A person who aspires to be reborn in a higher plane of existence needs to have 6 kinds of worldly right view. These are:
There are 3 forms of Dana that one can take part in:
Donating to the needy and disadvantaged such as the hard-core poor, people in old folks’ homes and orphanages is an act of merit. Donating to religious establishments such as the temple is also considered a meritorious act. There are some who regard doing charity as a waste of resources because you do not seem to get anything in return. Such a person does not have the worldly right view. In reality, a donor gains in merits. It is like depositing money in the bank. You do not see the immediate benefits but you are actually ‘saving’ merits for the future. Furthermore, a charitable person gains happiness from the act itself. One should never stop another from doing dana. On the contrary, he should encourage others to do the same.
- Providing service
Apart from money and goods, we can offer our time and effort, for example, in gotong-royong work. Taking time off to volunteer to transport monks to and from different venues is also a way of providing service.
- Healing the sick
This is an excellent source of merits. Examples are donating blood and signing up for organ donation.
- Belief in kamma
People who do not believe in the existence of kamma are not inclined to keep the 5 precepts. They feel that they are free to do anything for they are not worried about the consequences of their actions. If they commit acts that are unwholesome, they are likely to be reborn in the woeful states. Believers, however, fear and feel shame when they consciously do wrongful things. The unfortunate part is that the effects of kamma-vipaka cannot be seen immediately. They can only be seen when it ripens. Therefore if one does not have the foresight to believe in kamma-vipaka and do the right things now, it might be too late to make amends when it bears fruition.
- Belief in the existence of heaven and hell
The heavenly realms and hell states cannot be experienced or seen by most people. However, people who have achieved jhanas and developed psychic powers can see them. And so too can some people with inborn psychic abilities. There are also reports that special cameras can capture certain images of spirits. Personally, I have seen beings while practising in the forest. Just because one cannot see these beings does not mean that they do not exist. It is therefore wise to be aware that we share this world with all kinds of beings, both seen and unseen, and we should always treat all beings with respect and kindness.
- Respect your parents
Our parents have struggled, sacrificed and strived hard to bring us up. In return, we must care for them when they are old and no longer able to look after themselves. The Buddha said that children who care for their parents would earn even the respect of the gods. We should not ape the western practice of dumping our aged parents in old folks’ homes because we feel that it is an inconvenience to look after them now that they are old. Unfortunately this is a practice you find rampant in this modern, materialistic society. This is akusala kamma. And this trend will continue for if we do not respect and care for our parents, we are actually teaching our descendants to do the same. So one day, it will be our turn to be left out in the cold by our children! The Buddha teaches us that our parents are like the gods in heaven – we must always pay our respect and honour them.
- Belief in rebirth
Rebirth is instantaneous after death. When you believe in rebirth, you will know that the 31 planes of existence do exist and we must always live our lives doing good, avoiding evil and purifying the mind so that we will have good rebirths in the heavenly planes and avoid the woeful ones.
- Belief in the ‘Enlightened’
This is the belief that there are people who have struggled and strived exceedingly hard to discover the truth about life and these enlightened ones have the capability to teach us the Dhamma they have themselves experienced.