Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera
Hard work is the luckiest star.
Buddhism does not refute belief in deities, spirits, astrology and
fortune-telling, the Buddha's advice was that people should not be slaves
to any of those forces. A good Buddhist can overcome all his difficulties
if he knows how to make use of his intelligence and will-power. The above
mentioned beliefs have no spiritual significance or value. Man must
overcome all his problems and difficulties by his own efforts and not
through the medium of deities, spirits, astrology or fortune-telling. In
one of the Buddhist Jataka stories, the Bodhisatta said:
'The fool may
watch for lucky days,
Yet luck he shall always miss,
The luck itself is luck's own star,
What can mere stars achieve?
He believed that hard work
was the luckiest star and one should not waste time by consulting stars
and lucky days in order to achieve success. To do your best to help
yourself is better than to rely solely on the stars or external sources.
Although some Buddhists
practise fortune-telling and dispense some forms of charms or amulets
under the guise of religion, the Buddha at no time encouraged anyone to
practise such things. Like fortune-telling, charms come under the category
of superstition, and have no religious value. Yet there are many people
today who, because of sickness and misfortunes attribute the cause of
their illness and ill-luck to the power of charms. When the cause of
certain sickness and misfortunes cannot be ascertained or traced, many
people tend to believe that their problems are due to charms or some other
external causes. They have forgotten that they are now living in the
twentieth century. This is the modern age of scientific development and
achievement. Our leading scientists have thrown aside many superstitious
beliefs and they have even placed men on the moon!
owe their origin to either mental or physical causes. In Shakespeare,
Macbeth asked a doctor if there was any medicine that could cure his wife
and the doctor replied: 'More needs she the divine than the physician.'
What he meant was that some diseases could only be cured if the mind was
purified. Some severe mental disorders manifest themselves in a physical
manner--ulcers, stomach aches, and so on.
Of course diseases are
purely physical and can be cured by a competent doctor. And finally, some
inexplicable disorders could be caused by what Buddhist call the ripening
of the kammic fruit. This means we would have to pay for some evil deed
that we have committed in a past life. If we can understand this in the
case of some incurable diseases, we can bear it with greater patience,
knowing its real cause.
People who cannot be cured
of their sickness are advised to consult a medical specialist and obtain
specialized attention. If after having gone through a medical check-up, a
person still feels in need of attention, then he may want to seek
spiritual guidance from a proper religious teacher.
Buddhists are strongly
advised against falling into the miserable pit of superstitious beliefs
and allowing the mind to be troubled by unnecessary and unfounded fears.
Cultivate a strong will-power by refusing to believe in the influence of
A short meditation course
may also prove very helpful to clear the mind of unwholesome thoughts.
Meditation leads to the purification of the mind. A purified mind
automatically leads to a purified and healthy body. The Buddha-Dhamma is a
soothing balm to get rid of sickness of this nature.
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