Serve My Teacher With Love
"satthā ca me pariciṇṇo bhavissati mettāvatāyā’ti"
Millions call themselves Buddhists, and state that they practise Buddhism, study Buddhism. But truly loving him there are not many.
Do we really understand how a completely ignorant person could have gone through being Bodhisatta, practised Bodhisatta's rules, developing Buddha's path, Unsurpassed and Perfected in Knowledge and Conduct, becoming Vidyācaraṇasaṃpanna, Buddha, Teacher of the gods and humans.
He had to overcome countless difficult painful challenges unknown to us, and when He reached enlightenment, we can never know what He saw that made him a Buddha, and after that, what he had taught since He became a Buddha.
Can we really appreciate how much He had sacrificed to find ways to help us?
Without the Exalted One, the world would be very much different from what it is today. Without Him, many of us would have committed suicide or become insane. Without Him, Tripitaka would not have traveled miles over deserts to seek that treasure of knowledge to enrich the Buddhist culture of China. Without Him, Buddhist culture would not come into existence in Myanmar, Thai, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Mongolia, Tibet, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea.
Without Buddha, a quarter of the human populations would not have learned about the Way to the End of Suffering.
I do not care if anyone had ever reached enlightenment, what I do know is the concept of Way to the End of Suffering only came from Buddhism.
Buddhism is the only place where we can be taught about what suffering actually is, what the world truly is, and the path to get off it. Though right now, with your own body, your own fate, your own life is that of an ignorant, you can still absolutely find your way to a peaceful refuge. This is an unsurpassed beauty of Buddhism. And that wonderful solution was brought to us by Buddha himself.
The understanding of his story and meaning alone is not enough. We should practice and develop ourselves to prove that we are followers truly worthy of his teaching.
We respect and love Him because we understand Him, not because He was some kind of god. Do you understand this?
Before He entered Nibban, saints from all realms arrived to place flowers to show respect to Buddha. Buddha turned and asked Ananda: "Ananda, do you see all these flowers that are placed upon Buddha's body?" "Yes, I see them."
"Ananda, in all the ways that respect are sent to me, the most meaningful, the most beautiful, the most glorious, is showing me how my teaching is practised."
Whatever we offer in ceremonies to Buddha, no matter how expensive and grand it is, within a few months we would completely forget.
The ones who love Buddha best, miss Him most, and respect Him most, are the ones who carry and practice his teaching. That is true love and respect for Buddha.
"I will pay respect and pray to the Supreme Buddha in the manner of a true follower, in the manner of a disciple knowing his true teacher."
From Dhamma talk by Ven. Toai Khanh (20 June 2019)