All the phenomena of the universe and human life are merely illusions of the mind arising and passing out in succession and as such, are the factor interlocking the triple chain of Ignorance, Karma, and Suffering. All of which are also produced by the illusory mind. Therefore, the objective of Buddhism is to rectify conduct, to eliminate conceptual thoughts, to turn ignorance into Enlightenment and to understand the mind and realize the self-nature.
To wipe out all subjective illusions and temporary vexing passions and to realize the eternal uncreated indestructible objective Truth of Dharma – the ever-abiding True Mind; to open the mind to the Buddha Nature to realize that samsara and klesa are fundamentally unattainable, and basically to liberate oneself from trans-migratory existence in this world and beyond, and eventually to attain the state of Sukhavati where there is no suffering but supreme happiness; and to work actively and broadly to enlighten oneself as well as others and ultimately to realize supreme and perfect Enlightenment, commonly called “Buddha”!
For Buddhists to cultivate some basic virtues of manhood is just as important as for a builder to lay a solid foundation for a skyscraper;
- Be always on the alert to examine one’s own faults. It is necessary for one to undergo self-introspection constantly and diligently, to feel repentant and to do one utmost to rectify one’s faults. To cultivate honesty and loyalty, to exercise prudence in speech and selection of friends, to overcome greed, hatred and arrogance and to refrain from killing, stealing, carnality and lying, by all means.
- Be always compassionate, loving, and helpful to those in distress, as though their sufferings were our own, for by putting ourselves in their position, the inherent quality of compassion would be spontaneously aroused.
Two sayings of the Avatamsaka Sutra, “That which pleases sentient beings also pleases the Tathagata” and “One would rather pray for the deliverance of sentient beings from suffering than for one’s own happiness”, call upon us to cultivate compassion as broadly as possible in rendering our service to mankind.
3. To set up Right Belief. We should firmly believe that unavoidably birth is to be followed by death, everything before us is changing and impermanent, and as can be verified deductively, there is no self, and also we should also believe in the infinity of the worlds and sentient beings and in the Law of Karma (Cause and Effect) operating in and beyond this world, etc.. Besides, self-examination, being a vital prerequisite for cultivating Buddhism, should be consistently and regularly practiced.
4. To make the Great Vow. Will power and strong determination is a fundamental prerequisite for achieving success, and this is particularly true when we have to deal with the momentous problem of life and death. Therefore, to cultivate Buddhism, we should vow with firm determination to liberate the innumerable sentient beings from suffering, vow to get rid of the innumerable vexing passions, vow to learn the infinity Dharma and vow to attain Unsurpassable Buddha hood.
5. To put Dharma into practice. This must be carried out sincerely, preseveringly, energetically in all earnestness, without self-assertion and without deceiving ourselves and others. If one fulfill all these fundamental requirements, it maybe safely assumed that they practically live up to the Buddha’s Way of Life.