This entry is part 11 of 19 in the series Understanding Buddhism

If one gets to hear a negative remark at the workplace one thinks that one is going to lose one’s job. If one hears a negative in one’s house, one thinks of divorce. People get offended very easily. It does not take much for them to think of the worst in a particular situation. In order to accomplish self-control and avoid overreacting to circumstances one needs to learn to be detached.

Buddhism helps people to shift their consciousness and become aware of the fact that there is no single thing on earth that is as important as we think it to be. Life is like a journey. Nobody is perfect, everybody makes mistakes but we need to learn from our mistakes. What is important is the progress that one makes as one goes through life. What is Samsara in Buddhism?

Samsara means the continuous journey on the cycle of birth, death and again birth of the soul as it moves ahead in search of enlightenment which is the state of total bliss and realization of God. The cycle of birth and death ends only when a person dissolves one’s karma. The literal meaning of karma is action. It is the law of cause and the resultant effect that is universally prevalent. Karma controls the cycle of Samsara. It is a system of belief that is similar to the theory of a cycle repeating itself and never stopping.

Karma propagates the idea that whatever a person does in one’s life is bound to affect one’s life now or later. What one sows, one will have to reap. One will have to face the results of one’s own actions. If people do not take proper care of their children, they will grow up to be irresponsible individuals who cannot adjust with other people. If children are not given the approval and love that they yearn, they could resort to drugs, alcohol and other behavior that is destructive. This is how people will have to reap the fruits of what they sow as what one does comes back again.

One should give as much as one can without any expectations. This is when one will get back more. Time is a very precious gift that we have all got. One should give complete attention and time to one’s child. Parents and children should perform activities together like reading or playing. They should laugh together and share hugs more often.

The term Samsara means to drift from one life to another. It does not mean marching through various lives with the intention of achieving a specific goal. Wandering implies passing from one life to the other not knowing how one got to a particular place or the final destination one has to reach. Samsara is a problem that needs a solution. Buddha found the solution to the problem in the concept of Nirvana which helps one to break the cycle of birth and death and obtain salvation.

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