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Get Rid Of ExcessIn Venice, there are many beautiful sculptures which are difficult for anyone to walk away from. These include the works by Auguste Rodin, a French sculptor. People once asked him :”You are such an amazing sculptor, a genius of all geniuses. Tell us your secrets in making such beautiful works”. He replied: ”I simply collect a stone, a copper block or a log of wood, then I remove all the excess bits from it and finally what remains behind is a sculpture“.
Practising Buddhism is going through the same way - of removing the excess. Of the three karma deeds : the Body karma, the Speech Karma and the Mind karma ; if you find something unnecessary in these karmas you should remove them.
Why do we have to distinguish between what we need from what we want? So that we can continue with the next steps of the developing journey: After eliminating the needless, the redundancy, what remains will be the “Stream-Enterer” stage of development (Sotapanna).
From the “Stream-Enterer” stage , by eliminating further redundancy one aims to achieve the second stage of culminating Nibbana (Sakadagami). From the second stage, with further elimination of excess, a practitioner can reach the “Non-Returner” stage (Anagami). From the Anagami stage, by further eliminating even the smallest mental defilements one can reach the final stage “Accomplished One” ( Arahat). All that has to be done is done, the purity state of sainthood is achieved; and the load has been taken off.