Friday, November 13, 2009

Most Powerful People in the World (and why)

Most powerful people in the world
(Forbes) The list includes media giants and the leader of the most populated country on the planet. But who's No. 1? - U.S., China under fire - Find world populations - China's warning to U.S.

Ven. Sariputra on Power

(WQ) Power seems to derive from two principal sources -- wealth and a following (the charisma to inspire others to follow). One of the Buddha's chief male disciples, Ven. Sariputra, explained how one gained both by elucidating the deeds (karma) that result in money and influence. To put it succinctly: Those who gave in the past are, as a result, subsequently wealthy. (In the sutras this is frequently, but not exclusively, in a future life). Those who encourage others to give will in the future have a large following. Those who do both will have both; those who do neither will have neither.

(By the way, please give. Giving benefits both giver and receiver. Moreover, give understanding that karma ripens even if its results are not immediately apparent).

The famous scholar-monk Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw explains that even criminals, bad business people without ethics, and thieves are themselves only successful in their enterprises because of GOOD karma in the past. (See The Workings of Kamma for full explanation).

What they do (their actions) with the profitable results ripening as a result of former deeds is their present karma (action, choice, intention). This conditions their present experience. But when these results are exhausted, the riches evaporate. Similarly, even shoddy business people and awkward entrepreneurs will have an easier time of it because of good karma, whereas excellent business plans and million dollar ideas may not succeed for those lacking a karmic basis for wealth.

Such is the mystery of karma, which does not concern itself with our interpretations of "right" and "wrong," "fair" and "unfair." It is quite impersonal and unbiased. Therefore, give. It benefits the giver (immediately and in the future) and others right away.

Whom to bestow gifts on for the greatest results? The Buddha explained that those with the greatest virtue (sila) make the greatest recipients. The results of actions done to them or for them, explains the Sayadaw, are the weightiest and most far reaching. It is notable that one's parents make excellent recipients for the giver -- even if they would only be ordinary recipients to someone else. Even a gift given to an unvirtuous beggar brings great results, because as a human being that person is still of a caliber not found in subordinate worlds. Therefore, it is wise to view everyone who asks out of need as one's "best friend" offering an excellent opportunity to gain substantial merit.

"The gift of the Dharma excells all gifts." The Sangha of monks and nuns are called an "incomparable field of merit for the world," which applies to the accomplished Noble Sangha as represented by ordinary monastics. To give to anyone (any being), however, bears profitable results for the giver making for one a store of merit useful in whatever one wishes. This applies to wishes for ordinary worldly wealth up to and including the supreme goal of enlightenment and liberation through knowing and seeing nirvana.

No comments: