Vol. 24, No.9, 9 September, 2014
WORDS OF DHAMMA
Vācānurakkhī manasā susaṃvuto, kāyena ca nākusalaṃ kayirā‚ ete tayo kammapathe visodhaye,
Watchful of speech, well restrained in mind, let him do nothing unwholesome through his body. Let him purify these three ways of action and win the path realized by the sages.
— Dhammapada 281, Maggavaggo
A special issue to commemorate the first death anniversary of Revered Principal Vipassana Acharya S.N.Goenka
A Dhamma Life of Happiness
The tribute below is from Revered Goenkaji’s wife and Principal Vipassana Acharya Illaichidevi Goenka (Mataji)
29th September 2014 marks the first anniversary of Goenkaji’s passing away. This is as significant as the 30th January—the anniversary of his day of birth in 1924. Once someone is born, they become a part of society. During their lifespan, they perform various actions. Their wholesome and unwholesome actions not only affect themselves, but also the rest of the society, influencing it in new directions. When the actions performed by someone bring welfare to many, that person comes to be revered, to be venerated. Goenkaji was one such person. He gave the world the gift of Vipassana, the universal Dhamma path rediscovered by the Buddha to liberate mankind from all miseries. As a result of this gift, so many persons have gained benefit by walking on the path shown by him, and will continue to do so in the future. This first death anniversary of Goenkaji should not only remind us of all the good works done by him throughout his life, but also inspire us to develop in Dhamma, and to preserve and maintain the Dhamma taught by him.
As his wife, I had the opportunity to be close to Goenkaji for nearly seventy-two years. Today even though he is no longer with me physically, my closeness to him remains. Many meditators also feel the same metta coming now as they felt from him in the past. This is very true, and so long as we walk on the path shown by him he will remain close to us.
My mind fills with so much happiness when I think of all who have benefitted from practising pure Dhamma. This came about as the result of his good efforts. Now we must follow in his footsteps. He served dutifully, as his teacher Sayagyi U Ba Khin instructed him to, and now we should commit ourselves to move forward in the same way. This can only happen if we follow the path as taught by him without removing anything from or adding anything to his teaching. This is the only way to offer homage to him on his anniversary, to repay our infinite debt of gratitude to him.
Goenkaji always used to say that Dhamma should manifest in our actions. Dhamma in its pure form must be realized in our everyday lives. Let us be inspired by his life and death and be virtuous and righteous by following the path lovingly shown by him. In that alone, is the well-being of everyone.
With blessings and metta,
Ilaichidevi Satyanarayan Goenka
Respected Goenkaji and Mataji giving mettā to flower plants at Dhamma Giri
My experiences with Goenkaji
My name is Rampratap Yadav. I was a personal assistant to revered Goenkaji. I live at Dhammagiri, and work in a small office in Goenkaji’s residential quarters. I work here today just the way I used to do previously. It is metta day today, and I am looking out at the very first Vipassana center ever built! How wonderful it all looks with the large Dhamma halls, the beautiful greenery, the colorful foliage around Goenkaji’s residence, and there in the background rises the beautiful golden pagoda. At this moment the smiling, bright faces of students delight me, fill me with joy. There are also residences with all modern amenities for students and teachers. Tasty, healthy meals are served in the dining halls for nearly a thousand persons every day, and always on time. It is monsoon season, and there are many cascading waterfalls from the hills nearby which make the scene so captivating! Seeing all this brings back memories of those initial days with Goenkaji. The memory of his unique journey surfaces on the mind vividly like a movie. He accomplished this journey with incomparable faith, devotion and resolute effort despite so many challenges along the way.
I consider myself fortunate in that I got the incredible opportunity to serve Goenkaji immediately upon his arrival in India in June 1969. The day after his arrival in Mumbai he came to the fifth floor offices of his younger brother Shyamsunder, on Kalbadevi Road, and I was summoned for correspondence in Hindi. He had brought along with him a list of about 200 names and addresses. These people were to be informed that his Vipassana teacher, the revered Sayagyi U Ba Khin had appointed him to teach Vipassana and that a ten day retreat would be held in Mumbai. All those who wanted to participate in this course, or wanted to organize a retreat within their local areas, should reply immediately. The letter-exchange started. Apart from Mumbai, several places started requesting for courses. These included Chennai (Madras then), Sarnath, Kolkata (Calcutta then), Delhi, Tadepalligudam (Andhra Pradesh), Madhoganj (U.P.) and Ajmer (Rajasthan), among many others.
The first 10-day course was organized in a dharamshala (a public rest house) named Panchayat Wadi, from the 3rd-13th of July. The meditation hall was large and the number of participating students was a mere fourteen. However, there was no appropriate accommodation for housing Goenkaji. Female accommodation was in an area above the hall and although there was a room available above this, Goenkaji would have to go up and down a flight of steps that passed through this area. Goenkaji managed to have a residence for the course created with a cloth partition at one end of the long meditation hall. He had the Dhamma seat set up on the opposite side of the curtain, while he shared the common entrance to the hall. On this course even the few toilets were shared. People used them turn by turn standing in a queue. When Goenkaji needed to use them he would make an enquiry whether one of the toilets was available.
For all purposes, the course was running smoothly. However on the fifth day I and a few other students suddenly became ill. Goenkaji was concerned about what might have gone wrong. At first he wondered if the food might be the cause. A doctor was summoned and he examined and treated us. I felt a bit better the next day after having taken the medication I was prescribed for fever. Later, after further consideration, Goenkaji approached me in my office and asked me if I was practising any other form of meditation. I confided to him that indeed I had been practising a different technique (Ananda marg) for half an hour, two times a day. “Oh,” he said “no wonder you took ill along with the other students.” He explained further, “This is a Beej Mantra (repetition of a word with strong vibration) based technique, but I teach a different path based on the laws of nature, and both cannot co-exist under the same roof. Either you have to stop practising the mantra or else you will have to leave.” I told him that from now onwards I would only practise at home but I could not possibly give it up. With much compassion, he began explaining to me the differences between the two techniques. He assured me that if I quit the mantra and practised only this, it would cause me no harm. He smiled. “In the future so many courses are going to be organized, so better build a strong foundation straight away.”
Fraught with turmoil, I agreed. He took me to the hall and taught me Anapana. The course was already past mid-way so there was not much more that could be done now. I was instructed just to work with the breath. I did as I was told and the course completed peacefully --all disruptions ceased.
The next course was scheduled for 24th August through the 3rd of September in Chennai. Fifteen days before it began, we travelled there together and stayed with his older brother Mr. Bala Krishna. One day, during my practice there, I suddenly felt an ant crawl up under my nose. I swiped my hand to remove it, but it seemed to return as soon as I closed my eyes again. I was puzzled about this new difficulty. After taking dictation from Goenkaji I asked him about this; he merely advised me not to pay any attention to it. “Just focus on the breath,” he said. “I will tell you more in your ten-day retreat.”
When the course on the 24th of August started, I enrolled in it as a student. However my duties related to letter-correspondence continued. I would take dictation as and when required, and burn the mid-night oil typing it up, all the while meditating as per the course schedule. My practice of Anapana for a longer period paid off, and when Vipassana was given I got sensations everywhere. However my previous practice of a different technique presented some major challenges, and I struggled with the fact that I had quit my previous technique. Goenkaji wrote a detailed letter about these to his older brother in Rangoon, Mr. Babulal, requesting him to forward it to Sayagyi U Ba Khin. Sayagyi’s powerful metta helped me battle these storms and they subsided. I feel so immensely fortunate for this help.
In those days, courses held in dharamshalas were filled with unique and at times difficult challenges. Goenkaji had to endure a host of adversities during these, but I never saw even a shadow of displeasure crease his forehead. He would say, “Since we have come prepared for difficulties, really there is nothing to complain about, after all the students are facing similar difficulties.”
One such course was held in a small village, Sādrā near Ahmedabad in Gujarat. In this unique course the students had volunteered to manage the running of the course. This included the setting up of an outdoor fire pit to cook meals. After checking, both male and female students would work together to cook lunch and then clean up afterwards. Goenkaji had informed me beforehand that the participants in the course were very poor, and so I should not ask them for anything. I was to accept whatever was given, and never to question it. When I went to get his lunch on the first day, I brought back one cooked vegetable, lentil soup, dry half burnt rotis, half an onion for salad, and butter-milk. Before eating, Goenkaji asked me again, “You did not ask for anything, did you?” I assured him that I had not. Later on the students approached Goenkaji lamenting, “Goenkaji, we are so sorry. We know our food is not good, but this is all we have. This place is far away from the city, so please forgive us.” Goenkaji laughed, “Oh, but the food was delicious! It had your metta in it. You should all focus on your practice, don’t worry about me, as I am very comfortable here.” Today some people from that course are Vipassana Teachers, and have served many others in Dhamma.
Around the same time, a course was organized in Pushkar, a town near Ajmer in Rajasthan. The person organizing the course had sent out invitations for participation in a 10-day course using colorful and persuasive language. Even Goenkaji was taken in by his beautiful correspondence and consented to conduct the course. The organizer wanted to set up a retreat in Ajmer, but was unable to secure a course site. There were many dharamshalas there, but their administrators would not rent them out fearing that this was a Buddhist tradition. Unsuccessful in Ajmer, he finally settled for the nearby pilgrimage town of Pushkar. It was not yet festival season, so the dharamshala there sat unoccupied and he secured it. However, since this was finalized at the last minute, no one from Ajmer or nearby areas signed up for the course.
In those days, Goenkaji travelled by train in the ordinary three-tiered coach, or what we know today as ‘sleeper class’. Both Goenkaji and I would travel together. During our journey to Ajmer, a Saadhu (an ascetic) sat across from us. He had no specific destination, and so was prepared to get off the train as and when he wanted. While discussing meditation techniques, he expressed an interest in sitting a course. Goenkaji mentioned to him that there was a course that began the very next day and that he could accompany us to Pushkar. The course organizer greeted us when we arrived at the station, and together we set off for Pushkar. The public guesthouse was named ‘Yadav Dharamshala’ and there was not even a single toilet or shower stall on the premises. Just outside the building ran a dry canal. The organizer showed us a toilet enclosure that had been erected, made of straw and clay on the concrete ridge of this canal. It was just about four feet tall, just tall enough for privacy. We were also shown an area of the courtyard where a small corner had been enclosed to serve as a shower stall. As no one occupied the upper floors, this would provide sufficient privacy. The watchman drew water for our needs from a nearby well, and he was also our cook and cleaner. In order not to cause him more trouble, Goenkaji decided he would bathe at the plinth by the well, thereby saving the watchman from having to carry water across the yard.
At this point it was clear that only two people would sit the course, the Saadhu we met on the train and our course organizer. But Goenkaji was not disheartened at all and instead suggested that both he and I also sit the course along with them. So the course doubled in size from two to four. The postal service was slow, and phone facilities non-existent in that little village, resulting in our course being very quiet, very peaceful. Goenkaji meditated with us, but he also gave discourses in the same way he did at other ten-day retreats. The course organizer, who had never attended a ten-day Vipassana course before, informed Goenkaji that he could only stay for seven days, as he needed to attend an important meeting in Sri Lanka. So, after the seventh day, it was just the three of us on the course. The watchman continued to serve us food – this was simply whatever he had also cooked for himself that day. Our course ended well. The Saadhu was overcome with gratitude. He felt that the past twelve years of his austere life in the Himalayas had been futile, and that only now could he rightly claim to be an ascetic. Mataji arrived from Myanmar a year later. Initially she stayed with the family and children for some time, and then she too started helping Goenkaji with his Dhamma work. She untangled herself from her attachment to the family and her children, and devoted all her time to Dhamma service. The children gradually grew up, finished schooling and found livelihoods. When Goenkaji returned from conducting courses, he would share with them his expertise and insight from his past life as a businessman. He also shared with them his experiences while serving the Dhamma. He always emphasized to them the benefits and importance of serving on the Dhamma path. This is how he lived until the very end. With the same immeasurable devotion, boundless effort, and unwavering sincerity towards his teacher and Dhamma father Sayagyi U Ba Khin and the path of Dhamma he taught. He kept the promise he gave his Dhamma father to maintain the purity of Dhamma until he breathed his last. I felt compelled to share the recollections of some incidents of his life. But no matter how much I write, how many stories I tell, it is nearly impossible to do justice to these memories. They are now a cherished companion for the rest of my life, and a source of continuous inspiration as I walk on the path of Dhamma.
Goenkaji’s inexhaustible service until the very end of his life
Just as Yadavji has shared his reminiscences of respected Goenkaji in the early days of his teaching of Vipassana in India, I would like to share my reminiscences of his final years.
From 1990 to 2013 I assisted Goenkaji with the creation and compilation of Dhamma literature. This also included his early articles written while in Burma, his poems, letters, and articles on the culture of Myanmar, etc. I was also entrusted with research related activities. Due to my ability to write shorthand directly in Hindi, I also had the good fortune of sitting in close proximity with Goenkaji to take down his dictation for new articles.
During 2011 Mr. Yadav took ill, and I was summoned to Goenkaji’s residence in Mumbai for editorial work in his absence. Goenkaji even helped me get a small apartment close to his home in Andheri, so my wife Anandi and I could be together while I worked most days, usually from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. During this time noteworthy works such as ‘The Coffee Table Book’, ‘Vipassana Centers’ and ‘Meri Kavitayen’ (My Poems) were published. In addition almost a thousand new dohas (rhyming stanzas) were added to the collection ‘Mangal Hua Prabhat’ (An auspicious day has dawned). After their initial composition and compilation, Goenkaji meticulously went through them to finalize the selection. I benefitted from his invaluable insight and guidance as I observed him working on these publications.
Owing to his declining health, a large part of Goenkaji’s day was taken up by treatments and therapies. But whatever time was left after treatment, he would not waste even a minute of it. He used every last moment to immerse himself in Dhamma work. Often it is seen that serious physical ailments and old age adversely affect one’s mind. One does not feel like doing any work, because one feels exhausted and disappointed. However Goenkaji was no ordinary human being. Not only was he a very capable and established Vipassana meditator, he was also a great Teacher of this wonderful path. Even in his last days, the strength of Dhamma within him was boundless. There was no doubt that his capacity transcended the usual abilities of a normal person. I would like to say with honest assurance that Goenkaji was in good mental health and that his physical health never precluded his ability to make decisions with clarity. No doubt his physical abilities were limited owing to his weakened health at times, but his unblemished mind was always robust with incisive insight.
I am truly fortunate to have had the opportunity to be of assistance to him. His last days have infused me with boundless inspiration. I saw first-hand how great the strength of Vipassana, the strength of Dhamma can be. Our teacher was a great being who was chosen by Dhamma to establish its second dispensation.
From the beginning to the end of life—always busy in Dhamma work—giving instructions to Rameshwerji
I believe that all of us, who learned Vipassana under his compassionate guidance and became his disciples, are truly fortunate.
Almost all major countries in the world today have Vipassana centers. Each one of them has been established under the watchful guidance of Goenkaji. In all these centers, no matter where they are in the world, Vipassana courses are being conducted using guidelines set by Goenkaji: the same guidelines, instructions, discipline, rules, regulations and time-table. A system is in place where trustees and assistant teachers are appointed to manage centers and teach Vipassana respectively. Goenkaji’s objective in doing this was that Vipassana would be able to survive for centuries to come in its pure and undiluted form, so that generation after generation of suffering humanity could benefit from it.
I hope that through Goenkaji’s vision and guidance Vipassana will endure. Goenkaji used to say that it was his responsibility to ensure that this valuable teaching survives for the next 2,500 years. A large part of this responsibility now is on the shoulders of all of us, his assistant teachers, to safeguard it. Goenkaji accomplished his part, dutifully and with dedication. Now we have to make sure that we nurture it with care, and secure this precious inheritance for future generations. This is the only way to pay homage to our late revered Dhamma father.
Dhamma-assistant to Goenkaji
Welcome Address given by Centre Teachers at Dhamma Dipa to European AT Meeting - April 2014
Friends, on behalf of the UK Vipassana Trust who are hosting this event, and all the Dhamma servers who have kindly offered to serve this week, it is our pleasure to welcome all our Dhamma brothers and sisters, fellow Assistants of Goenkaji. We hope you have all had pleasant journeys and have a very stimulating, inspiring and invigorating meeting.
Yesterday was seven months to the day when Goenkaji, our dear Dhamma guide and Dhamma father, passed away. This is our first European gathering since then. It’s a measure of the Dhamma strength he gave us all that since then the wheel of Dhamma has continued turning just the same and spreading Dhamma in all the 4 quarters of the world. Students are coming in ever increasing numbers - our courses here in Dhamma Dipa are now filling up within a few hours of opening - the registrars tell us that when a person gets home from work and switches on the computer to register on Day 0 they may find there is already a waiting list. We have noticed that new students, knowing Goenkaji has passed away, are coming up to us and asking about him. Did you know him? Did you meet him? They ask wide eyed with an obvious sense of awe. What was he like in real life? Was he like he seems on the videos? Yes, we reply.
Our sacred mission is to pass on the precious gift of Dhamma to a generation that will have taken their first course after his passing, and eventually to those who were not even born in his lifetime. He has now become a part of history and indeed made history. While the western papers were full of the usual bleak comings and goings of world politicians, wars and disasters, they largely missed the passing of someone of real significance to humanity and its search for real happiness. His unique contribution has been to bring real Dhamma back to the land of its origin, where it had completely died out, and from there to send it round the world to parts where it had never even been. What a colossal achievement. What a tremendous strength and devotion he had to do that - to play such a leading role at the start of the second sāsana of the Buddha’s teachings.
While he was alive we certainly all had an enormous responsibility that he always impressed on us. We had to live a Dhamma life. But now the responsibility is so much bigger to carry on his mission of spreading Dhamma. We have to somehow maintain the momentum, purity and efficacy of the technique. We could feel daunted by this prospect, being left to manage alone. Actually we are not alone. As well as all our Dhamma friends we have the protection of the Dhamma and all the deep wisdom and guidance he had imparted to us. Whenever we sat on the Dhamma seat we all felt it was not us conducting the courses, that they were Goenkaji’s courses. Even though he is no longer present, we still feel the same. Like this we become instruments of Dhamma and servants of Goenkaji, not our own egos - continuing in the illustrious chain of teachers to whom Goenkaji himself had boundless gratitude. We feel the same boundless gratitude to him. In one of his discourses Goenkaji told the anecdote of the puppy walking underneath the cart. The puppy gets the idea he is the one carrying the cart as it moves along, when actually he is just walking in its shade. In the same way, despite our responsibilities, we do not need to feel it as a heavy burden, because we are walking in the shade of his protection. The whole thing does not depend on us, Vipassana’s time has come, we are just a few of the many hands, privileged to have come into direct contact with a master teacher.
The Protection of Dhamma
(Goenkaji wrote the following letter to his younger brothers and their spouses. The latter were actively practising Vipassana and were settled in India at the time. The letter reflects his profound understanding of the Dhamma and his immense determination to serve its dispensation. He was not yet appointed as a Vipassana Teacher; however his resolve to serve in Dhamma was already firmly established.)
Date: 29 December 1968 Dear Shanker, Radhe, Seeta and Vimala,
The past two weeks have been extremely busy and I finally have some time. I think I shall be busy again for the next week and then everything should be wrapped up. All three of our companies have been seized by the government and nationalized. However our work has been simplified owing to this. In that light, whatever has happened is for the better. When I think of the future my mind is filled with joy.
During my remaining stay in Burma I have to fulfill several Dhamma-related responsibilities. Due to our changed circumstances, there just might be sufficient time to accomplish this. Because of the consuming nature of our businesses I was unable to focus on these. The taste of the sweet nectar of Dhamma and the peripheral understanding of its profound depths, made possible due to our stay here, is just the beginning. It has awakened a desire to delve deeper into the path of Vipassana, and only by staying here for a few more years can this be fulfilled.
As far as Patipatti (Dhamma practice of Vipassana meditation) is concerned, there is no doubt that we can delve deeper. We must take full benefit of this opportunity. Also, in the field of Pariyatti (theoretical study of Dhamma), a large collection of Dhamma literature is at our disposal here. Outside of Myanmar, and particularly in India, only the Tipitaka has been published so far and that too with difficulty. Note that even this work has only been done in Pali, no translations are available. In Myanmar however a wealth of literature, such as the Aµµhakathā, (Commentaries) Ýīkā (Sub-commentaries) and Aṇuµīkā (further-commentaries) of the Tipiµaka, awaits its return to the land of its origin – India. Who will restore this great literature? Who will take it back to India? I have come to believe that the great responsibility of the Dhamma dispensation has been entrusted to us, and because of it we have been set free from the binds of business.
In India, the literature related to Lord Buddha’s teaching is inaccurate to the point of being misleading in some places. This could be because Indian scholars have never even seen the other aforementioned profound Dhamma works. Not to mention, that without the actual practice of the applied form of Dhamma – through Vipassana practice—their efforts at translating are misguided. All this will change dramatically once the complete work comes to light.
One may or may not choose to follow the path according to the principles of the Buddha, but to impose one’s own perception upon the Buddha’s instruction, reasoning and teaching, is a gross injustice. The only way to remedy this is to introduce Dhamma literature in its entirety to people. Even those who have read the entire Tipiµaka remain confused because of their absolute ignorance of the meditation aspect of the teaching. Because of this lack of experience, their understanding of the Dhamma remains clouded and they cannot explain it accurately to others. Given all this, the great responsibility to disseminate the Dhamma has come upon us, and we must carry it out with courage and a strong resolve. Since the resources to accomplish this task are only available in this country and nowhere else, it has to be carried out here. Specifically, knowledge of the profound depths of the Abhidhamma (higher teaching) cannot be found in any other place in the world.
After the government takes over our businesses, we shall sit a course for some days and then plunge full speed ahead into Dhamma service. At least that is the plan.
In going through your letter I received a few days ago, I was so happy to see how much you have matured in your understanding of the Dhamma. You did not lose your composure due to the nationalization of our companies at all. Sitting here, my mind is also at ease. In fact, whatever has happened over the last couple of weeks has reinforced my faith in the Dhamma many times over. During the nationalization, our financial calamities, and similar storms, my mind was tranquil. Several miraculous events occurred during this time and I was reminded – “Dhammao have rakkhati Dhammacāriṃ”, meaning Dhamma will protect one walking the path of Dhamma.
In your letter you reminded me that India desperately needs Dhamma, that there is a great demand for it and that I should come there to distribute Vipassana to the people. I assure you, I have not forgotten the importance of this work. But it appears that the time might not have ripened just yet. Let the clouds gather more water before they drift towards India. Let them get suffused with the great waters of the vast Dhamma ocean, so that when they downpour in torrents there, they purge away all sorrows and miseries. So let the time ripen, and in the mean time, let these clouds soak up Dhamma.
Babu Bhaiya (an elder brother, Babulal) also approves of this plan, and soon we will both join hands to accomplish this. Of course we have to figure something out for Banwari (another younger brother). With the businesses gone he is out of work. We feel that he would do well to take on agricultural work while we are here, so that we can help him out and guide him. And as you are aware, we still have wealth in the form of cattle and fertile lands. If he applies himself industriously, works hard, there is no reason why he shouldn’t be successful enough to take care of his entire family. Once he is settled, we will not have to worry about him anymore.
Twenty years ago when you got married, I gave my blessings in the form of a poem. If you recall, it had the following verses:
“This motherland where you were born,
In the lap of her fragrant soil you played
And so if she, of gilded lands has shorn
Your every possession, your world all splayed
Let your fortitude, duty, devotion shine
For in her lap, dwells happiness, bliss
More pleasing than any joy divine
Motherland she is, and in our actions
May she never be ashamed, we promise this.”
When I read your letter I remembered this poem, and was so pleased that verily you sacrificed all your possessions to our Motherland without any dismay. Babu Bhaiya here has also faced these events with the same calmness. He is prepared to take the next steps in life, and the way he has accepted change is truly admirable.
1. Sorrow should not arise on the mind. Why should we be sad for those things that were meant to pass away anyway? Why should we agonize over losses when what slipped through our hands was meant to be lost sooner or later?\\
2. Not a trace of hatred towards anybody should arise in the mind. Those who were responsible for us losing our wealth, our assets, are worthy only of our compassion, not our anger. They were only an apparent cause. If not them, somebody else would have become that cause. The businesses could have been impacted adversely in another way. There could have been a natural calamity like a fire, flood, or an earthquake, and whom could we have blamed then? In light of this, take whatever has happened now as consequences of our past kamma, and forbear it peacefully. Herein is the victory of the Dhamma. By being wrathful, we will generate unwholesome mental deeds and will be doing harm only to ourselves, none other.
3. Let not fear overpower the mind. ‘Oh, what will happen now? How will the future be?’ Letting such apprehensions consume the mind will lead it astray from the path of the Dhamma. We should trust in our good deeds. Understand that whatever is happening is for our good. Even if that means that we will have to face economic adversities. The many unwholesome deeds we committed in our infinite past lives have not yet been consumed in the purifying fires of Vipassana. When such actions come to fruition, the best way to be rid of their debt is to bear the hardships that follow with a smile. The path ahead will thus be rid of thorns. The mind should be filled with joy that these are coming up in the wake of our wisdom gained from the Dhamma. Just imagine if these had arisen in a life when we had no trace of understanding of the Dhamma! In such an existence, if miseries became unbearable, we would have just multiplied them several times over by generating defilements, and then performing numerous unwholesome actions. Thankfully, such is not the case. There is no sorrow on the mind, no anger stemming from that, nor do we fear for the future with apprehension.
We are endowed with the greatest path to annihilate all unwholesome actions of our past lives. Certainly we must have performed innumerable wholesome deeds and accumulated plenty of merits, because we came in contact with the second dispensation of the teaching of the Lord Buddha. There is no doubt in my mind about this. With innumerable merits supporting us, there is no doubt that our future is full of hope and happiness. At the moment, the results of our unwholesome actions are presenting themselves, but we are bearing them with the understanding of Dhamma. Soon the fruits of our wholesome actions are also going to ripen and arise before us. In this way, we have to instil hope and confidence in our minds. We should not allow fear and worry to consume the mind in any way.
We should remember the words of Lord Buddha:
“Phuµµhassa lokadhammehi, citttaṃ yassa na kampati;
Asokaṃ virajaṃ khemaṃ, etaṃ maṅgalamuttamaṃ.
The meaning of this is everyone experiences eight kinds of Loka-Dhamma (worldly conditions) during their lifetime. What eight Loka-Dhammas? These are gain and loss, victory and defeat, happiness and sorrow, praise and criticism. However, these do not affect those who are walking the path taught by the Buddha, because their minds remain calm and unwavering even in the face of these Loka-Dhammas. They do not lament, meaning they do not allow sorrow to arise on their minds. Defilements of anger, hatred and aversion do not pollute their minds; they remain devoid of these. Their minds are also free of worrisome thoughts laden with fear and insecurity. So the removal of sorrows and defilements, and being secure in one’s future owing to one’s own good kamma; this is the highest blessing.
Because of the Dhamma, and the wisdom gained from it due to Vipassana, our determination to walk on the path should strengthen. Dhamma will definitely help everyone in the family over there. Dwell in Dhamma so that its light endures and spreads. Protect the Dhamma and Dhamma is bound to protect you - in this lies the welfare of everyone.
Satya Narayan Goenka
Children's Meditation Courses in Mumbai
|First Sunday||Dombivili||10-16||2 days befor Course|
|First Sunday||Ulhasnagar||10-16||2 days before Course|
|First Sunday||Matunga||10-16||2 days befor Course|
|Seond Sunday||Sanpada||10-16||2 days befor Course|
|Seond Sunday||Andheri||10-16||2 days befor Course|
|Third Sunday||Ghatkopar||10-16||2 days befor Course|
|Fourth Sunday||Airoli||10-16||2 days befor Course|
|21-9||Goregaon||10-16||18 & 19-9-2014|
|19-10||Goregaon||10-16||16 & 17-10-2014|
|16-11||Goregaon||10-16||13 & 14-11-2014|
|21-12||Goregaon||10-16||18 & 19-12-2014|
Course Timing:8:30 am to 2:30 pm.
Registration Timings: 11 am to 1 pm on the specified numbers and dates for each location.
Please call or send a text message with name and age of the child two days in advance Course Venues:-- Goregaon: Vipassana Counselling & Research Centre, Siddharth Municipal General Hospital, Goregaon (W), Tel: 2624-2025. Dombivili: K B Vira HighSchool, Near Muncipal Office, Dombivali (E) Mob. 9930301594. Ulhasnagar: 703-A Block /1405, Gokul Nagar, Behind Netaji School, Near Mahesh Granite, Tel. 9970755130, Matunga: Amulakh Amirchand High School, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road, New SNDT College, King's Circle, Matunga (CR), Mob. 98201-50336. Sanpada: Navi Mumbai Mahanagar Palika School, Sector 5, Sanpaada. Tel: 7738649821, 9699862322, 9223300575, Andheri: Mayfair Meridian Meditation Hall, Ceaser Road, Off S.V. Road, Amboli, Near St. Blaise Church Andheri, Mob. 9820459449. 9664782244, 9699668642. Andheri: SNDT School, New Building, Cama Lane, Ghatkopar (W), Opp Vidyut Society, Mumbai 400086. Tel: 25011096, 25162505. Airoli: Saraswati School, Sector 5, Airoli, Mob. 9892565765.
Please call two days in advance for registration.
NB *Please bring cushion. *Please register on the specified phone numbers. If unable to attend after registration, please inform in advance. *Please arrive on time for the course.
Ānāpāna in Buddha Smŗti Park, Patna
Ānāpāna as taught by Goenkaji is given for 30 minutes everyday (to interested persons) in the Buddha Smŗti Park, Patna opposite Patna Rly Junction. Programs: Ānāpāna from 9.15 to 9.45 a.m., Introduction to vipassana from 10.00 to 10.30 a.m., Ānāpāna from 10.30 to 11.00 a.m. Ānāpāna for school children from 11.15 a.m. to 12.25 p.m. (70 minutes); Ānāpāna from 1 to 1.30 p.m.; 2.30 to 3 p.m.; 3.15 to 3.45 pm; Discourse on vipassana from 4.00 to 5.00. Group meditation for old st. from 5.15 to 6.15 p.m. For more information kindly contact - Sri Omprakash Manarow Mob. 09431142402 and Sri Rampratap Yadav, patna, Mob. 07739135735, 09326893651.
A 10-day Vipassana course at Nalanda
Nava Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda, Bihar has decided to host regular Vipassana courses at its Sanskritik grāma, Nalanda. These courses aim at providing Vipassana to the university students, research scholars, professors, officers of Bihar Government and locals of the villages and towns nearby. The first course was completed successfully from 27th Aug to 7 September. Eight Burmese monks also participated in this course.
Senior Assistant Teachers
1. Mr. Ashok Khobragade, To serve as Centre Teacher for DhammaGond, Gondia
2. Mr. Rajendra Prasad, To Serve as Centre Teacher for Dhamma Salila
3. Mrs. Shanti Mather, To serve as Centre Teacher for Dhamma Pataka, South Africa
Senior Assistant Teachers
1. Mr. Yuth Itchayapruek, Thailand
2. Ms. Sa-nguanwong Khaowisoot, Thailand
3. U Than Htay, Myanmar
4-5. Dr. Tin Maung Yin & Daw Swe Swe Win, Myanmar
6. Dr. (Mrs) Nyunt Nyunt Sein, Myanmar
1. Mrs. Sunita Charbe, Nagpur
2. Mr. Norbu Bhutia, Sikkim
3. Dr. Ranbir Khasa, Rohtak
4. Mr. Kaj Lindauer, Germany
5-6. Mr. John & Mrs. Bianca Angel, New Zealand
7. Mr. Maheu Christophe, France
8. Mr. Simone Greco, Italy
9. Mr. G.K. Siriwardena, Sri Lanka
10. Ms. Kanchana Sudkornrayuth, Thailand
11. Ms. Kamolrat Kitmanee, Thailand
12. Ms. Kasira Billamas , Thailand
13. Ms. Piyawan Ukamthorn, Thailand
14. U Tun Tun Oo, Myanmar
15. U Soe Minn Aye, Myanmar
16. Daw Tin Tin Oo, Myanmar
17. Daw Khin Khin Win, Myanmar
Children’s Course Teachers
1-2. Mr. Pareshabhai & Mrs. Rekhabnen Kalsaria, Surat
3. Mr. Rameshabhai Vaghani, Surat
4. Mrs. Jayaben Patel. Surat
5. Dr. Ila Thakkar, Surat
6. Mr. Rajubhai Rathod, Surat
7. Dr. Nina Vaid, Navsari
8-9. Mr. Saurabh & Mrs. Stafy Patel, Bilimora
10. Mrs. Laxmiben Patel, Bilimora
11. Mrs. Kevalben Bhaidas More, Dang
12. Ashwini Sudhakar Shirsath, Thane
13. Dr. Sandhya K. Shetty, New Mumbai
14. Ms. Beata Harendra, Poland
15. Mr. Wiktor Morgulec, Poland
16. Mrs. Vimi Mahesh Jesrani, Oman
17. Mr. Ming Chen, China
18. Miss Yanxi Yang, China
Some old memorable photographs
Meditating in Burmese dress
Goenkaji with his Vipassana teacher Sayagyi U
Ba Khin and friends in the International Meditation Centre
Exchanging ideas in a seminar in Burma
Absorbed in meditation with Jain munis and sādhvis
sitting on the floor at Kaccha
In Dhamma work in his office at Dhammagiri
Goenkaji at a Vipassana course during winter
The photograph of young Goenkaji on his
The first vipassana course in Kāthmāndu in 1981.
Goenkaji with Sri Yadukumar Siddhi.
Progress of Dhamma Pushkar, Ajmer
The construction of a twenty-one-cell pagoda and new Dhamma server residences has reached completion at the Dhamma Pushkar Vipassana meditation center near Ajmer. Other new projects are underway. These include the construction of male residences and a small Dhamma hall; acquisition of wooden beds, installation of a solar water heating system and fencing of male-female areas. A modern irrigation system for watering plants will also be installed for efficient landscaping. Such work as the planting of 800 trees is also being done to enhance the general aesthetic appeal and beauty of the center. For further information, or to contribute to this highly meritorious work, please contact: Mr. Ravi Toshniwal (9829071778), and Mr. Anil Dhariwal (9829028275)
REGISTERED NO. NSK/232/2012-2014
One-day Mega Course and Saṅghadāna on the occasion of the first death anniversary
To mark Sharad Purnima and the first death anniversary of our Revered Teacher S.N. Goenka, a one day mega course will be conducted on Sunday, September 28th 2014, at the Global Vipassana Pagoda, in the presence of his wife and Principal Teacher Srimati Ilaichidevi Goenka (Mataji).
At the end of this course (from 3:00 pm onwards) a video of Revered Goenkaji's Asthi-Visarjan (dispersion of remains after cremation) in Myanmar will be screened. A Sangha Dana (Offering of alms to Monks) has also been scheduled from 10:00-11:00 am. To gain merits of participating in this Sangha Dana, please contact the Global Pagoda Foundation: (1) Mr. Vipin Mehta, 022-33747510; (2) Mr. Derik Pegado 022-33747512. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel.: 022-33747501. Course Schedule: 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. For registering online: www.oneday.globalpagoda.org. (All non-meditators are welcome to see the video of Asthi-Visarjan). To reserve a seat for the one-day course, please call/email immediately: 022-28451170, 022-337475-01/43/44 – Extn. 9, (between 11:00 am - 5:00 pm daily). Please come for the course only after registering. Samagganam Taposukko (take advantage of the many benefits of group meditation).
Gahana niśā vana bhaµakate, huā vikala gumarāha;
Sahaja dikhāyā dharmapatha, guru ne pakaḍī banha.
While wandering in the thick forest of night I lost my way and
became distressed, Then my Dhamma teacher took hold of my
arm and easily showed me the path of Dhamma.
Dhanya bhāga! Guruvara mile, karuṇā ke bhaṇḍāra;
Andhe ko āṇkhen milīn, satya dharama kā sāra.
It was my good fortune that I came across my respected teacher
whose heart was full of compassion. Blind as I was he gave me
eyes, and I got the essence of true Dhamma from him.
Kāma krodha kī bāḍha men, dūba rahā manjhadhāra;
Diyā sahārā dharama kā, Guruvara liyā ubāra.
I was drowning in the midstream of the great flood of passion and
anger. My respected teacher gave me the life boat of Dhamma, and
saved me from being drowned.
Antarmana kī gahanatā, sahaja na dekhī jāya;
Guruvara kī hove k¥pā, mukti yukti mila jāya.
It is not easy to penetrate the depths of mind. But with the blessings
of the teacher, one can get both liberation and the path to liberation.
Dhanya! dhanya! Gurudevajī, dhanya! Buddha bhagavāna;
Śuddha dharma aisā diyā, hoya jagata kalyāṇa.
Praiseworthy is my revered teacher. Praiseworthy is
Who gave such a pure Dhamma that it brings about the well-being
of the whole world.
SUBSCRIPTION TO ENGLISH/HINDI MONTHLY NEWSLETTER: ANNUAL: RS 30/- (US $10 OUTSIDE INDIA);
LIFE SUBSCRIPTION: RS 500/- (US $100 OUTSIDE INDIA) BY BANK DRAFT, PAYABLE AT IGATPURI IN FAVOUR OF VIPASSANA RESEARCH
Edited and published by R. P. Yadav for VRI, Igatpuri 422 403 and printed at Akshar Chitra Press, 69, B-Road, Satpur, Nashik 422 007
9 September, 2014
Posted at Igatpuri, Dist. Nashik, Posting Day: Purnima of every month
WPP POSTAL LICENCE NUMBER – AR/Techno/WPP-04/2012-2014
Registered NO. NSK/232/2012-2014
If undelivered, please return to:
Vipassana Research Institute Dhamma Giri, Igatpuri 422 403
Dist. Nashik, Maharashtra, India
Fax:  (02553) 244176
Tel: (02553) 244076, 244086, 243712, 243238