• By Nhat Quan
    You often hear in Buddhist scriptures:
    - Sentient beings are forever stuck in the cycle of birth and death and refuse to practice for liberation.
    So the first thing you should learn is the concept of reincarnation:
    To put it simply, reincarnation is rotating from one place to another. When the cycle is finished, it returns to the original starting point and then continues to rotate, repeating the cycle many times without stopping. From the point of view of Buddhist students, in addition to the realm of the Buddhas, there are six realms in which humans are always controlled in their reincarnation, which are:
    - Heaven
    - Asura
    - Human realm
    - Animals
    - Hungry ghost
    - Hell
    But not everyone knows this, and not everyone believes this.
    The topic of this article is:
    - Who leads you into the six realms of samsara?
    To answer the question: Who leads you to reincarnation, first you must acknowledge that there are two types of people in this world:
    The first type of person thinks:
    - After death, there is only one present life. Therefore, whether you do evil or do good, you all share the same fate. When you close your eyes and leave this world, your body returns to dust, and your seeing, hearing, and knowing are no longer there, as if completely lost.
    The second type of people thinks:
    - There is an immortal soul. After death, the body disintegrates and perishes, but the soul remains forever. So when a person dies, you will be born again as a human. People who die in heaven will be reborn in heaven. Dead animals will be reborn as animals, always the same and irreversible.
    That is according to the thinking of worldly people. From the Buddhist point of view, death is not the end, but death is just a way to change shape to continue a new life in the six paths of reincarnation:
    - Heaven, Asura, humans, animals, hell, and hungry ghosts.
    You can easily see two of the six types of living beings I just mentioned: They are humans and animals. As for the other four types, when you have experience in contemplation and practice, you can clearly see each realm of their lives. However, if you look at the reality of human life with observation in the style of someone with a practice process, you can see that these six types still exist in the human world:
    1- Devas:
    Like rich people with lots of money and wealth, they have high power and position, but they still live with dignity and morality. They always help people save animals, living for the benefit of others more than themselves. Those are the gods present in our human world.
      2- Asura:
    Asuras also have the same blessings as people in heaven. But the characteristics of the Asura species are hot-tempered and angry. In this world, there are many people who regularly cultivate merit, help people save animals, and are willing to share and help when encountering people in difficulty, misfortune, and suffering. But their temperament still has a lot of anger, scolding, speaking harshly, cursing others. That is the form of Asura right in this life.
    3- Human Realm:
    Humanity on this earth. People with blessings are rich and happy. People with a lot of karma are poor and miserable. That is, as a human being in this world, each person has enough: Resentment, love, and hatred. To always preserve blessings. If you think that you are blessed to be human and to have good living conditions. So you want to do charity to contribute and share with the poor and lonely, that's very good. However, you should be careful when acting. Because if you are not careful, even though you have the heart to help others, you will unintentionally make people jealous and angry. Sometimes making enemies, causing resentment, backfires, and becomes an unjust bondholder.
    4- Animals:
    Anyone who is always immersed in greed, anger, and ignorance, does not know morality, and does not know common sense, then is a symbol for animals.
              5- Hell:
    Who directly kills people and animals in a cruel, barbaric, and merciless manner. Making weapons to incite humans to attack each other, creating war so that humans can kill each other. The prisons torture criminals, hell will appear in this Saha world. A true Buddhist who does not directly instigate or rejoice when seeing others kill will avoid suffering and will not fall into hell in the present and future.
    6- Hungry Ghost:
    You guys are greedy and stingy, you have a lot of money but don't help people when they are in need. Excessive exploitation of human and animal labor. Even though you are rich, you have plenty of food and clothes, you can't eat it all, you can't wear it all, it's better to throw it away and never know how to help anyone. On the contrary, they try to steal other people's money for themselves. A selfish, greedy, and narrow-minded mind is a hungry ghost in human form. The karma will be hunger and thirst for countless lifetimes.
    Thus, death is not the end, but only a change of form, to have a new life next. Depending on how you create good or bad karma right now, you will have a new life in the future. Please try to consider and observe the reality of all phenomena and things in this world. Even if it is a grain of sand or dust, nothing is completely lost. Because from the Buddhist point of view, this is born, that is born, this is destroyed, that is destroyed. They only change shape depending on favorable or unfavorable conditions. All phenomena of things are the same, not to mention humans have the most understanding and awareness among all living beings.
    But, if you say that the soul is permanent, then that is also untrue because nothing is unchanging. Some people are poor and have difficulties when they are young, but when they grow up, thanks to their determination to do business, they become rich and have a lot of money and wealth, so nothing is fixed. Soul means a bright soul. Once bright, it is always the same and never changes, but in reality, people in this world have too many differences with each other.
     Because of such misconceptions, those who are rich and have high positions will rely on them. You keep thinking that you are worthy of being given by the gods. So, you are willing to create sins without knowing how to cultivate merit. You abuse your high power, exploit, oppress, and bully people to acquire property and material wealth for yourself, which you then blatantly enjoy. When the blessings run out and disaster comes, you have to endure the loss of your home, the loss of loved ones, and the separation of your family. At this time, all prayers and supplications to the Supreme Being become useless.
     As for you poor people, you think that your fate is already arranged like that, and you refuse to try, be diligent, work diligently, and aim high. Therefore, you fall more and more into darkness and obscurity, like a dark person who keeps getting confused in a dark place and lives a foolish and ignorant life. So the above two concepts are no longer consistent with the truth of life. To know the truth of human life, calm down your mind, let go of all knowledge and personal prejudices to listen to Buddha's instructions for your life as follows.
     Once upon a time, when Buddha was still alive, there was a young man who, seeing the inequality and differences in society, wanted to find the truth of human life. He asked many famous masters, but no master could answer his thoughts and wishes. He heard that the Buddha was a nobleman who could resolve the doubts of many people regardless of their religion, so he went to see the Buddha. After bowing and greeting the Buddha, he respectfully sat aside and asked the Buddha:
    - Why is there such great injustice and disparity among all living beings in this world? Some people are noble and rich, some people are lowly and poor. Some people live long, some die young, some get sick a lot, some get sick less. There are people with high positions of authority and others with lowly slaves. There are people who are beautiful and cute, there are people who are ugly and difficult to see, there are people who are bright and intelligent, and there are people who are stupid and dark...
     To answer that young man, the Buddha summarized it with one main idea as follows:
    - Young man, sentient beings are the owners of karma, the heirs of karma. They are born from karma and they are bound by karma. Therefore, at present, there are lowly and noble people, depending on the good or bad karma that person has created in the past.
    Because the Buddha's answer was too concise, the young man could not understand the profound meaning, so he asked the Buddha to explain specifically and in detail.
    Buddha taught:
    - All the differences between humans and humans are due to the karma you have created in your body, speech, and mind. Therefore, when the mind thinks truthfully, the mouth speaks good words, and the body contributes and shares, then one will enjoy peace and happiness. On the contrary, when you sow evil causes, you will suffer the consequences of suffering. No one has the right to interfere in this place to decide and order. So there are good people and bad people because you create them yourself.
    According to the law of inevitable cause and effect. Depending on your actions, you will receive different blessings or karmic consequences, such as:
      - Because you do not create the karma of killing living beings, you will have a long life. You create the karma of killing living beings, ending their lives, so you die unexpectedly due to an accident, or are harmed by people or animals.
      - Because of creating evil karma or torturing and beating living beings, causing them to suffer, you will experience a body that is often sick and weak. And because of the good karma of comforting, helping, sharing, and supporting the unfortunate and suffering people to overcome difficult accidents, you will receive a healthy, happy life.
    - Because in your previous life, you knew how to do good deeds, or give alms, or share to help the poor and sick, so in this life you were born into a rich and happy family, with a lot of money and possessions. Because in your previous life, you did not know how to give alms and offerings, did not know how to help the unfortunate and poor, and were often greedy, robbed, and defrauded people, so in this life, you were born in destitution and poverty, deprivation, difficulty.
    - Because you are diligent, need to learn and understand the truth, and like to help people learn and understand, you will be intelligent and wise in this life. In your previous life, because you were too lazy to study, refused to learn the truth, the truth of life, and often prevented others from learning, so in this life you are dark and confused by ignorance.
    In terms of life with countless differences, you feel small in front of this vast universe. Many of you have to endure your lowly status because you think it is the hand of the Spirit gods, of God. It's been arranged so it can't be changed.
    There are those of you who live in a state of luxury and happiness, with lots of money, wealth, and power in society. That person thinks that it was given to him by the Supreme Being, so he respects it very much and worships it fanatically. Therefore, that person willingly commits crimes, regardless of morality and ethics. Because of the above misconception, when the blessings run out and disaster comes, that person has to endure a life of darkness and depravity. Even if you try to pray and beg the Supreme Being, it is useless, just like a heavy stone must sink underwater.
    But in reality, there are very few people who enjoy peace and happiness, and there are too many unhappy people who suffer. If Spirit gods, or God, had the power to bestow joy and relieve suffering, they should have helped all sentient beings, not just the ruling class. Actually, in this life, everything is different like:
    - Good and bad,
    - Win and lose,
    - Right and wrong,
    - Success or failure in life
    It's all created by you through your body, mouth, and mind. If you do good deeds, you will enjoy the blessings of peace and happiness. If you do evil and sinful things, you will suffer without end. Karma or blessings will follow you like a shadow and a picture, even after hundreds of lifetimes, it will not be lost. When all the causes and conditions are met, the retribution will immediately appear.
    Although karma does not have a specific form, no one can see it, but it has incredible power to influence and attract people. Just like the wind, even though you cannot see its form, it can create storms and sweep away everything when there are enough causes and conditions. Karma is the same.
      So the question:
    - Who leads you to wander in the six paths of samsara?
    The most accurate answer is:
    - Due to good or bad karma that you have created, which eventually leads you to heaven or wander in the six paths of samsara.
    In short, for your own life, that of your loved ones, or more broadly a country, you are willing to kill and cause suffering to each other just for the sake of food and drink. Or other necessary needs and eventually receive the karmic consequences of reincarnation. Buddha taught that your life is a long chain of causes and conditions, closely related to each other, so no matter how talented you are, you must rely on each other according to the cause-and-effect process to preserve your life. Indeed, you don't work in the fields but still have rice to eat, you don't weave cloth but still have clothes to wear. And similarly, the other necessary needs are the same. That's why Buddha taught you to have duty, responsibility, love, care, and help each other with an understanding heart, in the spirit of selflessness and altruism.
    With just that simple awareness, you can treat each other in a harmonious way:
    - Instead of living in dispute and hatred, now you live in a spirit of mutual support.
    - Instead of living in jealousy, you live in mutual love and respect.
    - Instead of smearing each other, you treat each other in a loving, protective embrace.
    Thinking and living like that, then if your actions lead you in the six paths of reincarnation, your future life will also be a noble and beautiful realm.
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