When a spiritual leader passes away, their followers always take a moment to reflect. It’s a good moment to reflect on their advice and how we can best pay tribute to their legacy. The sarira discovered among the ashes of Monk Hsing Yun, a revered Buddhist master who passed away on 5 February 2023, has recently become the subject of some dispute. While some have placed a great lot of weight on this sarira, I think it is much more crucial to concentrate on the Buddha’s teachings and how we might apply them to our everyday lives.
Sometimes found among the cremated bones of highly revered Buddhist teachers are tiny, pearl-like beads called sarira. These beads are frequently regarded as sacred artifacts with extraordinary spiritual potency. Many people think that the existence of sarira in someone’s ashes indicates their spiritual purity or enlightenment. But I think that this emphasis on sarira completely misses the meaning of Buddhism.
The acquisition of relics or other worldly possessions was not the main focus of Buddha’s teachings. Instead, he advocated for inward introspection and change as the route to enlightenment. The Buddha’s teachings placed a strong emphasis on the development of inner peace, compassion, and wisdom. Although the Buddha himself may have left behind artifacts and other tangible items, his teachings were not centered on these. Instead, the Buddha placed a strong emphasis on the value of the Dharma, or his teachings, as a way of gaining enlightenment.
It’s critical to keep in mind that Master Hsing Yun’s actual legacy lies not in the sarira discovered in his ashes, but rather in the guidance he provided to his devotees. Master Hsing Yun was a revered Buddhist master who devoted his life to teaching the Dharma and assisting others in achieving inner tranquility and knowledge. His lectures highlighted the value of kindness, generosity, and participation in society. He advocated for Buddhism as a way of life that could help society as a whole, not only as a personal practice.
We have a responsibility to respect the Buddha’s teachings and those who have continued his heritage as Buddhists. We must avoid becoming enmeshed in the outward symbols of spirituality, such as relics and other tangible things. Instead, we ought to put our attention on the inward transformation at the core of Buddhism. We should make an effort to build inner serenity, compassion, and knowledge in our own lives as well as to share these qualities with others.
In conclusion, while the discovery of sarira in Master Hsing Yun’s ashes may be of interest to some, I believe that the true legacy of this revered Buddhist master lies in the teachings he imparted to his followers. It is these teachings that can help us cultivate inner peace, wisdom, and compassion in our own lives, and make a positive impact on the world around us. Let us honor the legacy of Master Hsing Yun and other great Buddhist teachers by focusing on their teachings and striving to live in accordance with the principles of the Dharma.
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