• By Nhat Quan
    Faith is based on wisdom and is often called true faith in Buddhism. Faith is the belief in principles of behavior in relationships to be considered good and moral in life. You know that morality is a subjective emotional concept, with characteristics that change according to space, which is where you live, and time, which is when you are living. Therefore, the value of Faith is very limited compared to true belief which is the objective reason.
    Buddhism is a religion with the right views, and right beliefs, a religion that advocates developing wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of people's true clarity and insight, called the right view. It is a religion that brings grounded beliefs and true beliefs to humanity, called true faith. It is a religion that does not force, does not threaten, does not force believers to close their eyes, raise their hands to the sky, and accept beliefs that do not need explanation, cannot be explained.
    Buddhism is not a religion but is only temporarily called a religion so that people have a basis for calling it. Rather, Buddhism is the source of truth that brings together the elements that bring happiness to people in this life, and at the same time bring a prosperous spiritual life to humanity in the 21st century. You have seen, are seeing and You will see Buddhism growing stronger and stronger, peacefully and compassionately, starting from Asian countries to European countries, Australia, and America because of the above reasons. In particular, wherever Buddhism develops, it integrates there, turns into a local religion, and meets the spiritual needs of the people in those localities.
    Because all sentient beings can become Buddhas, the Buddha did not claim to be the only and only Buddha, forcing everyone to worship and having the full right to bless and bring disaster. Buddhism does not have powerful leaders with courtiers, dressed exactly like the emperors and subordinates of the feudal monarchy. Wherever Buddhism develops, it brings peace and happiness to the people there, thanks to the four immeasurable minds, the four vast minds. That is:
    - Loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity.
    Buddhism develops anywhere in this world, never spreading hatred, never bringing any form of war, never bringing any form of rule, directly or indirectly. Buddhism never uses political or economic power to force local people to abandon their religion, never uses profits or favors to persuade people, and never prohibits believers from marrying other religions. Buddhism fully respects people's freedom of belief. Humanity comes to Buddhism entirely due to each person's love and voluntary choice. The great thing about Buddhism is that it invites you to come to see, not to come to believe. Faith is not necessary, once you have seen it as it is. So you come to Buddhism with wisdom, with true understanding, that is, with the right view, to achieve the goal of enlightenment. Therefore, you come to Buddhism with true and clear belief, that is, with the right faith, to achieve the goal of liberation. You come to Buddhism, not with blind faith. You come to Buddhism, not through rituals, forms of worship, or forms of superstition.
    You come to Buddhism with the right view and gain the right faith, to create a peaceful and happy life in this life and for enlightenment and liberation in the future. Therefore, as a true Buddhist, you must understand clearly what is the right view, what is the right belief, what is the wrong view, and what superstition is, to avoid being misled into heresy, or pagan.
    Buddhists and those who want to learn Buddhist teachings must have a serious attitude, a clear mind, a normal mind, an upright mind, without discrimination, without bias, without prejudice. Disputes winning or losing, chaos, and discrimination that you are not Buddhist children. According to the Buddha's teachings, you will learn things that are by the truth, by truth, by wisdom, by the Dharma, to apply in daily life, to build a peaceful and happy in present life. That's why the Buddha always taught:
    - You should not immediately believe everything the ancients said, everything the influential people of religion and society said, everything the superiors said, everything many people believe, as recorded in the book. It would help if you only believed what can be tested, true to the truth, true to reality, through clear intelligence, found to be beneficial for yourself and everyone.
    As you know, before Buddha was born, in India, there were hundreds of different religions. Some religions worship the god of fire, and the god of thunder, some religions worship snakes, and some religions worship cows. There is religion naked body. Some religions advocate extreme physical torture, such as: Using a whip to beat yourself, walking on fire, standing in the scorching sun, lying on a spiked table, sleeping and sitting all year round, hanging your legs upside down, eating and drinking rotten food. Because they believe that the human body is the cause of all sins.
    But since the Buddha went everywhere to explain the truth and spread the Dharma, through the path of right view and right faith. It means bringing the light of wisdom to open the dark minds of people. Since then, countless people have admired, taken refuge, left the path of superstition, and returned to the truth. This causes the leaders of other religions to gradually lose followers, lose faith, no longer have credibility, and become angry, so they cause a lot of trouble, creating many obstacles in the Buddha's path of propagating the Dharma through forms: Defamation, slander, and distortion.
    In Buddhism, three subjects help people develop true wisdom, called Three Wisdom Studies, including:
    - Listen, Think, and Practice.
    - To develop clear intelligence, on the path of practice, you need to listen, learn, and then think, visualize, and think thoughtfully and thoroughly.
    When you realize that it is beneficial for yourself and everyone, then you can apply it to practice and apply it to daily life. You don't have to believe or follow anything immediately when you hear or see it, without thinking, without verifying, without finding out anything. To have a true belief, even if the Buddha's teachings are written in books called classics, you also need to verify it, called the right view.
    The right view is true knowledge or a clear understanding of the truth. Right faith is true belief, well-founded belief, through human wisdom. That is, things:
    - See as it is, believe as it is. They are called right view and right faith.
    The right view is the first step in the Eightfold Path. The right view is the first essential condition to help you have the right faith, to help you judge, comment, and see things according to their true nature, true form, without self-deception, without avoiding the truth, and don't avoid life. Buddhism is a religion that transcends the world but is not far from the world. Buddhism came into the world to enlighten and liberate people, from afflictions and suffering, from the cycle of birth and death, but without being polluted by the world. Like a lotus flower that grows from mud but is not stained by mud, but still gives off a fragrant. Buddhism saves humanity who is still in this world to be enlightened and liberated, not waiting until people die to become enlightened and to be transported to the Western land of bliss!
    To live comfortably through the path of right faith, you only need to learn the following two important right views: One is the Principle of Cause and Effect. Second is the Principle of Dependent Origination.
    1- Cause and Effect:
    Today, thanks to scientific knowledge, you understand clearly that if you plant orange seeds in the ground, plus supporting conditions such as irrigation water, light, fertilizer, and care, in time you can reap oranges. So say:
    - You reap what you sow.
    However, sometimes there is a cause but a lack of supporting conditions, and the fruit cannot be reaped. That's why it's called cause and effect. Cause and effect apply three times: Past, present, and future. Mean:
    - There are karma created in the past, you will receive karma in the present.
    - There are karma created in the present, you will receive karma in the future.
    - Just like there are seeds that are planted and get fruit early, there are also seeds that get fruit after a certain period, short or long.
    So don't be surprised when you see people who are causing bad karma, that is, they are doing evil and unwholesome things, but are still happy and peaceful. Because they are enjoying good karma, from good karma created in many previous lives, in the scriptures it is called a blessing. When they enjoy all that blessing, they will begin to reap the consequences of the evil and unwholesome deeds they are causing. At that time, if the karma is light, the family will be ruined and their career will be destroyed. If the karma is heavy, you will lose your life and die without a complete body. In the Agama Sutra, the Buddha taught:
    - When people are enjoying blessings, they are like arrows shooting into the air. The arrow flies up very quickly, very strongly, just like humans encounter all the luck, good things, and wishes. When the blessings run out, people begin to repay their karma, just like an arrow falling to the ground when it has finished its strength.
    Therefore, do not be surprised when you have done or are doing countless good deeds, helping people, giving alms, making offerings, going to temples to chant sutras, and reciting Buddha's name, but still encounter misfortune, suffering, lawsuits, and hunger, constant accidents. Because the good karma you have done or are doing in this life has not yet come to fruition. On the contrary, you are receiving bad karma, the consequence of bad karma that you have created in the past. Understanding this, you can still be diligent, and continue to do good deeds, tirelessly, non-stop, to create more blessings, while still enduring adversity and tribulations. That is the right effort in the eightfold path mentioned above. Therefore, do not rush to assume:
    - Doing good deeds without receiving good results,
    Don't rush to think:
    - Do evil things but still have a happy life.
    Don't rush to believe:
    - The more tricks, the more benefits.
    Because, you cannot sow sweet orange seeds and reap sour lemons, or vice versa. Whatever the cause is what you get, where there is fire there is smoke, if you sow the wind you will reap the storm, if you do good then you will be born, if you do good you will receive good, if you do evil you will meet evil, even if you want to run away from the sun you cannot escape the sun! There are also cases of in-present retribution. In-present retribution means karma or the karmic retribution you must receive, right from the moment you have created the karma. Such as:
    - If you work hard, you will study well.
    - If you work hard, you will be prosperous.
    - If you save, you will have a surplus.
    - Moderation will make you live longer.
    - If you eat, you will be full,
    - Exercise makes you healthy.
    - You spit out blood and dirty your mouth,
    - If you are addicted, you will suffer.
    - If you're lazy, you're poor,
    - Gambling puts you in debt,
    - If you are wasteful, you will be hungry.
    - If you steal, you'll be in jail.
    - If you harm others, they will harm you...
    However, even if the karma has been accidentally created, many lives ago, or in this life, if you know how to stop karma, and know how to change karma, that means knowing how to repent, know how to turn towards goodness, know how to cultivate your mind. Nurture your nature, know how to cultivate humanity, and accumulate virtue, then when karma comes, it will be lighter thanks to the blessings you have created and protected you. Big things will become small, small things will become nothing. If you don't know how to stop karma and don't know how to change karma, then when karma comes, you will receive it in full. Understanding the principle of cause and effect in such a thorough way, you will have a lot less trouble and suffering. From there, apply it in life, like just meeting someone, but they hate you bitterly, then you have to contemplate:
    - That's not natural, it's not like they suddenly hate me. I have caused resentment, from previous lives with them, maybe even in this life, but I didn't know or pay attention to it.
    Understanding this, you will not be upset, will not blame that person, only blame yourself, and be even more cautious in behavior, actions, speech, and even in thought, so as not to create more karma new causes, and reduce old resentments. For example, someone throws dirt at you. You immediately understand that karma is coming. You should only care about keeping your body and mind clean, without throwing dirt back at that person. You should know that:
    - There is never an effect without a cause.
    - Nothing ever happens without a distant cause and a near cause, it's just that you don't reflect and don't understand.
    Understanding cause and effect in such a thorough way, you will see that sorrow and suffering or peace and happiness are all actively created by you, not blessed by God or any other deity that brings disaster. Indeed, for example, when there is discord or dispute in the family, you must try to find out what is causing it, whether it is due to selfishness, greed, bigotry, or the individual of the family clinging to personal opinions. Once you find the cause, you can actively change and transform your mind. Only then will you be able to build a peaceful and happy family. In the Avatamsaka Sutra, the Buddha taught:
    - All things in the universe are born of causes and conditions
    - The universe and all things are created by causes and conditions, not by a god or an omnipotent creator.
    It is called cause and effect, meaning:
    - Because this exists, that exists, because this arises, that arises.
    When there is discord in the family, you immediately understand that it was you who did something that caused the other person to react like that. You must examine yourself before blaming others. Surely because you did something, this happened, so people did that in response.
    For example, if you are weird, other people will be upset. You have to speak harshly to be scolded by them! If you are easy-going and cute, you will be loved and respected. Seeing others seem frustrated, if you only know how to blame, only know how to respond, and know how to retaliate, then it will only make things worse. With careful contemplation like that, creating a happy family is not difficult. So you need to know that:
    - Nothing in life is created naturally.
    A tree can't grow naturally without a seed in the soil. It's impossible for someone to suddenly scold you, or naturally for someone to hate you, without you doing something wrong, whether accidentally or intentionally. It is impossible for you to suddenly have a fatal accident, without prior retribution because of your creation. Understanding that there is nothing left to be surprised or upset about anymore.
    To cure your body's illness, you must see a doctor, take medicine, eat moderately, maintain personal and general hygiene, and exercise. Not only knowing how to pray to God, praying to Buddha, drinking river and stream water, thinking it is holy water, and being cured of illness. If you want to cure mental illness, that is, if you want to reduce the effects of afflictions and suffering, you must know clearly what causes those afflictions and sufferings, then actively improve, without complaining to heaven or earth at all. The realm of heaven or hell depends on what you create, not from anywhere, not decided by any heaven, god, or demon. That is an important right view that you all need to have, understand, and know, so that you can have a more leisurely and meaningful life.
    2- Principle of Dependent Origination:
    In the Avatamsaka Sutra, the Buddha taught the principle of dependent origination. You need to know that in this life, things are never peaceful and smooth, never as peaceful as you want. As soon as one thing is done, another thing happens. Before this thing ended, another thing came, continuously and continuously, never stopping, just like the wind at sea. There is a saying in the West:
    - What will be will be!
    - Whatever has to happen will happen!
    Life events cannot be avoided, you should accept them calmly. You can't pray for peace when you don't have blessings. The book has the sentence:
    - If you have blessings, you will enjoy blessings.
    You cannot enjoy blessings. If you refuse to do blessings and only know how to beg and pray, you cannot have blessings to enjoy. That is the obvious truth. If you realize this, you will not be surprised or suffer when you have to face disturbing situations that continuously happen in this life, in your life. Whoever can endure the eight winds of the world, always blowing, is called the eight winds that cannot move, that is a great person. The eight winds are:
    - Profit, ruin, slander, honor, praise, criticism, tribulations, happiness.
    In short, whether you are a lay Buddhist or a monastic, and have decided to follow the Buddha, you must learn and understand the Dharma to have the right view and faith. When you have the right views and the right faith, you will live a peaceful life. Otherwise, it's just blind practice, easily lost, superstitious. In the Diamond Sutra, the Buddha taught:
    - A person with righteous faith has planted good roots in countless thousands of Buddhas. People with righteous faith receive immeasurable blessings. A person with right faith no longer clings to the appearance of self, the appearance of people, the appearance of living beings, and the appearance of receiving, which means you no longer cling to the self, cling to the dharma.
    To be considered a Buddhist with the right views and right beliefs, you must study the Dharma while cultivating your mind and cultivating your nature, cultivating your mind and cultivating your nature while studying the Dharma. Surely one day you will suddenly have great enlightenment. Thus, your life enters a new life, stepping out of the thousand-year cycle of darkness, from that moment of enlightenment. After overcoming the coma, far away from a miserable life, no longer dreaming about illusions, then sorrow becomes peace, suffering becomes happiness, the struggle becomes peace, hatred becomes love, bitterness becomes sweetness, Doubt becomes understanding, Saha's suffering becomes the land of bliss, the world becomes paradise, everyone becomes one. What happiness! What a miracle
    To have a prosperous, stable, and strong spiritual life, to have a carefree, peaceful, and happy life right now in this life, you should develop your mind to study and apply Buddha Dharma right in your active life intense, diligent, and never relenting. Therefore, you should quiet your heart, vow to cultivate your mind and nurture your nature, develop wise and wonderful wisdom, and destroy the veil of ignorance that has covered your mind for so long. Until one day, near or far depending on your practice, you will be enlightened and liberated, will be able to escape the cycle of birth and death, and will enjoy the realm of ultimate bliss, the realm of Nirvana.
     At this point, perhaps you already know too well what the right view is and what are the benefits of the right view, so you must rely on true wisdom and not on blind faith. Furthermore, Buddhism is inherently an egoless religion, free from attachments, without dogma, and respects the truth. Therefore, accepting or not accepting the Buddha's statements is completely up to each of you and no one else's right to freedom of thought. It is this freedom of thought that shows the meaning of right view and right faith as the true nature of the path of compassion and wisdom.
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