All component things in the world are changeable.
They are not lasting.
Work hard to gain your own liberation.
Do your best.
These are Buddha’s last words and the first part reminds use that all compounded things are impermanent. If we keep this in mind we will not get attached to things, which in turn will reduce our suffering.
The second part, which is the most interesting, says we should work towards our own liberation. Here the word liberation means an end to our suffering. This means we have to look within, take responsibility for our own actions and do the hard work ourselves.
It does not say liberation can be found outside of us, we should blame karma for what is happening in our lives or we have to hand our liberation over to some guru.
I believe we need teachers to help us along the path, but ultimately we have to decide ourselves what path suits us best and which parts of Buddhism we decide to follow. It doesn’t mean we have to take on other people’s culture or superstitions. We also must decide how much time we devote to that path. The ball is in our court and no one can end our suffering for us.
The final part says that we should do our best. This means we should not feel guilty if we sometimes fall short. If we are doing our best, that is what counts.
If you would like to become a supporter of Buddhism Guides work, such as podcasts, blogs, videos and guided meditation practices, please visit here. You can support for as little as $2 a month.