Dec 12, 2017

Posted by in BUDDHISM IN OTHER LANGUAGES | 21 Comments

Letter to Disciples No. 242: SURPRISES ON LONG ROAD (part 4) (Bất ngờ đường xa – bài 4)

Letter to Disciples No. 242: SURPRISES ON LONG ROAD (part 4) (Bất ngờ đường xa – bài 4)
Letter to Disciples No. 242: SURPRISES ON LONG ROAD (part 4)
Dear disciples,
My wife and I came to Can Tho City three days before the Dharma assembly began for some logistic works. Here I was impressed by a Southern-garden style restaurant on Nguyen Van Cu street where displays nearly all kinds of antique vehicles from different countries, ranging from the early development of modes of transport up to now. With such a big, valuable collection, it should change its name into “antique car” restaurant.

Lots of old cars

It is said that these antique cars are now very valuable, among which the Volkswagen Beetle (German – before 1975) or later the Peugeot (France) were all well-known among the rich in the old days. More impressive was the Army Jeep which sometimes we can find running on the street of Vung Tau nowadays. From this collection I also found classic motorbikes like Honda 67, Bridgestone, Vespa, Lambretta which young men used to ride while women often rode Honda 50, then Honda Cub 78. The most antique motorbikes are Velo Solex and Mobylette made in France that were popular in Southern Vietnam in 60’s.   

There also have xe loi (pedicab), a popular public means of transport in the past, as well as the Lambro three-wheeler that became familiar with people in Southern Vietnam with its chugging sound every morning. In Saigon, the image of pedicab was used to be printed on school notebook at that time.

With classic vehicles

This must be a precious treasury for collectors but for the generations grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, these antique cars and motorbikes are simply the name. I was amazed to see such a showroom where preserves antiquities freely and in an eye-catching way. One may be slightly surprised by the first time seeing it, but when coming back for some times, nostalgic memories of means of transport in the old days will fly back.

Dear disciples,
The hobby of collecting is seen as a respectful personal freedom. I have met many collectors of stamp, paper money, coins, ornamental plants, rock, statues of “local God of land”, or King’s edicts so far. Such collections waste much of time, effort and money of them. Suddenly I thought even if you, my disciples, have collected lots of old Buddhist scriptures with different languages, you remain simply a collector or an archaeologist. Buddhist canons are not for display as antique objects but for us to contemplate with right views and apply into daily life to transform our mind better than yesterday.  Legend tells us that Nagarjuna Bodhisattva was once amazed at the huge reserve of Buddhist scriptures in the Dragon’s Palace but pitifully, none of them (from the Dragon King to the residents) can read and understand them literally, not to mention figurative senses of the Buddha’s teachings. They therefore can only worship and bow to these scriptures each day to get blessed.

Only human beings with higher wisdom are able to understand different layers of meaning of the text. That is why the Buddha highly appreciates the role and value of being human (read “Twenty Difficulties” in the Sutra of Forty Two Chapters). However, in this human realm, people outside of the faith (non-Buddhist practitioners) will find it hard to understand the true meaning of Dharma. Even for Buddhist practitioners, it’s not easy at all grasp the meaning of scriptures, let alone bringing it into use. Thus, the Buddha advised the disciples to follow the method of reading and comprehending as follows: (1) Rely on the meaning, not on the words; (2) Rely on your pure wisdom mind, not on your ordinary, judgmental mind (these two guidelines aim to warn the practitioner not to rely on the words but the inner meaning of the sutra: and not to rely on the ordinary mind but based on pure wisdom mind, no longer running after judgements driven by “eight worldly winds”, “three poisons” or “dualism”).  Normally, people with a large stock of merit will have a better foundation of Right Understanding than those who have a little one. It’s therefore explicable that a Ph.D or MA degree holder still cannot catch the real meaning of the sutra regardless of how hard they try. If they do not follow the order of process on reading and comprehension, they might consequently fall into the trap of their subjective mind and derail from the orbit of Right View. Hence, spiritual or Dharma activities of a monk or a layman will be a good indication of his knowledge and application of Dharma.   

Anyway, reading or chanting Buddhist canons always brings back benefits in following levels:
 1 / Reading the sutra without understanding the meaning of the sutra will help accumulate blessings only.
2 / Reading the sutra and understanding the meaning of the teachings will help accumulate merit.
3 / Reading the sutra and understanding the true meaning that is not mentioned in the text will help develop wisdom – the foundation of the later enlightenment.
Dear disciples,
I do not encourage you to collect antiquities but neither do I forbid you to do it.  In fact, we should understand the true meanings of old stories to absorb the value of having human body for practicing Tantra Yoga. I would finish this article by the teaching in the “Knowing a better way to live alone” Sutra: “The future has not come yet, do not pursue the past, stay at the present in stability and freedom. It’s called as knowing a way to live alone”
May all sentient beings achieve the happiness of Buddhahood.
A rainy afternoon on the peak of Phu Van Mountain.
Translated by Mat Thai Duong
  1. Dr.C H Lakshmi Narayan says:

    Respected Guruji. I bow my head at the lotus feet of Guruji.

    I am Tantra Nirvadeva.

    The main gist of this letter is that Guruji insists that reading the Buddhist Sutras and Scriptures is always benifits !

    But how to read them ?( Methodology ameanls advised Buddha):

      1. Relying on the meaning, Not on the words!
      2. Rely on your wisdom mind, Not on your ordinary mind !

    Apart from this, the description of car museum and  various types of antique cars collected and displayed there etc appear like a pickle served as a side dish to a grand meal to a Dharma practicioner.!

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

    Long live our Guruji for upholding Dharma.

    Dr C H Lakshminarayan.

    • Mật Diệu Hằng says:

      Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con xin phép dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Nirvadeva (CH Lakshminarayan) sang tiếng Việt như sau:

      “Kính bạch Thầy tâm linh

      Con xin cúi đầu đảnh lễ dưới chân sen của Thầy.

      Con là Tantra Nirvadeva.

      Nội dung chính của bài viết này Thầy khẳng định đọc kinh Phật luôn được lợi lạc.

      Nhưng đọc kinh như thế nào mới hiệu quả? (Phương pháp được đức Phật chỉ ra trong tứ y cứ):

      1, Y nghĩa bất y ngữ.

      2, Y trí bất y thức.

      Ngoài ra, việc miêu tả một bảo tàng xe hơi với cácloại xe cổ được sưu tầm và trưng bày cũng giống như dưa làm món ăn phụ trong bữa đại tiệc đối với một hành giả thực hành Pháp.

      Om Mani Padme Hum.

      Con cầu nguyện Thầy trụ thế dài lâu vì sự nghiệp hoằng dương chánh pháp

      Con – C H Lakshminarayan. “

  2. Tantra Mahavita says:

    Respetado Guru : Inclino mi cabeza a los pies del loto del Guru . Muchas gracias por compartir estos interesantes articulos. La lectura de los sutras budistas y las escrituras es muy beneficioso . Todos comprendemos nuestros propios niveles de comprension . En palabras de Buda : 1) Confiar en el significado ….No las palabras .2) Confia en tu mente de sabiduria …no en tu mente ordinaria . El futuro aun no ha llegado, no persigas el pasado, mantente en el presente con estabilidad y libertad. Que nuestro Amado Guru pueda vivir muchos años para beneficio de todos los seres sintientes . Que todos los seres sensibles disfruten de la felicidad y la raiz de la felicidad. Que todos los seres sensibles esten libres de sufrimiento y sus causas. Que todos los seres vivan en la ecuanimidad , libre de apego y aversion . Que la preciosa Bodhichita haya nacido en aquellos donde no lo es. Que el precioso espiritu del despertar nazca en aquellos donde no esta . OM MANI PADME HUM

    • Mật Diệu Hằng says:

      Respected Guru,

      I bow my head at the feet of the Guru’s lotus.

      Thank you very much for sharing these interesting articles. Reading the Buddhist sutras and scriptures is very beneficial. We all understand our own levels of understanding. In Buddha’s words: 1) Trust the meaning … not the words. 2) Trust your mind of wisdom … not your ordinary mind.

      The future has not yet arrived, do not chase the past, stay in the present with stability and freedom.

      May our Beloved Guru live for many years for the benefit of all sentient beings.

      May all sentient beings enjoy happiness and the root of happiness. May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its causes. May all beings live in equanimity, free from attachment and aversion.

      May the precious Bodhicitta be born in those where it is not. May the precious spirit of awakening be born in those where it is not.



      Kính bạch Thầy!

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

      “Kính bạch Thầy tâm linh tôn quý!

      Con xin cúi đầu đảnh lễ dưới chân sen của Thầy.

      Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho con được đọc bài viết hay và sâu sắc này.

      Con hiểu rằng đọc kinh điển mang lại lợi ích cho người đọc. có được phước lành, công đức hay được khai tuệ phụ thuộc vào trình độ đọc hiểu kinh văn của từng Phật tử.

      Con xin ghi nhớ lời đức Phật dạy khi đọc kinh văn là: 1/ y nghĩa bất y ngữ, 2/ y trí bất y thức.

      Con cũng ghi nhớ rằng: tương lai chưa đến, không vọng tưởng tương lai, không truy tầm quá khứ, an trú trong hiện tại.

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

      Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh thành tựu hạnh phúc

      Cầu nguyện đau khổ của tất cả chúng sanh được lắng dịu.

      Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh sống bình an, không dính mắc khổ đau.

      Cầu nguyện Bồ đề tâm được lan tỏa khắp nơi

      Cầu nguyện cho sự tỉnh thức được hiện hữu khắp muôn nơi.

      Om Mani Padme Hum. “

  3. Avinash Kumar Srivastava says:

    Respected Gurujee

    Namo Buddhaya

    it is a nice paper which spots light the hermeneutics and the Buddhist Sutras wherein one is asked to decipher its meaning applying the one’s wisdome and not simly chant without understanding it. Even The Buddha has asked to apply rational Faith on His words(Akarvati Saddha)

    You have equated the crammers of the Buddhavacana with numismatic habit wherein one collect the ancient quines without any use. However, they too have value of their own, as reading sutras even without understanding its meaning accumulates divine blessing for him. But Gurujee has laid emphasis on proper understanding of it,  as understsnding its meaning will fetch merit for him and understanding the reality unluing the Sutra will prepare the foundation for future enlightenment

    Namo Buddhaya

  4. Mật Diệu Hằng says:

    Kính bạch Thầy!

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

    “Kính bạch Thầy tâm linh tôn quý!

    Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho con được đọc bài viết này. Con hoan hỷ tán thán lời dạy của Thầy trong bài viết này. Nhờ bài viết của Thầy, chúng con hiểu được yếu nghĩa kinh văn phù hợp với căn cơ của chúng con. Thầy viết rất dễ hiểu và con tán thán phương pháp dạy của Thầy.

    Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy vì Thầy đã nhiệt tình dạy chúng con bằng các bài viết “pháp là cuộc sống”. Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy vì sự cống hiến, tận tâm của Thầy đối với đức Phật trong sự nghiệp độ hóa quần sanh.

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

    Om Mani Padme Hum.”

  5. Nguyên Thành says:

    Thank you for your comment. I try my best to help all sentient beings to understand the Buddha’s teaching and get the happiness. Your diligent reading and comment please me.

  6. Mật Huệ Pháp says:

    Dear holy Guru

    I have read this article. I am so proud of your writing power. You are able to cover all kinds of writing from poem, literature, reportage… which all are a profound, delicate and flexible application of Dharma into daily life. Each article tells a small story but bring us profound Dharma lessons.

    Collecting old cars in particular and antiquities in general may temporarily satisfy one’s aspiration but it costs him too much money and time, sometimes even his life, and has no real use for the society. Your teaching reminds me the case of a monk at a pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City who was “praised admiringly” by an electronic press for his huge collection of antiquities (which also includes a suitcase of a dude in the past). This monk explained to the reporter that “he would feel guilty with the ancestor if he did not collect and conserve antiquities”?? Master Thogme Zangpo once taught that “Long term friends and relatives will part their ways. Wealth and possessions jealously gathered will be left behind. The guest house of this body will be deserted by the guest of consciousness…” So what’s the use to spend much time of his life to guard such stuffs?

    Another practical lesson for us is that it’s nonsense if someone “collects” Buddhist decrees for personal interest or feeding his ego, rather than for transforming his mind and benefiting the sentient beings. Likewise, what’s the use in showing off achievements in Buddhist book translation if one still intentionally hinders and scrambles for benefits by dishonest tricks? I could not agree more with you that right thought can only be built up once we fully accumulate merits and most importantly is how we apply Buddhist knowledge into mind transformation. Then to identify an authentic Guru, it is essential to look at his virtue and methods of Dharma practices useful for sentient beings but not at his title, decrees or his storage of Buddhist canons.

    Finally, I learn that sutra should not be understood by words but by its inner meaning; for the purpose of accumulating wisdom as the cause of liberation but not for the showing off.

    Thank you very much for granting us precious Dharma lessons.

    May the Guru and your consort have health and live long for the sake of sentient beings

    May all sentient beings alway dwell in awakening state

    Om Ah Hum

  7. Dear holy guru, again thanks for an enlightening article given by you as always. It is very well said that rely on your own wisdom to get the essence of the teachings of the blessed one.

    May the triple gems bless you always..

    Namo buddhay jai bhim….may you be happy always and free from sufferings.

    • Nguyên Thành says:

      Thank you so much for your comment. I hope you read and comment more for understanding the true meaning of Buddha’s teaching and have the right view which is the foundation to make progress on the path to enlightenment.

      • Gautam Sandesh-yan varman says:

        Dear holy guru, you are most welcome. I will continue to read your  informative articles.


  8. Mật Thuý says:

    Mô Phật!

    Mật thúy rất hoan hỉ với thiện hạnh dịch bài viết của vị Thầy sang tiếng anh của huynh Mật Thái Dương cầu nguyện cho huynh luôn tin tấn thực hành pháp để được thanh thông thế sự cầu mong  tất cả chúng sanh đều có duyên lành biết đến chánh pháp OM ah hùm



  9. Tantra Upatissa says:

    Dear Guru thanks for sharing this article.

    Hope all beings may able to enjoy their present time not worrying about future and not thinking of past.

    May Guru live long for other beings.

    May all beings be free from suffering and get enlightened.

    Om Mani Padme Hum…

  10. Mật Kính says:

    Dear Holy Guru

    Im so happy to read your article no 242 “ Surprise long road” ( part 4).  Im so impressed with the big collection of the old kind of cars from the different countries from many years ago, it look like the habit and it not surprise when lot of people collect maybe coin, stamp.. But thinking about it, all of it will not be exists due the changing of the time and others, some collected many sutras in different ancient, but it not useful. And I understand that the Buddha advised the disciples reply on the method of reading comprehension is : (1) Rely on the meaning, not on the words (2) Rely on your wisdom mind , not on your ordinary mind, understand the meaning of Buddha’s teaching basing on wisdom called as “only the wisdom”. And I so happy when we have the  to practice and comment every day to collect the immeasurable merit and wisdom

    May the Guru and his consort long live  for benefil for all sentient being

    May all sentient being achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature


  11. Tantra Mikaya says:

    dear holy guru. Thank you for your wonderful article. This article is very profound and contains an important message to us. The right understanding of what is really important. It is good to protect and pass on values. But the true values ​​are not riches in the material sense. The true values ​​are in us and have been handed down to us. An antique car has a material value and certainly for the descendants a value of memories and those memories like to receive descendants. Still other people see in an antique car only a financial incentive. For us holy guru it is always the values ​​such as the wise knowledge of Buddha, the four immeasurable love, compassion, joy and equanimity. We come to this earth with empty hands and with empty hands we leave this earth. When we meditate and acquire knowledge, we have a clear mind and good values ​​that lead us to true wealth, enlightenment. We have it in our hands (as we say here) to transform our thoughts and do good deeds with kindness and dedication. We determine our karma through our nature, through our actions. We breathe in suffering and send out compassion. Everyone wants to be happy and not to suffer. Compassion and respect are the solidest basis for relationships. Certainly, we should also protect values ​​and teach them compassion to future generations and share valuable knowledge for the benefit of all. But an antique car can teach us how old mechanics were successful but it should never be a possession to polish up one’s ego. If we fill our hearts then this should be with love for all living beings but not the filling of the heart with material things because that leads to greater suffering through greed, envy and resentment. When we train our minds and lead our lives through good language and good deeds, our hearts will be full of love and joy for all living beings. May all be happy May our holy guru and his consort live long for the sake of all sentient beings. May all beings achieve the happiness of Buddha s nature. Om Mani Padme Hum

  12. Tantra Ashihata (Simon Michael) says:

    Dear holy Guru,

    my name is Tantra Ashihata .

    I blessed you, and I worship on your feet . I appreciate you for this wonderful article you have given to us. Sir most at times some of your articles are complex because they are more spiritual than physical.

    May you give us the wisdom of understanding of your teaching so that we can accumulate all the blessing from you.

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

    Om mani padme hum.

  13. Tantra Sagovana says:

    Dear Guru,

    My name is Tantra Sagovana.

    Thank you for sharing this article.

    In this article you narrate the visit to the restaurant in Can Tho City, where many antique vehicles are being displayed in a collection.

    You explain that collecting is an acceptable hobby, but that the Buddhist scriptures are not antiques for collecting but wisdom knowledge that we must contemplate with Right View and put into practice in our daily lives.

    You also explain that human life is precious as humans alone can understand different levels of meaning of Sutras, and you also give advice on how to understand Sutras correctly.

    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)

  14. Mật Diệu Hằng
    Mật Diệu Hằng says:

    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Ashihata (Simon Michael) sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy tôn quý!

    Con là Tantra Ashihata.

    Con xin cúi đầu đảnh lễ dưới chân sen của Thầy.

    Con hoan hỷ tán thán công hạnh của Thầy đã viết bài viết tuyệt vời này và cho chúng con cơ hội được đọc bài viết của Thầy. Con cảm nhận rằng các bài viết của Thầy mang nhiều tầng ngữ nghĩa, bởi vì những bài viết của Thầy mang ý nghĩa tâm linh ẩn sau những câu chuyện cuộc sống.

    Con cầu nguyện Thầy để tâm gia hộ cho chúng con đủ trí tuệ để hiểu được lời dạy của Thầy từ đó chúng con có thể nhận được ơn phước từ Thầy.

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

    Om Mani Padme Hum.


  15. Tantra Sagovana says:

    Dear Guru,

    My name is Tantra Sagovana.

    Thank you for sharing this article.

    In this article you explain that Buddhist Sutras are not antiques for display but that we must study them and apply their wisdom in our lives.

    You explain about the preciousness of a human rebirth in that only humans can read and understand Buddhist Sutras.

    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)

  16. Tantra Pramitdhita (Josh Hacker) says:

    Holy Guru,

    I bow my head before your lotus feet! I needed this article today because it talks about issues I am currently experiencing. As I have mentioned, I have had trouble grasping the meaning of your teachings sometimes. I have pride and ego issues so I thought maybe there was something wrong with me. After reading this article, I have learned that my lack of understanding is because of my low stock of merit accumulated. Buddha taught that when reading and comprehending Buddhist scripture (1) Rely on the meaning, and not on the words; (2) Rely on your pure mind wisdom and not on your ordinary judgmental mind. I believe that when we collect “valuable” objects, it is harmful to us because not only are we feeding our ego (because we have a collection that no one else has) but we are also building an attachment to these objects. Thank you Venerable Guru for being our lighthouse in a storm.

    Mat Thai Duong,

    Thank you Dharma friend and brother for this translation of our Guru’s discourse. I rejoice in reading from and I would not be able to do so without the valiant efforts of you and many others! May all of your legitimate wishes be granted within the right orbit of Dharma.

    Om Mani Padme Hum

    May our Guru and his consort live a long and healthy life for the sake of all sentient beings

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

    May the global pandemic caused by the Corona virus soon end

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