Prince Siddhartha had attained enlightenment after 49 days of meditation under the bodhi tree. He used the Buddha-eye to observe the sentient beings’ karmic behaviors in the six realms of rebirth, in order to better facilitate the proper ways to guide them to liberation.
The heavenly beings lived in celestial palaces of gemstones and jewels; they had everything they wanted without ever worrying about a shortage of necessities (until they approach death).
The human beings suffered from aging, illness and death. The hungry ghosts lived in filthy places (such as restrooms and forest edges.) They had narrow necks and large bellies from constantly enduring extreme hunger and thirst, unable to satisfy these needs.
The animals had mental states dominated by stupidity and ignorance, and were constantly afraid of being caught and killed. The beings in hell suffered tremendously from burning flames, boiling pots and other punishments. All sentient beings were trapped in the system of rebirth, drifting throughout the six realms, unable to find an escape.
The Buddha then meditated contemplating the cause for endless rebirth of all sentient begins. He realized the sentient beings’ thoughts were constantly changing and filled with three poisons: greed, anger, and ignorance, as well as good and bad karma.
Buddha said, “The sentient beings’ behavior determine who they are. The root of suffering is due to strong self-delusion and attachment. If they give up all their possessions and desires, and are willing to become monks or nuns to cultivate Buddhism then they can be set free. In knowing the truth and observing the four-stages of any event: birth, growth, deterioration, and end”, they can eradicate and overcome afflictions and escape from rebirth.”
Under the request of Brahma King, the Buddha decided to teach the Dharma to the world. For 49 years, the Buddha applied his peerless wisdom to direct a path for all sentient beings so they could reach eternal happiness, forever free of darkness and suffering.
“It is rare to be reborn as a human being. It is rarer still to get a chance to hear the Buddha’s teachings.” Among the Six Realms of Ordinary Beings, the realm of human beings is the most ideal for practicing the Dharma and attaining Buddhahood. In the human realm, there are times of misery, but also interludes of calm when we can reflect on the roots of our misery. We must cherish our special opportunity for practice and seize our extraordinary encounter with the Buddha’s teachings. When we earnestly follow the teachings, we create a world for the Dharma to thrive in and a path to liberate ourselves and all living beings.