DHARMA IN EVERYDAY LIFE
- WHO LEADS YOU TO
By Nhat Quan
You often hear in Buddhist scriptures:
- Sentient beings are forever stuck in the cycle of birth
and death and refuse to practice for liberation.
So the first thing you should learn is the concept of
To put it simply, reincarnation is rotating from one place
to another. When the cycle is finished, it returns to the
original starting point and then continues to rotate,
repeating the cycle many times without stopping. From the
point of view of Buddhist students, in addition to the realm
of the Buddhas, there are six realms in which humans are
always controlled in their reincarnation, which are:
- Human realm
- Hungry ghost
But not everyone knows this, and not everyone believes this.
The topic of this article is:
- Who leads you into the six realms of samsara?
To answer the question: Who leads you to reincarnation,
first you must acknowledge that there are two types of
people in this world:
The first type of person thinks:
- After death, there is only one present life. Therefore,
whether you do evil or do good, you all share the same fate.
When you close your eyes and leave this world, your body
returns to dust, and your seeing, hearing, and knowing are
no longer there, as if completely lost.
The second type of people thinks:
- There is an immortal soul. After death, the body
disintegrates and perishes, but the soul remains forever. So
when a person dies, you will be born again as a human.
People who die in heaven will be reborn in heaven. Dead
animals will be reborn as animals, always the same and
That is according to the thinking of worldly people. From
the Buddhist point of view, death is not the end, but death
is just a way to change shape to continue a new life in the
six paths of reincarnation:
- Heaven, Asura, humans, animals, hell, and hungry ghosts.
You can easily see two of the six types of living beings I
just mentioned: They are humans and animals. As for the
other four types, when you have experience in contemplation
and practice, you can clearly see each realm of their lives.
However, if you look at the reality of human life with
observation in the style of someone with a practice process,
you can see that these six types still exist in the human
Like rich people with lots of money and wealth, they have
high power and position, but they still live with dignity
and morality. They always help people save animals, living
for the benefit of others more than themselves. Those are
the gods present in our human world.
Asuras also have the same blessings as people in heaven. But
the characteristics of the Asura species are hot-tempered
and angry. In this world, there are many people who
regularly cultivate merit, help people save animals, and are
willing to share and help when encountering people in
difficulty, misfortune, and suffering. But their temperament
still has a lot of anger, scolding, speaking harshly,
cursing others. That is the form of Asura right in this
3- Human Realm:
Humanity on this earth. People with blessings are rich and
happy. People with a lot of karma are poor and miserable.
That is, as a human being in this world, each person has
enough: Resentment, love, and hatred. To always preserve
blessings. If you think that you are blessed to be human and
to have good living conditions. So you want to do charity to
contribute and share with the poor and lonely, that's very
good. However, you should be careful when acting. Because if
you are not careful, even though you have the heart to help
others, you will unintentionally make people jealous and
angry. Sometimes making enemies, causing resentment,
backfires, and becomes an unjust bondholder.
Anyone who is always immersed in greed, anger, and
ignorance, does not know morality, and does not know common
sense, then is a symbol for animals.
Who directly kills people and animals in a cruel, barbaric,
and merciless manner. Making weapons to incite humans to
attack each other, creating war so that humans can kill each
other. The prisons torture criminals, hell will appear in
this Saha world. A true Buddhist who does not directly
instigate or rejoice when seeing others kill will avoid
suffering and will not fall into hell in the present and
6- Hungry Ghost:
You guys are greedy and stingy, you have a lot of money but
don't help people when they are in need. Excessive
exploitation of human and animal labor. Even though you are
rich, you have plenty of food and clothes, you can't eat it
all, you can't wear it all, it's better to throw it away and
never know how to help anyone. On the contrary, they try to
steal other people's money for themselves. A selfish,
greedy, and narrow-minded mind is a hungry ghost in human
form. The karma will be hunger and thirst for countless
Thus, death is not the end, but only a change of form, to
have a new life next. Depending on how you create good or
bad karma right now, you will have a new life in the future.
Please try to consider and observe the reality of all
phenomena and things in this world. Even if it is a grain of
sand or dust, nothing is completely lost. Because from the
Buddhist point of view, this is born, that is born, this is
destroyed, that is destroyed. They only change shape
depending on favorable or unfavorable conditions. All
phenomena of things are the same, not to mention humans have
the most understanding and awareness among all living
But, if you say that the soul is permanent, then that is
also untrue because nothing is unchanging. Some people are
poor and have difficulties when they are young, but when
they grow up, thanks to their determination to do business,
they become rich and have a lot of money and wealth, so
nothing is fixed. Soul means a bright soul. Once bright, it
is always the same and never changes, but in reality, people
in this world have too many differences with each other.
Because of such misconceptions, those who are rich and have
high positions will rely on them. You keep thinking that you
are worthy of being given by the gods. So, you are willing
to create sins without knowing how to cultivate merit. You
abuse your high power, exploit, oppress, and bully people to
acquire property and material wealth for yourself, which you
then blatantly enjoy. When the blessings run out and
disaster comes, you have to endure the loss of your home,
the loss of loved ones, and the separation of your family.
At this time, all prayers and supplications to the Supreme
Being become useless.
As for you poor people, you think that your fate is already
arranged like that, and you refuse to try, be diligent, work
diligently, and aim high. Therefore, you fall more and more
into darkness and obscurity, like a dark person who keeps
getting confused in a dark place and lives a foolish and
ignorant life. So the above two concepts are no longer
consistent with the truth of life. To know the truth of
human life, calm down your mind, let go of all knowledge and
personal prejudices to listen to Buddha's instructions for
your life as follows.
Once upon a time, when Buddha was still alive, there was a
young man who, seeing the inequality and differences in
society, wanted to find the truth of human life. He asked
many famous masters, but no master could answer his thoughts
and wishes. He heard that the Buddha was a nobleman who
could resolve the doubts of many people regardless of their
religion, so he went to see the Buddha. After bowing and
greeting the Buddha, he respectfully sat aside and asked the
- Why is there such great injustice and disparity among all
living beings in this world? Some people are noble and rich,
some people are lowly and poor. Some people live long, some
die young, some get sick a lot, some get sick less. There
are people with high positions of authority and others with
lowly slaves. There are people who are beautiful and cute,
there are people who are ugly and difficult to see, there
are people who are bright and intelligent, and there are
people who are stupid and dark...
To answer that young man, the Buddha summarized it with one
main idea as follows:
- Young man, sentient beings are the owners of karma, the
heirs of karma. They are born from karma and they are bound
by karma. Therefore, at present, there are lowly and noble
people, depending on the good or bad karma that person has
created in the past.
Because the Buddha's answer was too concise, the young man
could not understand the profound meaning, so he asked the
Buddha to explain specifically and in detail.
- All the differences between humans and humans are due to
the karma you have created in your body, speech, and mind.
Therefore, when the mind thinks truthfully, the mouth speaks
good words, and the body contributes and shares, then one
will enjoy peace and happiness. On the contrary, when you
sow evil causes, you will suffer the consequences of
suffering. No one has the right to interfere in this place
to decide and order. So there are good people and bad people
because you create them yourself.
According to the law of inevitable cause and effect.
Depending on your actions, you will receive different
blessings or karmic consequences, such as:
- Because you do not create the karma of killing living
beings, you will have a long life. You create the karma of
killing living beings, ending their lives, so you die
unexpectedly due to an accident, or are harmed by people or
- Because of creating evil karma or torturing and beating
living beings, causing them to suffer, you will experience a
body that is often sick and weak. And because of the good
karma of comforting, helping, sharing, and supporting the
unfortunate and suffering people to overcome difficult
accidents, you will receive a healthy, happy life.
- Because in your previous life, you knew how to do good
deeds, or give alms, or share to help the poor and sick, so
in this life you were born into a rich and happy family,
with a lot of money and possessions. Because in your
previous life, you did not know how to give alms and
offerings, did not know how to help the unfortunate and
poor, and were often greedy, robbed, and defrauded people,
so in this life, you were born in destitution and poverty,
- Because you are diligent, need to learn and understand the
truth, and like to help people learn and understand, you
will be intelligent and wise in this life. In your previous
life, because you were too lazy to study, refused to learn
the truth, the truth of life, and often prevented others
from learning, so in this life you are dark and confused by
In terms of life with countless differences, you feel small
in front of this vast universe. Many of you have to endure
your lowly status because you think it is the hand of the
Spirit gods, of God. It's been arranged so it can't be
There are those of you who live in a state of luxury and
happiness, with lots of money, wealth, and power in society.
That person thinks that it was given to him by the Supreme
Being, so he respects it very much and worships it
fanatically. Therefore, that person willingly commits
crimes, regardless of morality and ethics. Because of the
above misconception, when the blessings run out and disaster
comes, that person has to endure a life of darkness and
depravity. Even if you try to pray and beg the Supreme
Being, it is useless, just like a heavy stone must sink
But in reality, there are very few people who enjoy peace
and happiness, and there are too many unhappy people who
suffer. If Spirit gods, or God, had the power to bestow joy
and relieve suffering, they should have helped all sentient
beings, not just the ruling class. Actually, in this life,
everything is different like:
- Good and bad,
- Win and lose,
- Right and wrong,
- Success or failure in life
It's all created by you through your body, mouth, and mind.
If you do good deeds, you will enjoy the blessings of peace
and happiness. If you do evil and sinful things, you will
suffer without end. Karma or blessings will follow you like
a shadow and a picture, even after hundreds of lifetimes, it
will not be lost. When all the causes and conditions are
met, the retribution will immediately appear.
Although karma does not have a specific form, no one can see
it, but it has incredible power to influence and attract
people. Just like the wind, even though you cannot see its
form, it can create storms and sweep away everything when
there are enough causes and conditions. Karma is the same.
So the question:
- Who leads you to wander in the six paths of samsara?
The most accurate answer is:
- Due to good or bad karma that you have created, which
eventually leads you to heaven or wander in the six paths of
In short, for your own life, that of your loved ones, or
more broadly a country, you are willing to kill and cause
suffering to each other just for the sake of food and drink.
Or other necessary needs and eventually receive the karmic
consequences of reincarnation. Buddha taught that your life
is a long chain of causes and conditions, closely related to
each other, so no matter how talented you are, you must rely
on each other according to the cause-and-effect process to
preserve your life. Indeed, you don't work in the fields but
still have rice to eat, you don't weave cloth but still have
clothes to wear. And similarly, the other necessary needs
are the same. That's why Buddha taught you to have duty,
responsibility, love, care, and help each other with an
understanding heart, in the spirit of selflessness and
With just that simple awareness, you can treat each other in
a harmonious way:
- Instead of living in dispute and hatred, now you live in a
spirit of mutual support.
- Instead of living in jealousy, you live in mutual love and
- Instead of smearing each other, you treat each other in a
loving, protective embrace.
Thinking and living like that, then if your actions lead you
in the six paths of reincarnation, your future life will
also be a noble and beautiful realm.
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