Aug 5, 2017

Posted by in BUDDHISM IN OTHER LANGUAGES | 10 Comments

Letter No. 221 to disciples: NEVER BE RELUCTANT (Đừng miễn cưỡng)

Letter No. 221 to disciples: NEVER BE RELUCTANT (Đừng miễn cưỡng)

Letter No. 221 to disciples: Never be reluctant.

Dear disciples,

I have arrived in Ban Me Thuot city where is famous for coffee. The people in this city become rich by this special tropical coffea plant. So there has been a joke with the phrase: the city of “Banh Mi Thit (Bread with meat)” and “dust all over everything” made travelers lose the interest in enjoying the taste of the city. Now there is less dusty than the previous years. Dusty city is only a memory.

Heavy fog has blanketed the roads

I have not seen the dust in Ban Me Thuot with my own eyes, but I have witnessed the fog covered the central highlands of Gia Lai province. At the end of Truong Chinh street, thick fog blanketed Pleiku city. The dense fog obstructed vision, the road could only be seen when the light of car came. I happened to remember marvel tales on “Liaozhai Zhiyi – Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio”. Suppose that the girl in red whom Mat Tu saw in her dream appeared in the mist, then this imagination is far richer than Pu Songling’s thought – the author of Liaozhai Zhiyi and this imagination is much richer than the story of Lac Mao Phong (Luo Maofeng) in “Bao Zheng marvel tales”. If I and my consort were in Mat Tu’s situation in which Mat Tu saw the girl in red in her dream, we would not follow the guidance to practice Tibetan Buddhism to make the girl in red disappear, we would pray: “May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering”

This time, I came to Gia Lai, I have clearly seen the scene which the poet Vu Huu Ding described in his poem: “high mountains filled with thick fog”. It is absolutely true. And I have another beautiful memory relating to the tourism place called “Garden and Kids”. I do not want to discuss about the vast and beautiful scene covered my sight in this children’s fairy land. I only noticed two verses written on the sign:

“Adding a little sugar cannot make coffee sweeter

Our love is unable to keep forever with a little unwilling care”

At café “Garden and Kids”

Garden and Kids coffee shop

The two verses imply to refuse the reluctance. Because the bitter is the nature of coffee, if you put a little bit sugar into coffee, such a small amount of sugar cannot change the bitter nature of coffee. In addition, the people enjoy coffee because it is the typical bitter of coffee they like but sugar, sugar is only an additive. They enjoy coffee, but they do not like to drink either soft drinks or lemon juice. Likewise, in love relationship, if the relationship is broken by no respect to each other, some reluctant love will be very difficult to make thêm stay forever with each other.  The caring or love at that time is only a trick, not a sincerity from the bottom of the heart. Coffee is tasty due to its natural bitterness, love stays firm because of sincerity. In the same way with spiritual relationship, I neither accept the fake respect nor false devotion. I do not agree with the disciples who accept things from others who have obtained thêm by one of the five wrong livelihoods, namely hypocrisy, flattery, hinting , artful acquisition, seeking reward by boasting to others what you have done for the Guru.

Inside the Garden and Kids cafe

Children’s fairy land

A corner in “garden and kids” café.

In the two mentioned verses, the author would like to advise gently someone he loved not to be reluctant or take a sweet revenge of someone he loved. Similarly, for Guru-disciple relationship, I make a warn of that all reluctance gets in vain, regardless of showing the reluctance to practice the Dharma,  the reluctance to make devotion to Guru as a role of a disciple and the reluctance to care for disciple’s spiritual life as a role of a Guru. The reluctance has still existed in mind, there will be obstacles to the path of transforming impure mind into Buddha’s nature.

When discussing about the “divine pride” of a Buddhist on the standpoint of liberation, we were scolded: “you are an animal” by the nickname “Vo luong tho” (the holy sublime name of Amitabha Buddha) because my article aimed at upholding the Dharma, against the wrong view and I affirmed that a Buddhist has the noble title and the Buddhist who took refuge in The Three Jewels does not worship Guangong. Guangong killed thousands of people because he wanted to help Liu Bei get the wish of being the King. Accordingly, the law of cause and effect is always fair, Guangong was defeated in battle and beheaded. Vo luong tho has a right to be proud of Guangong because of his wrong view. It is not the right view of a Buddhist. However, Vo luong tho still has the macho quality, he is ready to express his viewpoint, he is more courageous than the monks, abbots with the title of a doctor or high hierarchy of thero (veverable) and Oshō who often give the Refuge paper to the devotees and warn them of  that “taking refuge in The Three Jewels must not worship gods, asuras, demons, animals whereas they are reluctant to put the statues of Guangong, Ngu Hanh and Mau Hoang inside the temples. They are ready to forget the Buddha’s teaching in order to meet the need of the wrong view Buddhists.

The fog

When thinking deeply about the pride, I have found out that people in the central highlands in Gia Lai province have had the mundane pride of being a resident in Gia Lai province by imprinting the homeland name – Gia lai with their companies’ name or their services’ name such as: Hoang Anh Gia Lai, Duc Long Gia Lai, Nguyen Quang Gia Lai….while we have never seen any names like Hoang Anh Da Nang, Duc Long Sai Gon, Nguyen Quang Binh Duong, Tan Phat Lam Dong….The words “Gia Lai” becomes the pride of the people in this plateau whereas we cannot seen such a beautiful pride in other places or provinces. Perhaps, the deep love for such beautiful and glorious plateau with majestic mountains, deep forests, and vast lakes makes the generous residents in Gia Lai arise such a mundane pride. I wish that you feel proud of being a member of Song Nguyen Tantra House and whenever being asked about the place of cultivation, you should make a proud announcement: I, Mat Hue Nguyen – Song Nguyen Tantra House, for example.

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

Ban Me Thuot city,  2nd August 2017

Thinley – Nguyen Thanh

Translated by Mat Dieu Hang


Original Vietnamese version: Thư gửi các trò 221: ĐỪNG MIỄN CƯỠNG!

Related posts:

Letter to Disciples 216: “…THE RAINS PASSING BY..” (“Những chuyến mưa qua…”)

Letter to disiples no.217: PHAN THIET (Phan Thiết)

Letter to disciples No.218: ROOTS AND TIPS (Gốc và ngọn)

Letter No. 219 to disciples: PEACE TO WEALTH, KEEP PEACEFUL TO GET THE PURE MIND (Yên để mà giàu, an để mà tịnh)

Letter to Disciples No. 220: “DO NOT CONSIDER THINGS AS FAILURES” (“Đừng coi mọi sự như là khuyết điểm”)

Letter No. 221 to disciples: NEVER BE RELUCTANT (Đừng miễn cưỡng)

Letter to Disciples No. 222: THE BODHI HAMMOCK (Chiếc võng Bồ đề)

  1. Tantra Upatissa says:

    Dear Guru
    I have read this article. It is a very interesting one. Thank you so much. Readers of this website are proud to members of your society. Maythe Guru live long for the sake of all beings.

    May all beings achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

    • Kính bạch Thầy!

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

      “Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con đã đọc bài này rồi ạ. Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho con đọc một bài viết ý nghĩa và sâu sắc. Tất cả học trò của Thầy được đọc bài trên trang chanhtuduy.com đều tự hào được là thành viên của Mật gia Song Nguyễn. 

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

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

      Om Mani Padme Hum.”

  2. Salvatore Antonio Fois says:
    Venerebol GURU;

    Hour faith is in the three Jules, there is our only refuge and with deep devotion until inliegtment we do so.

    In the Buddha, Dharma, and the assembly of the nobol one’s we take rifuge until inliegtment is reached, from the merit of practice generosity and so on may I obtain Buddhaud for the well fare of all sentient beings…….

    OM MANI PADME HUNG……

    Faithfully.

  3. Steve Rogers says:
    Dear Holy Guru

    this is Tantra Haramitra, the Dharma name I am humble to have been given by yourself.

    I know that I am happy to have taken refuge and call myself a Buddhist. I thank you for your guidance and give you respect as my Guru.

    May I continue to learn and be proud that I am a member of your house and work to assist with the removal of suffering of all sentient beings and their causes.

    May the holy Guru have good health and live long for the benefit of all sentient beings. May all sentient beings achieve the happiness of Buddha ‘s nature.

    for your consideration Holy Guru

    Con cảm ơn!

    • Kính bạch Thầy!

      con xin phép dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Haramitra (Steve Rogers) sang tiếng Việt như sau ạ:

      “Kính bạch Thầy tâm linhh tôn quý!

      Con là Tantra Maramitra. Con rất hoan hỷ và vui mừng khi được Thầy ban cho con pháp danh này.

      Con rất vui mừng và cảm thấy ơn phước khi được nương tựa nơi Thầy và được là một Phật tử. Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã chỉ dạy con và chấp nhận trở thành Thầy dạy đạo cho con.

      Con cầu nguyện cho bản thân con tinh tấn hành pháp và con cảm thấy tự hào khi được là thành viên của mái nhà Mật Gia Song Nguyễn, được thực hành pháp đem lại lợi lạc cho bản thân và tha nhân.

      Con thành tâm cầu nguyện Thầy tâm linh tôn kính khỏe mạnh và trường thọ vì sự lợi lạc của chúng sanh.

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

      Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã để tâm đến con.”

  4. Dear Holy Guru

    I devote to you a genuine admiration for your powerful wisdom and compassion. You ‘ve astounded me with a series of Dharma sermons written on the road during this record-long trip in spite of your health problems. A “reluctant compassion” would not make you be able to complete the writing at noon or at midnight for us to timely enjoy them.  The whole article is covered with a devotion to Dharma, a Bodhicitta for disciples, not any complaints of the tiredness from long drive or health matters. You are a valuable example that reminds us of keeping consciousness and right mindfuldness, avoiding the temptation of eight worldly winds or five poisionous desires which might turn us into their slave and make us feel reluctant in practicing Dharma and devoting to the Guru. I’ve read the comment of “Vo Luong Tho” nick and totally agree with you that it is much better for this guy to bravely express and protect his thought-to-be-right view rather than many other monks or nuns who’ve clearly known but reluctantly compromised with wrong view for private benefits. I’m really proud with fruifruil spiritual results Song Nguyen Tantra House has achieved over the past years under the guidance of such sage like you. Without any reluctance, I’d like to state out loud:” I –Mat Hue Phap, a disciple of Master Thinley Nguyen Thanh from Song Nguyen Tantra House. I vow to follow his steps from now to the ultimate enlightenment.”

    May Guru and your consort live long for the benefit of all sentient beings and disciples

    May Yidam and Dakini bless you to overcome current health problems for the sake of your cause for Dharma propagation.

    May all of us achieve the power of genuine devotion to the Guru.

    Om Ah Hum

  5. Tantra Mikaya (jane) says:
    Dear holy guru. Thank you for article and the translation and the wonderful photos that enable me and your disciples to see in a nice atmosphere. I understand your admonition that we can always be proud of being a Buddhist. I am happy to be a member of the Sangha and have deep respect for you Holy wise Guru. I read a lot on my own to understand Buddhism better, but I came to the realization that a guru like you really pushes my development forward and for that I would like to express my heartfelt thanks. I had read that a venerable guru tested his students 3 years and then tested his students the holy guru 3 years. I know this is more a saying but the saying made me understand that a teacher is very important. Even if your disciples sometimes disagree, then this is evidence that Buddhism itself is very profound and each of us converts what we have learned with different intensity and thoughts and feelings. I often say that we are the sum of our experiences. But the most intense which brought me further and gave me fulfillment is, and is, Buddhism, the Dharma the Sangha. I know I will be an eternal student because I learn new every day. Every meditation is different, every act is not the same. But everything comes from experience, knowledge and trust. I try to make little mistakes to harvest the fruit of the learned. And yet, I always confess to Buddhism and to you the Holy Guru and the Sangha and I adore you as our teacher as our counselor as a person with their wisdom teaches us to be good Buddhists. May all beings be free from suffering and practice Buddhism and Dharma successfully. May our Holy Guru be blessed with great health. Om Mani Padme Hum
    • Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con xin phép dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Mikaya (Jane) sang tiếng Việt như sau:

      “Kính bạch Thầy tâm linh tôn quý!

      Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho con được đọc bài viết ý nghĩa này và cảm ơn đạo hữu đã chuyển ngữ bài viết của Thầy sang tiếng Anh. Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã đăng tải những hình ảnh đẹp để con và học trò của Thầy có thể hân thưởng được một bầu không khí tuyệt vời. Con hiểu lời dạy của Thầy là chúng con nên khởi phát niềm kiêu hãnh linh thánh của một Phật tử. Con rất tự hào được là thành viên của Mật gia và con khâm phục, kính trọng Thầy, trí tuệ của Thầy. Con đọc rất nhiều sách về đạo Phật và con nhận ra rằng một vị Thầy như Thầy đã truyền cảm hứng cho con và giúp con tiến tu và con muốn bày tỏ lòng biết ơn chân thành, sâu sắc đến Thầy. 

      Con đã đọc một câu chuyện rằng có vị Đạo sư đáng kính thử thách học trò trong 3 năm và người học trò đó đã vượt qua thử thách của vị Đạo sư  ấy trong 3 năm. Ý nghĩa thực sự của câu chuyện đó không chỉ nằm trên câu chữ nhưng con hiểu rằng vai trò của vị Thầy rất quan trọng. Thậm chí, đôi khi học trò của Thầy có những niệm tưởng không hoan hỷ nhưng không ai có thể phủ nhận được những giáo lý Phật đà sâu sắc mà Thầy đã truyền ban và giúp chúng con chuyển hóa tâm theo tùy từng căn cơ, sự tư duy và sự tinh tấn của chúng con. Con thường nghĩ rằng sự trải nghiệm sẽ giúp chúng con trưởng thành. Nhưng điều mang lại lợi lạc nhất cho chúng con và giúp chúng con hoàn thiện bản thân chính là nương tựa vào Thầy Phật Pháp, Tăng. Con biết con sẽ học nữa và học mãi vì mỗi ngày con được học một điều mới, sự học là vô cùng. Ví dụ như trong hành thiền, trải nghiệm sẽ khác nhau từng ngày, và hành vi thân  ngữ tâm của con hôm nay cũng không giống như hôm qua. Nhưng tất cả những điều đó cho con sự trải nghiệm, kiến thức và niềm tin kiên cố. Con sẽ giảm thiểu những sai lầm để có được những thành quả trong việc học. Và con luôn khâm phục, tôn kính Thầy khi đọc các bài viết của Thầy. Với con Thầy tôn quý không chỉ là Đạo sư đầy trí tuệ, Thầy còn là một nhà cố vấn với kiến thức sâu rộng giúp chúng con trở thành Phật tử chân chính.

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

      Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh đoạn trừ phiền não, thành tựu đạo pháp.

      Om Mani Padme Hum.”

  6. Jennifer says:
    My Dear Holy Guru,

    I thank you for the enlightening article today. I struggle with pride in mundane things. I feel pride for learning Buddhism and am Grateful for the teachings you share with me. My wish is to one day know enough to share your teachings with others. I do not come in contact with many due to disabilities. I am mostly home. But the people I come in contact with on a daily basis on the internet I treat the right way to help them to see the way the Buddha lived and Buddhists of today live. It amazes me that there are so many who learn from your articles. It pleases my heart to know that your teachings are not only right but vast. The spread across the world teaching the right way of life. Thank you Holy Guru for all you do for the desciples that learn from you and thank you from myself for all I am learning. May you live long and peaceful for the sake of all sentient beings.

  7. Dr.C H Lakshmi narayan says:
    Respected Guruji,I bow my head at the lotus feet of Guruji.

    I am Tantra Nirvadeva.

    For a cup of tasteful coffee  in the city in Vietnam which is famous for coffee ,as explained by Guruji, three important ingredients are necessary namely coffee powder , milk and sugar in right proportion! Likewise, to be a true Buddhist one has to take  refuge   in all the three components of Triple Gem namely  Buddha , Dhammam and Sangha!. Then only he will practice Dharma with a right view !

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

    Long live our Guruji for upholding Dharma.

    Dr.C H Lakshminarayan.

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