Sep 19, 2018

Posted by in BUDDHISM IN OTHER LANGUAGES | 10 Comments

SUPERMAN AND SUPER SUPERMAN (Siêu nhân & Đại siêu nhân)

Superman and Super Superman

Thereat a children’s toys stall stands two superheroes, one dressed in Batman’s costume and the other dressed in Superman’s. They were advertising for an upcoming movie about the battle between Superman and Batman.

Thay va sieu nhan

“Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice” is about to released but it has already triggered waves of debates about these two superheroes. As we already know, Batman is billionaire Bruce Wayne, the protector of Gotham city. Superman is an alien named Ka-el, who uses his power to keep the peace in Metropolis city. We all know the superpower of Superman, an alien who has an extraordinary strength and the ability fly and shoot laser beams from his eyes. It makes us wonder how Batman – a billionaire from planet Earth, can defeat Superman Or is it even a fair fight for a mortal like Bruce Wayne?

Batman-Vs-SupermanThe children were excited to see these two “fictional” characters. They nagged their parents to take pictures with them. In their innocent minds, these characters are the symbols of justice, the protectors of the cities, countries, and planet Earth. Similarly, in the East we have Liu Bei, Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, following by the 108 Stars of Destiny, Fong Sai-yuk, Huo Yuanjia, IP Man (China), Chử Đồng Tử, Heavenly King Phù Đổng, Trần Quốc Toản (Vietnam)…from which emerge hero-themed franchise and merchandise like video games, figurines, custom print T-shirts, etc. In Vietnam, these franchises are still underdeveloped; such a missed opportunity to propagate “fairy-tale” culture. Through these examples, however, I want to highlight a reality (unlike fictional, magical, or legendary creations) about the properties and capabilities of superheroes.

What is a superhero or hero? We often associate these nouns with martial art experts with exceptional skills and intelligence, who serve for a great cause or to protect the weak. In Buddhist perspective, this is yet to be heroic! Two years ago, I recall coming across a receptionist while getting my room key at a hotel on Truong Van Bang street, Vung Tau city. He asked:

The Guru and his Consort

_ Are you a Kungfu master?
_ Why do you think so?
_ I can tell by the costume you’re wearing, your fastand steady walk, and the radiant on face.

I smiled. The receptionist relied on my Dharma costume of Six syllables mantra to guess my “Dharma manner”, then “Dharma competence”, just like identifying Batman by his iconic black costume, or Superman and Spiderman by their blue costumes. This time, however, he was wrong. Not letting him down, I replied:

_ I am not a Kungfu master, but I have a supreme master.
_ Your master is a Kungfu master?
_ No, you are disparaging my master!
_ Your master is a leader of a Kungfu branch?
_ No, you are disparaging my master!
_ Then he must be the king of Kungfu!
_ Still incorrect!

He was stunned. His eyes glimmered with confusion – even the most superior title in the world of Kungfu is still incorrect. I know he is now desperate for an explanation.

_ Young man, how many people can a Kungfu master defeat?
_ 20 commoners or 10 Kungfu fighters
_ How many people can a Kungfu leader defeat?
_ 30 commoners or 20 Kungfu fighters
_ How many people can the King of Kungfu defeat?
_100 commoners or 30 Kungfu fighters
_ That is way too easy for my master!

His eyes widened. His pupils frozen. His jaw dropped from the shock because he has never heard such claims about Kungfu. Then calmly I said:

_ My master can defeat 10.000 people, all Kungfu fighters
_ That can’t be true! I have read many books about Kungfu, and none of those has such statement!
_ Just because it is unknown to you does not mean it is unknown to others! Think about it deeply and you will realize truth I said.

The-life-of-Buddha-21

The supreme masters I wanted to mention, who are way more superior than all Kungfu masters and leaders of all time, are the Buddha and Buddhist Aryas

Bring the key to the room, Mat Dieu smiled thinking about our conversation and its “meditative characteristic”. The supreme masters I wanted to mention, who are way more superior than all Kungfu masters and leaders of all time, are the Buddha and Buddhist Aryas (Saintly beings). In Buddhist perspective, they are the ones who have conquered their own minds, achieving the level of “Enlightening the mind to see its true nature” at the very least. By achieving this level, their supernatural abilities will self-manifested. They are the six superpowers including “divine eye” (dibba-cakkhu, seeing beyond thousands of miles), “divine ear” (dibba-sota, hearing beyond thousands of miles), “divine walk” (iddhi-vidhā, traveling anywhere using one’s mind), “mind-penetrating” (ceto-pariya-ñāṇa, seeing others’ minds), “life-penetrating” (purvanivasānusmṛiti, seeing thousands of lives in the past)and “disturbance-eradicating” (āsavakkhaya, eliminating all disturbances). These abilities are far beyond the fictional superpowers created by human. The Buddha once broke a rock in half just by a press of his toe. Seeing that extraordinary power, 500 athletes submitted to the Buddha and after listening to his teaching about the Emptiness (Sunyata), they followed the Buddha, renounced their lives of a householder, and join the Sangha.

phat-thich-ca-14-20140624165507wUamxS7QvB

Seeing this extraordinary power, 500 athletes submitted to the Buddha.

However, it is extremely difficult to find this type of person. The Buddha has stated that there are three types of people who are hard to find in this life: (1) Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Aryas (2) Lecturers of Buddhist scriptures and precepts (3) People who know to remember and return favors (cited from “Three hard-to-find kinds of people”. InBuddhist perspective, the first type of people has attained enlightenment, therefore already renounced sensual pleasures and realized Emptiness (Sunyata). The second type has not attained that spiritual level, but they are practicing “progressive cultivation” or “sudden awakening” and will eventually attain liberation in the unification with Sunyata on the foundation of Renunciation and Bodhicitta. Practitioners who know to remember and return favors will treasure the Dharma, study Buddhist scriptures, revere their Guru to build up the foundation for Enlightenment. Especially for the practitioners in Tantrayana, Nyingma lineage, Avalokiteshvara division, Song Nguyen Tantra house, we always vow for a rebirth in the Western Pure land of Ultimate bliss after departing from this world, according to the declaration of Amitabha Buddha. In that moment, the practitioners will immediately obtain a gold-lit body, numerous superpowers, infinite longevity, and transcendent knowledge.

sinh lao benh tu

these superheroes are excluded from the law of birth – old age – illness – death’s scope of influence

How about Batman, Spiderman, Antman, and Superman? Their skills can be loosely understood as “modern supernatural power.” We all know superman’s power – flying, shooting laser beam, extraordinary strength. It makes us wonder how Batman – a billionaire from planet Earth, can defeat Superman or is it even a fair fight for a mortal like Bruce Wayne? In earlier movies, we can see many of Batman’s sophisticated items, such as his Boomerang and his two unique customized cars. In comics, however, Batman is even more well-armed with weaponries, one of which is his high-tech combat suit. After an extensive training to become a vigilante (the title for undercover heroes in DC’s universe), the suit has been greatly modified to improve fighting performance against criminals.

However, we should question whether these superheroes of the present and the past are excluded from the law of birth – old age – illness – death’s scope of influence? Are they always happy or, under the skin of a hero, there is just a mortal with many worldly disturbances? Have they won over themselves? What are they fighting for? For their cities, for their planet Earth. Can it be true that if a city is under their control, the order is going to be well-maintained? This is a false thinking, fallen into individualism. Security and order only have a significant impact if a city, a country bases on them to develop a moral culture, a fully virtuous civilization to support it citizens for a happy, peaceful life. Those fictional heroes are uncappable for this mission. When the cause creating these heroes is fictional, the result will understandably fictional as well.

Buddhism is very realistic; the Buddha has taught us the “six harmonies” (1) harmony in practicing precepts together, (2) harmony in speaking without conflict (avoiding unbeneficial debates), (3) harmony in living together, (4) harmony in discussing (discussing together in public), (5) harmony in viewpoints (endorsing the discussed viewpoints together), and (6) Harmony in sharing benefits (to each and every one). This is the mentality for a monastic lifestyle. For lay Buddhists, this mentality is applied accordingly to the context, environment, family, etc. The sixharmonies are the glue bonding the shared karma and individual karma of the cultivators either in a monastery or at home.

bat chanh daoBesides applying the six harmonies, the Buddha has taught us another efficient practice – following the “Eight-fold path.” The Eight-fold path includes Right view, Right speech, Right conduct, Right livelihood, Right thinking, Right diligence, Right concentration, and Right mindfulness. Right view means having true understanding (opposite to superstitions or non-Buddhist views). Right speech means having true speech (opposite to evil, ill-mannered, double-tongued, useless speech). Right conduct is having a true profession. Right livelihood is having true means of support (rely on one’s own effort and not violating the law or Buddhist precepts). Right thinking is true thinking that isabide withthe Dharma orbit. Right diligence means to maintain one’s diligence accordingly to the Dharma orbit to pursue the goal of liberation. Right concentration is a true focus to concentrate the essence of wisdom into a subject within the Dharma orbit (not a non-Buddhist or worldly subject). Right mindfulness is calling to mind truthfully about the Guru, the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.

Tantrayana cultivators at Song Nguyen Tantra house insightfully understand that, practicing precepts will create the result of Renunciation by applying the Right thinking of precepts, in which the cultivators consider fouraspects of precept – close, open, keep, and carry out. Practicing Bodhicitta of aspiration using prayers in common daily activities is a vehicle to reach upon liberation. This practice includes 16 activities (read more in the article “What is Tibetan Yoga”). To enhance the effectiveness of the practice, the cultivators must understand that, this practice uses the goal as the supreme vehicle to follow (for more information listen to the lecture CONTEMPLATING ON THE GOAL – THE SUPREME VEHICLE, RIGHT BUDDHIST TEACHINGS, WRONG METHOD OF DHARMA PRACTICE NO. 18). To gradually absorb the Emptiness (Sunyata) from the stage of “arise awakening”, “ignite awakening”, “complete awakening”, to “enlightenment”,the cultivators practice “meditation of focused attention”and “meditation of visualization”in both holy and worldly environment (static and dynamic meditation). By this practice, the cultivators will practice both the six harmonies and the eight-fold path at the same time.

According to the teachings of Tibetan Buddhist masters, we will gradually and naturally manifest noble virtues, one of which is Abhaya (fearlessness). This virtue will gradually transform the cultivators, in their mind there will be no hindrance. When there is no hindrance, there is no fear, surpasses far beyond mere confused hallucination, and reaches the ultimate refuge – Nirvana. (from “The Heart Sutra” aka “Prajna Paramita Hridaya Sutra”). Therefore, we no longer need the protection from the superheroes; we can protect ourselves and bring benefits to others. After departing from this world to the Western Pure land of Ultimate bliss, each practitioner will become a super superhero. To non-Buddhists, this is an uncertain, long-sighted future for myriads of lives and thousands of years to come.

To conclude this article, I will quote this following teaching of the Buddha about the potential of human and animal beings, “Do not underestimate these following four subjects: (1) a dragon that is little but capable of making rain, (2) a venomous snake that is little but capable of killing (3) a prince who is little but will become king (4) a Buddhist who is little but will become a Buddha.”I rather be a little Buddhist than a hefty superhero, who has superpower yet remains trapped in Samsara in the next life and endure so many sufferings and disturbances of the present.

Phuoc Thanh village December 10th, 2015

Thinley-Nguyen Thanh.

Translated by Mat Nhat Nguyen


Vietnamese version: SIÊU NHÂN & ĐẠI SIÊU NHÂN

  1.  Tantra Mahavita says:

    Dear Holy Guru : The true hero is the one who conquers himself…Through follow a Holy Master , his teachings ,kindness , patience and compassion …sheltering us in the three jewels and practicing all the precepts in our daily life…making the Dharma one with her ….reciting the Mani Mantra…Taking full attention being awareness moment and moment , wisdom and compassion and fundamentally a Pure Heart…we will be on the path of liberation …May our Guru live happy for the benefit of all sentient beings .May all beings find the happiness o Budhha Nature . 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 hiểu rằng người anh hừng thật sự là người chiến thắng được chính bản thân mình bằng cách tuân theo lời dạy của Thầy tôn quý. Bởi vì chính lời dạy của Thầy, tâm từ bi, lòng tốt và sự kiên nhẫn của Thầy chính là nơi che chở chúng con để chúng con nhận được sự gia hộ của Tam bảo; giúp chúng con thực hành chánh pháp, giữ được giới luật trong đời sống hàng ngày và dạy chúng con biết cách sống trong pháp, cụ thể như Thầy dạy chúng con cách trì niện thần chú Mani, sống tỉnh thức chánh niệm trong phút giây thực tại, thực hành để có trí tuệ và tâm tù bi với tâm thanh tịnh. Tuân theo những lời Thầy dạy, chúng con sẽ vững bước trên hành trình giác ngộ.

      Con cầu nguyện Thầy thân tâm an tịnh, 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.”

  2. Tantra Upatissa says:

    Dear Guru thanks for sharing this article.

    Hope we all get liberated and get into western pure land in future. All beings be able to lead their life by staying in six harmonies taught by Buddha and also could follow 8 noble paths.

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

    May disciples of Guru be free from suffering and get enlightened.

    May all beings be free from suffering and get enlightened.

    Om Mani Padme Hum..

  3. Tantra Mahadeva says:

    Dear Holy Guru

    True super being is the one who conquers his/her mind. It’s the mind should be watched and monitored.

    Unguarded mind and it’s thoughts lead to suffering and sadness. Knowing the nature of the mind is of utmost importance

    Thank you for sharing this wisdom with all beings

    Om Mani Padme Hum

    • Kính bạch Thầy!

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

      “Kính bạch Thầy tâm linh tôn quý!

      Siêu nhân thật sự chính là người điều phục được tâm mình, chiến thắng bản thân mình. Vì vậy chúng con cần quán xét và điều phục tâm mình.

      Nếu tâm chúng con không được bảo vệ theo chánh kiến thì những niệm tưởng xấu ác khởi lên trong tâm sẽ dẫn chúng con đến khổ đau, phiền não. Hiểu được bản chất của tâm là điều rất quan trọng.

      Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho chúng con được nương tựa vào trí tuệ của Thầy thông qua bài viết này.

      Om Mani Padme Hum.”

  4. Ahmed Khan says:

    Dear Guru,

    My name is Tantra Sagovana

    A true hero is one who conquers himself/herself. May we all become such heroes.

    May all sentient beings be free from suffering and become enlightened.

    Om Mani Padme Hum

  5. Mô Phật

    Mật Thúy rất hoan hỉ với thiện hạnh dịch bài viết của của Vị Thầy Sang tiếng Anh của huynh Tất  Nguyên cầu nguyện cho huynh luôn tin tấn thực hành pháp để được tha lực hộ trì cầu mông tất cả chúng sanh luôn có duyên lành biết đến chánh pháp OM ah hum

  6. Bishnu Prasad Das says:

    Respected Guruji,

    The topic,  ” The Super man and  The Super Super man” is an excellent example based knowledgeable topic. A common man ( receptionist ) of a hotel or any one like him asked Guruji just looking his dharma  uniform/dress. The conversation between Guru Ji and the man  is really interesting. Though he has some knowledge about Kungfu he tried to answer finally he was astonished to know the power of Super Super man….who is he???? 

              Lord Buddha is the Super Super man in this topic. His teachings and his blessings made us fearless calm and peaceful life. Knowledge ha no limit or No end…..it is an endless process during our life time…we can get more and more knowledge if we concentrate our mind towards Dharma. 

    I am really appreciate the way of teaching of Guru Ji, always he is starting his teaching with lovely story, examples,or some true experiences of his life. I feel proud of him.

    Om Mani Padme hum

    Tantra Vikrachitta.

    (Bishnu Prasad Das)

    India.

  7. Neerajkumar Sumaran says:

    Dear holy Guru,

    Thank you very much for this beautiful article.

    As per the your mentioned topic & as per the available texts, Siddhartha Gautama was from warrior family, Siddhartha spent his youth life training and preparing for the war. As a prince, Siddhartha was a trained warrior, he beat everyone to get married to princess yashodhara. He was such a strong man who work hard for 6 years & become the Buddha, even the 5, panchvargiya Bhikkhu (first 5 Bhikkhu’s ) are not able to do the same & finally they called Bodhisatta.

    If we go thru the texts, we will see, no fighter ever beat him , they all are failed. See this example : Angulimala- who wears human fingers like a garland. He was skilled fighter, He was able to murder a group of 5, 10, even 20 people & people were too scared to travel thru the jungle even in crowd. Even he could not beat the Buddha but tamed & become monk, the known as Angulimala thera & get love & respect by the people again.

    If we will see within ourselves ,there are many internal battles that we may going thru, which make us sensitive, irritable, self destructive, sometimes just not pleasant to the around. We are our own worst enemy. We are not having good sleeping habits, eating well, being active, meditating, and other good self care habits because all required dedication & but naturally we don’t want to adopt these practices. As a result we missed ourselves so, winning ourselves is only the important thing than anything else.

    The Blessed Lord gave us the beautiful gift of a Dhamma so, we all must have to dwell in Dhamma & get benefited with the help of the holy Guru.

     

    Thank you very much again Dhamma Guru.

    Yours ,

     

    Tantra Nivakuma.

  8. Kính Bạch Thầy.

    Con hoan hỷ tán thán thiện hạnh của đạo hữu Mật Nhất Nguyên đã chuyển ngữ bài viết của Thầy sang tiếng Anh,  nhằm giúp cho những chúng sanh hữu tình ở nước ngoài được tiếp cận với ánh sáng chánh pháp của Đức Phật, ngang qua những bài viết trên chanhtuduy.com. Và được cơ hội thực hành giải thoát, thông qua sự chỉ dạy của vị Thầy Mật giáo, tại Mật gia song Nguyễn.

    Con cầu nguyện cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy Cô vì hạnh phúc của chúng sanh.

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

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

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