• By Nhat Quan
    You see there are many religions in the world today, each religion has different dogmas and beliefs. Because each belief is different, there are many different policies. There are policies that bring peace and happiness to humanity, but there are also policies that destroy the peace, happiness, and joy of humanity.
    The topic of this article is Blind Faith, so first we learn what Blind Faith is.
    - Is lacking wisdom to the point of not being able to distinguish between right and wrong, good or bad...: leading to blind aggression.
    - Confused, no longer able to distinguish between right and wrong, leading to blind actions and blind love.
    - Not being able to distinguish what you are doing, right or wrong, believing blindly
    Blindly believing, condemning, acting, or being aggressive without any understanding will deprive you of your spiritual value and dignity. Then when old age comes, eyes must be blurred, ears must be deaf, hair must be gray, teeth must be loose, legs must be weak and hands must tremble. At that time, only your mouth was strong, so you talked more and more. Therefore, you understand why there are elderly people who cannot do anything physically, but their mouths are healthy, so they often curse or blame, and that is also the reason why you see politicians getting older and older, the more often you say wrong things and talk a lot.
    Before going into details, let me tell you a story:
    - Once upon a time, there was a king who could not decide on court matters because every time he came to court, the civil and military mandarins argued with each other, and everyone said they were right. The other day the royal court held a festival full of entertainment. The king brought in an elephant and seven people who were blind from birth. The king himself held each blind man's hand so they could touch the elephant, and each person touched a part of the elephant. After the seven blind men finished touching the elephant, the King asked each person their thoughts: What does the elephant look like?
    The person touching the faucet said:
    - According to my professional understanding, the elephant is a giant python.
    The one who touched the ivory said:
    - Gossip! How can an elephant be as hard as a python? I have never said anything wrong and would like to confirm that it resembles a farmer's plow arm.
    You touch your ears and say:
    - Ridiculous, the person touching the elephant's ear sneered and said: The elephant is like a palm leaf fan.
    The person who touched the elephant's body said happily:
    It's really crazy, clearly looks like a big barrel.
    The person who touched the elephant's head boasted and said:
    - You're all idiots, the elephant is like a big block of rock.
    The man touched the elephant's leg and shouted loudly:
    - Brag! The elephant resembles a tree trunk.
    The person touching the elephant's tail pouted and said:
    - Completely ignorant, listen to me, an elephant is like a broom. I touched it and knew for sure.
    The seven blind men touching the elephant began arguing, then cursing and finally fighting each other. They curse each other because of their confidence, belief that they won, and because of their own truth. While the musketeers stopped the blind crowd, the ministers felt humiliated and bowed their heads. Everyone present at the scene understood the King's meaning. And this comedy later became widely known and always mocked the mandarins.
    Through this story, you see that each religion can represent or represent a small corner of the truth. If based on that small corner to say that it is true, it is like a blind person touching an elephant.
    Instead of your blind confidence, you should share. The above metaphor of the seven blind men touching the elephant shows that if the seven blind men shared their experiences with each other, they could come to the following conclusion:
    - The elephant is like a very large barrel placed on four large tree stumps, with a bamboo stick attached to the back and a rock in front. The rock has a long python wrapped around its head, two palm leaf fans waving on both sides and two plow handles stabbing into the ground. This model isn't that bad, but at least it helps people who have never seen an elephant have a concept of what an elephant is like.
    That is the reason why there are extremist religions that only specialize in spreading suffering and hatred to humanity. Because they think that doing so is right and good, and they will go to heaven. Faced with such a situation, you should choose for yourself a religion, or a meaningful and rational direction based on your beliefs, not simply based on traditional beliefs, customs, and dogmas. If there is a time when there are religions and beliefs of free choice, then you see that there are religions that often have conditions that force people to accept the religion, even taking advantage of poverty, illiteracy, or appealing to emotions to get people to believe in their religion.
    You should be free to choose your own religion according to your interests and understanding. Once you blindly follow religion without any understanding, you will be deprived of the spiritual value of religion and your own dignity. So you have to distinguish what is right and what is wrong. You can adapt to circumstances, so you should choose a religion that suits you and matches your understanding of life. You must be properly guided and given an opportunity to make your own decisions without any coercion.
    A faith built on love, a religion with a faith that is always based on your insight. Here I would like to introduce to you Buddhism. Buddhism is a practical educational system for cultivating the mind that was discovered in the world 2,567 years ago by the compassionate and wise Buddha. Buddhist teachings are known to everyone as the Middle Way teachings, a true way of life, a system of moral philosophy, and a religion of freedom and reason. Buddhism teaches you to practice three main things, which are:
    - Do not do evil,
    - But you must do good things, and
    - Keep your mind pure.
    Your virtue plays an important role in Buddhism, so the Buddha once said:
    - My Dharma is not to come to believe but to come to see and practice.
    This encourages you to study the Buddha's teachings fully and thus allows you to use your own judgment to decide whether you should accept this teaching or not. Of course, no one has the right to ask you to come and accept Buddhism without having any understanding of the Buddha's teachings. Cumbersome rituals and prayers will have no real Buddhist value or meaning. There is no blind faith and practice or esoteric teachings in Buddhism. Everything is open to the choices of those who follow and you are free to examine the teachings and question them anytime you want to clarify your doubts. According to Buddha's teachings:
    - You should not believe anything just because it was said by a saint, or just because it is accepted by tradition, or accepted by many people.
    Therefore, you must use your consciousness and intelligence to find out before you accept to believe. Then you accept it only when it has value while you do it with good results. It means that this unique teaching of the middle path leads you to a life of holiness and peace.
    Thus, the Middle Way is the path to enlightenment, a method of liberation from suffering. Buddhism does not agree that humanity is suffering today because of the sins committed by your ancestors. On the contrary, each of you attracts your own merits or sins. You are responsible for your own suffering or happiness. You following the middle path will find true peace and happiness and can lead a noble life without being a slave to your own senses and others.
    Buddha showed the way to peace, happiness, and liberation. His method of guidance is liberal, reasonable, and scientific, and can be understood as leading to enlightenment. Today, the Buddha's message of peace is considered important, and universal, and especially has been and will help those of you who are still caught up in hatred, greed, jealousy, and arrogance. You can help everyone in this world have a truly peaceful life, if you will apply this teaching in your daily life.
    Buddha appeared in this world, dispelled the darkness of ignorance, and saved the world from its disasters. All over the world, many people live without belief or without practicing any form of religion. However, if they just take a little trouble to study what the Buddha taught, they can easily clear up their doubts. If there is and is convinced to follow the religion that can best contribute to human happiness, that is Buddhism.
    Buddhism has had a profound influence on everyone. The Buddha's message to the world did not involve any violence, nor did it make anyone shed a single drop of blood. This is a memorable thing in the world human of history that has been sealed with golden letters. This teaching illustrates the path by which humanity can escape from a world of discontent to a new world of light, compassion, peace, happiness, and fulfillment.
    The 2,567-year-old teaching of the Buddha has the capacity to meet any challenge without overturning it or having to give a new interpretation to its original teachings. This teaching can be accepted without fear of contradicting modern scientific discoveries and inventions.
    This teaching values morality as one of the necessary factors for achieving liberation. Another factor is intelligence. Virtue and wisdom can be compared to a person's two eyes and two feet. Virtue is like a vehicle that can carry people to the gate of liberation, but the real key to opening that gate is wisdom.
    Buddhists do not see themselves as the only ones who can supposedly have a chance at ultimate happiness. Because you believe that people create their own hell or heaven, depending on how they live, and suffering in hell or experiencing ultimate peace can be experienced right in this life, instead of in the next life, as most of you already believe. Buddhism never tries to preach its teachings by threatening people with hell, or by certifying them to have eternal life in heaven, but by revealing the truth. According to these teachings, anyone can enjoy ultimate happiness as long as he or she has a righteous way of living.
    Heaven is not reserved or exclusive to any particular sect or religious community, but is open to everyone who lives a noble life. These are people whose virtues of tolerance, patience, and understanding are honorable virtues that religious people endorse and preserve. Compassion, charity, and sympathy not only for humans but also extend to all other sentient beings. This religion teaches its followers to respect the views of others in order to live a harmonious life.
    Instead of placing your being and destiny under the arbitrary control of unknown outside forces and forcing you to submit to such supernatural powers, Buddhism has elevated your position, and give you confidence in your own intelligence. Wisdom teaches you ways to practice and develop your potential.
    Buddhism also teaches you to be altruistic towards others. Teaching Buddhists to stay away from evil deeds not only because of fear of retribution from some invisible cause but also because of experiencing evil karma that causes suffering to sentient beings. Their motivation to do good to help others is not to please the supreme being, to receive favors, but to liberate them from suffering.
    Here Buddhism helps you find the path to complete wisdom and holiness without relying on any external power. You can attain the highest wisdom through realization but not through revelation. You can wash away your sins without the help of any representative savior. You can achieve liberation in this very life by practicing correctly with your ability without expecting it to appear in the next life. Buddhism teaches that you are not for religion but religion is for you. That means you do not become a slave to any religion, you must make your own efforts to apply religion for your own liberation and betterment.
    Buddhism believes that the mind has great power, it is your creator, your destroyer, and also the architect of your destiny. Therefore, you are capable of planning anything if you know how to develop and use your mind properly.
    In short, Buddhism is a great beacon for guiding humanity to eternal peace and happiness. The truth is that today's world is tangled with misunderstandings about race, politics, religion, and ideological opposition. To solve these complex problems, you need to practice the spirit of altruism and mutual tolerance and this can be cultivated under the guidance of the Buddha who has a strong moral character for good.
    That is why you must come to see that spiritual development is more important in achieving material progress for the true happiness and well-being of humanity. You should also practice truth, serve, give alms, and love if you want this world to become a better place to survive.
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