Triratna – Awaken, Liberation and Purity
Dec 5 is the day in which participants for the Short-Term ordination receive monastic precepts for the Bhiksu, and become a real monk. The purpose of leaving home to become a monk is to purify oneself, and this is basically achieved by observing the rules of a monk.
Next is the adorning of the monk’s robe (cassock; kasaya). Although it may seem like a simple robe for the monk, it is actually conferred with strength and power. When we wear the robe, our mind will be calm and devoid of desires. Hence, during these seven days of monastic life, there is no time for erroneous thinking. We need to transform and purify ourselves, and find peace in our body and mind.
It is an honour to lead a monastic life, and therefore, one must be aware and treasure the opportunity. The life of the monk is about discipline, meditation and wisdom. Discipline is the rule of leading one’s life. Meditation is about controling one’s mind and be aware of the present. While wisdom is about observation and understanding, i.e. digesting our stubbornness, putting an end to the things we cling on, and eradicating the hindrances. It is to be able to observe and understand that all phenomemons are intangible, unreal and unobtainable.
By understanding that “all phenomenons are impermanent”, “all dharma have no-self” and “all feelings are suffering”, one only finds peace in the state of nirvana, where there is “no birth and death” and “no creation and annihilation”. However, we are unable to experience and understand the cause and conviction that arise from the environment. It is through letting go of each cause and the thought arising from environment, that our mind will not be disturbed, and thus truly experience the feeling of living in the present. The mind returns to its original state of emptiness when there is no difference between the state of mind and the environment.
Becoming a monk is to learn from the Triratna, namely, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Buddha is being awakened, neither deluded nor confused. The way to practice is Dharma, it is liberated and pure. Sangha is free from evil and defilement, perfectly clean, at peace and without strife. Therefore, Triratna is Awaken, Liberation and Pure; it is about being awakened and not deluded, having a way to liberation, and being a Sangha to achieve purity.
If we are able to comprehend that non-existence is liberation, and without realisation is a hindrance, we will realise that transmigration (i.e. rebirth and redeath) is a moment of a thought, and realisation (i.e. awakened, enlightenment) is also a moment of a thought. May we be able to learn the Dharma and achieve enlightenment from the rebirths to come, and learn to be free from defilement like the Sangha. This process needs time to experience, and realisation through experience. From relisation to willingness, and eventually practicing the way readily. Hence, being a monk is to first sow a good seed. May there be more of these edifying chances.