Time passes by so quickly like a dream. And then everything changes according to the law of nature.
When impermanence rushes in, all things are in the same state; they decline naturally. A bright youth becomes an old man with grey hair and blurry eyes who cannot maintain his charm anymore. Those who are not reckless will seek a way to escape from this power of wilting. Today you still have strength, do not wait. You must persevere with your practice to finally rise above all impermanence.
One day while I was eating, I suddenly noticed the starburst flowers in the vase which were cut while they were blooming. Their bright orange color was like the first flush of youth. But after only three days, they looked like a dying old man. The petals and stamens which were beautiful in bright color became distorted, bruised and dried out even with water. Then they fell off and scattered on the table in front of me.
The fact that everyone cannot deny is that humans or all kinds of animals must fall under the law of impermanence. When we are young, we look good, healthy and we are ready to take care of ourselves. Over time, the impermanence which is inevitable creeps in – the eyes that used to be bright and the body that used to be strong become withered. Then diseases replace that freshness and continue to affect us gradually. Even with anti-aging products, we can’t resist this natural law. So, what is the permanence that we used to desire? We can’t even maintain our body. Should we cling on or be fascinated with this body that is subject to the law of impermanence? And in the end, everyone has to leave the body on the Earth like a marigold flower that falls on the ground. Nobody can take anything with him.
Luang Pu Mun Bhuridattaò said about the wilt before he passed away that,
“The laypeople are gathering here to see the sick old monk. Look at my face, whether a monk or a layman, we have flesh and skin – we are the same. Layman can get sick. Monk can also get sick. In the end we all die. Now you see this, you must bring it back to consider. We are born, then get old, sick and die finally.”
Will you let this happen to you over and over again? We should be weary of being born to die in vain. But we should make our birth worthwhile. Use our birth for ending the cycle of birth and death. There will be no this world and next world for us. We must transcend birth and death; that is Nirvana.
Knowing Buddha Organization
Translation: Krittiya Teerachaichayut