• By Nhat Quan
    Wrong views are false knowledge, and baseless understandings, causing you to stray into evil paths. Superstition is blind belief, causing you to lose all judgment and intelligence. Wrong views are a type of superstition that brings unpredictable harm. Wrong views are the type of superstition that can harm people's lives, can destroy entire families, and can ruin major national affairs.
    According to the Buddhist concept, a wrong view is a wrong understanding or crazy perception of the truth of life. It means that the nature of life is suffering which you think is happiness, impermanence which you think is permanent, and selflessness which you think there is a self. This is the root cause of all the troubles that arise.
    In everyday life, wrong views represent confusion about cause and effect, not recognizing the law of cause and effect, or not believing in the cause-and-effect progression of good and evil actions. Of course, such a wrong attitude of understanding will have the effect of tolerating evil instincts and evoking desires within people. That's why the Buddha explained:
    - And monks, what is the wrong view, if someone thinks that there is no result of almsgiving, no result when doing good deeds?
    - There is no result of sacrifice, there is no result or retribution of good and evil karma, there is no this life, no next life, no mother, no father, no types of reincarnation, in this world there are no monks and brahmins who practice righteously and achieve righteously.
    Cause and effect in life shows that it is inevitable that wrong perception will lead to wrong actions. That is why wrong views are considered a danger to life because they lead you the way to evil paths. That means wrong thinking, wrong speech, wrong karma, wrong livelihood, wrong energy, wrong mindfulness, and wrong concentration arise due to wrong views. In other words, wrong views are the root cause of all unhappiness and suffering, because it leads you down the wrong path, wrong thinking, wrong speech, and wrong actions. Makes you completely lose all awareness, falling into unwholesome actions of body, speech, and mind, causing all suffering consequences to arise, continuously lasting throughout life constantly. The manifestations of wrong views through superstitious forms are too many, but I will only temporarily mention the popular forms, commonly seen today such as:
    - Tarot card reading, palm reading, fortune telling, future direction, mediumship, burning fake money, cars and buildings made of paper for ghosts
    1- Fortune telling, palm reading, face reading, fortune telling
    This is a problem not only among Vietnamese people but almost everywhere in the world. From east to west, from any people, from any religion all over the world. Many of you can believe in fortune telling, face reading, fortune telling, and future reading. You only think that you need to know your future destiny, but you don't trust your talent, and you trust fortune tellers who don't know their future or destiny exactly, then how can they know your future, your destiny? There is a proverb that says:
    - Fortune telling brings out ghosts, sweeps the house out of trash!
    For some people, when you hear a fortune teller say everything is going well, you feel happy and rewarded with money. But then, you are extremely disappointed and miserable when you encounter things that are not as good as the fortune tellers say. On the contrary, if the fortune teller says:
    - If you are about to encounter an accident, you will immediately feel insecure and worry harmfully and in vain.
    But worrying like that won't change anything, on the contrary, it will only harm your health. This is a trick devised by a fortune teller to deceive you, waste your money, and make money from superstitious people. Fortune tellers do not have any ability to command the gods to save you from disasters. You also need to know one fact:
    - Fortune tellers also go to temples, worship, pray, beg, this and that, especially they are very sincere, asking Buddha and Bodhisattvas to forgive their sins of lying and deceiving people by making more offerings to the temple than everyone else!
    But most of you, when you hear bad things, you often get agitated and eventually lose confidence and self-control.
    2- Believe in mediumship
    This is a heavy form of superstition. Mediumship is a blatant scam, making money, only by deceiving gullible people. A silly man, or a woman with flashy makeup, flashy clothes, strange gestures, dancing wildly, sitting and swaying, belching and yawning for a while, then lazily calling herself:
    - The third aunt, the fourth uncle, is this god, that princess, which is the jade emperor...
    They are all impersonations of imaginary characters in Chinese stories, or in fantasy novels. Sometimes they even pretend to be Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Saints, Immortals...
    How do you know what evil forces or demons enter their bodies to write poems and verses, teaching one thing or another? If you have to borrow a mortal body to be holy and sacred, talk nonsense, belch, and yawn, nothing is interesting that you have to believe in, bow down to, and listen to. While living abroad, he prayed to the gods, at Ta Lon Mountain, Sam Mountain, and Sap Mountain, and went to the United States to join her and his mediumship. Living abroad, asking for holy water, taken from five or seven mountains or something, that can cure diseases, help with love affairs, and resolve family matters, is truly superstitious beyond imagination. Yet there are still people who place ads in newspapers to attract gullible people.
    3- Palm reading, fortune telling, future directions:
    These are also ancient forms of superstition, from East to West, from Asia to Europe, in human society, many times you see:
    - Some people have a gentle and dignified appearance, but their hearts are not gentle and dignified.
    - Although some people have a happy appearance, they do not have a peaceful life.
    - Although some people have a great appearance, it is not certain that they are truly at ease, happy, and wealthy. On the contrary, working hard is much more miserable.
    - Some people have the appearance of being educated, wealthy, and belonging to the upper class in society, but they do not have a generous, gentlemanly heart at all...
    You must know that it is the appearance of the fortune tellers that is truly suspicious of fraud! You should know that:
    - Anyone who has a good, gentle mind and knows how to cultivate the mind and nurture nature, then the appearance and face born from the influence of the mind will also be perceived as gentle and good. On the contrary, someone who, despite having a good natural appearance, has an evil heart, is selfish, greedy, angry, delusional, deceitful, evil, and eager to take others to court for everything. That good appearance also disappears with the evil mind, the face gradually becomes unsightly, grimacing, scowling, grumpy, and dirty.
    In life, you often worry about too many things, due to your imagination. For example, you often worry about the future, that is, the years 1997 and 1999 are always about the upcoming end of the world in 2000. But the truth is, when it came to 2000, then 2001, until now 2024... you don't see anything. Therefore, in the Diamond Sutra, the Buddha taught:
    - The past has passed, missing, feeling sorry for, regretting, is of no use.
    - What you see now will pass quickly, regret, and attachment, are of no use.
    - The future has not yet come, worrying, worrying, is of no use.
    Thus, worrying too much about the past, present, or future will only bring suffering to the body, pain in the brain, and fatigue in the heart. The book has the sentence:
    - Whatever has to happen will happen.
    - Whether you expect it or not, it's the same.
    You have created the cause of karma when the karmic result must come, it will come. No matter where you run, you can't escape karma! The sky's net is vast, and although it is sparse, it is difficult to escape! You should know that:
    - No one can save you unless you have created a lot of merit.
    When karma comes, no matter who it is, they still have to pay the karma. For example, the Buddha's disciples must also pay for the karma they created many lifetimes ago when they did not know how to practice. The only difference is:
    - Those with few blessings will pay in full, those with many blessings will pay less.
    In the Dhammapada, the Buddha taught:
    - Even if you go to the mountains, the sea, or into a cave, karma still follows you like a shadow, no one can avoid it.
    Nowadays, some people go to see fortune tellers, predict their future destiny, or pray and beg the Buddha to save their suffering, but they do not cultivate their mind and nurture their nature, do not stop their unwholesome karma, and do not want to cultivate the Buddha's teachings, to save yourself, are truly useless. The scriptures say:
    - We are suffering and praying for relief from suffering
    We are suffering, we pray for salvation ourselves.
    Thus, that is the person who has the right view and right faith.
    The Buddha is a real character in history, who practiced and attained enlightenment, was enlightened and liberated, but he could not save all of you, moreover, he also determined:
    - Whoever creates the cause must enjoy the result.
    What's more, if the gods, or saints, you imagine, then beg, and pray, then pray and pray, how can they save you? No one can save you if you don't know how to save yourself!
    4- Burning fake money, cars, buildings, and paper dolls:
    Burning fake banknotes is extremely absurd. I don't understand why today, the world is at the threshold of the 21st century, the era of scientific technology, but some people still believe in burning money. fake for ghosts. Think about it, fake US dollar banknotes, and say:
    - Bank Of Hell
    Yet some people still believe in it and buy it to burn for their relatives in Hell to use! Doing so unintentionally creates opportunities for scammers to commit more crimes. Someone even said:
    - As the life is like, so is the underworld.
    But in fact, you unintentionally benefit businessmen and get rich. When living, you are used to competing, wanting to benefit yourself or your loved ones. When you die, you also want to be happy and leisurely with a house, a car, and servants made of paper! But, After you die, you are reincarnated in another realm, in the cycle of birth and death, according to the karma you created while you were still alive. There is no way to enjoy it there. If you can practice, make offerings, and dedicate it, perhaps when you die, you will receive blessings and your living relatives will also benefit.
    The consequence of wrong views and superstition is that you believe stubbornly, and blindly, no longer have clarity, do not know the truth, and lose confidence in your abilities. Your life is always insecure, anxious, and afraid. Because, you always rely on outside forces, even though you don't know where that force comes from, whether good or bad, good or evil, you don't even know. Your mind is always selfish, only thinking about you. Your life is full of suffering, bondage, worry, anxiety, and fear. You live in darkness, not knowing what is right, what is wrong, what is right, and what is wrong! Pitiful. Just like that, your conscience is tormented by wrong views. Because wrong views have distorted physiology and mind, giving rise to greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance, suspicion, hatred, etc.
    Knowing that wrong views are suffering, you must practice. Because practice is to create new things to replace the old ones. Therefore, you must create new intangible spiritual values to replace old tangible material values. But remember, desire also has its two sides. Therefore, becoming a monk means you have to create a holy desire, to replace the vulgar desire of everyday life. Because the problem here is purifying the mind. Because the mind is the root, if it is clean, then wherever the country resides will be clean. If you have a desire for liberation, then you must nurture that desire to grow stronger, and then you will use it to replace your previous trivial desires. And that is called irreversible faith, in your path to study and practice.
    So you cannot say greed is completely bad. And similarly, evil cannot be completely evil. Because inside that evil there is something else, that you just don't know. And in goodness too, it is not completely good. It is an endless path to the past and future. And similarly, evil is also an endless path into darkness. Therefore, sentient beings have many evil karma and are forever stuck in the cycle of samsara and suffering. As for those who are good, they will also reincarnate on the rising path to reach the light of Buddha Dharma.
    At this point, I would like to quote the Buddha's sutra to show you the harmful consequences of people with wrong views and the good results of people with right views:
    - Hey Homeowners, in this world some people have the wrong view that giving alms and offerings does not bring good results; Neither good nor bad actions lead to good or bad consequences. In this world there are no true people who practice the Dharma, achieve wisdom, and attain enlightenment. After achieving it, declare things that you have personally experienced and realized. Because of this wrong view, some sentient beings, after death, are reborn in evil realms and hell.
    Meanwhile, those who live with the right view, have the right faith, and are dedicated to doing good deeds will always receive blessings, especially those who know how to listen. There is an ancient saying:
    - If you can endure the anger for a while, you can avoid hundreds of thousands of worries.
    This saying is very true.
    Once upon a time, there was a person named Tin who was always happy to do good and help people, often doing things that benefit others. On the way back to Mr. Tin's village, about 10 miles away, there was a very large willow tree with luxuriant branches and leaves. People passing by this road often sit and rest under the tree. That summer, it was extremely hot. Mr. Tin was on his way home when he passed a willow tree, he stopped, took off his shirt, and took off his hat to enjoy the cool breeze.
    At that time, an old man from another village came. He walked so fast that even young people could hardly keep up. When approaching Mr. Tin, this person muttered:
    - Today's luck is not good, I've been traveling for half a day and haven't earned a penny. Now that I've encountered this tree, I have to take the opportunity to rest for a while.
    But when he stood in, the old man said in dismay:
    - It's really bad luck. This willow tree is about to be cut down.
    Then, he lamented and quietly left. At first, Mr. Tin thought that this old man was stupid and talked nonsense, so he did not pay attention. But a moment later, Mr. Tin saw a group of people holding saws coming and saying:
    - Now we have to cut down this tree.
    Mr. Tin was extremely surprised and asked:
    - In the summer it is very sunny. If you cut down this tree, travelers passing through here will no longer have a place to rest.
      Those people said:
    - The owner of this tree has already sold it, what other choice do we have?
      Mr. Tin said:
    - I will buy this tree at a higher price than the old price you bought it for, is that okay?
      They say:
    - Of course, it's okay and let's meet the next day to set up terms to buy back the willow tree.
    Mr. Tin thought to himself, could the old man from earlier be able to predict that the tree was about to be cut down by a fairy? But if they were fairies, why couldn't they predict that someone would buy this tree? Thinking so, Mr. Tin hurriedly chased after the old man.
      After running for a while, Mr. Tin met the old man from before. Mr. Tin then asked:
    - Just now, sir, you predicted that the tree was about to die. Why wasn't that right at all?
      The old man replied:
    - You're right, I knew that there would be someone who would buy that tree, but such good people are truly rare in this world, so at that time, I didn't dare to be sure.
    Mr. Tin said:
    The person who bought that tree was me.
    The old man said:
    - If you do such a good job, you will have a lot of luck.
    Mr. Tin said:
    - It seems that you can know the future, please tell me what my future will be like.
     The old man said:
    - Let's not talk about that, because today you will encounter disaster. But if you can endure things that other people cannot endure, you will avoid this disaster.
    When Mr. Tin heard that, he quickly returned home. When he arrived, he saw his wife and a young man lying together in broad daylight. Mr. Tin immediately became angry, pulled out his knife, and prepared to kill two people. But suddenly remembering the old man's advice from earlier, Mr. Tin calmed down, shook his wife awake, and asked:
    - Wake up quickly, who is lying hugging you in the middle of the day?
    Mr. Tin's wife then said:
    - Who was here again? Who do you think can sleep in this bed?
      Mr. Tin said:
    - You can sleep in this bed, besides you, there's only me and my daughter!
      And Tin's wife said:
    - That's right. Why do you ask such a strange question?
      Mr. Tin looked closely and saw that it was indeed his daughter. He smiled and said:
    - Why is my daughter wearing a boy's clothes like this?
      Tin's wife said:
    - Every once in a while, I tease you for fun.
      Mr. Tin said:
    - Today you and our child almost lost your lives at my hands. Luckily, a fairy taught me so I could avoid this disaster.
    Then Tin told the story in detail to his wife and children.
    Because Mr. Tin specialized in doing good deeds, he lived a long life, until he gave birth to a son, and then after giving birth to grandchildren and great-grandchildren, he passed away.
     Through this story, you can see that Mr. Tin is not only a person who has the right views, and right faith, knows how to give alms, and knows how to do good deeds, but he also knows how to listen and practice patience that is difficult for other people to do. Thanks to Mr. Tin's ability to listen and practice patience, he was able to escape a deadly disaster.
    In short, those who always live in wrong and stubborn views must suffer. Whether you believe or not believe what the Buddha declared is your right, you certainly cannot doubt the compassion and compassion for sentient beings of the Supremely Enlightened One who wholeheartedly reminded and advised you.
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