[无量香光 · 显密文库 · 手机站]

Torchbearers Of Dhamma
{返回 S.N. Goenka 文集}

Torchbearers Of Dhamma
- by S. N. Goenka

The following talk was given by S. N. Goenka to old students at V.M.C., Dhamma Dharā, Massachusetts, in September 2000. It has been edited and adapted for the Newsletter.

My dear Dhamma sons and daughters:

Many of you have been serving me in Dhamma for two to three decades. I received an invaluable jewel from my Dhamma father, and now you have it as well. See that you preserve it. See that Dhamma is maintained in its pristine purity.

An old student, whether of a few courses or many years’ practice, is a torchbearer of Dhamma. You are an example. People watch how you deal with situations, how you behave; they look to see whether significant change has come in your life. They will hear many good things about Vipassana but will become convinced of its value only when they see good results.

All old students have a dual responsibility. One responsibility is to establish yourself in Dhamma very strongly. This is in your own interest and also in the interest of so many others who need Dhamma. The other responsibility is to see that Dhamma spreads around the world, especially to your near and dear ones, your friends, your relatives, those who know you.

Never try to push Dhamma on them. If someone wants to know about Dhamma, very politely and humbly explain what Dhamma is and how it has helped you, and how it helps so many others around the world. And explain how the Buddha taught a good way of life, which is happy, healthy, harmonious and wholesome. He was not a founder of any religion.

A great misconception about the Buddha, which we must try to remove, is that he taught a religion. When one talks of religion today, one thinks of rites, rituals, ceremonies, dogmas, and beliefs. These things have nothing to do with the teaching of the Buddha. He taught Dhamma; and when he sent out the sixty arahant messengers of Dhamma, giving them the highest teaching, he exhorted them, “Caratha bhikkhave cārikaṃ—Oh, bhikkhus, go forth. Go to serve suffering humanity. More and more people should know about Dhamma.”

As the Buddha said, Dhamma is beneficial in the beginning, the middle and the end. It is beneficial to practise the beginning of Dhamma, sīla (morality), which helps in this and future lives. Proceeding further, one practises sammā samādhi, or concentration of mind with an object that is not imaginary—with the reality, the truth that one experiences. This too gives great benefit. The mind comes under control and is directed toward exploring the truth within, free from all imagination, blind beliefs, dogmas or cults. This is the truth pertaining to oneself, the truth pertaining to mind and matter and the interaction of the two. One understands the universal law of nature at the experiential level.

The highest step, paññā, is purification of mind, which is not just at the surface level. The Buddha said, “Sacittapariyodapanaṃ—You have to purify the totality of the mind.” Unless the roots of impurity are eradicated, unless the mind is pure to the depth, in totality, one is not liberated from misery, one is not freed from the cycle of endless birth and death. It is paññā that leads to full liberation. Sīla, samādhi, paññā—that’s all; there is nothing to be added or subtracted. The Dhamma is complete, paripuṇṇaṃ, and it is ultra-pure, parisuddhaṃ.

Never condemn a person who is practising something else. That would be harmful. Never find fault with others. If a friend asks, you may explain, “This is enough—sīla, samādhi, paññā.” Of course one also naturally develops love, compassion and goodwill, but nothing else is to be added. If we start finding fault with others, it will be an unwholesome action on our part. Every religion, every tradition has something in it that is good. Every religion of the world accepts a moral life, a disciplined mind, a pure mind full of love and compassion. Give importance to these good qualities in other religions and ignore the differences. People would come to the Buddha to argue with him, but he would never argue. “When you start arguing and debating,” he said, “it is harmful, it is dangerous. Let us see not where we differ but rather where we agree, and let us give importance to those points. Let us leave aside our differences; there is no use in discussing them.”

Everyone agrees on the value of living a life of sīla, cultivating samādhi and purifying the mind by paññā; on these points there can be no disagreement. Buddha put his emphasis on these three only. The same thing applies to any old student: whenever you are discussing with others, don’t indulge in any arguments. Don’t try to find fault with others. Rather, encourage them: “You agree to sīla; we also practise sīla. You agree to concentration of mind; we also practise concentration of mind. You agree to purification of mind; we also practise purification of mind. If you want to know how we practise, come give this technique a try.” Don’t say, “Yours is bad and ours is good.” Instead simply say, “Come and see ehi passiko. If you find it really is good for you, for others, for everyone, then accept it and live this life.”

Buddha’s teaching takes you to the depths where you start realizing why you must live a life of sīla. Every tradition urges us to practise sīla; but then says that it is for the good of the society, for the good of others. But the Buddha said, “It is for your good, and also for the good of others. This is what a good Vipassana meditator starts realizing. Experiencing your sensations, you start understanding, “Whenever I break sīla, I have to generate some impurity or the other and I start suffering. If I don’t generate impurity, I don’t perform any unwholesome action. If my sīla is perfect, I save myself from all kinds of misery, and I help others because they don’t suffer on account of me.” One can understand this only by experience. It is not a subject of argument. When you start experiencing the truth of sensations and how you continue to suffer at the deeper levels of the mind, then you realize why you should live a life of sīla.

And why did Buddha teach us to develop samādhi by observing respiration? Partly because it is nonsectarian, anybody can practise it. But another reason is that this practice leads us to paññā at a deeper level. Observing breath not only concentrates the mind; it enables us to investigate the truth about the interaction of mind and matter according to our own experience, not merely to develop paññā intellectually. Many traditions agree that the entire universe is anicca (changing),that the cycle of birth and death is dukkha (suffering), and that the ego is a big obstacle that must be left behind. It is not something difficult for people to understand. But the Buddha taught the same thing experientially.

If you invite people to come and learn to meditate, they need not abandon their own beliefs. Rather, by practising, they start going deeper and they derive so much benefit by understanding the pure Dhamma of sīla, samādhi and paññā at a more profound level. The real substance of Dhamma lies in sīla, samādhi, and paññā. Let more and more people come and meditate and understand how it really works.

The volition should be to help people, not to try to prove that what we do is superior. It won’t help to say, “You don’t know the proper meaning of sīla, you don’t know what is real samādhi, you don’t know what is real paññā.” Give a good example to people. Whenever you talk with somebody who is not on the path, speak with compassion, not ego. Never think you are superior and others are ignorant. Our job is to help people as we were helped by this technique—to share our happiness with others.

The best way to encourage people to come to this path is to give them a good example. Let them see that here is somebody on the path of Vipassana, living so peacefully, with love, compassion and goodwill for others. Your example will be beneficial to you because you are progressing on the path by living such a life; at the same time, so many others will be attracted to the Dhamma. Have compassion, and remember your dual responsibility: “I must progress on the path and also encourage others to come to the path and progress on it.”

You progress only when you maintain your practice morning and evening. If you take courses, whether of ten, twenty or even thirty days, but miss your daily meditation, you will not really benefit. A course ought to strengthen your practice, your understanding of Dhamma at the experiential and intellectual level. But only applied Dhamma will give real benefits. If you do not practise morning and evening every day, you will notice that real progress is missing. Morning and evening sittings are very important.

Also, throughout the day, from time to time examine how you deal with situations you encounter. Are you able to handle them better than before? The more you find you are progressing on the path, the more you will be encouraged to practise. If you find that there is no improvement, either you have stopped practising or you are not practising properly.

I repeatedly warn students that Vipassana is not intended for the enjoyment of pleasant sensations, but despite my advice some of them make that their aim. They think, “I must get a free flow of very pleasant vibrations. If I am not getting it, I am not progressing.” They are completely wrong. The equanimity you have developed is the measure of your progress. The Buddha explained: “To dig out the stock of your saṇkhāras of craving, make use of the pleasant sensations; to dig out the saṇkhāras of aversion, make use of your unpleasant sensations.” Both types of sensation are equally important as tools to help us eradicate the deep-rooted saṇkhāras that we have accumulated. If you ignore this advice and instead feel depressed with gross sensations and elated with pleasant ones, you are simply repeating what you have been doing your whole life and for so many lives. In the name of Vipassana, you have started playing the same game. How can you progress?

Keep in mind that equanimity is most important for you. The type of sensation you feel does not matter. Whenever a deep-rooted saṇkhāra comes to the surface, it will produce a particular type of sensation, but don’t assume that every sensation you feel is because of a saṇkhāra. When you are meditating, it is true that most of the sensations are because of saṇkhāras, but there are many other causes for sensations to arise. Whatever the cause, if a sensation occurs and you don’t generate a new saṇkhāra, the purpose is served: naturally the old accumulated stock will start to come up to the surface of the mind and be eradicated.

Understand this and work intelligently, diligently. Keep progressing in Dhamma. See that the Dhamma continues from generation to generation. Dhamma should continue to serve people for centuries, and that is possible only if you, the torchbearers, are strong in Dhamma, established in Dhamma, good examples of Dhamma.

Maintain Vipassana’s pristine purity. It does not matter if somebody else has started defiling it, polluting it. But those who are on the path and those who have understood the importance of this purity should maintain this pristine purity for their own good and also for the good of future generations. If you start polluting the technique, then there is no chance of it being maintained for a very long time. Others may do whatever they wish, but at least one stream, one flow of pure Dhamma, must continue. People will understand the difference between the two and this will help for generation after generation.

A big responsibility rests on you. Keep the purity of Dhamma. Keep the torch of Dhamma shining. Remain strong in Dhamma yourself. Be a good example to others. May all of you live a very happy, pure, Dhamma life. May all of you encourage many others to come on the path and live a pure Dhamma life.

May all be happy, be peaceful, be liberated.

{返回 S.N. Goenka 文集}

上一篇:The Buddha’s Two Main Meditation Techniques
下一篇:The Essence of the Buddha’s Teaching
 On Vedana: From Devotion to Direct ..
 The Buddha’s Two Main Meditation Te..
 The Universal Path of Dhamma
 Freedom From Addiction
 Vedanā Within This Very Body
 The Importance of Natural Respirati..
 Sensation, The Key to Satipatthāna..
 Fifty Years on the Path of Dhamma..
 Realizing the Dream of Dhamma
 Grateful Centenary Commemoration..
全文 标题
 知足常乐 惜福感恩——新年新愿望[栏目:宽运法师]
 大方广佛华严经讲记 第五九0卷[栏目:大方广佛华严经讲记·第六集]
 出家剃度及沙弥生活 第二章 出家手续及沙弥戒行 第一节 出家相关条件[栏目:出家剃度及沙弥生活]



- 手机版 -
www.goodweb.net.cn Copyrights reserved