We are aware that theory will never win practice, as practice is where you gain important hands-on experience while theory only serves as information that remains just as ideas unless executed.
This is the same analogy when it comes to Buddhism – Abhidharma goes along with practice as they are interdependent. Let’s discuss about the common observations and why putting the Abhidharma, also generally known as sermons, into practice is important.
Practising Something Blindly & Not Putting into Practice At All
In ancient times, people practice without knowing the true knowledge of achieving emancipation. Thus the Blessed One shows the light of knowledge to the ancient people through his golden sermons, the Abhidharma. Anyone who practice something without knowing the true meaning of actions is tantamount to drive a car on the street without knowing which direction we are heading and eventually will lose the sense of objectives.
On the contrary, modern people today possess a lot of knowledge but unfortunately do not know how to apply such information of our golden sermons except merely to hear and acknowledge such dharmas. It is important to digest our knowledge with constant practice in our daily living.
There is no point in hearing all the golden sermons but never put them in practices. We will be like possessing a lump of gold laterite soil but never able to filter and process the ore till we get the gold metal.
The ancient people have natural instinct to practice all the simple ways of living which is the main criteria to achieve emancipation but unfortunately do not possess the correct golden dharma knowledge to imbibe into their daily lives. The ancient people were too naïve and straightforward as well as too rigid in thinking. Hence whatever they do were too blunt or too crude to purify their mind, heart and body. This is the reason why when the Blessed One preached the golden sermons, many of these olden people gained emancipation into Arahantship without strenuous effort to practice all these golden sermons.
Underestimating the Potency of Sermons
Our modern generation of people today is entirely different from those ancient ones. Modern people are too engrossed in our earthly gadgets as well as all attractions towards celebrations and festivals which deviate their mind from listening to all these golden sermons handed down by all these spiritual masters, teachers and gurus preached to everyone on this earth.
Without proper knowledge, one will never able to understand and perform the necessary practical actions in life. This is the reason why our modern people find very hard to practice the golden sermons because in the first place one could not even have the opportunity to listen carefully to all those readily available golden sermons in our regions.
Many are too preoccupied with their earthly gadgets such as handphones, computers and televisions that little time is available to attend to any of these golden sermons. Eventually, our modern people live to eat but never adopt the golden principle to eat in order to live and practice our golden sermons.
We should never underestimate the potency in attending to all these important dharma because in this white stage period of living, everything is fragile and flimsy. One moment we are alive and the next short period of time we have have departed from this earth.
The Importance of Practicing the Abhidharma, Not Just Listening to It
We have to bear in mind every moment on this earth, there is frequent earthquakes, landslides, tsunami, typhoon and lastly heavy flooding throughout all these unfortunate period of times. We will never know in any moment of time, we will be perished in any one of these misfortunate incidents.
Hence without delay, we should always take this opportunity of time to ensure we are readily available to hear any golden dharmas reached to us and having these important source of guidance, we will easily go into our path of cultivations.
It is hard to believe that nowadays, people do not see the needs to listen and practice the golden sermons because many of us do not believe in life after death. Not surprisingly, many of us are either atheists or free thinkers because our brought up were all wrong, causing us to have misconceptions about faith and religious teachings. If we were to be brought up from infancy without any emphasis in imbibing our young infant mind to be god fearing, then upon growing up we become arrogant, self deceit, over confident and lastly never live in accordance to the laws and orders on this earth.
Somehow our worldly educations are improper and lack towards molding our earth people into more humane, considerate, loving and lastly caring towards one another. A simple observation of today’s world is seeing lot of people simply uncaring in littering rubbishes everywhere, dirtying the toilets, inconsiderate in rampant parking, beating red traffic lights, polluting the sea with all kind of plastic wastes and lastly speedy armaments of nuclear bombs in all over the regions. These are all the wrong directions of empowering ourselves with more greed, hatred and lastly wrong views in life.
Abhidharma Goes Along With Practice
There must be a return to decent morals values in our educational teachings and enforce the compulsory requirement of achieving a pass in civic education. This way everyone will learn and possess the basic human instinct of preserving our heritage as well the moral values of living.
When we acquire all the important basic moral values in our character, then it is natural to have greater inclinations towards listening to all these golden sermons and practicing them to uplift our mind into gaining emancipation. This is the way to achieve proper knowledge as well as to practice automatically into our way of life.
So remember – the Abhidharma serves as the beacon but ultimately, we ourselves have to direct the “ship” of our life to move towards the correct guided paths in practice towards the salvation we seek, which is to attain Nibbanaship and leave the cycle of Samsara.