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So simple we forget




There are universal truths in this world that no one can deny. Although the various things that happens in our daily lives may seem to have no relationship with one another, they are governed by the eternal laws that all things are interrelated and constantly changing, and that nothing exists entirely in isolation. "Well, everyone knows that," you may say. But universal truths applying equally to all existence, anytime and anywhere, are by nature ordinary, everyday truths.


"The greatest debts of gratitude," goes an old saying, "cannot be repaid." The air we breathe, for example, is essential to our existence, yet how often do we stop to consider this basic fact? Most of us take it for granted and do not even think about it. In the same way, we tend to take for granted the truths revealed by Buddhism. Yet when we live outside these truths, we cause trouble to ourselves and those around us. Shakyamuni commented on this:

"One says this is the truth, but another says it is not, and the two argue. Why cannot people agree on the same reality?"

A truth of one religion that cannot be accepted by another religion is not a universal truth. What passes as truth in one country cannot be said to be universal if it is denied in another country. Neither can truth that changes with the times be thought of as universal. Truth must apply equally to all people, all over the world, at all times.


Nikkyo Niwano

Buddhism For Everyday Life


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