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Homily: Living the Precepts in the Traite.


The above image is a recreation of the "Gardens of Light" created by the renowned artist «In the Gardens of Light» painting by Kirill Tarkhanov – fb.com/enluminayre. Please support his work @ https://www.patreon.com/enluminayre

(Note: The names of the individuals mentioned in this homily have been changed. Though they are not Manichaeans, their actions exemplify the principles we hold dear and provide us with inspiring examples of living according to our precepts.)


Introduction


Beloved congregation of the Light, today we reflect on the profound teachings encapsulated within the Chinese Manichaean texts, particularly the chapter written by Mar Adda called "The Traite". This text lays out the fundamental concepts and teachings of the Manichaean faith, and serves as a principle guide in the practical application of Manichaean ethics in our daily lives. It emphasizes the essential virtues of truth, light, and purity, guiding us towards a life aligned with the divine order.


The Triate


The Triate covers the doctrines of the Realm of Light and the principle of duality. It then proceeds onto how we are to follow the path of righteousness. These topics form the foundation of our spiritual practice and understanding.


The Realm of Light


The Realm of Light, as described in our sacred texts, is a place of eternal peace, joy, and purity. It is free from darkness, suffering, and impurity, embodying the ultimate goal of our spiritual journey. This realm is depicted vividly in the hymn "In Praise of the Realm of Light," which describes it as a place where the Saints dwell in perfect harmony, free from fear, wickedness, and sorrow. It is a realm of resplendent beauty, with abundant joy and happiness, symbolizing the perfect state of existence we strive for​​.


Consider the example of a man I know named John. John is a simple farmer who, despite living a modest life, always finds joy in helping others. He shares his harvest with those in need and always greets everyone with a smile. One winter, when a severe storm hit his village, many homes were damaged, and people were in despair. John, embodying the spirit of the Realm of Light, opened his home to the homeless and shared his food with the hungry. His selfless actions brought a sense of peace and joy to the entire community, reflecting the purity and harmony of the Realm of Light.


The Principle of Duality


The Manichaean worldview is fundamentally dualistic, recognizing the eternal struggle between light and darkness, good and evil. This duality is not just cosmic, but also personal, manifesting in our daily lives as we navigate the forces of righteousness and temptation. Our scriptures remind us that suffering arises from the entanglement of light in darkness. It is through this struggle that we learn, grow, and ultimately seek liberation. As the hymn scroll articulates, the essence of our existence is to overcome this duality by aligning ourselves with the forces of light​​.


Lynn, once, faced a difficult decision at her workplace. She discovered that her company was involved in unethical practices that harmed the environment. Torn between losing her job and standing up for what was right, Lynn chose to follow the path of light. She reported the malpractice, risking her career, but her integrity inspired others to support her cause. Eventually, the company changed its policies, showcasing the triumph of light over darkness through personal courage and righteousness.


The Path of Righteousness


To navigate this duality, we are called to live a life of righteousness, embodying the virtues of compassion, purity, and truth. The path of righteousness is marked by ethical living, self-discipline, and a constant striving for spiritual purity. This path is clearly laid out in our hymns and teachings, urging us to subdue darkness within and around us, to overcome its power by fostering inner light. By doing so, we purify ourselves and contribute to the collective liberation of all divine lights trapped in the darkness​​.


Let me tell you about a missionary I once knew named Yasin. Yasin was a teacher who dedicated his life to educating children in a remote village. Despite facing numerous challenges, such as lack of resources and personal hardship, Yasin remained steadfast in his mission. He taught his students not only academic subjects but also the importance of kindness, honesty, and perseverance. His unwavering commitment to righteousness transformed the lives of his students and uplifted the entire community, illustrating the power of living a life aligned with divine virtues.


Application in Daily Life


To apply these precepts in our daily practice, we must cultivate a life of mindfulness and ethical integrity. Here are some practical steps:


Embrace Compassion and Purity


I recall a young boy named Oliver. Oliver saved his pocket money for months to buy a warm coat for his friend, who couldn't afford one. His act of compassion not only warmed his friend's body but also their hearts, spreading light in their school.

  • Show kindness and empathy in all interactions. Strive to maintain purity of thought, speech, and action, recognizing that every act of goodness strengthens the light within us and in the world.


Seek Truth and Avoid Deception


In a community meeting I once attended, Chen spoke out against spreading false rumors, encouraging everyone to verify facts before believing or sharing them. This fostered trust and truth in the community.

  • Uphold honesty and integrity. In every situation, seek the truth and avoid the distortions of falsehood. Remember that truth is a reflection of the divine light.


Practice Mindful Living


Every evening, I spend a few moments in meditation, reflecting on my actions of the day. This practice helps me stay aligned with our values and approach each day with renewed purpose.

  • Engage in daily reflection and meditation. Contemplate the teachings and align your actions with the principles of light and righteousness. This helps in overcoming the inner darkness and reinforces our spiritual resolve.


Foster Community and Support


When a neighbor's house caught fire, the entire village rallied to help, providing shelter, food, and emotional support, showcasing the strength of a united, compassionate community.

  • As Manichaeans, we are called to build communities where we can nurture and support one another and those who are helpless in our local societies. Encourage each other on the path of righteousness, sharing wisdom and strength to overcome the challenges posed by the forces of darkness.


Final words of Exhortation


As we continue our journey, let us hold steadfast to the teachings of Mar Adda in The Traite, embracing the light, recognizing the duality, and walking the path of righteousness. By doing so, we align ourselves with the divine will, contribute to the greater good, and move closer to the Realm of Light. May we always find strength and inspiration in these teachings, guiding us towards a life of spiritual fulfillment and eternal peace.


Benediction


May the Father of Greatness shine His Light upon us, heal our afflicted souls, and guide us in our daily practice. Let His mercy fill our hearts with joy and lead us to overcome all darkness, embracing the eternal truth and purity of the Realm of Light. Amen.

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1件のコメント


Paulo Cruz
Paulo Cruz
6月27日

Thank you again for this! We need everyday, to improve ourselves, yet, it is very difficult! Roshan Pidar sees you, to preach and spread His Daena, Spenta Zindag Madar pours on you blessings and Ohrmazd rejoices at your good actions and warns about the wrong deeds!

いいね!
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