Did I create the world

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Buddhists believe the myriad beings created everything in this universe. The Law of Cause and Effect stipulates that whatever deed an individual performs, the result of that deed goes to him or her alone. Whatever deeds a group of persons perform, the group will bear the result. Such a doctrine is diametrically opposite to theistic teachings. Therefore, all Buddha-dharma practitioners should understand two things:

a) All the chaos and sufferings in this world are the result of evil deeds performed by the human in the past. In order to make this world a pure and stately place to live in, the only hope lies in our refraining from evil and doing all that is good. Individually speaking, if I should suffer from being uneducated, live in poor family circumstances, or chronic illness, then these are the influences of my past or present karmic forces. Therefore if we wish to live in peace and happiness, then all of us must strive very hard to perform good acts. If humans were the Creation, we would have no power of our own. Instead we would have to follow the decision and will made by the Creator. Buddhism believes that all events that take place are due to reverberations of our own karmic forces. Thus we are capable of changing ourselves, even to the extent of changing the world.

b) After we are convinced of the Buddhist doctrine of karmic conditional causation, that whether the world is foul or pure, whether our careers are a success or failure, these are the results of our bygone karmic forces; then we will not then blame the unfavourable situation on heaven or others. We can change and improve our karma. If we start toward the direction performing wholesome acts from this very moment, then our future will be full of brightness. This is the basic way of life taught by Buddhism. Why should we do good deeds? Because we all want to lead a life of security and happiness so that the world will live in peace, We can assist heaven and earth in this manner in their work of evolution and development. This is a task that all of us can perform. That is why Buddhism advocates equality for everyone, because everyone is capable of attaining Buddhahood. Understanding this fact will lead us to realise the very important role we are playing in this universe.

The Buddhist doctrines "I create this world", and "all of us create this world", is a view of life based on freedom and self-determination. The Buddhist human relationship is neither one of master-and-slave, nor that of father-and-son. Those who awaken first and advance the farthest on the path to enlightenment are the teachers. Those who are late in awakening are the students.

The enlightened ones have an obligation to lead the slower wakers. It is a duty instead of a privilege. The slow waker and the unawakened will consider it their duty too to respect and obey their teacher's guidance and instructions. In a teacher-friend relationship, they lay equal emphasis on sentiments and reason. While in a working relationship, both teachers and students stand on entirely equal footing. Thus, a socio-cultural structure-built on the Buddha-dharma must necessarily be one of teacher-friend relationship, and is most consistent with the spirit of freedom and democracy.

When Buddhism states that "I" can make the world, it is different from the creation of the world by a God. When the Creator creates the human beings and other myriad creatures, he creates them from nothing. This is in contradiction to the moral-causation law of creation. Buddhism holds that it is our karmic forces of mental activities and thoughts that create the world. If we perform good deeds, then we are capable of realising a pure and idealistic world.

Recently, someone said that Buddha, too can create a world. For example, Amitabha Buddha has created a Western Paradise of Bliss (Sukhavati). In fact, to draw a parallel between this creation and the creation by the God is unreasonable.

If we intend to talk about this creation to show the power of Buddha, we simply reveal our ignorance of Buddha -dharma. It is of no unusual feat by creating the world in accordance with the Law of Causality. Even ordinary people can do this. Except the world they fashion is only fit for hell dwellers, hungry ghosts, animals, human and devas (deities). This is because ordinary people suffer from mental defile ments and evil karma, so the world they make is a foul and unclean one. Buddha is replete with boundless and purified merits, having wholly-completed the blessed-rewards and perfect wisdom. Therefore, the world he creates is stately, pure and clean. This is the Buddhist Law of Causality.

Having understood this point, Buddha's followers should in their everyday life be mindful of their mental activities. Thus every thought that arises from their mind should lead them to perform wholesome acts. They should do so themselves, as well as persuading others to do the same. Only then can we transform our world into a Pure Land (many such worlds are already in existence in all ten directions of the world system).

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