Few more days left to celebrate the greatest Wesak Poya day & Celebration… So it’s the Wesak Decoration which took the first importance for everyone in these days… Wesak Lanterns are the most special among these decorations. We got many designs to create these Wesak lanterns with a pleasant mind.
True Buddhists are always those who do things, speak and think meaningfully. They always try to discipline themselves according to the way Samma Sambuddha showed and walk to the real liberation through the blessed one’s advices.
Wesak is the period which almost every Buddhist involved with many good things with a pleasant mind. But getting the maximum benefit out of this period is the wise way of celebrating this great ceremony. As always I’m trying to share the best with you to think again for your own betterment.
Let’s think about the Wesak lantern that you are going to build this time for the Wesak ceremony.
In Sri Lanka the bamboos were mostly use to build these Wesak lanterns with the color tissue papers and used candles or oil lamps to lighting the Wesak lantern… But with the time most of the practices are changing… now in most of the people use plastic frames or paper to build Wesak lanterns and use bulbs to lighting them. Whatever is our currently practice we should understand the meaning for our own betterment. We can understand the greatest path to Nirvana through these Wesak lanterns by understanding the reality of this world and us… it’s time to give birth to the unborn purity and time to increase the purity which already has with us.
Think about the structure of your Wesak lantern… it’s also like you whom with 32 body parts including eyes, ears, nose, tongue & body… do you know how far you have gone to gain this complete body with 32 object for you? You can’t even imagine the effort you put to construct your body in this existence. Now you have complete you… same way you can imagine the effort you put & the time you sacrifice to construct your Wesak lantern in this Wesak. You give a birth to the structure of your lantern as the way you give a birth to your body...
Now it’s time to cover the structure of your lantern. So you can use papers… or tissue papers to decorate it… like the way you happen to grow up in the same way your lantern also growing. If you fully use the paper to build your lantern you can even imagine how you grow your lantern step by step… now it’s time to decorate it with more decorations. So we start decorating… as the way use your eyes, ears, nose, tongue & body to decorate yourself in your young age, the lantern also decorating with many colors and designs around it… as the way you take your time to decorate the lantern same way you take your younger age to decorate yourself… am I wrong?
The young age is the pleasurable time of yours. Same way your lantern also starting its pleasurable time period… Lantern gets it real beauty at night when we lighting up it… it’s another time of the same pleasurable time period… like you lighting up the forms, sounds, fragrances, tastes & touches you take through your eyes, ears, nose, tongue & body through unlimited thoughts the lantern also lighting up with a bulb or candle inside it. And the real beauty comes out of the lantern so as in the young persons with value given.
There is always time of evil effects arise when the pleasurable time period ends… That is the nature of the world. Pleasure get through the decorative life styles comes to an end. It’s the time of suffering… confessing… regretful… people enjoy their life in this pleasurable time period and they even continue enjoying with their children & grandchildren… then they regret for the things they couldn’t do… for the things they did wrong… for the things they missed… for the things they did and getting the effect beyond the expectations. And there is a time period you start to think that you burned with your own desires… likewise lantern also getting a time period which it start to burn from its own candle… I don’t know how many of you come across this experience in your life… but I have come across many times and I have seen many people getting this experience in Wesak celebration period. That’s why I felt like writing this way…
However with the ends of fire the lantern’s life also ends. Most of the time the stricter left without the tissues papers… through the experience we suffer for a moment and start to build it again… we never give up the attempt of making a beautiful lantern again. And you can enjoy by doing the same thing again & again throughout the time period which we celebrate Wesak. It is the same way that you and I create this body again & again throughout this life circle. We go through the time period of birth, growth, pleasurable time period, time period of evil effects and the death which is the nature of this worlds and everything in this world. No one can go beyond this or change this nature. I have seen many people do the same thing again & again when they lost their lantern before the celebration ends. And once upon a time even I’m among them.
There is another way which you can realize yourself through your lantern… think about the decorative colorful lantern you created with more effort… and now you place it in a suitable place by lighting it and enjoy the scene and the successful effort of yours. Then a sudden heavy rain disturbs you & your lantern and your lantern got destroy… isn’t that instant of the time to take destroying it from the time you have taken to build it? You have a hope… hope to keep the lantern as the way you want in a specific time period… but things aren’t happening in the way you expected… so aren’t you feel sad? Feel Worries? Suffering? Aren’t you getting stress with an uncomfortable mind that you gained through the process when things aren’t happening the way you want?
Of course we can say the suffering arise because of the impermanency of the lantern… it’s true as no one can keep any single thing without changing it from the beginning to end. As I said earlier also, the lantern which has gone through a pleasurable time period should face to the next level of evil effects. But is that enough for you to bring suffering? Or else were your intention is to being ready to make the lantern again as a brand new lantern when it destroys?
Like we all know that we should face to diseases, old age and death… it’s really suffering… but even though we are aware of that suffering do we stop living with HOPES? Even though we know that we are going to die one day that will not stop us by studying, working, marrying… having children… and that is not going to stop us by enjoying the life we have… am I right or wrong? We are aware of the suffering which is about to come to us… but the hopes never die… isn’t it?
But now think for a moment what if sudden disease comes to you? What if you face an accident so suddenly and you lose your leg or hand or part of your body? No matter how you are aware of being old age, death or diseases the unexpected troubles can brings you more & more suffering more than you ever imagine… When a young boy or a girl suffers from a cancer, I heard many people saying “Oh… his/ her entire life got ruined… poor child…”this same expressions coming when we hear about a young person’s accident… people worry about the death of young people or children… but when an old person died or got a cancer which is not possible to cure they seems not much worry… “He/ she are too old… what to do?” I heard people saying like this for old people… do you understood the difference? That is the difference of the suffering which is unexpected & expected…
I like to give you another example…
Think about an expensive pen you bought… you test it at the shop and buy it with the expectation to write till its ink finish. And if you like the pen most… you happen to buy few more pens to use when the first one finish its ink… and you come to home and start writing… but pen is no longer useful as it’s not giving a proper writing… what you feel?
“Oh… I test this at the shop & it was good… what a waste…” nothing happened according to the way you expected… we all know that a pen also have the quality of impermanency… but still we buy many as a storage for extra use… coz our expectation is to write till its ink finish. If pen finish with the time you expected to finish it you feel no suffer or less suffer may be… but what if the pen finish suddenly at its first date of use? You feel suffering more for the pen… for the time you spent to buy it… for the money you spent to buy it… if more you even create anger for the shop also or the brand… now in this occasion what brings you suffering? Impermanency…? Or when things are NOT happening according to the way you expect?
So what is the relation between these examples and the Wesak lantern?
We all know that we only have to use the Wesak lantern for few days… we all know that Wesak lantern also got the quality of the impermanency… so we expect it to change and destroy with the dates we use it in Wesak period… all what we expect is to manage the Wesak lantern according to the way we want in this specific time period. It’s like the time period we created hopes for ourselves… as we know that one day we all have to die we are aware that even Wesak lantern also have to die at the end of Wesak period… like the expectation we had for the pen we bought… the hope of writing till its ink finish… all we need to keep the things as the way we want in specific time period… now we also have a hope of suffering that one day arrives for us… isn’t it?
But like the person who die at his / her young age… or the young person who lose his / her body part suddenly… like the pen which didn’t work well from its first date of writing… the Wesak lantern also destroy by the rain as soon as you hang it outside… now how you feel? Did you expect it to destroy so faster and sudden? What is that brings you suffering? Impermanency…? Or when things are NOT happening according to the way you expect?
We use plastic or some water proof material to build the Wesak lantern to delay this impermanency… aren’t we? Like we take many steps to be healthy & wealthy till our death arrive us? Like the way we use beauty items to delay the old age for few years… for sure your tricks work out to keep the lantern as it is for the Wesak time period and may be you can protect it to the next year Wesak period also… like we do tricks to live happily till we die… and like we bought few more pens as extra…
But how many times you will be able to keep the lantern as the way you want? You can test this practically… you can count how many times the lantern cause you suffering and stress by not staying the way you want… don’t agree with me if you are in doubt… you can do this practically and decide with confidence whether I am right or wrong… may be the time and money you spent on your lantern with durability is high… no matter how expensive it is or how durability it is that it will not behave the exact way you want it to be… test it and see…
Let’s imagine the time period of Wesak which we use our Wesak lantern is our existence… and the number of time you modify it / rebuild it / or reassemble it as the number of lives we live in this existence. If you concentrate on the reality around you wisely, you will be able to understand the suffering through your own Wesak lantern.
You need to see your lantern behave the way you want in a specific time period… and you expect to have a pleasant mind through the offering you do in this time period and satisfy… but the nature is “nothing available which possible to keep the way we want”… according to that nature there will be more unexpected behaviors and you get suffering by experiencing something which you really don’t want or which you really not expected…
Now you have the cause for suffering… that’s the decision you made for you that you will satisfy with the offering you make for Samma Sambuddha with a pleasant and pure mind in this Wesak period by offering a beautiful Wesak lantern… isn’t it?
What if you never had such expectation to see the things happening according the way you want? What if you already understood that it is the nature of this world and it is one of the main qualities of this world which nothing are happening according the way we want…? By get rid of that mentality you will be able to cease the suffering… isn’t it?
So you should understand the quality of your own world… the nature which possibly can bring you suffering… that understanding will guide you to see the evil effect arise when attaching to materials, persons, animals or properties… and you understand the good pleasant effect which you can gain by not attaching to them… you understand the peace you can gain through your mind by not attaching & get rid from those… and that is the path of cease suffering… now you can see that it is possible to understand the four noble truth through your very own Wesak lantern in this Wesak time period. When you train your mind to understand the four noble truth of what around you and what inside you… realizing of the truth is not far away from you…!
Isn’t it better to make this Wesak period so meaningful? You may be one of among the competition who designs Wesak lanterns to win prizes… but is it a barrier to you to understand this small fact of your Wesak lantern through your mind? It’s no harm that you use your own creativity to win worldly prizes to improve your wealth… but think for while isn’t that prize also have the same nature and the existence you treat as a fruitful and valuable also have the same nature… you can imagine the suffering arise when you don’t win… you can also think that even though you win the prize you also get decay step by step as the lantern decay… and as the lantern you also can face unexpected destructions… while you achieve the worldly success you should be able to win the real prize for your valuable human life too… that prize is the truth… realizing the truth is the one & only truth happiness… true liberation you can have as a human being… I feel the wise person is who guide him / her to win the real true prize while he entitle with worldly things which is sometimes difficult to escape from…!!
So for those who celebrate the Wesak this year has 2 targets to complete for themselves… from the answers given to the below questions you can guide yourself accordingly….
- Are you going to satisfy by ONLY offering a beautiful Wesak lantern created by you for Samma Sambuddha and have a pleasant mind & some merit into your existence?
- Or else do going to take another extra step ahead with the lantern you create with respect and pleasant mind by guiding your mind to understand the 3 main qualities of the world which are Anicca, Dukka, Anatta and also the true nature of the world which is birth, growth, pleasurable time period, time period of evil effects and the death (Udayangama, Attangama, Aashwada, Aadeenawa, Nissarana)… and give the practical approach to save yourself from endless suffering exactly the way Samma Sambuddha advice?
The decision is always yours… the maximum I can do is to share the best with you all which I’m experience in my life as a person whom guiding myself to become my own savior! I never say that I’m right and you are wrong? It’s you who should understand what is right & wrong with the experiences you are getting and I’m just giving you an another option to think & guide your mind with understanding.
I believe the true intelligent human being is who him/ herself guide to a meaningful realization of truth whatever his / her religion, belief or race is!!