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May the Dhamma Spread
 
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May the Dhamma Spread
- by S. N. Goenka

(The following has been adapted from the Closing Address by S. N. Goenka at the Annual Conference at Dhamma Giri on 21 January 1994.)

My dear Dhamma sons and Dhamma daughters:

We have come to the closing part of this Dhamma seminar, but the actual work starts now. Take home with you all the inspiration and enthusiasm for the huge work ahead, that you have gained by attending this annual conference. Dhamma must spread. Whatever we have done is just a few drops in the vast ocean. A healthy beginning has been made, but a huge amount of work remains. The entire world is suffering. People want a way to come out of their suffering, but they don’t know how to find it. If this wonderful path is offered to them, they will certainly accept it.

Everyone who wants to devote their life to the spread of Dhamma should remember the words of the Enlightened One. The echo of his words should always remain: Caratha bhikkhave cārikaṃ-move on, move on. Why? Bahujanahitāya, bahujanasukhāya-for the good and benefit of many, for the happiness of many. Lokānukampāya-with infinite compassion in your mind. Not in order to gain something for yourself or to establish a particular sect or to exploit people in the name of Dhamma. Dhamma is not for those purposes.

You have to just give without expecting anything in return. It is one-way traffic. Keep on giving for the good, benefit and happiness of others with a mind full of compassion. Atthāya hitāya sukhāya devamanussānaṃ-for the happiness of all beings. There may be worldly happiness, we are not against that, but it is not the aim. The whole purpose is the happiness of the ultimate goal, nibbānaṃ paramaṃ sukhaṃ. Then the entire exercise will become purposeful, meaningful.

And how will you serve? The Enlightened one says: Desetha, give Dhamma, which is beneficial in the beginning, beneficial in the middle and beneficial in the end. That means the Dhamma of sīla, samādhi, and paññā. Every step that one takes on the path is beneficial, beneficial. If one practises only sīla one starts receiving the benefit of Dhamma. If one practises samādhi also, there are more benefits. One starts practising paññā-developing one’s own wisdom, insight, and purifying the mind-there is more benefit, it takes one to the final goal of liberation. It is such a wonderful Dhamma.

It is complete, nothing needs to be added to it-kevalaṃ paripuṇṇaṃ. What can you add to sīla, samādhi, and paññā? There is nothing wanting. Parisuddha-it is totally pure. There is nothing, not a jot in it, which is impure, which should be taken out. The totality and purity of Dhamma should be maintained, and passed on.

Sātthaṃ sabyañjanaṃ-the letter and spirit of the words of the Enlightened One; sabyañjanaṃ pariyatti are the words of the Enlightened One. And the path, the way, the technique that he taught us to practise is sātthaṃ. So there is paṭipatti and pariyatti. Desetha dhammaṃ, give this complete Dhamma.

Brahmacariyaṃ pakāsetha. Throw light on the pure way of life-not merely by a sermon at the level of words, but by living the Dhamma. Brahmacariyaṃ, dhammacariyaṃ, dhammācaraṇa, brahmācaraṇa. As he taught, so we are trying to live that very life. Let everyone see that these people who are talking about Dhamma are also living the life of Dhamma. Only then are you throwing light on Dhamma. Look how one can live a really good life!

Only when they see good examples will they be attracted to Dhamma, not merely by intellectual or emotional entertainment. They have to see the actuality of living Dhamma. Pakāsetha-throw light on yourself. Let people see what sort of life you are living. Everything must be open, there is nothing to be hidden. This is the way to attract people to the path of Dhamma, not just in order to have blind followers, but so that more and more people benefit from it.

"How miserable I was before coming to the path, and look, although I have taken just a few steps, what a change has come in my life!" Those who are close to you will find, yes, a change is coming in your life. This is pakāsetha. Your own behaviour throws light not only on you, but also on Dhamma. This is how people benefit by walking on the path of Dhamma. In this way, people will be inspired and encouraged to walk on the path of pure Dhamma.

Theory is very important to give inspiration, encouragement and proper guidance, but the actual benefit that one gets is only by applying Dhamma.

May all of you messengers of Dhamma live this Dhamma not only for your benefit, but also for the benefit of others. Live a good life, a happy, peaceful and harmonious life. Help more and more miserable people to live a good, happy and harmonious life. May more and more people come out of their misery.

May Dhamma spread. May the light of pure Dhamma spread, and dispel the darkness of ignorance, suffering, misery. May all be happy, be peaceful, be liberated.

Bhavatu sabba maṇgalaṃ!


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