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Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera
No Self Surrender
Buddhism is a gentle religion where equality, justice and peace reign supreme. To depend on others for salvation is negative, but to depend on oneself is positive. Dependence on others means surrendering one's intelligence and efforts.
Everything which has improved and uplifted humanity has been done by man himself. Man's improvement must come from hi own knowledge, understanding, effort and experience and not from heaven. Man should not be a slave even to the great forces of nature because even though he is crushed by them he remains superior by virtue of his understanding of them. Buddhism carries the Truth further: it shows that by means of understanding, man can also control his environment and circumstances. He can cease to be crushed by them and use their power to raise himself to great heights of spirituality and nobility.
Buddhism gives due credit to man's intelligence and effort for his achievements rather than to supernatural beings. True religion means faith in the good of man rather than faith in unknown forces. In that respect, Buddhism is not merely a religion, but a noble method to gain peace and eternal salvation through living a respectable way of life. From the very outset, Buddhism appeals to the cultured and the intellectual minds. Every cultured man in the world today respects the Buddha as a rational Teacher. The Buddha taught that what man needs for his happiness is not a religion with a mass of dogmas and theories but knowledge of the cosmic nature and its relationship to the law of cause and effect. Until this principle that life is merely an imperfect manifestation of nature is fully understood, no man can be fully emancipated.
The Buddha has given a new explanation of the universe. It is a new vision of eternal happiness, the achievement of perfection. The winning of the human goal in Buddhism is the permanent state beyond impermanency, the attainment of Nibbana beyond all the worlds of change, and the final deliverance form the miseries of existence.
Source: Buddhist Study and Practice Group, http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhism/
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