Thursday, April 4, 2013

Companions

"Though people call gold, silver, wealth, and jewels their own since they have acquired them lawfully or otherwise, really they are owners only for the brief span of this life and sometimes not for as long as that.

For the things that are "owned" by us must be shared with other forces and beings such as water, fire, rulers, thieves and enemies which if sentient, may also regard those things as their own. So such things are as though borrowed for this life, just for use now but to be given up at death. And however little or much one may own of things here, all have to be relinquished at the time of death and cannot be taken with one.

When this is taken into account, we may understand how we hardly own such things at all, while by contrast the good and evil done by us is truly owned and such kamma may accompany us through a continuity of lives extending through hundreds of thousands of world cycles in the futher. Kamma cannot be taken from the doer or destroyed in any way, for it is imprinted on our minds and will bear fruit when conditions permit.

Hence The Buddha has said, "All beings are the owners of their kamma"

One should therefore love and esteem good conduct more than one's own life and preserve it well, whule one should dread evil conduct more than the danger of death and so refrain from evil deeds."

Venerable Ledi Sayadaw

I had mentioned this in my previous post, and subsequently came across the above quote of Venerable Ledi Sayadaw. This is one part of the teaching which I heard first time on the last day of my first 30-day course and which left a deep transformatory impression on me.

A lot of things that happened on that course ( as with most courses), were deep eye-openers helping me gain tremendous insights and invaluable wisdom. I lived for 30 days in a room which was about 10 ft by 5ft and which had a separate small attached bathroom. All my possessions for that one month were a suitcase full of clothes of which I did not use all--just about 3 sets. I came to the profound realisation that one really needs so little to live by. Then why this craze to accumulate more and more? I always felt I was earning less than what I would like to; I had less material possessions than I would like to have; I wished for more, more and more... in one way or the other. And here I was, living with very little and working on things that really mattered. I was getting in touch with my true inner core of who I was, what I was doing and how I was multiplying my miseries.

And then came this final day discourse....You don't own anything at all...none of the material goods coveted, bought, so-called "owned" are not really owned. Not only material things...people whom we take for granted, parents, siblings, friends.... people who we think will always be there for us.....no one or nothing is going to come along with us after death....we leave behind everything...so do we really "own" these?

Then is there nothing that comes along with us? Ofcourse there is.....our mind states...consciousness, perceptions, sensations and reactions...our vinnayana, sanya, vedana, and sankhara....constantly there with us, life after life, giving us peace, or trouble, tranquility or disturbance....just whatever we have nurtured through lifetimes.

This must be the focus of our lives--working incessantly observing with equanimity our sensations as they arise, changing our crazy, reactive sanya (perceptions) into a sanya filled with wisdom so that we become totally liberated from or miseries and defilements, to experience real peace and real harmony.

I was moved to tears when I received this part of the teaching....how fortunate I was to have been born in this Buddha Sasana to be able to receive this teaching! It was invaluable....My entire being swelled with immense gratitude to The Buddha, his line of teachers, Goenkaji (who disseminates this teaching with so much of metta), my parents for given birth to me in this Sasana, all people who have supported me in my quest to grow in this practice...all of humankind.