Today we would like to introduce you to Buddhism. Perhaps as this is the first time many of you have visited a Buddhist temple, some of the things that you see may be unfamiliar. However, Buddhism is not something special. In Buddhism we say that a student should really be a student, and wholeheartedly study. To sincerely study. We all live in a world of cause and effect. What you do now will influence your future. For this reason, earnestly studying now in the present, will certainly benefit your future.
There is a story that I would like to introduce to you. This story is about a Buddhist named. One day Banzan went to the market, for shopping. Banzan went to the market, to the butchers shop to buy some meat. And Banzan asked the salesperson for some good meat. Banzan asked for the best meat. The salesperson said, ‘It is all good meat.’ That is, each cut of meat was the best. This story is an example for us, for all of us. It is about doing one’s best. If we are studying, or if we are working, we should always do our best. If we are studying, we do our best. If we are working, we do our best. Like this, we can be the person that we want to be in life, and we can be successful in life.
Perhaps, at times we may feel a little bored, or we may not like everything that we study so much. However, what you are doing now, your education, this is the foundation of your life, and it is very important. Perhaps some people are studying languages, some people are studying computers, studying cooking, and studying carpentry. This is all very important. Earnestly doing ones best now will certainly benefit your lives, as it is a world of cause and effect. And in Buddhism we teach that we should take good care of oneself, and that we should avoid or be careful of dangerous things, as far as it is possible. Doing our best also means that we can take care of ourselves, and not get involved in unnecessarily dangerous or foolish things.
Also, in order to help you in your life, I would like to tell you that in Buddhism there are precepts. Precepts are like some principles or guidelines to help us in our life, so that we will not make unnecessary mistakes. And so that people may know some well-being and some comfort in life. For example, there is the precept, ‘Do not kill.’ Of course, this is common sense, we should not kill. There is also the precept, ‘Do not steal.’ Of course, again this is common sense, we should not steal. There is also the precept, ‘Do not indulge in intoxicating substances.’ Of course, we should refrain from taking intoxicating substances. In Buddhism this is very clear, and very simple. Recently, in some publications, in newspapers, it is written that some people unfortunately, have not heard this Buddhist precept, and pitifully, take drugs. Using illegal drugs. This is unfortunate. In the publications, in the newspapers, we can read and see the effects of being negligent in our life. We can see the pitiful effects of this mistaken habit, using illegal drugs. And so without using illegal drugs, as it is a world of cause and effect, we can do our best each and every day. Fortunately, like this, it is possible to be successful in our life.
Next, I would like to explain that in Buddhism, flowers are offered. At temples flowers of various colours and shapes are offered. In Buddhism we say that each person is a flower. And if we do our best each day, positively, it is possible for the flower to bloom. Surely, each person can flower or blossom in life, doing our best each day. Each person can be the flower.
And finally, in Buddhism there is a teaching named Identification or Sameness. Happily, fortunately, in this city and country, there are many people. There are many people, and fortunately we live together peacefully and prosperously. This Buddhist teaching called Identification also includes the meaning sympathy. And it means equality, real equality. It means that people are equal.
There is a proverb, a saying, ‘If you pinch another person, you are pinching yourself.’ A pinch, with the fingers. Pinching, it can hurt. ‘If you pinch another person, you are pinching yourself.’ So we should not hurt other people. In fact, in Buddhism we say, ‘To treat other people as we treat our own eyes.’ This means to treat other people well, just as we treat our own eyes.
I hope that you will all continue to do your best, day by day, with some perseverance.