- 1. Biographical Sketch of Prophet HUYNH PHU SO
- 2. Foreword
- 3. Elementary Teachings For Those Who Practise Buddhism
- 4. On the Four Debt of Gratitude
- 5. On the Three Karmas
- 6. On The Noble Eightfold Paths
- 7. How a Hoa Hao Buddhist disciple take the vows and behaves?
- 8. Things to be avoided or allowed or should be done
- 9. Worshipping by those who practice religion at home
- 10. Apendix: Eight Advices to our followers
- 11. Map of South Viet Nam
- 12. Hoa Hao Buddhist Organization
After the extermination of the Three Karmas, let us act according to the Eightfold Paths and after the sins have been suppressed, the Ten Happy Ways will appear. We are just making another step on the path of virtue. Such progress does not mean we have reached our goal. Therefore, we must practice the Eightfold Paths afterwards as this is the daily Book of Prayers of anyone who wants to escape the path of error to get on the way to deliverance.
The Eightfold Paths consists of:
This means to be able to understand and examine in compliance with the truth.
Man is usually carried away by his ownself and his mind is veiled so that truth is somewhat distorted. Whether it is because of the lack of clearsightness or of personal grudge or selfishness, man does not see the right path, therefore, he cannot have the right judgment, thus, resulting in people being victims of injustice. That is why the Right Understanding teaches us in using our mind to analyze every matter, looking carefully into them, to avoid error in judging whatsoever, be it ours or others. A careful view, a clear judgment will prevent us from forming erroneous opinion, so that we can put our self aside to avoid confusing our mind. It would thus help us understand things clearly and thoroughly and have a right judgment.
Furthermore, it would help us understand the worldly ties and the wonder of religion, so that we can drive the evils away, get rid of passion, return to virtue, and therefore, escape the sorrows of the world. It would prevent us from falsehood and thus we can avoid making errors in practicing religion.
In this world, man is induced by desires: fame, interest, power, attachment... and his mind gets confused in such desires which he cannot fight. This is vicious aspect of life.
The rightful consideration tells us to have our heart serene, our nature peaceful, our mind noble. That truth is our duty towards mankind, towards God and Buddha, towards ourselves. We must, therefore, use our mind in trying to help the living creatures in the circle of misfortune. Let us believe in Buddha and God and pray the Almighty for their blessings. Let us find deliverance for ourselves by happily practicing our religion whether we are rich or poor.
The activity of Buddhist priests can cause no evils because it is confined to meditation, prayers, reading and writing books. and maintaining their temples.
On the contrary, those who practice their religion at home have to earn their living; some engage in small businesses, others perform various trades. However, although their lives are dependent on livelihood, such dependency is quite different from that of the dishonest and robbers, and they do not do deceptive and malicious undertakings. In the earning of their living, they also pledge to reject professions that do harm to man: proxenetism, commerce of narcotics and alcohols, usury, speculations.
Although those who are engaging in these harmful professions do not compel their customers to buy, the fact remains that their businesses are the very cause of spoiling, degenerating and debauching the people. They are accomplices and the criminals are those inveterate addicts and drunkards. That is why the ``Right Action heading prohibits the practice of the above mentioned professions.
Those who practice their religion at home do not kill living creatures without reason, nor do they strike or harm anyone which may result in committing evil actions.
Atheist used to say that the body is the man. As long as the body exists, the man exists and he disappears when the body is gone. There are no saints or Gods or Buddha, no Karma nor metempsychosis; there are no sins, no blessings; no vital spirit nor soul either. Life is that of a mans body, living means fighting, the strong is bound to win and the weak to loose. That is why so many treacherous tricks have been used, so many lies told, so many cruelties committed.
The ``Right Effort, therefore, advises to keep our belief firm. Even if our desires were great, even if some power tried to induce or force to give up Buddhism to do other things, they could not drive us away from our belief if we remained strong. We must remember that the work of the Almighty is to save human beings from sufferings. We must keep in mind that living creatures are engulfed in an ocean of sufferings, that as long as some living creatures have to suffer, we will suffer with them and that it is our duty to awaken those in this world so that they can free themselves from the Karma of their previous existence. For that purpose, one must come back to reason and aim at Nirvana, with a determination to improve oneself and become enlightened in order to also help others from worldly ties. We must get rid of all sorrows, all evils, by quelling the six sensory organs and trying hard to keep a clear mind: serenity, happiness, seriousness,.. in our determination to reach Nirvana and to help others on the path to deliverance.
One is used to seeing ones body as the center of the universe, considers it as something precious and takes care of it. That is the result of the six sensory organs: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind. The eyes like to see the beauty, the ears like to hear sweet sounds, the nose likes to smell sweet scents, the tongue likes to taste delicious food, the body likes to be well treated and the mind likes temporal power.
One look for everyway possible to fortify ones body; such a concern tarnishes the mind and makes it so blinded that one no longer thinks of suppressing the Karmas.
Let us, therefore, get away from things that darken our mind, get rid of pompous and frivolous things and have our body under control to find the path to Immortality, let us enter into the meditation and contemplation to bring ourselves into Nirvana.
The six sensory organs cause people to catch the six wordy sins. As one wants to nourish ones body, one has desires which are the sources of sins. Among the sins, four items from the tongue: The Double Tongue (which people disagree with each other), the Abuse of Power (which consists in insulting subordinates), the Vicious Tongue (wicked, vulgar words, offending divinities), and Falsehood (telling lies).
Let us train our tongue so that our speech will be decent and truthful. Let us get rid of lies and cunnings, vulgar and coarse words. Whenever we have to discuss anything, we must make it clear and straight. To our superiors, our speech must be virtuous and so are the advises we give to others to guide them the right way. Such behavior is helpful to others and is in compliance with the moral principles.
This consists in remembering righteous things. One remembers what is left and what is lost, what is successful and what has failed, what one likes and what one dislikes. The seven passions and the six desires have forced man to waste much power of the mind for their sake. Fame and wealth, affection, power and honor.. are recalled daily. That is why man rolls forever in the six ways of metempsychosis law with no hope of escaping the circle of life and death.
To be freed from metempsychosis and to put an end to this miserable life, let us think of the way of preaching our religion, getting rid of superfluities, engraving on our heart Buddha meritorious services towards living creatures. We must remember that the body is created by earth, water, fire and gas and that sooner or later it will go back to the soil. Only through Right Mindfulness shall we be able to eradicate the sources of troubled emotion and vicious desires with all their evil consequences.
Man longs to live longer, to get richer and be happier. He does not understand that life is temporary, wealth and heritage are just like drifting foam or clouds moved by the wind. Birth, illness, old age, death, such are the conditions which are laid upon one man after another... upon the entire mankind without exception. Man loses, however, his head in his quest for fame and benefits, riches and honor, all those shabby and vile things.
He does not try to understand that besides the ephemeral nature of life, there is nothing that does not move, nothing is permanent. If we use Concentration to break through the veil of darkness, we will see that there will be no sadness, no misery, no metempsychosis. And when we use the Right Concentration to get rid of all grieves and sorrows, drive away all desires that induce us into evils, our mind would not be confused any longer, our thoughts will be as clear as the full moon with a transparent light which no outside dust can affect. We will feel free from worldly ties and we will gradually reach the Deliverance World