On Sunday 17 April, Nalanda founder Bro. Tan led a special service in memory of Sayādaw U Panditābhivamsa, who passed away a day earlier. The service began at 9.00am with meditation, followed by offerings and Pāli chanting. The 300-strong congregation then listened to an insightful talk by Bro. Tan, who started by asking rhetorically, “Do kings have suffering?”
Bro. Tan said that just like any other family, royalties also ‘suffer’ from mundane issues such as misunderstandings, quarrels and conflicts. Furthermore, every human being does ‘suffer’ from decay, sickness, death, separation from what is loved, and unfulfilled desires.
Bro. Tan explained that there are two categories of suffering – (1) those that are unavoidable, e.g. with birth comes ageing, sickness and death; and (2) those that can be prevented, e.g. anger, jealousy, enmity, etc.
Hardly do beings know that most ‘sufferings’ are preventable! We only need to cultivate discipline, purify the mind, and develop wisdom to avoid many sufferings that plague us. Ultimately, there is the possibility of liberating ourselves from all preventable sufferings that come with worldly existence by walking the Noble Eightfold Path.
We thank Bro. Tan for his wonderful sharing. The congregation then dedicated merits to the late Sayādaw U Panditā – may his reverence experience the bliss of Nibbāna. Sotthi.