Pestering elders on sil and bana

From very young days people are disciplined by their parents and teachers. They participate in discussions with educated men, relatives and friends and sometimes with Buddhist monks on good living practices. They go to temples for religious activities, listen to bana and sometimes observe sil. They participate in alms givings and charity work. These activities are not confined to younger days. By attending to these religious activities, what we ultimately gain is purification of the mind and merit. If someone can properly control the mind, what is necessary is achieved. If the mind is pure one practices only good deeds. The sermons one listened to over the years are quite sufficient, if the contents were correctly adapted to one’s life.

During old age, people succumb to many difficulties, on hearing, difficulty being seated in one posture for a long period, and other problems related to old age. In such situations what is the point in listening to bana or observing sil, when they cannot concentrate properly on what they hear or do? Old people also have other interests in life, composing poems, reading, writing articles to papers, doing mathematical problems, solving crossword puzzles, guiding and helping grandchildren in their homework etc., according to one's educational standards. These activities give a lot of happiness. If one's mind is happy, one has no time for evil thoughts and evil deeds.

Sometime back there was an article in the papers which said "Endlessly people listen to sermons (bana), take to meditation, and observe sil on Poya days; with all these good happenings the people are engulfed in vices on a big scale." Which is very true: So, by trying to compel or force very elderly people to listen to bana and observe sil ad nauseam, without taking into consideration their physical condition, they are led to distress, though the intentions may be good.



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