As Buddhists, we often hear about the wheel of Samsara, though many of us do not give much thought to it.
What is Samsara? The concept of Samsara is about the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, and has been a central tenet of many Eastern religions for centuries, especially Buddhism. When it comes to Samsara, the ultimate goal is to break free from this cycle and achieve liberation, or enlightenment towards Nibbanaship.
However, this is easier said than done, and many people struggle to find a way how to escape Samsara. We will explore the sure way to liberate from the ocean of Samsara from Buddhism point of view, and how you can begin your journey towards ending this vicious cycle of endless death and rebirth today.
The Birth of Samsara Cycle
Most Buddhists are pursuing the path of the middle way to overcome one’s defilements. As the middle path are constantly in conflict with our daily needs of living such as consuming luxurious food, driving posh car, wearing branded dress and living in a high class apartment of accommodation, it becomes an illusion to think we can follow the middle path of simple living, moderation and humility in our attitude.
As we have been told to live simple, moderation and humble in our attitude to overcome craving which is the source of our eternal suffering, one could not able to follow such discipline due to our deviated brought up of indiscipline, disrespect to elderly people, disobedience and non conforming to all rules and regulations.
When most infants are fed meals up to five times a day till they become adults, it is unlikely one is able to restrain their daily consumption from five meals to two or three meals a day. To reduce from the regular eating habit of 5 meals down to 3 meals is a feat, and one is most likely unable to adapt to such a different eating pattern.
As the old saying goes, “old habit dies hard” – so does our habit of eating that started from the infant stage till we are grown-up adults. When we are fed too much food into the body, our minds become polluted and drowsy in thinking.
Our five senses are utilized to the utmost level, thereby drowning our senses of instinct, intuition and lastly wisdom. Most of us will then do things unwisely and could not able to grasp the fundamental point of practical training in our daily living.
It is a vicious cycle of living – the more we have, the more we crave, and the less satisfaction received from our wants in life. Hence, we feel discontented in our outlook, which eventually gives rise to all kinds of unhealthy conditions such as sleepless nights, restlessness, worrisome thoughts, depressed state and lastly mental exhaustion. It is this imbalanced way of living that causes our root of attachment and thereby arises the birth of the Samsara cycle.
Also Read: Understanding and Maintaining A Good State of Mind
How to Escape Samsara Endless Cycle of Rebirth?
In today’s reality of living, we don’t necessarily need to follow the ancient way of eating, whereby most people ate one or two meals a day only due to the poverty stage of living they were in in the past. However, we should also never disregard the importance of eating meals with moderate consumption even though we are now living in an affluent society.
You may be surprised that many people could not follow the simple eating habit of just taking a maximum of 3 meals a day. This is largely due to their soft brought up and overpampering parents, which only serve to encourage their unrestricted movements and indiscipline.
Remember, it is the overfeeding of food into our physical body that will cloud our five senses’ desires and lead to the decaying of moral values and isolation of virtues. Because of the strong sensual desires from our five senses, there is a constant burning desire to fulfill everything we need in our daily living, which further leads to cravings. We would then always live in the shadow of the endless Samsara life cycle.
If we will take a careful look at today’s world, we will be stunned by our society’s indifferent way of living. Many are too deviated in their upbringing that you tend to see many people grow to be arrogant and crude in mentality. There are equally many people who are self-centred and belong to the group known as free thinkers, while some others are atheists who do not acknowledge the existence of God and only believe in themselves.
These are all the half-baked people who never realize that humans are full of karmic effects and the reason we are here today on this earth is to redeem merits to nullify the bad effects of our past bad karma that we have brought forward onto this earth since the day we were born. Then again, all these unfortunate groups of people would not have existed if every parent manage to provide good parenting to their children.
Also read: Why Is Parenting So Important
Nevertheless, the sure good way to tread our path to liberation from the ocean of Samsara is to:-
- reduce our unsatiable yearning to eat
- cultivate good habits of living such as having proper time for everything and everything must have a limit in doing it.
- be sure to constantly contemplate all matters regardless of what we do, want to do or already doing them
This way, we will reduce the likelihood of committing any wrongdoing of craving and profoundly desiring all earthly things.
Also Read: Attachment, The Greatest Hindrance to Our Cultivation
Start Your Realization of Samsara As A Cycle of Suffering and Take Action to End It Today
Ever since the birth of Siddhartha Gautama into this world, the prince came to a realization that he had been undergoing rebirths and rebirths until the time had finally come and brought upon a sudden awareness of the futile struggles living on this earth, which then inspired him to discover the absolute way to break the chain of rebirth. It was just like the simile of rowing a raft that is drifting from one part of a sea to another without finding any real sense of direction or destination.
At last, the Tathagata (the Buddha) had finally rowed the raft to the other shore (the Buddhahood realm) and no longer needed the raft anymore. This means that the Blessed One achieved the realization of how the Samsara cycle works and the sure ways to break the unending cycle of birth and death, giving birth to the Buddhism we know today, and with this knowledge serving as a “raft” on Earth, the SammasamBuddha attained Nibbanaship, which is the “other shore”.
That said, it is important for us Buddhists and non-Buddhists to come to a realization that this earth is an impermanent world of living, and that every one of us is living on borrowed time. Until we have this unique and special sudden feeling of inner realization through pondering and contemplation, we will never achieve the sudden awareness of training ourselves to improve our character and build up our moral values and virtues, which is a requisite to end our suffering in rebirth.
Moral values and virtues are the criteria to attain our intuition and wisdom. With all the wisdom of knowledge and power, we will ultimately destroy attachment and craving, thus liberating ourselves from the ocean of Samsara, the cycle of rebirth and death.