အခ်ိန္ရွိခိုက္၊ လု႔ံလစိုက္၊ မမိုက္သင့္ေပ၊ ဒို႔တစ္ေတြ။

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Uncut Diamonds in Hands of a Lapidist

Uncut Diamonds in Hands of a Lapidist
          There is a village called Ye Dwin Gyi which is remote from towns and cities and it is neither too big nor too small in its neighbouring villages. The village is situated in Magway Division, Myanmar. The villagers in this village are farmers who are ever busy with agriculture in all seasons around year. Since they are from hand to mouth, they would not look after as much as necessary to their offspring’s education.
          At the head of the village, there is a monastery and there is also a government primary school closed by to the former. Class attendance time of the school is at seven to at nine o’clock in the morning and at twelve to at four o’clock in the evening. At two o’clock in the afternoon, all students have half an hour’s break for playing.
          Thirty minutes before attending school in the morning and leaving school in the evening, all students in the primary school should be ready to proceed to monastery when they hear ringing bell rang by the abbot monk who has great influence over the villagers not only religious affairs but every social occasions of joy or grief. He is generally known as Sayadaw, reverence monk, in all parts of Myanmar.
Especially the young from this village come to the monastery to participate religious activities at least twice a day; in the morning and evening. They however come to monastery every day to learn Buddha’s teaching in summer season of school holidays.
          When all students are in temple, they have to pay homage to the Triple Gems, i.e. Buddha, Dhamma and Saṃgha, under instruction of Sayadaw. It takes almost fifteen minutes to be finished. Firstly, they must line up when they are sitting with two lines separately. The first line is boy whilst the second is girl. They all sit in serial order from elder to young, for one should pay due respect to the elder who is older even a second than oneself in accordance with Theravada Buddhism.
          When they sit gather together in the temple before starting pay homage to the Triple Gems, all of students have to count themselves saying one after the other as one, two, and three and so on. Accordingly no one dares to fail to join reciting prayers in a group and to attend school as well. It is one of the good ways to cultivate religious spirit in the heart of youths and to go to school regularly on the other. Being busy with respective works, almost all parents from village would not keep eyes day to day that their beloved tender ones whether or not they go to school. As a result, youths would stay away from school.
Youths however could not miss the school under the care of Sayadaw in stead of their parents. On the other hand, youths get into practice a moral life since they are young. So the villagers reverently rely on the Sayadaw and respectfully obey to him.
Now, full complement of youths in the temple, one of them leads paying absence, reciting Triple Gems, Nine Attributes of Buddha, Six Qualities of Dhamma and Nine Qualities of the Saṃgha, taking eight precepts in the morning and five precepts in the evening and so forth. The rest repeats after him in chorus. When they perform so, boys sit in squat or crouch whilst girls sit decorously making a gesture of respect by putting their palms together and raising them to the forehead.
Sayadaw gives a sermon to youths sayig “Not to associate with fools, to associate with the wise, to pay respect to those who are worthy of respect etc.” for a bit time when the worshiping is over. Sometimes, Sayadaw tells youth the life story of the Buddha so as to acquire basic knowledge on Buddhism and so that they take moral lessons by setting good example of Bodhisatta, who has destiny to be Buddha. Finally Sayadaw concludes his admonishing by distributing something to eat such as candy, banana, mango etc. Because of this manner, youths enjoy to come to temple without fail.
In the evening worshiping, Sayadaw leaves a closing word of day to youths as final message that all of you must study heard and worship the parents before going to bed. I’ll enquire your parents whether you all follow my advice or not. As soon as youths arrive in monastery on next day morning, Sayadaw asks that did you hear a sound of studying lessons such and such of your neighbouring friends etc. Do not tell line me, because I’ll ask your friends and parents again. Finally, youths come back to their home happily and cheerfully. On their way home, they narrate to each other the story what Sayadaw said and eating what Sayadaw gives away in charity.
Remember please that the life of youths is easy to reform and teach. Youths are like sketch or outline pictures drawn by elders. The whole life of a youth depends on the elders. If youths receive well discipline together with good lessons since they are young, they will become good leaders as well as good citizens in the future. If so, youths will definitely possess golden future and their mother land will surely be grand in the world where they live in.
May you all be strong mind and sound body!
With Mettā,
                   Rev. Uttamānanda
         Wednesday, September 07, 2011

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