DHARMA IN EVERYDAY LIFE
- FOUR TYPES OF PEOPLE IN LIFE
By Nhat Quan
One day, the
Buddha was preparing a doctrinal consultation for all the
officials of the City of Savatthi at Jetavana Vihara, and
King Prasenajit and his entourage, after paying homage to
the Blessed One, sat to one side and asked:
- Dear World
Honored One! Did the Brahmins after death be reborn as
Brahmins? Was it the same with the royal class, the merchant
class, and the slave class?
understand the problem, you first need to find out why King
Prasenajit asked the Buddha such a question.
ancient Indian history, the ancient Persians now known as
Iran belonged to a race of white invaders who defeated black
Indians. In order to seize power and discriminate between
classes, some powerful people created Manu law, claiming
that Brahma heaven gave birth to all things. According to
the ancient feudal class, whoever is born into any class is
the same before and after, it cannot be changed.
So what is
the ordination of titles and the division of land. This is a
word of Chinese-Vietnamese origin that comes from the
political ideology of the Western Zhou Dynasty, in China. At
this time, King Chu gave land to his relatives to establish
vassal states called feudal relatives. Because this regime
is similar to the system of giving land to military officers
in Europe, the word feudalism was used to translate
féodalité from French. However, these two words only reflect
the form of land division, not the nature of that regime. In
European languages, féodalité comes from the Latin feod,
which means hereditary territory.
country and each region, feudalism has its own
characteristics of different types.
In the West,
the basic features of feudalism were the colonial economy,
lords and serfs, and a caste system based on the lord and
In the East,
the Landlord economy is the relationship between landlords
and farmers. This is a centralized landownership regime,
which was born early and lasted for a long time. Although
there are differences between the West and the East, there
is a common tendency that these classes to be arranged and
formed according to a certain legal system. According to
ancient tradition, there is a supreme being who blesses and
brings disaster to this world. And whoever is rich is
forever rich, and he who is a slave is forever a slave...
you can also understand the other way. The word Phong means
bee. The word Kien is an ant. Therefore, the word feudalism
also has a hidden meaning that an organization is arranged
like the organization of bees and ants. In the hive of bees,
which level works according to that level:
bees only build a nest,
- Water bees
specialize in collecting water,
- Honey bees
specialize in collecting honey,
bees specialize in making honey suitable for each species,
- Guard bees
are responsible for monitoring and guarding carefully,
- Male bees
take care of breeding,
bees lay eggs.
there is only one female bee but there are hundreds of male
bees, the female bee is honored as the queen bee. The queen
bee is given a special food called queen honey. When the
queen bee comes to the honey bee to eat, all the bees kneel
down to show respect, shyness, and fear. One queen bee is
capable of producing hundreds of thousands of baby bees. If
there is a shortage of what kind of bees are in the hive,
the physician bees make food for the queen bee to eat and
produce that kind of bee. Like a hive without honey-sucking
bees, the queen bee lays many honey-sucking bees. Especially
when it comes to laying baby queen bees, once in a while,
only three eggs at a time, but it's barbaric. The mother bee
knew when the baby was hatching, so she went to lie down and
waited, the first egg had just hatched, and the mother bee
immediately bit the baby queen to death. Next, the second
queen bee continued to be born and remained unharmed. This
is a strange thing about bees, but this second queen bee is
lying in wait, waiting for the third queen bee to be born,
and then bites to death. It's barbaric, the bee family is
bee society. However, in human society, people are wiser and
should take advantage of the power of arrangement like bees,
in the name of a supreme being who has the power to bless
and bring disaster to impose and rule. Humans in the past,
with their diverse natural forms, were small compared to
this vast universe, so they were not wise enough to know the
truth before phenomena such as thunder, tsunami, earthquake,
fire, and floods, special the epidemic claimed many human
lives. No one could find the cause, so they had to accept to
surrender to the fate arranged by God.
this factor, powerful people take advantage of ignorant
people, so they set up a powerful person and claimed to be
the son of heaven, sent by the Supreme One to earth to rule
the world. Today, thanks to the progress of science, people
are more and more civilized, so they have discovered that
all phenomena in the world are caused by many causes
combined, nothing is formed by one cause. It is a science
that has clarified the Buddhist doctrine of cause and
effect. If this is, then that is, if this is not, then that
is not, nothing is fixed. No one has the right to bless or
That is why
King Prasenajit asked Buddha:
- Are all
Brahmins after death reborn as Brahmins? The same is true of
the royal class, the merchant class, and the slave class.
- That's not
Buddha showed the king as well as the entire audience
clearly and practically. Everything can be changed depending
on the ability of each person to practice, so there are four
types of people you need to know:
from dark to dark,
went from dark to bright,
people go from bright to dark,
went from bright to bright.
1- From dark
some people here who were born into poor, lowly families,
hired workers, slaves, butchers, fishers, trappers, dumpers,
and other lowly occupations. Not enough rice, not enough
clothes to wear, lack of food, poverty, illness, premature
death, ugly body, always doing these lowly things called
In that dark
place, that poor, miserable person who did not believe in
cause and effect added anger, evil thoughts, wrong views,
ignorance, and disrespect to the monks, those who hold the
precepts and always obstruct the wise. The body often does
evil deeds, the mouth speaks evil, and the mind thinks evil
thoughts. Because of that, after death, that person is
reborn in evil hells, hungry ghosts, and animals, and
suffers many retributions. Such a person always lives in
darkness, ignorance, and confusion, in this life doing evil,
in the next life doing evil, and does not know the way.
People from dark to dark are also like that.
category of people are those who have low merit and virtue
because they do not know how to do good deeds, and do not
meet good teachers and friends, so they spend their whole
lives in suffering and confusion. Because you did bad things
in your previous life, harming people and animals, this life
was born in a bad place, but you did not learn, cultivate
knowledge, do not know right and wrong, so you have to
accept life as a duckweed drifter, drifting clouds. Living
in sorrow, suffering, eventually falling into a dark,
obscure place, and continuing to create bad karma, you have
to endure forever in the dark place.
are more pitiable than blameworthy because they do not have
enough blessings to be close to good teachers and good
friends. So you need to care, create all the most favorable
conditions to have a good relationship with them, how to be
close to them, and have the opportunity to share from
material to spiritual means. Instruct them to know deeply
about cause and effect to reduce harmful actions to people
2- From dark
some people here who were born into poor, lowly families,
hired workers, slaves, butchers, fishers, trappers, garbage
collectors, and other lowly occupations. The food is not
enough, the clothes are not enough to wear, the poverty is
poor, the disease dies prematurely, the body is ugly, always
doing lowly things and also being ordered by people to do
lowly things. It's called dark.
are in a dark place, you have faith, and less anger, and
often give birth to a heart of compassion, giving away from
greed. When you see monks, precepts, and multiculturalists,
you often demean yourself and visit, help, and advise others
to give alms and praise the givers and recipients. The mind
always thinks good things, speaks good words with the mouth
and does good deeds with the body. You always respect true
practitioners and know how to help and share when meeting
people in need. Because of that, after death, you are reborn
in the heavens or return to be rich and powerful. It is like
someone stepping on a palanquin from the earth, from a
palanquin onto a horse, from a horse to an elephant, or from
an elephant to upstairs. People from dark to bright are also
type of person is a progressive person, although, in a bad
situation, you are fortunate to have good friends and
knowledge to guide and teach you to recognize the past
mistakes made you. You try to be diligent, patient,
determined to overcome, renew yourself by repenting,
promising to leave bad karma, and depending on your ability
and life circumstances to do good deeds, so turn bad results
into good causes. Hence you get from dark to bright.
bright to dark
Here you are
born into a noble family, with status and fame in society.
Wealthy Brahmin families, rich kings, and mandarins, lots of
money, many servants, nice bodies, and dignified,
intelligent, and wise are called bright.
now you don't have faith in the Three Jewels, a lot of
anger, greed, evil thinking, wrong delusion, and no respect
for monks and nuns, spiritual practitioners. Criticism does
not praise, or hinder the giver, nor does almsgiving. The
body often does evil deeds, speaks evil words, thinks evil
thoughts, harms people, and harms animals. Because of that
predestined condition, after you die, you will fall into the
three evil paths and suffer many retributions. It's like
someone stepping down from a high floor to an elephant, from
an elephant to a horse, from a horse to a palanquin, from a
palanquin to the ground, from the ground to a cellar, and
into a deep pit. It's the same when you go from bright to
class of people, although blessed in the present, because of
the wrong perception according to the fixed point of view,
this life intentionally causes sins, until the blessings
come to an end, you have to accept the results of suffering.
Like people from bright to dark.
bright to bright
born into a rich, noble family with high status and
reputation in society. Have a lot of money, a lot of
knowledge, a royal life, a lot of servants, and get whatever
you are rich in faith, not angry, often ashamed, and far
away from hatred, delusion, and envy. Seeing the monks and
nuns, the cultivators who kept the precepts, were
well-versed, respectfully greeted, visited, and helped as
they needed. Advise those who make offerings, praise others
to give, and the recipients of alms. The mind always thinks
well, speaks good words with the mouth, does good deeds with
the body, and often advises everyone to do the same. You are
like that, after you die due to that good cause, you should
be reborn in the heavens to enjoy superior blessings. It's
like you go straight to the upper floors from the land and
walk comfortably on it. People from bright to bright are
also like that.
type of person is you who always shine everywhere because
you deeply believe in the Three Jewels. Deeply believing in
cause and effect, and understanding the value of life, you
always benefit sentient beings, always sharing blessings and
peace with everyone in the spirit of selflessness and
through the Sutra of Cause and Effect, you see that the
cause and effect of Buddhism are very broad and liberal.
Because a large number of people in the world are mistaken:
You are human when you die, they are reborn in the human
realm. You are in heaven when you die, they are reborn in
heaven's realm, and you are an animal when you die, you give
birth to animals. You don't know your life is a constant
stream of changes moment by moment. From the moment you were
born, you have suffered the karmic retribution of the past.
Gradually becoming a grow up is it has created new karma. If
you meet good conditions in good circumstances, are close to
good knowledge, and teach good things, you will advance to
good realms. On the contrary, if you are close to evil
people, in bad circumstances, polluted by evil karma, you
will fall into the evil realms. Thus continuing ups and
downs from life to life, never-ending because of doing karma
to pay off, payback and then cause karma, etc. So here the
Buddha mentioned four types of people:
from dark to dark.
from dark to bright.
from bright to dark.
from bright to bright.
category of people is those with poor virtue. In your
previous life, you have sown unwholesome causes, so now you
encounter evil retribution. But you also do not know how to
do good to convert the karma of suffering, you have to
suffer the consequences forever (like from dark to dark).
type of person is also in a bad situation due to past karma,
but you know how to turn bad karma into good karma, that is,
you stop suffering from dark to bright.
class of people is a person of merit and virtue, who created
good causes in previous lives, and enjoys good results in
this life. But they don't know how to cultivate, just enjoy
the pleasures, create bad karma, and then have to reap the
results of suffering like from bright to dark.
type of person, you have both merit and virtue and knows how
to cultivate good karma and stay away from bad karma. Thus,
you go forward every day, your mind is bright, and your
future will be liberated from bright to bright.
when talking about Buddhism, it is talking about the spirit
of cause and effect, referring to the enlightenment of a
person. You are born with enough blessings or unhappiness
because of accumulating karma from many lives that now
produce different results. Everything can be changed and
improved for the better if you have a strong will and
determination. All phenomena and things in this world are a
constant stream of change every moment, nothing is fixed. So
if you want to be how you are, you have to decide and make
your own efforts, not depending on any force at all. To be
active in the experiment, I suggest you two cases for you to
* A certain
family, father, and son were walking together in their
garden. Suddenly the son asked his father:
- Dad, Dad,
is our family rich?
father heard that, he smiled, patted his son's head, and
- Dad has
money, but my son doesn't. Dad's money is made by my own
hands and brain, accumulated over many years. Later, if my
son wants to be rich like your dad, my son must first learn
and choose a true career for my son, my son can also earn
money through my son's profession.
listening to his father's answer, made some deductions as
1- My father
is very rich, but his money belongs to him, because of his
2- If I want
to have money and be rich like my father, I must also work
and try to get it.
hearing his father's answer, the boy will try very hard to
become as rich as his father. Most importantly, a kind of
moral and spiritual wealth, which will help the boy enjoy
the benefits of his life without fear of being robbed.
question, in another family? The father replied proudly:
- We have a
lot of money at home, and when you grow up everything I have
will belong to you, you don't have to worry.
after hearing that answer from his father, he will make a
statement as follows:
1- My father
is a rich man, and my family has a lot of money. My father's
money is my own money.
2- Thus, I
don't need to try to learn and work because I already have a
lot of money.
people always believe in cause and effect and live without
relying on, begging, or depending on any force. So you
should teach your children how to live independently, work,
and earn money with their own sweat and tears.
Here, let me
tell you two stories for you to ponder:
- One day,
there was an article that said: The young girl silently paid
for two firefighters and the ending was filled with
say, kindness is a cycle: When you give kindness, it will
come back to you. When you sow the seed of kindness, it will
bear sweet flowers. And, the story below will probably give
you more confidence in that.
is a waitress in a 24-hour fast-food restaurant in New
Jersey. She always starts her work day at 4 a.m., when it's
One day, two
tired-faced firefighters walked into the store where Liz was
working and said in a hoarse voice:
- Girl, give
us two espressos.
people have just joined the fire fighting of a big fire. The
fire in the warehouse was extremely fierce. They fought it
for 12 hours and didn't sleep all night. At this point, they
are extremely exhausted and need a cup of coffee to wake up.
Perhaps few people can understand the hardships of
listened attentively to the story of two firefighters Paul
and Tom while making coffee. She was very impressed by what
they did. She wanted to offer them two cups of coffee and
prepare a delicious breakfast instead of thanking the silent
bringing breakfast to the table, she wrote on the back of
the bill, Liz wrote:
- I paid for
breakfast today. Thanks for your contributions. When
everyone is trying to escape, you don't care about your life
to plunge into the fire. Regardless of the responsibility,
you are the bravest, the strongest, and the best example for
everyone. Thank you for everything you have done, rest well
the note on the back of the bill, the two strong men burst
into tears with warm words of encouragement from the young
girl. They have been doing this work for many years,
witnessing so much heartache after each fire, but perhaps
few people can understand the hardships of firefighters. The
care of a young girl they had never met touched their tender
hearts. Liz looked at the two men with tears in their eyes,
the two also looked at Liz. They gave each other warm eyes
and smiles and finally waved goodbye.
returning home, the more Tom thought about Liz, the more
moved he became. Tom shared this story on social media,
along with a message to his friends:
- Let's go
to that warm shop. If you meet this honest girl, pay a
little more money.
Unexpectedly, in just one night, Tom's message received a
lot of support from netizens. Liz's kindness spread
everywhere. Many people also personally went to the store to
praise and support the girl.
time, everyone knew about Liz's situation. In fact, Liz's
family is not rich, even quite needy. In early 2010, her
father became paralyzed due to brain damage. The family
couldn't afford a car with a wheelchair lift system, so her
father was sick all year round in bed. As for Liz, she has
to shoulder all the household chores. Currently, she is
working 3 part-time jobs around the clock.
learning about Liz's plight, fireman Tom could not describe
his feelings. He and some of his colleagues planned to help
this honest girl. Soon they created a crowdfunding page to
buy a car for Liz's father. Initially, they only expected to
raise 17,000 USD but did not expect that the number of
participants was very large, and the amount collected was up
to 86,000 USD.
visits Liz's father and gives her the money. Liz hugged him
and burst into tears. This scene also brought the firemen
accompanying Tom to tears. Perhaps Liz also did not expect
that her small act would receive such a big response.
It is known
that before Liz's father became paralyzed, he worked as a
disaster worker for decades. In every disaster, big or
small, he rushes to the scene to complete his job without
sacrificing his own life. That kindness of his was probably
passed on to his daughter, and then eventually returned to
is a cycle. When you give kindness, it comes back to you.
When you sow the seed of kindness, it will bear sweet
Liz did not
expect that a small act of hers would receive such a big
is: Liz is a person from where to go, to which of the four
classes of people?
story of noble images:
of wealth to pray for poverty, discharge of body to seek the
Billionaire T. Ananda Krishnan is one of the successful
entrepreneurs in many different business fields such as
Media, oil and gas, telecommunications, real estate, and
entertainment... His fortune is estimated up to 10 billion
USD in August 2015. Despite being very private and
unpretentious, Ananda Krishnan was known throughout the
country. He is considered the father of the famous Petronas
Twin Towers of Malaysia. This billionaire has only one
child, Ajahn Siripanno.
then-18-year-old Ajahn Siripanno attended a short retreat to
show gratitude and respect to his mother and family when he
returned to his motherland in Thailand.
years of living and studying in the UK, this is the first
time Ajahn Siripanno has been exposed to Buddhism. With an
open mind to accepting different cultures around the world,
Ajahn Siripanno found joy and serenity during his brief time
as a monk in Thailand.
period of time completely changed Ajahn's mind about
Buddhism and the lives of monks. The plan was to live as a
monk for only two weeks but did not expect Ajahn Siripanno
to become a monk forever.
years ago, billionaire T. Ananda Krishnan suddenly lost
contact with his only son. After many searches, billionaire
Ananda Krishnan was surprised to see his son in a yellow
shirt, bowl in hand, begging for alms at a temple in
T. Ananda Krishnan approached and invited his son to a meal
after years of separation. However, the monk Ajahn Siripanno
- I'm sorry
dad, but I can't accept your invitation, I have to go
begging like other fellow practitioners.
surprised by his son's refusal, billionaire T. Ananda
- With all
the fortune in my career, I still can't get my son to have a
more than 20 years, monk Ajahn Siripanno has become the
abbot of Dhao Dham Monastery at the National Forest Reserve
near the border of Thailand and Myanmar. Monk Ajahn
Siripanno also shared, he has never regretted the choice in
Ananda Krishnan and monk Ajahn Siripanno still regularly
contact and visit the monastery to talk to each other. Monk
Ajahn Siripanno became famous after attending his
billionaire father's 70th birthday party. Monk Ajahn
Siripanno still appears in a simple outfit, wearing sandals
and carrying a small bag traveling by private plane and
resting at a formal hotel in Italy.
The story of
monk Ajahn Siripanno's ordination is a typical example that
money and material things are not the final destinations in
life. Monk Ajahn Siripanno left all his billionaire father's
huge fortune to seek peace in the spiritual realm.
Lama once said:
- Even if
the population of five billion people currently living on
this earth becomes millionaires, without inner peace, people
still cannot have lasting peace and happiness.
money, wealth, and power bring happiness, then perhaps the
kings or leaders of the country are already happy.
Therefore, learn to let go to find true values in life and
peace in each person's soul.
Monk Ajahn Siripanno is a person from where to go, to which
of the four classes of people?
among the four classes of people mentioned above, there are
two classes of people who know how to progress, which are
the second and fourth, and the two who do not know how to
progress, which are the first and third. So whether the
practice goes forward or backward, it's all up to you
whether you're willing to change karma, not anyone's
decision. And karma is not fixed for good or evil, but it's
up to you to convert or not, no one blesses or causes harm
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