Chapter 06: Anumodana : Thanks Offering
I beg to acknowledge with utmost respect to :
The Most Venerable Luang Poh Phra Dhammarajanuvat
And all The Respected Phra Thera
I extend my blessings to:
The Honourable Chief Council of The Council for Teachers’Training
The Permanent Vice-secretary of The Ministry of Education
The Director-general of The Council for Teachers’ Training
The Director of Thepsatri Teachers’ College
The Honourable Ex-ministers and Member of Parliament who have come to assemble at Dhammabha-vana- Sala
Today I am most delighted to see all of you, my honourable guests, together with the most respected Luang Poh Dhammarajanuvat and many other Phra Thera as well as the group of two hundred Pa-li language teachers assemble here.
The honourable Vice-secretary of the Ministry of Education is so compassionate as to sacrifice his time for this occasion. I am most profoundly touched by his kindness. I am also greatly delighted and appreciative that so many of you have come here to show your good will.
However, I must admit that I feel most worried on account of the fact that I think what I have already achieved is still very little, and that having been an eyewitness to the presence of all of you here in this assembly hall, I could not help feeling that from now onward my work would be much heavier than it has been. Looking to the right and left, I can see you all in academic uniform and I am glad that you have come.
Just a few moments ago Dr.Charin Jatirung asked me if I felt excited. I answered that I had been feeling excited for a long time. My eyes were “awaken”, so was my heart. I have been excited by this awakening from a long time ago. I have been dancing to this awakening all alone by myself for a long time. There was no one to accompany me in my dance, in my excitement and in my awakening.
However I am highly delighted and touched that the most Respected Luang Poh of Wat Bodhi has taken the trouble to sacrifice his time to come here for this occasion.
You all come to present this honour to me, but when you go back, I will have to think hard about what I ought to do to make ever greater and better contributions to our country so that your trust and faith in me will not be meaningless.
Dear Buddhist followers, I can see that I need to work harder, even though at present my existing work already makes it hard for me to have any free time or leisure hours. But I must work to “wake people up from their long sleep”. I apply this policy with three “Cs” in mind :
C(1) – Cleanliness
Our country should be clean. We must eat clean food, drink clean water, and have a clean and convenient sewage system. We must sleep in mosquito nets, use a clean lavatory and wear clean shoes. We must learn to respect the leaders and not to forget and neglect the desperate and the poor. Such things are taught in the Tipitaka, but no one cares to teach about them. That we know how to “wai” is our Thai custom. It is not dictated by the Buddha. The Buddha taught about causes, reasons and effects.
C(2) – Calmness
When the mind is not calm, you will not be at peace with yourself. You need calmness, and the whole world needs it badly too.
C(3) – Convenience
Whenever peace or calmness prevails, there will be prosperity and you will find life comfortable and convenient. Material advancement has provided much convenience to our lives, but we need to apply wisdom in our consumption of all the conveniences of life. Problems will arise if we are not wise.
The activities of the Sangha must be of benefit to people, not only in our country, but also in foreign lands. I sent a statue of the Buddha together with the statues of Phra Moggallana and Sariputra to a monastery called Wat Thanong in Phratabong District of Cambodia. About 7,000 Khmers gathered to celebrate the arrival of the statues. A Khmer monk came to inform me about the lack of sanitation facilities and I sent some money to help in the provision of the facilities so sought after.
Recently I sent some funds to help in the construction of a pavilion in Vientianne, Laos. I help in the little way I can.
In the development of a monastery, I follow the Buddha’s teaching. The compound needs to be swept daily and monks should not forget or neglect their daily duties. When you look for something good in a monk, do not look at his robes or his physical appearance but look at his inner qualities or virtues, and see if he is faithful to his duties.
Here at this monastery, we have three hundred bathrooms and lavatories. There is no need for queuing up in long lines. We have a large kitchen too where we can steam a large sack of rice at the price of thirty baht a day. There must be initiative, convenience and wisdom. It is not easy to run a place like this one. You need wisdom. There are many people who are too lazy to do things the proper way; instead they always try to look for an easy way out; and there are people who aspire to reap whatever benefits they can reap, but they are too selfish to put in any effort to help the monastery. Such people always make claims like :” I love this nation”, “I love the religion” and “I love the monarchy”, but they are lying.
Love The Nation
Before you lay claim to your love for the nation, you have to learn to love yourself in the right way. You must learn to be able to help yourself, to rely on your own self and to teach yourself too. Love The Religion You must truly practise the Dhamma with sincerity and consistency. Do not hesitate to help others when you can.
Love The Monarchy
Perform your duty honestly. Do not be deceitful and practise corruption. In this way, you are considered as one who loves the monarch and monarchy. Do not speak about “love” when your heart is far from it.
Monks should learn to help the people in general. In Lopburi Province, once there was a great shortage of water. I suggested to General Somsak Saengchanlert to set up a “water bank”. Now there is an abundance of water. About 1,000 families have sufficient water for consumption. The water available is enough to support ten thousand people.
To make such work or development possible, you do not have to go from house to house to beg of any form of help. You only need to be an honest, sincere and truly enthusiastic and serious person. Whatever you do, do it with faith, respect, a cool mind, appropriately, with mindfulness and wisdom. You are bound to succeed.
Lastly, I wish to thank all of you again for attending this assembly. May the Blessing of the Triple Gem and that of all the merit be with you all and may you all have happiness, prosperity and good health.
Credit: eBooks. Wat Amphawan.