Take Responsibility For The Happiness Of Others

Transcript of the teaching video:

So whatever we do in our lives, whether we practice the Dharma or not, we always engage in some kind of activity. Whether we work, meditate, or perform mundane or spiritual activities, it doesn't matter. From sunrise, we must cultivate a positive motivation, thinking from today onwards, or at least just for today, I take into consideration all sentient beings. Whatever I do today, may it be beneficial for others and may I never harm any sentient beings. It's very important to cultivate such a wholesome motivation.

This motivation should be cultivated by realizing that all others are just like me in terms of not wanting to suffer. When one realizes one's own suffering, for example, the suffering of birth, aging, sickness, and death, one understands how painful it is when they happen to me. Therefore, when they happen to others, they are extremely painful and unbearable in the same way. Similarly, when one is afflicted by attachment, aversion, and ignorance, one realizes how difficult it is to be under the sway of delusions, especially self-grasping and self-cherishing attitudes. Realizing that we are under the sway of confusion and ignorance, and because of that we are born in the world, we are born in samsara.

I will switch my discussion now because I'm going into the Buddhist direction, but I would like to say something that does not rely on explaining reincarnation. Whether we are Buddhist or not, we need to have a kind heart. Don’t we? If we want that, then we should try to do something about it.

For example, if we want to study something, regardless of what we want to study, if we have the motivation of wanting to be very beneficial through these studies; starting with one's family, thinking, "With this education, I will be able to bring a lot of benefit to my family," and then further on towards my country and maybe the whole world, to all limitless sentient beings. Having such a motivation, then wanting to work and use one's education only for the benefit of others, to try to bring happiness to others, thinking, "For this sake, I will study well and may I be successful.” Then this mere wish, this mere objective, brings you a lot of strength and courage and allows you to use your wisdom more efficiently.

Also if you are a businessman, whether you do big business or small business, at some point you end up lying to others because if you do not cheat and deceive others, then you won't have any profit. Even if you don't deceive others directly, from the point of view of the value of whatever you are lying about, you have to get some profit out of it, don’t you? So, even as a businessman, if you make a lot of profit from your business, you can think, "All the profit that I'm making, I will dedicate it to others. I will do everything for the benefit of others." In this way, your activity becomes very vast.

From the point of view of other sentient beings, when you realize that all the food, clothing and everything we enjoy comes from the kindness of others, comes from the work of others, you realize that since they are suffering unwantingly and want to be happy, remembering their kindness, you will want to give all that you enjoy, everything good that you have, for the sake of others.

Another reason for cultivating an altruistic intention is remembering that oneself is just one person and that other sentient beings are limitless. From the point of view of having found a precious human rebirth and the fact that life is impermanent, one realizes how insignificant and vain it is to work just for oneself, and how much more positive and wholesome it is to work for limitless sentient beings.

If we fail to have such an altruistic attitude, then in our life, when we face many problems, we will react with a very negative attitude, becoming very depressed and discouraged, and sometimes even feeling completely lost. Like we’ve lost our past and we don’t what to do or where to go. Many problems we face in our lives are not made by others but are created by oneself with a tiny, narrow-minded mindset thinking only "me, me, me."

When there is something nice around, we think, "If only I get it," and we do not feel responsible for others or for the long term or for anything. We don't even feel responsible for achieving happiness for ourselves or getting rid of our own suffering, so how can we feel responsible to help others find happiness and get rid of suffering if we do not even think about it for ourselves?

So, what happens? We go through our lives and slowly get older. All through our life, it is natural that we face many different types of problems. While we are very young, we spend all our time playing and having fun, and many years of our life go by like this. Then later, we may engage in our studies, but we don't feel much responsibility to study for the sake of doing something good in the world or helping limitless sentient beings. We do not think of that. It would be really good if we could study thinking, "I'm doing it for the benefit of all, for the sake of helping others," but most of the time we do not really care. We do not even take responsibility for our own family or life, so how could we think of feeling responsible for the whole world?

We go through the motions of life and education because that's what people do, so we just do that. But we don't feel much responsibility to take care of our own suffering and others. In this way, we get old, which is something we cannot prevent. It is just something that’s going to happen. Since the very moment we are born, there is no way to prevent getting old, going through the processes of sickness, aging, and eventually death. No one has to create that. No one has to make it happen. From the very moment of birth, this means there will be all these sufferings, deteriorations and death in the end.

When you reach 50 or 60 years old in your life, maybe you’re working or you’ve gotten some education. In your life now, maybe you’ve had the suffering of having a good education or the suffering of not having an education. You have to work and may suffer from having to work or maybe suffer from not getting work. Maybe you got the suffering of getting married or maybe you suffer from not being able to get married. Maybe you have children from this marriage but many people have the suffering of not being able to have children. Even if you manage to take care of your family quite well, there are many inauspicious and difficult things you have to go through.

Of course, we understand the problems in our lives and experience all the troubles and sufferings, but what we need to do is maybe take a step back and think about what we do wrong in our life and what kind of objectives and goals we carry throughout our lives.