Chao Khun Phra Thepsiddhajarn Ajarn Tong Sirimangalo Dhamma Discourse 25 May 2551/2008 Wat Buddhapiyavanaram, Gotzenhein

, Frankfurt Germany

I wish to pay Homage to the Supremely Enlightened Buddha whom I revere most highly. I extend my best wishes to all the Sangha members and to the devoted lay disciples. That I have arrived here in Germany on this occasion, I think it may be, perhaps its may be the last time that I come here, because I am now getting old, I am 85 years old already. I wish to come to visit and give encouragement to all of my dear disciples and devoted faithful who have been supporting and helpful in the past.

I have come here on this occasion with the aim and purpose to come and visit all of the disciples who have been helpful and supporting in the past, and to observe the work and progress of the Vipassana Dhura, which is one of the duties in the Teachings of the Buddha.

Before speaking of other things I wish to extend my thanks and appreciation to Phrakru Sangkara Chanet along with all the disciples and the students and devotees who met me at the airport. I am delighted that so many of you devotees have come here to visit the Wat and to see me. I am very delighted with your faith and devotion. I will never forget my first visit here. I went to the restaurant of Khun Prasong, and then Khun Thuk brought me to stay in the 3 story house and then I visited the house of Khun Thor and Khun Oiy for lunch. Khun Sumali and Khun Samphan, had the kind intention to receive me from the very beginning, I didn’t know anyone then, and with their kind and beautiful hospitality offered food and residence and welcomed me. I stayed at the home of Khun Prasong who received me at the train station. Khun Muan drove me around to visit various places and to visit the

different disciples who invited me for lunch at their homes. Every time the disciples came to offer donations, I collected together and however much the devotees offered I collected all those donations together as the funding to build a temple. I have visited a number of times and each time I have saved and collected whatever was offered. Later I was invited to visit Mexico, and there I changed my mind and plans, seeing that to build a temple would be difficult, I had the new idea that it was better to begin by building a temple in the hearts and minds of all the devotees, by meditation practice. And so we began to train the meditation practice. Later on another visit there was a disciple who offered 1 million baht to build the center, at that time I was staying at the home of Khun Samphan and I presented the funding to him. Khun Samphan is a great benefactor of Buddhism, without Khun Samphan, Wat Buddhapiyavanaram would not exist. I was not discouraged to build the Wat. With this money together with the donation money previously collected, Khun Samphan helped to organize the purchase of this site. I have been thinking of the kindness and support of all these good disciples who have given such a good welcome me and attention to the practice, and I wanted to repay their kindness, so I gave the higher ordination to Khun Samphan, who was able to ordain as a monk, and Khun Prasong who ordained when Chao Kana Pak 7 was visiting, and gave him the ordination. And Khun Oiy, another benefactor, was the first to enter the meditation practice by herself at the center of Dr. Koppler. Khun Oiy wished for a child, and so I advised her to practice Vipassana, then she did have a child. Thinking how to repay their kindness, Khun Samphan ordained, Khun Prasong ordained. And Khun Muan who received me and took me all round and gave good assistance also was able to ordain his heart with the practice Vipassana, I feel he has received the practice in his heart and has received something most excellent for his life and thus has not wasted his efforts in this birth. With all of this I feel very happy. I have one disciple in Munich named Hilde who has a student who offered a piece of land with a large house as a center for Vipassana meditation, and along with Khun Kate and Khun Thanat , who are disciples with great devotion for the Buddha’s Teachings, and have helped me to spread the Teachings to many countries where I was not able to travel, both Khun Thanat and Khun Kate traveled to Mexico, America, France, Canada, England, Israel, Germany,

Switzerland, and I have been able to travel to many of those places with the help of Khun Thanat and Khun Kate who have organized and assisted and traveled with me on my visits to those countries. In this life I have had the opportunity along with all u were able to build the temple and the meditation center in Germany and It is not only the Thai devotees but also the German people who devotion to expand and support the Buddha’s Teachings in Germany, with both the Wat in Frankfurt and the Vipassana center in Munich (which was offered to Hilde who has always informed me of the progress at each stage) the Buddhist Teachings are progressing in Germany and we reside here with the permission of the German govt., without which we would not be able to stay here with the Thai German Association which founded the Wat Buddhapiyavanaram based on the Thai German Association, which is founded by Khun. Samphan, Khun Sumali, Khun Prasong, Khun Thuk and all of the dedicated devotees of the past up to the present. The past we cannot forget, ingratitude is an emotion we should eliminate, thus we always remember with gratitude the good works and kindness received. We have now in the present the President, Mr. Michael Yonder, Phra Kru Sangkara chanet, Khun ann haie, Khun Maritta Roth, Khun Sumali, Khun Samphan whom we cannot forget as being the founding members of the temple, now in the present we have the present committee whom I wish to thank for their dedication to the Teaching of the Buddha on this occasion. How do we come to have faith in the Buddha’s Teachings? The Teachings of the Lord Buddha do not appear in the world easily. I would like to explain the sublime and virtuous qualities of the Supreme Buddhas. The Perfectly Enlightened Buddhas have arisen in the world in the present age and in ages past. The Lord Buddha has built up Perfections in three varying degrees, there are three different degrees or levels of Perfect Enlightenment. The first is Sadhadikha (based on Faith), the second is called Viriyadikha (based on Energy and Effort), and the third is called Pannadikha (based on Wisdom). The Sadhadikha contemplates the idea of future Buddhahood for 14 Immeasurable Periods, declares his intention for 18 Immeasurable Periods, and is predicted by a fully Enlightened Buddha for 8 Immeasurable periods plus 100,000 Aeons, this is the Buddha Sadhadikha. The Buddha Viriyadikha, contemplates the idea in his mind for 28 Immeasurable Periods, speaks his intention for 26 Immeasurable Periods, and is

predicted by a Perfect Buddha for 16 Immeasurable Periods and 100,000 Aeons. The Pannadikha Buddha, as the our present Lord Buddha built up his perfections very quickly, even so, He contemplated the idea of Buddhahood for 7 Immeasurable periods, spoke out his intention for 9 Immeasurable Periods, and predicted by Fully Enlightened Buddhas for Four Immeasurable Periods and 100,000 Aeons, before he realized Supreme Enlightenment. At the time when the Bodhisatta was born as Phra Vessantara and then was reborn in the Tusita Heaven, then coming to be reborn as Prince Siddhattha, in his final lifetime His parents built him 3 palaces one each for the hot, cold and rainy season, his father King Suddhodana and his step mother arranged for music and dance to be performed for him each day for his entertainment. But even so, he contemplated the dukkha of each of us, without this, if he only sought happiness, we’d all be in darkness still. One day the Bodhisatta went to visit the royal park with his driver, Channa, in the royal chariot, and on this visit the devas manifested a vision of Aging, Illness and Death, in the form of an old, sick and dead man. Asking Channa, the driver, ‘what is this? ‘ This is an aged man, we will each become. Here is a sick man, we will also be ill with sickness and disease, and here is a dead man, we will each die one day...’ Then a Samana appeared on alms round, with the bowl and robe and fan, and sense doors well-restrained, inspiring to behold...Here the Bodhisatta decided to return to the palace, then a t midnight he decided to depart and calling Channa, he took his horse Kanthaka and headed for the Anoma River, where he cut his hair and took up the bowl and robes of a mendicant. Thereafter, the Bodhisatta studied concentrated absorption with the two teachers, Alara Kalama and Ramaputta, and studied Samatha until attaining jhana sampatti and the supernatural faculties. The two rishis then invited the bodhisatta to take over as teacher of their disciples, the bodhisatta refused, as Samatha absorption leads only to the Brahma state and not the state of liberation of Supreme Enlightenment. Thence the Bodhisatta traveled to the River Neranjara, where he undertook the extreme yogic practices for six years until finally realizing the Path of Moderation. The Path of Moderate Practice is the Path of Moderation (Majjhima Patipada), the Path of the Present Moment. This took the Lord six years to realize, knowing the ‘Right goes thus, Left goes thus’, ‘Rising, Falling’, keeping in the mind and the meditation object together in the present moment, this is the Moderate Path. The Lord endured the extreme practices for six years without Liberation, until realizing the Path of Moderation and then Perfect Enlightenment. Having attained Complete Omniscience, the Lord Buddha began to teach beginning with the Five Disciples, and all of the Arahants until reaching

80 years of age. At 80 years, the Lord Buddha became ill, and experienced great pain as a result of former kamma. In a former life, the Bodhisatta was born into a village which was terrorized by Yakkhas . A person who a Bodhisatta is invincible, and cannot be killed by others so the villagers, hired the Bodhisatta to help them defeat the Yakkhas by using pork meat covered with poison to kill the Yakkhas. The Bodhisatta out of compassion relinquished himself for the benefit of the human beings the Yakkhas were all killed and the people were able to live peacefully. This kamma the Lord received by himself, relinquishing himself for the world, he took on the suffering himself, and at the end of his life the Lord Buddha traveled to Kusinara and reclining between the Twin-Sal Trees took leave of the world. Why twin trees? in a former lifetime, he had offered a resting place in that spot. At that time, beneath the Twin-Sal Trees the Lord Buddha took leave of his disciples, and even there at that last moment gave instructions and ordination to Subaddha, who despite Ananda’s attempt to dissuade him from disturbing the Lord, the Buddha allowed to receive the Dhamma and the Vinaya in his final exhortation. ‘Behold, Subaddha, In whatever Dhamma and Discipline the elements of the Noble Eight fold Path exist, there too one will find the Noble Disciples. Behold Subaddha, where ever the Bikkhus practice the Dhamma correctly, there the world will not be void of Arahants.’ Thus the Lord Buddha gave encouragement to Subaddha who came to be the last of the disciples ordained by the Lord Buddha, before the Lord passed away into the Final Nibbana. What I have explained here is for us all to consider how difficult it is for an Omniscient Buddha to arise in the world, in the Three Realms of Existence there is One and One Alone who is Most Supreme. All of us here are not in the dark, because we have received the Teachings of the Lord Buddha, for this reason we should consider the goodness that the Lord Buddha has given us and we should endeavor to facilitate the spread of the Teachings all around the world, as much as we possibly can. We should see the importance of this in that the Lord Buddha’s Teachings bring great benefit to all beings, in this way. And so I would like us all to remember and to have wisdom as to why we are devoted to the Teachings of the Lord Buddha. The Lord Buddha is the Most Virtuous of all the beings in the world, the One who is Most Worthy of Homage and Offering, and we should offer our lives to the Perfectly Enlightened Buddha. And all of you who come to practice Vipassana Meditation based on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness are closing the doors to the four realms of misery, if you can come to meditate in this lifetime, you will not fall to the hell state, according to the Visuddhimagga, Wisdom section, it has been laid down as follows: ‘Whoever has practiced Vipassana meditation until realizing the 1st

stage of Insight, Nama Rupa Paricchedanana, and the 2nd sate of Insight, is considered a Culla-Sotapanna, a Lesser-Stream-Winner, and is one who can rest assured that a secure Refuge has been attained, and thus will not fall to the state of misery, after death will not fall to the hell-state, but in the future will realize the state of Maha-Sotapanna or Greater-Stream-Winner, who after 7 lifetimes, not reaching 8 lifetimes, will realize Nibbana. And so even with a short time for meditation practice, you should all reach to at least the 1st-2nd stage of Insight. All of you will be able to have reporting interviews with the teachers every day, some monks will give the lessons and I also will give the lessons, don’t feel bad if you are not able to take the lesson from me personally, but consider that taking the lessons from my assistants is the same as taking the lessons from myself. So today we will begin to undertake the practice, If you’re not able to stay for long, don’t feel sorry about leaving your work outside or refraining from the evening meal, it is a good opportunity to come and meditate, and those of you staying longer, put your full attention to the practice, even for a day or two, at least your concentration will develop and you will be able to continue to study with Phra Kru Sangkara and Phra Kru Palad who will be remain teaching. And if you can come to Thailand come visit Chiangmai and continue your meditation in Chomtong. I will conclude our discussion here for now, so that we can offer the Pah Bah offering from Chiangmai and and continue with the disrobing ceremony. Now I wish all of you disciples Happiness and Progress in your practice, lives and work, in body and mind and wishing you success in you business and overcome all kinds of obstructions in the good way, by the power of the Merit here wishing you all happiness of the Triple Gem in every way.

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