1-3-3. THE FRUIT : HEAVEN AND NIBBANA IN THE PRESENT果报：当下的天堂与涅槃
When talking about fruits and results, we tend to think about heaven and Nibbana. We tend to think that someone who does good, must go to heaven and someone who does bad, falls into hell. You shouldn't think of that kind of heaven and hell in the future, but you should know hell in the present first. Heaven in the sky, the same; leave it for now, have a look at heaven in the present first. Where is heaven in the present ? It's inside us ! It is in the individual, that is, it is in the person who acts, speaks and thinks good. But when we act, speak and think bad, we'll meet and associate with bad people, this is what hell is about. Please, Just simply reflect - we all probably see it already, for example that those who do bad and wrong things, who cheat and rob, must be hunted down and avenged. They'll have to be caught by the police, they have to keep in hiding and suffer continuously. This shows clearly that they have fallen in hell. As for us, who haven't done anything wrong, we don't have to worry about anything, we don't have. to go in hiding, even when we meet a policeman, we feel safe, which is the same as being in heaven. Maybe we have thought like this already but I want to emphasize it so that we understand heaven and Nibbana in the present clearly. When we understand this matter properly, happiness, development and prosperity will arise by themselves, in us and our society.
Our duties are connected with sick people, who are suffering, so the thing we should remember is, to have a heart of kindness and understand the real condition of the world and life, according to the teaching of the Buddha that says : SABBE SATTA..... , All beings are friends in suffering, birth, old age, sickness and death. If we recollect like this continuously, our mind will be clean and gentle. This is the verse for happiness, development and prosperity in life, and for working and earning a livilihood together in human society. When we think about the suffering in ourselves and how to practice with it, we should see the suffering in others and how to behave towards them, also. Namely, to be friends in suffering. If we can do that, we will encounter happiness.
For doctors or nurses, I suggest to take doctor Jivaka as a model, as a hero. If we can do this, the world will have happiness and peace, and this is the fruit that we should grab hold of and have faith in, or establish a framework from, for spiritual life. The Buddha used to teach that being a doctor is better than being wealthy. This is something to feel joyful and proud about because being a doctor helps many people to survive. Thinking in terms of results, it is invaluable, it can't be expressed in money, not even millions of baht. The thing which is the heart of advancing towards this confidence, is to diligently develop awareness and always make the mind clean, bright and peaceful.
Heaven and hell exist in us, it's not like the scriptures say that heaven and Nibbana are at this and that level. That's the texts, but I don't attest to it. But I do affirm the old saying that heaven is in the heart, hell is in the mind and so is Nibbana.
When talking about right view in practising the duties of doctors and nurses, I'd like to take the opportunity to talk a bit about our life because it's not easy to get a chance to talk here. Why talk about life? Because I've talked at many places, like the Rama and Siriraja hospital and discovered that some doctors suffer while carrying out their duties, they do it because they have to, not out of symphathy or with their minds at ease. Those people have asked me 'How can we do it feeling at ease, how can we practice our duties without suffering?'. I told them : 'Actually, our minds don't have suffering, it is still in itself and indifferent'. This is what the Buddha calls Nibbana : the mind that is equanimous. The word equanimity means to set one's heart at ease, and work, following one's duties. The mind that is neutral, is comparable to a weight, an anchor or the brakes of a car, that hold back our state of mind to be balanced, all the time. Not letting it incline or flow with the stream of happy and unhappy feelings. And this kind of mind is the mind that is beyond happiness and suffering. it's not stuck in goodness or badness. This is called neutrality or Nibbana. So Nibbana exists at people's minds !