My paternal grandfather passed away this afternoon at GMT+8 around 1pm, 21 July 2013, he was 80-something and battling a variety of digestive ailments over the years that were complicated with Parkinson's Disease. By and large I knew him as a freethinker with Christian inclinations, just a month or so ago my eldest cousin a staunch christian over the years converted him into a Christian before he was admitted into hospital this week. Whether did my grandfather change his mind or belief or not I have barely the slightest clue, as far as I am concerned it's just the retinue that require some form of indication as to the proper rites and funeral to arrange for him. So when he is converted into the path of God, basically his remains will stay at anywhere other than a monastery. It's that simple as far as I understand. As for that mind or belief that got converted before they pass on, basically I think at the point of passing the quality of the mind does help a lot. COme to a certain point like now, being a buddhist myself I stopped short of praying for his rebirth in some auspicious realm, the point is that for all I cared maybe he preferred being with Jesus in the eternal heaven embracing God. As far as a Buddhist is concerned, the Christian God probably is one of the heavenly deva realms of existence, ain't too bad a deal in the first place. When a departed one is reborn in the Christian heaven in the event that one gets sick and tired of the harps there's a good chance that it's a convenient ride to Tusita Heaven where a change of teachings to a Buddhish one may make it less boring.
Buddhist teachings are interesting in that they are meant for application during daily lives, for the living primarily. Yes it rocks as well when Buddhist teachings are imparted at the last couple of minutes of a person's passing, the humour is that as far as the theravada teachings go all they suggest is that there's suffering in life. Life sucks, and that's because we are born, and that we are gonna die, when we change this basic assumption well you just see things in a different perspective that's all.
The idea is still the same. How the world wants to change it, it's really up to the individual in his / her training. Sometimes it's necessary or imperative that ideas change, when it has to change it has to change. When I have to pee, I have to pee. When we resist change, or peeing, well then either we get stuck in a wetter pair of pants than what we started with, or it'll dry eventually too assuming again that you can put up with the dukkha.. The stench probably stinks I guess.
There is dukkha in life. There is anatta. There is anicca. There are causes. There are effects. There is a path, that is already well travelled and documented. There are the vinaya precepts that guide one towards sila, there are the training that guide one towards samadhi, and after a while wisdom prajna arises (and whether it's useful or not whatever arises will eventually fall again)
I don't really know what ideas I have got. Sometimes I wonder what ideas everybody else including the Buddha has got I won't really understand either. Heck. Life goes on. Enjoy suffering then. Have a great weekend. Enjoy the new week. Stay chirpy.
Yours in dhamma
Lin Rongxiang (ricebowl)