The Dhammapada, a collection of sayings of the Buddha, is one of the most widely read and best known Buddhist scriptures. In the Dhammapada, Verse 277, we find this lesson: “All conditioned phenomena are impermanent;” when one sees this with insight-wisdom, one becomes weary of dukkha (sorrow, suffering). This is the Path to Purity.

Abbott Phrakruwitedpawanawithan Wirat Manikanto

Impermanent is one teaching in Buddhism that is often picked up for teaching and admonishing us. Life is short so people should not live their lives with carelessness. Spend one’s time wisely.  The days and nights that have passed took with them the changing of the physical body from healthy to decay. Since birth, we open our eyes to see the world through the lens of time passing. We see the life of childhood, youth and finally old age. Old age eventually brings infirmity and sickness which eventually leads to the extinction of life.

Our lives can be compared to the changing tree, which starts as a sapling and gradually grows upward, spreading branches, leaves, flowers and fruits. Until the passing of time, the leaves that were once bright green began to turn into yellow leaves and fall to the ground. Eventually they return to nature, disappearing into the four elements of earth, water, fire and air.

No one can avoid this truth but one who is well prepared will be steadfast in accumulating merit, always performing good deeds to create good Karma, so that they would dare to face the King of death on the last day without fear.

Therefore, we should accumulate only good things with our body, speech and mind so that we may have our own refuge and then we will be ready for our departure. We will seek new life because death is not the end of life but the beginning of new life, repeating until one destroys the seed of ignorance.

Phrakruwitedpawanawithan Wirat Manikanto is the senior Abbott of the Dhammakaya Meditation Center Silicon Valley. An ordained Buddhist Monk for 33 years, Abbott Wirat has been in South County for about a year. He is an active member of the Interfaith Clergy Alliance, and can be reached at [email protected].

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