Chapter 18: Treasure
14th April 1995
All righteous persons, today is dhamma savana day, the Buddhist holy day in the middle of the fifth month. It is the Maha Songkran on the fifteenth day of waxing moon on the fifth month.
Many of you have come because it is a Songkran festival, public holiday. Men and women have come here to make merit on Maha Songkran day, in order to look for treasure.
We have to make our fortune on Maha Songkran day. Your life will be filled with pleasure, exulted in treasure of your own quality when you perform the water pouring ceremony to the elders. You have come from all walks of life with different purposes and different karma. But if you attain the Buddha’s dhamma you will be eager to make merit. That purpose will be the same to all of you.
You will have no discrimination, vengeance or jealousy toward any one. So, your life will be bright. That means you have attain the treasure of life. You will then realize the value of Maha Songkran day.
Normally, people are occupied with their jobs every day. Teachers have to work at schools. Civil servants have not had time to apply for a leave. But this time things ease up a little. It is a long public holiday. So, everybody has holiday at the same time. But Wat Ambavana is busy. The hall and accommodation are full. Patrons come with freedom from engagement in duties, not loneliness.
We all want goodness and refuge. There is not any one who does not want refuge. Sons or daughters also want refuge. A baby takes refuge in parents. It cries, wanting to follow wherever parents go, because it cannot live alone. Do no admonish the children.
I remember when I was young, crying after my parents. When my mother crossed to the other side of the river, I still cried on this side. I was too young to swim then. When they return, they bought some sweets for me, making me very glad. I could only think this much when I was young.
But I know why so many people come here. They come for a refuge. When they are not occupied by work, when the time is right, they come to look for mental refuge to make them rich, beautiful and good on Maha Songkran day. On this Buddhist holy day, I would like to explain two points, treasure and Maha Songkran.
We have to be zealous, start our mind off to be strong and endurable so as to receive the treasures which are :-
Every body requires this. There is not any one who does not require it.
Since you’ve come here, please excuse the accommodation. Squeeze in a little. Each of us comes to look for good things. Please heed the sermon about treasure day, Maha Songkran day as ethical lesson as follows.
Please pay attention, set your faith and your eagerness firmly. Be mindful while listening. Note the important points in mind and start to practise them immediately.
We have come to search for good things. We want treasure, merit, assets. This is external asset. If we come to practise meditation and have internal asset, the external asset will arrive automatically. The mind is like magnet. If you make your mind good, if we have good mindfulness, it attracts the asset.
If your mind is good, so is your mouth. You get money and gold when you speak. If your mind is bad you lose money from speaking, or cause trouble for yourself and friends. If your mind is good, if you have wisdom and practise meditation, if you set mindfulness at every posture, your mouth will produce money and gold. This will be clear.
If your mind is good, your ears will be good. Mindfulness is at the ears, wealth is also at the ears. You will only listen to good things and do not listen to bad things any longer. A person with good mind, who practises meditation, whenever he can control his mindfulness and clear-consciousness, will have wealth and morality at the ears. Mindfulness is set at the ears. He does not pay attention to gossipping, calumination or censurer. He knows that those acts will rebound to their sources.
I would like to inform you here that cattles return to their stalls. They do not come to stay in our places because we have not kept them. We do not have cattle. They will return to the stall of those who feed them. This is rich ear. There is no need to listen to bad things. Listen to useful things only.
If you have a good mind and wisdom and if you always contemplate on ‘thinking…thus’, ‘thinking…thus’, ‘knowing…thus’ and ‘knowing…thus’; you will know the present and understand the present. Your eyes will full of morality and treasures.
‘Perceiving…thus’. Ah! This person has bad disposition. We then leave it at that. Arising, sustaining, ceasing. Why do we take his habit into our concern? Bad disposition is his personal matter. ‘Perceiving…thus’. Why does this person come for? He looks like a ruffian, without eyes expression. ‘Perceiving…thus’. He has no head! You can calculate that he has to die within seven days. If you keep contemplating and he still has no head, it is certain that he will die within not more than three hours. How will he die? In a car accident or other accident, for sure! Now your eyes have treasure here. You know how to look. Some people do not know how to look, to listen, to speak or even to think. Bad people like to think about bad things. Good, intelligent people like to think of things that make knowledge shining. They will only think of academic matters, established basis and only useful things. I would like to leave this with the meditation practitioners. Do not come here to chat. But come to make merit to your mind.
Meditation is there to make your mind good and full of mindfulness. It is not that people keep talking on and on about going to heaven, attaining Nibba‐na or accomplishing this and that jha‐na level. Yet, they are unable to set their mindfulness not even for five minutes. How can you gain treasure or wealth? If you lose quality and disposition, if you do not have meritorious mind, you cannot obtain fruitful result in whatever you do, as I have explained.
It means that the eyes have no treasure and morality. That’s why the eyes lack mindfulness in looking, lack knowing in clear consciousness and lack wisdom in expression of the eyes. The eyes do not know how to look inside people. Some wears shabby attire, but they are important people. Some dress beautifully like angels, but after ‘perceiving…thus’, they are very bad with bestial minds. You ought to be able to attain this after the basic meditation practice.
It is not that you come to announce that you have attained the higher level of jha‐na. So, you practise the sixth stage of walking meditation. If your jha‐na level upgrades, but you cannot do this, it is like you have failed the primary class. Can you go up to junior high school class? There are plenty of people like this coming to this temple.
I would like to leave it to you that success is at the mind. If your mind is not good, without will-power, there will be no success. There will only be failure and destruction. I want to emphasize this point.
It is not that you come to the temple yet still being haughty, thinking, “I’ m a Khun Ying (Lady)” or “I’m a Director-General”, so on and so forth. It is not being anything, just a human quality. Take it as that. Do not bring duty, rank and files into account while you come to practise meditation. You have to let go all of them. When you come here you have to leave egotism and hindrance preoccupations, enabling your practice to be successful.
It is a must to take off your royal provisions and wardrobes. “I am a high ranking officer.” If your mind is still a high-ranked, you cannot obtain fruitful result from meditation practice. If you still think that you are a doctorate degree graduate or a technical expert, you will not be able to practise meditation at all. As soon as you close your eyes and start thinking of academic matters and royal provisions and wardrobes, you will get nothing. I would like to leave this with you. Even if you can obtain elementary achievement, you will enjoy the fruit of it.
Mind development causes da‐na (charity), si‐la (morality) and bha‐vana‐ (meditation), as well as willing to donate. If your mind is good, you will donate willingly. If your mind is full of loving-kindness and morality; your donation will never be fruitless. On the contrary, your donation will stem from good intention. So, it gives good result. That is charity.
You have morality to control your mind while doing things together with mindfulness and clear-consciousness. But those are not as good as meditation. Meditation can dispose of sin, defilement and conceit from your mind, making it subtler. So, meditation is better than morality and charity.
Meditation is the key to morality, charity and logic. Meditation causes success in doing jobs, treasures and useful things. Bad things will no longer be attempted. You will be able to get rid of conceit in your mind to moderate your life style, not to be as lavishing as before. You will be able to reduce selfishness. When selfishness is reduced you will feel relieved, care free and light-hearted. You will not be depressed or take other people’s stories personally. The result will come out like this, for example.
So, meditation practice is success in life. Lack of mindfulness and clearconsciousness is your own failure in life. No one fails you. How can you achieve anything if you only have ambition to have this and that without enthusiasm to work for it? If you want anything but not working for it, there is no activity. How can you be successful? You will get a feeling of failure in whatever you do. Your mind will fail next. It will come out clear like this.
I would like to inform you further that on Maha Songkran day, when you perform the water pouring ceremony it is like appraising your life. You visit parents, grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts to perform the water pouring ceremony, not throwing water at each other until soaking-wet.
When you perform water pouring ceremony, water reminds you of good feelings toward others. When you bend down your head, the head reminds you of wisdom. You gain wisdom from parents, teachers, preceptor and older relatives. If you understand this point, you then come to pour scented water to express your loving-kindness and gratitude in return. Treasure Page 13 Then you ask for pardons from parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts. Then ask for pardons from the Triple Gems, i.e., the Buddha, the Dhamma (teachings) and the Sangha (union of monks), for having been too precarious and arrogant. Those are sinful.
In Maha Songkran ceremony, there is a treasure. When you ask for forgiveness from the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha, from parents, teachers, benefactors and supporters; you will encounter treasures.
If you have trivial problems, you can seek the advice from parents, benefactors and teachers. This is the treasure in your problem solving, for example.
If you can really practise meditation, you will know for yourself that this is beneficial. It is a real treasure. So, you pay the five tributes on Maha Songkran day. Apart from performing the water-pouring ceremony, you would also tend to five treasures that you have in mind.
If you practise meditation well enough to attain dhamma, you will not desert your parents. You will look after your parents well, including children, spouse and employee. Keep them happy under your roof. These are treasure. It is one of your wealth. Those of you who can practise meditation will incline towards this way.
Another thing is good friend. In this festive season, entertain all your friends to make them happy. Offer delicious food to benefactors and offer alms for example.
Apart from entertaining, try to get rid of hazards from various causes occurring to yourself, your family and friends. Help to relieve them from unhappiness. For those who are happy, wish them more happiness.
During Maha Songkran season, we pay extra five tributes.
1. N~ati bali‐ – support the relatives, directly or indirectly, as much as we possibly can. Do good turns to relatives. This is called Maha Songkran and will yield treasure soon.
2. Atithi bali‐ – host the guests. When we go to our parents’ home, greet relatives who come to visit with hospitality and courtesy. Exchange the news about well-being of each other. Exchange the news about job and investment. This is one kind of wealth occurs to you.
3. Pubba peta bali‐ – make merit and transfer to the deceased relatives. It is the time to perform pam.sukula rite. Although there is no rilics, the rite can be completed by writing their names. Ancient people bring relics together to make merit and transfer to the deceased. It is unity on Maha Songkran day. This will yield wealth and treasure to you.
4. Ra‐ja balibali‐ – give to the Royal Government, such as tax for example. Do not cheat the government or engage in a corruption. Help to pay tax so that the government will pay to the public in turn.
5. Devata‐ bali‐ – make merit and transfer to gods and goddesses. Offer food to monks and novices. In other words, give it to the well-behaved, dhamma practitioners and meditation practitioners. You will obtain wealth on Maha Songkran for yourself.
On the 15th of April, I always perform pamsukula offering to transfer merit to every previous abbot of this temple that I have known of. There were ten of them starting from Pu Khru Nanasamvara and Phra Khru Brahmanagara for example. I also perform pam.sukula offering to transfer merit to senior villagers who have passed away. During 39 years that I have come to stay here, more than 120 of them passed away. They used to offer alms that I consumed. I will never forget their favour at all. I also present a gift to 32 old villagers, marking my gratitude to the seniors.
If the mind is good and can be developed enough to practise meditation, the health is also good. Good health, without ailments, enables good work. Everything you do is good. When your work is well done, money will follow. Financial status will be better, followed by a social status upgrade.
If you do not have money, prestige or wealth, you will not be accepted by society. You will be lonely wherever you go.
If you practise meditation and accomplish qualification and wealth, achieving asset, fame and popularity; then you will be supported by other people.
When your mind attains dhamma it will be polite and submissive. You will not be prejudiced against anyone or be egotistic. You will feel like bowing to this person and that. It always bends down.
A rough, offensive or arrogant person has no dhamma in mind. A person with dhamma pays homage when he walks pass a monk. A person without dhamma walks pass a monk as if does not see him. They are clever yet lack of subtlety. It always comes out in this way clearly, no matter who it is.
Thus, success is from meditation. It is the base of action to improve status, to establish wealth, to bring about qualification, value and to cause light in oneself. It is priced highly without devaluation. No one helps any low valued person. No one visits or talks to such person. It comes out clearly in this way.
How do we know where meditation is? It is not where you come to listen to their sermon of this monk or that and donate when you are captivated by the sermon.
You will not encounter the real thing if you are in such a chaos. A person encounters the real thing lives with tranquility, contemplates dhamma and not speaking to each other. When the mouth does not speak and the mind does not think, meditation comes about.
If the mouth still speaks and the mind still thinks aggressively and incoherently, you will not achieve meditation at all. How can you say you have attained the sixteenth level of insight meditation? Not only lack of meditation, but your thought has also disppeared. Your struggle to think is also gone. Meditation practice is there to create the struggle to think and make friends by moral principle. That is the correct base of activity. You will have a good base and accomplish wisdom by yourself. If you do not have wisdom and logical thinking, I do not believe that you have attained meditation.
If you can really practise, wisdom will arise to solve your own problem. When you have family problem you will use the Buddha’s wisdom gained from meditation to solve your own problem. There is no need to seek any fortune teller any more.
Wisdom in this case are the wisdom to know, to become expert, to be dexterous, to know right and wrong, to know bad and good, to know the sin, the merit, benefit, the harm, to know what is useful and what is not, to know reasons, to know properness, to know who is a child and who is an adult and, to know what to do or not to do at certain time.
It is not doing or speaking whenever you feel like, as if you do not have running knot at your mouth. If you talk nonsense on and on incautiously, you will be sorry later. No one can help you.
Meditation practice is coming to learn the lessons of life, to learn the points for thought in order to bring wisdom about. So, you have to study until you understand life. Do not study other’s life. “That person is bad.” “This person is good.” What are you looking at others for? Do not look at others. It is more that enough if you can look at yourself. Your work load is full in each of your pocket. You cannot even solve your own problem. What are you looking at other’s problems for?
Man means problem. Man means busy. Man means chaos. Many people living together cause more chaos and more problems. The less people cause the less problem. There is bound to be problem when hundred or thousand of people staying together. Do forgive each other. It is a kind of negligible problem. Do pay attention to meditation only. Meditation practice is there to solve problems so as not to be confused in life. Life will no longer be in a jumble. It will be in order step by step.
You have to be able to practise ‘standing…thus’ for five time so as to understand tacapan~cakakammat.t.ha‐na (the subject for meditation comprising the five constituents ending with the skin). If you really know, you will know that everything has to be corrected. If you really know, you will not be confused. If you really know, you can solve problems. If you do not really know, you will cause more problems.
Man is confused. And man is really chaotic and confused. Come to practise meditation in order not to be confused. You will solve problems step by step. You will have complete mindfulness and clear consciousness without interfering with anybody. Try to accomplish walking meditation and contemplate on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. That is all. There is no need to explicate elaborately. You cannot do just this. If you fail an exam how can you want to be upgraded to this level or that level of insight meditation? How can you want to practise the fourth, fifth or sixth stage of walking meditation, when you cannot even pass the first stage? If you fail the exam, would the school let you be in the upper grade? It is like you are bad in the primary school and go on to secondary school. You only create problems for the secondary school. If you are bad at secondary school and go to university, you will create problems for the university. Problems can never be solved then.
Meditation practice brings about success in life and solutions to problems of life. It causes hard-working. Any one lacking of mindfulness and clearconsciousness will be lazy, will not want to work and will be selfish. A person with meditation attainment who is able to set his mindfulness and contemplation will be hard-working and frugal. They will be enduring, restrainable, saving and able to undergo hardship in whatever they do. They can endure other’s mental pain. Endure it! This is meditation. It is success, obtaining recognition from others.
If you have mindfulness and clear-consciousness enough to control your own mind, you will be trustworthy and respected wherever you go. You will also be submissive. If you have mindfulness and clear-consciousness you will be submissive to the seniors. If you are a senior, you will be humble to the juniors. Whatever you speak, you will mind the juniors, approaching them with polite words. You are humble.
Meditation practitioner has to know his standing, who he is and what is his status. If every one of you can contemplate, you will know your own standing. You will live an orderly lifestyle, not being extravagant or spending lavishly. You will live according to your standing, knowing yourself, knowing others and knowing frugality.
A person with mindfulness and clear-consciousness always has a resolution in mind. He always has a plan in life and in whatever he does. A person without dhamma, mindfulness and clear-consciousness does things laxly with no resolution in mind at all. A person who attains meditation skill and can observe mindfulness will reach other people’s minds. He will know what others think at the time. He knows how to relinquish and adjust.
A person who knows how to relinquish has good mindfulness. He puts down his egotism. When he loses some money he puts it down. When he wins some and loses some he puts it down. And he will not criticize any one or speak dirty words because he knows how to relinquish. He also knows how to adjust himself to make friend with children, adults, this or that person. It is reaching other people’s mind. A meditation practitioner has to be able to do all these.
If you cannot do it, you cannot teach others because you do not know what others think at the time and equality in view (dit.t.hi sa‐man~n~ata‐). How can your teaching produce result?
Another thing, the finer mindfulness and clear-consciousness a person has in meditation, he will not be greedy for free things. He does not want anything that belongs to others at all. He only wants money earned from his own hard work and wisdom. He will live with santosa (satsfaction with whatever is one’s own). But he will look after his property to make it last. This is called santosa.
A person who attains meditation will live with determination. One, not two! He is determined. He has to be himself. What he speaks he has to do. He does not postpone action. Apart from being determined, he has to be steady with merit. His mind will not be disorderly or incline towards sin any more. He closes the door to hell. He will not be born as hungry ghost, demon or animal any more. His mind is settled.
He will be alone and steady with his life because he has good mindfulness and clear-consciosness. He will no longer treat others with incaution any more. No matter what others may speak, he is not swayed. It is called alone and steady in mind. Meditation is like this.
Another thing, it makes a person generous. If relatives and patrons have mindfulness and clear-consciousness, attaining the sacred status of dhamma through meditation practice for one or five minutes, you will be more generous. You will not be narrow-minded. You will have good disposition, generosity and loving-kindness, looking after others. You also live with generosity. Your lovingkindness will expand to your children, your spouse and your parents. There will be unity in the kind family. Loving-kindness scope expands from villages to sub- district, from sub-districts to district, from districts to province and from provinces to regions of Thailand. This is generosity.
On the contrary, a person lacks of dhamma will fail in his mind as his career. It will come out this way, in the opposite of the above mentioned.
1. He does not understand others and smears them.
2. He does not know his standing. He does not know how much money he has, spends continously. He does not know whether he is secured or not. He is innocent to work, leaving it off halfway through lacking of mindfulness and clear-consciousness.
3. He has no sense of responsibility. A person without meditation is not responsible for anything. He does not look after his belongings. He is only greedy and grudging, always speaks badly of this and that person. If you have attained meditation, you will not be like that.
If you have attained meditation, you will not be haughty, arrogant or selfimportant at all. You will always have pleasant, merciful mind with kindness towards others. This is the important principle.
And you will not tell lies, provoke, using rude words or talk nonsense at all. You will no longer lie to any one. You will only speak sincerely and firmly from your mind. You will only make friend with the sage not delinquent.
A person with mindfulness in meditation will not be lazy to do his work. He will not be hard-working outside his duty. He will only be hard-working on the work which is his duty. He will not incur exceeding debt.
If you have attained meditation, you will not be credulous without any thought. You will be firm, not believing just what others say. You will always solve the problem. You will not behave like a rogue. You will always have mindfulness, clear-consciousness and loving-kindness.
You will not lack of truthfulness. You will always speak the truth and do what you speak. You will not be treacherous, deceiving any one. You will not be lavish in spending money. You will not lack of principle. You will not be absorbed in gambling or quick-tempered. Your mind will no longer be unsteady. You will not be jealous, on the wrong track, stubborn or headstrong against your benefactors. You will always have loving-kindness guiding your actions. I leave this with relatives and patrons. Success and failure depends on meditation.
If we do the opposite we will fail and go bankrupt, losing the job and waste our lives. It is not esteemed in any way since we cannot obtain purity while being born as human. One one side, you cannot gain any merit while you are alive. On the other side, you have not left any merit on earth before passing away. And you cannot have any merit attached to your consciousness to the next existence.
Thus, meditation practice is like this. If you can do it without swaying, do it with zest, I can assure that you are certain to get the result. Success will arise. You will only have prosperity.
How can you be rich if you want to be important, influential and rich but you are not enthusiastic? Even worse, you earn money unethically by doing the corruption.
You do not have serious dedication to what you want. You do not even have loving-kindness. What would you take as a base? If you want anything, do not leave it. Stick to that job and your job will be successful, surely.
Meditation is not difficult at all. But unfortunate people are like being obstructed by karma. They are too lazy to practise. That is being obstructed by karma.
Fortunate people are not obstructed by karma, they see right through the path. They get result in whatever they do, together with benefits of the job according to their wish. This is what you want now.
Thus, meditation practice is for achieving Maha Songkran and treasure, i.e., wealth. You will have abundant of assets, without fail.
Try to chant and meditate regularly. It is also the way to solve problems. In an instant, wisdom will tell you. If you practise meditation until you gain a lot of wisdom, the wisdom will come out to help you solve your own problems. There is no need to ask for help from others, because they do not know the point of our problems. You are the one who do the work and incur problems. You know the point how problems occur. So, you have to solve them.
If you do the sin, can you transfer it to your brothers or sisters? No one wants to receive the sin and suffering. Every one wants good things and happiness. No one wants good things that cause suffering. Every one wants to live happily.
Meditation practice is then a huge merit one makes for oneself. During the holidays many relatives and patrons come here. Please excuse the inconvenience. When you make merit you have to be able to invest in hardship too.
Today is auspicious day in life. It is Buddhist holy day and Maha Songkran day, also a day of treasure streaming in. You will always have loving-kindness, not mixing with anger or other kinds of defilement. May you have loving-kindness forever.
I would like to congratulate you on the merit all of you have made by coming to practise meditation during this Maha Songkran season in order to pay gratitude to your benefactors, to practise meditation and transfer merit to the deceased relatives.
Contemplating on meditation practice for benefactors including teachers and very good friends, is transferring merit and sacredness. They will receive the benefit. It is puppa peta bali‐ – make merit for the deceased. You also make your merit. You have done your duty according to your dignity, causing wealth and treasure. You will return safely and will be lucky. You will live a life full of asset, fame and popularity in your own family. You will be pleasant as well.
May happiness and prosperity arise to every one of those who seek dhamma and right behaviour in his duty. May you prosper in age, complexion, happiness, energy, wit and wealth. When you think of anything may your wish come true.
Credit: eBooks. Wat Amphawan.