This particular entry speaks directly to why I was drawn to Buddhism to begin with.
When you really feel the need to seek refuge, we must always keep in our minds that the Buddha can’t help us without us helping ourselves first. The phenomenon of merely praying for help is rampant, especially with students during the examination periods, without realising this simple and subtle truth-we are our best help, only if we try. It is dangerous not to realise that, for then, not only is the problem left unsolved, we might start to shift the blame to those we expect help to come from.
The Bodhisattvas are always around but we should realise that it is best that we be our own Bodhisattvas-is that not the truest meaning of self-reliance in Buddhism? The Buddha did not become a Buddha by prayer!