The Significance of Hearing the Law
In Buddhism, there are ten worlds. There are the six lower worlds and the four noble paths. The third world of the four noble paths is the world of bodhisattvas. Bodhisattvas maintain a strong spirit. They are relentless and push themselves to gain enlightenment of a Buddha. In this regard, bodhisattvas are always working to share the teachings of the Buddha with others in an effort to relieve suffering and bring about happiness in the world.
The development of one’s voice along this spiritual path is a crucial characteristic of guiding others toward enlightenment. The sound or vibration of the voice is a powerful and critical feature of being in the world of Buddhahood. Nichiren Daishonin says that the voice of a Buddha is a “pure and far reaching voice” and it is one of the Buddha’s thirty-two outstanding features. Ikeda says, “The voice is the vibration of the living whole. A person’s being and character are revealed by the voice. A French writer once said the voice is our second face. Though we may hide our true appearance, we cannot hide the voice” (78).
We reveal much about our inner state of being through the vibrational sounds of our voice. Just by speaking, one can communicate to another if he/she is happy, sad, angry, frustrated, genuine, sincere, or sarcastic. In my experience with communication and relationships, I know that when a voice generates a vibe of anger, frustration, or condescendence, communication often shuts down, the receiver stops listening and the original message is lost. Forward movement towards dialogue and mutual understanding stops dead in its tracks.
How can I relate this to my life? Well, I think it becomes really important for me to develop and conduct myself in such a way that when I use my voice, I am able to speak from a place of sincerity, honesty, compassion, and friendship. Rather, I practice and develop a genuine voice from the heart. How often have we heard someone speak from a place of anger, releasing their frustration by attacking another person and choosing not to say what really needs to be said from the heart space? When we choose to speak from the heart in a real and honest way, I think we naturally move to a place of calm and peace. Give it a try and see what happens! What have you got to lose except, perhaps, a bit more peace in your life?
President Ikeda says, “Not sparing one’s voice doesn’t refer to loudness or volume. It means the great voice of compassion that seeks to bring all beings to enlightenment.” So, go out there and do your life’s work. Fulfill your mission or purpose! Use your voice and speak your heart. The voice is a tool to create and liberate!