Monday, 19 October 2009

Advice for the modern world

I'm inviting you to read these 10 lines below in good faith: read them and see whether you'd agree with them. Let me just say at the onset too that this is a Charter of Free Inquiry which advises us not to accept any fact or lesson blindly without first seeking verification from the wise. Now, there 10 short points are:
  1. Do not strongly believe what you hear just because you have heard it for a long time.
  2. Do not follow tradition blindly merely because it has been practised in that way for many generations.
  3. Do not be quick to listen to rumours.
  4. Do not confirm anything just because it agrees with your scriptures.
  5. Do not foolishly make assumptions.
  6. Do not abruptly draw conclusions by what you see and hear.
  7. Do not be fooled by outward appearances.
  8. Do not hold on tightly to any view or idea just because you are comfortable with it.
  9. Do not accept as fact anything that you yourself find to be logical.
  10. Do not be convinced of anything out of respect and deference to your spiritual teachers.
I was deeply impressed to learn these 10 teachings last Saturday. Even without knowing that this is the Kalama Sutta - the Lord Buddha's Charter of Free Inquiry - as expounded to the Kalamas people of Kesaputta in India, I could understand easily that His teachings were about that:

We should go beyond opinion and belief. We can rightly reject anything which when accepted, practised and perfected leads to more aversion, more craving and more delusion. They are not beneficial and are to be avoided. Conversely, we can rightly accept anything which when accepted and practised leads to unconditional love, contentment and wisdom. These things allow us time and space to develop a happy and peaceful mind. This should be our criterion on what is and what is not the Truth, on what should be and what should not be the spiritual practice.

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