I have seen and heard for a long time that we chant without translating the words. This may be because of laziness or because it is troublesome to do so. But, it surely is against the ideal. Anybody may have read the sermon saying that the purpose of chanting is to promote growth. Here growth means wisdom. It makes us knowledgeable, mindful and delighted.
The meaning of the chanting must be realized.
If we don"t know the meaning of the holy stanza, or do not know what we gain by chanting, it is impossible to be knowledgeable, mindful and delighted. Therefore we must think that this is a definite rule and that we should practise it as a routine. Each time we chant the holy stanza, we have to chant its translation every other day. There must be a translation definitely, because we don"t know the meaning in Pali, even when we attend the funeral of relatives. People, relatives of the chanters, or the listeners of the chants, can hear the last chapter that the monks always chant : Tesangwoo Pasamo Sukho, to expire is considered happy in this world, truly happy. Sankhara means proliferation. According to the way I like to translate it, I would say าWhen there is no proliferation of the Sankhara, special happiness exists.
Monks, novices, white-robed female or lay followers will chant the last chapter Tesangwoo Pasamo Sukho in the cremation ceremony, or in the ceremony for putting the bones in an urn. We have listened to this for hundreds of years. But it is a mere listening and ending right there, without anybody understanding and ending right there, without anybody understanding its meaning. Actually the chanting is for the living to know that when the Sankhara is put at an end, all the proliferation is also put to an end. It is utmost happiness in the world. The intention is to teach people to be calm, not to be sad and not to lament, not to have mental information according to what the eyes see, the ears hear, the nose smells, the tongue tastes and the body receives touches, the mind receives the formed emotion.
Don"t make proliferation because it brings great suffering.
We just finishedf chanting a minute ago. That chapter is the same with what I have taught not long ago. Ruepang Anichang the body is not permanent, the sensation is not permanent, perception is not permanent, Sankhara is not permanent, consciousness is not permanent, it is suffering. It comes about remains and extincts. To put an end to these is great happiness. This is the chanting of practioners.
Practitioner means a person who often practises, or normally practises.
He skillfully practises. Therefore chanting is for the knowledgeable and the mindful. He knows what he is chanting and those who listen understand him. Thus it can be said that the chanting causes straight practices. If it is not as I said, he is not a practitioner but a refuser to practise. He does not know what it is. How can he do it correctly ? It would be impossible for him to stop, extinguish, correct or be calm.
Therefore it is a definite rule here that in chanting we emphasize that the chanter is knowledgeable, mindful and delighted. If we know what we are chanting, listeners understand, we who chant understand what we are chanting about. Then we are chanting for ourselves. Do not chant for others to hear. This is the point that I want you to know. In the past we usually chant without the translation. Therefore we know nothing.
The movement of the one who is clean.
Another thing is the rules of the Meditation Hall. There are 5-6 rules for entering this hall. Those who know nothing will have to learn, make an attempt to know the rules in living in a society, so that we can adjust ourselves and prepare ourselves to live with other people. We have to depend on each other, maintaining what is useful for each other, not to take advantage of one another. In fact, the point is to develop what is most useful for us. To enter the meditation hall politely is the way to motivate oneself to be fully conscious and have presence of mind in order to save oneself from being ignorant, going astray and being unconscious, not understanding anything. We have to be careful of our manners while entering the meditation hall with a feeling that it is the habitat of the mighty soul of the knowledgeable, mindful and delighted. Or it is a shelter of the Lord Buddha and his disciples. We all are amidst the association of the teachers who are knowledgeable, mindful and delighted. If this is our feeling, we will be very careful in acting, speaking with attentiveness, be firm, calm, composed, which naturally occur. This is the same as Tesankwoo, Pa Samo, Sukho, when the world phenomena is calm and motionless, it will be very happy.
When awareness of movements arises, calmness, composition, and carefulness will come about. This is to develop great consciousness. When this happens we will be aware of all movements. Fear will disappear, as well as confused thinking, annoyance and anger. Because we are careful of ourselves in standing, walking, sitting, lying, every part of our body is alert. Mistakes, failure, incorrectness will not be in the body, speech and thoughts. Such movement is the movement of the one who is clean.
The Dhamma is for controlling the body,speech and mind to be clean.
The Dhamma is not for us to brag about, or to write down in a text book, or to talk about and show off that one is clever and knows all the Dhamma. The Dhamma does exist to control our manners to be polite and esthetic. Women with such manners will be appropriate persons and deserve to be honoured and accepted by the male. If the person is a man, he will be an excellent gentleman, smart, brave, distinct, tolerant, honest, firm and clever.
The Dhamma will enrich the personality of man so that he is brave to do, speak, think and make decision in the right things, refusing to make mistakes. We can say that the person has the Dhamma.
There is the Dhamma for controlling the body, speech and mind to be systematic, to atone all the mistakes, destroy or reduce all evils. Therefore it is not necessary for the one who possesses the Dhamma; it is not necessary to brag, or associate or be friendly or talk to anybody. Only walk to the abode of those people. That person will show us that he receives power-power from the Buddha, power from the teachings of the Buddha and the purity of the Dhamma which remains in that persons heart and around the area where that person lives.
When we enter the place of the person with the Dhamma, from head to foot, from the stairway to the bedroom or from the first step we make into his place, we can notice that he is clean from his first to last steps, he is clean and delicate, gentle and fine. It is beautiful by itself. It is not necessary to do anything. It needs no addition of colour, sound or light. But those who have the Dhamma on their lips, only in the brain and memory or only in text books, it will be contaminated, full of uncleanliness. What they have is not systematic and lack order. What they act out will be embarrassing and dull like the lunatic in actions and thoughts, like the person who does not have all the 32 organs.
It can be concluded that the Dhamma is a device to assist a person to eat, stand , walk, sit, lie down and excrete effectively. All is normally right and well. We hold that person has the Dhamma. Before the ordain of monks or novices, or enunciation, I often enter the meditation hall, may be because at the time it is full of the Dhamma. Later on I found that the bathroom is untouchable. Going up the meditation hall, I found the floor very dusty. The set of altar tables were covered with dust, as thick as a newspaper, but you people go in there for meditation everyday. What can be used for the foundation of action of good deeds as long as they have to step on uncleanliness ?
One who possesses high Dhamma cannot be judged by the look who stands or sits and stretches his neck high, boasting of his quality, knowledge and efficiency. But he is judged by his actions, his environment which shows that he is clean. I used to teach youngsters:
If we want to know who is clean, we have to look at his work. See whether he works for the common good without thinking of his own benefits. He sacrifices for others without thinking of any payment.
Thus, we can say that he is clean. He is clean in every way he lives; his environment is clean and, lastly, he must also be honest.
If we want to know who has attentiveness, concentration, and forcefulness we must look at him when he has trouble, see if he could keep calm, is not excited, but remains stable like a mountain that is never bothered by storm. We can say that he who possesses the Dhamma is mindful and has concentration and force. He is clean in his thinking.
And if you want to know who is wise, you have to converse with him, see how he behaves and looks at his environment. Does he have more wisdom, more knowledge ? His understanding in all things, all materials and all creatures is clearer, more open, correct and honest. How much truth is in it ? If we converse with him and become clear, we can say that he has clean speech, without which he has no Dhamma. He is drunk and full of false beliefs. If the Dhamma is in him or in his heart, all the things in his environment are good, well developed, nice and beautiful. But wherever anybody who inherits false Dhamma is, that place lacks orderliness, but is dirty and contaminated. He is confused and brings about problems which arise from his cravings and desires.
The Ones who has the Dhamma those who really take actions.
Therefore I would like to tell you all that you should not tell anybody that you have the Dhamma, and that we understand deeply and should be teaching the Dhamma. I have seen you people teaching the Dhamma, sitting concentratedly and meditating in this hall several days. But, the room is full of dust as usual. The footprints of a dog still remains there. The lavatory, the toilet has stains around the corner as usual. The area is dirty and full of junks. Water in the lotus basin is as dry as it was. Days have passed by without any change. Rubbish lays around. Dogs bite milk cans and there is left-over of grated coconut everywhere. But the place is used for conference, for the sermon, for eating and sleeping of those who practise the Dhamma. How can such people have the Dhamma ? What a pity it is !
Formerly there were few of us who live here. The place is tidy and clean which means that our Dhamma is strong. We work hard. One who has the Dhamma is doing something. He does not only sit and memorize the Dhamma. Now almost fifty people live together, everything is in bad shape. This shows that these people are not practising the Dhamma. I am not complaining for you to feel bad. But I want you to understand and know that the Dhamma has not been instilled in your heart yet. It is mere listening and memorizing, so that you can talk about it. This is knowing the Dhamma from memory.
As long as we see garbage and feel happy, we don"t have any Dhamma.
There is an old story, which teaches us : a young novice wanted to climb up a big mountain to study meditation with a marvellous teacher. While walking up the mountain before he reaches the abode of that marvellous teacher he saw a clothesline with the robe worn by the teacher, hanging on the line still in the shape when he wore it. The novice angrily descended the mountain suddenly, though he had spent many days climbing up the mountain in order to study the Dhamma with the teacher. When he saw the teachers robe in the shape like it has just been taken off from his body, he changed his mind and did not want to study with that teacher.
Some body asked Why ! Have you finished your study with that teacher ? You climbed up and came down shortly.
The novice replied I did not study with him. Why? The novice answered, าHe is not a good teacher. He who is up there, The novice answered, is not a teacher. He acts as if he were living in a hole. He cannot manage his personal business well and good. How can he have enough intelligence to teach other people ? He took off the clothes from his body and hung lousily on the line. He could not manage his own business. How can he teach his students to do that ?
Therefore the Dhamma is very delicate; it is near us, it is in our soul and our blood. Whoever has the Dhamma has it in his soul, his blood, his life and his thoughts. The Dhamma is not on the lips or in the memory and then pretend to show it off. If you ask me whether I have to make use of the Dhamma for the construction of the Wat, in a period not too long ago. This is the result of the work of the Dhamma. Without the Dhamma, we would not be able to put up these buildings, in a short time and without much manpower. The Dhamma helps Luang Poo to know what is proper and what is improper, what should come first, what should come later, know the time, the period, know people, know how to estimate, know good timing and improper timing, know what should be done, what should not, know the use of the building after it is finished, and for whom it is.
So long as you can walk across the faeces of dogs and let the common property lying around, don"t ever tell anybody that you have the Dhamma.
Once I used to bow on the ground at the feet of a novice. There were dogs faeces in front of the uposotha hall. The chief monk passed by overlooking the faeces. The assistant chief passed by and did the same. Old monks, small children who were newly ordained monks, the monks ordained long ago, all walked pass piles of dogs faeces. However, there was a novice who came around, who hurriedly looked for newspaper to wrap up the faeces and cleaned the place. I was so satisfied that I sat down and bowed to that novice to the ground and said าThe Dhamma in you is great ! Those who have the Dhamma in their spirit, can do anything when he comes across it, and are always truly successful.
As long as we see dogs faeces lying around and can still be happy and laugh, don"t ever tell anybody that we have the Dhamma. Which item of the Dhamma concerns getting rid of the dogs faeces ? Let me tell you that it is the great Dhamma which destroys self or ego of a person, self-esteem, conceit erroneous opinion, pride, selfishness, narrow- mindedness. Al; are destroyed by picking up a newspaper to clean up the faeces. It arouses sacrifice, assistance for all creature and people at large and generosity for the use and happiness of the people. This makes a kind heart bloated by walking to pick up newspaper to clean the faeces. We can see that it is a merit, a Dhamma which can neither be learned from textbooks, nor from a teacher, nor from anybody. We obtain it by putting ourselves into action.
The one with the Dhamma will act according to the usefulness of results for himself and for others.
Therefore it is not necessary for the one who possesses the Dhamma, to chant and pray to God or not necessary to sit and close his eyes and ears and acts as a marvellous person. The one with the Dhamma will act according to the usefulness of results for himself and for others, for all creatures to be happy and can avoid all the sufferings. This is the way of one with the Dhamma. If a person, walking on a street picking up rubbish on the street, he surely has the Dhamma,- a better Dhamma than those who sit and close their eyes in the uposotha, or in the preaching hall or dwelling place of the Wat.
Dear Son, you may study the Dhamma 100 hours a day. But to me, one who walks ahead and sees useless grass and puts out his hands to pull the grass, with consideration that those who come behind may step on the grass and fall down. To me, putting ones hand out to pull the grass is more valuable than studying the Dhamma in school for 100 hours. Because studying the Dhamma for 100 is still not useful for the world and society. It is only memorization so words come around the lips and at the tip of the tongue.
Such Dhamma is not yet of any use; and cannot be called the Dhamma, as long as it does not give any benefits to the world and society, including oneself. Therefore those who are sitting here please understand that we do not yet have much of the Dhamma.
Luang Poo had tried out those who boasted that they were perfect ones or arahants many times. I used to visit the abodes of the arahants. As soon as I saw them, I told myself that they were not arahants, but roasted pigs, because their abodes are full of rubbish, cobwebs and many things lying around are out of place. Though their manners are delicate, it is the best acting, and the best speech which might be pretended. So long as they cannot put things for their bodies in order, their spirits are not in good order. It is difficult, I know; otherwise there will not be an old saying Your tones indicate the language, your manners indicate your family names and your actions indicate your being in a low class. Or there will not be what wise men have taught us that all actions are mastered by the mind, the mind is the master.
Lets imagine, if the Dhamma has ruled the heart of anybody, is it possible that their actions will be the opposite of it or against it, or have to quarrel ? Is it possible that one who is ruled by the Dhamma, will not pick up rubbish when he comes across it ? It is impossible. Those ruled by the Dhamma will behave well. They know what ought to be done and what ought not. They know what is right and what is wrong, what is proper and what is improper. There are the characteristics of the persons with the Dhamma. He is delicate.
Therefore the definition for the Dhamma is the Doctrine and the Discipline which will not slow anything down, but expedite it so that it is finished on time, up-to-date, inclusive, and well-done. These are the usefulness of the Doctrine and the Discipline. The Doctrine and the Discipline will make us persevere. We will have tolerance, diligence and keep persevering in our study and memorising so that the action becomes useful. It will destroy what is bad for us and bring usefulness to us and others.
If you want to know whether you have the Dhamma or not, you must see whether you can tolerating anything. Are you honest, truthful, kind and become cleverer ? Now are we lazy ? Are we kind to others and can sacrifice for anybody ? Now are we serious, and truthful to others ? Now are we generous and accept the causes and reasons of other people ? Now can we be useful for others and for ourselves ? If you can thus analyse and find that we are all good and well in everything, it means that we have the Dhamma. We have the Dhamma for our abode. We depend on the Dhamma. We have the Dhamma as means to go and come.
But, so long as all the things mentioned above do not appear in you, you still have actions, thoughts and speech that are not useful to yourself and others. There are only bad results, greed and covetousness, which are enemies of the Dhamma. Then know that we are not close to the Dhamma yet. We do not have the Dhamma for our abode. We do not exist with the Dhamma and do not abide by the Dhamma. We go and come without the Dhamma. It comes with the force of Karma which is demerit, that are unwise actions. Therefore we only get some results.
Action of the person who has the Dhamma.
Therefore, please understand that for Luang Poo, if he wants to see people with the Dhamma, he does not look at people who close their eyes smartly, or speak well, or show off, pretending to be smart, but he looks at their actions to see, how smart they are in getting rid of their bad character. This can be made easy by Luang Poo by looking at the way one walks, which helps to predict whether he possesses the Dhamma or not. Walking with the Dhamma and without the Dhamma have a wide difference , like the sky being far apart from the earth. They walk differently like the back and the palm of the hand. The one with the Dhamma talks, sleeps, speaks, eats, excretes and goes to the toilet quite differently from the one without the Dhamma, like the sky and the earth. Notice slowly the differences. Definition for the one with the Dhamma, has the Dhamma in his heart, his life is useful, kind, clever, clean, light and calm. It is not necessary to learn or remember many things. Whenever we come across a piece of paper and walk past it without shame, we fail.
If we go to the toilet, letting water run all the time and leaving the light on or not flushing the toilet, and walking happily out of it, we fail.
We do not feel uneasy when we have not improved what we did, we fail.
So long as we walk past our friends or elderly people who deserve respect, but we did not show any recognition, we don"t accept the rules of society, and refuse to do what is acceptable, we fail.
If we don"t know which is proper for us and what is not, what belongs to the monks, what belongs to people, what is appropriate for us, which is inappropriate ; we fail.
If we don"t know which things belong to our teacher and which things do not, which is our business and which is a common business, which is to be respected, which is not, we fail.
Like what happened this morning, a student put the sleeping mat of Luag Poo on the ground to sit on, he does not have any Dhamma. If his teacher uses it for sleeping but he uses it for sitting and walking on it.
If you want to pay respect to Luang Poo and teachers, take what they preach and put into action. Try to adjust yourself with the rules and regulations of society. Whenever you go, you will be asked Whose student are you ? Who is your teacher ? Why are you so polite and composed ? This is the way to pay respect to teachers. The name of the teacher will spread wide and far.
If you only sit and bow to the ground, but your heart contains nothing but evils and you normally behave badly, wherever you go, people will see how bad you are. They will also ask าWho are your parents ? Where is your teacher ? Why did he teach you to behave like this ? To live and make use of the Dhamma and make people bow to you to the ground is not good. It makes you stale. Your parents and your teachers will have bad luck.
Therefore Luang Poo will tell you that he does not like to be praised, to be bowed to the ground or to be accepted. But I have to teach people to accept, know, look, see and act, so that they will not act without the eyes and the ears. That is he has eyes around him but he cannot see anything; he has the ears not for holding or carrying only, i.e. he does not know what should be done and what should not. The person with the Dhamma knows how to make full use of agreement or convention and respects and accepts the agreement. He agrees that this is a teacher, a father, a mother, children, a husband, a student, a friend, a senior, one who is near. When such agreements were made, one should know how to behave to teachers, how to behave to parents, when to stay with the Dhamma, how to behave to monks, how to act in such a place. If we accept those actions and put into practise, that person has the Dhamma. Because the Dhamma will polish us and make us gentle, accept all the reasons and results of other people and behave in such acceptable ways.
Those who lack the Dhamma will be stiff, not accepting anything. He lifts his nose high like a crab holding up it leg, the elephant lifting its nose high and the lizard lifting its neck. These are all bad. One is destroying oneself unknowingly. They do not learn and accept rules and regulations of society. They do not perform the duty of a father, a wife, a husband, sons and daughters, a teacher, a student and not even the duty, to oneself. Thus with whom can they live ?
Therefore one who possesses the Dhamma, people do not judge him by the degrees he has or whether he has passed third or ninth grade of the Pali studies. People will look at the duties he has, how well he has carried them out. This is one who possesses the Dhamma without failing any duty.
Lord Buddha preached the Dhamma so that a person becomes a human.
Therefore all through the life of Luang Poo, he does not like anybody to praise him, but he does not like any body to step on the toes of his students. The reason is that lifting means showing respect and praise. I do not want anyone to tell lies or deceive himself. Though the person would bow to the ground in the morning, during the day, in the evening and at night, if they do that with evil thoughts, I don"t want them to bow to me at all. It is like putting faeces on gold leaf or put the gold leaf over the faeces. Who would like that ? I don"t. But I have to teach that is the seat for the monk, this is a seat for the teachers, these are the seats for Luang Poo. This is mainly to reduce the evils in the heart of the students. Knowing periods, oneself estimation, time, causes, environments, places, persons, agreements, these are the Dhamma. If they do not understand or know, they have to make an attempt. Try to understand until the Dhamma arises. Nobody will dare step on the toes of the student.
This is the duty of a kind teacher. He must try to point out and work hard on the student so that he becomes better. Those who want to be good will be good. One who wants to be good must find something good. If any student does not want his teacher to work hard on him it means that he does not want to be good. He does not have anything good, he cannot live well, he surely will not die a good death.
Therefore, when I complain, warn and help him to be good, it is not to make myself excellent in the land. But I want you all to know what is the Dhamma. The Dhamma is to perform ones duty completely, purely and correctly, straight and just according to the regulations of society and all the agreements made in the world. At last the Dhamma will help us to finally escape from the power of agreement, when we can act accordingly and well. We shall know by ourselves that such indicators come about automatically. Such is the trick of the world which are agreed upon. When we have completed our task we can lay them down without being bothered in our thoughts. Nobody can say anything against us. Nobody can refuse us later on because we have fully completed our task and learned about it thoroughly. The task of a person is thoroughly completed. The duty to learn, and to accept. When we have succeeded that much, we will know how to lay it down.
But so long as you pass by rubbish and do not pick it up; when you see anything dirty, you do not wash it; when you see the floor dirty, you don"t clean it and do not turn off water and light, then you cannot see what is dirty in yourself. Don"t go about telling people that you have the Dhamma. We don"t believe it, a hundred times, a thousand times. Luang Poo does not believe it because the Dhamma of our Lord Buddha does not teach anything but how to be an excellent human being. Don"t forget that Lord Buddha preached the Dhamma. He did not teach animals and gods, but he preached the Dhamma so that a person becomes a human being which means high mindedness. A persons level as a person is raised higher than dust which may make a person dirty. He did not preach to an excellent man, but an ordinary person, how to live their lives, so that their lives are fulfilled.
If we can do this much, it is regarded that we have gone beyond being just a person to being a human being. He again gave certain practices to a human being so that he becomes a monk and later on becomes the monk who can do no wrong.
Therefore you can see that the Buddha did not teach anything but to perform your duties completely, according to time and causes and aiding condition of certain environment. That is characteristic of the Dhamma. There is nothing greater than this. If you look carefully, to put the Teachings of the Buddha in ourselves, we have to get rid of the rust by washing, polishing, carving, destroying the impurity, rubbish, dust so that only the good part is left. This is a process of destruction of the Dhamma.
So long as we are incapable of cleaning ourselves from dirt, and still be lazy, coarse and harsh, greedy, vain, narrow mindedness and selfish, don"t ever tell anybody that you have the Dhamma. Nobody would believe you, because the Dhamma is the actions in getting rid of dirt, color, light, odour of dirt. If these remain, don"t ever tell anybody that you have the Dhamma. Nobody would believe you, absolutely not !
Luang Poo wish to tell you, warn you as if you were his close relative, not distant people that you people should not think that you have the Dhamma. Have you not noticed that when Luang Poo walked to the multiple purpose hall, he walked and passed by the basin of the lotus. He walked around and then stood still and said everyday I don"t see you people doing anything. This is no Dhamma. There is not any Dhamma. You know it that you don"t do anything. That is to warn you that we don"t have the Dhamma for sitting and closing our eyes, or for bragging to anybody. We don"t have the Dhamma for jotting down in a book.
We don"t have the Dhamma for memorization. We don"t have the Dhamma for teaching, but we have the Dhamma for putting us into actions, for getting rid of evils, preserved in our hearts to decrease evils. This is the way to have the Dhamma.
This is like when I was brave enough to bow to the ground to a novice who was capable in putting away piles of dogs faeces, in front of the consecrated assembly hall, after many people had walked pass it. There are other novices, but only that one was brave enough to do it. He did not do that in front of me, but behind me. He did not do it in order to show off. I hid myself and saw him doing that. Hence, I bowed down to the ground at his feet, I bowed to the Dhamma in him. His Dhamma is one of high class, it is not low class Dhamma.
The Dhamma is there,in our heart.
Therefore, the one who possesses the Dhamma is not a person who sits and lifts his head high on top of castle. Neither is he the one who lives in a Wat, sitting on high chair for preaching. Neither is he the one who has beautiful clothes. He may be a commoner with ragged clothes but he has the Dhamma of good quality. An old person who does not see or hear well may have the Dhamma of good quality. At the same time, a person who almost dies may have no Dhamma. Those born dumb and deaf and cannot talk may have excellent Dhamma. A man a hundred year old who can do no good may have disguised Dhamma.
I therefore would like to tell you, Buddhism does not identify good persons with long life. A person who is a rascal all his life, full of evils, is a waste. An old person, or a good one is praised because he has good and useful deeds. A child, one day old, has a right to become an old person. People call me Luang Poo (Grand Pa), it is not because I have lived to be old. But it is because Luang Poo has done something. What I did make people call me Luang Poo - an old man. What about you ? What have you done ? Therefore, if you aim at having the Dhamma, understanding the Dhamma, having learned the Dhamma and having the Dhamma as your abode, live with the Dhamma and depend on the Dhamma. You go and come with the Dhamma. I just ask What are we doing ? What are we going to do ? I would like to tell you, because I see you come to this place in order to practise the Dhamma, which is not done regularly on a set time. The Dhamma is stained. Dust from the Dhamma flies around, scattering. It is fulfilled in the heart of the ones who practise the Dhamma. It fulfills the place up to the set of altar tables. It reaches the seat of Luang Poo. It reaches near and far and around. The toilet is full of stain odour and color. What kind of the Dhamma have these things expressed ? Put this question in your heart, it must include the monks, the novices and the white-robed female or lay-followers. What class of the Dhamma do they have ?
As for Luang Poo, he does not think that there should be any particular place for the Dhamma. Any place we step on there must be the Dhamma in our heart. Luang Poo spent some time at Wat Talung. Wat Kao Bundai It, Wat Thumsingtothong, Wat Tam rungsuar, Wat Kaotaumor. You can ask the people in any place he visited, Luang Poo never stayed still, even the place where he visited only for one day. He cleaned the Wat by digging up grass, watering plants, tilling the soil, planting trees, cleaning toilets, sweeping off rubbish, taking of the cobweb. He never remained still. The heart is still but the body is not still. If he neglected what he should do, talking and thinking, how can he possess the Dhamma ? The Dhamma is like a machine which is in good shape. It will move and act like a conveyer on which he and other people depend. It moves ahead excellently and in good order, till it becomes a system for the body and the mind. People are like transportation. The Dhamma is like a gadget to make it moves. If the gadget is in good shape, it will move to do different tasks completely. If that piece of machine is out of order, the Dhamma is sunk. When the heart does not work, the body becomes inert. It slows down. Go and enquire whether those places he stepped on were developed. At Wat Talung the first day he visited he carried the spade and the hoe to cut off and clean the place which used to be a junk place. The place was clean; the place which used to be a junk place. The place was cleaned up in a few days; that place was full of junks for years. People around the temple were ashamed of themselves so they helped to clean the Wat.
The highest Dhamma,most excellent is not something learned from the text.
Therefore the Dhamma does not only exist in textbooks for people to quote or the Bible, or only for classrooms study or only sit in the meditation hall.
Don"t you forget. Put the Dhamma into practice. This place is called าMeditation Hall (in Pali Kammathan). Kamma is action. Tthana means ground. This makes your heart the ground for mental culture as long as we do not have any deed that serves as our ground, even if you stay in the hall or outside the hall, you will yawn. It is a waste of time to do the Kamma tthana. If you have good ground you will succeed in what you are doing, because you have the ground for your act, speech and thinking. It is not only to sit and close our eyes. This includes eating, standing, walking, sitting and lying down. Like yesterday when I answered that we have concentration for our work, why use it only for working, because criminals who break into houses also have concentration. But it is the wrong concentration. Our lives should be in concentration to control our standing, walking, talking, thinking, acting, eating, excreting, sleeping and sitting. It should make us aware of all our movements. That is regarding concentration, it is the Right Concentration. It is not necessary to have it only while we are working. But if we are aware of it in our eating, standing, walking, sitting, lying down, excreting - all movements will be clean. There will be no biting, the right leg will not kick the left one, nor the teeth biting the tongue - absolutely not. Everything will be complete in its duties.
We have a forceful boss. That is the concentration which arises from mindfulness which controls our body, speech and mind and all the movements in order to work completely, purely, justly, correctly, straight and according to the conditions of the principles of nature, full of responsibility, to the duty of existence and work. That is the person who has Right Concentration. But if things are in bad shape donีt tell anybody that we have concentration. Normally, Luang Poo likes flowers, freedom, likes to listen to the sound of the flow of water dashing over the cliffs, likes breeze, morning sunshine and the smell of nature. He has made attempts to put himself on the opposite of what he likes, in order to investigate himself whether these likes come from sensuality or it is fondness arising from real habit. He has made attempts to cut these things and clear himself with the Dhamma with tolerance and made up his mind to really do it.
I think like to leave with you - I have left many things with you, one more thing, i.e. the Highest Dhamma, most excellent ; it is not something learned from the text, as I have told you.
Dear Son, The Basket of Discourses (the second main division of the Pali canon containing discourses), the Basket of Higher Doctrine, the Discipline Basket do not take you right to the Dhamma. They are merely media to the Dhamma. In order to reach the Dhamma you must do it wholeheartedly, with clear and knowledgeable mind. There you reach the Dhamma. It is the Dhamma of high order. It is pure Dhamma, the Dhamma for emancipation. It is the Truth, it is the Noble Dhamma. Then you will become a Noble Person, a Holy Person at last.
Otherwise there is a chapter of Solok which I have written :
Dear Son, all the rules and regulations which may look small, have many details. Don"t think that they are useless. For me it is the tools which awaken you and you will be mindful, carefully mindful. Because being careful so that it will not be wrong from the rules and regulations. You must do it wholeheartedly. It will make us knowledgeable, waking up, that we never thought that it really wakes up. That I have to set regulations for those who use the meditation hall in order to wake us up. Waking from what ? From ignorance, ..... and wake up from death, not wanting to die or not preparing oneself for death, not knowing the day one passes away, not knowing what would happen after death. When we wake up from death we will instantly know the life after death of the one who wakes up from greed, anger, love, hatred, likes, delusion or craving, being enslaved by accepting the rules and regulations with great mindfulness. It will make us happy, peaceful, free, pure and without suffering. Being careful not to destroy any regulations. This mindfulness - great mindfulness. Where can you go and drill mindfulness, if you do not take good care of the existing rules and regulations. Learn the Dhamma from nature. There is nothing more than life, soul, acknowledgment, accepting truth honestly, sincerely with the use of wisdom and attention. Sathu, Sathu a Buddha is born !
(Translated by Daviras Dhanagom,Ph.D. )