BuddhaSasana Home Page
English Section

What Buddhists Believe
Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera

Moral and Spiritual Development

Without a spiritual background man has no moral responsibility: man without moral responsibility poses a danger to society.

Buddhism has been an admirable lighthouse for guiding many a devotee to the salvation of eternal bliss. Buddhism is especially needed in the world today which is riddled with racial, economic and ideological misunderstandings. These misunderstandings can never be effectively cleared until the spirit of benevolent tolerance is extended towards others. This spirit can be best cultivated under the guidance of Buddhism which inculcates an ethical moral co-operation for universal good.

We know that it is easy to learn vice without a master, whereas virtue requires a tutor. There is a very great need for the teaching of virtue by precepts and examples.

Without a spiritual background, man has no moral responsibility; man without moral responsibility poses danger to society.

In the Buddha's Teaching, it is said that the spiritual development of man is more important than the development of material welfare. History has taught us that we cannot expect to gain both worldly happiness and everlasting Happiness at the same time.

The lives of most people are generally regulated by spiritual values and moral principles which only religion can effectively provide. The governmental interference in the lives of people is made comparatively unnecessary if men and women can be made to realize the value of devotion and can practise the ideals of truth, justice and service.

Virtue is necessary to attain salvation, but virtue alone is not enough. Virtue must be combined with wisdom. Virtue and wisdom are like the pair of wings of a bird. Wisdom can also be compared to the eyes of a man; virtue, to his feet. Virtue can be likened to a vehicle that brings man up to the gate of salvation. But wisdom is the actually key that opens the gate. Virtue is a part of the technique of skillful and noble living. Without any ethical discipline, there cannot be a purification of the defilements of sentient existence.

Buddhism is not mere mumbo-jumbo, a myth told to entertain the human mind or to satisfy the human emotion, but a liberal and noble method for those who sincerely want to understand and experience the reality of life.


Previous Page  Contents  Next Page


Source: Buddhist Study and Practice Group, http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhism/

[Back to English Index]