The Anecdotes of Sayagyi U Ba Khin // Real Accounts of the Teachers // Saya U Tint Yee, IM

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*The Anecdotes of Sayagyi U Ba Khin* // Real Accounts of the Teachers // Saya U Tint Yee, IMC Rangoon Saya U Ba Pho, IMC Rangoon Saya U Chit Tin, IMC-UK Saya John Coleman, IMC-UK Compiled by Saya U Chit Tin, WKH First Print 1982 Printed in Switzerland Dhammadana Series 1 Copyright and Published by THE SAYAGYI U BA KHIN MEMORIAL TRUST, UK Heddington, Calne, Great Britain, 1982 Dhammadana Series 1 This gift of Dhamma is made possible by the Sayagyi U Ba Khin Memorial Trust Publication Account Fund Dedicated by the Compiler to Mother Sayama (Sayama Daw Mya Thwin) --------------------------- *CONTENTS* THE ANECDOTES OF SAYAGYI U BA KHIN Page Nr. (Line Nr.) Forward...................................................... 7 ...................................................... 97 Introduction................................................. 9 ................................................. 150 1 Nibbana Dhatu Actually Exists............................ 11 ............................ 192 2 Nibbana Dhatu is Power................................... 15 ................................... 287 3 Would Sayagyi U Ba Khin Ever Have Lured away the Followers of Other Teachers?........................................ 19 ........................................ 410 4 Can one Practise Metta-Bhavana Without Being a Vegetarian? 25 .. 576 5 How the IMC Rangoon was Founded and Developed............. 29 ............. 722 6 What I Know About Sayagyi U Ba Khin....................... 39 ....................... 1035 7 What Have you Gained by your Meditation?.................. 47 .................. 1286 8 Who are the Benefactors of These Great Accomplishments?... 53 ... 1490 Appendix 1 A Special Message From Mother Sayama and Saya U Chit Tin... 57 ... 1629 2 How to Practise the Development of the Sublime States (Brahma-Vihara Bhavana).................................... 59 .................................... 1689 3 The Life of the Buddha..................................... 67 ..................................... 1944 Notes.......................................................... 71 .......................................................... 2043 -------------------------------- "On this earth there is a variety of tastes. The sweetest of these is the taste of truth (sacca)." S A C C A S I L A K H A N T I M E T T A --------------------------------- _FORWARD_ When the Sayagyi U Ba Khin Memorial Trust (UK) was established in March 1980 as a charitable institution, the object of the Trust was declared to be "to advance the Theravada Buddhist religion through promoting in accordance with the principles established by the late Sayagyi U Ba Khin." This of course means studying and practising morality, concentration and insight (//Sila, Samadhi, Panna//) just as they were originally taught by the Buddha. It is stated that the Trust's purpose includes the public dissemination of the teachings of the Buddha. And among the ways mentioned for doing this are: establishing centres, engaging teachers and publishing books and pamphlets. The International Meditation centre in Heddington is over two years old now. Many courses have been held there enabling people from all over the world and from all walks of life to put into practice the Buddha's teaching (//Buddha Dhamma//). Now, we are happy to be able to publish our first pamphlet. It is appropriate that this first publication is concerned with Sayagyi U Ba Khin. It is he that taught foreign laymen like myself and enabled us to appreciate first-hand how pertinent the teachings of the Buddha are to the West -- indeed to all the world -- and how important and alive they are today in the twentieth century. Sayagyi was able to choose among the many ways to meditate taught by the Buddha the techniques most appropriate for those who worked under him -- techniques particulary appropriate for lay disciples. It is very important for us in Western countries to be able to taste the flavour of the Dhamma -- the Truth. It is encouraging to see that the Community of Bhikkhus (the //Sangha//, those who have renounced lay life) is growing in the West. And if this growth is to continue, it is important that there be more and more support in the lay community. Without deep commitment in the surrounding community, the Community of Bhikkhus, so vital to the continuation of the Buddha's teachings, would not be able to survive. And what better way to encourage faith in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha than through Buddhist meditation? Sayagyi's transmission of the Buddha's teachings comes through loud and clear in these anecdotes. And the example of his life is an inspiration to us all. We thought it appropriate to begin with an appreciation of the man Sayagyi. In the future, we plan to republish texts written by him as well as other texts that will be useful as an introduction to Buddhism for those who do not know it already, and useful as an inspiration to those who already practise the Buddha's teachings. Saya John E. Coleman, President Sayagyi U Ba Khin Memorial Trust, UK Heddington, 1982 _INTRODUCTION_ Sayagyi U Ba Khin had a purpose in mind when he named his centre in Rangoon, Burma "The International Meditation Centre". He knew that the revival of the practice of the Buddha Dhamma would be international and not limited to Burma or Asia. While we may regret that he himself was not able to teach outside Burma, we should not loose sight of the fact that his profound grasp of the teachings of the Buddha is responsible for all the courses held in his tradition. Through the teachings, he is still very much alive. Sayagyi always put great emphasis on practising the teachings rather than only talk about them or argue about them. So, these words of his are not meant for philosophical speculating, but rather they should inspire us to put the teachings into practice. I think I can do no better than quote him concerning this: "I am not a writing person... neither do I talk much unless it becomes absolutely necessary. This is mainly because I do not want to discuss matters where 'one with eyes to see' and the other 'with no eyes to see' will never come to an agreement. Moreover the words of Buddha in certain teachings are so deep and subtle that I doubt whether there are proper expressions in English or even in Burmese to convey his real meaning. The only way to make a person to understand Buddha and his Teachings is to make him study Buddhism not only in theory but also in practice -- and in practice it should be the work of his life-time (not for ten days or so!). When I say in practice I also mean practice with a Teacher who can help him to develop in the right way to the highest possible level of attainment." May all those who read this pamphlet practice the Buddha Dhamma and attain true happiness! Saya U Chit Tin Heddington, 1982 *NIBBANA DHATU ACTUALLY EXISTS* *ANECDOTE 1* On one occasion the disciples of Sayagyi U Ba Khin were assembled at the International Meditation Centre in Rangoon, seated in front of Sayagyi who sat on the raised teacher's seat in the Dhamma-hall. He asked us, "Why is it that the Great Shwedagon Pagoda is richly gilded with thick layers of gold, nay, the upper reaches of the Great Shrine from under the umbrella (//hti//) are being covered with solid gold plates screwed to the plaster base?" We all kept silent, for we knew that Sayagyi would like to give us a religious talk in this connection. Then he continued, "It would be wrong if one replied, 'Because the Pagoda is the biggest and one of the great wonders of the world.' It would also be wrong if one said, 'It is so magnificent and a marvelous feat of engineering.' It would be wrong again if one asserted, 'It was built over 2500 years ago and wonderfully survived through the ages, and has been under the care of well organised bodies including the famous kings and queens of the land of Pagodas.' Rather, according to the Shwedagon Legend it enshrines the Relics of the four Buddhas that have arisen in this World Cycle (//Baddakappa//). These are: the eight Hair Relics of the Buddha Gotama, the Staff, the Filter, and the Lower Bathing Robe of the three previous Buddhas. And because of these Relics, Nibbana Dhatu is there. For those who can develop good anicca, Nibbana Dhatu also develops in them and such persons will feel the presence of such elements; this Nibbana Dhatu is precious. Where precious elements exist, the precious things of the mundane sphere -- such as gold, precious stones and jewels -- will throng and assemble naturally. So when the Buddha was living, the two Chief Disciples (//Agga- Savakas//), the eighty Leading Disciples (//Maha-Savakas//) -- all Arahants -- went with Him and lived with Him. And the Noble Lay Disciples, both male and female were attracted to where they were staying and gave reverential salutation and various offerings. The Noble Lay Disciples knew that such an assembly is without idle words; this assembly has no idle words; it is established on the pure path. Such an assembly is worthy of offerings, worthy of receiving hospitality, worthy of gifts, worthy of being honoured with raised hands, is an unsurpassed field for gaining merit. Presenting small gifts to such an assembly is advantageous; presenting greater gifts to such an assembly is more advantageous. It is indeed very difficult for people to pay homage adequately to such an assembly." "We have read in the Jataka Tales", Sayagyi went on, "that the Monasteries of the Buddhas were gilded with gold and studded with precious stones and gems, and even the grounds of the compound of the Monasteries were spread and covered with precious jewels. In Jotika's story [1], he was reborn in a past life in the dispensation of Buddha Vipassi as Aparajita and his older brother Sena bestowed his wealth on Aparajita, and attained Arahatship. At Sena's suggestion Aparajita built a Perfumed Chamber (//Gandha-kuti//) for the Buddha. The wood and bricks of the Chamber were studded with seven kinds of jewels, and seven kinds of jewels were heaped up knee-deep both within and without the Chamber. Aparajita entertained the Buddha, and permitted the people to carry away with them as many jewels as they could hold in their hands. Such was the way Lay Disciples presented gifts to the Buddhas in order to gain merits. The Buddha Gotama said, 'Nibbana Dhatu actually exists and Nibbana does exist, there is also a way to it and I am here pointing out the way. Nevertheless, some have striven for Nibbana while others have not. For those who do not strive for it, I can do nothing further. I cannot personally give Nibbana to anyone, I can only point out the way. The Path must be trodden by each individual; Buddhas do but point out the way'[2]. To acquire Nibbana Dhatu and to attain Nibbana [3], diligently practice the Noble Eightfold Path and you will not have to bother about anything else. Just like the Teacher with His assembly of Arahants (//Savakas//), you will not have to worry about anything aside from your daily practice. You will have to resolve to perform this practice regularly and you should strive more energetically, so that you reach the higher attainments which you have not yet attained, and realise the Holiness which you have not yet realised." Sayagyi's Dhamma Talks were beneficial for his students, and are ever applicable to any new student as well coming into this Tradition. May all Beings be Happy. May they win the Deathless. TRUTH WILL PREVAIL *NIBBANA DHATU IS POWER* *ANECDOTE 2* It was on the occasion of the visit of one Prime Minister of Israel to Burma that Sayagyi U Ba Khin prepared a Dhamma Talk entitled "//The Real Values of True Buddhist Meditation//" [4]. Sayagyi did not need to prepare in advance such talks as this one and the talks entitled: "//What Buddhism is//" that he gave in 1951 [5]. It was in the first week of December 1961, when an Israeli journalist of Tel Aviv, who preceeded the Prime Minister and his entourage, visited the International Meditation Centre, Rangoon, and Sayagyi gathered from the discussions with him that they had a materialistic outlook and were much more interested in the present values of the Buddhist Meditation than in what one would gain in after-life. He gave dictation to his steno-typist for his talk, and we, all of us, had to help make fair copies in time for the occasion. Later, we printed them in booklets. It is interesting to note that Sayagyi could work wonders on such occasions and in the shortest possible time he could produce excellent Dhamma lectures. The Israeli journalist became so interested in discussing with Sayagyi that he decided to take a 10 day meditation course immediately. Sayagyi did not hesitate or waste time. He taught Anapana the very day the Journalist arrived at the Centre. On the third day unfortunately a telegraphic message cam from Israel reporting the news of his father's death, so he decided to leave the next day. That afternoon Sayagyi taught him Vipassana in order that he could appreciate what *Anicca* is on the experiential level. Sayagyi gave the following instructions to him before he left for his country: "With the awareness of the Truth of Anicca and/or Dukkha and/or Anatta, he (the meditator) develops in him what we may call the sparkling illumination of *NIBBANA DHATU* a power that dispels all impurities or poisons, the products of bad actions, which are the sources of his physical and mental ills. In the same way as fuel is burnt away by ignition, the negative forces (impurities of poisons) within are eliminated by the *NIBBANA DHATU*, which he generates with the true awareness of Anicca in the course of meditation. This process of elimination should go on until such time as both the Mind and Body are completely cleansed of such impurities or poisons. Among those who came here to take courses of meditation, were some, who were suffering from complaints such as Hypertension, T.B., Migraine, Thrombosis and many other diseases. They became relieved of these even in the initial course of ten days. Since anything which is the root cause of one's own physical and mental ills is //Samudaya// (the origin of suffering) and this //Samudaya// can be removed by the *NIBBANA DHATU*, which one generates in true Buddhist Meditation, we make no distinction between this or that disease. One aspect of meditation is //Samudaya Pahatabba//, which literally means //for the removal (abandonment) of the causes of suffering//. A note of caution is necessary here. When one develops *NIBBANA DHATU* the impact of this *NIBBANA DHATU* upon the impurities and poisons within his own system will create a sort of upheaval, which must be endured. This upheaval tends to increase the sensitivity of the radiation, friction, and vibration of the atomic units within. This will grow in intensity, so much so that one might feel as though his body were just electricity and a mass of suffering. In the case of those who have diseases such as the those mentioned above, the impact will be all the more stronger, and, at times, almost explosive. Nevertheless, enduring it, he becomes alive to the fact that a change is taking place within himself for the better, and that the impurities are gradually diminishing, and that he is slowly but surely getting rid of the disease. Mankind, today, is facing the danger of radioactive poisons. If such poisons absorbed by a man exceeds the maximum permissible concentration (m.p.c.) he enters the danger zone. I have a firm belief that the *NIBBANA DHATU*, which a person in true Buddhist Meditation develops, is _power_, which will be strong enough to eradicate the radioactive poisons, if any, in him." The Israeli Prime Minister and his entourage came in the second week of December 1961 to Burma, and while the former went with the Burmese Prime Minister, the Press Representatives of the //Maariv// newspaper Tel Aviv came to the IMC Rangoon, where they were entertained by Sayagyi to tea. Sayagyi gave this dhamma talk to them entitled "//The Real Values of True Buddhist Meditation//". I recall that the Israelis appreciated the talk very much as Sayagyi had drawn from the wealth of his own personal experiences the necessary materials which, being supported by facts and figures, appealed to the western minds. Sayagyi U Ba Khin was then the Director of Commercial Audit and the Principal, Government Institute for Training in Accounts and Audit. Previously, between June 1956 to August 1959 he held three or four separate sanctioned posts all at the same time. These posts were of the status of Head of a Department including the Chairmanship of the State Agricultural Marketing Board and the O.S.D., Ministry of Trade Development. Sayagyi, in explaining how he could discharge his multifarous duties, stated thus: "My own case may be cited as an example. If I have to say something here about myself, it is with no other motive whatsoever but to illustrate just what practical benefits can accrue to a person practising Buddhist Meditation. The events are factual and, of course, one cannot deny the facts." TRUTH WILL PREVAIL ---------------------------- SAYINGS OF THE BUDDHA - The Path must be trodden by each individual; Buddhas do but point the way. - That which is most needed is a loving heart. - Health is the highest gain; Nibbana the highest bliss. --------------------------------- *Would Sayagyi U Ba Khin Ever Have Lured Away The Followers of Other Teachers* ANECDOTE 3 On one occasion Sayagyi U Ba Khin was in a //happy mood// when he came back from his office to the Meditation Centre, as was his practice, each day. He went to work in the morning at 9 o'clock and came back after 4 p.m. It was in the early 1950s, he was then Accountant General of Burma and was on the Board of Executive Committee Members of the Buddha Sasana Council. He held the Chairmanship of the Sub-Committee for //Patipatti Sasana// (Practical Buddhist Meditation). I was then serving as Chief Accountant of the council, on foreign service terms loaned from the Office of the Accountant General. I say he was in a //happy mood// because Sayagyi had in mind something which he wanted to tell us. "Hey, Chit Tin-gyi, your Council Members honoured me today. You know, at the annual general meeting I met some of my district members, who are my friends. One of them came to me confidentially and told me that I am becoming popular, and also that I am getting a good reputation. Some members referred to me as a //juggler// or //magician// who can charm the followers of other teachers." Sayagyi went on with his story merrily: "Do you know what I replied? I told my district friend that our Buddha Gotama even, at one time was being accused as a //juggler// or a //magician//. Then I laughed heartily drawing attention of other members, who gathered around me. I gave the discourse on //Bhaddiya Sutta// [6] thus: 'At one time the Buddha was staying at Vesali, then Bhaddiya the Licchavi came and asked: 'Lord, I have heard that the monk Gotama is a //juggler// or a //magician// and knows an enticing trick by which he charms the followers of other teachers. Sir, do they correctly represent the views of the Bhagava, and do they not accuse him wrongly, but explain things according to the Dhamma?' 2) 'Come you, Bhaddiya, don't accept views from hearsay, from tradition, from what has been told, because it is mentioned in the scriptures, by reason of logic, by inference, by consideration of reasoning (as being plausible), because it agrees with one's speculation, because of its possibility and because //our monk is venerable//. When you realise by yourself that these views are unwholesome, faulty, censured by the wise, and that they lead to harm and misery when carried out and observed; then you should abandon them.' 3) 'What do you think of it, when greed arises in a person, does it arise for his good or for his harm?' 'For his harm, Lord'. 'Bhaddiya, this greedy man being overcome by covetousness and with his mind being totally under the influence of covetousness takes life, commits theft, commits adultery, tells lies and urges others to do so and this leads him to harm and misery for a long time.' 'Yes, Lord.' 4) 'Bhaddiya, what do you think of this? When ill-will arises... When delusion arises... When violence arises in a person, does it arise for his good or for his harm?' 'For his harm, Lord.' 'Bhaddiya, this man who is violent and is overcome by the feeling of violence and with his mind being totally under the influence of violence, takes life, etc. ...and this leads him to harm and misery for a long time.' 'Quite so, Lord.' 5) 'Bhaddiya, what do you think of it? Are these views good or bad?' 'Bad, Lord.' 'Are they faulty or faultless?' 'Faulty, Lord.' 'Are they censured or praised by the wise?' 'Censured by the wise, Lord.' 'Do these views, when carried out and observed, lead to harm and misery or not?' 'These views, when carried out and observed, lead to misery and harm, Lord.' 6) 'This indeed, Bhaddiya, is what I have said.' 7) 'Come you, Bhaddiya. Don't accept views from hearsay, from tradition... and because //our monk is venerable//. When you, Bhaddiya, realise by yourself that these views are good, faultless, praised by the wise and when carried out and observed lead to good and happiness, then you should abide in them after acquiring them.' 8) 'What do you think of it, Bhaddiya, when generosity arises in a man, does it arise for his good or his harm?' 'For his good, Lord.' 9) 'What do you think of it, Bhaddiya, when good-will arises in a man, does it arise for his good or for his harm?' 'For his good, Lord.' 10) 'What do you think of it, Bhaddiya, when knowledge arises..., when non-violence arises in a man, does it arise for his good or for his harm?' 'For his good, Lord.' 11) 'What do you think of it, Bhaddiya? Are these views good or bad?' 'Good, Lord.' 'Are they faulty or faultless?' 'Faultless, Lord.' 'Are they praised or censured by the wise?' 'Praised by the wise, Lord.' 'When carried out and observed, do they lead to good and happiness?' 'They lead to good and happiness, Lord.' 12) 'This is indeed, Bhaddiya, as I told you thus: When you realise that these views are wholesome, faultless, praised by the wise and when carried out and observed lead to good and happiness, then you should abide in them after acquiring them.' 13) 'Bhaddiya, those people who in this world are good and noble, urge their disciples in this way: Come you good fellow, lead your life controlling greed: by so living you will not do any physical, vocal or mental deed, arising from greed; lead your life controlling hatred; by so living you will not do any physical, vocal or mental deed arising from hatred; lead your life controlling delusion: by so living you will not do any physical, vocal or mental deed arising from delusion; lead your life controlling the feeling of violence: by so living you will not do any physical, vocal or mental deed arising from the feeling of violence.' 14) 'This being said, Bhaddiya the Licchavi said to the Blessed One: It is wonderful, O Gotama, it is wonderful. Just as one should turn up that which is upside down or lay bare that which is concealed, or tell the way to the one who has lost his way or hold a lamp in the dark so that those who have eyes might see things; even so, the Dhamma has been revealed to me in many ways by the Venerable Gotama.' 'Bhaddiya, have I ever asked you thus: come you, Bhaddiya, be my disciple and I shall be your Teacher?' 'No indeed, Lord.' 'Bhaddiya, some recluses and Brahmins accuse who say and declare in this way with what is not true, what is empty, false, and contrary to fact when they say that the monk Gotama is a magician who knows an enticing trick by which he charms the followers of other teachers.' 'A good thing, Lord is this enticing trick, would that my beloved kinsmen and relations, the Khattiyas, the Brahmanas, the Vesas and the Suddas too were enticed by this enticing trick, it would also be for the advantage and happiness of all of them for a long time.' 'It would be so, Bhaddiya, if all of them were enticed for the abandonment of immoral qualities and for the acquirement of moral qualities, it would be for the good and gain for a long time. Bhaddiya, if these great sal-trees were enticed, it would be for their advantage and happiness for a long time, -- what to speak of a human being?'" When Sayagyi concluded his Dhamma talk, most of his friends came forward, ready to be enticed by Sayagyi. There was laughter with a pleasant atmosphere full of joy and happiness. TRUTH WILL PREVAIL --------------------------------- BE YE AN ISLAND UNTO YOURSELVES Therefore, Ananda, be ye an island unto yourselves, a refuge unto yourselves, seeking no external refuge; with the Teaching as your island, the Teaching your refuge, seeking no other refuge. --- Maha Parinibbana Sutta ---------------------------------- *Can One Practise Metta-Bhavana Without Being a Vegetarian* ANECDOTE 4 On one occasion Sayagyi U Ba Khin took me with him on an inspection tour of the Meditation Centres of Rangoon. It was in 1952 and Sayagyi as Chairman of the Sub-Committee for Patipatti (Practical Buddhist Meditation) of the Buddha Sasana Council, was showing a religious dignitary, who was a well known Pali Scholar, around the centres. The dignitary-scholar was from another Buddhist country and was paying a goodwill visit to Burma. The following incident took place on the day Sayagyi visited the Hanthawaddy Patipatti Centre near Sarpay Beikman (Burma Translation Society's Publishing and Printing House) and the Kyantaw Cemetery of Rangoon, on Prome Road. The Secretary Generals and the Executive Officers of the Council accompanied the distinguished visitor and they arrived at the appointed time at the meditation centre. Meditation courses were being held there at that time and though it was an informal visit, the meditators and those who were invited for the occasion gathered in the Dhamma Hall. It was a big gathering and the hall was packed. After exchanging greetings with the Presiding Monk and the Executives of the centre, the First Secretary General gave an introductory talk in Burmese. He introduced the goodwill visitor, explaning that he was an eminent scholar and that he would deliver a talk in English, telling them about his visit to Burma. The visitor was a famous orator and is well known for his work on a Pali Dictionary. He spoke on the subject of Buddhist Meditation and ended his talk with remarks about being vegetarian. "Can one practising Metta-Bhavana (all-embracing loving-kindness) without being a vegetarian?" he asked. He then tried to explain that it is difficult to train one's mind without first practising Metta-Bhavana and that once this is done it is possible to proceed to more difficult work, insight-meditation, that is, vipassana-bhavana. He said that he could not understand how there could be so many meditation centres in Burma that were thriving even though the meditators were not pure vegetarians. The audience was non English speaking, so the Secretary General translated the talk into Burmese. As the subject matter became more delicate, he chose his words very carefully, but tension seemed to be mounting in the audience. Finally, his talk ended, the speaker maybe sensed the unfavourable attitude of his Burmese audience. But the fact remained that his talk was a challenge to the Teachers of Buddhist Meditation in Burma. The Secretaries and the Executives of the Council looked uneasy, but the Secretary General immediately turned to Sayagyi U Ba Khin as the best person to reply. Sayagyi took the floor with the customary gentle manner of a Burmese gentleman. It was a little akward, talking to a Burmese-speaking audience in English, he had to reply in the same language used by the visitor. Sayagyi introduced hinself as one of Rangoon's Meditation Teachers, adding that he was still serving the government as Accountant General of Burma. He explained that he had started teaching even in his office and that students could achieve benefits in a ten-day course. Sayagyi continued his Dhamma talk gently suggesting that the visitor himself, try for 10 days at any centre. The audience warmed to Sayagyi and morally supported him with low words of approval. Then Sayagyi gave the story concerning Jivaka the Doctor. [7] "When Jivaka told the Buddha that he had heard that people accused Buddha eating meat killed on purpose for Him, Buddha replied: 'Jivaka, those who say: 'Animals are slaughtered on purpose for the recluse Gotama, and who knowingly eats the meat killed on purpose for him' do not say according to what I have declared, and they falsely accuse me. Jivaka, I have declared that one should not eat meat if it is see, heard or suspected to have been killed on purpose for a monk. I allow the monks meat that is quite pure in three respects: If it is not seen, heard or suspected to have been killed on purpose for a monk.' 'Jivaka, in this Sasana a monk resides in a certain village with a mind full of Loving-kindness pervading first one direction, then a second one, then a third one, then a fourth one, just so above, below and all around; and everywhere identifying himself with all, he pervades the whole world with mind full of Loving-kindness with mind wide, developed, unbounded, free from hate and ill-will.' 'A certain householder or his son approaches that monk and invites him to the morning meal in his house the next day. Jivaka, the monk willingly accepts the invitation. Having passed that night, early the next morning that monk puts on his inner robe, dresses himself and having taken a bowl goes to the householder or his son's house. Having reached the house of the householder, he sits down at a place specially meant for him. Then the householder or his son offers him a delicious meal. To that monk no such thought arises: 'How good it would be if this householder or his son were to offer me such a delicious meal', or 'How good it would be were this householder to offer me such a delicious meal in future'. That monk has no craving for that meal, does not brood over the matter, and has no attachement for it; on the contrary, he contemplates the miseries in connection with material food, and having possessed himself of Wisdom pertaining to the finding of a way to Freedom, he eats the meal.' 'Jivaka, what do you think about him in the matter? Has he caused ill-will towards himself or another or both?' 'No, venrable Sir.' 'Lord, I have heard that the Brahma lives with Loving-kindness. I have now seen with my own eyes that the Bhagava is that very Brahma, because he lives with Loving-kindness.'" "Now, I would like to quote from the //Amagandha Sutta//"[8] and he quoted the following passage: "Ascetic Tissa: 'O Brahmin! You say that the charge of uncleanness does not apply to you who eat rice tastily cooked with bird's flesh. O Kassapa! I enquire the meaning from you, please define Uncleanness.' Buddha Kassapa: 'Taking life, beating, cutting, binding, stealing, lying, fraud, deceiving, pretended knowledge, adultery; this is uncleanness and not the eating of flesh.' 'When men are unrestrained in sensual pleasure, are greedy in tastes, are associated with impure actions, are of nihilistic views, crooked, obscurantist; this is uncleanness and not the eating of flesh.' 'When men are rough and harsh, backbiting, treacherous, without compassion, haughty, ungenerous and do not give anything to anybody; this is uncleanness and not the eating of flesh.' 'Anger, pride, obstinacy, antagonism, hypocrisy, envy, ostentation, pride of opinion, intercourse with the unrightous; this is uncleanness and not the eating of flesh.' 'When men are of bad morals, refuse to pay their debts, slanderers, deceitful in their dealings, pretenders, when the vilest of men commit foul deeds; this is uncleanness and not the eating of flesh.' Having listened to the well-preached word of the Buddha Kassapa the Ascetic Tissa paid homage with humble spirit and begged to be admitted into the Order at that very place." And so here Sayagyi ended the sutta. A loud "Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu" three times rent the air and the visit came to a close and everyone was happy. TRUTH WILL PREVAIL *How The IMC Rangoon Was Founded And Developed* //Saya U Ba Pho// [8] ANECDOTE 5 //Introduction by Saya U Tint Yee// U Ba Pho, secretary of the Vipassana association of the Accountant General's Office, also known as the International Meditation Centre of Rangoon, will now give a short outline talk on how the movement of Vipassana Meditation was started under the guidance of Sayagyi U Ba Khin. He will explain to you about the arrangements made here regarding the running of the courses, how the financial matters were dealt with in our centre. //U Ba Pho:// As secretary of the Accountant General's Vipassana Association since it came into being, I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to explain to you the historical background and the circumstances which led to the formation of the Vipassana Association under the patronage of Sayagyi U Ba Khin, the then Accountant General of Burma. It was in the year 1950 in the month of October, when the Government of the Union of Burma issued a circular letter to all heads of the departments, that they have the option to form Buddhist Associations and to establish a Shrine room where the Buddha Image might be installed to pay respect to the virtues of Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha and to use the room for religious purposes. Sayagyi U Ba Khin immediately availed himself of this opportunity and called a mass meeting on the 10th November 1950 for all the Buddhist staff who were the majority in the office to discuss the forming of a Buddhist Association. It was unanimously decided to form the Association to be known as //Buddha Sasana Akyo-saung Athin// which means an association to serve the promotion and propagation of the Buddha's teachings. The draft constitution of the association was drawn up and a general body meeting was convened where the constitution was approved and the executive committee was elected. Sayagyi U Ba Khin was elected President, U ba Pho, secretary and U Soon Lwin, treasurer and twenty-two other committee members were also elected, including U Tint Yee, U Chit Tin, U Boon Shain and U Mg Mg Khin. There were 497 members. The actual opening ceremony of the Association took place on January 1st, 1951 in the Shrine room of the office and it was grandly celebrated by offering //swoon// (a meal for monks) to the Sanghas and lunch to all members and invited guests of honour. In the evening, the members were entertained with light refreshment accompanied by music and dances performed by the office staff. At 8pm the recitation of the Dhamma- cakkapavattana Sutta, Anattalakkhana Sutta and the Patthana Sutta and eleven other Suttas was begun by groups and it carried out throughout the night till dawn when we altogether offered fruits //swoon// to the Buddha and the ceremony came to a close. The aims of the Association were to bring a better relationship amongst the members and to promote information about the practice of the teachings of the Buddha and to take refuge and pay respect to Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha and to practice Dana, Sila, Bhavana. Every Sunday, holiday, and sabbath day, during the Buddhist lent, beginning from 8 am, an opportunity was given to all members to spend their time in the Shrine room by keeping the eight precepts (//Sila//) and to learn the teachings of the Buddhas by studying books of the Tipitika and to listen to discourses of Sayagyi U Ba Khin during the day. All left in the evening at 5 pm. Arrangement for meals was made jointly by U Tint Yee and U Ba Pho and all those who attended were charged kyat 1 1/4 each for food including Sayagyi U Ba Khin who insisted on paying for himself. After a few months it occured to Sayagyi that it was not sufficient to keep the activities of the association confined to doing Dana and Sila besides learning the teachings of the Buddhas and reciting the Suttas and that it was necessary to put into practice the teachings of the Buddha by the individuals by way of meditation in order to realize the Four Noble Truths for the attainment of Nibbana which is the end of suffering. Hence he asked for volunteers amongst the members who would seriously and sincerely like to undergo a course of training in Buddhist Meditation under his guidance. The response was good and there were thirty-seven volunteers including U Tint Yee, U Chit Tin, U Boon Shein and myself. He then called me and announced that he would surrender his Chamber room which was adjacent to his office room to be used as the Meditation room. Removing all the furniture, carpeting the floor with linoleum and painting all the glass window-panes with dark green paint, I at once converted his chamber into a dark room suitable for meditation. The approximate area of the room was 20'x15' (300 square feet) and could accommodate about forty people. The first course of meditation was conducted by Sayagyi in the meditation of ten people selected by Sayagyi out of the volunteers in April 1951 during the Water Festival holidays. U Tint Yee, U Chit Tin, U Boon Shein and myself were on the course. We were allowed to meditate on working days outside office hours, i.e. from 7 am to 9 am, from 1 pm to 2 pm and from 5 pm to 9 pm. In a few months, the number of meditators grew to about one hundred. The meditation room was always packed to full capacity. In the meantime, Sayagyi thought of forming a Vipassana Research Group selected from more serious and progressed types of meditators for the propagation of Vipassana meditation. The qualifications necessary to become a member of the group were as follows: 1) One must meditate regularly every day 2) One must promise to study as well as practise the Buddha's teachings with full determination and effort 3) One must have the ability to help a meditator reach the stage of concentration where Pathibhaga Nimitta (neighbourhood concentration) has been attained 4) One must be free from the practise of spirit worship, etc. practices which are opposed to the attainment of Nibbana (Tiracchanavijja: pseudo science, low art, as mentioned in the Brahmajala Sutta). The selected candidates were 1. U Tint Yee, 2. U Chit Tin, 3. U Ba Pho, 4. U Ohn Lwin, 5. U Maung Maung Khin, 6. U Boon Shein, 7. Mr. Venkataraman, 8. U Pa Lwin, 9. U Soe Maung, 10. U Tun Yin. With the growing number of meditators, the meditation room in the office became so crowded that it was felt that a suitable place should be found in the vicinity of Rangoon to open a centre for meditation so that their families might also participate in meditation so as to enable them to enjoy the fruits of the Dhamma too. When Sayagyi became aware of that, he called a general body meeting to discuss the matter and it was unanimously decided to open a centre in Rangoon and to search for a suitable place. About the same time, the question of amalgamating all the Buddhist Associations in the office under the control of the Auditor General of Burma was taken up and it was finally decided to form one Buddhist Association to be known as the Audit Department Buddhist Association and the Auditor General of Burma became the president of the Association. The Accountant General Buddhist Association was then dissolved. Sayagyi then formed, with the approval of the Auditor General of Burma, the Accountant General Vipassana Association -- soley for the purpose of practising Vipassana Meditation. The draft constitution was drawn up and the General Body Meeting was convened and the constitution was approved. Some of the important clauses relating to the aims and objects and to financial matters of the Association were laid down as follows: The aims and objects of the Association are 1) To carry out to the extent possible respectful acts towards the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha in accordance with Buddhist tradition; 2) To permit the office staff, their relatives and friends to meditate on suitable occasions with the permission of the Meditation-Teacher; 3) To teach in a practical way Samatha and Vipassana Meditation to foreign students who are interested in the practice of meditation. For this purpose this Meditation Centre shall be known as the International Meditation Centre. Note: Meditation teacher means the teacher who has been elected by this Vipassana Association to teach meditation practices at this Centre. //Monthly and other donations// Monthly donations voluntarily donated by members out of their own volition, monthly or separate donations made for specific or various purposes of the Association from members and donations from other donors either in cash or in kind may be accepted. //Financial matters// 1) All moneys donated towards the Association shall be placed in account with the Bank of the Association. 2) There shall be rules drawn up by the executive committee for keeping the financial and other accounts of the Association. //Financial year// The financial year of the Association shall be from 1st of January to 31st of December. //Auditors// There shall be an auditor to audit the accounts of the Association. The auditor should be appointed by election at the General Body Meeting of the Association. The audited annual accounts with the auditor's report shall be submitted to the General body meeting together with the annual report presented by the secretary. The first election of the Executive Committee was made and Sayagyi U Ba Khin was elected as president, U Ba Pho as secretary and U Boon Shein as treasurer. U Tint Yee, U Chit Tin, U Tin Maung, U Soon Lwin, U Ohn Lwin, U maung Maung Khin and U Soe Maung were elected as committee members. In the meantime the search for a suitable place was completed after Sayagyi had selected the present site, 31A Inya Myaing Road on January 15, 1952. Temporary huts were immediately constructed at the new site for meditation and the Headquarters of the Accountant General Vipassana Association were shifted to 31A Inya Myaing Road on April 24, 1952. Sayagyi laid down the foundations for the construction of the Pagoda together with eight meditation rooms on May 8, 1952, on the full moon day of Kasone. Construction was carried out during the rainy season with labour force contributed by the staff of the Accountant General's office on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. It was completed in November 1952 and the hoisting of the //hti// (umbrella) ceremony for the pagoda was held on November 9, 1952. It was well attended by members of the Accountant Generals Office and other guests of honour including the Prime Minister. [9] The construction of the Dhamma Hall, Sayagyi's residence and the three-room dormitory were built and completed in the early part of 1953. On July 3, 1953, Webu Sayadaw, the well known monk of Burma whom we believe had reached the advanced stage in meditation, visited the centre at the invitation of Sayagyi and spent seven days at the centre with us. With Webu Sayadaw at the Centre, Sayagyi had an opportunity to explain in full the progress made in Vipassana meditation by students -- especially by Sayama and Mr. Venkataraman and the attainment they had achieved. The Sayadaw was very impressed with the work of Sayagyi and encouraged him to strive hard for further propagation of the Buddha Dhamma. From then onwards, courses are conducted regularly at the Centre for ten days in each month by Sayagyi. While the Centre was maintained by voluntary contributions from the members of the Accountant General Office and old students, the courses were never supported by such contributions. Every student undergoing a course, whether new or old, was required to pay for the food provided by the centre according to the rates fixed from time to time in order to cover the expenses for food incurred by the Centre. Certain exceptions however were made they were: 1) When a student was unable to contribute at the rate fixed; 2) Students from abroad and a few non-Burmans were treated as guests by Sayagyi. Whatever Dana they might offer after the course were accepted; 3) In the case of certain students who did not take the food supplied by the Centre -- such students arranged to have their food cooked at the Centre by themselves. This in brief is the historical background of how this Centre has been founded and established and developed under the guidance of Sayagyi U Ba Khin. //Additional remarks by Saya U Tint Yee// Sayagyi circulated a letter to all those members of the staff our aims and objects regarding the purchasing of the site and said that if they wanted to contribute towards the purchase of this site they could put the amount they wanted to contribute on the form provided, indicating the number of installments they would like to make, and the number of installments permissable was, I think ten installments maximum. This was in order that nobody should feel under obligation and so that they might not be embarrassed seeing some other person donating more. It was made very confidential. Every person filled in his own form and sealed it. It was forwarded to the secretary U Ba Pho whose duty it was to treat them confidentially. There actually were cases when an office boy contributed much more than an officer. It was according to each person's volition. In one case, an office boy contributed his full month's salary in one installment. So, that was how we built up this Centre. At that time there was one old gentleman who was not a member of our office, but he had met Sayagyi at another Meditation Centre and his trouble was, that whenever he sat, he always shook. Not only did he shake, but the members of his family shook as well. It was almost a sort of family affair. This man asked Sayagyi for permission to come and meditate in our office Centre one day. -- He came and he was dressed all in white. His longyi was white, his shirt was white and there was this white cloth over his shoulder. I remember we were sitting there in the dark meditation room and suddenly this stranger appeared amongst us in white clothes and he sat amongst us and was shaking. This disturbed us very much. So the next day we went to Sayagyi and told him about this. Sayagyi said, "Oh, I've permitted him to come here and so I think I have to help you with this problem." The next day he requested that man to come earlier. He usually came at lunch time about one o'clock. That day Sayagyi talked to him and then told him to concentrate on different parts of the body and personally guided him for one hour. Then he found that this shaking had stopped. There was no shaking because he meditated steadily. And the strange thing was, at the time he was sitting in the office, his family was also sitting at their house. There also at that moment the shaking stopped. And so, although he was not an office member he automatically became Sayagyi's student with that. Then we purchased this particular site, but we had only a certain amount because it was coming in in installments. We wanted to purchase the site and that man requested Sayagyi for permission to lend us the money. He lent us some money and afterwards we repaid it from the installments. Of course he donated something also. //Concluding remarks by Saya U Tint Yee// I was going to talk to you but there's not much time left today, so I'll talk to you tomorrow. As far as I am concerned I don't know everything about the activities of Sayagyi, but as much as I know from my personal contact with Sayagyi and personal experiences here, I'll talk about that tomorrow. And I'll try also and talk to you about the Dhamma principles. I can't say everything. There are some things best left unsaid here. Always when the Buddha gave a discourse, he gave it according to the status of the crowd. So, there may be some things which I may have to omit. But what everybody can understand I'll try and tell you tomorrow to the extent that I'm capable of doing that. SADHU! SADHU! SADHU! *What I Know About Sayagyi U Ba Khin* //Saya U Tint Yee// [10] ANECDOTE 6 Saya U Ba Pho, secretary of the Vipassana Association and International Meditation Centre, has given you already a detailed account of the development of this Centre and the principles laid down by Sayagyi regarding the organisational aspects. Here I would like to talk to you of what I myself know about Sayagyi. I first met Sayagyi in 1943, during the Japanese occupation, when he was the Deputy Director of Accounts and Audit, Burma. In a few months' time he became Director of Accounts and Audit. It was my first employment and I had a letter of introduction to Sayagyi from one of my uncles who had been Sayagyi's teacher in mathematics in the Tenth Standard. I gave the letter which he immediately read and told me to to report for duty at the office. I worked there only for six months. During that period there were daytime air raids by the British bombers, and whenever the air raid warnings were sounded, all the staff except Sayagyi would run for the air raid shelters. Sayagyi always remained seated in his office chair, always calm and meditating. From that time I had a great respect for his strong faith in the Buddha, Dhamma and his Kamma. The next time I met him alone was in his office room in July 1948. He was then the Accountant General. I had rejoined the Accountant General's office in 1947 and had passed the first part of what was called the Subordinate Accounts Service Examination. It so happened that I was the only one to have passed that examination from among some 30 candidates. He had called for me and when I went into his room he congratulated me and told me that as there was a very acute shortage of qualified Burmese accountants, I should enter the final part of the examination in the forth-coming exam. From that time onwards, my sister and I used to go to his house on every full moon day of Waso and Thadingyut to pay our respects with suitable offerings according to conventional Buddhist practice. He and his wife would receive us cordially and give their blessings. After becoming an accountant I was sometimes called to his office room to receive instructions about official matters. I first began my meditation with Sayagyi as my teacher in April 1951. The place was his office-chamber suitably darkened and there were about 15 of us, all men. The first batch of office workers who had expressed their desire to meditate under his guidance. He was sitting in a meditation posture on a big easy chair in the left-hand corner of the room and I was right in front of him in the first row. After taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha, he instructed us about Anapana meditation. [11] He switched off the single light in the room and we all sat in the darkness and began our meditation. At first the mind wandered off here and there and I increased my determination to focus my attention at the base of the nose and breathed a little more strongly. After some time I felt vibrations arising in my body. As I focused my attention on the in-breath and out-breath arising at the base of the nose more and more, the intensity of these vibrations increased until I felt as if I was sitting on a vibrator. My body was quite still and yet within me almost everywhere there were strong vibrations. After some time -- perhaps one hour -- Sayagyi switched on the light. He then asked me how I was feeling. I was going to say that I felt strong vibrations within my body, but to my surprise I found that I was unable to speak, that I could not open my mouth. Then an urge arose in me to pay my respects to him. Again I found I could not rise my hands. My whole body was rigid, tight and immovable. At that moment fear arose in me and as that fear arose, all vibrations stopped immediately and I was able to pay my respects to Sayagyi. Then I told him about the vibrations that had arisen during the meditation. He merely smiled and said that Vipassana was very strong in me. I did not understand the meaning at that time and I was puzzled and also a little afraid. As I walked home after the session I felt a sense of calmness and lightness arising in me. So I continued meditating regularly at my house and also at the office during office hours and submitted my diary relating to the meditation to Sayagyi. [12] After some days he selected U Chit Tin, U Khin Maung and myself as the first students to whom he would teach Vipassana Meditation. That day we took leave from the office, took the eight precepts and started on Vipassana Meditation. At the Vipassana session with Sayagyi I could feel slight tingling sensations arising on the head and as I concentrated on different parts of the body as instructed, I felt sensations arising here and there. There were no full ten-day courses then and we meditated in our houses, in the office meditation room before and after office hours. During that period one of Sayagyi's students, Mr. Venkataraman developed very rapidly and was able to reach a very high state of peace and calmness. he could stay in that state for some hours and at any time he wished. After the Pagoda //Dhamma Yaung Chi Ceti// was built, Sayagyi started giving ten-day courses at the Centre. Every course started on the first Friday evening of each month so that the office staff could join the course by taking only six days leave (Monday to Saturday). Families of the staff and their close friends were then given permission to join the courses if they wished. When Sayama started her first course here in April 1953, there were also quite a number of office staff, including myself, doing the course. We heard from Sayagyi that she was progressing very well and very rapidly and after the course Sayagyi said she had been able to reach the stage of perfect peace and tranquility. Afterwards, Sayama was always here with U Chit Tin on Sundays and holidays, always meditating under Sayagyi's personal guidance. Eventually in every course it became part of Sayama's duties to check the students in their meditation during the daytime when Sayagyi was away in his office. No other person was allowed to do this. Next she was given a place by Sayagyi to sit in the central shrine room just behind and to the right of Sayagyi. This was Sayagyi's indication to all of us that she had reached the stage of teachership. In order to make this point more clear to us, Sayagyi, who had previously called her by her name, Ma Mya Thwin, started calling her Sayama. Whenever Sayagyi gave Anapana and Vipassana during a course Sayama was also present sitting at her allotted place. Whenever a student had reached a high stage of development and needed Sayagyi's special attention, Sayama was always present at his side. From then onwards we always regarded her as our teacher. In early 1955, some of Sayagyi's closest disciples had seen many newcomers reaching very high stages of development and began to wonder why, in spite of all their efforts and devotion, they could not reach such high stages of development in their meditation. When Sayama came to know of this she related the matter to Sayagyi. He then called these close disciples -- U Chit Tin, U Ba Pho, U Boon Shain, U Soe Maung, U Tin Maung and myself -- and told us, that he would be holding a special course in March (1955) exclusively for us. There would be no other meditators and he and Sayama would do their utmost to help us. We, on our part must exert the utmost effort and keep the vow of Noble Silence throughout the course. I was unable to take part in that course but all others took the course. All of them made good progress and were able to reach the stage where they could concentrate exclusively at the spot in the centre of the chest. However, they could not reach that state of complete serenity and calmness for long spells in spite of the individual attention paid to them by Sayagyi and Sayama. Sayagyi then explained to them very patiently and lucidly about the different types of parami (perfections) and the different types of aspirations each one may have made in previous life-cycles. Only then they were convinced and satisfied with their progress. I took the course in April 1955. As it was the time of the Water Festival, there were quite a number of students from the office staff who had taken advantage of the long holidays. For about six days my meditation was as usual: awareness of sensations, Anicca throughout the body except at the back round about the waist. I had never been able to penetrate that particular part where the feeling was always as if a round steel plate had been fixed to it. All my previous courses had ended in this manner. On the seventh day, however, I began to feel warm sensations arising around the perimeter of that part and I began to concentrate and observed these sensations with more care. Slowly the warm area spread inwards. On the eighth day as I meditated I felt a lot of heat arising throughout the whole body and there was no sense of rigidity or pain anywhere. On the nineth day there was only a slight sensation of heat permeating throughout the body detectable only with deep concentration. Then at 8pm as I was meditating in the south-east room Sayagyi and sayama entered the central shrine room. Sayagyi sat down near the door in front of me with Sayama behind him and the lights were switched off. He told me to concentrate at the centre of the chest and to dwell on any sensation arising as Anicca. I concentrated as instructed and Sayagyi told me to concentrate more strongly. As I followed his instructions, pulsations started arising at that spot. Meanwhile Sayagyi was instructing me to concentrate more and more strongly. As I continued as instructed keeping in mind, that everything happening was Anicca, the pulsations changed to strong poundings in the chest and eventually changed in direction, rising from the chest and ending in the throat. It was a very frightening experience as I felt my body being whirled around by some force. But I did not let go of Anicca nor my concentration at the centre and a series of thoughts flashed across my mind: the power of rupa (matter) disintegrating, of death arising, the image of a Buddha appearing, and then all thoughts of resistance and attachment to what was happening disappeared and I found myself calm and quiet again. The light was switched on again and Sayagyi asked me how I was feeling. The first volition that arose in me was a very deep respect for Sayagyi and very slowly and with deep humility and respect I bowed down to Sayagyi three times. Then I told him that I did not break through. Sayagyi merely smiled and said, "You are not of that type." He then told me to concentrate at the centre again. As I concentrated again there was no sensation anywhere except at the centre where I could only feel a kind of coolness deep inside which is very difficult to describe. When I told about this he said, "Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu" and told me to take rest for the night. The next day the sittings were not like before. The trouble with my back had disappeared and it has never appeared again. There was only awareness of calmness and coolness at the centre throughout the sittings. At lunch time I told Sayama of my feelings and she said she would tell me privately after lunch. After the meal I went to Sayama and she explained to me what it meant and to keep this knowledge to myself. And I am still following Sayama's instructions. In 1956 Mr. and Mrs. Kelly of the British Civil Service, Malaysia, came to the Centre for a course of meditation under Sayagyi's guidance. There was only Sayama during daytime at the Centre and as I was then on medical leave, Sayagyi came to my house and told me that I should also come and stay at the Centre and meditate at a relaxed pace. At the same time I could act as an interpreter for Sayama when she checked the Kellys in their meditation. In that way I had a chance to meditate in a very quiet atmosphere at my own pace and also learn from Sayama about the various experiences the students had in their meditation. In this course I made some further progress in meditation, mainly with Sayama's help and encouragement. One day in the shrine room in Sayagyi's presence Sayama casually asked me, "Why not join us in giving the Dhamma?" Sayagyi took it as a serious suggestion and he told me to come up into the central shrine room and to sit just behind and to the left of him. I did as I was told but I knew that it meant more serious and consistent meditation for me to maintain the trust that Sayagyi had in me. From then onwards I had to meditate in the central shrine room with Sayagyi and Sayama. Sayagyi used to check me almost every day after the nightly one-hour vow sittings, which then was from 8pm to 9pm. I have told you all about this to make you aware of the extent to which Sayagyi and Sayama with great metta had helped me and guided me not only in my meditation but also in my day-to-day life. May all beings be happy SADHU! SADHU! SADHU! -------------------------------------- *ELDER'S VERSES (THERAGATHA)* 61 The seeing one sees the seeing one, and sees the non- seeing one too; the non-seeing one does not see the non- seeing one nor the seeing one. - Vappa 106 When the goal has 100 marks and bears 100 signs, the person who sees but one part is a fool, but he who sees 100 is clever. - Suhemanta -------------------------------------- *What Have You Gained By Your Meditation?* //Saya U Tint Yee// [13] *ANECDOTE 7* "Now I would like to talk to you about what you have achieved in your meditation here. At the end of each course Sayagyi U Ba Khin used to say to the students, 'Now what have you gained by your meditation? In your office work you receive your pay at the end of the month. Now what have you received from the Centre?' You have observed the precepts (//Sila//), practised concentration of mind (//Samadhi//), tried your best to acquire Right Knowledge (//Panna//). In other words, you have been walking along the Eightfold Noble Path [13], which means Right Knowledge, Right Contemplation, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration. As you are walking along the Path there should be an objective which you propose to reach ultimately. Now what has been your ultimate objective? The ultimate objective is and should be for the realisation of the Four Noble Truths which I presume you all know in theory. The Buddha said that only by realization of the Four Noble Truths can there be an end to all suffering. The Eightfold Noble Path, which is one of the Four Noble Truths is therefore a means to an end and not an end in itself. It is through this means only that we can realize our objective and so we should know in more detail about each factor and re-examine whether what you have practised here is exactly in accordance with them. The Eightfold Noble Path, however, has that power and quality to diminish the negative and promote positive attitudes in us even before achieving the ultimate objective. The Sila (//Morality//) section of the Eightfold Noble Path includes Right Speech, Right Bodily Action and Right Livelihood. Here I would like to tell you about one factor. Under Sila there is one which is not to kill. Now what constitutes killing? I want to emphasize this point because volition is very important in every action. What constitutes the killing of a sentient being? First, it should be a sentient being. The next factor is, you know that it is a sentient being. The third factor is there is the intention to kill it. The fourth is, there is effort exerted towards that end. And the last factor is, you actually have killed it. That only amounts to killing. So there are other factors such as not to tell lies, not to use abusive or harsh language. I wanted to point out to you that volition in everything is important because it is volition that makes Kamma. Then there is Right Livelihood. As far as you are concerned, while you are staying here you have kept Right Livelihood, and as monks your livelihood was the best. It was the way in which the Buddha lived. So far as your volition, verbal or physical actions are concerned you have been properly controlled. To that extent you have succeeded in treading the Eightfold Noble Path. Then comes Samadhi. Samadhi means Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration. What is meant by Right Effort? This you will find in the 37 Factors of Enlightenment. By Right Effort is meant not to commit any new immoral actions and not to repeat any immoral actions you may have done before. Then, to act and create new moral actions and multiply whatever moral actions you have done before. So you just check back on your stay here, whether you have fulfilled this purpose. And during your meditation periods you eliminate as much as possible the attachments: Lobha (greed), Dosa (hatred), Moha (Delusion) arising in you by means of effort. It is effort which prevents you from committing these deeds. That we call in Pali the Sammappadhana (4 factors of effort). And then comes Right Mindfulness. What have you done, is it the right kind of mindfulness? The right kind of mindfulness according to the Buddha's teaching means awareness of the physical factor. You call it Kayanupassana-Satipatthana. Now while you are doing Anapana, your attention is focussed on the in-breath and the out-breath, that is, on the air entering and coming out. This air is a physical factor and you are concentrating on that. Awareness of the physical factors. Also awareness on the base of the nose where the physical factor exists. So, from the moment you practice Anapana, awareness of the physical factor is being fulfilled. And then when you do Vipassana you concentrate mostly on sensations. That is what is called Vedananupassana-Satipatthana, that is, concentration of the sensations arising. That also comes under Right Mindfulness. And then comes the third kind of mindfulness, Citta-nupassana- satipatthana. Citta means mind. Awareness of mind, that is, awareness of what you are thinking. And then comes Dhamma-nupassana-satipatthana. Awareness of various objects arising in your mind. You know a certain object has arisen in your mind because naturally mind means the inclination to bend towards an object. These ideational objects come to you while you are meditating and you know they are coming and you try to be aware of them or else you try to cut them off and then revert to your sensations. So this Right Mindfulness you have been practising during your meditation. Mostly here, as you know, we concentrate on the sensations. Why is it that Sayagyi concentrates on the sensations? Because this is the strongest awareness that you can have. And the best method and the best way to realize that it is impermanent. The other types of awareness, that is, sight or sound, the impression is not so strong as the physical sensations. They arise, but not as dukkha (suffering) or sukha (pleasure), but only as domanassa or somanassa. Domanassa means a sort of anger or grief. Somanassa means pleasure. But they are not as intense as dukkha and sukha, which are directly physical factors. That is why you are taught to rely on sensation as Anicca. So all these you have been doing. Then comes Right Concentration. Right Concentration comes when your awareness becomes very sharp. Then you get Right Concentration. It is the ability to concentrate on a neutral object that does not give rise to Lobha, Dosa or Moha. Automatically when it does not give rise to greed, anger (hatred) or delusion, the mental factors that arise will be opposite to that. Alobha (non-greed), Adosa (non-hatred), Amoha (non-delusion). Automatically it comes to that. And when the awareness is sharp, you get proper concentration. When you are doing all this, all the while you are always bringing up those five very important mental factors. They are faith, that is, the belief in what you are doing. For those of us who are well developed, maybe our belief in the Buddha's teaching is very strong. So our ultimate object, whether we achieve it or not, is always to try and arrive at the realization of the Four Noble Truths -- the path leading to the cessation of suffering. That is always our aim. And in the meantime, even though we have not achieved this purpose, the negative qualities in us gradually decrease. In that way faith is very important. Another quality we are always using is effort (Viriya). Effort is not a physical factor but a mental factor. The more effort you apply the better will be your progress. So, that is also included in the 37 Factors of Enlightenment. It will be included sometimes as a leading factor and sometimes what is called supreme factor. Then the next quality we have been using, the mental factor after faith and effort, is awareness. Awareness always comes. This is mindfulness. The next factor we are using is when the awareness comes, automatically concentration comes. When concentration is good and proper, knowledge comes. Without Samadhi you do not get the right knowledge. So the five mental factors we have been practising are always there. The moment these five factors become balanced, then you say you have good sittings. The moment these five factors become unbalanced you say your sittings are not good. The moment effort is missing, your mind wanders away. The moment faith is missing, you feel like giving up. So all these, you see, you have been using always. All these constitute what is called the 37 Factors of Enlightenment. When the Eightfold Path is expanded it becomes the 37 Factors of Enlightenment. They are, as I said just now, the four ways of right mindfulness. And then these four ways in which effort is exerted, and the four Iddipadas, a strong determination (chanda) -- if you have a very strong determination -- to achieve what you are looking for, that becomes the leading factor. And it automatically arouses other factors along with it. Another leading factor is effort. When effort is strong, it has that quality of making the other factors come along and follow it. Then comes Citta-iddhipada, which means, when your mind is very strong then there is this urge to succeed in what you are doing and the other factors will always follow. The other is the knowledge factor and that is the best factor because you can never go wrong. When your knowledge is strong, the others will follow it. We call these in Burmese by the Pali name Iddhipada. Iddhi means 'power'. Iddhi-pada means roads to power (or success). They have very strong power to make the other mental factors follow. Briefly speaking, what you have done here following the Eightfold Noble Path you have been arousing and trying to maintain all the factors in a balanced way. And then the last two in the Eightfold Noble Path: Right Contemplation and Right Knowledge. Right Contemplation means concentrating on the Nama aspect or the Rupa aspect -- the physical property aspect or the mind and mental aspect, you contemplate on the sensations arising and try to think what they mean, try to watch their behaviour. As you watch their behaviour your mental attitude changes, you see the becoming aspect. You see the dissolution aspect. Sometimes the movement is slow, sometimes the movement is fast. And as all these changes take place in your mind, a certain amount of knowledge arises in you. As this awareness and knowledge of anicca arises in you, what we call kilesas or negative qualities come under control from moment to moment. But when you speak in theory, Right Contemplation means the ten steps in Vipassana Knowledge. I do not think we have time for an expanation of that. So long as you keep on knowing anicca, this will come by themselves. What you must know is that when there is fear arising through or when seeing the phenomena there is disgust arising because of watching these, sometimes the boring aspect comes -- you are watching all day and nothing happens -- that sort of attitude when they arise, you must not be depressed. They are a natural part of your development in the understanding of real anicca from all angles and when you really understand anicca, detachment towards the five aggregates automatically arises in your mind, and the detachment is strong enough, you reach a state of serenity, calmness and coolness. But until you reach that state there will be much struggling, many ups and downs in your meditation. Whenever these arise you must know that they are part of the struggle and that the more they occur the more you learn from them. It depends on Parami. If one day your Parami is ripe for that particular moment, you will reach what you have been aspiring to. May you reach all that point as soon as possible. SADHU! SADHU! SADHU! *Who Are The Benefactors Of These Great Accomplishments?* //Saya John Coleman// [15] ANECDOTE 8 "It was shortly after the completion of the main building projects here, when the International Meditation Centre, Rangoon, was in full swing in 1954 that I first came to this corner of the world. In those days not many Westerners ventured this far away from their homelands and those that did were, as myself, usually on nefarious official assignment sponsored by wealthy relatives. In my case a rich uncle, Uncle Sam was bearing my expenses. The tourists at that time were concentrating on Europe and flocking around the Mediterranean. It was rare to see a Westerner walking the streets of Asia. In Bangkok, where I was then, the local children spotting me would respond with excitement calling out "Aia Falong" meaning //Foreigner//. They would run calling their friends, brothers, sisters and parents to witness this strange sight. It took me some time to get used to all the excitement created by my presence but secretly, I suppose, it titillated my vanity and subliminal needs for attention. Immidiately upon arrival in the area I felt comfortable and was enchanted by a certain quality of life that I could experience but could not quite comprehend. It was not until a few years later that I began to realize that this //certain quality of life// was flavoured by and had its structure in 2500 years of the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha. Something which was missing in the environment of my upbringing. It was shortly after the turn of the 2500th year of the Buddha Sasana or in 1957 that I had a strong attraction to venture towards Burma at which time I had the good fortune to stumble upon this very place where we meet today. Meeting Sayagyi U Ba Khin, he immediately put me to work developing Sila, Samadhi and Panna. Sayagyi in those days was busy with his many government duties and during those periods I was constantly under the watchful and loving guidance of Mother Sayama, who, Sayagyi, for good reason had already appointed as his Assistant and as a Teacher. Of course, there were also at that time, U Tint Yee, U Ba Pho and U Chit Tin and other faithful Burmese disciples of Sayagyi who were also contributing to my dhamma development in a manner which all of us have gotten to know so well and have been experiencing throughout our visit here. The extent of my respect and gratitude is inexpressable. During this time Sayagyi had a vision. He saw the Buddha-Sasana spreading outwards from its traditional local areas of influence to other areas of the world which had previously been barren deserts to the Buddha- Dhamma. Sayagyi was aware of the reputed affluences of these other areas and their technological accomplishments, but he was also aware of the total ignorance and enormous suffering that also existed there. He saw that the time was ripe for the Dhamma to spread into these areas of great strife. With great love and compassion in his heart he longed to travel out of his native Burma and spread the Dhamma to these barren wastelands. He was unsuccessful in obtaining permission to travel, but his determination remained intact. Before he died he appointed a number of his foreign disciples to teach Vipassana on his behalf in those areas, introducing the Dhamma there and thus preparing the ground work for the time when his aspiration would bear fruit. Each of these teachers in their own way, style and fashion fulfilled Sayagyi's role for them by tilling the ground and making it fertile for the right occasion. Several years ago Mother Sayama left this oasis of the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha and sacrificing comfort and convenience, ventured into these fiery areas bringing the fruit of the Dhamma with her. Almost immediately upon arriving the Buddha-Dhamma blossomed and Sayagyi's dream became a reality. Since then, Sayama has extended her visits to more areas and is continuing in the fulfilment of Sayagyi's wishes. She has agreed to go wherever she is invited providing circumstances permit. It is so encouraging to sit here today in front of so many fellow Westerners who have just partaken in this most important experience of taking robes and serving the Sangha. These humble acts of shaving the head, wearing of robes, forsaking sensual pleasures by keeping the Vinaya Rules, practising the Eightfold Noble Path sacrificing self interests to serve the flourishing of the Sangha by these important acts of renunciation essential to the attainment of the final goal of Nibbana, all of us here have participated in and have thus prepared ourselves for the occasion when the time is right for the realization of our aspirations. Much has been accomplished in such a short period of time and the profundity of which is perhaps difficult for us to fully comprehend. Sayagyi was indeed correct when he pronounced that the timeclock of Vipassana has struck. Each and everyone of us here is the direct benefactor of these great accomplishments. And for this we understandably have developed as great a sense of respect, gratitude and devotion. To all of these accomplishments we pay respects to the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha. To all of these accomplishments we pay respects to our Teacher Sayagyi U Ba Khin. To all of these accomplishments we pay respects to our Teacher Mother Sayama. SADHU! SADHU! SADHU! -------------------------------------------- *ELDER'S VERSES (THERAGATHA)* I shall fasten you, mind, like an elephant at a small gate. I shall not incite you to evil, you net of sensual pleasure, body- born. When fastened, you will not go, like an elephant not finding the gate open. Witch-mind, you will not wander again and again, using force, delighting in evil. As the strong hook-holder makes an untamed elephant, newly taken, turn against its will, so shall I make you turn. As the excellent charioteer, skilled in the taming of excellent horses, tames a thoroughbred, so shall I, standing firm in the powers, tame you. I shall bind you with mindfulness; with purified self I shall cleanse (you). Restrained by the yoke of energy you will not go far from here, mind. Theragata vv. 355-59, Vijitasena's verses Translated by K.R. Norman The Elder's Verses I P.T.S.'69 -------------------------------------------- _APPENDIX 1_ *A Special Message From Mother Sayama And Saya U Chit Tin* While in Sydney for the auspicious Water Festival course in April 1981, Mother Sayama and Saya U Chit Tin were requested to give a message on Dhamma practise to the students in Australia. This is the message: "Regarding the training in //Sila//, //Samadhi// and //Panna// our message is to lay emphasis on Samadhi. Sayagyi U Ba Khin had said: "For a good experience of Anicca (Impermanence), Samadhi must be good. If Samadhi is excellent, awareness of Anicca will also be excellent." Sayagyi's Teacher, Saya Thetgyi, recounted: "My Teacher, Ledi Sayadaw, frequently reminded me, 'Maung Thet, work on your Samadhi diligently. If the Samadhi Sasana (teachings of Tranquility) is well established, then the Panna Sasana (teachings on Insight) will also become established.'" Ledi Sayadaw was a Burmese monk and a Pali scholar who was known to scholars of many western countries and perhaps one of the outstanding Buddhist figures of this age. Saya Thetgyi, therefore, worked earnestly on Anapana for 7 years and then Vipassana for another 7 years. Finally he was praised by his Teacher, who authorised him to teach meditation beginning with a course at the Ledi-Tawya-Taik Monastery of his Teacher. The monk scholars of his Teacher were among the students of the first batch of his disciples. Buddha said, "Develop your Samadhi. If Samadhi is developed then you see things in their true perspective."... "The Path must be trodden by each individual; Buddhas do but point the way". *Keep Coming back to Anapana-Sati (watching over in- and out- breathing)*, for, if developed and frequently practised, this will bring you high reward and great advantage. When Samadhi (concentration) is established and developed, contemplation of sensation on the Body will be easy and almost instantaneous. You will dwell with full energy, clearly conscious, attentive and fully engrossed, with the understanding and awareness of Anicca (impermanence), Dukkha (suffering or ill) and Anatta (egolessness or soullessness). Sayagyi U Ba Khin summed up thus: "This will give us the "Peace within" and enable us to share it with all others. We will then radiate such powerful and purified mental forces as will successfully counteract the evil forces which are all around us. Just as the light of a single candle has the power to dispel darkness in a room, so also the light developed in one man can help dispel darkness in several others." May all beings be happy May they be liberated and win the Deathless. TRUTH WILL PREVAIL _Appendix 2_ *How To Practise The Development Of The Sublime States* //(Brahma-Vihara Bhavana)// There are four sterling virtues which are collectively termed in Pali as Brahma-Vihara: Sublime States, Modes of Sublime Conduct or Divine Abodes. They are also called the four Boundless States, Illimitables (Appamanna): I) _Loving-kindness_: Metta, the first Sublime State; II) _Compassion_: Karuna, the second virtue that is sublime for man; III) _Sympathetic or Appreciative Joy_: Mudita, the third sublime virtue; IV) _Equanimity_: Upekkha, the fourth sublime virtue, the most difficult and the most essential. The development of these Sublime States (Brahmavihara-bhavana) generally found in the Sutta is as follows: "There, O monks, the monk with a mind full of Loving-kindness pervading first one direction, then a second, then a third one, then the fourth one, just so above, below and all around; and everywhere identifying himself with all, he is pervading the whole world with mind full of loving-kindness, with mind wide, developed unbounded, free from hate and illwill." Hereafter follows the same theme with Compassion, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity. *How to practise Metta-Bhavana* It is recommended in the Visuddhimagga, the Path of Purification, that one should go to some quiet place where one could sit in a comfortable position. Then one should consider the dangers in hate first and the benefits offered by forbearance. The purpose of this meditation is to displace hate by forbearance. Then again one cannot avoid dangers one has not come to see or cultivate benefits one does not yet know. There are also certain types of individuals towards whom one should not develop loving-kindness in the first stages. To regard a disliked person as dear to one is fatiguing, to regard a dearly-loved one with neutrality is difficult, and if the slightest mischance befalls the friend, one feels like weeping. When an enemy is recalled anger springs up, and to put a neutral person in a respected one's or a dear one's place is fatiguing. Then if it is directed towards the opposite sex one may arouse lust. Again one should not develop loving-kindness towards a dead person for one will neither reach absorption nor access, that is to say, his loving-kindness will make no headway at all. Now at the start it should be developed only towards oneself, repeatedly saying: 'May I be happy and free from suffering'; 'May I keep myself free from enmity, trouble and live happily.' Cultivating the thought: 'May I be happy' with oneself as example, then one begins to be interested in the welfare and happiness of others, and also to feel in some sense their happiness as if it were one's own: 'Just as I want to live happily and not die, so do others.' So in this way one should first become familiar with pervading oneself with loving- kindness to serve as an example. Next, one should choose someone who is liked, admired and much respected; with the thought: 'May he be happy' and remembering his virtues. When in this way one becomes familiar, one can begin to practise loving-kindness towards a dear one, then towards a neutral person as very dear, and then towards a foe as neutral. Care should be taken when dealing with an enemy for anger can arise, and all means must be tried in order to get rid of it. When this is successful, one will be able to regard a foe without resentment and with loving-kindness in the very same way as one does the admired person, the dearly loved one, and the neutral person. Loving-kindness can now be effectively maintained in being towards all beings or to certain groups at a time, or in one direction at a time towards all beings, or to certain groups in succession. When one can maintain this loving-kindness, made much of it, use it as a vehicle, use it for a foundation, be established in it, keep it consolidated and properly managed, one can expect 11 blessings: 'A man sleeps in peace and comfort, he walks in peace and comfort, he dreams no evil dreams, he is dear to human beings, he is dear to non-human beings, the gods guard him, no fire or poison or weapon harms him, his mind can be quickly concentrated, the expression of his face is serene, he dies without falling into confusion, and even if he fails to penetrate any further he will pass on to the world of High Divinity, to the Brahma World.' This is from the Anguttara Nikaya Ekadassa Nipata, Metta Sutta (Gradual Sayings). *Karuna Bhavana: Development of compassion* For the development of compassion one should begin with the task by reviewing the danger of not having compassion and the advantage of possessing it. Like Metta (loving-kindness) Karuna (compassion) should not be directed at first towards a person who is neutral, antipathetic or hostile, towards a member of the opposite sex or someone who is dead. It is stated in the Vibhanga, "How does one dwell pervading one direction with his heart endued with compassion? Just as one would feel compassion on seeing an unlucky, unfortunate person, so one pervades all beings with compassion." Right at the start, the meditation of compassion should be developed on seeing a wretched person, unlucky, unfortunate, in every way a fit object for compassion, unsightly, reduced to utter misery, compassion should be felt for this person in this way: 'This person has indeed been reduced to misery; if only he could be freed from this suffering.' If one cannot encounter such a wretched person, then one can arouse compassion for an evil doer: "Suppose a criminal is under orders of execution by the ruler, the executors bund him and lead him off to the place of execution, flogging him a hundred times. Then the passers-by give him things to eat and he goes along eating and enjoying these things, still no one will think that he is really happy. Everyone will feel compassion for him, thinking: 'This wretched person is going to die soon; every step leads him nearer to the presence of death.'" So in this way one should arouse compassion for an evil doer. After arousing compassion for an unfortunate, wretched and unlucky person in that way, one should next arouse compassion for a dear one, then a neutral person and next a hostile person, in the same way. Care should be taken with regard to an enemy and if resentment arises one must try by all means to get rid of it in the same way used with loving-kindness. At one time the Buddha set a very noble example by attending on the sick Himself and also exhorting His disciples with these words: "He who ministers unto the sick ministers unto me." The Buddha showed great compassion towards the courtesan Ambapali, and also towards Angulimala, the murderer, both were converted and underwent a complete reformation in character. *Mudita Bhavana: Development of Sympathetic or Appreciative Joy* The development of Sympathetic or Appreciative Joy or Gladness should start with the very dear companion -- one who in the Commentaries is called a 'boon companion'; for he is always glad; he laughs first and speaks afterwards. In the Vibhanga it is referred to in this way: 'How does a meditator dwell pervading one direction with his heart endued with sympathetic gladness? Just as one would be glad on seeing a very dear and beloved person, so one pervades all beings with sypathetic gladness.' Even if someone who is dear to us is unlucky and unfortunate now Sympathetic gladness can still be aroused by remembering his happiness of the past in this way: 'In the past he possessed great wealth and a great following and he was always happy.' Again gladness or appreciative joy can be aroused by apprehending the future glad aspect in the dear person in this way: 'In the future this dear person will again enjoy similar success with gold and silver going about in gold palanquins with great followers and so on.' After having aroused altruistic joy and gladness with respect to the dear one one can then direct it successively towards a neutral one and then towards a foe. But if one arouses resentment when dealing with a foe, one should make it subside in the same way as described under loving- kindness. Mudita is not mere gladness but sympathetic joy which tends to destroy jealousy, its direct enemy. It embraces all prosperous persons and is the congratulary attitude of a person, and the tendency is to eliminate any dislike towards successful persons. *Upekkha: Development of Equanimity* The development of equanimity is the most difficult and the most essential of the four sublime states. In the Buddhist Dictionary Nyanatiloka says, "//equanimity//, also called tatra-majjhattata, is an ethical quality belonging to the sankhara group (khandha) and should therefore not be confused with //indifferent feeling// (adukkhamasukha vedana) which is sometimes also called Upekkha (vedana)." It is one of the four Sublime Abodes and one of the Factors of Enlightenment. It means //impartially// or //rightly//, one may discern rightly, viweing justly, or looking impartially, that is to say, without attachment or aversion, and without favour or disfavour, in the sense of indifference or neutral feeling. Ven. Narada Thera said, "Equanimity is essential, especially for laymen who have to live in an ill-balanced world amidst fluctuating circumstances. Slights and insults are the common lot of mankind. The world is so constituted that the good and the virtuous are very often subject to unjust criticism and attack. It is heroic to maintain a balanced mind in such circumstances. Loss and gain, fame and infamy, praise and blame, pain and happiness are eight worldly conditions that affect all humanity." To develop Equanimity one should look on with equanimity at a person who is normally neutral. Then towards a dear one, a hostile person and the rest. In the Vibhanga this is said: 'How does a meditator dwell pervading one direction with his heart endued with equanimity? Just as he would feel equanimity on seeing a person who was neither beloved nor unloved, so he pervades all beings with equanimity.' Through the neutral person one should break down the barriers in each case between the three individuals, namely: the dear one, the boon companion, the hostile one, and himself. How to break down the barriers? Suppose a man is staying together in an abode with a dear, a neutral, and a hostile person; and robbers come to him and ask for a person because they wish to cut his throat and use the blood as an offering. If he points to one of the three, he has not broken down the barriers. Or if he offers himself too he has not broken down the barriers either. Why? Because he seeks the harm of himself and seeks the welfare of others. Only when he does not see a single person among them to be given and he directs his mind impartially towards himself and towards others has he broken down the barriers. In the development of the four Sublime States, Brahma-vihara Bhavana, one should practise each of these virtues over and over again so that one accomplishes mental impartiality towards the four persons, namely, oneself, the dear person, the neutral one and the hostile person. The Visuddhimagga says, 'Thus the sign and access are obtained by this person simultaneously with the breaking down of the barriers. But when breaking down of the barriers has been effected, he reaches absorption...' Metta (Loving-kindness) embraces all sentient beings, Karuna (Compassion) embraces unfortunate beings, Mudita (Gladness) embraces the happy and prosperous, and Upekkha (Equanimity) embraces the good and the bad, the loved and the unloved, the pleasant and the unpleasant. May all beings be happy and liberated Saya U Chit Tin ------------------------------------ *THE EXPOSITION OF NON-CONFLICT* //(Aranavibhanga Sutta)// A man should not pursue sensual desires which are low, vulgar, coarse, ignoble and connected with harm; and he should not pursue selfmortification, which is painful, ignoble and connected with harm. The Middle Way avoiding both these extremes has been discovered by the Perfect One (Tathagata) giving sight, giving knowledge, which leads to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana. A man should know what it is to over-rate and what it is to under-rate and knowing both, he should neither over-rate nor under-rate but should speak only Dhamma. He should know how to define pleasure (or happiness) and knowing that, he should pursue his own pleasure. He should not utter covert speech, and he should not utter overt sharp speech. He should speak unhurriedly, not hurriedly. He should not insist on local language, and he should not override normal usage. (Majjhima Nikaya No. 139) Translated by Bhikkhu Nanamoli --------------------------------------------------- _Appendix 3_ *The Life Of The Buddha* //By Ledi Sayadaw// [15] Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma-Sambuddhassa I. May the Fully Enlightened One dwell on my head! 'Tis for the good, gain, benefit, and happiness Of gods and of men: that a Unique Being, the Boddhisatta, On a Thursday, the full moon day of July (Waso), When the monsoon had set in, the timely rain well begun, Took conception in Maha Maya's womb: the Queen of Suddhodana, At the request of gods and devas who assembled together, From the ten thousand Universes of the Jatikhittiya. II. Great were the rejoicings after a lapse of ten months. When His Noble birth took place at Lumbini, near Kappilavatthu, Amidst the veritable hues of the blooming Sala trees, On a Friday, the full moon day of May (Kasone), The sixty-eighth year of the Maha Era -- sixth century, B.C. For the good and gain of many: of men, deities and gods. III. The Royal Prince was married to His cousin Princess, Both of them aged only sixteen, and they led A happy and luxurious life for thirteen years: Three Palaces were built, to suit the three seasons -- Of cold, of heat, of rains -- and amidst all comforts, Prince Siddhattha realised the universality of suffering. Upon seeing a decrepit, a deseased, a corpse and a hermit: The four signs of the devas, He renounced the world, Made a historic journey in search of Truth and Eternal Peace, On a Monday, the full moon day of July (Waso); His twenty-ninth year, in the full bloom of his youth. IV. For six strenuous years in the forest, after crossing Anoma, The ascetic Siddhattha made a super-human struggle, Practising severest austerities of various forms. Finally He found the Middle Path and the Four Noble Truths, On a Wednesday, the full moon day of May (Kasone), Being seated under the canopy of the Pipal Bodhi tree, He eradicated all defilements, dispelled ignorance. Wisdom arose, darkness vanished. He became a Buddha -- An Enlightened or Awakened One -- for the gain of many, Spreading influence to the ten thousand Universes. V. To the Migada Deer Park at Isipatana the Enlightened One went, Where the Pancavaggi, the five energetic ascetics Who attended on Him during His struggle, were residing, Precisely two months after He had attained Buddhahood, In his thirty-fifth year, He expounded the First Discourse, On a Saturday, the full moon day of July (Waso). Though addressing directly the diligent ascetics, Devas and Brahmas from the ten thousand Universes came; Took advantage of the golden opportunity of hearing The Sermon: the Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta, The Turning or the Establishment of the Wheel of Truth. VI. Out of compassion for the good and gain Of men, devas and brahmas, the Buddha Gotama taught the Dhamma. Innumerable beings gained Nibbana: the Deathless. Forty-five years after His long and successful ministry, On a Tuesday, the full moon day of May (Kasone), The hundred and forty-eighth year of the Maha Era, Upon attaining the ripe age of eighty years, He came To Kusinara, the land of Mallas, where He laid Himself down. Between the twin Sala trees, mindful and self-possessed. Then the Great Demise of the Buddha Gotama took place. The Perfect One had finally attained Maha Parinibbana. Then there occurred a great earthquake fearful and hair-raising; Celestial drums resounded with the attainment of ultimate extinction. VII. At the turn into Kusinara, in the Mallian's Sala-tree grove, Lay the Blessed One's Golden Body, in a befitting manner, That of a Universal Monarch who turns the Wheel of Righteousness, Many came paying honour, respect, and veneration to the remains, With music, garlands, and scents; making canopies and pavillions. Mounted on a pyre built with all kinds of scented woods, It caught alight by itself producing neither cinder nor ash, On a Sunday, the waning moon day of May (Kasone), When the Perfect One's Golden Body was consumed by tejo-dhatu, There remained sacred relics which Dona divided into eight parts, For fair distribution to the kings for erecting eight monuments. VIII. Great were the events that took place on the seven week-days, In reverence to the Exalted, the Worthy, the Happy One, My salutation, adoration, veneration to Him, with utmost faith: I bow, lay prostrate, five points touching ground [16], Vandana. May I be peaceful and happy: May I gain Nibbana. May all beings be peaceful and happy: May they gain the deathless. [17] FOOTNOTES: [1] Dhammapada Commentary, Brahmana Vagga, 416, Jotika and Jatila Vatthu (Buddhist Legends, Harvard Oriental Series, Vol. 30, pp 313-319, PTS publication). [2] Majjhima Nikaya No. 107, Discourse to Ganaka Moggallana. Sayagyi U Ba Khin's Dhamma Talks in Burmese (He often quoted these lines). [3] Nibbana is the ultimate goal of Buddhists. For texts on N., see Path of Purification (XVI 64 ff) by Bhikkhu Nanamoli; Path of Deliverance by Nyanatiloka Thera; Anatta and Nibbana by Nyanaponika; The Buddhist Doctrine of Nibbana by Ven. P. Vajiranana (Wheel 165/166). [4] Published by the Vipassana Association International Meditation Centre, 31A, Inyamyaing, Rangoon, Burma (first edition: 1962; second edition 1966). [5] Published by the same Association. Several reprints since 1951-52. Now available at the sales depot of the Religious Affairs Department, Kaba Aye P.O., Rangoon, Burma. [6] See the Book of Gradual Sayings, III, pp 200-204 (Pali Text Society). [7] see the Middle length Sayings II, pp 32-35 (Pali Text Society). [8] See Woven Cadences of Early Buddhists, pp 38-40 (Pali Text Society). [9] A Talk by Saya U Ba Pho, Secretary, at the IMC Rangoon, Burma on the 18th January 1982, 11th Anniversary of the Demise of Sayagyi U Ba Khin. [10] See pictures on page 38. [11] A Talk by Saya U Tint Yee, president, IMC Rangoon, Burma, on the 19th January 1982, 11th Anniversary of the Demise of Sayagyi, to all western students who came for Meditation and Ordination. [12] The traditional four formalities: taking refuge in the Triple Gem, taking the Eight Precepts, surrendering to the Buddha and to the Teacher, requesting the Teacher to teach Anapana and Vipassana Meditation. [13] The students had to submit daily their diary relating to the experiences in their Meditation, and Sayagyi would give remarks or instructions whenever he found necessary, and the diary was returned before the day was over. [14] A Dhamma-Talk by Saya U Tint Yee, to a group of foreign students including many who had just completed a meditation course at IMC Rangoon, Burma, as monks. U Tint Yee's talk touches on several important aspects of the Buddha's Teaching which students sometimes overlook or fail to put the right emphasis on. The talk was given on 19th January 1982, the 11th Anniversary of the Demise of Sayagyi U Ba Khin. [15] Knowing that all the students, who were at the Ordination Course, were very old students, Saya U Tint Yee did not go into full details of the Eightfold Noble Path and the other 37 Factors of Enlightenment. He simply touched on some essential factors which should be given more attention to. All students have learnt the theory very well. There were 27 western male and 26 western female students apart from a good number of local students who all gathered there for the special occasion. On the 19th January morning fifty most revered monks from the capital were present to receive the Dana from Mother Sayama and the Executive Committee of the Vipassana Association, IMC, Rangoon. Over 300 local old students and friends of Sayagyi came for the 11th Anniversary of the demise of Sayagyi and all were fed with delicious Burmese food after the monks were offered //swoon// (palaugh-rice) -- a special food for the occasion. A good gathering every year for this remembrance, and a grand offering (dana) in the name of Sayagyi U Ba Khin. [16] A Dhamma-Talk by Saya John Coleman at IMC Rangoon, Burma, on the 19th January 1982, 11th Anniversary of the Demise of Sayagyi U Ba Khin. [17] This is an adaption from Ledi Sayadaw's //Seven-Day Verses// in Burmese (Translated by Saya U Chit Tin). Known to scholars of many countries, the Ven. Ledi Sayadaw was one of the most outstanding Buddhist figures of this age. In February 1895, he went to India on pilgrimage to visit the holy places associated with the life of the Lord Buddha. On return he composed these inspiring verses for the benefit of those Burmese Buddhists who had no opportunity to come to the land of the Buddha. The verses became very popular and even today they are recited by children in Buddhist homes in Burma. Mother Sayama recites these verses at the end of each group sitting. [18] The five Rests. [19] The original text has this eighth verse (see Thinbongyi-Tika). ------------------------------------ Copyright and Published by the Sayagyi U Ba Khin Memorial Trust, United Kingdom Address as below, registered charity no. 280134 ------------------------------------------------ Worldwide Contact Addresses in the Tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ *AUSTRIA*: International Meditation Centre, A-9064 St. Michael/Gurk 6, Austria;Tel: +43 4224 2820, Fax: +43 4224 28204 *EASTERN AUSTRALIA*: International Meditation Centre, Lot 2 Cessnock Road, Sunshine NSW 2264, Australia; Tel: +61 49 705 433, Fax: +61 49 705 749 *UNITED KINGDOM*: International Meditation Centre, Splatts House, Heddington, Calne, Wiltshire SN11 OPE, England; Tel: +44 380 850 238, Fax: +44 380 850 833, Email: CIS, IMC-UK,100330,3304 *USA (East Coast)*: International Meditation Centre, 438 Bankard Road, Westminster MD 21158, USA; Tel: +1 410 346 7889, Fax: +1 410 346 7133; Email: CIS, IMC-USA, 74163,2452 *WESTERN AUSTRALIA*: International Meditation Centre, Lot 78 Jacoby Street, Mahogany Creek WA 6072, Australia; Tel: +61 9 295 2644, Fax: +61 9 295 3435 *CANADA*: IMC-Canada, 336 Sandowne Drive, Waterloo, Ontario, N2K 1V8, Canada; Tel: +1 519 747 4762, Fax: +1 519 725 2781 *GERMANY*: Sayagyi U Ba Khin Gesellschaft, Christaweg 16, 79114 Freiburg, Germany, Tel: +49 761 465 42, Fax: +49 761 465 92 *JAPAN*: Sayagyi U Ba Khin Memorial Trust, Komatsuri-Cho 923, Kishiwada-Shi, Osaka-Fu, 596 Japan, Tel: +81 724 45 0057 *THE NETHERLANDS*: Sayagyi U Ba Khin Stichting, Oudegracht 124, 3511 AW Utrecht, The Netherlands, Tel: +31 30 311 445, Fax: +31 30 340 612 *SINGAPORE*: Sayagyi U Ba Khin Memorial Association, 9 Penang Road #07-12, Park Mall, Singapore 0923 Tel: +65 338 6911, Fax: +65 336 7211 *SWITZERLAND*: Sayagyi U Ba Khin Gesellschaft, Greyerzstrasse 35, 3013 Bern, Switzerland;Tel: +41 31 415 233, Fax: +41 61 691 8049; Email: CIS, 100256,3576 *USA (West Coast)*: IMC-USA, 77 Kensington Rd., San Anselmo, CA 94960. Tel: +1 415 459 3117, Fax: +1 415 346 7133 *BELGIUM*: Address as for the Netherlands, Tel: +32 2414 1756 *DENMARK*: Contact Address: Mr. Peter Drost-Nissen, Strandboulevarden 117, 3th, 2100 Kopenhagen, Denmark. Tel: 031 425 636 *ITALY*: Contact address: Mr. Renzo Fedele, Via Euganea 94, 35033 Bresseo PD, Italy. Tel: +39 49 9900 752 -------------------------------------------------- DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT TITLE OF WORK: The Anecdotes of Sayagyi U Ba Khin FILENAME: ANECDOTE.ZIP AUTHOR: Saya U Chit Tin, ed. AUTHOR'S ADDRESS: n/a PUBLISHER'S ADDRESS: International Meditation Centre, Splatts House, Heddington, Calne, Wiltshire SN11 OPE, England COPYRIGHT HOLDER: The Sayagyi U Ba Khin Memorial Trust, U.K. DATE OF PUBLICATION: 1982 DATE OF DHARMANET DISTRIBUTION: 1994 ORIGIN SITE: BODY DHARMA * Richmond CA 510/234-9431 DharmaNet (96:101/33) The copyright holder retains all rights to this work and hereby grants electronic distribution rights to DharmaNet International. 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