The Great Master

The Most Venerable Phramonkolthepmuni (Sod Candasaro),
Luang Pu Wat Paknam Bhasichareon,
the light of Dhamma to mankind (episode I).
Ven. Sodh Candhasaro, The Great Master of Dhammakaya Meditation

The 124th birth anniversary of the great master Pramongkolthepmuni (Sodh Candasaro), the former abbot of Paknam temple and the re-discoverer of Vijja Dhammakaya, the genuine teaching of the Lord Buddha which had been lost for more than 2,000 years, is coming in a few days. If we view his birth only as a kind of natural birth of humans, we will find nothing special.

But, if we view his birth as the arrival of a significant and extraordinary person who sacrificed his life to re-discover the knowledge of the utmost purity to emancipate all beings  from being enslaved by evil, we will find that his birthday was a special and holy day.
No matter how knowledgable in Dhamma (the Lord Buddha’s teachings) we are, whether we be ascetics or laypeople, but we often find it is hard to apply the knowledge in terms of practice. This is because expressions and statements written in the Buddhist Scriptures are deep and profound. If we attempt to interpret the meanings on our own with our restricted wisdom and perception, we are prone to misinterpret and end up practicing in a way that was not intended.For example, Venerable Angulimala, who lived in the Lord Buddha’s life time,  was the cleverest in his school. His friends were envious and jealous of him so they deceived him into using the knowledge in the wrong way: for killing people. When he first met the Lord Buddha and listened to a very simple sermon, ‘stopping is success’, it did not make sense to him due to his restricted wisdom at the time.‘Stopping’ was a word that Angulimala was familiar  with  and he understood that it meant being motionless in bodily actions or speech. But the Lord Buddha meant that it was the process of being completely free from all kinds of bad deeds, mentally, verbally and bodily.

The word “stop” made Angulimala, who killed 999 people, stop killing and he renounced a mundane life to become a Buddhist monk. Finally, he could attain Arahanthood, the highest achievement in an ascetic life and the entrance to Nirvana.

Moreover, in practical terms, the word “stop” has an even more profound meaning in meditation especially where it means ‘to stop our mind from wandering anywhere else except the center of the body’.

When Luang Phaw Dattajeevo paid his first visit to Paknam Temple, he had an opportunity to ask monks who lived there about their meditation technique.He received the answer that they practised meditation by concentrating on their breath until they could see a shining sphere in front of their faces or inside their bodies.From that point, they continued to practise and tried to move the shining sphere to the inner-body bases until they placed it at the 7th base (two fingers breadth above the cross section of the navel) where the sphere had the most vivid illumination.

They practiced it often until they discovered that the sphere became brighter than the light from many mid-day suns combined. Later, Luang Pu clarified the meaning of the word “stop” further by stating that if we stop the mind in that completely still state, we will attain Dhammakaya (the inner body of enlightenment). And if our mind becomes one with the Dhammakaya, we can progress further and attain Nirvana like the Lord Buddha himself did. Moreover, we can connect with a countless number of Lord Buddhas in Nirvana.

Therefore, anyone who reads or studies the Dhamma of the Lord Buddha and has faith to practise the Dhamma but sees no result from practicing it, it could mean that he has not yet reached the profundity of the Dhamma. For this reason, when we read Buddhist Scriptures and would like to be proficient in what we study, we have to find a good teacher. Otherwise, we are likely to misinterpret the true Dhamma and may perform wrong deeds like Angulimala before meeting the Lord Buddha.

Luang Phaw Dattajeevo searched all Buddhist scriptures but found no meditation technique to attain Dhammakaya. The word “Dhammakaya”  appears in the scriptures but no one could explain what Dhammakaya was, thus, nobody knew the way to practice this meditation technique of the Lord Buddha and attain Dhammakaya.

Besides discovering Vijja Dhammakaya, Luang Pu also kindly taught his disciples to attain it so that they could prove its existance and be the witnesses of the Lord Buddha’s enlightenment. And it is Luang Pu’s benevolence that guides us to know about “Dhammakaya” and  the ultimate goal of life, and for that we should express our gratitude.

Luang Pu held Dhamma and meditation  as dear as his life and set guidelines for his followers to practice. Understanding Dhamma profoundly takes time and needs practicing. He encouraged his students to practice meditation and dhamma seriously, since only people who took it seriously would attain the real dhamma.

And laypeople who came to Luang Pu  felt so happy and joyful because they found a source of knowledge and merit in him, and he could tell them about the law of cause and effect. Not only did he pay attention to teaching his Thai students but he also paid put effort into international propagation and this made Paknam temple have foreign people come to ordain for the first time in Thailand.

Before his death, he was aware that after he would die, people who had enough wisdom to understand Dhamma would still be waiting for pure knowledge of Buddhism, but without his guidance, they would not know the true meaning of the Teachings, for example the diference between merit and sin. So he taught  his disciples to bring Vijja Dhammakaya to people around the world before he passed away.

So, we have to do what he guided us towards and it is our duty to bring his teaching to people around the world. People who understand and follow his teachings will find true happiness and inner peaceand  they can open themselves a door to heaven.

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