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May 12, 2014

Shine in Brightness with Dhamma

(Message from Principal Vipassana Teacher Sayagyi U Goenka. 
Annual Dhamma service meeting. Dhamma Giri, India, 1988)

Companions on the path of Dhamma:

How can we share Vipassana practice for the benefit of many? As the work grows, more assistant teachers are appointed, more centers are established and more meditators give Dhamma service.

This growth is bound to continue. So it is essential that the work be properly organized, avoiding tendencies that weaken our work of sharing Vipassana in its purity.

At such a time in the growth of Dhamma we are at a crossroads: there is every danger of it turning into an organized religion, and then it will harm rather than help humanity. Once it becomes a sect the essence of Dhamma is gone.

This is a delicate situation. On one hand some discipline has to be maintained; on the other hand, if it merely turns into a hierarchy with everyone working within regimented rules, a sect will be established. And Vipassana practice is universal, nothing to do with any sect.

Sects arise when egos are predominant, when one’s position within the organization becomes of primary importance.

To give Dhamma service, you sacrifice comforts of home, professional work and time with family. But after this renunciation, if you then expect respect and appreciation from others, this is madness. This is where the personality cult and sectarianism starts.

More important is giving selfless service for the benefit of many.

Dhamma work is important, not your position in the organization. One should be happy with whatever Dhamma work one is asked, or not asked, to do.

You may say that you are working selflessly, but only you can judge this for yourself.

Two of the brahmavihāras — muditā (sympathetic joy) and karuṇā (compassion) — are for this purpose of self-examination.  Sympathetic joy (mudita) and compassion (karuna) are yardsticks by which to measure whether one is really developing in Dhamma.

If one feels jealousy or enmity towards a fellow server because his or her service is greatly appreciated, then one is not really practicing Vipassana, and has not understood Dhamma. But if you generate sympathetic joy (muditā), you are progressing in Dhamma.

Conversely a fellow Dhamma server may make a mistake, or what you perceive to be a mistake. If you generate irritation or aversion towards this person, then you are going far away from Dhamma. But if your motivation is to help this companion who has slipped, then karunā is developing.

You may even say that you have no negativity towards this person. But if there is a pleasant feeling at another’s downfall, then you are far away from Dhamma.

Keep on examining yourself carefully, because nobody else can do this for you.

First establish yourself in Dhamma, and then you can serve others properly.

If selfless Dhamma service is important instead of this mad ego 'I', then certainly the ego is getting dissolved. However, if one is projecting one’s ego in the name of serving Dhamma, no one can benefit from such service.

If you keep examining yourself to see how much your ego is really getting dissolved, then you are fit to offer Dhamma service, to serve the Dhamma organization.

Over the next few days important work will be carried out to formulate the code of discipline for all those involved in Dhamma service. In such work, the individual ego has no importance because individuals may come and go. It is Dhamma that should remain most important in all your decision-making to serve people properly.

The only aim is bahujana-hitāya, bahujana-sukhāya. For the benefit of many, happiness of many. May more and more people benefit from practicing Vipassana, come out of misery and enjoy real peace and harmony.

I see a very bright future. 

May all of you shine in this brightness with Dhamma, so that people get attracted to Vipassana.

May all of you be successful in Dhamma work, to selflessly serve suffering people everywhere.

Bhavatu sabba maṅgalaṃ
May all beings be happy. May you be happy.

Apr 26, 2014

The Protected Legacy of the Buddha

[The following message is based on Dhamma realities and compassion - to avoid action harming oneself and others. This is not intended to disrespect or hurt anyone.]

Any individual, or group of individuals, who have decided not to serve according to guidance of Principal Vipassana Teacher Sayagyi U Goenka - his guidance given in accordance to teachings of the Sammasambuddhas - are respectfully requested to immediately resign from the Dhamma responsibility assigned by him, before his passing away.

Our deepest good wishes are with them.

Even during the lifetime of Sayagyi U Goenka, some voluntarily left this highly de-centralized Dhamma organization to teach on their own, to do whatever they deemed is right. He had metta for them, and some of them expressed gratitude to their former teacher.

Likewise, after Sayagyi U Goenka's passing away, any individuals in any level of seniority, and 'followers' of such individuals, are free to do whatever they deem to be right - after they have left the Dhamma organization that is committed to serving under Sayagyi U Goenka's compassionate guidance and instructions: to share the pure Vipassana teaching of the Sammasambuddhas, for happiness and liberation of all beings.

But great harm can be done if individuals trusted with positions of very senior responsibility betray that trust - by allowing themselves to be overpowered by latent impurities, ego and gross delusion - and start creating turmoil within the organization.

Such deluded / disturbed individuals causing disturbance to others - such as by sending agitated or dangerously deluded e-mails (with their assumptions and presumptions) - are greatly harming themselves first. It is better they calmly accept the reality that they are presently not fit for Dhamma service, and better they invest more time to practice Vipassana and reduce the ego.

The Dhamma is protected by Dhamma.

"The Time-Clock of Vipassana has Struck".

We are under the protective shelter of Dhamma. May none be deluded like the little dog that he is carrying the Dhamma cart. Dhamma is carrying the Dhamma cart.

Those with gratitude and practical understanding of Dhamma, will be now serving normally, and continuing to serve normally in Vipassana courses, as they did during the lifetime of Sayagyi U Goenka.

All Co-Ordinator Area Teachers entrusted with the Dhamma legacy have been entrusted to ensure there is no discord, disharmony - as is bound to be if any individual, or group of individuals, act in defiance of the Principal Teacher Sayagyi U Goenka's last and lasting instructions.

May there be no discord, disharmony.

May all beings be happy, be peaceful, be liberated.