Love is a remedial tree that could heal all miserable illnesses of
all beings. Yet, people do have a heart to break its branches and let it deteriorates.
Fortunately, there are some branches left with some new sprouts. Intentionally or
unintentionally, we are destroying the remedial tree. That will be a tremendous lost
for the mankind in which nothing can replace. Hopefully by realizing its significant
value, they will exertively protect it and nuttier it for its future development.
That will truly be is an endless happiness for the mankind.
Mr. Ba (Third) in the neighborhood has raised a hen and its chicks, which are fat
and cute. Every morning, he called them up to feed them with a handful of rice. As
usual, the flock crowded up for the delicious meal. He gave them a tender look and
perhaps, they would look at him as a lovable owner. The relationship between him and
the flock became deeper, while the flocks were growing bigger.
One day, after several months went by, Mr. Ba had a visitor. As usual, in the morning,
he stepped out to feed them rice. Instantly, he grabbed one. In shock, the chicken
struggled, trying to escape. This made the rest scatter everywhere. But the screaming
of the chicken didn't seem to soften its owner's mind. At last, its legs were tied,
and its throat was cut. Well, obviously, the shouting for help and the struggling
from death of the chicken could not in any way changing the owner's plan. It's life
ended to satisfy its owner's taste. The love of Mr. Ba for the flock only exists when
it is not used for cooking. Whenever the chickens are needed for the meal, the love
will vanish like smoke!
At one of our temples, there are two dogs named "Tieu Hy" (Little Happy One) and "Tu
Tu." Every morning, they play and wrestle with each other dearly. These moments have
brought me joy as I thought that even though being animals, they know to love each
other like humans do. But the problem occurs when Tieu Hy is fed with a bowl of food
from the nuns. In those occasions, Tu Tu comes by to share, but Tieu Hy automatically
growls at it. Tu Tu backs off. Tu Tu behaves the same way when it's fed with the food.
But after the meals, they are happy with each other.
The scenario of the dogs makes us realize that when all beings are in need of foods
or have a control of the foods, their relationship with others will vanish. Do the
dogs really love each other? If they don't then why do they caress and wrestle with
each other? On the other hand, why do they become enemies instantly when they are
fed with a bowl of rice? Are human relationships the same?
Once, a family from a far province came to take a refuge in the Three Jewels with
me. All of their children were grown. Because the parents were getting older, they
decided to make a will. No one knew how the properties were partitioned, but some
of the children asked me if I could convince their parent to divide the properties
equally so that they would not have bad thoughts about their parents. I then immediately
advised them, "Your parents gave birth to you, raised you up, provided you education,
and supported you through marriage. Your blessings from them are unlimited. Because
your parents are well financed, all of you are being well taken care of and even entitled
for an inheritance. If your parents are poor, you will instead have to work to support
them to fulfill your role as the children. Well, doesn't matter how much you are entitled,
it is still wonderful. Let's not ask for more to upset your parents. You should realize
that there are many less fortunate families out there, whose parents are deceased,
have to work very hard to be successful. Comparing you to them, you are in a much
better situation since your parents are still alive and give you their properties.
Thus, to be good children, you should listen to them. Do not blame them so that you
will loose your blessings." Nevertheless, they still disagreed with me and responded,
"We would rather have nothing than receiving an unequal portion…It's unacceptable!"
I had no choice, but to be silent. They left with an unhappy feeling. Later, the parents
came by to have a talk with me. During the conversation, I mentioned to them the situation
and recommended them to be fair as to give their children as much as they could, or
else, it would lead to a dispute. They replied, "We will give more to those who preserve
the properties and less to the reckless ones. To us, it is reasonable and fair." I
had no comment at this point. Later on, I heard that those entitled less had sued
their parents. I sought for being powerless in teaching my followers. It's quite sad!
It's even apathetic when seeing humans, who are smarter than animals, would become
enemies over the materials. Nothing is closer then brotherhood, sisterhood, and parenthood.
Because of a little property, people could oppose each other. Honestly, the more I
think of life, the more hurtful I feel!
Do humans in this world really love each other? If one nation has a good relation
with another, then it should provide supports such as foods, medications, and money
when catastrophes occur. However, when the benefits of both nations are invaded, the
war exists if no settlement is set. This means that people only love each other when
their benefits are not taken away. Therefore, it is unclear to know who are friends
or enemies in this life. The human love is restrained in a drawn parameter and vanished
beyond that boundary. Even those, who are publicly known for bringing the love to
humans, are still limited by particular conditions, which can even turn them into
enemies if these conditions are not met.
The presentations above would make us feel questionable about love. Does it base on
words or lip talks? This is the pessimism of the moralists and an emergency alert
for socialists. In eyes of Buddhism, to nourish the unlimited love, we have to use
the "eyes of wisdom" to see the conditions of humans. The reason that we are closing
our doors of love is greed, hatred, and ignorance. Once the eyes of wisdom are opened,
those three evils will be destroyed. Our doors of love then will widely open. How
can we open the eyes of wisdom? First, we have to carefully look at the real life
of humans by asking "How long can we live?" or "In our life time, have we lived in
peace?" or "Have our ancestors and we truly lived in happiness?" Our eyes of wisdom
will turn bright if we observe closely these three issues.
The first question is "How long will our life last?" The truth is nothing can guarantee.
We aware that we are still alive at this moment, but we have no idea how we will be
in the next second. The death is surrounding us in all forms such as a wrong walk,
an airplane crash, a brain nervous breakdown, etc… Therefore, Buddha had said, "Humans
live in every breath." By knowing life is such impermanent with no guarantee,
why can't we love and care for each other in each moment that we live? Why should
there be greed and hatred when our lives are temporal? And why can't we forgive each
other in order to live in happiness and peace? Discerning how impermanent our life
is, we will be free from hatred and greed, meantime, our love will open wide for whom
having the same circumstances as ours.
The next step is to observe from the time of birth to this minute to see if we have
lived in peace and security. For sure, all of us will answer "no." There are so much
adversities: physical & mental illnesses, unexpected incidents, bankruptcies,
broken relationships… Our and other people's life of adversity indeed are not different.
Why can't we understand and share each other the love? We need to comfort each other.
It is the flower of love that is blooming in our heart.
Finally, we have to observe if our ancestors and we have truly lived in happiness.
Some of our ancestors, who used to live in fame, are now disfamed. Some heroes are
now disabled, and some homeless people out there who once owned much of money. Can
either we or our ancestors strongly say "my life is full of happiness?" If life is
not a happiness, why should we still attach to it? Should we bring each other out
of the ambushes? The happiness of life is an illusion which makes us suffer when we
chase it. But because everyone wants to get the same happiness, they have caused each
other indefinite conflicts or hatred. Analyzing it clearly, we ought to tell each
other to stop the chase. By then, the true love will appear from the bottom of our
Through those three methods of observations, we will be able to open the "eyes of
wisdom" and arise the true love. This love is unlimited, unconditional, and it widely
spreads. From this wisdom, the three poisons of greed, hatred, and ignorance will
vanish. But in other to get that wisdom, we should have moments of peace for observation.
Don't bury ourselves at work or attach to the TV since those won't give us the chance
to extent our wisdom. The root of love is not drying out yet, since there are subterranean
streams of water in the ground of humanity, which are seldom discovered. They're waiting
to be found. This is the hope of the people and moralists.
One time, a Buddhist told me about her trip from the city to her birth place, Vinh
Long province. The bus that she took was full of passengers. At one stop, a young
man came aboard, but carelessly hurt his knee by hitting the door. Seeing his leg
bleeding, she searched in her purse to find cottons to stop the bleeding, then put
on antibiotics to clean the wound. Finally, she tore up her handkerchief to cover
the wound. The young man gave her an appreciated look among many other respectful
eyes. At the next stop, he got off the bus first, then helped her to step down. The
young man was much appreciated for her kindness, so he thanked her before he walked
away. Another time, she took her 13-year-old grandson to our monastery "Tu Vien Chan
Khong" to visit me. It was during the time that the monks were serving jack-fruits,
the best ones that were reserved in 30 minutes break between the duty times. They
were offered some. After finishing about 10 pods, the lady told her grandson to save
the rest for the beggars. Several hours later, both of them left us to return to the
city. At a free market, she passed out the jack-fruits to the beggars before their
The pods of jack-fruits are not valuable, but her intention (kindness) is precious
because it came from an unlimited love, which could hardly find. If we all have the
same indefinite love, this society will have less sufferings. Hopefully, people will
remember the less fortunate ones and share them their love in order to make this earth
a paradise in the future.
The unconditional and unlimited love in Buddhism is called the "Mind of Compassion."
It is strengthened by the wisdom to destroy the boundaries of selves, families, groups,
religions, nations…and itself will expand indefinitely. When one already has a compassion,
he/she will think of the hungers while having a good taste. Living in success, he/she
will remember the unlucky ones. He/she also has a compassion for the poors, and the
defeats. These are the steps to help us to terminate the mind of selfishness and ignorance.
All beings have enough of sufferings, so we don't need to add more pain to them when
we can't reach out to support all at once. Let's wake each other up from the dreams
of ignorance, end the chase of greed, and stop causing pain to each other. The true
happiness will never appear in the presence of greed, selfishness, ignorance, and
madness. It can only be in oneself who's always giving out the love.