Skip to content

The Promise of Buddhism

September 2, 2013

Q: You were talking the other day on a walk about the benefits of following the Buddha’s teaching. Could you repeat that for the blog audience?

The Arahant: Certainly. I was saying that simply following the basic precepts of the Buddha’s teaching leads to tremendous, in fact unprecedented benefits. The benefits experienced by following the basic precepts, even by a large minority of the population, would lead to a Golden Age, a true civilization practically like heaven on earth.

Imagine belonging to a community where there is no crime, violence, war, competition, lies, stealing or cheating. Imagine not having to work for a company or boss. Imagine a world where everyone is understood, respected and cared for with compassion. This is what life would be like if everyone were practicing the teachings of the Buddha.

I know it’s unrealistic to expect such a thing to happen, but what if it did? What if everyone suddenly decided they have had enough of material suffering, fear and anxiety, and determined to become enlightened? Wouldn’t that be amazing?

The basic precepts of Buddhism are:

  1. Do not harm living beings.
  2. Do not take things without permission.
  3. Do not have sexual activity in body or mind.
  4. Do not speak untruthfully, harshly, divisively or frivolously.
  5. Do not consume intoxicating drugs, alcohol or tobacco.
  6. Do not eat substantial food after midday or before dawn.
  7. Do not dance, sing, play or listen to music, watch shows, wear garlands, adornments, scents or cosmetics.
  8. Do not use luxurious seats or high beds.

If everyone in our community followed these simple precepts, just think of the benefits:

  1. No crime, no exploitation, no war.
  2. No stealing, cheating or fraud.
  3. No rape, no wasteful dating, no need for pornography.
  4. No politics, verbal abuse, fighting.
  5. No drunkenness, crazy drug freaks, much less cancer.
  6. No weight problems, increased longevity and health.
  7. Simple life, no vanity, fashions, foolish music and dancing, wasting time.
  8. Simple life, no worries, no status problems, save money.

And these are just the external moral principles of the Buddha’s teaching; it doesn’t even begin to describe the benefits of meditation. Imagine if everyone were to learn meditation as a young child. By the time they were teenagers they would have already conquered anger, desire and stress. That is the world we would live in today if everyone followed the Buddha’s teaching.

“As for the qualities of which you may know, ‘These qualities lead to dispassion, not to passion; to being unfettered, not to being fettered; to shedding, not to accumulating; to modesty, not to self-aggrandizement; to contentment, not to discontent; to seclusion, not to entanglement; to aroused persistence, not to laziness; to being unburdensome, not to being burdensome’: You may categorically hold, ‘This is the Dhamma, this is the Vinaya, this is the Teacher’s instruction’.” — Gotami Sutta (AN 8.53)

From → Q&A

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: