BuddhaSasana Home Page
Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera
The Buddha's Service
The Buddha was the embodiment of all the virtues that He preached. During His successful and eventful ministry of 45 years, He translated all His words into actions. At no time did He ever show any human frailty or any base passion. The Buddha's moral code is the most perfect the world has ever known.
For more than 25 centuries, millions of people have found inspiration and solace in His Teaching. His greatness still shine today like a sun that outshines the glow of lesser lights. His Teachings still beckon the weary pilgrim to the security and peace of Nibbana. No other person has sacrificed so much of his worldly comfort for the sake of suffering humanity.
The Buddha, was the first religious leader in human history to admonish against animal sacrifice for any reason and to appeal to people not to harm any living creature.
To the Buddha, religion was not a bargain but a way to enlightenment. He did not want followers with blind faith, He wanted followers who could think freely and wisely.
The entire human race has been blessed with His presence.
There was never an occasion when the Buddha expressed any unfriendliness towards a single person. Not even to His opponents and worst enemies did the Buddha express any unfriendliness. There were a few prejudiced minds who turned against the Buddha and who tried to kill him, yet the Buddha never treated them as enemies. The Buddha once said, 'As an elephant in the battle-field endures the arrows that are shot into him, so will I endure the abuse and unfriendly expressions of others.(Dhammapada. 320)
In the annals of history, no man is recorded as having so consecrated himself to the welfare of all living beings as did the Buddha. From the hour of His Enlightenment to the end of His Life, he strove tirelessly to elevate mankind. He slept only two hours a day. Though 25 centuries have gone since the passing away of this great Teacher, His message of love and wisdom still exists in its pristine purity. This message is still decisively influencing the destinies of humanity. He was the most Compassionate One who illuminated this world with loving-kindness.
After attaining Nibbana, the Buddha left a deathless message that is still with us. Today we are confronted by the terrible threat to world peace. At no time in the history of the world is His message more needed than it is now.
The Buddha was born to dispel the darkness of ignorance and to show the world how to get rid of suffering and disease, decay and death and all the worries and miseries of living beings.
According to some beliefs, a certain god will appear in this world from time to time to destroy wicked people and to protect the good one. Buddha did not appear in this world to destroy wicked people but to show them the correct path.
In the history of the world until the Buddha's time, did we ever hear of any religious teacher who was so filled with such all-absorbing sympathy and love for suffering humanity as was the Buddha? At about the same time as the Buddha, we heard of some wise men in Greece: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle and many others. But they were only philosophers and thinkers and seekers after truth; they lacked any inspiring love for the suffering multitudes.
The Buddha's way of saving mankind was to teach them how to find salvation. He was not interested in alleviating a few chance cases of physical or mental distress. He was more concerned with revealing a Path that all people could follow.
Let us take all the great philosophers, psychologists, great thinkers, scientists, rationalists, social workers, reformers and other religious teachers and compare, with an unbiased mind, their greatness, virtues, services and wisdom with the Buddha's virtues, compassion and Enlightenment. One can understand where the Buddha stands amongst all those great people.
Source: Buddhist Study and Practice Group, http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhism/
[Back to English Index]