If Indira statues OK,
why not Mayawati’s?
August 13th, 2009
By Kancha Ilaiah
The other day I was invited for a debate on a
major national TV channel on the issue of the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Ms
Mayawati, installing her statues all over the state, apart from those of
Jyotiba Phule, Periyar Ramaswamy, B.R. Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram.
accusation of the majority of the panelists was that installing one’s own
statues at the expense of the state was not only wrong but also unethical,
immoral and illegal.
Majority of the panelists and almost all the middle class-upper caste students
and others in the audience were clapping down any balanced argument. Anybody
who attacked Ms Mayawati was being applauded.
Much of the audience came from Noida-Uttar Pradesh and termed the installation
of the statues as politically immoral. Sadly, that there were no SC/STs or slum
dwellers who vote for Ms Mayawati to give their opinion on the issue.
have to debate whether the installation of statues should be seen as a legal
issue or is it more a moral and political question.
Some enthusiastic lawyers have taken the issue of Ms Mayawati installing her
own statues to the Supreme Court through a public interest litigation (PIL). But
can the courts intervene and curb the expenditure incurred by the Centre and
states in advertising their achievements and schemes with huge photographs of
the Prime Minister, Chief Ministers and Cabinet ministers?
students who get just pass marks in SSC become lawyers in this country, since
they cannot become Doctors, Engineers or scientists. One can imagine how wise
they could be and how much knowledge they would have gained with their stuper
state of mind. They are just fit for making affidavits for their livelihood and
when they take up PIL they fail miserably. Only those who get high ranks in SSC
must be allowed to become lawers so that they can be thorough with the
Constitution and also they must be thorough with Buddha Dhamma)
Publicising one’s own image while in power, through photographs or statues, has
a common objective of influencing the masses for the sake of votes in the
future, or to perpetuate one’s own image among the masses. Both forms of
publicity have a common objective and involve spending public money.
We should, here, take note of the portraits of the Prime Minister and the Chief
Ministers put up in government offices as soon as they assume office.
this is also meant to perpetuate the image of the person in power.
The question is not what the Western democracies practice and how we imitate
them. Someone might point out that the portrait of the American President is
put up in all federal offices and the portrait of the British Prime Minister is
put in major government offices. And, therefore, what we are doing is also
right. This is mere imitation and we should discard such approaches and evolve
our own democratic practices.
So let us look back and see who started the installation of statues across the
country. In my remote village of rural Telangana, Papaiah Pet of
was a statue of Mahtama Gandhi. This was said to have been installed by one of
the tehsildars with state money.
Gandhi was not a person in power, hence he can be compared only with other
stalwarts, like Ambedkar. Did any government agency install an Ambedkar statue
till SC/STs started putting up his statues in the 70s and 80s in their own
During the Congress regime, governmental agencies started installing statues of
Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. After the death of Indira Gandhi
and Rajiv Gandhi, their statues were also installed across the country. They
were not leaders who emerged from social service. During the regime of the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), statues and portraits of Vinayak Damodar
Savarkar, Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar and Swami Vivekananda and Vajpayee were
installed in various places.
Ms Mayawati has showed courage and confidence in installing her own statue
along with those of Lord Buddha, Phule, Ambedkar, Periyar and Kanshi Ram.
If Indira Gandhi was the first upper caste woman leader who got power, Ms
Mayawati is the first Aboriginal Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great
Prabuddha Bharath (Scheduled Caste) leader who got power. She has her own
iconic image. Of course, she is an “un-Hindu” woman icon in the tradition of
Kanshi Ram. The fact is that even if she does not install her own statues, the
Bahujan people will install her statues.
like how a disciple of the Buddha bought Jetavana for Him by spreading gold
coins to by the Park. SC/STs are such kind of people who will give their every
thing for the leaders whom they like. They had made film stars as Chief
Ministers, just because they acted as their protectors. They would not mind
spending their entire coolie they earned to buy a ticket in black market to
worship their heroes and heroines)
knows that and that’s why she is undeterred. There is a counter cultural
dimension in her scheme of things. Uttar Pradesh has the most conservative
Hindu cultural base, with Ayodhya, Benares and
history. Kanshi Ram wanted to create counter Buddhist-Ambedkarit e rationalist
cultural centres that would have equal visibility.
After Bodh Gaya, Nagpur Deekshabhoomi, the
and other places are going to carry forward what I prefer to call the
“post-Hindu nationalist image of
built, nobody will be able to touch them.
As a politically shrewd person, Ms Mayawati knows that once she puts herself in
that iconic lineage, nobody would be able to change it. Even after her
political career is over, she will have her own following.
Since the Hindu base is weakening in the country, the counter cultural base
will increase. This is third-generation SC/ST-Bahujan counter culturalist
campaign. It was started by Ambedkar, taken forward by Kanshi Ram and now Ms
Mayawati is expanding it further.
Ms Mayawati’s cultural parks are going to be the “un-Hindu” historical centres.
They should worry the Hindu forces and the Sangh Parivar more than the
Congress. But the Congress is talking more about them than the BJP or other
Hindutva forces. Ms Mayawati’s image will keep growing as long as the Congress,
the BJP and the Samajwadi Party keep on attacking these cultural centres.
The BJP knows that once they begin a discourse around these Buddhist-Ambedkar
cultural centres, their own Hindu cultural nationalism will get undermined and
the Bahujan-Buddhist cultural nationalism will occupy centrestage.
All the Hindu temples and Buddhist viharas in
mosques, were built with state money and they provide the cultural base of
those religions. Then why should certain hegemonic caste-communal intellectual
forces make an issue out of the SC/ST -Bahujan cultural centres that keep
coming up with images of their own heroes in the country? The educated and
politically- aware SC/ST -Bahujan forces know what makes them raise this bogey
beyond its need. A party like the Congress would serve itself better if it
stops politicising these cultural parks and takes up other issues.
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Always deal ONLY locally by
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READ and UNDERSTAND the methods
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ONLINE TRAINING ON
PRECEPTS AND TRADE-62
For A COMPARISON OF CULTIVATION AND WILD
COLLECTION OF MEDICINAL AND AROMATIC
PLANTS UNDER SUSTAINABILITY ASPECTS
HAL 3rd Stage
Executive Director, KSHDA
Project Proponent Director
Department of Horticulture
Government of Karnataka
Sub: Suggestions for 25-08-09
Under your revolutionary step
for Horticulture Development in Karnataka, I got Certificates for participating
in the training programme on ESTABLISHING JAIVIK (ORGANIC) KITCHEN GARDEN from
21-08-09 to 22-08-09 and in the year 2005 in Medicinal and Aromatic (Terrace
Gardening ) course. Since then, I am attempting to convert my terrace into a garden
and I am planning to post all your revolutionary work in my website.
I am thankful for your kind
oral invitation for me to participate in the program to be held on 25-08-09 at
Lalbagh. I will be grateful to your goodself if you can send the details of the
I would like to Express my
interest as follows:
1) Cultivation of Healthy Seeds may be given
top priority to make every farm to function as profit centre and to convert all
farms into organic farms.
2) Micro Loans to the farmers may be given
by the Government and Banks.
3) All the farms produce including Healthy
Seeds may be sold at all the outlets of HOPCOMS.
4) Cooked food items of Organic vegetables
may be arranged to sell them directly to the public through HOPCOMS or any
other agencies for their effectiveness. And also the Medicinal and Aromatic
With kind regards
Dr. K. Ramakrishnappa. Executive Director,
KSHDA … Office of the Society
from Bio centre, Hulimavu to Lalbagh,
A BLUE PRINT FOR LIFE
OF USING RESOURSES
Life must be brought in line with the
Dhamma. This means
That in addition to
love and money, life must include ideals
creating sffinites, happiness, and kindness,
As well as the Dhamma
of reason and patience. Life will be
Richer with the
Dhamma than if one only possesses money
Translate into English:
Munayo araññesu sukhena bhāvanāyo bhāvituṁ
The sages live in the forests to happily practice
Siddhattho Bodhisatto Māraṁ parājayituṁ
Bodhirukkhassa mūle nisīdi; pacchā lokuttara-
ñāṇāni bhāvesi ceva Bodhiṁ alabhi, māraṁ ca
Siddhatha, the Bodhisatta (Would –be-Buddha) sat
Down at the foot of the Tree of Wisdom to defeat
Evil One; later he cultivated the supermundane
Insights and attained Awakenment and tamed the
Isīsu uttamo bhavituṁ yagīnaṁ cakkavatti ca hotuṁ
lokasmiṁ jeṭṭho seṭṭho
bhavituṁ Buddho Jino ahosi,
Bhagavā ahost, Lokanāyako ahosi, tibhuvanassa
To be supreme among seers, to become the Emperor
Of the Yogis and to be the pre-eminent and the
Noblest in the world, the Awakened One became
the Victor, He became the Blessed One, He was the
leader of the world and became the saviour of the
three realms of existence.
Sabbesu nidhisu Dhamma-nidhi uttamo iti vadituṁ
samaṇā gāmesu caranti.
The monks move about in the villages to declare
Of all treasures, the treasure of Truth is
Sāvakanāṁ Jino Buddha evaṁ āha: “Bhikkhave
The victor of the
disciples, the Awakened One, said
Thus: ‘Monks, out of
compassion for the world,
wander forth to preach the
Truth for the welfare of
Bodhiṁ labhituṁ, kusalāni kammāni kātuṁ yuñjatha.
Strive yet to attain Awakenment, and to perform
Girimhi dīpayo vasanti jīvituṁ, arayo ca vasanti
coretuṁ, munayo ca vasanti ñānaṁ labhituṁ.
In the mountain, the
leopards live to survive, the
Enemies live to plunder
and the sages live to gain
Mayaṁ nāvāyo passituṁ udadhiṁ gacchāma.
We go to the ocean to see ships.
Kusalaṁ karotha nibbānaṁ pariyesituṁ.
You do good to seek supreme bliss.
Buddhassa Dhammaṁ desituṁ samaṇā gāmato
gāmaṁ cariṁsu, caranti,
The monks had wandered to preach the Teaching of
the Awakened One, from village to village, they
wander now and will wander in future.
TRAINING ON BUDDHISM FOR CHILDREN -22
King Banyan Deer
upon a time, an unusual and beautiful deer was born in the forests near Benares,
in northern India. Although he was as big as a young colt, it was easy for his
mother to give birth to him. When he opened his eyes, they were as bright as sparkling
jewels. His mouth was as red as the reddest forest berries. His hoofs were as
black as polished coal. His little horns glistened like silver. And his color
was golden, like a perfect summer’s dawn. As he grew up, a herd of 500 deer gathered
around him, and he became known as King Banyan Deer.
not far away, another beautiful buck deer was born, just as splendidly golden
in color. In time, a separate herd of 500 deer came to follow him, and he was
known as Branch Deer.
King of Benares, at that time, was very fond of eating venison. So he regularly
hunted and killed deer. Each time he hunted, he went to a different village and
ordered the people to serve him. They had to stop what they were doing, whether
plowing or harvesting or whatever, and work in the king’s hunting party.
The people’s lives were upset by these interruptions. They grew less crops, and
other businesses also had less income. So they came together and decided to build
a large deer park for the king, at Benares. There he could hunt by himself, with
no need to command the services of the villagers.
the people built a deer park. They made ponds where the deer could drink, and
added trees and grasses for them to eat from. When it was ready, they opened the
gate and went out into the nearby forests. They surrounded the entire herds of
Banyan and Branch deer. Then, with sticks and weapons and noise makers, they drove
them all into the deer park trap, and locked the gate behind them.
the deer had settled down, the people went to the king and said, “Our crops
and income have suffered because of your hunting requirements. Now we have made
you a pleasant safe deer park, where you can hunt by yourself as you like. With
no need of our aid, you can enjoy both the hunting and the eating of deer.”
king went to the new deer park. There he was pleased to see the vast herds. While
watching them, his eye was caught by the two magnificent golden deer, with large
fully grown antlers. Because he admired their unusual beauty, the king granted
immunity to these two alone. He ordered that they should be completely safe. No
one could harm or kill them.
a day the king would come and kill a deer for his dinner table. Sometimes, when
he was too busy, the royal cook would do this. The body would then be brought
to the chopping block to be butchered for the oven.
the deer saw the bow and arrows, they went into a panic, trembling for their lives.
They ran around wildly, some being injured and some wounded, many suffering great
King Banyan Deer’s herd gathered around him. He called Branch Deer, and the two
herds joined for a meeting. King Banyan Deer addressed them. “Although in
the end, there is no escape from death, this needless suffering due to injuries
and wounds can be prevented. Since the king only wishes the meat of one deer per
day, let one be chosen by us each day to submit himself to the chopping block.
One day from my herd, and the next day from Branch Deer’s herd, the victim’s lot
will fall to one deer at a time.”
Deer agreed. From then on, the one whose turn it was, meekly surrendered himself
and laid his neck on the block. The cook came each day, simply killed the waiting
victim, and prepared the king’s venison.
day, the turn fell by chance to a pregnant doe in Branch Deer’s herd. Caring for
the others as well as herself and the unborn one, she went to Branch Deer and
said, “My lord, I am pregnant. Grant that I may live until I have delivered
my fawn. Then we will fill two turns rather than just one. This will save a turn,
and thereby a single life for one long day.”
Deer replied, “No, no, I cannot change the rules in midstream and put your
turn upon another. The pregnancy is yours, the babe is your responsibility. Now
failed with Branch Deer, the poor mother doe went to King Banyan Deer and explained
her plight. He replied gently, “Go in peace. I will change the rules in midstream
and put your turn upon another.”
the deer king went to the executioner’s block, and laid down his own golden neck
fell in the deer park. And some who tell this story even say that silence also
fell in other worlds not seen from here.
the royal cook came to kill the willing victim on the block. But when he saw it
was one of the two golden deer the king had ordered spared, he was afraid to kill
him. So he went and told the King of Benares.
king was surprised, so he went to the park. He said to the golden deer, still
lying on the block, “Oh king of deer, did I not promise to spare your life?
What is the reason you come here like the others?”
Banyan Deer replied, “Oh king of men, this time a pregnant doe was unlucky
enough to be the one to die. She pleaded for me to spare her, for the sake of
others as well as her unborn baby and herself. I could not help but feel myself
in her place, and feel her suffering. I could not help but weep, to think the
little one would never see the dawn, would never taste the dew. And yet, I could
not force the pain of death on another, relieved to think it was not his turn
today. So, mighty king, I offer my life for the sake of the doe and her unborn
fawn. Be assured there is no other reason.”
The King of Benares
was overwhelmed. Powerful as he was, a tear rolled down his cheek.
Then he said, “Oh great lord, the golden king of deer, even among
human beings, I have not seen any such as you! Such great compassion,
to share in the suffering of others! Such great generosity, to give
your life for others! Such great kindness and tender love for all
your fellow deer! Arise.”
decree that you will never be killed by me or anyone else in my kingdom. And,
so too, the doe and her babe.”
yet raising his head, the golden one said, “Are only we to be saved? What
of the other deer in the park, our friends and kin?” The king said, “My
lord, I cannot refuse you, I grant safety and freedom to all the deer in the park.”
“And what of the deer outside the park, will they be killed?” asked
Banyan. “No my lord, I spare all the deer in my whole kingdom.”
the golden deer did not raise up his head. He pleaded, “So the deer will
be safe, but what will the other four-footed animals do?” “My lord,
from now on they too are safe in my land.” “And what of the birds? They
too want to live.” “Yes, my lord, the birds too will be safe from death
at the hands of men.” “And what of the fish, who live in the water?”
“Even the fish will be free to live, my lord.” So saying, the King of
Benares granted immunity from hunting and killing to all the animals in his land.
pleaded for the lives of all creatures, the Great Being arose.
A Permanent Online
International Seminar on Buddhism and Buddhist Heritage of Jambudvipa that is
the Great Prabuddha Bharath
by Ajahn Chah
At this time please determine your minds to listen to the dhamma. Today is
the traditional day of dhammasavana. It is the appropriate time for
us, the host of Buddhists, to study the dhamma in order to increase our
mindfulness and wisdom. Giving and receiving the teachings is something we
have been doing for a long time. The activities we usually perform on this
day, chanting homage to the Buddha, taking moral precepts, meditating and
listening to teachings, should be understood as methods and principles for
spiritual development. They are not anything more than this.
When it comes to taking precepts, for example, a monk will proclaim the
precepts and the laypeople will vow to undertake them. Don’t misunderstand
what is going on. The truth is that morality is not something that can be
given. It can’t really be requested or received from someone. We can’t give
it to someone else. In our vernacular, we hear people say ‘The venerable
monk gave the precepts” and “We received the precepts.” We talk like this
here in the countryside, and it has become our habitual way of
understanding. If we think like that, that we come to receive precepts from
the monks on the lunar observance days, and that if the monks won’t give
precepts then we don’t have morality, that is only a tradition of delusion
that we have inherited from our ancestors. Thinking in this way means that
we give up our own responsibility, not having firm trust and conviction in
ourselves. Then it gets passed down to the next generation, and they too
come to ‘receive’ precepts from the monks. And the monks come to believe
that they are the ones who ‘give’ the precepts to the laity. In fact,
morality and precepts are not like that. They are not something to be
‘given’ or ‘received’; but on ceremonial occasions of making merit and the
like, we use this as a ritual form according to tradition and employ the
In truth, morality resides with the intentions of people. If you have the
conscious determination to refrain from harmful activities and wrongdoing by
way of body and speech, then morality is coming about within you. You should
know it within yourself. It is OK to take the vows with another person. You
can recollect the precepts by yourself. If you don’t know what they are,
then you can request them from someone else. It is not something very
complicated or distant. So really, whenever we wish to ‘receive’ morality
and dhamma, we have them right then. It is just like the air that surrounds
us everywhere. Whenever we breathe, we take it in. All manner of good and
evil are like that. If we wish to do good, we can do it anywhere, at any
time. We can do it alone, or together with others. Evil is the same. We can
do it with a large or small group, in a hidden or open place. It is like
These are things that are already in existence. But as to morality, it is
something that we should consider normal for all humans to practice. A
person who has no morality is no different from an animal. If you decide to
live like an animal, then of course there is no good or evil for you,
because an animal doesn’t have any knowledge of such things. A cat catches
mice, but we don’t say it is doing evil, because it has no concepts or
knowledge of good or bad, right or wrong. These beings are outside the
circle of human beings. It is the animal realm. The Buddha pointed out that
this group is just living according to the animal kind of kamma. Those who
understand right and wrong, good and evil, are humans. The Buddha taught his
Dhamma for humans. If we people don’t have morality and knowledge of these
things, then we are not much different from animals, so it is appropriate
that we study and learn about them and make ourselves able. This is taking
advantage of the precious accomplishment of human existence and bringing it
The profound dhamma is the teaching that morality is necessary. Then when
there is morality, one should pursue dhamma. Morality means the precepts as
to what is forbidden and what is permissible. Dhamma refers to nature and to
humans knowing about nature, how things exist according to nature. Nature is
something we do not compose. It exists as it is, according to its
conditions. A simple example is animals. A certain species, such as
peacocks, is born with its various patterns and colors. They were not
created like that by humans or modified by humans; they are just born that
way, according to nature. This is a little example of how it is in nature.
All things of nature are existing in the world - this is still talking about
understanding from a worldly viewpoint. The Buddha taught Dhamma for us to
know nature, to let go of it and let it exist according to its conditions.
This is talking about the external material world. As to namadhamma,
meaning the mind, it can not be left to follow its own conditions. It has to
be trained. In the end, we can say that mind is the teacher of body and
speech, so it needs to be well trained. Letting it go according to its
natural urges just makes one an animal. It has to be instructed and trained.
It should come to know nature, but should not merely be left to follow
We are born into this world, and all of us will naturally have the
afflictions of desire, anger and delusion. Desire makes us crave after
various things and causes the mind to be in a state of imbalance and
turmoil. Nature is like that. It will just not do to let the mind go after
these impulses of craving. It only leads to heat and distress. It is better
to train in dhamma, in truth.
When aversion occurs in us, we want to express anger towards people, and it
may get to the point of physically attacking or even killing people. But we
don’t just ‘let it go’ according to its nature. We know the nature of what
is occurring there. We see it for what it is, and teach the mind about it.
This is studying dhamma.
Delusion is the same. When it happens, we are confused about things. If we
just leave it as it is, then we remain in ignorance. So the Buddha told us
to know nature, to teach nature, to train and adjust nature, to know exactly
what nature is.
For example, people are born with physical form and mind. In the beginning
these things are born, in the middle they change, and in the end they are
extinguished. This is ordinary; this is their nature. We cannot do much to
alter these facts. We train our minds as we can, and when the time comes we
have to let go of it all. It is beyond the ability of humans to change this
or get beyond it. The dhamma that the Buddha taught is something to be
applied while we are here, for making actions, words and thoughts correct
and proper. It means he was teaching the minds of people so that they would
not be deluded in regard to nature, to conventional reality and supposition.
The Teacher instructed us to see the world. His dhamma was a teaching that
is above and beyond the world. We are in the world. We were born into this
world; he taught us to transcend the world, not being prisoner to worldy
ways and habits.
It is like a diamond that falls into a muddy pit. No matter how much dirt
and filth covers it, that does not destroy the radiance, the hues, and the
worth of it. Even though the mud is stuck to it, the diamond does not lose
anything, but is just as it originally was. There are two separate things.
So the Buddha taught to be above the world, which means knowing the world
clearly. By ‘the world’ he did not mean so much the earth and sky and
elements, but rather to the mind, the wheel of samsara within the hearts of
people. He meant this wheel, this world. This is the world that the Buddha
knew clearly; when we talk about knowing the world clearly, we are talking
about these things. If it were otherwise, then the Buddha would have had to
be flying everywhere to ‘know the world clearly.’ It is not like that. It is
a single point. All dhammas come down to one single point. Like people,
which means men and women. If we observe one man and one woman, we know the
nature of all people in the universe. They are not that different.
Or learning about heat. If we just know this one point, the quality of being
hot, then it does not matter what the source or cause of the heat is, the
condition of ‘hot’ is such. Knowing this one point, then wherever there may
be hotness in the universe, it is like this. So the Buddha knew a single
point, and his knowledge encompassed the world. Knowing coldness to be a
certain way, when he encountered coldness anywhere in the world, he already
knew it. He taught a single point, for beings living in the world to know
the world, to know the nature of the world…. Just like knowing people….
Knowing men and women, knowing the manner of existence of beings in the
world. His knowledge was such. Knowing one point, he knew all things.
The dhamma which the Teacher expounded was for going beyond suffering. What
is this ‘going beyond suffering’ all about? What should we do to ‘escape
from suffering’? It is necessary for us to do some study; we need to come
and study the thinking and feeling in our hearts. Just that. It is something
we are presently unable to change. If we can change it, we can be free of
all suffering and unsatisfactoriness in life, just by changing this one
point, our habitual world view, our way of thinking and feeling. If we come
to have a new sense of things, a new understanding, then we transcend the
old perceptions and understanding.
The authentic dhamma of the Buddha is not something pointing far away. It
teaches self. It teaches about atta, self, and that things are not
really self. That is all. All the teachings that the Buddha gave were
pointing out that ‘this is not a self, this does not belong to a self, there
is no such thing as ourselves or others.’ Here, when we contact this, we
can’t really read it, we don’t ‘translate’ the Dhamma correctly. We still
think ‘this is me, this is mine.’ We attach to things and invest them with
meaning. When we do this, we can’t yet disentangle from them; the
involvement deepens and the mess gets worse and worse. If we
know that there is no self, that body and mind are really anatta, as the
Buddha taught, then when we keep on investigating, eventually we will come
to realization of the actual condition of selflessness. We will genuinely
realize that there is no self or other. Pleasure is merely pleasure. Feeling
is merely feeling. Memory is merely memory. Thinking is merely thinking.
They are all things which are ‘merely’ that. Happiness is merely happiness;
suffering is merely suffering. Good is merely good, evil is merely evil.
Everything exists ‘merely’ thus. There is no real happiness or real
suffering. There are just the merely existing conditions. Merely happy,
merely suffering, merely hot, merely cold, merely a being or a person. You
should keep looking to see that things are only so much. Only earth, only
water, only fire, only air. We should keep on ‘reading’ these things and
investigating this point. Eventually our perception will change; we will
have a different feeling about things. The tight conviction that there is
self and things belonging to self will gradually come undone. When this
sense of things is removed, then the opposite perception will keep
When the realization of anatta comes to full measure, then we will be able
to relate to the things of this world, to our most cherished possessions and
involvements, to friends and relations, to wealth, accomplishments and
status, just the same as we do to our clothes. When shirts and pants are
new, we wear them; they get dirty and we wash them; after some time they are
worn out and we discard them. There is nothing out of the ordinary there; we
are constantly getting rid of the old things and starting to use new
So we will have the exact same feeling about our existence in this world. We
will not cry or moan over things. We will not be tormented or burdened by
them. They remain the same things as they were before, but our feeling and
understanding of them has changed. Now our knowledge will be exalted and we
will see truth. We will have attained supreme vision and authentic knowledge
of that Dhamma which we ought to know. The Buddha taught the Dhamma that we
ought to know and to see. Where is the dhamma that we ought to know and see?
It is right here within us, this body and mind. We have it already; we
should come to know and see it.
For example, all of us have been born into this human realm. Whatever we
gained by that we are going to lose. We have seen people born and seen them
die. We just see this happening, but don’t really see clearly. When there is
a birth, we rejoice over it; when someone dies, we cry for them. There is no
end. It goes on in this way, and there is no end to our foolishness. Seeing
birth, we are foolhardy; seeing death, we are foolhardy. There is only this
unending foolishness. Let’s take a look at all this. These things are
natural occurrences. Contemplate the dhamma here, the dhamma we should know
and see. This dhamma is existing right now. Make up your minds about this.
Exert restraint and self-control. Now we are amidst the things of this life.
We shouldn’t have fears of death. We should fear the lower realms. Don’t
fear dying; rather, be afraid of falling into hell. You should be afraid of
doing wrong while you still have life. These are old things we are dealing
with, not new things. Some people are alive but don’t know themselves at
all. They think, what’s the big deal about what I do now, I can’t know what
is going to happen when I die. They don’t think about the new seeds they are
creating for the future. They only see the old fruit. They fixate on present
experience, not realizing that if there is fruit, it must have come from a
seed, and that within the fruit we have now are the seeds of future fruit.
These seeds are just waiting to be planted. Actions born of ignorance
continue the chain in this way, but when you are eating the fruit, you don’t
think about all the implications.
Wherever the mind has a lot of attachment, just there will we experience
intense suffering, intense grief, intense difficulty. The place we
experience the most problems is the place we have the most attraction,
longing and concern. Please try to resolve this. Now, while you still have
life and breath, keep on looking at it and reading it, until you are able to
‘translate’ it and solve the problem.
Whatever we are experiencing as part of our lives now, one day we will be
parted from it. So don’t just pass the time. Practice spiritual cultivation.
Take this parting, this separation and loss, as your object of contemplation
right now, in the present, until you are clever and skilled in it, until you
can see that it is ordinary and natural. When there is anxiety and regret
over it, have the wisdom to recognize the limits of this anxiety and regret,
knowing what they are according to the truth. If you can consider things in
this way, then wisdom will arise. But people generally do not want to
investigate. Whenever suffering occurs, wisdom can arise there, if we
Wherever pleasant or unpleasant experience happens, wisdom can arise there.
If we know happiness and suffering for what they really are, then we know
the Dhamma. If we know the Dhamma, we know the world clearly; if we know the
world clearly, we know the Dhamma.
Actually, for most of us, if something is displeasing, we don’t really want
to know about it. We get caught up in the aversion to it. If we dislike
someone, we don’t want to look at their face or get anywhere near them.
This is the mark of a foolish, unskillful person; this is not the way of a
good person. If we like someone, then of course we want to be close to them,
we make every effort to be with them, taking delight in their company. This
is foolishness, also. They are actually the same, like the palm and back of
the hand. When we turn the hand up and see the palm, the back of the hand is
hidden from sight. When we turn it over, then the palm is not seen. Pleasure
hides pain, and pain hides pleasure from our sight. Wrong covers up right,
right covers wrong. Just looking at one side, our knowledge is not complete.
Let’s do things completely, while we still have life. Keep on looking at
things, separating truth from falsehood, noting how things really are,
getting to the end of it, reaching peace. When the time comes, we will be
able to cut through and let go completely. Now we have to firmly attempt to
separate things, keep trying to cut through.
The Buddha taught about hair, nails, skin and teeth. He taught us to
separate here. A person who does not know about separating only knows about
holding them to himself. Now while we have not yet parted from these things,
we should be skillful in meditating on them. We have not yet left this
world, so we should be careful. We should contemplate a lot, make copious
charitable offerings, recite the scriptures a lot, cultivate a lot:
cultivate impermanence, cultivate unsatisfactoriness, cultivate
selflessness. Even if the mind does not want to listen, we should keep on
breaking things up like this and come to know in the present. This can most
definitely be done, people. One can realize knowledge that transcends the
world. We are stuck in the world. This is a way to ‘destroy’ the world,
through contemplating and seeing beyond the world so that we can transcend
the world in our being. Even while we are living in this world, our view can
be above the world.
In a worldly existence, one creates both good and evil. Now we try to
practice virtue and give up evil. When good results come, then you should
not be ‘under’ that good, but be able to transcend it. If you do not
transcend it, then you become a slave to virtue and to your concepts of what
is good. It puts you in difficulty, and there will not be an end to your
tears. It does not matter how much good you have practiced, if you are
attached to it, then you are still not free, and there will be no end to
tears. But one who transcends good as well as evil has no more tears to
shed. They have dried up. There can be an end. We should learn to use
virtue, not to be used by virtue.
To put the teaching of the Buddha in a nutshell, the point is to transform
one’s view. It is possible to change it. It only requires looking at things,
and then it happens. Having been born, we will experience aging, illness,
death and separation. These things are right here. We don’t need to look up
at the sky or down at the earth. The dhamma that we need to see and to know
can be seen right here within us, every moment of every day. When there is a
birth, we are filled with joy. When there is a death, we grieve. That’s how
we spend our lives. These are the things we need to know about, but we still
have not really looked into them and seen the truth. We are stuck deep in
this ignorance. We ask, when will we get the chance to see the Dhamma; but
it is right here to be seen in the present..
This is the Dhamma we should learn about and see. This is what the Buddha
taught about. He did not teach about gods and demons and nagas, protective
deities, jealous demigods, nature spirits and the like. He taught the things
that one should know and see. These are truths that we really should be able
to realize. External phenomena are like this, exhibiting the three
characteristics. Internal phenomena, i.e., this body, are like this, too.
The truth can be seen in the hair, nails, skin and teeth. Previously they
flourished. Now they are diminished. The hair thins and becomes gray. It is
like this. Do you see? Or will you say it is something you can’t see? You
certainly should be able to see with a little investigation.
If we really take an interest in all of this and contemplate seriously, we
can gain genuine knowledge. If this were something that could not be done,
the Buddha would not have bothered to talk about it. How many tens and
hundreds of thousands of his followers have come to realization? If one is
really keen on looking at things, one can come to know. The Dhamma is like
We are living in this world. The Buddha wanted us to know the world. Living
in the world, we gain our knowledge from the world. The Buddha is said to be
Lokavidu, one who knows the world clearly. It means living in the
world but not being stuck in the ways of the world; living among attraction
and aversion, but not stuck in attraction and aversion. This can be spoken
about and explained in ordinary language. This is how the Buddha taught.
Normally we speak in terms of atta, self, talking about me and mine,
you and yours, but the mind can remain uninterruptedly in the realization of
anatta, selflessness. Think about it. When we talk to children, we
speak in one way; when dealing with adults, we speak in another way. If we
use words appropriate to children to speak with adults, or use adults’ words
to speak with children, it won’t work out. In the proper use of conventions,
we have to know when we are talking to children. It can be appropriate to
talk about me and mine, you and yours, and so forth, but inwardly the mind
is Dhamma, dwelling in realization of anatta. You should have this kind of
So the Buddha said that you should take the Dhamma as your foundation, your
basis. Living and practicing in the world, will you take yourself, your
ideas, desires and opinions, as a basis? That is not right. The Dhamma
should be your standard. If you take yourself as the standard, you become
self-absorbed. If you take someone else as your standard, you are merely
infatuated with that person. Being enthralled with ourselves or with another
person is not the way of Dhamma. The Dhamma does not incline to any person
or follow personalities. It follows the truth. It does not simply accord
with the likes and dislikes of people; such habitual reactions have nothing
to do with the truth of things.
If we really consider all of this and investigate thoroughly to know the
truth, then we will enter the correct path. Our way of living will become
correct. Thinking will be correct. Our actions and speech will be correct.
So we really should look into all of this. Why is it that we have suffering?
Because of lack of knowledge, not knowing where things begin and end, not
understanding the causes; this is ignorance. When there is this ignorance,
then various desires arise, and, driven by them, we create the causes of
suffering. Then the result must be suffering. When you gather firewood and
light a match to it, and then you expect not to have any heat, what are your
chances? You are creating a fire, aren’t you? This is origination itself.
If you understand these things, then morality will be born here. Dhamma will
be born here. So prepare yourselves. The Buddha advised us to prepare
ourselves. You needn’t have too many concerns or anxieties about things.
Just look here. Look at the place without desires, the place without danger.
Nibbana paccayo hotu - the Buddha taught, let it be a cause for
Nibbana. If it will be a cause for realization of Nibbana, then it means
looking at the place where things are empty, where things are done with,
where they reach their end, where they are exhausted. Look at the place
where there are no more causes, where there is no more self or other, me or
mine. This looking becomes a cause or condition, a condition for attaining
Nibbana. Then practicing generosity becomes a cause for realizing Nibbana.
Practicing morality becomes a cause for realizing Nibbana. Listening to the
teachings becomes a cause for realizing Nibbana. Thus we can dedicate all
our Dhamma activities to become causes for Nibbana. But we are not looking
towards Nibbana. We are looking at self and other and attachment and
grasping without end. This does not become a cause for Nibbana.
When we deal with others and they talk about self, about me and mine, about
what is ours, then we immediately agree with this viewpoint. We immediately
think, “Yeah, that’s right!” But it’s not right. Even if the mind is saying,
right, right, we have to exert control over it. It’s the same as a child who
is afraid of ghosts. Maybe the parents are afraid, too. But it won’t do for
the parents to talk about it; if they do, then the child will feel he has no
protection or security. “No, of course Daddy is not afraid. Don’t worry,
Daddy is here. There are no ghosts. There’s nothing to worry about.” Well,
the father might really be afraid, too. If he starts talking about it, then
they will all get so worked up about ghosts that they’ll jump up and run
away, father, mother and child, and end up homeless.
This is not being clever. You have to look at things clearly and learn how
to deal with them. Even when you feel that deluded appearances are real, you
have to tell yourself that they are not. Go against it like this. Teach
yourself inwardly. When the mind is experiencing the world in terms of self,
saying, ‘it’s true’, you have to be able to tell it, ‘it’s not true’. You
should be floating above the water, not be submerged by the floodwaters of
worldy habit…. The water is flooding our hearts… if we run after things, do
we ever look at what is going on? Will there be anyone ‘watching the house’?
Nibbana paccayam hotu - one need not aim at anything or wish for
anything at all. Just aim for Nibbana. All manner of becoming and birth,
merit and virtue in the worldly way do not reach there.
Making merits and skillful kamma, hoping it will cause us to attain to some
better state, we don’t need to be wishing for a lot of things; just aim
directly for Nibbana. Wanting sila, wanting tranquility - we just end up in
the same old place- it’s not necessary to desire these things - we should
just wish for the place of cessation.
It is like this. Throughout all our becoming and birth, all of us are so
terribly anxious about so many things. When there is separation, when there
is death, we cry and lament. To me, oyyy, I can only think, how utterly
foolish this is. What are we crying about? Where do you think people are
going anyhow? If they are still bound up in becoming and birth, they are not
really going away. When children grow up and move to the big city of
Bangkok, they still think of their parents. They won’t be missing someone
else’s parents, just their own. When they return, they will go to their
parents’ home, not someone else’s. And when they go away again, they will
still think about their home here in Ubon. Will they be homesick for some
other place? What do you think? So when the breath ends and we die, no
matter through how many lifetimes, if the causes for becoming and birth
still exist, the consciousness is likely to try and take birth in a place it
is familiar with. I think we are just too fearful about all of this. So
please don’t go crying about it too much. Think about this. Satte kammam
vipassati - kamma drives beings into their various births - they don’t go
very far. Cycling back and forth through the round of births, that is all,
just changing appearances, appearing with a different face next time, but we
don’t know it. Just coming and going, going and returning in the round of
samsara, not really going anywhere. Just staying there. Like a mango that is
shaken off the tree/ like the snare that does not get the wasps’ nest and
falls to the ground: it is not going anywhere. It is just staying
there. So the Buddha said, Nibbana paccayam hotu; let your only aim be
Nibbana. Strive hard to accomplish this; don’t end up like the mango falling
to the ground and going nowhere.
Transform your sense of things like this. If you can change it, you will
know great peace. Change, please; come to see and know. These are things one
should indeed see and know. If you do see and know, then where else do you
need to go? Morality will come to be. Dhamma will come to be. It is nothing
far away; please investigate this.
When you transform your view, then you will realize that it is like watching
leaves fall from the trees. When they get old and dry, they fall from the
tree. And when the season comes, they begin to appear again. Would anyone
cry when leaves fall or laugh when they grow? If you did, you would be
insane, wouldn’t you? It is just this much. If we can see things in this
way, we will be OK. We will know that is just the natural order of things.
It doesn’t matter how many births we undergo, it will always be like this.
When one studies dhamma, gains clear knowledge, and undergoes a change of
world-view like this, one will realize peace and be free of bewilderment
about the phenomena of this life.
But the important point, really, is that we have life now, in the present.
We are experiencing the results of past deeds right now. When beings are
born into the world, that is the results of past actions appearing. Whatever
happiness or suffering beings have in the present are the fruits of what
they have done previously. It is born of the past and experienced in the
present. Then this present experience becomes the basis for the future, as
we create further causes under its influence, and the future experience
becomes the result. The movement from one birth to the next also happens in
this way. You should understand this.
Listening to the dhamma should resolve your doubts. It should clarify your
view of things and alter your way of living. When doubts are resolved,
suffering can end. You stop creating desires and mental afflictions. Then,
whatever you experience, if something is displeasing to you, you will not
suffer over it, because you understand its changeability. If something is
pleasing to you, you will not get carried away and become intoxicated by it,
because you know the way to let go of things appropriately. You maintain a
balanced perspective, because you understand impermanence and know how to
resolve things according to Dhamma. You know that good and bad conditions
are always changing. Knowing internal phenomena, you understand external
phenomena. Not attached to the external, you are not attached to the
internal. Observing things within yourself or outside of yourself, it is all
completely the same.
In this way, we can dwell in a natural state, which is peace and
tranquility. If we are criticized, we remain undisturbed. If we are praised,
we are undisturbed. Let things be in this way, not being influenced by
others. This is freedom. Knowing the two extremes for what they are, one can
experience well-being. One does not stop at either side. This is genuine
happiness and peace, transcending all things of the world. One transcends
all good and evil. Above cause and effect, beyond birth and death. Born into
this world, one can transcend the world. Beyond the world, knowing the world
- this is the aim of the Buddha’s teaching. He did not aim for people to
suffer. He desired people to attain to peace, to know the truth of things
and realize wisdom. This is dhamma, knowing the nature of things. Whatever
exists in the world is nature. There is no need to be in confusion about it.
Wherever you are, the same laws apply.
The most important point is that while we have life, we should train the
mind to be even in regard to things. We should be able to share wealth and
possessions. When the time comes, we should give a portion to those in need,
just as if we were giving things to our own children. Sharing things like
this, we will feel happy; and if we can give away all our wealth, then
whenever our breath may stop, there will be no attachment or anxiety because
everything is gone. The Buddha taught to ‘die before you die’, to be
finished with things before they are finished. Then you can be at ease. Let
things break before they are broken, let them finish before they are
finished. This is the Buddha’s intention in teaching the Dhamma. Even if you
listen to teachings for a hundred or a thousand eons, if you do not
understand these points, you won’t be able to undo your suffering and you
will not find peace. You will not see the Dhamma. But understanding these
things according to the Buddha’s intention and being able to resolve things
is called seeing the Dhamma. This view of things can make an end of
suffering. It can relieve all heat and distress. Whoever strives sincerely
and is diligent in practice, who can endure, who trains and develops
themselves to the full measure, those persons will attain to peace and
cessation. Wherever they stay, they will have no suffering. Whether they are
young or old, they will be free of suffering. Whatever their situation,
whatever work they have to perform, they will have no suffering, because
their minds have reached the place where suffering is exhausted, where there
is peace. It is like this. It is a matter of nature.
The Buddha thus said to change one’s perceptions, and there will be the
Dhamma. When the mind is in harmony with Dhamma, then Dhamma enters the
heart. The mind and the Dhamma become the indistinguishable. This is
something to be realized by those who practice, the changing of one’s view
and experience of things. The entire Dhamma is paccatam. It can not
be given by anyone; that is an impossibility. If we hold it to be difficult,
then it will be something difficult. If we take it to be easy, then it is
easy. Whoever contemplates it and sees the one point does not have to know a
lot of things. Seeing the one point, seeing birth and death, the arising and
passing away of phenomena according to nature, one will know all things.
This is a matter of the truth.
This is the way of the Buddha. The Buddha gave his teachings out of the wish
to benefit all beings. He wished for us to go beyond suffering and to attain
peace. It is not that we have to die first in order to transcend suffering…
We shouldn’t think that we will attain this after death… we can go beyond
suffering here and now, in the present. We transcend within our perception
of things, in this very life, through the view that arises in our minds.
Then, sitting, we are happy; lying down, we are happy; wherever we are, we
are have happiness. We become without fault, experiencing no ill results,
living in a state of freedom. The mind is clear, bright, and tranquil.
There is no more darkness or defilement. That is someone
who has reached the supreme happiness of the Buddha’s way. Please
investigate this for yourselves. All of you lay followers, please
contemplate this to gain understanding and ability. If you have suffering,
then practice to alleviate your suffering. If it is great, make it little,
and if it is little, make an end of it. Everyone has to do this for
themselves, so please make an effort to consider these words. May you
prosper and develop.
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