“ HOW TO LIVE WITHOUT ANXIETY ”
BY NAYAKA MYITTHA SAYADAW, VEN.U VASAVA
MAHASI MEDITATION CENTRE,
Today, I will deliver a Dhamma talk on living a life free from anxiety or grief. This troubled state of mind in the pali language is known as Soka. According to the Abhidhamma,it is Domanassa Cetasika-dukkha-vedana, a mentally painful or disagreeable feeling. Grief or anxiety is always associated with antipathy and grudge, and is therefore karmically unwholesome.
Everyone wishes to live peacefully and happily, free from anxiety or grief. Yet, they are inevitably afflicted with grief somehow or other in their lifetime. When we scrutinize the root cause, it is found that people are immersed in a woeful state due to one of five forms of loss:
- Ñati Byassana – loss of kin or relative
- Bhoga Byassana – loss of wealth or means
- Roga Byassana – loss of health due to illness
- Ditthi Byassana – loss of right view
- Sila Byassana – loss of morality
When one encounters any of these five forms of loss, one is overwhelmed by anxiety or grief. Other causes of anxiety or grief include the four Asavas or corruptions: 1. delusion 2. craving 3. wrong view and 4. ignorance.
It is most important to know how to expel grief or anxiety, and it cannot be done through scientific experiments. It can only be achieved by the Lord Buddha’s Dhamma. The Lord Buddha has advocated the sure way to eradicate grief in his admonishment of the Satipatthäna Sutta, or The Four Foundations of Mindfulness: Oh! Dear sons and daughters! “Ekayano.” There is no other way, Satipatthäna Meditation is the one and only way for you all to attain Nibbana, deliverance from anxiety, grief and suffering.
Now let us study someone who made use of the Lord Buddha’s admonishment to eliminate grief as recorded in the Canonical texts. The incident took place in the Indian Capital city of
The accident happened at the height of a party for the youthful prince given to honor his victorious achievements on the battle field. The King father granted his son seven days of sovereign power including all the luxuries and grandeur. On the last day of festivities, while the young beautiful dancer was charming the youthful prince through her art and craft, she dropped dead at the climax of the garden revelry.
He was so tormented by this harsh catastrophe that he felt as if his heart and soul were burning under a scorching sun. In the midst of this tragedy, it occurred to him that the Lord Buddha was the only refuge which could alleviate his suffering. In so thinking, he went to the Lord Buddha immediately after the cremation of the young dancing girl. On arrival at the Lord Buddha’s monastery, he instantly entreated the Lord Buddha to extinguish his burning heart. With a sweet compassionate voice, the Lord Buddha consoled him: “Oh! young prince, bring yourself together, be mindful and not desperate. Due to your firm attachment to this girl, you have shed an infinite amount of tears at the loss of her in your past existences.” On hearing the Lord Buddha’s soothing words, the young prince’s grief was alleviated, and he became remorseful at the prospect of continuous rebirths and suffering.
Then, the Lord Buddha continued: “Now be attentive, be cautious and just consider how your body is like a King’s decorated coach which gradually losses it’s grandeur and will finally disintegrate. Your body, a composite of five aggregates of physical and mental phenomena is impermanent, arises and dissolves moment to moment. It is unsatifactory, impersonal, and not worthy of attachment.
While listening to the Lord Buddha, the young prince contemplated all physical and mental phenomena. With clear comprehension, he perceived the impermanence of all meditation objects and their unsatisfactory and egoless nature. His meditation insight progressed step by step and finally he realized Nibbana by achieving the Sotapatti Magga Ñana. Thereby, he was delivered from suffering, and was suffused with bliss and tranquility.
So may all you meditators diligently practice the Satipatthäna Meditation, and attain various insights in the shortest possible time.
Sadhu!… Sadhu!… Sadhu!