By Nhat Quan
The hunt, the search for sensual happiness in the world keeps you caught in the vicious circle of cause and effect, of love and hate, friend and foe, through which every thought, word, or deed is the cause that leads to the effect, and then that effect becomes another cause, so that cause and effect continue to arise. Every person who is greedy and deluded goes through stages of this cycle. In daily life, upon contact between the senses and the sense of objects, the mind gives rise to pleasant thoughts and feelings. Then craving arises from pleasure, then clinging arises.
Once a craving has arisen in the mind, selfish, narrow-minded actions immediately follow. While chasing after whatever lust you consider small happiness, you can also act rough and easily make enemies. When craving for something important like wealth, or the act of killing each other, the consequences are even more disastrous, and constant suffering can ensue. In the Sutra of the trap bait, the Buddha shows you how not to fall into the trap of those harmful desires, without the trap of the world, so that there is no suffering. The Bible says this:
At one time the Blessed One was at Savatthi, at Jetavana, in the garden of The Person who supports the Lonely Man. Here, the Blessed One called the bhikkhus and preached as follows:
Monks, hunters who spread food for deer in the forest, will not think:
- We spread this food to the deers to eat so that the herd can live longer, be better, and be nourished for a longer time. On the contrary, in the mind of the hunter, when spreading food to the deer, he always thinks:
- We spread this food to the deer herd, let this deer herd invade, and greedily eat the food. After infiltrating, infatuated with food, they become delirious; by the confusion they become distracted; due to distraction, they become animals made according to the wishes of the hunter.
According to the scriptures:
 - Food is synonymous with the world's five nurturing desires.
- Hunter is synonymous with Evil, or suffering.
- The hunter's relatives are synonymous with the demon's relatives, or the associated bad retributions.
- Herds of deer are synonymous with every human being, you ...
And as the Sutra tells you, there are four classes of people.
1- First Class
These first types of people when they come into contact with the five desires in the world, they are:
- When you see money, you like it
- Beauty is what your heart wants to possess
- Fame means you want to climb high
- When you want to eat, you want to eat well, you defy the toxicity
- When you sleep, you like a high bed with a large mattress, and lazy, ... And other-worldly desires.
This first class of people, because of the lack of mindfulness and cultivation, are not aware of the dangers of the five sensual pleasures in life, so they fall down and eventually become deluded. Because of confusion, they become distracted, insatiable, and no longer in control of themselves. Therefore, this class of people certainly cannot escape suffering, samsara, and birth and death.
2- Second Class
These people have mindfulness practices but are extreme, even though they also know the dangers of the five pleasures and other temptations in the world. Especially when they see the fall, debauchery, and suffering of the first class, they tell themselves not to indulge in sensual pleasures.
So they give up the social life, that is, completely give up the 5 sensual pleasures, nourishment, and worldly things, give up scary things, go deep into the forest and stay. In the austere and monastic life, they only eat grass or rice, eat forest leaves, and eat fruit to get through the day. There are also people who only eat brown rice, people who eat mustard seeds, people who eat shredded skin, people who eat rice husks, people who eat rice flour water, people who eat sesame seeds, people who eat grass, people who eat cow dung, people who eat fruit, people who eat the roots of trees in the forest, people who eat fallen fruit to live.
Over the course of many days, especially each year at the end of summer, grass becomes scarce, and the bodies of these people become extremely thin. Because their bodies became extremely thin, their diligent energy was exhausted. Because the strength of the effort is exhausted, the mind that cultivates and seeks liberation is also exhausted. Because the liberated mind is exhausted, the mind is driven and begins to crave back the five pleasures, and otherworldly passions. Once they indulge in sensual pleasures they become bolder than the first and then lead to confusion. Due to confusion, they become distracted. Due to distraction, they are lost in samsara, suffering, and retribution like the first class. These people you find in the ascetic practices of the pagans.
3- Third Person Class
The third class of people is people who have mindfulness and practice, but they are stubborn people. So when they see the first and second classes of people falling down, they also have thoughts.
- The first class of people, because they do not have mindfulness and practice, only care about greed, enjoying the five sensual pleasures, and being tempted by worldly pleasures, must suffer retribution and fall into samsara.
- The second category of people, although they are aware of the dangers of being attached to the five desires, and other worldly temptations, have given up once, but because they are too extreme in their practice, it is not right permission, excessive asceticism should fall into exhaustion. Once one has fallen into the passions of the five sensual pleasures, and the other desires in the world, unable to control themselves, they will fall into a situation of excessive freedom, eventually suffer the fruit of suffering, and fall into the cycle of birth and death
 After analyzing the mistakes of the above two types of people, this third class of people decided to establish firm mindfulness and practice, live in harmony with society, and contact with the five sensual pleasures but not indulge in the five sensual pleasures and temptations world, so this third class of people does not become deluded. By not being delirious, they will not become distracted. But the biggest obstacle of these people is to stick to their wrong views, always asking the question:
- The world is permanent or the world is not permanent;
- The world is finite or the world is boundless;
- Life and body are one or life and body are different;
- Tathagata exists after death or Tathagata after death does not exist;
Although he has a dedicated spiritual practice, they do not indulge in the five sensual pleasures and other worldly temptations. But because of these wrong views, they end up suffering and falling into samsara.
4- Fourth Person Class
The fourth class of people is the kind of people who have mindfulness and practice seriously, and perceive three types of people:
- The first class of people, because of their greed for the five sensual pleasures, and the temptations of worldly pleasures, have to fall down in samsara.
- The second category of people, although they are aware that it is dangerous to indulge in the five sensual pleasures and other worldly temptations, they have given up once, but because of their extreme mindfulness and practice, improperly, excessive asceticism should fall to extreme exhaustion. When the momentum can't control itself, it falls into a situation of excessive freedom, eventually suffers, and falls into samsara.
- The third class people, after analyzing the mistakes of the above two types of people, this third class of people decided to establish firm mindfulness and practice, live in harmony with society, and contact with the five sensual pleasures but not indulge in the five desires and other worldly temptations. So, this third class of people does not become deluded. But then they have strong wrong views, so they end up falling in samsara
After contemplating the reasons why the three classes of people suffer, and fall in samsara. The fourth type of person decides to live in the world but does not indulge in worldly pleasures. By not intruding, not coveting the five worldly desires, and other temptations, these people do not become deluded. By not being delirious, one does not become distracted. Because these people are not distracted, on the contrary, they still need to practice diligently. In the process of practicing detachment from sensual pleasures, away from evil dharmas, so attaining fruition and staying in the first jhana, a state of bliss arises due to separation from desire.
Of the four classes of people in the Sutra of the trap bait in the Madhyamagama Sutra of the Pali canon summarizes four classes of people:
- The first category of people are those who do not have mindfulness of cultivation, do not know what cultivation is, but only care about worldly pleasures, so they have to suffer.
- The second class has mindfulness practice, but falls into extreme asceticism, so in the end, falls into a state of endless suffering. This is a picture of the ascetic pagans.
- The third class of people are people who have mindfulness and practice, but fall into a state of stubbornness, so in the end, the path is not attained, but they also fall into samsara.
- The fourth category of people are people who have mindfulness and practice seriously. Living in the world without being entangled in the world, is the image of the Buddha, the Bodhisattvas, and the saints.
You see the fourth class of people who are considered to be superior people, living in the world without all desires. When craving and clinging have been eliminated, craving is completely eliminated, and only the happiness of the present life is guaranteed and complete liberation.
As a Buddhist, when you first entered the religion, you may not know what to do to avoid the world's trap of sensual pleasures, nor do you know how to practice properly. But when you have realized the methods of practice, you begin your journey, you will also have results.
So it is said that true happiness comes only when a craving has been eradicated. Even if you think it is impractical to attain the highest happiness, it is very beneficial to reduce your petty cravings. The more you can let go of cravings, the easier it will be to feel happiness.
But how do reduce or let go of cravings?
When you have a thought, you need to clear all conditions, all cravings for sensual pleasures, reduce cravings, and resolve to practice according to the Buddha's teachings, through which step by step the practice of the Eightfold Path
The way of growing step by step in the path of the Buddha affects every aspect of your life. This process can start anytime, anywhere. You can start from where you are and progress, step by step. Every new change for the better in behavior or understanding is based on the will of each person.
Among those who have heard the Buddha preach, there are those with a receptive mind who can achieve perfect happiness right after hearing the Buddha's step-by-step instructions for the first time. A few were ready, although as soon as they heard the transcendental teachings of the Four Noble Truths, their minds were completely liberated. Most Buddhist disciples must try to practice the teachings, thoroughly understanding each step before moving on to the next. It takes many of you many years to overcome obstacles in understanding before you can progress to a higher level of inquiry. It takes a lot of work for most of you to disentangle yourself from the self-harming attitudes, and others people that have developed over the years. Yet you have slowly followed the Buddha's step-by-step path with a lot of patience and encouragement. Because not everyone can grasp everything at once. So when it comes to spiritual growth, you all bring your own past experiences and varying degrees of spiritual cultivation.
The Buddha was a wonderfully subtle teacher. He knows what clear basic understandings you need before receiving higher teachings. The doctrine of the Eightfold Path that can destroy the trap of suffering and lead to happiness consists of three stages of being built, and dependent on each other: Precept, concentration, and wisdom.
The first stage, precepts, involves accepting certain basic things and living according to them. The Buddha understood that thinking, speaking, and acting in accordance with the precepts are the basic steps that must be taken before progressing to higher spiritual development. But of course, you have to have a mind to know what morality is. So He begins by helping you to cultivate the basic level of Right View which is the first step and Right Thought the second step. These psychic abilities help you distinguish between moral and unethical thoughts and actions, between good deeds and actions that harm yourself and those around you.
Once the right view has developed, you can begin to apply your new understanding by practicing the third step of Right Speech, the fourth step of Right Action, and the fifth step of Right Livelihood. The stages of practicing good virtuous actions help your mind to open up, free from hindrances, rejoice and be confident. When the obstacles from negative actions begin to fade, concentration can arise.
- Phase two
Concentration has three stages. The first is:
The sixth step of Right Effort helps your mind focus on each step of the path. Such efforts are especially necessary when many unwholesome thoughts arise in the mind while you are meditating.
- Followed by the seventh step mindfulness. To have mindfulness requires your attention to be complete every minute so that you can control the variation of things.
The eighth step of Right Concentration allows you to rest your mind uninterrupted on a certain object or thought. Because it is a positive state of mind, without anger or attachment. Concentration gives you the spiritual strength you need to see through your true circumstances.
- Stage Three:
Wisdom, with precepts as its foundation, concentration will arise. Therefore, through Concentration, the third stage on the path of cultivation, wisdom will develop. This brings you back to the first two steps on the path: Right View and Right Thought. You begin to experience a burst of wisdom in your actions. You realize how much you have created suffering for yourself. You realize by your thoughts, words, and actions how you have hurt yourself and others. You realize your lies and face life as it really is. Wisdom is a bright light for you to not fall into the trap of sensual pleasures, and to live a full and happy life.
In short, when you realize the four ways of life and the four ways of practice in the Sutra Of The Trap of Bail, through the Buddha's prompting as a series of successive stages, it operates in the direction from when you don't know how to practice until you know how to practice. Practicing asceticism and then falling into the forbidden precepts, but finally liberating all, is when you know how to use the way of using Precepts, Concentration, and Wisdom to support and develop each other. Each step in the Eightfold Path reinforces and promotes the remaining steps. As you begin to practice the whole process, each step will unfold in turn and each virtuous action or insight will motivate you to move on to the next step. On the path of practice, you will have many changes, especially the tendency to enjoy worldly pleasures is no more, no longer tormenting yourself and making others suffer. With each turn, you are ready to accept more responsibility for your attentive thoughts, words, and actions.
Applying your growing intellect to manifest virtuous action, you will see the value of moral thought and action in everyday life deeply. As a result, you will notice a change more quickly in the way you act. Similarly, when you are able to see more clearly which states of mind are beneficial and which states of mind you need to let go of, especially let go of the five worldly sensual pleasures and you put your diligence in a more proper place. As a result, your concentration will become deeper and insight will be developed. And in the end, you will not fall into the trap of worldly sensuality
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