The Ultimate Purpose and Function of Dharma

发布日期:2018-03-28   字体大小:   

Regarding Buddhism’s existence in our society, many people directly interpret the “Dharma” in the Three Jewels of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha as the Tripitaka, and say, “Aren’t the Buddha’s entire teachings already in the Tripitaka?” this reflects a partial understanding. The so-called “Dharma” refers to experientially realized universal truth, which is the entirety of all paths that lead to the kind of life achievement as Shakyamuni Buddda, which is what the people commonly refer to as expedient means.

Dharma is concrete and specific. The existence of Dharma in our world is firstly manifested by Buddhists putting religious practice into action. The Tripitaka as a Buddhist canon is always supplemental. Although such function is very important at times, it cannot substitute Buddhists actually putting Dharma into practice. Second, the main body of Dharma’s presence in our world is not the Tripitaka but instead the spreading of Dharma teachings to guide all sentient beings to realization. When we propagate the Dharma and expound the teachings, we do not start with the Tripitaka and rapidly explain word by word. Instead, we adapt to the reality and existing knowledge of the people and guide and teach them according to their capacity to learn and understand. This, after all, is the ultimate purpose and function of Dharma. (From Shaolin Temple in My Heart)

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