Application of the Buddhadharma
The Buddhadharma is beneficial in that it helps us to : 1) deal with our daily life situations, 2) eradicate our venations, 3) and ultimately attain Buddhahood.
In light of these three levels, we should realize that in practicing Buddhism, we shouldn’t aim too high or seek immediate success while ignoring fundamentals. Instead, we should act in a down-to-earth, conscientious manner, starting from the basics in our daily lives. Regardless of which level we are in, we should rely on our own effort, rather than merely depending on the support and blessings of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas.
To be sure, support and blessings from external sources are possible. It is just that one cannot rely on them all the time. As a Chinese saying goes, “Those who help themselves will receive help from others, and thus receive help from Heaven.” One who never cultivates any ability will be trapped in a sad plight when external support is exhausted. For example, if you have nothing to eat for today, someone might give you a piece of bread as temporary relief. But what about the next meal? Suppose you are given another piece for the next meal. But what about tomorrow? Even if someone can give you a slice of bread every day, what if one day he has to travel afar, or can no longer sustain himself? In that case, you will no longer be able to rely on his support. Many people earnestly believe in an almighty deity who will grant them everlasting blessings. However, in spite of such a belief, things may just turn out to be otherwise.
Nevertheless, we must be reminded that even though the Buddhadharma teaches us the importance of self-reliance, trying to reject help from others and rely solely on one’s own effort is also an incorrect attitude, as one will become obstinate and self-righteous. After all, we need others’ guidance in applying the Dharma, and must have faith in the compassionate support and protection of the Buddhas, bodhisattvas, and Dharma-protecting deities.