Oct 6, 2018

Posted by in BUDDHISM IN OTHER LANGUAGES | 20 Comments

LEARNING DHARMA WITH A SENSE OF MODESTY (Khiêm cung cầu pháp)

LEARNING DHARMA WITH A SENSE OF MODESTY (Khiêm cung cầu pháp)

LEARNING DHARMA WITH A SENSE OF MODESTY

It was a bright morning in Song Nguyen Tantra House, the air was cool, not hot and muggy as usual. It must have been blessings of Daknini for this favorable weather.

This Sunday (April 14, 2013) was not different than any other Sunday but the spiritual atmosphere was quite special. My disciples and I were waiting for a delegation of Dai Bi Thai Hoa Dharma Group from District 9, Ho Chi Minh City, to come for a visit. Fellow brothers Chanh Thai and Chon Hoa would like to ask for a counsel and learn Dharma in Song Nguyen Tantra House. I still remember the first time they phoned me asking for a learning visit after they had finished reading my book named “One Life, One Mantra”. That time Chinh Thai and his wife, Chon Hoa, came to see me with a fantastic bunch of lily flower on their hands. We discussed about Dharma for four hours and left our lunch untouched.

Chanh Thai and Chon Hoa had a strong aspiration for liberation and were concerned about skillful means (upaya) needed on their path of cultivation. They’d found a clear path from Song Nguyen Tantra House and wish to learn more about. Right from the first time we met, I knew they had practiced diligently for a long time but they needed find a proper method of practice to promote the best use of their ability. They were in their 60’s but their spirit felt more youthful and abundant. This provoked admiration from me, particularly knowing they are a couple sharing the same belief and being on the same path. The Amitabha Buddha must have been delighted if every couple walks on the same path like them!

Chanh Thai and Chon Hoa told me there were 20 lay practitioners of Pure Land School in the delegation who focused on the practice of “Namo Amitabha”, Great Compassion mantra and Usnisa Vijana Dharani. The recitation session is held in turn in the house of three practitioners and lasts from 14.00h to 16.00h each day. Clearly they were determined to reap fruits of merit and wisdom to be reborn into the land of the Enlightened. How precious it is as they have recognized the impermanence of life, letting go of attachment to worldly concerns and voluntarily focusing on the practice of “Namo Amitabha”. Finding a group with such methodical practice like Dai Bi Thai Hoa today is as hard as looking for a morning star.

ITA’s Director – Master Thinley Nguyen Thanh

A majority of them are of old age and from different social backgrounds but they all share the same goal – liberation. I was rather excited to see them indeed. Knowing there would be obstructions for those who wish to learn Buddhist Dharma, members of Song Nguyen Tantra House from all over the country like Ho Chi Minh City or provinces of Tien Giang, Phu Yen, Ba Ria, Vung Tau… prayed for the fulfillment of their trip and a safety return, not being impeded by the beings and non-beings. The prayer aims to protect their journey from inevitable mara hindrances that other groups used to face on their way for Dharma petition.

The delegation arrived at 8.30am. Mat Hai, Mat Thuy, Mat Dung and Mat Vien (my disciples) welcomed them to Thanh phong cac (Pure Wind Roundhouse). From the Yet De (Gate) Bridge, I saw them all gather in Thanh phong cac, mostly wearing blue robes. Some pointed in my direction saying the Tantric Guru was coming. I walked slowly to observe them. They were sitting putting their hands together in front of their chest and bowed with earnest sincerity despite the fact that I didn’t come from any monastery or pagoda. This showed the virtue of “modesty” (appicchatà), an essential quality of Buddhist practitioners. On the path way to enlightenment, modesty is seen a purifying quality to every Buddhists. It’s not by chance the Buddha ranked it among Seven Spiritual Wealths (Seven Treasures of Noble Ones, including faith, morality, contemplation, modesty, self-respect, respect for others and discriminating wisdom). As they prepared to rise and greet me, I made signs for them to sit down. There were some old aged practitioners in the delegation and I did not want them to feel tired by such formality. Nonetheless, their attitude touched my heart.

I put my hands together and bowed to them, then sat on my place. Surely they were surprised at my Dharma robe because it is different from other lamas’. My robe is called Chuba which Master Thinley Norbu used to wear (a traditional dress of Nyinma lamas in Tibetan Buddhism). But when I chair a ceremony, I wear the red dress for Ngagpa (household practitioner). Nevertheless, “Fine clothes do not make the man”, practitioners should be aware that the core of Buddhism is Dharma practice rather than attachment to external form. Dai Thua Bao Vuong Trang Nghiem (Karandavyuha Sutra) told that Sarvanivarana-vishkambhin Bodhisattva who overcome all prejudices on external form to prostrate himself on the ground with numerous offerings, asking a disabled and married lay Master to transmit Dharma. That’s what the sutra described but I think that lay Master “played act” to examine who was truly sincere and earnest. I myself believe that since he performed that play, no one had come to request for his teachings except Sarvanivarana-vishkambhin Bodhisattva who was luckily revealed by the Buddha in advance.

Likewise, Chanh Thai and Chon Hoa acted as a good example in the spirit of seeking and learning Dharma and now, nearly 30 people followed their step to Song Nguyen Tantra House with offerings requesting for Dharma teachings. It came to my mind that their trip was not initiated by the reputation of Song Nguyen Tantra House through its tantra books and CDs but it’s their virtue of modesty that is worth. This proves that Dai Bi Thai Hoa Group is on the correct direction of cultivation. Suddenly a teaching of the Guru Rinpoche came to my mind: “The enlightened one does not have any definite appearance for easy recognition; the defrauder on the contrary owns much hypocrisy that is hard to recognize; do not mistake copper for gold.” Thus in Mahaparnivarna Sutra, Book 1, Chapter 15: On the Nature of Tathagata, the Buddha warned: “O Kasyapa! If a upasaka or upasika know any bhiksu or bhiksuni who breaks the precepts, he or she should not provide them with four offerings, should not respect, worship and offer them. If knowing any bhiksu or bhiksuni who breaks the precepts, he or she should not respect or worship that bhiksu or bhiksuni just because they wear monastic robe.”

Phuoc Thanh Village, April 16, 2013

THINLEY NGUYEN THANH

Translated by Mat Hue Phap


The trip of Dai Bi Thai Hoa to Song Nguyen Tantra House


Vietnamese version: KHIÊM CUNG CẦU PHÁP

  1. Ahmed Khan says:

    Dear Guru,

    My name is Tantra Sagovana.

    Thank you for sharing this article.

    I am pleased to read about Dharma friends Chanh Thai and Chon Hoa’s visit to Song Nguyen Tantra House.

    A good Dharma practitioner must have the spirit of seeking and learning more about Dharma.

    May all sentient beings become enlightened.

    Om Mani Padme Hum

    • Mật Diệu Hằng says:
      Kính bạch Thầy! 

      Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Sagovana (Ahmed Khan)  sang tiếng Việt như sau:

      “Kính bạch Thầy! 

      Con là Tantra Sagovana. 

      Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho con được đọc bài viết này. 

      Con hoan hỷ khi biết được đạo hữu Chánh Thái và Chơn Hòa đến Mật gia Song Nguyễn học đạo cầu pháp. 

      Con hiểu rằng một hành giả chân chính cần phải có tinh thần khiêm cung khi học đạo cầu pháp. 

      Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh đạt được giác ngộ tối thượng. 

      Om Mani Padme Hum. ”

       

       

  2. Abrar Bhatti says:
    Dear Guru,

    Indeed this article help me to understand that we should be diligent and make efforts to learn the Dharma that will liberate from suffering. Giving Dharma is the best protection that we can give to someone. You are doing a great work.

    Metta

    Abrar Bhatti

    • Mật Diệu Hằng says:
      Kính bạch Thầy! 

      Con xin phép được dịch comment của bạn đọc Abrar Bhatti sang tiếng Việt như sau:

      “Kính bạch Thầy! 

      Bài viết này thực sự giúp con hiểu được rằng chúng con nên tinh tấn học và hành pháp bởi vì chỉ có pháp mới giúp chúng con thoát khỏi đau khổ,  phiền não. Pháp thí là món quà tốt đẹp nhất dành cho người khác và bảo vệ tha nhân thoát khỏi khổ đau. 

      Con hoan hỷ tán thán công hạnh của Thầy đã ban pháp thí cho hữu tình và Thầy đang lao động giải thoát vĩ đại vì tha nhân. 

      Con – Abrar Bhatti. ”

       

       

  3. Tantra Amishuta says:
    Dear Holy Guru,

    Thank you for sharing this post with us. I appreciate your time and consideration in writing this article. May you be well for the sake of all and my we follow Buddha’s ways to reach enlightenment. Om Mani Padme Hum

    • Kính bạch Thầy! 

      Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Amishuta sang tiếng Việt như say:

      “Kính bạch Thầy tâm linh tôn quý! 

      Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã dạy con bài học về khiêm cung cầu pháp qua bài viết này. Con hoan hỷ tán thán công hạnh của Thầy cũng như sự tận tâm và thời gian quý báu Thầy viết bài chỉ dạy chúng con. 

      Con cầu nguyện Thầy trụ thế lâu dài vì sự lợi lạc của tất cả chúng sanh. 

      Cầu nguyện chúng con được theo chánh pháp để được giác ngộ. 

      Om Mani Padme Hum. ”

       

  4. Mật Diệu Hằng says:
    Dear Holy Guru,

    I am delighted to read your article. I highly appreciate your wisdom and compassion to teach us a precious lesson through this article.

    I have learnt that when seeking and learning the Dharma,  the true practitioners should have a sense of modesty to open the mind to enrich the new knowledge. Especially,  with the knowledge and methods to free from Samsara,  the practitioners need to have the right attitude to learn from Guru and to be grateful towards him because he is so compassionate to show the path to liberation.

    The chance to meet the Guru is really rare in this Samsara,  so we should treasure him to follow his guidance on the path to enlightenment. As great master Ashvagosha has written in the book “Fifty verses of Guru devotion” it goes:

    “2. All the Buddhas of the past, present and future, residing in every land in the ten directions, have paid homage to the Tantric Masters (Gurus)  from whom they have received the highest initiations.”

    “11. If you are so foolish as to despise your Guru, you will contract contagious diseases and those caused by harmful spirits. You will die (a horrible death) caused by demons, plagues or poison.

    12. You will be killed by (wicked) kings or fire, by poisonous snakes, water, witches or bandits, by harmful spirits or savages, and then be reborn in a hell.”

    Thank you so much for reminding us of the modesty and the right attitudes while seeking and learning the Dharma from Guru. In addition,  modesty is one among the seven treasures of the enlightened one that every Buddhist practitioner need to cultivate.

    May you and your consort have a good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings.

    I rejoice in the good deeds of Mat Hue Phap who translated your article into English. Her nice translation supports to spread your teachings all over the world for the benefit of all beings.

    May Mat Hue Phap get all legitimate wishes,  get inner happiness,  worldly success and obtain the achievement of holy fruits.

    May all sentient beings achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

     

  5. tantra mahavita says:
    Dear Holy Guru : Thank you  very  much for sharing your articles. A good Dharma practisioner must have the spirit and diligence to learn and seek more about dharma .May our beloved Guru live a long life happily for the benefit of all sentient being .That all the beings reach the Nature of Budhha . OM MANI PADME HUM
    • Kính bạch Thầy! 

      Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Mahavita sang tiếng Việt như sau:

      “Kính bạch Thầy tâm linh tôn quý! 

      Con chân thành cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho con được đọc bài viết này. 

      Con hiểu rằng một hành giả chân chính cần phải có tinh thần khiêm cung học đạo,  cầu pháp và tinh tấn hành pháp. 

      Con cầu nguyện Thầy tôn quý khỏe mạnh và trụ thế lâu dài vì sự lợi lạc của tất cả chúng sanh. 

      Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh thành tựu hạnh phúc của Phật tánh. 

      Om Mani Padme Hum. “

  6. Tantraupatissa says:
    Dear Guru thanks for sharing this article.

    We can see the kind and boddhichita heart of these monks who are ready to learn new methods of meditation taught by our Guru.

    May all beings be able to find the true Guru and receive blessings from him so they can get enlightened.

    I feel blessed to receive Guru’s teaching and will try to practise deligiently.

    May Guru and his consort live long and protected and get enlightened.

    May Guru’s disciples and other beings be free from suffering and get enlightened.

    Om Mani Padme Hum..

  7. Tantra Sutradaka says:

    Revered Guru Jee

    Om Mani Padme Hum

    I bow my head on the lotus feet on my venerable Guru

    In fact, I was not feeling well psychologically the moment my very emotional comment on this lesson was lost owing to my ignorance, as I am not so skilled in computer and modern smart mobile even after working on it for very many months. It pained me a lot and I became restless for three days or four as I wrote it very minutely, carefully, instinctively and with emotional expression. It is difficult for me to rewrite it, and to comment on it again as it became tough because of my mental agony arose out of the evaporation of my comment during posting it. I requested my friend to send a fresh one but she is a hard task master. She repeated the same lesson four times. Thrice I ignored but in the fourth time I succumbed to her pressure as I cannot keep mum like the Buddha on ten ten metaphysical questions. I am writing it again knowing it well I cannot wright well and fail in my pursuit of creating desired spiritual impact on my Dhamma brothers and sisters who regularly read and comment on Guru’s lesson, because of my meager knowledge and poor imaginative instinct. However, I have to abide with the wishes of my best friend.  For that I had to read the pictorial lesson again so that I may make out some sublime thought lying therein.

              In fact, after a sometime it is revealed to everyone that normally we earthly people undergo the spiritual practices for mundane benefit and happiness in the present life. The Buddhist mantras and its observation in the Pure Mind way provide fruition too. But when one tries to practice it for emancipation, liberation, without expectation of better rebirth and happiness here and here after, it becomes an ideal state for modern man. If such feeling emerges in any heart or mind of any mortal, his sublime state shows him the path to approach to a real Guru, guide or a Kalyanmitta. The same happen with the old man who approached our revered Guru with a delegation of such aspirants, who were pure by heart and inquisitive enough to contact an enlighten Master who can be their raft for taking them to the sore of enlightenment, the Nirvana, and the Dharma guided them in a proper way that led them to our Guru. It may be pre-destined too as everything is related in a Dependent origination way (Paticasamuppad). It might be the merit of their previous life as well as the present one because they were practicing Bodhi Path from a long time with the same end and view, though with a different Guru and with different Mantra. Buddha too visited several Gurus like Alar Kalam and Udakka Ramputta with such inquisitiveness and was welcomed by both.

       On the other side the Guru also become delighted to have such disciples and receive such disciples him with happy heart. The same happened with our Guru who welcomed the pious delegation with his Bodhi chitta mind that was saturated with sublime feelings of kind compassion and pure friendliness for relieving the humanity from the worldly bondage. This would have been a wonderful scene of amalgamation of the pious, pure and purged minds with kind, compassionate and loving heart on the land of pure Mind Buddhism. This was the reason even nature become favourable and soothing to felicitate the grand and great event take place. Without exchange of formal words the feelings of the both, Guru and disciples reached to both and the heart and mind of both the sides filled with divine pleasure. Fortunate were the disciples and other sentient beings who were the witness of the great event that comes once in a blue moon. Though various pictures are posted in the lesson but the spiritual vibration saturated in the atmosphere can only be experienced, felt and realized. I with my entire personality bow before our holy Guru and sublime Nirvana seeker delegates as well as the Guru’s disciples and my Dhamma brothers who were at the back and call of my Gurujee and present to receive the  great delegation and became witness to the great happening that took place that day of spiritual transformation.

    Om Mani  Padme Hum.

    Long live our Guru with profound health along with his consort.

    Tantrasutradaka

    Avinash Kumar srivastava

  8. Aman Prakash says:

    Dear guru

    Thank you very much for this article. I bow my head on your lotus feet.

    May guru teachings spreds over all countries to letting go suffering. I am able to understand that the way we cloth ourselves doesn’t not decide our character ,it is our action who play important role. Guru is our present Budha for us.we all need blessings from guru. May guru lives long for the sake of all sensient being.

    May all sensient being attain true nature.

    Om Mani padme hum

  9. Tantra Ashihata (Simon Michael) says:
    Dear holy Guru ,

    my name is Tantra Ashihata .

    I appreciate you for this wonderful article you have given to us. May you help us to know a true dharma friends and to learn it with modesty I believe that dharma is the way that one can get enlightenment and liberation. May you help us to achieve our purpose on earth through the practicing of the right dharma.

    May Guru live long for the seek of happiness of all sentient being.

    Om mani padme hum

  10. Tantra Sagovana says:

    Dear Guru,

    My name is Tantra Sagovana.

    Thank you for sharing this article.

    In this article you narrate the journey of Dharma brothers Chanh Thai and Chon Hoa and their delegation to Song Nguyen Tantra House to ask for Dharma practice.

    You explain that modesty (appichata) is an essential quality for a Buddhist practitioner to have, and is ranked by Lord Buddha as one of the Seven Spiritual Wealths (Seven Treasures of Noble Ones).

    May all sentient beings be healthy and well and be free from suffering.

    May Guru be healthy and live long for the benefit of all beings.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

    Tantra Sagovana (Ahmed Khan)

    It is the modesty and sense of shame

  11. Tantra Sagovana says:
    Dear Guru,

    My name is Tantra Sagovana.

    Thank you for sharing this article.

    We should have modesty while learning Dharma, do not look at outward appearance of the teacher.

    I think we can overcome any obstacles on the path of learning Dharma by having strong faith in the teacher and the teaching and having a strong mind and will to succeed in our practice.

    May Mat Tinh Phap overcome difficulties at present and get successful in the future.

    May all sentient beings be healthy and well and be free from suffering.

    May Guru be healthy and live long for the benefit of all beings.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

    Tantra Sagovana (Ahmed Khan)

  12. Tantra Sagovana says:
    Dear Guru,

    My name is Tantra Sagovana.

    Thank you for sharing this article.

    In this article you narrate the visit to Song Nguyen Tantra House by fellow Dharma practitioners from Ho Chi Minh City.

    You explain the value of modesty, which is an essential quality for a Buddhist practitioner to have.

    Also you explain that clothes and outward appearance do not make a person a good Buddhist practitioner, his wisdom and eruditeness do.

    May all sentient beings be healthy and well and be free from suffering.

    May Guru be healthy and live long for the benefit of all beings.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

    Tantra Sagovana (Ahmed Khan)

     

  13. Momen Mohamed says:
    Dear holy guru,

    Thank you so much for sharing this article with us. It increased my desires about learning those teachings. And I have a question is it possible to have a pdf copy from your book ” One life, One mantra” ? Thank you so much again.

    May you have good health and live long for the benefit of all sentient beings.

    May all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha’s nature.

    May the pandemic caused by corona virus soon end

    Om Mani Padme Hum

  14. Momen Mohamed says:
    No problem thank you so much for your reply!

    Om Mani Padame hum .

  15. Mật Giác Đăng says:
    Dear Guru,

    I have read this article.

    I am elated to the modesty of Dai Bi Thai Hoa Dharma Group when they came Song Nguyen Tantra House for Dharma petition. Through this, I am so grateful for your teachings, help me understand the value of modesty – an essential quality of Buddhist practitioners, one of the Seven Spiritual Wealths, be seen as a purifying quality on the path way to enlightenment. I will keep in mind your reminder, “practitioners should be aware that the core of Buddhism is Dharma practice rather than attachment to external form”. May all of us will do not mistake copper for gold, will always keep the right attitude – learning Dharma with the sense of modesty.

    Thank you so much for this beneficial article, Guru. May Guru and your consort have good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings.

    May the covid-19 pandemic will be soon eliminated.

    May all sentient beings achieve the happiness of Buddha nature.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

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