Chapter 14: How to Radiate Loving‐Kindness and Transfer Merit
All seniors and newly ordained monks.
Today I will present the way to radiate loving-kindness and transfer merit to you all. Those newly ordained monks who have not understood please pay attention. Do not let your minds go astray. Calm down your minds and set your mindfulness first. I have done this and obtained results. Now I will teach you how.
Set your mindfulness, take a long breath when you have finished pouring the water of dedication and make adhit.t.ha-na (a resolution) in advance. Adhit.t.ha-na can be done by set the mindfulness and clear consciousness at your chest bone, make a restraint bodily, verbally and mentally until you are firm. Radiate loving-kindness in your mind for a while. Then transfer it to your parents that you have made merit. They will certainly receive the fruit of your merit at once. This is what I would like to inform you. Otherwise, how can I transfer it to Europe.
It doesn’t matter if you are not interested. I have obtained the result by radiate loving-kindness first. Sometimes people teach the meditation practice and transference of merit without any result. Not only being unable to practise meditation, but unable to obtain the good result of meditation also. Trainees are unable to radiate any loving-kindness. That is merely a sin.
Take a long breath. Set your mindfulness first. Take a long, deep breath. Radiate loving-kindness first. Once loving-kindness is full, you obtain merit. Then transfer it. While transfering, forgive every one. Do not be angry. Do not hate or venge your anger on anyone any more. When we transfer the merit, our relatives receive it first, then relatives from previous existences. Actually, we do not know who have been our parents or relatives in the previous existences. But we will know after we have transferred the merit. It is like making a phone call. We will know at once if they have received it or not.
While you chant the dedicating verse, ‘Ya- devata-…, Imina-…’ etc., you will realize the rebound. It is like making a phone call, if someone receives the call, he will say hello, for example.
This is just the same. We will be blissful at once. If you are in the trance state, your tears will run down, your body hair will stand on end. It is the first level of rapture.
If you just chant like that, without paying attention to the verse, or transferring the merit, you will not realize this. I leave it to the newly ordained monks. Whatever merit you make during the day such as studying the scriptures or memorizing the chanting verses, you can transfer it.
Western countries do not have merit making. We present kat.hina robe, forest robe or sanghada-na. But they do not know how to do it. Yet, why are they rich? Why are they developed technologically? Why are they prospered in their own culture? It is because they have merit. They pay attention to what they do, in their activities.
Take an example. If they make honest profit, they transfer the merit. If they plant a lot of trees, they use that as a merit to transfer, because they have done a good thing, not just being idle. So, they receive the merit. There is no need to offer money to the monk like in Thailand. People who unceasingly present sanghada-na or this and that, yet have sinful mind, cannot transter merit. So, they get nothing.
I have been talking for a long time that most Thai people have meritorious speech but sinful mind. They go drinking or gambling after undertaking the Precepts. This is because they have not observe the Precepts with their mind. They are stubborn because they have not practised dhamma.
Westerners have dhamma. I have been to five countries in Europe. They came to ask questions about dhamma. But Thai people came to ask for merit in order to help them. Every one came to the temple to ask for help without an opportunity to help themselves. This is what I have met. I leave this with you.
When I radiated loving-kindness and transfer merit to a certain Vietnamese daughter in Paris, I did it this way. When I chant Itipi so…Ya- devata-…pay attention to the Pa-li verse like this. Then I pause to concentrate and set the mindfulness before radiate loving-kindness. When my mind is in trance I transfer the merit.
Some of you do not care. You put your hands down and do not make a wish. You will not get anything. Moreover, some of you cannot even chant. You have to memorize the verses in order to be fluent when chanting. When you are fluent at chanting, it’s fluent in your mind. When it’s fluent in your mind, you can concentrate. Only then, you can transfer the merit. Otherwise you cannot.
You cannot get the result by reading the book aloud. You only read to make a correct pause in order to obtain fluency at chanting in mind and be able to concentrate. Then there will be a power to transmit. Otherwise there is no transmitting power.
All learned men who have been ordained, if you are interested in this I’ m prepared to give it to you. If you are not interested leave it here. You will not reap any fruit at all. It’s a waste of time. I always think that one minute is valued as one gold tael. Does your life have any value? You may not be able to infer what I have said for a long time.
Your life has more value than diamonds and gems. You will know that time has a lot of value. Either the newly ordained or the elder are useless if they have not worked for their own benefit.
Catholic priests, let alone Buddhist monks, have obtained fruitful result from meditation. I have seen civilisation in various countries. They are really developed. Places are really clean. There are no sanghada-na or kat.hina robe or forest robe offering. Thai people join kat.hina tour, forest robe tour or whatever. They come here by the thousand. Sometime they come to have a meal here and talk badly about us. This is meritorous speech but sinful mind.
Transference of merit is important. But you have to radiate lovingkindness first. Radiate loving-kindness in order to set up mindfulness. Realize if you are open-hearted with loving-kindness in mind or not. Then transfer the merit. They are two different steps.
Radiating loving-kindness is different from transferring merit. Make your mind full of pure loving-kindness first. Do not be jealous. Do not retain vengeance on anyone in your mind. Make your mind clear and at ease. That is loving-kindness. Then mention whom you want to transfer merit to. There will be high transmitting power. You can transfer it to your ailing parents to make them recover such as the case of Viggo Brun, the Norwegian who has been ordained at this temple for example.
Today I will inform you about transference of merit. Please go on listening.
When we pay homage by chanting Yo so bhagava-…are your minds meritorious? Sva-kkha-to…Supat.ipanno…Are your minds meritorious? Why are you so incoherent? Restrain all your indri-ya (faculties). Be alert on your duty. Use the real thing. Do not use the fake one. What would you like to take, merit or sin? You will realize by yourself what you think night and day.
What are merits that you have done in a day? Interpret them. Then be restrained and mindful. See if you have made a profit or a loss that day. Compile those in your mind. They are called loving-kindness, which refers to recalling in advance. Loving-kindness infers well-wishing to one’s self and feeling sorry that one has made merit or sin.
What have we studied today? There is no need to donate. If you can study the script or learn navakova-da by heart or memorize the chanting verses, you will be pleased or blissful. That is the merit. It is for your own benefit.
Once it is for your own benefit, what do you get next? You will be rewarded by rapture and right pleasant feeling. This is auspicious, which is called rapture in dhamma. It is merit making to your life.
Do not perform unwholesome deed. Perform auspicious actions, not inauspicious ones, every day. Being heedless is inauspicious and unwholesome. You cannot prosper from it.
I would like to tell you that there is no need to give money, this or that to the monk in order to make merit. That is not true. Merit has to be compiled in your mind. Dear all newly ordained monks, please think according to the sign and meaning of merit first.
Merit is the sign of good person. Demerit is the sign of bad person. Take being ordained as an example. This is the sign of good person. We are born as a man. We can make merit once in our lives, that is, being ordained. Shall we not take this occasion to make merit?
A bad overture brings bad things to life. At your old age you may be paralyzed while wailing in your bed. And demerit will mar you from making merit. You will get nothing.
On top of that, you will make a loss. If you make a break-even while you are ordained, then it is all right. But making a break-even is at a risk of making a loss in life later. If you make profit while being ordained, you will make a huge profit in life. You will get what you want. This is very useful.
All newly ordained monks, are you happy if you compile merit in a day and night? Are you happy that you can memorize the scriptures or the chanting? If you are glad, your mind will be in bloom when you learn the text, contemplate on the four paccaya (factors) or learn all the chantings. That is merit. It is rapture in your mind.
Should you think that you have come to be ordained for a short period of time and will disrobe soon, do not think so because you will make a loss. Such thought is a loss. You will be sorry at the moment of thought. If you have good mindfulness, you will know that you make a loss or a profit. What is your life? You will be able to know the meaning by yourself. Since you have come a long way to be ordained, make sure you have taken something back with you.
Heed the words of your preceptor. Do not be self-centred. Do not just be nonsense. What does your preceptor like? I like to give you good things. So, do not mix good things with bad ones for you will ruin the good ones. You are now graduates. Each of you holds a degree. And you are grown-up, not chidren. Every one of you is an elder.
Elders have moral principles. They are full of loving-kindness and well wishes. They sympathize with all beings including themselves. They radiate sympathetic joy and at the same time remain in neutral feeling in some undesirable cases. They remain neutral, not letting their emotion taking this side or that, not even their own side. This is neutral feeling of the elders.
Every one of us is an elder, not a child. Each has high moral principles and good human quality. Each is valuable. The value of man’s life cannot be expressed in currency unit. It is the highest of all. So, when you realize that the price of life is like this, you will realize that time is so valuable. Please think of it this way, not just being ordained to enjoy.
We are men. Do not think of it as impossible. We obtain life for the first time by being ordained. Can you do it proudly? This is the only time in your life. Do not be ordained and disrobed again and again. That is not good at all.
Being ordained is the first life of a man. We come to change our form like the (Thai folk tale) aborigine jumps into the gold well. Let the gold mingle in your minds. The aborigine in this tale prospers because he does not talk. When he wears the aborigine suit, he pretends to be dumb.
Eat little, sleep little, talk little and practise industriously are like the character of the aborigine in this tale.
Later, you will cast off the aborigine suit and become Sankhtong. You will have golden complexion and your mind will glitter with dhamma, shining around the world. You will prosper.
Unlike the stupid six ‘son-in-laws’ (in this same folk tale), whose eyes are stupid. Their ears, noses, mouths are stupid. In other words their six sense-avenues are stupid. They cannot compete with one aboringine. That is why Rojana (heroine of the tale) is happy and prosperous even if she lives in a remote countryside. This is it. But no one understands.
Since you come to be ordained, collect your grade points one at a time. Consider if it is a grade of sin or merit, how can it be benefit to you? You will know it for yourself. I do not know yours at all. I don’t want to know other’s point. I only want to know what I have done, what profit in life I have made today, what benefit I have done for the temple or how have I performed my duty. We all have to know our own grade clearly in our mind. No one grades you. You have to mark your own grade.
Beware when the ship sets sail or about to moor. There is nothing much when the ship is sailing. Like airplane, you have to fasten your seat belt while taking off and landing. Being ordained is the same. You have to be careful with the ordination and disrobement. You may not accomplish the same inference. However, do not think shortly. Think with foresight. Are you only stopping at the top of the stairs? Please remember these words.
Do you think short is better than long or long better than short? Think it over thoroughly. I have never seen any one radiate loving-kindness until it becomes a writing at all. These in and out-breath can become a written form. I try to teach meditation instructor. But none has been able to do so. They cannot even practise ‘standing…thus’ for five times. They still suspect which is which. I would like to inform you that radiating loving-kindness is very important.
When you chant, starting from Yo so bhagava- araham.…please do it with attention. Direct your whole attention to the image representing the Buddha, with all concentrated mind. Then recall dhamma – the teachings of the Buddha with concentrated mind. Think that you practise dhamma. Think of sangha. That means a group of monks who use unity as the rule of their orders. They respect the seniors, calling each other ‘elder’, ‘prospered one’. They always respect dhamma – the teachings.
I pay homage to the Buddha, together with the Dhamma – the teachings, including the Sangha – the disciples. Then humble your hearts like a clear crystal when you chant.
Ru-pam. aniccam. vedana- anicca- san~n~a- anicca- .
Ru-pa (form), vedana- (feeling), san~n~a- (perception), san. kha-ra (volitional activities) and vin~n~a-n. a (consciousness) are not definite. Consider this while you chant. You will obtain merit and benefit. Then compile the merit you have made while chanting. Make it a driving force. Finally, there is Ya- devata- …and imina-…for example. Recite those words loud and clear while pay attention to the meaning of every word. Having finished the chanting, be restraint while radiate loving-kindness.
Take a long breath, set loving-kindness mind at your chest bone. This is not non-sense. Remember it well. Radiate loving-kindness from the chest bone. When you want to transfer merit, bring the loving-kindness up to your forehead. It is called una-loma- pacaja-yate.
“Do not ignore the three ‘ na ’ on your head. Go to fetch the ‘ na ’ no matter where it is.” You may not understand the above saying because you have not practised the fruitful meditation.
“Do not ignore the three ‘ na ’ on your head. Go to fetch the ‘ na ’. Then transfer merit immediately. It will reach the destination as you wish. No matter if you want to transfer the well-wish to your parents, wishing your brothers or sisters to go to school or transfer the well-wish to your children, it will be successful at once.
If you practise meditation correctly, stubborn child or drug-addicted child can come back to the right path. Children cannot teach their gambling or drinking parents. They can only practise meditation, restrain their minds, radiate lovingkindness and transfer merit.
Do not ignore the three ‘ na ’ on your head. Go to fetch the ‘ na ’ no matter where it is. What does this sentence mean? You will be able to understand if you practise meditation. This ‘ na ’ is important.
‘Na’ contains loving-kindness and popularity.
‘Na’ means converting demerit to merit.
‘Na’ means converting enemy to friend, grow up in dhamma.
Then transfer the merit. Can you do this yet? Can the elders and monks do this? Do not do it from emotion. Do not do it from vengeance. Let go the bad deeds and your mind will be clean and clear. Then transfer the merit.
The mind can go through a wall without being stuck by red traffic light or having to take right and left turn. Have you understood this word? The mind goes direct to the point. It does not have form. The mind thinks of objects of consciousness. If you have a clear mind, you will be at ease in whatever you do. Do not ignore the three ‘ na ’ on your head. Try to accomplish the ‘ na ’ so that you can transfer it.
If you have already had a family please make a resolution to have rich, beautiful, clever children who will achieve high educational degrees. This is according to my method.
You can recall what you have done during the day. For example, you can memorize the book. Are you glad? If you can plant a hundred mango trees or a hundred banana trees and you are glad, then you can use that to transfer. There is no need to donate money to this or that temple. Donate it to yourself. Do good deeds for yourself and disseminate the goodness. This is the correct method.
I would like to leave it with newly ordained monks. From now on, please be prepared for your requirement. Today is the first Buddhist holy day after the Lent. Think if you will take a course or not. Is there any time when I give you bad things? I only give the discipline and orderliness. If you follow my advice, you will be prim and lovable.
I have looked into your lives. I radiate loving-kindness to you every day. I really know if you have made merit or demerit. But I do not speak out. Whoever wants to speak can do so. There will be no more talk about it.
Take note of the profit in life you have made each day to be calculated after the Buddhist Lent. You will know for yourself that you have made profit or loss, merit or demerit. No one can tell you. You are the esteemed monk who is in the top designated duty. It is not necessary to count the grades if you pass or fail the examination. Think it over what you have done for the benefit of the temple, the public and your own relatives and patrons. Do not take your own side for you will lose your dignity.
Can you practise meditation according to what I have taught? Do you really know the law of karma? Can you recall the past existence in your life? And. Can you solve your own problem? When the problem occurs in front of you, do you know what causes it? If you know all this, you will know more than enough. It will be benefit to you all.
Today is Buddhist holy day. It is the day that we should make a lot of merit. Today heaven and hell do not work. May the newly ordained monks radiate lovingkindness and transfer merit to deceased relatives in order to bring them to consider unity. This can be referred to as ‘unity brings peace and happiness’. They can be harmonized like children of the same parents. It will also be beneficial to you.
Do not forget the law of karma. I cannot help you because nothing is above this law of karma. Whatever you do in front of any one, let it be the same behind his back. Act for the benefit of the group as a whole. I can assure that you will get the fruitful result as if you offer sanghada-na, because your deed is for the common benefit of the sangha. You get the very good result.
If you dig a well for your home only, what do you accomplish? If you dig a well for the public that any one can drink and use, you will earn a lot of merit. A private road can be used by one house. It is not for the public to use. You earn very little merit. These are metaphors but true.
Work for the benefit of each other. Do not be over possessive. You will then be able to help each other in the future. Thus you will have a larger brotherly clique. You will be successful in whatever you will do.
I have explicated how to radiate merit, where to transfer and how to set your mind in order to succeed. Do not forget the chest bone. Take a long breath. Being restraint while chanting already earns the merit. There is no need to offer money to any monk at all. Just be composed and transmit your mind current from your forehead in order to transfer merit.
Radiate loving-kindness from the chest bone. Be restraint and aware of your duty. ‘Na u u a ma…u a ma… ma a u’. Where is the ‘ na ’? Where should you put it? Pin point it and transfer.
Learn how and where to transfer merit well. You will gain from this. Do not make a wild guess. You will get nothing from it. Do things without result cannot be acivities in your life.
I have done this for more than forty years with result. So, I would like to give this knowledge to you as merit making. I would like you to earn merit so that you can transfer it to your ailing patrons. If it is not beyond possibility, they will be well again.
Today I shall end the teaching session here. Since I am also very ill, I will try not to be absent from teaching so you will not waste your time becoming a monk. Please sympathize on this point too. Do not forget that being in order means going along with others. Otherwise it is not being in order.
May the happiness and prosperity be with the elders and the newly ordained monks. May you prosper in the right dhamma practice, in meditation and in Buddhism. May all of you be happy and prosper in age, complexion, happiness, strength, wit and financial status. May each of your wish come true.
Credit: eBooks. Wat Amphawan.