Good morning, everyone. This is today’s Dharma Espresso on “Celebrate Life with Gandhi”.
Today, I was invited to speak at the Jain Center, a center of Jainism of India, on the subject
about Mahatma Gandhi.
As you all may know, Gandhi is a saint: Mahatma (Saint) Gandhi. Probably everyone knows he is the father of modern India. Under his leadership, in 1947 the masses succeeded in fighting against Great Britain. But he adopted a very special approach, called non-violent movement. India being a British colony at the time, instead of brandishing guns, instead of brandishing banners, the Indian people relied on patience, rationality, and a strong persistence to turn the British people and their leaders into being receptive and to accept change.
Apart from being a political figure, we know that he is a person of great wisdom. If you check online, you will find the top 10 wisdom quotes of Mahatma Gandhi, which we all seem to know:
1. Be the change.
2. What you think you become.
3. Where there is love, there is life. (most often heard)
4. Learn as if you live forever.
5. Your health is your real wealth. (most repeated in the Compassionate Service Society)
6. Have a sense of humor.
7. Your life is your message.
8. Action expresses priorities. It expresses priorities in our life; it shows what we do or what we do not want to do, or what we want to do later. What we do thus reflects our priority.
9. Our greatness is being able to remake ourselves.
10. Find yourself in the services of others.
These are the most common quotes that we have heard but we may not know that they are from Mahatma Gandhi. There is a very important thread of thoughts from Gandhi which may be well known to many of you. I would like to repeat it here:
- Keep your thoughts positive because thoughts become your words. - Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior.
- Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits.Don’t you see the beauty of the thread? Words lead to action, and repeated actions lead
- Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values.So well said, words lead to actions and repeated actions lead to habits, and repeated habits will show where your life values are placed.
For example, if one frequently goes to Las Vegas for gambling weeks in and weeks out, months in and months out, then one’s life values are hung on entertainment, gambling, and risk-taking, which merely support selfishness and self-gratification.
- Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny. These very negative values in the previous gambling example are to be avoided. Too often many people think that their destiny is from outside forces, but never thought that their destiny lies within their own life values, and that those values originate from habits, and those habits originate from actions, and those actions from words, and those words from thoughts.
Please take a moment to think of such a cycle of cause and effect.
Thus, we need to be careful so as not to be influenced by improper thoughts.
We should study and follow the thoughts of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva. Our thoughts should be full of gratitude. Our thankful eyes are always filled with gratitude in our thoughts. Our thoughts always see the truth, and always see the true nature of everything. For that ability to see through, what is required of our thoughts? They should always be full of forgiveness. They should always be full of love. Our thoughts would always have the full ability of seeing through, seeing into everything, unobstructed, and always open. Our thoughts are always rooted deeply in our faith in the Buddha, in God.
If we have those views, those observations, and those thoughts, then our words will gradually reflect love, forgiveness, openness, and compassion. Therefore, our life and our destiny will gradually change, and such change in our life indeed originates from such thoughts.
I hope that you have enjoyed the coffee today, and remember that, given Saint Gandhi’s
remarkable success in the world, we could follow his footsteps to always feel the joy as we feel today, and always stay alert. Thank you for listening.
Dharma Master Heng Chang
(Translated and transcribed by Compassionate Service Society)