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THE WORD OF THE BUDDHA
Venerable Nyanatiloka Mahathera
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Suppose a householder, or his son, or someone reborn in a good family, hears the law; and after hearing the law he is filled with confidence in the Perfect One. And filled with this confidence, he thinks: 'Full of hindrances is household life, a refuse heap; but the homeless life (of a monk) is like the open air. Not easy is it, when one lives at home, to fulfil in all points the rules of the holy life. How if now I were to cut off hair and beard, put on the yellow robe and go forth from home to the homeless life?' And in a short time, having given up his possessions, great or little, having forsaken a large or small circle of relations, he cuts off hair and beard, puts on the yellow robe, and goes forth from home to the homeless life.
Having thus left the world, he fulfils the rules of the monks. He avoids the killing of living beings and abstains from it. Without stick or sword, conscientious, full of sympathy, he is desirous of the welfare of all living beings.- He avoids stealing, and abstains from taking what is not given to him. Only what is given to him he takes, waiting till it is given; and he lives with a heart honest and pure.- He avoids unchastity, living chaste, celibate and aloof from the vulgar practice of sexual intercourse.- He avoids lying and abstains from it. He speaks the truth, is devoted to the truth, reliable, worthy of confidence, no deceiver of men.- He avoids tale-bearing and abstains from it. What he has heard here, he does not repeat there, so as to cause dissension there; and what he has heard there, he does not repeat here, so as to cause dissension here. Thus he unites those that are divided, and those that are united he encourages; concord gladdens him, he delights and rejoices in concord; and it is concord that he spreads by his words.- He avoids harsh language and abstains from it. He speaks such words as are gentle, soothing to the ear, loving, such words as go to the heart, and are courteous, friendly, and agreeable to many.- He avoids vain talk and abstains from it. He speaks at the right time, in accordance with facts, speaks what is useful, speaks of the law and the discipline; his speech is like a treasure, uttered at the right moment, accompanied by arguments, moderate and full of sense.
He takes food only at one time of the day (forenoon), abstains from food in the evening, does not eat at improper times. He leeps aloof from dance, song, music and the visiting of shows; rejects flowers, perfumes, ointment, as well as every kind of adornment and embellishment. High and gorgeous beds he does not use. Gold and silver he does not accept.- He does not accept raw corn and flesh, women and girls, male and female slaves, or goats, sheep, fowls, pigs, elephants, cows or horses, or land and goods. He does not go on errands and do the duties of a messenger. He eschews buying and selling things. He has nothing to do with false measures, metals and weights. He avoids the crooked ways of bribery, deception and fraud. He has no part in stabbing, beating, chaining, attacking. plundering and oppressing.
He contents himself with the robe that protects his body, and with the alms bowl by means of which he keeps himself alive. Wherever he goes. he is provided with these two things; just as a winged bird in flying carries his wings along with him. By fulfilling this noble Domain of Morality (siila-kkhandha) he feels in his heart an irreproachable happiness.
Now, in perceiving a form with the eye- a sound with the ear- an odour with the nose- a taste with the tongue- an impression with the body- an object with the mind, he cleaves neither to the whole, nor to its details. And he tries to ward off that which should he be unguarded in his senses, might give rise to evil and unwholesome states, to greed and sorrow; he watches over his senses, keeps his senses under control. By practising this noble 'Control of the Senses' (indriya-sa.mvara) he feels in his heart an unblemished happiness.
He is mindful and acts with clear comprehension when going and coming; when looking forward and backward; when bending and stretching his limbs; when wearing his robes and alms-bowl; when eating, drinking, chewing and tasting; when discharging excrement and urine: when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep and awakening; when speaking and keeping silent.
Now being equipped with this lofty 'Morality' (siila), equipped with this noble 'Control of the Senses' (indriya-sa.mvara), and filled with this noble, 'Mindfulness and Clear Comprehension' (sati-sampaja~n~na), he chooses a secluded dwelling in the forest, at the foot of a tree, on a mountain, in a cleft, in a rock cave, on a burial ground, on a wooded table-land, in the open air, or on a heap of straw. Having returned from his alms-round, after the meal, he seats himself with legs crossed, body erect, with mindfulness fixed before him.
He has cast away 'Lust' (kaamacchanda); he dwells with a heart free from lust; from lust he cleanses his heart.
He has cast away 'Ill-will' (vyaapaada); he dwells with a heart free from ill-will; cherishing love and compassion toward all living beings, he cleanses his heart from ill-will.
He has cast away 'Torpor and Sloth' (thiinamiddha); he dwells free from torpor and sloth; loving the light, with watchful mind, with clear comprehension, he cleanses his mind from torpor and sloth.
He has cast away 'Restlessness and Mental Worry' (uddhacca-kukkucca); dwelling with mind undisturbed, with heart full of peace, he cleanses his mind from restlessness and mental worry.
He has cast away 'Doubt' (vicikicchaa); dwelling free from doubt, full of confidence in the good, he cleanses his heart from doubt.
He has put aside these five 'Hindrances' (niivara.na), the corruptions of the mind which paralyse wisdom. And far from sensual impressions, far from evil things, he enters into the Four Absorptions (jhaana).
But whatsoever there is of corporeality, feeling, perception, mental formations, or consciousness: all these phenomena he regards as 'impermanent' (anicca), 'subject to pain' (dukkha). as infirm, as an ulcer, a thorn, a misery, a burden, an enemy, a disturbance, as empty and 'void of an Ego' (anattaa); and turning away from these things, he directs his mind towards the Deathless thus; 'This, truly, is Peace, this is the Highest, namely the end of all Karma formations, the forsaking of every substratum of rebirth, the fading away of craving, detachment, extinction, Nibbaana. And in this state he reaches the 'cessation of passions' (aasavakkhaya).
And his heart becomes free from sensual passion (kaam'aasava), free from the passion for existence (bhav'aasava), free from the passion of ignorance (avijj'aasava), 'Freed am I!' this knowledge arises in the liberated one ; and he knows: 'Exhausted is rebirth, fulfilled the Holy Life; what was to be done, has been done; naught remains more for this world to do'.
This is, indeed, the highest, holiest wisdom: to know that all suffering has passed away.
This is. indeed, the highest, holiest peace: appeasement of greed, hatred and delusion.
'I am' is a vain thought; 'This am I' is a vain thought; 'I shall be' is a vain thought; 'I shall not be' is a vain thought. Vain thoughts are a sickness, an ulcer, a thorn. But after overcoming all vain thoughts, one is called 'a silent thinker'. And the thinker, the Silent One, does no more arise, no more pass away, no more tremble, no more desire. For there is nothing in him whereby he should arise again. And as he arises no more, how should he grow old again? And as he grows old no more how should he die again? And as he dies no more, how should he tremble? And as he trembles no more, how should he have desire'?
Hence, the purpose of the Holy Life does not consist in acquiring alms, honour, or fame, nor in gaining morality, concentration, or the eye of knowledge. That unshakable deliverance of the heart: that, indeed, is the object of the Holy Life, that is its essence, that is its goal.
And those, who in the past were Holy and Enlightened Ones, those Blessed Ones also have pointed out to their disciples this self-same goal as has been pointed out by me to my disciples. And those who in the future will be Holy and Enlightened Ones, those Blessed Ones also will point out to their disciples this self-same goal as has been pointed out by me to my disciples.
However, disciples, it may be that (after my passing away) you might think: 'Gone is the doctrine of our master. We have no Master more'. But thus you should not think; for the 'Law' (dhamma) and the 'Discipline' (vinaya) which I have taught you, will after my death be your master.
Therefore, disciples, the doctrines which I taught you after having penetrated them myself, you should well preserve, well guard, so that this Holy life may take its course and continue for ages, for the weal and welfare of the many, as a consolation to the world, for the happiness, weal and welfare of heavenly beings and men.
Source: The Vipassana Page, http://www.enabling.org/ia/vipassana/
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