May 10

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Ten duties of a practising Buddhist

However, we need good friends to guide us on the proper path of life. According to the Buddha, we must seek out good spiritual friends who will support us as we strive to attain perfection.

In the hierarchy of the inhabitants of the planetary system, of which the earth is a part, the position of the human being is relatively high, however insignificant he is in the universe in respect of numbers.

It is only by being a human, can one gather wisdom. An animal cannot acquire wisdom, because food and self-preservation are its only concern.

If one is born in hell, undergoing intensive suffering, chances of mental development and cultivation of mind are poor. In the heavenly abodes, the deities have too much comfort, which does not permit them to think and get ready for the next existence. They find it difficult to understand impermanency, uncertainty and unsatisfactoriness of life and do not make any effort to end repeated birth and death.

Only the human being is in a supreme position to elevate himself to higher planes of existence by superior thinking. Thus only a human being can aspire to gain the same wisdom. By virtue of being born as a human, he has the capacity to overcome evil and reach perfection. Earthly life as a human being is so important that all Buddhas attain their Enlightenment while being born human.

It is needless to say that to kill a human being is a great offence, for he is the only being on earth who has the potential to cultivate kindness, compassion, honesty, goodwill and other humane qualities to serve the other living beings and to release them from their suffering, fear and worries.

By doing so, he develops his human values and prepares for his future existence and liberation. It is rare to be born as a human being. Buddhism upholds the view that man is an intelligent being.

He surpasses even the devas (gods) in wisdom and strength. The Bodhisatva left heaven and descended to this human world in order to attain his enlightenment.

Buddha very vividly pointed out to us very compassionately that the way we should follow in order to become noble human beings. If we are really in need of becoming human beings of nobility, we should undoubtedly follow the path that the Buddha has shown us to tread on. We all should do so with full confidence in the noble Triple Gem, namely the Buddha, His teachings and the Order of Sangha (Bhikkhus). S. M. Wijayaratne – Kurunegala Daily News Corr.



The following ten duties should be followed by human beings to become heirs to the nobility:

(1) Ministering their parents
(2) Attending to their children
(3) Looking after their spouses
(4)Developing mutual under standing between husband and wife
(5) Attending to relatives
(6) Respecting the elders
(7) Remembering the departed ones by doing some religious services
(8) Inviting devas (divine beings) to share the happiness of merits that has been done
(9) Adjusting the way of life in accordance with a suitable environment
(10) Leading a religious way of life


However, we need good friends to guide us on the proper path of life. According to the Buddha, we must seek out good spiritual friends who will support us as we strive to attain perfection.

These friends will point out our weaknesses without rancour and encourage us in our practice of the Buddha’s teachings.

Friends like these do not expect anything in return and are only concerned with our welfare. We in return treat them in the same way and we work for our mutual benefit.

Whatever the reasons may be, we should try to cultivate the noble quality of loving-kindness in our hearts to live happily as long as we live.

Love, universal love, is the remedy for all the ills that afflict mankind. One of the most beautiful sayings about the supreme virtue of “Maithri” mentions mother-love, the foundation of all love in the world, in the metta sutta:

“As a mother at the risk of her life
Protects her own child,
So also let everyone cultivate
Goodwill towards all beings.”


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