Monday, September 24, 2012

Human Rights; What a Concept

Gave a talk yesterday (9/23/2012) at 'Insight LA' in Santa Monica and the topic of duties came up... There is so much resistance to the idea of duties, now that we have become used to the idea of having rights.

The idea of human rights is sort of a new in the big scheme of things and the idea of having rights seems to lead us to define them every chance we get. Why we think we should do this and not do that. Why it's my right, to do and not to do... Because I'm human and humans are born with inalienable rights, aren't they?

In the Sigalovada Sutta the Buddha talks about the importance of duties and what they are... The idea of human rights is missing, but 2600 years ago no one had rights.

The Sigalovada Sutta takes place when Lord Buddha encountered a youth called Sigala in his morning stroll. The young man, in drenched attire, prostrated and worshipped the four compass direction (East, South, West and North), plus the Earth (Down) and the Sky (Up). When asked by Lord Buddha why he did so, the youth Sigala replied that he had been told by his late father to do so and he thought that it was right to uphold his father's wishes. Lord Buddha then, based on Sigala's point of view, taught him on how a noble one should worship the Six directions.

The Sigalovada Sutta in Pictures - Click Here

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