DHARMA IN EVERYDAY LIFE
- WISDOM IN LIFE
By Nhat Quan
Talking about wisdom, in Buddhism, words are often mentioned
- Prajna wisdom,
Prajna: is the mind that is free from Greed, Anger, and
Ignorance, puts an end to delusions, and is self-aware and
clear. The word Prajna has three things:
1- The true form of Prajna:
The natural spiritual wisdom that each person has, the
bright wisdom that always exists in every living being, is
also known as Masterless Wisdom.
2- Contemplation of Prajna:
The mind understands and distinguishes dharmas through
thinking, opening up all deadlocks. Monks, thanks to this
thinking, open the path of truth and lead to enlightenment.
3- Prajnaparamita text:
Also known as the name Prajna, also understood as means.
Intelligence can only be understood clearly when you use
language systems with correct grammar, correct sequence, and
correct description of the relative nature of that
Intelligence. Thanks to the conventional concepts in this
text, you can understand everything thoroughly.
There are also words:
- Prajna Paramita
Prajnaparamita, the Chinese translate it as:
- Wisdom crosses over to the other shore.
That is the morality, the great and ultimate wisdom of a
Buddhist practitioner, determined to reach the shore of
Enlightenment, determined to become a Buddha and save others
to attain the same status as you.
There are six moral foundations and great virtues that led
to the shore of Enlightenment commonly known as the Six
Paths, which are:
1- Giving alms,
2- Maintaining precepts,
When you become a Great Bodhisattva and are about to attain
Buddhahood, you still need to practice one more practice,
which is the Practice of Convenience, which means being able
to use all convenient methods to save sentient beings. In
Sanskrit it is called Prajna, meaning wisdom free from lowly
thoughts. The broad meaning is the wisdom that goes to the
other shore, to say it enough: Prajna Paramita is the type
of wisdom that liberates life, death, and reincarnation. In
the Final Teaching Sutra, Buddha taught:
- Prajnaparamita wisdom is a sturdy boat, no wave of lust
can sink it, it often carries people out of the sea: birth,
old age, sickness, and death. It is a miraculous medicine
that cures all kinds of diseases such as love, lust, etc. It
is an extremely bright torch, illuminating the layer of
ignorance and delusion. It is a very sharp hammer (sword)
that cuts off the root of afflictions and wrong views.
You already have an idea of the types of intelligence.
Because the topic of this article is the application of
wisdom in life. So in the three types of Prajna, you see
that Prajnaparamita text is the type of wisdom that helps
you solve all problems in life. Thus, every form of
treatment in daily life, if you cling to it, will be an
obstacle, but also every form, if you know how to use it as
a tool, will support you in your aspects. Social and
community relations are very good. In a Vietnamese proverb
there is a saying:
- A shirt does not make a monk.
Actually, the shirt does not make the monk, but the shirt is
a message for the monk to live properly as a monk.
If Buddhist monks wore the same clothes as singers, priests,
or pastors, and if they went out and broke the precepts, no
one would know! But wherever you go wearing a monk's robe,
people will clearly recognize you. Wearing a monk's robe and
walking with a cane swinging his arms back and forth,
talking and laughing as he walks, like a theater actor, is
not suitable for the dignity and conduct of a monk.
Therefore, although that robe does not make a monk, without
it, it is difficult for the monk to maintain spiritual
Being considered a person who knows how to use wisdom in
life as a means, in this case, you can apply the type of
Prajnaparamita, also known as Prajnaparamita Means, which is
an experience of the true form Prajna. When you know how to
use this type of wisdom, you should not attack the form, as
long as you are not attached to it.
Therefore, practicing Prajnaparamita Wisdom will help you
overcome attachment to formality, which is not necessary.
Spirituality is an important key for practitioners. Wisdom
is the important factor that needs to be aimed at, not form.
Saying that doesn't mean you should abandon all formality.
Many of you are extreme, only knowing a few things and
thinking that you are wise and that you are the only one who
understands everything, starting to say that form is
secondary so you should leave everything behind and not be
attached to it.
They justify that the Buddha also destroyed the attachment
to the thirty-two good signs and eighty beauties. Anyone who
clings to them and judges them to be this or that Buddha is
practicing evil conduct and cannot see the Tathagata, which
means they cannot attain enlightenment. From then on, when
you see a place where a big pagoda is built with a big
Buddha, you criticize and say that this monk has
attachments, does not understand the true form of Prajna,
Prajna wisdom, or contemplates Prajna, clinging to the
written word Prajna. Therefore, construction costs a lot of
money from the charity.
Actually, if there are no big temples and big Buddhas, where
will there be a place for you to practice? Do you dare
practice outside in the rain? Do you dare practice under the
sun? Do you dare to sleep under a tree like in the Buddha's
time? As you know, Buddha advocated the middle path, not
asceticism and self-mortification.
Therefore, you should not be extreme about these things.
Thailand's Dharmakaya temple, with a capacity of one million
seats, is the largest lecture hall on the planet. During
major Buddhist cultural festivals, the number of people
attending reaches one to two million people.
The old meditation hall had five hundred thousand seats but
was still overloaded. If there is no big temple, how can
there be enough space for a large number of people to
practice and be happy?
There are many extremist people who say that in the past,
Buddha did not have a big temple. He is at the top of the
mountain, now the monk refuses to stay at the mountain! If
you live in the mountains, how can you help people in the
city practice? Nowadays, those who practice in the mountains
can practice, those who practice in the city can practice,
but don't force everyone to practice in the mountains!
Incarnation, each stage is different.
Therefore, learning and practicing Prajna wisdom, or
applying your understanding in life, means you must know how
to flexibly behave and use every form as a tool so that the
results of the teaching will be effective, and attained at
the highest level. If you, in the name of practicing Prajna
wisdom, cling to one side and deny the rest is just
stubbornness. If you are stubborn, it is no longer wisdom.
Forcing everyone to break all formality is a dangerous
bigotry, also known as seeing one side. The remaining
problem is how big the pagoda and Buddha you use. It's not
that when you see a big pagoda being built, you object, but
when you see a big Buddha, you criticize it. Whenever you
see someone doing something, you criticize it. So you become
Talking about using wisdom in life means that Prajna Wisdom
sees very clearly, at any time you use which means are
considered useful. Through this you gain the ability to
acculturate, within each country, making Buddhism adaptable
to all times.
If you cannot achieve from the application of Prajna wisdom,
to overcome all difficulties, then at least you must achieve
a relative level of separation from all delusions. Secret
inner fears or specific external fears, states of terror
created by yourself or others.
Applying wisdom in life, Prajna wisdom will help you become
a brave person, but not stubborn and reckless. Therefore,
there is no event in life that can disturb you in a negative
direction, affecting your emotions, attitudes, perceptions,
actions, and social relationships.
Knowing how to apply wisdom in life teaches you about the
effort to let go of all attachments, like a sharp sword,
cutting off all ties of the strings of feeling, perception,
and especially the resulting wire. Practicing wisdom is not
to accumulate all the achievements you have achieved, but to
let go of all those things so that you can reach the final
wisdom, which is unsurpassed enlightenment.
Knowing how to apply wisdom in life is happiness. To have
wisdom is to end suffering, to have wisdom is to achieve
everything. Because wisdom is always the process of thinking
and acting in accordance with cause and effect, with
selflessness, impermanence, and in accordance with all laws
of the universe. Intellectual knowledge is the highest type
of knowledge that humans need to have. That is a miracle in
the real world, anyone can practice, experience, and attain.
All Buddhist literature describes and reports the sutras
that the Buddha preached, whether they are from the Southern
tradition, with the Pali writing system, or from the
Northern tradition with the Sanskrit writing system, or in
other versions translated into Chinese or Tibetan, are
collectively called Prajnaparamita texts. From these
literary systems, you can open up great wisdom. Thanks to
reading the Buddhist scriptures, you have wisdom about
cosmology, wisdom about worldview, wisdom about human life,
and wisdom about the laws of operation in the universe.
Although it is not a realization, at least if you have an
accurate vision of them, you will have reduced your
attachments to suffering and pain.
Thanks to knowing how to apply the knowledge from this
Prajnaparamita text, you are no longer superstitious about
God, which is believed by monotheistic religions to be the
first cause of the universe. Thanks to the Buddhist
scriptures, you understand very clearly that the gods in
life do not have the function of managing human
responsibilities and professions, but because people are
superstitious and make assumptions.
However, if gods are real, they are still governed by the
law of cause and effect, like many humans and other types of
creatures present on this planet. Without the text of
Prajna, people always suffer and cause each other many
troubles and problems.
Today all over the planet, people rely on writing, texts to
enlighten philosophy, literature, sociology, ethics, etc.
Any profession that wants to develop must rely on old
documents. The moral balance and legal balance of society
also rely on writing.
Legal documents are the most standard documents, have the
fewest loopholes, are the clearest, and especially must not
be misleading, to become a system of social standards on
ethics, communication, and behavior. Without writing, it is
not possible. Therefore, you should not be too extreme in
the matter of refuting writing. While you have not yet
grasped the content of the written language and the
instrumental value of the written language, you have not yet
been able to use it and cancel it, then you are considered
- You haven't even crossed the shore yet and you've
abandoned the boat.
If you haven't reached the shore yet, if you abandon the
boat, it means you will drown. That is an extreme attachment
to nothingness, even more dangerous than an attachment to
the existence of writing.
In short, the introduction to the Prajnaparamita Sutra helps
you gain insight into the importance of using wisdom
correctly and living with Prajna wisdom, to help you escape
the bonds of suffering and pain in life. To conclude, I
would like to repeat the words of a master who replied when
a Buddhist visited the temple and asked:
- Dear Master, please let me know whether I practice wisely
The Master smiled and replied:
- If you want to have wisdom, you must know how to catch
His answer, although brief, contained a very profound
meaning. The general idea is that if you are a cultivator,
if you want to develop wisdom, you must eliminate bad
qualities, just like a person who grows flowers, if you want
to have beautiful flowers, you must catch worms. If you are
clean, your mind will be calm and you will get the desired
Indeed, every Buddhist follower wants to have a peaceful and
happy life and to have a wise mind to become enlightened and
become a Buddha. But if you want to have wisdom, if your
mind doesn't clean up the five defilements and cut down the
roots of Ignorance, it's like a person who plants a flower
but doesn't fertilize and water it, doesn't catch the worms,
and the flower will wither and be damaged.
Those of you who are practitioners and want to cross the
ocean of samsara and board the boat of Prajna to leave the
shore of delusion and go to the other side of enlightenment,
then try to carefully find all kinds of worms that are still
lurking in your mind, to catch them all out, then the wisdom
mind will be opened. If you can't do that, your practice is
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