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founded by S. N. Goenka in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin






Kamma - The Real Inheritance

 Vol.17 No.7 June 30, 2007

Words of Dhamma


Appamādarato bhikkhu,pamāde bhayadassi vā;saṃyojanaṃ aṇuṃ thūlaṃ,ḍahaṃ aggīva gacchati..

The bhikkhu who delights in mindfulness,who sees danger in negligence;advances like fire,
burning all fetters, great and small.

Dhammapada 31

Kamma - The Real Inheritance - by S. N. Goenka


(The following is the second part of Goenkaji’s discourse on Day 30 of the 30-day course, the first part of which was published in the 1 June 2007 issue of the Vipassana Newsletter. This part of the discourse was earlier published in the Vipassana Newsletter dated April 1998.)

Kammassakā, bhikkhave, sattā kammadāyādā, kammayonī, kammabandhū, kammapa
isaraā, ya kamma karonti—kalyāna vā pāpaka vā—tassa dāyādā bhavanti
A.N. 3.10.216 (Samsappaniyasuttam)

Oh bhikkhus, beings are the owners of their deeds, the heirs of their deeds, born of their deeds, kin to their deeds; their deeds are their refuge. Whatever actions they perform, whether good or evil, such will be their inheritance.
Kammassakā: Beings are the owners of their deeds.

The law of Paicca Samuppāda (Dependent Origination) is the universal law of cause and effect: As the action is, so the result will be. Mental volition is the driving force for action at the vocal or physical level. If this driving force is unwholesome, the resultant vocal and physical actions will also be unwholesome. If the seeds are unwholesome, the fruits are bound to be unwholesome. But if this driving force is wholesome, the resultant actions are bound to be wholesome.

For a Vipassana meditator who develops the ability to observe this law at the level of direct experience, the answer to the question “Who am I?” becomes very clear. You are nothing but the sum total of your kamma, your sakhārā (mental conditionings). All your accumulated actions together equal “I” at the conventional level.

Kammadāyādā: Beings are the heirs of their deeds.

In the worldly, conventional sense, one says, “I received this inheritance from my mother or my father or my elders.” At the apparent level this is true—but what is one’s real inheritance? Kammadāyādā—one inherits one’s own kamma, the results, the fruits of one’s own kamma. Whatever you are now, the present reality of this mind-matter structure is nothing but the sum total of and the result of your own accumulated past kamma. The experience of the present moment is the sum total of all you have inherited—kammadāyādā.

Kammayonī: Beings are born of their deeds.

One says, “I am the product of a womb, I have come from the womb of my mother,” but this is only apparent truth. Actually, your birth is because of your own past kamma. You come from the womb of your own kamma. As you start understanding Dhamma at a deeper level, you realise this. This is kammayonī, which produces the fruit of the accumulated past kamma every moment.

Kammabandhū: Beings are the kin of their deeds.

None other is your relative—not your father, mother, brother, sister or friend. In the worldly way we say, “This is my brother, my relative or my near or dear one; they are so close to me.” Actually, no one is close to you; no one can accompany you or help you when the time comes. When you die, no one accompanies you other than your kamma. Whoever you call your relatives remain here but your kamma continues to follow you from one life to another. You are not in possession of anything but your own kamma. It is your only companion.

Kammapaisaraā: Their deeds are their refuge.

The only true refuge is in one’s own kamma. Wholesome kamma provides a refuge; unwholesome kamma produces more suffering. No other being can give you refuge. When you say “Buddha saraa gacchāmi—I take refuge in the Buddha,” you understand fully well that the person by the name of Gotama the Buddha cannot give you refuge. Your own kamma gives you refuge. Nobody can protect you, not even a Buddha. Refuge in Buddha is refuge in the quality of Buddha, in his enlightenment, in the teaching that he gave. By following the teaching, you can develop enlightenment within you. And the enlightenment that you develop within you, that is your wholesome kamma. This alone will give you refuge; this alone will give you protection.

Ya kamma karonti—kalyāna vā pāpaka vā—tassa dāyādā bhavanti: Whatever actions beings perform, whether wholesome or unwholesome, such will be their inheritance.

This law of nature should become very clear. Then you will become inspired to take responsibility for your own kamma. Remain alert and on guard each moment, so that every action, physical or mental, is wholesome. You will not be perfect but keep trying. You may fall down but see how quickly you get up. With all the determination, with all the inspiration, with all the encouragement, get up and try again. This is how you become stable in Dhamma.

Bhavatu sabba magala—May all beings be happy!

One-Day Course at Global Pagoda

On the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima on Sunday 29 July 2007, the Global Vipassana Foundation has organized a one-day course from 11 am to 4 pm at Global Pagoda, Gorai, Mumbai.

Goenkaji will be present during the course.

Guru Purnima is so named because the Buddha gave his first discourse, the Dhammacakkappavattana sutta, on this very day in Sarnath. The course will be conducted in the meditation hall under the main dome of the Global Pagoda and is only for those who have completed at least one ten-day course.

Registration for the course is compulsory.

For registration and information about reaching the Global Pagoda site, please contact: Mr. Derek Pegado, Tel: (022) 2845-1206; 2845-1204, 2845-2261, 2845-2111; Fax: 2845-2112. Website: www.globalpagoda.org
Email: globalpagoda@hotmail.com

There are no facilities for overnight stay at the Global Pagoda. Those coming a day early will have to make their own arrangements. Please bring your own cushions as well as umbrellas.

Meditators wishing to serve this course may contact Mr. Derek Pegado.
(One-day courses are also organized every Sunday at the Global Pagoda: 11 am to 5 pm. Contact the above for gate pass.)

Pali Courses at Vipassana Research Institute,
Dhamma Giri, Igatpuri - Notification for Admission (2007-2008)

One-Month Crash Course in Pali-Hindi – Basic

  • This course was introduced in 2005. It is the third batch this year.
  • Classes will be held from 4 December 2007 (morning) to 1 January 2008 (morning), without any break.
  • The last date for submitting applications is 15 October 2007.
  • Vipassana meditators, who have completed five 10-day courses and one Satipatthana course, are observing five precepts and maintaining 2 hours of daily practice for the last two years and are committed to this tradition, are eligible for admission. However, preference will be given to those, who have done at least one 20-day course.
  • Area Teacher's recommendation is required for enrolment to the course.
  • Academic Qualification: XIIth class is minimum; however, preference will be given to graduates.
  • A total of 24 students, 12 males & 12 females, will be enrolled in this course.

One-Month Crash Course in Pali-Hindi – Advanced

  • This course was introduced in 2006. It is the second batch this year.
  • Classes will be held from 2 January 2008 (morning) to 30 January 2008 (morning), without any break.
  • The last date for submitting applications is 15 October 2007.
  • All those students, who have completed the “Basic Crash Course in Pali-Hindi” organised by VRI are eligible. Vipassana meditators who have a basic knowledge of Pali and fulfil the other eligibility requirements may also be considered for admission.
  • Area Teacher's recommendation is required for enrolment to the course.
  • Academic Qualification: XIIth class is minimum; however, preference will be given to graduates.
  • A total of 24 students, 12 males & 12 females, will be enrolled in this course.

Tel: [91] (02553) 244076; 244086;
Email: admin@vri.dhamma.org

Important Notice

The following Vipassana centres require centre managers as well as long-term Dhamma servers. They will be provided with meals and accommodation as well as suitable honorarium, if necessary.

Dhamma Bodhi, Bodhgaya, Bihar.
Contact: 1. Mr. Rajesh Gupta, 099349-72701, 098296-17077; 2. Mr. Gopal Sharan Singh, 094150-07733

Dhamma Kānana, Balaghat, M.P.
Contact: Mr. Haridas Meshram, 094254-47996

Dhamma Sarovara, Dhule.
Contact: Dr. Prashant Deore, Mobile: 093728-10307;
Tel: (02562) 222-861, Email: info@sarovara.dhamma.org

Dhamma Paphulla, Alur Village, Bangalore.
Contact: Vipassana Meditation and Research Centre,
Tel: (080) 2222-4330, Email: info@paphulla.dhamma.org

First Vipassana Course in Vietnam

Vipassana has spread quickly in much of Southeast Asia except in Vietnam. Happily, in May this year, two consecutive courses were organized at the Nguyen Thuy Pagoda in Nha Be District in the southern part of the country. The ten-day course discourses and instructions have already been recorded in the Vietnamese language and were used during these courses.

The first course was conducted from 9 to 20 May 2007 for 81 students, including 13 old students. All of them completed the course successfully. 54 students participated in the second course.

New Construction at Dhamma Bodhi

Dhamma Bodhi is located near Bodhgaya where the Buddha attained enlightenment. Since it was founded in 1995, many meditators have sat ten-day courses at the centre. Since Bodhgaya is a popular pilgrimage site, Dhamma Bodhi hosts students from all over the world.

New construction includes a pagoda, a meditation hall, accommodation blocks and teachers’ residences. All of these improvements combined with the unique location make Dhamma Bodhi an ideal meditation center. The meditation cells are spacious and the center layout is conducive to serious meditation. There is ample room for walking. The center has been beautifully landscaped and it even grows its own vegetables.

Value Based Education Workshop

35 teachers participated in the Values Inculcation Through Vipassana workshop for school and college teachers which was held from 17 May to 30 May 2007 at Dhamma Puṇṇa, Pune Vipassana centre.

Goenkaji's Discourses on Television

Aastha: Daily, 9:40 to 10 am. Hungama: Daily, 4.30 to 6.00 am. Zee: Urja, daily, 4:30 am. USA: Aastha TV at 6 pm EST (Monday to Friday) on WORLDDIRECT platform of DIRECTV on channel no. 2005. (Please confirm exact telecast timings.)

European Long Course Center

The development of the first European Long Course Centre (ELCC) has entered a new phase. The initial plan was to develop the center next to the existing ten-day course center in Germany, Dhamma Dvāra. However, the local council has refused permission.

Dhamma Dīpa in the UK had earlier been a candidate site for the long course center, and the local Council had already approved plans for building on land adjacent to the existing center. After careful consideration, the decision was made to go ahead with establishing the long course center next to Dhamma Dīpa.
The ELCC Trust is managing the project. The change of location is a challenge but fortunately the design and planning work already completed in Germany can partly be used at Dhamma Dīpa.

Most activities of the Trust and its committees take place through telephone conference calls and online but the ELCC Trust aims to meet in person twice a year.
The next meeting will be in the UK at Dhamma Dīpa, in parallel with the UK Trust meeting on 22 and 23 June. This will provide a welcome opportunity for trustees in both organizations to meet and share their perspectives on the project.
For more information, visit the ELCC website: www.eu.region.dhamma.org/os

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of VMC

The Vipassana Meditation Center (VMC) in Massachusetts, USA will celebrate its 25th anniversary in August 2007. To mark the occasion, the trust is hoping to complete the meditation cell complex started in 1991 and build a pagoda-style roof for it like that at Dhamma Giri and Sayagyi U Ba Khin’s centre (IMC) in Myanmar.

Another plan is to create a website recording meditators’ recollections of the first quarter-century at Dhamma Dharā. Postings could include writing, photos and artwork. Selections from these may eventually appear in a printed souvenir issue of the Vipassana Newsletter.

For more information, contact: editor@vnl.dhamma.org

New Center in Southeastern USA

On November 17, 2006, excavation began on a 40-acre lot in Jessup, Georgia, one hour south of Savannah. This marked the auspicious beginning of the Southeast Vipassana Meditation Center, Dhamma Patāpa (Majesty of Dhamma). The Southeast Vipassana Trust found this property after two years of searching in northern Florida and southern Georgia.

In the initial phase, two buildings will be constructed to accommodate 24 students. (Tents and trailers will bring accommodation up to 40 students.) Also to be built are a meditation hall, kitchen, dining area, teachers’ residence and office. Additional buildings have already been designed and will be built in subsequent phases.
For more information, visit www.patapa.dhamma.org

Children's Courses in Mumbai

To serve children’s courses in Mumbai, call 98200-22990.





8 July


10-12 yrs

5 & 6 July

15 July


13-16 yrs

12 & 13 July

5 Aug

South Mumbai

10-12 yrs

2 & 3 Aug

12 Aug


10-12 yrs

8 & 9 Aug

12 Aug


13-16 yrs

8 & 9 Aug

19 Aug


10-12 yrs

16 & 17 Aug

26 Aug


13-16 yrs

24 & 25 Aug

2 Sept

South Mumbai

13-16 yrs

30 & 31 Aug

9 Sept


10-12 yrs

6 & 7 Sept

9 Sept


10-12 yrs

6 & 7 Sept

16 Sept


13-16 yrs

13 & 14 Sept

Course Timing: 8:30 am to 2:30 pm. Registration: 11 am to 1 pm.
Course Venues: Andheri (W): Dada Saheb Gaikwad Sansthan, Babasaheb Ambedkar Marg, RTO Corner, Four Bungalows. Tel: 2510-1096, 2516-2505. Ghatkopar (W): SNDT School, New Building, Cama Lane, Opp Vidyut Society. Tel: 2510-1096, 2516-2505. Matunga: Amulakh Amirchand High School, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road, New SNDT College, King’s Circle, Matunga (CR), Tel: 2510-1096, 2516-2505. South Mumbai: Tel: 2308-1622. Ulhasnagar: Guru Nanak High School, Kurla Camp, Ulhasnagar-4. Tel: (0251) 252-2693.

NB Please: *bring cushion, *register on the specified phone numbers, *inform in advance if unable to attend after registration, *arrive on time for the course.

New Responsibilities

Senior Assistant Teachers:
1. Mr. Digambar Dhande, Mumbai
2. Mr. Rudra Datt Tiwari, Lucknow
3. & 4. Mr. Roger & Mrs. Mersedeh Gosselin, Canada

New Appointments

Assistant Teachers:
1. Mr. Basant Kumar Tamang, Nepal
2. Ms. Andrea Gerber, Germany
3. & 4. Mr. Per & Mrs. Diana Lustgarten, Sweden
5. Ms. Jennifer Lin, USA

Children’s Course Teachers
1. Mr. V. Aravind, Chennai
2. Mr. B. Vinayagam, Chennai
3. Mr. M. S. Gopi Krishnan, Madurai
4. Ms. Keepu Tsering Lepcha, Sikkim
5. Mr. Shree Dhar Prasad Upreti, Nepal
6. Mrs. Hsieh, Rui Mei, Taiwan
7. Mrs. Tai Yin Ling, Hong Kong
8. Mrs. Yung Mei Fong, Lydia, Hong Kong

In Memoraim

Mrs. Ashalata Thorat, a Senior Assistant Teacher of Vipassana, from Maharashtra, India passed away peacefully on 28 May, 2007after a long illness.

She served on many courses before her appointment as an AT and also conducted many courses as an AT. An enthusiastic Dhamma server, she organized many non-centre courses in her native town. She is survived by her husband, who is also a Vipassana meditator.

May she be happy, peaceful and liberated.

Dhamma Dohas

Śīla samādhi jñāna hī, śuddha dharama kā sāra;
kāyā vā
ī citta ke, sudhare saba vyavahāra.
Sīla, samādhi and paññā—

this is the essence of pure Dhamma,
transforming all actions of body, speech, and mind.

ī to vaśa me bhalī, vaśa me bhalā śarīra;
para jo mana vaśa me
kare, vahī saccā vīra.
Good to have mastery over speech,
good to have physical mastery,
but one who is master of his mind is a true champion.

Prajñā śīla samādhi hī, magala kā bhaṇḍāra;
saba sukha sādhanahāra hai, saba dukha tāra
Morality, concentration, and wisdom—a treasury of well-being,
conferring all happiness, removing all misery.

Śīla-dharama pālana bhalo, nirmala bhalī samādhi;
prajñā to jāg
ta bhalī, dūra kare bhava-vyādhi.
Good to practice morality, good is right concentration,
good is the awakening of insight to cure the ills of life.

Year / Month: 
June, 2007