Feb 25, 2019

Posted by in BUDDHISM IN OTHER LANGUAGES | 9 Comments

The Praise – Blame Winds (Ngọn gió khen chê)

The Praise – Blame Winds (Ngọn gió khen chê)

The Praise – Blame Winds

Having been living in HCM city for quite some time, I have had the opportunity to observe the pace of life in this metropolitan; and here are what I have witnessed.


A corner of Ho Chi Minh City at night

Following a narrow alley, crossing ten rental units with clotheslines and soggy, fusty garments hanging along the sides, I have finally arrived — this is the shelter of the workmen at Tân Bình industrial zone. The units were about eight to ten square meters on average, restroom included. Their belongings scattered the floor, mosquito-nets hanged all-over. The room I entered belonged to three lads. They have lived here for two years. I stopped and stared at the poems scribbled on the wall…

“Life is good when wine filled the jug

Carved your name on the neck, wings and head of the chicken.”

“Avoid love, save money for my mother,

Close my heart, and let me be the loner.”


Apartment building – a dream of low-income workers

Not to discuss the writing style, this poem expresses the anxiety of the working class, who left their hometowns for future opportunities on foreign land. Furthermore, the living condition at a shelter for female workers in district 7 is much worse. People cramped themselves into a tiny space of eight square meters. Bedtime, they lied down shoulder to shoulder just like sardines in a can. But the worst thing must be the restroom — ten people shared a toilet and a shower. According to a survey from the local Bureau of Public Health, 70% of female workers diagnosed with gynaecological diseases causing by below-average sanitation. Along with that is their extreme rationing behaviour, causing their health to decline even faster. In one case, this person works very hard for three years to save five maces of gold (1 mace = 3.78 grams). After a sudden health crisis, three maces vanished. She then got back to work right after her discharge, continued this vicious cycle of making a living. Many cried when I asked about their stories. After those wearying years at the factories, trading their health for money, most of them just want a simple life back in their rural hometowns. But even those seemingly little wishes are hardly possible. Ms Nguyễn Thị X. from Thái Bình explained, “I must have enough money in order to return. I have sent home money every month to support my family; therefore the savings for myself after five years is still very little.” Mr Đoàn Thanh Q. from Quảng Nam confided, “I love to be back home where there are fresh air and beautiful nature, but if I am bearing the expectations to establish myself in the city, how would I face my friends and family without money?”

And so this is it, the vicious cycle. Stay, but until when will I have enough savings. Leave, but isn’t it shameful to return home empty-handed. In some cases, people could not even afford a train ticket to return home, despite all their effort and hard-working money in that entire year. Ironically, in the meantime, their relatives back home are boasting to everyone in the neighbour out their monthly allowances given by their children. In the eyes of these relatives, their far-off children are indeed successful. If not, for those who received no income from their children for years, they can falsely claim some imaginative allowances, just to keep their image up to par with others.

Thanh Tri Master – Thinley Nguyen Thanh

Fame – Disrepute, Praise – Blame, Gain – Loss, Pleasure – Pain — they are the eight worldly winds, constantly waver our minds until our exhaustion. These eight winds bound to the lasso of fame and benefit; they draw our mind into the five desires (for wealth, beauty, fame, food, and sleep). Many view fame as the purpose of living. Fame is not only the purpose of those intellectuals like Nguyễn Công Trứ, who wrote: “A man once stands in this world. / Must leave some fame in his land.” Instead, the fame at a lower level often weaves into every corner of our mind through honors or others’ praises. In our social relationships, praises are an effective trap. Praises are the lowest-cost “investment” that earns the highest “profit.” Because of praise, one could work with blood, sweat and tears or even sacrifice themselves without any regret. What does humanity think about the eight worldly winds, especially the winds of Fame – Disrepute and Praise – Blame. Throughout the ages, Confucians have stated: “One who criticises you correctly is your teacher, one who praises you correctly is your friend, one who falsely praises you is your enemy.” Criticism is usually shocking, but false praise is much harder to realise since its damages are subtle and invisible. Very few praises are given from the bottom of one’s heart. Why so? Because of our social and familial relationships, one usually gives praises to others for his or her own benefits, regardless of the reality or other perspectives. Praises for benefits are false praises, which are also called flattery. In the “Sutra of Forty-two Chapters,” the Buddha taught us not to believe in our opinions before attaining Arhat-ship. Regarding this point of view alone, every single praise by worldly people is only false praises.

cố gắng không mục đích cao cả (rơi vào vinh nhục, khen chê).

“As a solid rock/ unshaken by winds/ A wise man with a still mind/ unshaken by praise or blame.”

Ironically, people prefer false praises over valid criticism! No one admits they like flattery, yet everyone wants honors over humiliations even though neither honor or humiliation will bring us towards liberation. Why so? Because praise can and will comfort our egos. As a result, many are willing to adopt and nurture their enemies as their children. They are eager to accept praises that are not true to them without hesitation. Unfortunately, when false praise is misunderstood as the true, people will cling themselves to this lie and strive to keep up with the expectation. From this cause, many fall into a life surrounded by sufferings. How dangerous!

I now end this article with a verse taught by the Buddha:

“As a solid rock

unshaken by winds,

A wise man with a still mind

unshaken by praise or blame.”

Thinley – Nguyên Thành

Translated by Mật Nhất Nguyên

Vietnamese version: Ngọn gió khen chê

  1. Tantra Upatissa says:
    Dear Guru thanks for sharing this article.

    It’s a heart touching articles narrating the lives of poor people who come to cities to work and live in poor conditions and unhygienic places, leaving them sick and taking all their money for treatments and buying Medicines.

    Hope people may not get caught in eight worldly desires and not get carried away by fame and blame. Beings may try to live a simple peaceful life.

    May Guru and his consort live long and get enlightened.

    May all beings be free from suffering and get enlightened.

    Om Mani Padme Hum..

  2. tantra mahavita says:
    Dear Holy Guru: Always deeply grateful for sharing your articles. Fame, Contempt, Praise, Guilt, Gain, Loss, Pleasure, Pain … They are the 8 worldly winds that constantly swarm in our minds until exhaustion. But the Buddha taught us not to believe in our opinions. Ironically, people prefer false states to valid criticism, because they consolidate our ego. If I teach Buddha in a verse … Like a solid rock not stirred by the winds, A wise man with a quiet mind unwavering by praise or the faults May the Guru have a long life … May all sentient beings be free from suffering and live happily … OM MANI PADME HUM
    • Mật Diệu Hằng says:
      Kính bạch Thầy!

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

      “Kính bạch Thầy tôn quý!

      Con luôn cảm tạ ơn Thầy vì đã cho con được đọc những bài viết của Thầy.

      Tám ngọn gió thế gian: vinh – nhục, khen – chê, được – mất, sướng – khổ…làm cho tâm con người khổ đau, kiệt quệ. Nhưng đức Phật đã chỉ dạy là con người không nên tin vào tâm ý của mình. Nhưng mỉa mai thay, con người vì trương phồng ái ngã mà bám chấp vào những điều không thật, giả tạm và nhìn nhận sự việc theo tâm ý chủ quan của mình.Con ghi nhớ những lời dạy của đức Phật:“Như tảng đá kiến cố/ Gió thổi không lay động/ Người trí tâm an định/ Bất động trước khen chê”

      Con cầu nguyện Thầy trụ thế lâu dài.

      Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh đoạn trừ phiền não và sống hạnh phúc.

      Om Mani Padme Hum.”


  3. Vajrakitsune Foxxie Luna Inariusagi says:

    IT could easily be misunderstood to think, oh everyone who wants a house and home and job and family is a world-ling which does not correspond with the highest tantric teachings

    All Forms Are The Deity, All Sounds Are the Mantra

    The Buddhic Potential is in the lowest beggar and highest god

    My point made though.

  4. Aman Prakash says:
    Dear guru

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

    According to thich nhat Hanh ” the seed of goodness (Budha nature)and badness (ego mind) are present in mind already from birth.” The selfish nature doesn’t come from other sources but from inside.This ego mind leads us to eight wordly pleasures. Praise and blame are one of them. It is very worst suffering.

    I feel very uncomfortable and great suffering when the  uncontrolled thought come to my mind thinking “how I face my old friend who is in college of top ranking” and  I have presently not get any colleges.

    Dalai lama said “no can suffer you untill your permission to allow”. This thought give me idea to investigate into myself.

    It is me more free on budha quoting “as the solid rocks unsheken by wind, a wise man with a still mind unshaken by prise or blame.guru has given us a new spectacles to see, to deal with suffering.

    Thank you guru for being with us. May guru lives long for the sake of all sensient being.

    May all sensient being attain true nature.

    Om Mani padme hum


  5. Tantra siramitra. says:
    Venerebol Guru.

    My name is tantra siramitra.

    Very realistic comment, souch is the mind imbued in samsara,

    Prises, or criticism they dond find space, in the noble path, the have both the same flavor they go in the right ear and the come out in the left one!

    May Avery one be happy.










    • Kính bạch Thầy! 

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

      “Kính bạch Thầy tôn quý! 

      Con là Tantra Siramitra. 

      Bài viết của Thầy rất thực tế và nói rõ về tâm bám chấp trong luân hồi. Ngọn gió khen chê làm cho họ không tìm được bình an nội tại  mà ngọn gió đó làm họ mất đi tất cả những gì họ có được trên hành trình giác ngộ. 

      Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh được hạnh phúc. 

      Om Mani Padme Hum.”

  6. Tantra Mishataru says:
    Dear Holy Guru,

    Thank you for this article.

    Om Mani Padme Hum


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