Needing a servant

October 2023 edition

Needing a servant

Article summary

Understanding and realizing deep Buddhist teachings doesn’t mean that you are just memorizing some bundle of theories or a philosophy or written texts. Buddhist Teachings guide you to investigate the roots of all kinds of origin, which create the existence for you. To realize that, one must have profoundly observed within. So, Let’s try dig and understand another, deeper defilement of ours through this Editorial.

Like we said, one must look deep within and understand how these roots behaving to confirm the existence in many forms.  So, let’s find out one defilement which leading us to many troubles unknowingly! 

Do you like your things to be done by others?   I mean, do you like to have a servant with you?  Are you asking others to do things for you?  I mean, do you like to see your parents do your stuffs?  Or do you order your kids to do your things?  How about your spouse?  What kind of stuffs? Even the stuffs like “Could you pass that to me?” kind of stuffs! 

Let's say you are doing something, something like cooking... you ask others to help you around... you ask for the bowl to clean... you ask someone to cut the vegetable or meat... pass me that… etc... etc... it's like you always keep a servant around.  So, you might be thinking, what's the big deal on that.  What can be the defilement which create & confirm the existence of ours? 

If you could dig deeper in to this nature of ours, you will find that this is, confirming the “comfort zone” of ours.  In another way, nurturing the comfortable existence of ours, where we do not like to do our own stuffs even though we have the capability of doing it.  We do have the skill but we don't like to use it for the benefit of ours or others.  So, we just decided to be lazy and let others do those for us. 

When this goes to the extreme level that creates the existence of yours, “just sit or sleep and watching others doing your stuffs" like huge rocks or mountains. And this creates the realm of "Titans".  There are certain type of God or higher realm also exist based on the same nature but they have done some good stuffs to others by nurturing the same nature.  Let's talk about it in another chapter.  Coz most of the time this laziness creates the lower realm of Titans which also knowns as "Asura Hell" in Buddhist Teachings.  This is among the four types of lower realms.  Those “Titan” births are not visible to normal sight as the way they are.  They are visible to us like mountains and huge Rocks or volcanos etc.  That's another deep fact to realize by understanding the roots and origins within.  Buddhist teachings guides us to realize this unknown nature of ours, only if you could listen it properly through a real noble teacher!

But this is also not the level we are going to talk here.  Let me tell you a story first. “Kujjuttara” was known as the female disciple who has foremost wisdom among the lay female disciples.  And Veḷukaṇṭakī Nanda Mātā was the foremost in psychic powers among the lay female disciples.  So, the blessed one asked lay female disciple to keep both of them as the exemplary idols when we walk in this path as lay female disciples. 

So, this Kujjuttara used to be a royal servant.  Where the root began for being a “servant”?  The story goes to the time of the blessed one named "Kassapa” Samma Sambuddha.  Basically, this incident happened in the previous Buddha Sasana.  Kujjuttara used to be a wealthy daughter of one of the richest families in this birth.  One evening she used to prepare herself by sitting in front of a mirror. In that time one of her friends, a Bhikkuni came by.   But that Bhikkuni was already become an arhath an awaken one!  But for Kujjuttara she was her friend. So, she asked the venerable nun to pass the jewelry box to her.  She asked politely though: "Oh dear venerable one, could you please pass that jewelry box to me?"  and the Bhikkuni saw the possible effects of this “cause” she created at that moment.  She thought that "If I refused to give her this she will be not pleased and that will cause her to be born in a hell realm.  But if I do pass this that will also cause her to become a servant for many births.  But, becoming a servant is way better than born in a hell realm.  So, I better pass this to her". 

So, we should know that these stories are not just given to entertain us by knowing bunch of stories of noble ones.  These stories were given to us, so that we can realize the depth of "dependent origination" and to understand the vastness of our behaviors named “Karma”. 

So, my dear dhamma friends, instead of examining the truth about ourselves we are keep nurturing the defilements continuously with the little knowledge of ours.  Because, we "BELIEVE" that there are no consequences of little things we do or little things we say or little things we think as that is the "TRUTH" we believe!       

We take our relationships for granted.  So, we try to comfort ourselves by doing these little stuffs.  "Demanding to do things for us is not a big deal!" that's how we "BELIEVE" and that's where the whole world agree with you too! So, you won't like to listen to the few who tries to guide you away from these dangers as majority is so supportive for your belief.  In another way “Our Stupidity”!  But the root of unawareness about the "Real Truth" keep creating various types of existence and we don't even know about that too because what we believe as the "TRUTH" is so powerful to keep us in the dark!

We believe that there are no noble ones among us.  Definitely not among the loved ones!  How on earth my kids or my spouse or my parent or my friends or my relatives or the people I meet can be noble ones? They behave just like me.  So, we take assumptions according to the way we believe.  like the wealthy lady took an assumption over her friend nun as "It's ok to tell her to do my stuffs".  But in reality, they have developed the wisdom and all the other qualities to cease this existence and that makes them noble ones.  Because, they were smart enough to see the viciousness of this existence and they were wise enough to see the origin and the roots of existence which keep nurturing in each moment we call “life”! 

So, my dear friends just try to be wise!  Understand the defilement of entertaining “self” through asking others to do your stuffs.  That way you will be able to save yourself until you realize this depth of existence and its roots.  Because, if you do not consider it, then the “next birth effect” is not the worst thing could happen to you.  For me it is the "opportunity of realizing the ultimate truth by the support of these noble ones which can save us" which we missed just because of our baseless assumption and maintenance of our comfort zones.  Is it worth?

So, think wisely... why would I have to tell others to do my stuffs.  Why I should expect others to do my stuffs. Why I need to encourage slavery even through my relationships.  I should do my things and I should help others willingly not because they ask us to do.  Helping others should be your own choice.  But asking others to do your own stuff shouldn’t be our best choice just because it is the easy thing to do! 

And always remember, there is no exact measurement of recognizing the noble ones.  They make decision by considering what is best for that moment.  Just like that awaken nun too the decision of passing that jewelry box.  They do so because they are someone who realize the hidden trap of this existence.  But, in other hand we behave like we know everything!  So, we don’t even minding asking to do our stuff even from a Samma Sambuddha.  Sometimes, lay people do ask monks & nuns and specially the little monks to do their stuffs.  And most of the time even though we know our spouse or parents or relatives or friends or someone whom walking in this path of nibbana we just don’t mind asking them to do our worldly stuffs.  Instead of following the path they do, we just asking them to do our stuffs.       

We are behaving stupidly and making assumptions and we believe that they too are happy and willing to do so.   But, for them we are bunch of kids who have the petrol in hand and plays with fire unknowing to the danger.  So, they just silently helping us by believing that we might take the opportunity of saving ourselves.  But we…??? Forget it!!!

So, my dear dhamma friends… if we are wise only, we will listen to these warnings!  But we are so blind by what we believe so we don't care to listen!    We just like to argue and win over it! And the wise ones stop warning us!  So, we are the one who responsible for our own disasters.  If at least you can keep that in mind there you will see the silver lining in the darkness!  Have a blessed time by recognizing defilements!

Rajitha Viduransi | Kelaniya, Sri Lanka