Luangpor Thong Abhakaro
Bless all of you here. For the people who are seeking Dhamma or the truth of life in all human beings, there is no other work but studying oneself - the essence of life, or the essence of Buddhism.
The true studying is to study inside ourselves, not outside. The outside studying is only one factor of living. To study inside life and thought is the true study of the Buddha's teachings. If we study our minds and lives, we will get the essential aspects of Dhamma that will quench sufferings.
Today, the topic is "Seeking for Nirvana in this life before death." To seek for Nirvana in this life is necessary for everybody. It is urgent. It is a must for us to study, to learn and to understand while we are alive in order to cope with our daily life. Otherwise, we will have missed the opportunity when we die.
Talking about Nirvana after death is just a tactic of teaching other ways to encourage people to study and raise their hopes.
Nirvana is the Law of Nature, or Truth, which the Buddha taught us to seek for and possess in the present. Everyone can prove it because his teachings are for those who are alive, not for dead people. Life after death is not provable and invisible. It is the future which has not come yet.
If we would know, see, and experience in this life, we would no longer have doubt. The Buddha taught us not to have doubt, neither of our life or actions.
Most people have tried to do something good, but still have doubt or uncertainty about their own actions. They didn't try to affirm the truth within themselves so they couldn't guarantee themselves. If we had proved it and could guarantee ourselves, then we would have the confidence to challenge other people to prove the Truth.
The truth exists in human beings in every walk of life. It belongs to everybody no matter what nationality or language they speak, literate or illiterate. The truth is here all the time as long as man exists. Whether there is anyone to know it or not, it is there. Even if the Buddha hadn't become enlightened, it would still be there. But the Buddha was the first person to discover it. It is the Law of Nature. It is a state of being which is natural.
Nirvana is in every moment of our daily lives, but we don't know and don't understand that. So we forget that and look for it outside of ourselves. If we really want it in this lifetime and seek for it seriously, we will get it.
If all of us here could see our mind, our lives, at this moment, we would see that they are normal (neutral state). That is Nirvana. Therefore, Nirvana is provable and touchable. The Buddha taught that the Truth is something that really exists. He saw that life has no illusion, no suffering. Illusion and suffering are not real, they are transient.
So the real and original life is pure, or in other words, man is nothing. It exists naturally. We don't have to do anything with it. Therefore, if we have found the right method, and have done it correctly, we will certainly get Nirvana automatically, without any expectation. That state of being is so pure that even though we have it, it seems like we have nothing. Everything is there, but there is nothing.
As I have said, we'd better seek for Nirvana while we are alive. But there are some people who expect the result in the future or after death. This kind of belief has been taught in many religions all over the world, even by those who claim that they had no religion. That's why we can not find the truth, and can not see the state of being which exists within ourselves.
All of you here are well-educated. While you are listening to my talk, some may understand, some may not. Listening is your duty, right or wrong understanding is up to you. My duty is to talk about the truth. Some people who really want it can understand easily, but it seems to be difficult for some others.
Actually, everybody wants the truth. At this moment, if we are in a normal state or have no greed- anger-delusion, then Nirvana is already here. It exists in human beings naturally. Everybody can find it, no need to wait for it.
So I say, seek for it now, at the present time. Be in the present every moment. Usually, we forget ourselves and pay attention to other things outside of us. Sometimes we think of the past or the future, and are not in the present, so we have no real shelter.
If we can be in the present all the time, then we will be closer to Nirvana. Right now, we're lost, and can't find the way out. We can't find the thing that will enlighten our life because we are busy thinking about the past and future. We are concealed as if we have locked ourselves up with no way out.
Therefore, try to be in the present. Do not forget yourselves. Try to catch up with the present moment by being aware of your daily movements. Being aware of all your actions is a pure and excellent way to remind us of ourselves.
To conclude simply, as long as we have self-awareness, we do not have to do anything because it is already perfect. Therefore, we should change our attitude and seek for Nirvana at the present while we are alive, then we will get what we want automatically.
Last update: July 14, 1996
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