This Manual is a collection of my lectures, which have beenmuch expanded and annotated. They were given to the first year |students at the International Buddhist Missionary Universitywhere I had acted as the Head of Department of VipassanaMeditation in the Faculty of Patipatti.
Vipassana Meditation is the unique practice taught by theBuddha. The Teachings of the Buddha are extremely vast, allenshrined in the three baskets of Tipitaka— Vinaya, Suttanta and Abhidhamma. The immense wisdom of the Buddha has given us this tremendous wealth of the knowledge of the Truth, consideredfrom all aspects and angles. The same immense wisdom of theBuddha has also put all of his teachings in a nutshell, as it were, inthree neat verses. I am referring to ovada patimokkha gathaswhich give a brief summary of his teachings.
Let me now present to you the three verses of this OvadaPatimokkha Gatha ;
1. ‘khanti paramam tapo titikkha,
nibbanam paramam vadanti buddha;
na hi pabbajito pariipaghati,
na samano hoti param vihelhayanto.
Forbearing Patience is the highest moral practice ''Nibbana 1Ssupreme'' say the Buddhas. A bhikkhu does not harm others. Onewho harms others is not a bhikkhu.
2. ‘sabbapapassa akaranam,
Not to do evil, to cultivate merit (good deed), to purify one’s mind.This is the teaching of the Buddhas.
3. ‘aniipavado anipaghato,
patimokkhe ca samvaro;
mattannuta ca bhattasmim,
adhicitte ca ayogo,
etam buddhanasasanan ti.
Not to revile, not to do any harm, to practice retraint in theFundamental Precepts, to be moderate in taking food, to dwell in asecluded place, intent on higher thoughts. This is the teaching ofthe Buddhas.
How short, how simple, how easy to understand from thisclear concise exhortation of the Buddhas; we know as truedisciples of the Buddha, what we should avoid, restrain doing; andwhat we should assiduously cultivate and practice. Simple yes;but the big question is, how to put this clear, concise advice of allthe Buddhas into practice, into daily practice, into lifelongpractice, how to make the practice as part and parcel of our life.
Nearly all religions teach their respective followers to avoidevil and cultivate good deeds. But none of them shows the methodof how to avoid evil and cultivate good deeds. It is unique thatBuddhism alone teaches how to put into practice what it teaches.The teachings of the Buddha are known as Dhamma which isuniversal, ethical and moral Truth. This Dhamma is not just to bepreserved in books; nor is it to be learnt for academic games ofdiscussions, disputations, arguments and dissensions. It is to belearnt to be put into practice in the course of daily life; it is to bestudied, to be practised and above all, to be realized. The ultimategoal of the Dhamma is the realization of the Four Noble Truths.
The sole purpose and aim of this Manual is to help the seriousstudents to find peace and happiness and ultimate realization ofNibbanic peace by means of Vipassana Meditation.
In the rapidly changing world of material development at thesacrifice of moral and spiritual advancement, VipassanaMeditation practice, still being kept in its pristine purity inMyanmar, has a definite role to play for the promotion of welfare,peace, harmony and happiness of mankind.
**Contents and Sample Pages**