Date: November 6th, 2010 (Saturday)
Lecturer: Master Zheng-Yan
Subject: Waking Up to the Real State of Our World 與天下安危共生息
Why are there so many people in suffering and why are there so many disaster situations?
I believe these are warning signs that Nature is sending to humankind.
The Buddha said that one day, the world will face simultaneous catastrophes called.
Three Major Calamities and Three Minor Calamities.
Such a state of circumstances is drawing closer upon us.
We truly must be on the alert.
We must heed the warning signs.
Perhaps people think that these disasters are unconnected with them so everyone remains in a worldview limited to their tiny sphere of life and still go about their lives as they please, with all their focus on their personal pursuits of fame, wealth, etc.
This is a very deluded perspective.
When our planet is ill, bringing down disasters, who can escape unscathed?
For a long time, I did not have the heart to bring up the Three Major and Three Minor Calamities that the Buddha mentioned.
But, we’re seeing serious disasters happening now.
Look at the eruption of Mount Merapi in Indonesia, which is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire.
There are many volcanoes located in the Ring of Fire, which are active Mount Merapi is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, which can unleash powerful eruptions.
After an explosive eruption occurred on October 26, Tzu Chi volunteers went to the shelters to distribute aid to the evacuees on November 3.
While they were distributing aid, the volcano erupted again.
Our volunteers had to quickly stop their aid distribution and try to keep people calm.
Then, yesterday, Mount Merapi erupted again, more powerful than previous eruptions.
So, residents now have to evacuate to outside the 20 km radius danger zone.
Seeing the footage of the evacuees, how can we not feel for them?
What is even more worrying is that a lava dome has been rising within the mountain.
If the lava dome collapses, the lava can race down the slope at 100 km per hour.
If the lava does come down, it will cause unimaginable devastation.
This is not an exaggerated warning.
We really have to raise our guard.
These are warning signs from Nature to alert people everywhere that each of us must quickly wake up.
Only when we wake up to the reality can we understand that we must change our ways and begin anew.
Only then can our mindset begin to change.
If our mindsets don’t and if we don’t wake up from our illusions, then our world will really be in peril for it is truly very fragile.
In the sutra about the eight realizations of awakened beings, it says the world is impermanent, the land fragile.
Nothing in this world is secure and lasting.
No matter how wealthy a person may be and how freely he can indulge in his own personal desires, in doing this, he just creates more negative karma.
In the end, does he really have a good life?
We really should return to our true nature which is very pure and untainted, an inner state that is free of deluded thinking and afflictions, full of purity and inner tranquility.
We should all encourage one another to strive for such an inner state by taming our desires.
Only then can our world be safe and well.
We also see the flooding in South Asia.
It’s truly worrying.
Seeing so many people suffering around the world, and hearing of disasters occurring every day in one country after another, which local Tzu Chi volunteers in those countries respond quickly to with timely aid, how can I not care about these disasters?
How can I not feel for those people in suffering?
So, everyone, we should do our part and take up the responsibility to work for the good of our world.
I often say that when a disaster occurs, everyone has the responsibility to care for the people affected by the disaster.
But, providing aid after a disaster happened is still rather passive and reactive.
We need to be more active in preventing disasters from happening in the future.
How do we prevent disasters from happening so that there can be fewer disasters in the world?
By preserving Mother Nature’s balance.
How do we preserve Mother Nature’s balance?
If people don’t transform their mindset, it will be hard for Mother Nature to be in balance.
Don’t think that these disasters have nothing to do with us.
We all live on the same planet, how can they have no connection with us?
We should really raise our awareness about this.
We need to pay more attention to what’s happening around us and what kind of circumstances our world is in.
What’s happening to our world?
We need to awaken to what’s happening.
So, don’t live in ignorance of the peril that we’re in.
Despite how I’ve tired to call on people to protect our environment, it seems no one hears; it’s like an ant shouting at the foot of the Himalaya Mountains.
This is truly deeply worrying as people are not aware of what’s truly happening.
So, everyone, we must become more aware and pay more attention to what’s happening to our world and then make the resolution the great resolution to work hard to turn around the state of our planet and take this as our responsibility.
Only then can we act quickly to inspire the bodhisattva spirit in more people.
At every moment, we mustn’t forget that there are people suffering or that there are disasters happening at any given moment.
So we must truly be mindful and dedicate ourselves and pray sincerely, with piety and vigilance.
(Source: Da Ai TV 人間菩提)