakhon Ratchasim, where I live and study.
Few days ago almost suddenly within 2/3 days of rain brought about a huge flood in this area. The water level was so high that many houses in the villages had gone under water. Many people from the nearby villages came to stay in our temple because their houses were under water. Suddenly I was hearing from the news that some people were missing while a few were found dead. How impermanent our lives are! I remembered the eternal saying of the Buddha: j´vitaµ aniyataµ, maranaµ niyataµ – (life is uncertain while death is certain).
How ignorant we are! We do not ever try to understand deeply this eternal saying of the Buddha. I was contemplating on the causes of such natural disasters. I discovered that it is the ever increasing desires of humankind that is responsible for all kinds of natural disasters. The present day humankind became so blind in material development that they would do it at any cost. For the sake of such material development they were destroying environments in varieties of ways. As a result the entire globe is facing threat to its very existence.
We are never satisfied with what we have. We always foster within us the ever-increasing desire for more. But yet we are not happy with that and therefore we want some more, and still some more. The Buddha says; endless is this desire. I remembered the teaching of the Buddha: “look within, be satisfied with what you have, be mindful and then will you be happy”. I remembered the saying of the great master Thich Nhat Hanh: “sit still, calm down your mind, look within, – you will be amazed to know that you are alive, your eyes, brain, heart etc. are function well. It is because your eyes are functioning well that you can see all the beautiful things in the world…” Therefore, he said the actual wonders lie within, not without. We just need to realize it. Once we realize it we will not look for happiness outside, but inside.
Let us all look within and be happy!