Being a secular country ,there are plenty of religions in India and every person has a choice to follow his/her own religion according to his/her own belief. It is often said that Buddhism is more like a science of mind than a religion. Gautam Buddha had found the secrets of life by discovering the harsh realities of life.Well , Buddhism is a view of life that does not affirm on rewards for good deeds and the punishment for the wrong. It is contemporary to the context of realizing life in its reality and does not provide illusory hopes.
1) The Right Speech
Right Speech means not lying, not speaking divisively or abusively, and not engaging in idle chatter and gossip (hello social media!). Words are magic. They create the reality you live in and wrongs ones can end you up in trouble too as well as create resentment, disharmony and perpetuate hatred . So , be mindful of how you use your words. Do not waste them.
2) The Right Mindfulness
Right Mindfulness means staying present and aware of yourself , reality and your place in reality. It means paying attention and not zoning out—primarily because when you zone out and live life on “autopilot,” you can easily take harmful actions without really thinking about it.
We often miss out on a lot of things of life and regret later on. We fail to notice the little things our partners do for us, our kids grow up to be a completely different person without us realizing and our parents finally leave the world leaving us yearning to meet them just for one last time . We are always busy with so many things at a time which includes overthinking too due to which we are neither entirely attentive to our personal lives nor professional lives and end messing up both. The teachings of Buddha urges us to be mindful of every action we take, things we say, hear or see. We need to be more observant rather than just living life , thinking it to be different phases that will pass.
3) The Right Action
Right Action means being morally upright in your actions, and not acting in corrupt or harmful ways. Specifically, it means: Not killing, not stealing (not taking what is not given), and not engaging in sexual misconduct.
Urging us to stick with the right thing to no matter how small or big it is what Buddhism teaches u . However, in our daily lives, it is often difficult to do the right thing. It’s hard not to take credit of the presentation that your junior has made; it’s hard not to sext with the other person while your partner is asleep and there are so many other things that we do and consider harmless.
It seems hell lotta work to do the right thing in every big and small aspects of life but in the long run, when self-esteem, self worth and spiritual contentment becomes more important than materialistic gains, this particular advice of Buddha does seem more apt than ever.
4) The Right Effort
Right Effort means working to uphold all that is wholesome within yourself and the world, and also working to abandon all that is harmful. It means being one of the good guys.
We all have been bestowed with wholesome qualities such as virtues of talent, love, observation, philosophy as well as other skills which most of us realize them early in lives and dream that our qualities would eventually let us be someone but very often, we give up on those dreams and end up indulging in malpractices or doing something that we believe we were not meant to.
Possessing the qualities of love, respect, patience and compassion in our hearts becomes hard with such dissatisfaction in life and we end up bitter and woeful as well as regretful. However, it is with the right effort that we can excel with our knacks, achieve what we desire and never let the sense of failure make us lose our faith. Sticking in the wrong job and hammering the last nails on the coffin your dream won’t yield you anything so its better and much sensible to put in the right effort to realize our aspirations.
5) Right Concentration
Right Concentration means meditation. Once free from sense-desires, and leading a tranquil life, the practitioner begins to meditate, usually through mindfulness of breathing, object concentration or repetition of mantras.
As human beings we have been bestowed with great energy and skills and with this the achievements we can make are limitless. However, what holds us back is the straying of the mind.
It is the state of being absolutely immersed in concentration that we are the best of ourselves. It is a question of mental discipline and regular meditation had always been recommended in Buddhism.
6) The Right Intention
Right Intention means being resolved to renunciation. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you give up everything and go become a monk, unless you’re that much of a drama queen. What it does mean is working to steadily improve yourself, to rid yourself of the defilements of the world. It means intending good will and harmlessness towards all beings (including yourself) instead of ill will and harmfulness.
We all view it is right and convince ourselves by thinking that what matters is what we do and not how we think. In this way we give ourselves the license to fantasize about anything we want.We tell ourselves firstly nobody is getting into our mind to know what we are thinking nd secondly its just a mere thinking which maynot be legit but what’s bad in fantasizing. We may have a good auro and tryna be a true gentleman or woman but from within we may think about having sex with our best friend’s partner, murder, rape in our minds and linger over criminal ideation as long as we don’t do it in real life.
Little do we realize that it is from these harmless guilty pleasures of imagination that we drift towards sadism, misogyny and often masochism because we fail to keep our conscience clean. The quality of our character should be dazzling bright in our eyes but with the dark and gloomy as well as morally questionable thoughts, we often find ourselves avoiding eye contact with people we know on the streets. It is interesting to notice how Buddha had a modern outlook so many years ago.
7) The Right Livelihood
Right Livelihood is not making your living in a way that creates suffering for other beings. Buddha was a practical man and never urged his followers to quit jobs and become monks. Understanding the importance of earning a living, the Eightfold Path includes the concept of Right Livelihood which encourages to earn but in an honorable way and never transgress the idea of compassion and love.
Being inconsiderate to people’s sentiments or manipulating the mass wrongly as a part of our profession and making money, is a way in which income can be earned but we fail to feed our souls with self-respect.
8) The Right View
Right View means understanding that life is just a magic show. It is transitory. It is virtual reality. And it causes suffering as long as you think it is real, and take it too seriously.
Why are we weak enough to let things upset us more than they should? It is because we perceive the world as we like it to be and not the way it really is. Once our view of the world is mended, we realize that losses and gains, happiness and heart aches are just part of the deal. There is no way we can change the cycle and enduring the experiences with strength, grace and dignity is the best we can do.
There is no heaven to go to nor there is a savior to wait for.
But be awesome enough to do the good deeds to make a heaven right over here on Earth with righteousness in your heart and a head held high withoit any woes.