The Role of Buddhist Youth in the Modern Society
5 minutes paper presentation during
the Buddhist forum in
Western Sydney University, Australia
on the 15 of November2001
by: Venerable Phra-Mangkone Dhammadharo

To be born as a human being is a great blessing . Once we are born into this world , we have many duties and roles to perform in this life time. According to Buddhist thought , we are here to perform good deeds (Kusala), perfections (paramita) and eventually achieve Enligthenment (Nirvana), complete peace and happiness. Even though it might possibly take many life times to achieve nirvana.
On the way to Nirvana, or complete perfection, we have to walk the Spiritual Path called the Noble Eight- Fold Path , understanding the Four Noble Truths and other aspects of the Dhamma as realized and compassionately taught by the Shakyamuni Buddha.
As a young Buddhist, or as any young people interested in this path , we have duties and roles to perform and practice in order to lead a peaceful and happy life through understanding and realizing the Dhamma ( The teaching of the Buddha).
These duties involve getting better education not only in secular but also in Buddhist Spiritual Studies. One should have responsibility to take care of ones parents and helping out at home. One should have Good Morality and Ethical Conduct. One should have Shame and Fear of doing unwholesome deeds and harm to oneself and others.
One should also have humility, patience and perseverance.
As for the role of the young Buddhist ,they should set a good example as mentioned above. When other young people see our behavior and attitude they will adore and respect us automatically. As a Buddhist, if we practice as mentioned before, we will be happy, peaceful and lead a successful and properous life as mentioned in the Mangala Sutra.
In this time of modern technology and materialism, the world seriously lacking spiritual influence. People have more craving and desire for more material possessions, which leads to more social problems, especially for the young people in society. This leads them to seek alternative ways for peace and happiness through drugs and intoxicants as well as associating with foolish and immoral peers.
But through the teachings of the Buddha, especially the Mangala Sutta, it can help our young people, and adults as well, to find real peace and real happiness, and the complete cessation of suffering, nirvana and complete perfection.