Let go of everything mentally and be free from carrying the burdens of life

April 19 is Bak Full Moon Poya Day


Ven. Siri Samanthabadra Thera

The owner of the precious gem believed in luck, not in effort. This shows that there is a secret in this world we cannot perceive. That there are the good and bad deeds we have done in our past lives. We reap what we sow, just like the man who ended up with a precious gem.

I explained how you should practice awareness. Now, it is your responsibility to follow my advice. Only those who are intelligent and fortunate are capable of moving forward on this path. Is that clear?

If someone thinks, "I am not intelligent and not fortunate either. So, it is pointless to walk on this path", that is wrong. He should continue this journey. Someday, he will be intelligent enough, someday, he will be fortunate enough. My next question is, who is the truly fortunate one?

The person who can maintain whatever he has received effortlessly without feeling burdened by it, is truly fortunate. Such a person knows how to live an unburdened life. What is the method? All of you do many things to survive. If I tell you to resign from your job and live for around five years jobless, will you agree with me?

You will not agree with me. That means, you do not have any trust on the path I explained. This path is unusual. You feel that you will end up without food or shelter if you walk on this path. The secret is, if you walk on this path, you will receive everything you need. Nature will provide you with everything. But, you need to trust the path totally. As long as you don’t trust the path, you will have to earn a living.

Why do birds eat the best part of food available? That’s because they don’t have any desire or expectation to collect and store food. This is a secret existing in the world. You have to work hard because you have the need to survive. Try to understand what I am trying to say. No one will believe this at once. Only when you move forward on this path, you will realize what I am telling you. Then you will not have the urge to survive.

Those who have the urge to survive will never be able to get out of carrying the burdens of life. An Arahant (enlightened being) lives the way I explained earlier. A monk should also live like that; let go of everything mentally and be free from carrying the burdens of life. Then, nature will provide everything they need. Why does it happen that way? Because, they know something beyond all that is being given.

Do you understand what I am trying to say? You need to trust the path. Trust arises with intelligence. When you practice this path, you will realize my words are true. Will an Arahant, who is a layman, continue to have an occupation? He will not.

Will a stream enterer have an occupation? Yes, he will continue to be engaged in his occupation. But an Arahant will not. An Arahant knows the secret fully. He has let go of everything, so nature provides him everything he needs.

He lives like a bird. I am sure you all will like to live freely, enjoying life and not doing a job. But, your sins will not allow you to trust this path. If you realize the Dhamma fully, the truth will keep you alive. This is an unusual path. You will not need to make effort at all, and in the end everything will be provided.

Let go of everything mentally. Do not get attached to anything, do not desire anything and do not expect anything. Live freely. Relax your mind, and you will become an Arahant. The problem is, none of you have ever heard about the true path taken by the Arahants. When someone tells you the true path, you get confused. All this time, the path we were told was a worldly path. The true path taken by an Arahant is different from that.

There was a discussion between Ananda (the chief attendant of Gauthama Buddha) and Sandana (a wealthy householder). Sandana asked Ananda, "How many Arahants do you have in this temple?". Ananda replied, "Thousands". Sandana then asked, "What are the qualities of these Arahants?" Ananda replied, "They do not kill animals, do not lie, do not indulge in sexual union, do not steal and do not collect anything to store".

This shows that Arahants are like birds as they also do not gather and store anything. They consume and use what is needed only for that moment. They do not secure anything for the future. How do we know that we will be alive tomorrow to consume or use whatever we have gathered and stored? At the end, we will die with pain of not being able to enjoy all that.

When you understand this path, life will seem easy and free. The mind will become very relaxed. Even when you work, you will not feel frustrated. Earlier, you felt frustrated because of the way you thought about it. You worked with many expectations and when your expectations were not fulfilled, you became frustrated.

Now, we learned how to work without expectations. You might think that it is impossible to plan for the future without any expectations. I also organize events in the temple, but without any expectations. I don’t expect that things should go according to plan. If I don’t think that way, I have not practiced what I am teaching you now. If things don’t go according to my plan, I am happier because I can stay without doing any work. That is how I think. Do not regret or worry about anything.

What is the major problem you have in life? You are searching for reasons to suffer. Now, start observing yourself. Check whether you have been searching for another person’s gossip. If you have, then be determined that from tomorrow onwards, you will only observe yourself.

Even when you are doing something bad, be aware of it. For example, let’s say you are bad mouthing someone. Be aware of what is happening within you. You will see that you cannot continue doing awful things for a long time. When you are aware of it, you will get tired of the awful thing you are doing.

Then you don’t need to adhere to any precept with effort. You will be naturally adhering to all precepts taught in Buddhism. Earlier, as Buddhists, you must have tried to adhere to religious precepts with effort. Now, you don’t need to make any effort. It happens naturally within you because you are aware of yourself.

One who is not aware of himself will never be able to keep any religious precept effortlessly. No matter what you do, be aware of yourself. Then your life will not be complicated. You will be immensely happy.

This is an unusual path, but you must tread on it. It is pointless if you are merely listening to my words. You must practically do this. Never take my words to enhance your knowledge. Please remember this clearly, do not take my words to strengthen your knowledge. Maintain effortless awareness. Then, you will see the way you speak, the way you walk and the way you eat etc.

A task done without any expectations will result in a masterpiece. Work should be done without the expectation that I should be the one to reap the fruits of this or I should gain something out of this work. This is the way I thought when we were building this temple.

After finishing the construction, I thought that I should not be the owner of these buildings and I should not use them for myself. If we have presumptions before we begin to create something, then we will never be able to finish it the way it is supposed to happen. I think, masterpieces are created by those who are not confined by traditions and ideas. They think out of the box.

Never be confined or stuck with an idea. When you work, remove the idea that you should be the one to reap its results. Whenever you are about to do something, you normally presume how it should be done. Nature knows that you have presumptions in your head. Hence, nature decides to make you realize the truth by creating problems for you.

You will make effort to overcome the problems and carry on with the plan you have. But, in the end you will fail. What is the result you will receive? Frustration and agitation.

If you are not intelligent, you will not realize the truth or the Dhamma behind it. If you are intelligent enough, then you will understand that you should not create expectations like that. Things don’t happen the way you want. You will end up being sad and frustrated if you think that everything should happen the way you planned. Nature will use different tricks to help you realize the truth. Think why your hair turns grey with age?

Nature is giving you hints. As you have not realized the truth yet, nature makes changes in your body. You must then realize that you cannot maintain anything the way you want. All this is meaningless and there is something beyond all this. But, you don’t understand this. That is your misfortune.

Problems are created in your life for you to realize this truth. If you listen to my teaching, you will be able to face any problem in life. Regardless of what people do to you or how much they try to hurt you, nothing will be a problem to you.

Problems help you to confirm that your realization is true. When you understand what I am saying, you will realize how great this teaching is. If you want to know how authentic this teaching is, welcome problems into your life.

Earlier, you didn’t expect problems. Still, you had endless problems in your life. No one will have a life without any problem. That is why I am asking you to expect problems because it is inevitable.

Sometimes, life fulfills your expectations. For example, let’s say you expect somebody to visit you tomorrow morning. As expected, the visitor arrives. You will feel happy or sad? You will feel happy.

Similarly, expect problems in your life. When they arrive, you will be happy anyway. Earlier, you used to reject problems. Now, you accept or welcome problems. It is pointless to reject problems. We normally reject because that is how we have trained our minds.

Our thinking pattern deviates us from the path. Life is full of problems and we must face them. That is the reality. We cannot win in life just by rejecting problems. We must face them.

An ordinary person thinks that there should not be any problems. He expects a life free of problems. Those who tread on this spiritual path should welcome problems. Everything is the other way around on this path.

- Ven. Siri Samanthabadra Thera

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