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Aug 8, 2012

Time is Now

"When you can grasp this Dhamma opportunity [to practise Vipassana and serve in Dhamma], grasp it. If you don't take this opportunity and with life being as short as it is, you may die and not meet with such a chance again. You lost it."

Bimbisara, King of Magadha, offering half his kingdom to the ascetic Gotama. "Kingdoms are not for me. I have already walked away from one," replied the former prince Siddhattha. He was steadfast against all temptations, unshakeable in his renunciation - in his urgency of supreme efforts to serve all beings, in the purest, most beneficial way. The ascetic Gotama went on to re-discover Vipassana, and become a Sammasambuddha.

If you like something there is lobha; if you dislike something there is dosha; you live between the two.

In order to struggle yourselves free of these you have to concentrate in the way of the Buddha, and when you know anicca or when you have samādhi, you are free.

But this is quite difficult. The debts of akusala (unwholesome) kamma we have are very large, and because we can't pay them back, we keep turning round in sasāra (round of rebirth).

There is only one time period when it is possible to pay back these debts, and that is when the sāsana (era of teaching of the Buddha) shines and the emergence of a period of vimutti [liberation from all impurities of the mind].

When you can grasp this opportunity, grasp it. If you don't grasp this opportunity and with life being as short as it is, you may die and not meet with such a chance again. You lost it.

Therefore, you should use this opportunity as much as possible and understand the Dhamma according to your capabilities wherever you are. 

I want to give you a warning, however; sīla should be the sīla the Buddha taught, samādhi should be the samādhi the Buddha taught and paññā should be the paññā the Buddha taught.

Only then can you meditate to understand these three trainings clearly and develop in the Dhamma.

Whoever meditates developing in these three trainings of sīla, samādhi and paññā, understanding clearly their purpose, will in this time of patipatti (practice of the teaching) and vimutti attain the magga (path) and phala (fruition) states of nibbāna.

* * * 
The Buddha said in the Kālāma Sutta:

Do not believe what you have heard;
do not believe in the traditions, because they had been handed down for generations;
do not believe in anything because it is rumoured and spoken by many;
do not believe merely because a written statement of some old sage is produced;
do not believe in conjectures;
do not believe in that as truth to which you have become attached by habit;
do not believe merely the authority of your teachers and elders.
But after observation and analysis, when it agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and gain of one and all, only then accept it and live up to it.
Do not, therefore, blindly believe the theoretical issues until and unless you are convinced of the truth, either as a sequel to proper reasoning, or by means of a practical approach.

To abstain from evil;
To do good;
To purify the mind:
These are the teachings of all the Buddhas.

This extract taken from the Dhammapada gives in brief the essence of the Buddha’s teaching. 
It sounds simple but is so difficult to practise. 
One cannot be a true follower of the Buddha unless he practises the doctrine of Buddha.

The Buddha said:

You, to whom the truths I have experienced have been made known by me, make them your own; practise them, meditate upon them, share them; in order that the pure Dhamma may last long and spread for the good, the benefit, and welfare of all beings.

(from Vipassana Research Institute Newsletter, March, 2011) 


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Across countless aeons and endless time, may every moment of benefit from Vipassana practice go for the liberation of all beings.