On Sunday 17 July, Nalandians observed ‘Dhammacakka Day’ to commemorate the turning of the ‘Wheel of Dhamma’ 2600 years ago, when the Buddha expounded the ‘Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta’ to his first five disciples at Isipatana near Benares.
Bro. Tan delivered an insightful Dhamma teaching on the ‘Five Aggregates of Clinging’ (Pañcupādāna-khandhā) to mark the occasion. He said that due to attachment to the five aggregates, worldlings experience different kinds of ‘dukkha’ (suffering). The cessation of suffering comes about when wisdom is applied, allowing us to see the true nature of mind and matter and thereafter abandon the clinging to Views (Ditthi) and to Self (Atta).
A big part of the ending of suffering comes from learning how to let go. This is achieved by the practice of mindfulness and wise discernment. Therefore, from moment-to-moment, we must apply these two essential factors.
But letting go should not be confused with doing nothing. It means letting go of our defilements whether gross or subtle, such as anger, resentment, grudge, conceit or attachment to one’s own views in dealing with people and matters arising; then ask ourselves, “Under such circumstances, what is the wisest response I can make?” And that includes the option of not taking any action there and then, but to let the tension of the hour pass before undertaking the right steps towards a more productive outcome.
‘Letting go’ also entails Right Effort of abandoning the arisen unwholesome thoughts, and to prevent unarisen unwholesome qualities from arising. A life of wisdom is one spent continually learning and reflecting on wholesome qualities. This provides the strength for our spiritual practice.
After thanking Bro. Tan for his profound and insightful teaching on this auspicious occasion, Nalandians proceeded to offer lunch dāna to Sangha members. It was heartening to note that the large congregation comprised of devotees from many countries and nationalities, showing the universal appeal of Buddha-Dhamma.
The ‘Dhammacakka Day’Observance also marks the end of this year’s 7-week Nalanda Gimhāna Retreat. Indeed the weeks had been filled with pivotal meditation, teachings and discussions on the Dhamma. We thank everyone for taking part in and supporting the 2016 retreat, and rejoice with you in the wholesome practice. Sadhu anumodana.