Originally uploaded by: Roli Schoenholzer
It is common practice among many Asian communities to think that they are the victims of black magic and charms whenever they face some unhappy experiences in their lives. At the slightest indication that something unpleasant has happened they would often run off to consult seers, astrologers, mediums, and ‘bomohs’.
Of course, the livelihood of these vendors of magic and charms depends on telling their customers that something is wrong or that some evil forces have been employed by someone to bring about their family misfortune. They then claim to be able to counteract these evil forces and charge large sums of money by promising to ‘cure’ them. More often than not, the only effect is that these unsuspecting victims end up becoming lighter in their pocket and as a result are none the wiser for their experience.
Popular Buddhism has not been spared by the antics of these quacks and charlatans, some of whom even going to the extent of masquerading themselves and monks to make a fast dollar from their unsuspecting victims. But the Buddha has declared in no uncertain terms that many of our misfortunes are essentially created by the untrained impure minds and it is only through our own efforts and understanding that we will be able to overcome them.
In this country particularly there are a great many such beliefs. This many be because the three major races have their own peculiar beliefs, and a great deal of interchange have taken place so much so that there had developed a tremendously varied set of beliefs, which are uniquely Malaysian.
The Buddhist cure for misfortune of any kind is a scientific as the methods of modern psychiatry. It is summarized in the Second Noble Truth – The Cause of Suffering. Before we can look for a cure to misfortune (ill luck, bad health, loss of someone or something personal and family problems) we must go to the root of it. We must examine rationally what actually is happening and understand that only we alone can overcome the misfortune. Concentration certainly will strengthen the mind to understand the cause of the problems in order to find a solution.
In the case of sickness, a calm mind helps to affect a cure faster. By merely appealing to the Supernatural to overcome misfortune is not the proper solution to end suffering. We must reflect calmly that misfortune is the lot of anyone who is born into this world and that what happens to us must be looked at rationally so that a reasonable solution could be found. This is not fatalistic; it shows that each individual, using the right effort can rid himself of misfortune.
This is based on “Buddhism For The Future, “by Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda.