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Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera
Do It Yourself
Knowing that no external sources, no faith or rituals can save him, the Buddhist feels the need to rely on his own efforts. He gains confidence through self-reliance. He realizes that the whole responsibility of his present life as well as his future life depends completely on himself alone. Each must seek salvation for himself. Achieving salvation can be compared to curing a disease: if one is ill, one must go to a doctor. The doctor diagnose the ailment and prescribes medicine. The medicine must be taken by the person himself. He cannot depute someone else to take the medicine for him. No one can be cured by simply admiring the medicine or just praising the doctor for his good prescription.
In order to be cured, he himself must faithfully follow the instructions given by the doctor with regard to the manner and frequency in taking his medicine, his daily diet and other relevant medical restraints. Likewise, a person must follow the precepts, instructions or advice given by the Buddha (who gives prescriptions for liberation)by controlling or subduing one's greed, hatred and ignorance. No one can find salvation by simply singing praises of the Buddha or by making offerings to Him. Neither can one find salvation by celebrating certain important occasions in honour of the Buddha. Buddhism is not a religion where people can attain salvation by mere prayer or begging to be saved. They must strive hard by controlling their selfish desires and emotions in order to gain salvation.
Source: Buddhist Study and Practice Group, http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhism/
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