Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera
Paradise is open not only to the
followers of a particular religion, but it is open to each and every
person who leads a righteous and noble way of life.
is no difficulty at all for Buddhists to go to heaven if they really want
to. But there are some people who go from house to house trying to convert
other religionists into their faith and promising them the heaven they
carry in their bags. They claim that they are the only blessed people who
can go to heaven; they also claim that they have the exclusive authority
to send others to the same goal. They introduce their religion like a
patent medicine and this has become a nuisance to the public today. Many
innocent people who lack the knowledge of their own religion, have become
victims of these paradise sellers.
If Buddhists can
understand the value of the Noble Teachings of the Buddha, they will not
be misled by such people. These paradise sellers are also trying to
mislead the people by saying that this world which is created by god, is
going to end very soon. Those who want to have a wonderful everlasting
life in heaven must accept their particular religion before the end of the
world comes, otherwise people would miss this golden opportunity and would
have to suffer in eternal hell.
This threat of the end of
the world, had been going on for hundreds of years. The wonder of it all
is that there are still people today who believe in such a treat which is
irrational and imaginary. Some people get converted after hearing such
preaching, without using their common sense.
In Buddhism, there is no
personal judge either to condemn or to reward but only the working of an
impersonal moral causation and natural law.
Why wicked people
enjoy while good people suffer
Some people ask,
'If good begets good and bad begets bad why should many good people suffer
and some wicked people prosper in this world? ' The answer to this
question, according to the Buddhist point of view, is that although some
are good by nature, they have not accumulated enough good merits in their
previous birth to compensate for the bad effects of unwholesome kamma in
this present life; somewhere in their past there must have been some
defect. On the other hand, some are wicked by nature and yet are able to
enjoy this life for a short period of due to some strong good kamma that
they accumulated in their previous birth.
there are certain people who by nature have inherited a strong
constitution and as a result enjoy perfect health. Their physical power of
resistance is strong and hence they are not prone to illnesses. Although
they do not take special precautions to lead a hygienic life, they are
able to remain strong and healthy. On the other hand, there are others who
take various tonics and vitamin?enriched foods to fortify themselves, but
in spite of their efforts to become strong and healthy, their health do
not show any improvement.
Whatever good and bad
deeds people commit within this life-time, they will definitely experience
the reaction within this life or hereafter. It is impossible to escape
from their results simply by praying, but by cultivating the mind and
leading a noble life.
Buddhists are encouraged
to do good deeds not for the sake of gaining a place in heaven. They are
expected to do good in order to eradicate their selfishness and to
experience peace and happiness.
Study and Practice Group, http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhism/
Layout: Chan Duc - Nguyen Thao
Update : 01-11-2002