Living a ‘Life of Wisdom’

Devotees attending a sutta study session conducted by Bro. Tan on Wesak Buddha Day.

Bro. Tan conducting the Sutta Study based on a selection of discourses from the Anguttara Nikaya.

On Buddha Day 21 May, Nalanda founder Bro. H. S. Tan conducted a 2-hour Sutta Study session based on the theme of the Wesak celebrations – ‘A Life of Wisdom‘.  Despite it being a very long day with many other on-going Wesak activities, the mid-afternoon session attracted a large attendance of more than 160 people, with some devotees even traveling from other states to Nalanda Centre.

Bro. Tan explained that as humans beings, physical and mental suffering are unavoidable as our bodies are subject to injury, illness and decay, while our minds often have to cope with unpleasant situations which cause stress, anger and jealousy arising from ignorance.

Many devotees attended the afternoon session despite the long day.

The Sutta Study session attracted a large crowd despite many other on-going activities on ‘Buddha Day’.

The Buddha taught us to understand suffering and ways to end suffering so that we may attain ultimate happiness.  The Buddha said, while fools carry out unwholesome bodily, verbal, and mental actions which inflict harm on themselves and others, the wise instead perform wholesome bodily, verbal, and mental actions which bring happiness to themselves and others.  With wisdom, we abandon blameworthy actions which are despised by the Noble Ones, and perform blameless actions which are praiseworthy.

Bro. Tan further elaborated that we can gain wisdom through our association with people of integrity (Sappurisa), and learn the Dhamma well.  By associating with the wise, we have the opportunity to listen to good Dhamma and we will be well-grounded in our spiritual practice.  We can aspire to be like the wise with learning and consistent practice in accordance with Dhamma.

Devotees do a short sitting to calm their minds before the Sutta study session.

Devotees meditating to calm their minds before the Sutta Study session.

With unshakable faith in the Dhamma, energetic practice, and guided by our sense of moral shame, we can abandon unwholesome qualities and develop wholesome ones which will lead to the cessation of suffering. We are grateful to Bro. Tan for his skillful and profound teaching of the Dhamma.  Sadhu anumodana!