How to Be Succesful Essay

525 Words3 Pages
Innumerable books have been written about Buddhism, but most of these are far too exhaustive, too specialized, or too scholarly to be of much practical help to the busy lay Buddhist in search of concise guidance. A short, clear, and simple handbook on how to live a proper Buddhist lay life was therefore a much felt need. The present essay attempts to fill that gap by providing exactly what its title offers: A Simple Guide to Life. For easy reference the essay has been divided into short, convenient sections. The first section is theoretical in emphasis. It attempts to fix in the reader's mind the essential principles of the Buddha's teaching, without complicated and sophisticated explanations. The principles discussed here should serve as a clear-cut philosophy of life, a framework which illuminates the meaning and purpose of the Buddhist life. These principles will enable the lay Buddhist to understand his or her place in the larger scheme of things, to order priorities, and to devise a proper way to achieve them. The lack of a clear philosophy of life, so widespread today, is largely responsible for the steady decline in ethical standards, both individually and socially, in Sri Lanka and in the world as a whole. The second section is concerned with the practical implications of adopting the understanding of existence sketched in the first section. We here examine the visible benefits of accepting the Buddha-Dhamma as a way of thinking and living; in this section we will also throw a sidelong glance at what happens to a society when spiritual values are abandoned in favor of an exclusive stress on material development. The next two sections discuss respectively the need to draw up an individual life plan and the obstacles likely to impede the successful implementation of that plan. The central problem of a Buddhist lay follower is to combine a successful
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